T Nation

Self-Defense: The Right Thing to Do?

I never really had to resort to violence in my life. The very few times it seemed inevitable (outside of martial art classes of course) I managed to talk it out. I’m proud of that and I wish I would have been able to keep the same attitude.

Last night, coming back from a shopping session with my girlfriend, I was driving on the 640 highway, in the left lane, at about 120km/h. I check my mirrors and spot this white F-150 closing in pretty fast (160-180). I give it about 2 seconds to see if he’s gonna slow down and follow me, and then put on my flasher and proceed to switch lanes. Thing is, that clown never stopped accelerating and he switched lanes at the same time to skip me from the right. We avoided the collision, I was like ‘wtf’ but the guy went nuts.

He proceeded to drive his car next to mine and the two guys in the front started yelling hysterically and gesturing at me. I gave him the finger, thought it was all over and focused back on the road. But that crazy fucker didn’t have enough. He suddently steered right, straight onto my car. Not only did I have to brake to avoid getting smashed, but I almost went offroads.

That’s where my girlfriend started panicking, and yelling. Which didn’t exactly help me calm down. He did the same thing twice, then picked up some distance. I was about to just call the police when he slowed down a bit and had the passenger throw me something. I think it was a full bottle of water or some shit.

I don’t know what happened, I guess I really felt panicked and insecure because I was in a car driving fast and in a dangerous situation. I just went berserk. He started making gestures suggesting me to pull out, my girlfriend yelled to me to just keep going and ignore them but at that point I was just reckless and I pulled off.

Surprise bitch, there’s 3 guys in the truck. Now I’m a 5’9, 180 pounds teen. When I saw those three men in their 20’s, my size or bigger, step out of the truck, I just froze. From that point, it feels like it all happened in 3 seconds. I stepped out of the car, walked over to the driver and yelled “what the fuck are you doing”. He looked prompt to attack, which isn’t too surprising when you’re with two buddies facing a smaller kid.

I wasn’t in a fighting stance and when he pushed me I almost fell to the ground. That was a good wake up call, I kept the same provoking attitude and came right back to him, told him “do that again fucker” he didn’t hesitate and went for another tackle. I ran right into him, shrugged off the push and grabbed him behind the neck with my right, immediatly followed by a strong left knee to the liver.

Instead of positionning myself for a second knee and/or initiating the clinch, I kind of fell to the ground with him.

Luckily enough, I was in a good position with my knees close to his arm pits, sitting on his lower chest. I had grabbed his throat before we even hit the ground and raised my fist. That’s where I froze, It probably only lasted half a second but I didn’t know what to do. I panicked when the guy attempted to grab my shirt (he was out of air and couldn’t breathe in because I was choking him) and punched him around the eyes/forehead.

Next thing I know, my girlfriend was pulling me from behind, I fell on my back, and we ran back to the car as the two guys were picking up the driver and trailling to their truck.

Wrap up: Looking back, I was extremely lucky. Except that my girlfriend was utterly pissed at me (needless to say I didn’t get any sex last night -_-).
One of them could of had a weapon, or the other two guys could have reacted instead of just sitting there like douches. I felt really stupid when I thought about calling the police last night, since I was the primary aggressor in this whole story.

Anyways, don’t get into street fights no matter how good you think you are at muay thai. But if you’re forced, always go for the leader. Most troublemakers are merely sheeps that will walk away should you manage to bring down the leader.

Sorry for the long ass post.

Not a smart move…but that doesn’t make it a wrong move. I think you did the manly thing. You could have been killed yes - but I bet the prick won’t be barreling down the road again. You did two things wrong - had a girlfriend that stopped a fight (she should keep her ass away and out of the picture - and afterward you should’ve told her to stay out of such business unless she is going to help) and “freezing” instead of beating his head to a pulp.

Do you not think that given the situation that giving them the finger may have exacerbated the situation since they were obviously already agitated?

I am by no means one of the best MA’s out there (maybe not even that good) and have never studied muay thai however, in my dojo, the first thing we had drilled into our heads was to avoid these types of occurrences and if they happen to learn how to get away from them quickly or diffuse them. I also have seen that the types of people that get into it with the incentive of just wanting to kick people’s asses; they were the ones that ended up getting their asses kicked the worst. I wouldn’t let your time in muay thai class give you a false sense of security because often what you learn there and when it happens in real life are two, very different things.

