9 Year-Old Boy Saves 12 Year-Old Girl!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
11 Jan 2009


I saw this story and was amazed at the boys quick thinking. The boy was walking home from school when a Pit Bull dog started attacking a girl’s dachshund. She stepped into save her dog and got attacked! Drew Heredia who just started taking Brazilian BJJ classes, came to the girl’s rescue by putting the dog into a rear-naked-choke hold for 20 minutes until the cops got there!!!


This is a very brave boy to step in and do what was needed in this attack. Children often start various classes but the BJJ really helped this boy out. When I was a kid this choke hold was called a sleeper hold. I found a video demonstrating its use.



So you can see the mechanics of the move. I have only applied this to a uncooperative guy in the bar I used to work at and it is really easy to use (providing you can get into position). Once you get the choke on – your opponent really does not have  a chance. Here is an interview of Drew Heredia from the local news station.


What would this boy have done if he had not learned some BJJ? Luckily for being human beings, we can use tools. A great alternative would have been to pick up a rock or brick and take the fight out of the dog. Had I been in the same position I would have probably used the sleeper hold too as the dog has no defense against it. Good for us that a dog cannot kick or punch as well as bite.


This boy and girl were very lucky to come out of this bad situation with their lives intact. Once again self-defense classes have made the difference between in saving this girls life (not to mention the dashshund’s life)! Jui-jitsu training in this case gave the boy the tool he needed to hold the dog at bay until the police arrived.

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6 Responses to “9 Year-Old Boy Saves 12 Year-Old Girl!”

  1. wim Says:

    Wow, scary stuff. This could have ended real bad.


  2. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Yes this was one of those scary situations that there was no right answer. I’ve heard of adults losing to Pitt Bull dogs and I’ve heard of stories like this one where someone that kept their head was able to come out ok.

  3. Ikigai Says:

    Very interesting story. It’s true that the boy could have disengaged from the dog safely, but he was in a situation where he needed to protect his friend from potentially mortal danger. I would say he did the right thing, and that he acted bravely and quickly.

  4. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Ikigai – this was on of those tough calls on the boy’s part to be sure… My guess is he liked the girl, but whatever the reason – he did the right thing and was lucky to come out ok! :)

  5. Martial Arts News 1.18.09 « Striking Thoughts Says:

    […] Zimmer informs us that a 9-year-old boy uses some BJJ to save the day. When I was a kid this choke hold was called a sleeper […]

  6. Hipolito M. Wiseman Says:

    I just wanted to speak in and let you know that you are possibly one of the best writers ever on this subject. Everyone else is very hard to understand as I am not exactly A native English speaker, but I am trying. So I appreciate you breaking it down for me.