Every parents worst nightmare happened to me a couple of months back – My oldest son called me to tell me my youngest son had just been mugged! He did not have many details other than my son was walking for exercise (as he often does) and these three guys jumped him! I was also told he was bruised but ok.
Let me tell you I had so many emotions running through my head but I was also trying to use my experience to tell my oldest son that the police should handle the matter. I felt like hunting for some street toughs but that could rapidly digress into something I would end up regretting. I’m happy to say I opted for finding some more information. More on my son’s situation in a minute but while searching robbery youtube videos, I found this of some courageous beauty school women that took matters into their own hands to deal some hurt to a robber.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/QzCMqCAg_MA" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Here is what happened to my son. He walked by three men that asked him if he had a dollar. My son pulled out his wallet and gave them a dollar and continued on his walk (on a busy street in the afternoon). A couple of minutes he heard someone running behind him but thought nothing of it as there are lots of joggers in the area. He felt pain as he was struck from behind in the back of his head. He was spun around by the force of the blow and struck again on the way down. He fell half-way down and back against some bushes.
He sprang up and yelled, “What the “bleep” is your problem!” (as the three of them were advancing on him). Seeing that they were going to mug him, he (my son) struck the closest one in the face and ran! The muggers gave chase but were not able to overtake my son. I don’t think they thought he (my son) would be able to mount a defense after getting blindsided.
Later as I was attempting to calm my son down I found out he thought he failed! I asked him what he meant and he told me that he (my son) really wanted to stay and beat the heck out of those guys for having the gall to attack him but he did not know if he could take all three of them at once or if they had any weapons. I told him he did exactly the right thing!
Self-defense is not being “Bruce Lee” and taking on a gang of street-punks, but rather getting out of an attack with your life! If you are also able to escape injury, foil a robbery attempt and/or give the police a good description – so much the better. I pointed out to my son that most people that were blind-sided would have been beat to a pulp and robbed. He was neither beat-up too bad or robbed!
After my son settled down I started talking to him about being aware of his surroundings and if he had to give some bums/street kid some money – don’t pull out his wallet to do it. These are lessons that many (including me) have learned the hard way but I am proud of my son and made sure he knew it. He only got up to purple belt but I am confident if he was one-on-one with the street-punk… he would have taught him a think or two and shown him the error of his ways!
My good friend David Hays pointed out this aspect of self-defense in a comment the other day about how we should focus on safey in self-defense and winning might not always be taking out all of your oppoents but sometimes getting away with your life is also a win (paraphrasing). I am in full agreement and would like to add that we should be teaching our students and loved ones to remember that our lives are far more importaint than injuries to our pride that might make us do foolish things.
My son and these couragous women that turned the tables on their robber, did what they had to do to be safe! I encourage everyone to keep their priorities straight and defend youself in whatever way makes sense for your situation!