My apologies for focusing on the martial arts aspect of the post but there are too many of these threads now and at 18, I may have related to your POV but now, it just seems ridiculous.

[quote]MsM wrote:
Do you not think that given the situation that giving them the finger may have exacerbated the situation since they were obviously already agitated?

I am by no means one of the best MA’s out there (maybe not even that good) and have never studied muay thai however, in my dojo, the first thing we had drilled into our heads was to avoid these types of occurrences and if they happen to learn how to get away from them quickly or diffuse them. I also have seen that the types of people that get into it with the incentive of just wanting to kick people’s asses; they were the ones that ended up getting their asses kicked the worst. I wouldn’t let your time in muay thai class give you a false sense of security because often what you learn there and when it happens in real life are two, very different things.

My apologies for focusing on the martial arts aspect of the post but there are too many of these threads now and at 18, I may have related to your POV but now, it just seems ridiculous.[/quote]

I agree wholeheartedly with your post, as a disclaimer, I’m really not a violent guy, and normally I would really just shrug it off. I think it was the circumstances, I felt in danger, for me and my girlfriend. All I was thinking about was knocking him the fuck out. I agree about the muay thai part too, my coach is gonna give me alot of shit when I talk to him about it.

[quote]mmllcc wrote:
Not a smart move…but that doesn’t make it a wrong move. I think you did the manly thing. You could have been killed yes - but I bet the prick won’t be barreling down the road again. You did two things wrong - had a girlfriend that stopped a fight (she should keep her ass away and out of the picture - and afterward you should’ve told her to stay out of such business unless she is going to help) and “freezing” instead of beating his head to a pulp.[/quote]

Agree.

Because they (apparently) didn’t have weapons and you’re still alive - I say bravo.

I think it was silly, but when someone is potentially fucking with your life and a passenger, it takes balls to stand up to them - it may have been dumb but you are alive and unharmed and perhaps this dickhead will think twice before doing that again.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
mmllcc wrote:
Not a smart move…but that doesn’t make it a wrong move. I think you did the manly thing. You could have been killed yes - but I bet the prick won’t be barreling down the road again. You did two things wrong - had a girlfriend that stopped a fight (she should keep her ass away and out of the picture - and afterward you should’ve told her to stay out of such business unless she is going to help) and “freezing” instead of beating his head to a pulp.

Agree.

Because they (apparently) didn’t have weapons and you’re still alive - I say bravo.

I think it was silly, but when someone is potentially fucking with your life and a passenger, it takes balls to stand up to them - it may have been dumb but you are alive and unharmed and perhaps this dickhead will think twice before doing that again.[/quote]

Yeah, I can only hope so. It was a good wake up call though, I realized I would really be fucked if they had all jumped me at the same time.

[quote]MsM wrote:
Do you not think that given the situation that giving them the finger may have exacerbated the situation since they were obviously already agitated?
[/quote]

Maybe but not likely - pricks like this are just that, They were going to chase this guy down no matter what - because they felt strong.

My humble opinion - a place that claims to teach martial skill should NOT be teaching you how to avoid a fight. Avoiding fights is easy and natural - the other side of the coin, not so much. They need to stick to their purpose. I think that places that teach you to avoid fights show that their form of fighting is obviously ineffective. For instance you don’t get that mommy teaching in a Jui Jitsu or combatitives class.

[quote]Kataklysm wrote:
RSGZ wrote:
mmllcc wrote:
Not a smart move…but that doesn’t make it a wrong move. I think you did the manly thing. You could have been killed yes - but I bet the prick won’t be barreling down the road again. You did two things wrong - had a girlfriend that stopped a fight (she should keep her ass away and out of the picture - and afterward you should’ve told her to stay out of such business unless she is going to help) and “freezing” instead of beating his head to a pulp.

Agree.

Because they (apparently) didn’t have weapons and you’re still alive - I say bravo.

I think it was silly, but when someone is potentially fucking with your life and a passenger, it takes balls to stand up to them - it may have been dumb but you are alive and unharmed and perhaps this dickhead will think twice before doing that again.

