Many martial instructors have never used their self-defense skills outside of a controlled environment, and quite rightly so. Recently however I have had the misfortune, or fortune depending on the perspective, to be able to go down that path and experience using my skills in dealing with an attack.
The realism of Krav Maga training drills has prepared me for unexpected attacks by reducing my reaction time in going from a less ready state into a readily aggressive state, this coupled with the Krav Maga concept of retzev or continuous attack enabled me to successfully defend myself. The core Krav Maga skills which we teach in IKI, particularly the classic combination of mixing combatives to attack low and high targets for maximum effect proved invaluable. Here is my account of a situation where I feel Krav Maga helped me avoid a more serious injury:
The arguing male and female voices in Mandarin reverberated across the anteroom of the karaoke bar. I walked over to the bickering couple to make sure there was no trouble. “This does not concern you. This is my wife.” The china man blurted angrily as I approached. Not wanting to get involved in any domestic squabbles I turned and left the couple to iron out their differences.
Whilst I was ignoring the arguing couple another china man came down from one of the karaoke rooms and immediately the argument increased in tempo and intensity. The men started to push and shove and quickly came to blows.
“Break it up!” I barked as I rushed in attempting to separate the two milling patrons. I felt a blow connect with my right eye and immediately my vision went double. Having realized that I am in the middle of melee and have just been struck in the eye I reacted immediately by slamming my right fist into my attackers face.
After the right cross connected my assailant turned his head down and covered up. This manoeuvre however did not protect him from my uppercut punches which pounded his face from below. The pain in my eye and the disorientation from the double vision made me realize that I cannot take another blow in vicinity of my damaged eye and I focussed on trying to subdue the attacker with the force of my strikes.
Whilst all this was going on I was being hit on the back of the head by the other china man as he pleaded for me to stop beating his associate, the one with whom he was trading blows just a few seconds earlier. I let up on the punches and pulled back letting the subject of my blows move out of the range of my fists. I noticed a thick contusion on his left cheekbone which swelled up the eye, a broken nose gushing blood and also a bleeding mouth injury. I noticed that he had a metallic link expander bracelet wrapped around his knuckles which explained the pain and blurred vision I was experiencing in the eye that was hit.
More Chinese people came down from the karaoke room and the china man who had received the wrath of my fists was now shouting in Mandarin whilst dripping claret all over the white tile floor of the anteroom. I pulled out my smartphone and called the security company for backup. Meanwhile the bloodied and rampaging china man now rushed over to a stack of dinner plates and was throwing dinner plates at the bar and yelling in his tongue.
He advanced towards me saying that he wanted to fight me and pulled back his metalled fist. Immediately my front foot connected with his crotch followed by a right cross to the face. I moved in, taking him down turning him onto his front taking his weapon fist hand behind his back where I started working on prizing his pinkie finger loose with both my hands. The top join of the pinkie gave a pop as I prized it open, I then proceeded to work on the other fingers telling him to let go of the bracelet else I will break the fingers.
The china man let go of the bracelet which I placed in my pocket. With the knuckleduster removed the hurt and profusely bleeding the china man no longer felt inclined to continue with his angry rampage and I was able remove him from the venue. When the cavalry consisting of two bouncers arrived the only sign of trouble that remained was a splatter of blood on the white tiled floor. As I was explaining the details of the incident to my two assistants; the chef of the karaoke bar and restaurant, an elderly china man, patted my shoulder complimenting me saying “You have good Kung Fu.”