Posts Tagged ‘attacker’

Valente Brothers had a weapons self-defense seminar last week. I couldn’t attend; however, it did bring up a bad memory.  At the start of the first Gulf War, I was living as an exchange student in Madrid, Spain.  Every Friday at the University, after the last class, the communist party along with the socialists, would have a parade in protest against capitalism and the US.   It really got heated up when we declared war on Iraq in 1991.  Very very anti American.  One weekend, my friend and I were attacked by a Moroccan guy with a knife in an old part of Madrid, Spain. My friend and I were American exchange students going to the bars. That night, it was the wrong time, wrong place. A guy approached us, I didn’t understand him. We began yelling at each other.  I heard a click, then I saw a six-inch knife blade.  I saw the knife blade coming towards my face in a slashing motion. I pulled my head back. It barely missed me.  I knew this guy didn’t speak English so I told my friend to run in the opposite direction when I tried to draw him towards me.  It worked.

As the knife attacker and I circled each other, my mind was racing.  What should i do? I was thinking about all the possible outcomes. I came to a quick conclusion, there was no up side.  The best decision was to run away.  Could I out run this guy? I took off.  He followed not far behind.  A block later, the attacker was still close. I thought to myself, ” Great, I’m going to be knifed in the back.  Then I heard shouting from the attacker.  The guy had stopped running after me. His hands were on his knees. He was out of breath.  I kept running. I watched him from across the street while I was hidden in the shadow of a building.    It looked to me that this guy was either ill or out of shape. Once everything was clear, I went to bar.  There was my friend.  He was all shaken up and so was I.  We ordered a drink then called it a night.  We didn’t go to the police because nobody was injured, we couldn’t speak the language very well, and we didn’t want other problems.

This week we learned a self-defence attack that may render the aggressor permanently disabled.  I had some ethical questions about learning this.  It is a strike to the ear. When done properly, the ear slap would cause a rupture to the eardrum. Your ear is where balance is stored. I believe it would be very difficult surgery to fix. If the eardrum is ruptured, it would be difficult for that person to maintain balance.

When should you even consider using the ear slap attack?  First, I would quickly analyze the pre fight situation.  Do I feel confident to take the aggressor without this move? Are their multiple opponents?  Second, escalation of violence. Does the aggressor have a weapon? A knife? A gun?  If the aggressor flashes a hidden weapon or I believe he has one then this attack would be certainly justified. If you choice to fight someone with a weapon, you need to take them out.  I maybe able to handle a knife. I may not be able to handle a gun.  Third, if the attacker has a knife, could I avoid the attacker all together by an escape? Could I escape an attacker with a gun?

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What is the best defense in a bar brawl ???  That question comes up a lot during Jiu Jitsu practice.  As a Jiu Jitsu student, you adapt to the situation.  Generally,  I know that I don’t want to take it to the ground. Bars are known to have broken glass on the floor.  If your on the ground, someone could throw a chair on you or you could be kicked in a group attack.  In my opinion, the best defense is not being there.

June of 1987 , Greg S., a friend from high school,  and I went to Ocean City, Maryland.  It was a tradition for recent High School graduates from Baltimore and the surrounding  area. Ocean City, Maryland,  is a small run down family vacation town on the Atlantic Ocean with a sandy beach.   Near the O.C. boardwalk, there was a night club with a dance floor, which allowed 18 year olds into the establishment, but were not permitted to drink. We happily paid to get in and had to wear yellow wrist bands.   Meeting women was on our minds.   Note, we had a couple of beers on the beach before we entered.  To be honest, I don’t recall drinking or how much but it definitely wasn’t an unreasonable amount.

As we were entering the bar, I believe we were being watched.  It was about to get very ugly.  The place was dark.    As we were scoping out the dance floor for women,  a ring of guys formed around Greg.  Greg was in the center and another guy facing him.  The guy next to me said, ” Stay out of this and you won’t get hurt.”  Greg is a big guy and he could hold his own so I didn’t immediately object.  Thirty seconds later, the man who told me to stay out of the fight,  sucker punched Greg in the face.   Just as his hand recoiled, I noticed that he was wearing brass knuckles. Brass knuckle is a small metal weapon; worn over the knuckles on the back of the hand.  Greg was stunned and stumbling.   To make things worse, as Greg stumbled, the attacker in front of him struck him.  There was no time to get help.  I didn’t remember seeing a bouncer at the front door.   I had to act.  Right or wrong, I forcefully grabbed the back shoulder shirt of the guy with the brass knuckles and the other guy  on my other side by his shirt shoulder.  I charged forward while dragging the two guys by the shoulder into Greg and the other guy.  In a second, we were all laying on the floor in a pile and I was on top.  My hope in collapsing the ring was to create chaos so that Greg could escape.  This is when the whole situation gets really unclear.  I don’t know what happened to Greg S. after that point.

My next memory is jumping to my feet after the pile up.  When I got to my feet, there was a guy in front of me with his hands up with clinched fists.   I quickly looked around.   I didn’t see Greg.  I jabbed the guy hard in the jaw.  He returned with a hook.   I immediately felt a cut under my eye.  The cut on my face was from the attacker’s jagged ring.  Blood ran down my face.  I don’t have memory of the events after that.  Perhaps there was another attacker, out of view, that choked me out? I believe I was knocked or choked unconscious at this time.

Next memory, I saw K. Hopkins, she graduated with me and Greg,  standing with her boyfriend in front of us.  Her boy friend was manic, wide-eyed, breathing heavy, and holding a broken tennis racket.  It was weird.    Her boy friend said that he thought he saw the attackers leave the bar.  I don’t know if he came to our aid or after I broke the fight ring, the fight evolved into a brawl.    After that, I remember the sun had risen.  A cop was making a report.  We started making our way to the exit.  Someone yelled, ” Let them go, they had nothing to do with this.”

Next memory, I was in Greg’s car.   Greg was in bad shape.  One of his eyes had a broken blood vessel.  He kept repeating the same sentence over and over. He had a concussion. I wanted to go to the emergency room but he insisted on going home, so I drove him home in his car.

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This week I learned a new Japanese word, Kuzushi, from Professor Gui.  Kuzushi means to unbalance. This has everything to do with getting a good throw.  We as Jiu Jitsu students should learn about Kuzushi.    A throw doesn’t seem like much; especially, if it is done on a mat or soft ground; however, if done on concrete, it could cause a lot of damage, or even kill an attacker.

How does one execute Kuzushi?  Experts say there is more than two ways, but I only know of two, dragging them off-center balance or pushing.   So, if your practicing Jiu Jitsu, a throw, you have to work on getting your opponent off-balance before executing the throw.  In the meantime, I found some articles on Kuzushi which I haven’t fully read yet.  If you want me to follow-up, let me know.

I learned that The Open Double Collar Grab is really a defense against a headbutt attack.  In the United States, we don’t attack like that.   I was told they do a lot of headbutt attacks in Brazil and the UK.   As soon as the headbutt is successful, it is usually followed by a knock out hook. This week, a Jiu Jitsu student, a police officer, by the name of Peter, taught me the importance of the prayer hands shooting up with the hip motion on the Open Double Collar Grab.  The prayer hands are ultra important to stop the headbutt from striking your face.   Peter said that his friend was an expert in this move and that it could take down anyone if they weren’t prepared.

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