Yeah, I can only hope so. It was a good wake up call though, I realized I would really be fucked if they had all jumped me at the same time. [/quote]

At the same time, I bet you would have felt like shit if you didn’t do anything about it. It’s not the smartest thing, but if you’re not gonna do something smart, do something right.

[quote]mmllcc wrote:
MsM wrote:
Do you not think that given the situation that giving them the finger may have exacerbated the situation since they were obviously already agitated?

Maybe but not likely - pricks like this are just that, They were going to chase this guy down no matter what - because they felt strong.

dojo, the first thing we had drilled into our heads was to avoid these types of occurrences and if they happen to learn how to get away from them quickly or diffuse them.

My humble opinion - a place that claims to teach martial skill should NOT be teaching you how to avoid a fight. Avoiding fights is easy and natural - the other side of the coin, not so much. They need to stick to their purpose. I think that places that teach you to avoid fights show that their form of fighting is obviously ineffective. For instance you don’t get that mommy teaching in a Jui Jitsu or combatitives class.

[/quote]

Although I do fully understand your point and to a certain extent agree with it (and coming from a female perspective), these types of people go around acting this way looking and hoping for trouble and so that they justify starting a fight. There is something wrong with the way these people are wired.

Now, I think fighting and defending yourself are two entirely different things. It is your human right to defend yourself and those that need help but many situations can be handled, violence aside.

I will give an example of what I mean. About 3 or 4 years ago, Master Doreen Cogliandro was flown in to do a seminar where I studied. That woman would have thrown the men all over the dojo. One of the things that she spoke of in great length was avoiding trouble and being aware of your surroundings. If a woman gets attacked walking down the street, she should protect herself and leave as soon as possible. However, if that same woman was walking in a questionable area, down a dark alley at say 3am…this could have most likely been avoided. Make sense?

I am only saying, remove yourself from the scene if at all possible before resorting to someone getting hurt because in a scenario like that, it will inevitably happen.

Off topic here, I am a mommy and do not believe in babying someone or pulling punches either. That would be feeding false self-confidence which is what leads to people needlessly getting hurt.

[quote]MsM wrote:
mmllcc wrote:
MsM wrote:
Do you not think that given the situation that giving them the finger may have exacerbated the situation since they were obviously already agitated?

Maybe but not likely - pricks like this are just that, They were going to chase this guy down no matter what - because they felt strong.

dojo, the first thing we had drilled into our heads was to avoid these types of occurrences and if they happen to learn how to get away from them quickly or diffuse them.

My humble opinion - a place that claims to teach martial skill should NOT be teaching you how to avoid a fight. Avoiding fights is easy and natural - the other side of the coin, not so much. They need to stick to their purpose. I think that places that teach you to avoid fights show that their form of fighting is obviously ineffective. For instance you don’t get that mommy teaching in a Jui Jitsu or combatitives class.

Although I do fully understand your point and to a certain extent agree with it (and coming from a female perspective), these types of people go around acting this way looking and hoping for trouble and so that they justify starting a fight. There is something wrong with the way these people are wired.

Now, I think fighting and defending yourself are two entirely different things. It is your human right to defend yourself and those that need help but many situations can be handled, violence aside.

I will give an example of what I mean. About 3 or 4 years ago, Master Doreen Cogliandro was flown in to do a seminar where I studied. That woman would have thrown the men all over the dojo. One of the things that she spoke of in great length was avoiding trouble and being aware of your surroundings. If a woman gets attacked walking down the street, she should protect herself and leave as soon as possible. However, if that same woman was walking in a questionable area, down a dark alley at say 3am…this could have most likely been avoided. Make sense?

I am only saying, remove yourself from the scene if at all possible before resorting to someone getting hurt because in a scenario like that, it will inevitably happen.

Off topic here, I am a mommy and do not believe in babying someone or pulling punches either. That would be feeding false self-confidence which is what leads to people needlessly getting hurt.[/quote]

I think we all agree that if you can avoid a bad situation that ‘most of the time’ you should. But sometimes, a bad situation should not be avoided - even if you may die.

You’re lucky not to be dead.

Stopping your vehicle, jumping out and beating him. Where’s the self defense?

[quote]Loose Tool wrote:
He started making gestures suggesting me to pull out, my girlfriend yelled to me to just keep going and ignore them but at that point I was just reckless and I pulled off.

