After teaching my Karate class tonight, I was talking to my students about the difference between a fight and self protection. A fight being where you agree to participate (even if seriously provoked), whilst self protection is where you are given no choice and are literally forced to defend yourself.
My new student, Paul, who is in his late 30′s relayed a recent incident that happened to him whilst shopping with his mother. Some large young thug stole a ball from a nearby shop. A couple of elderly ladies admonished the youngster. To Paul’s surprise and dismay his mother joined in admonishing the thug, so Paul was obliged to stand by his mother. As even many thugs don’t like to hit old ladies, the thug squared up to Paul instead.
The thug was much bigger and younger than Paul and towered over him. Paul didn’t really fancy his chances. However, with calm thinking and good presence of mind, Paul said to the young thug (words to the effect of):
“OK you’re going to hit me. There are CCTV camera’s all around us. What’s your best side for the courtroom”?
The thug realised that he may win this physical altercation but had little chance in court, grunted and backed off. I congratulated Paul and told him that’s the type of result we want. Far better than all the punches, kicks, throws, etc. He got the thug to back off without a single blow being exchanged.