Stopping your vehicle, jumping out and beating him. Where’s the self defense?[/quote]

uh, didn’t they like try to push him off the road?

ya know… that could be dangerous

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
Loose Tool wrote:
He started making gestures suggesting me to pull out, my girlfriend yelled to me to just keep going and ignore them but at that point I was just reckless and I pulled off.

Stopping your vehicle, jumping out and beating him. Where’s the self defense?

uh, didn’t they like try to push him off the road?

ya know… that could be dangerous[/quote]

How was pulling off the road with them improving his self defense situation? They could have run him over when he got out, or shot him, and then raped his girlfriend and then shot her.

Self-defense, in that situation, would be to try to evade or pulling out a pistol, as running someone off the road calls for the use of deadly force to defend oneself and others. It’s assault with a deadly weapon.

you want a medal or a lecture?
You were dumb, got lucky.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
Loose Tool wrote:
He started making gestures suggesting me to pull out, my girlfriend yelled to me to just keep going and ignore them but at that point I was just reckless and I pulled off.

Stopping your vehicle, jumping out and beating him. Where’s the self defense?

uh, didn’t they like try to push him off the road?

ya know… that could be dangerous

How was pulling off the road with them improving his self defense situation? They could have run him over when he got out, or shot him, and then raped his girlfriend and then shot her.

Self-defense, in that situation, would be to try to evade or pulling out a pistol, as running someone off the road calls for the use of deadly force to defend oneself and others. It’s assault with a deadly weapon. [/quote]

Haven’t you ever felt the need to just throw down? OP was insulted, with his girl, no less, and he fucked the guy up. It’s not smart, and it’s not safe, but it’s fucking neccesary. Honor may seem quaint and antiquated, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.

Wow his friends are bitches. You ARE lucky!

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
Loose Tool wrote:
He started making gestures suggesting me to pull out, my girlfriend yelled to me to just keep going and ignore them but at that point I was just reckless and I pulled off.

Stopping your vehicle, jumping out and beating him. Where’s the self defense?

uh, didn’t they like try to push him off the road?

ya know… that could be dangerous

How was pulling off the road with them improving his self defense situation? They could have run him over when he got out, or shot him, and then raped his girlfriend and then shot her.

Self-defense, in that situation, would be to try to evade or pulling out a pistol, as running someone off the road calls for the use of deadly force to defend oneself and others. It’s assault with a deadly weapon. [/quote]

There was no contact between the vehicles. They didn’t run him off the road. He complied with their suggestion to pull over. He left an area of relative safety (his vehicle) and engaged the other driver. No self defense.

[quote]Loose Tool wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
Loose Tool wrote:
He started making gestures suggesting me to pull out, my girlfriend yelled to me to just keep going and ignore them but at that point I was just reckless and I pulled off.

Stopping your vehicle, jumping out and beating him. Where’s the self defense?

uh, didn’t they like try to push him off the road?

ya know… that could be dangerous

How was pulling off the road with them improving his self defense situation? They could have run him over when he got out, or shot him, and then raped his girlfriend and then shot her.

Self-defense, in that situation, would be to try to evade or pulling out a pistol, as running someone off the road calls for the use of deadly force to defend oneself and others. It’s assault with a deadly weapon.

There was no contact between the vehicles. They didn’t run him off the road. He complied with their suggestion to pull over. He left an area of relative safety (his vehicle) and engaged the other driver. No self defense.[/quote]

But that crazy fucker didn’t have enough. He suddently steered right, straight onto my car. Not only did I have to brake to avoid getting smashed, but I almost went offroads.

yeah…

Ugh, I fucking hate to drive. What is it about a car that turns people into mouth breathing retards?

Stuff like this happens to me all the time on the freeway. I drive a VW Beetle, so naturally EVERYONE thinks they can push me around on the road. Sometimes I wish I had a 50 Cal. mounted on my roof… But that would weigh my car down too much. Actually, I wish I had an oil slick machine, like on spy hunter. Or maybe something that releases a bunch of tire shredding spikes.

Anyway, you got lucky man. People drive like assholes. I have learned to just deal with it, and let them be assholes. I know how it feels sometimes, you just wish that person would get assraped by a moose or something, but you gotta let it slide, it’s not worth losing your life over because some dumb redneck white trash piece of inbred shit thinks that he and his big ass pickup truck own the road…