A sucker punch like this is avoidable; in all likelihood, so was the argument. There are Active Self Protection lessons from this video before the attack, during, and after!
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Original video of the sucker punch is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story with details on the argument and info on what this sucker punch was all about: https://get-asp.com/1xyf
Second news story with details on charges police expect to file from this sucker punch: https://get-asp.com/a8nu
What does this argument teach us about defending ourselves against a sucker punch?
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. This is the foundational core of spiritual fitness and the first step in taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you live in a fantasyland that nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has happened in the past, you’re setting yourself up for a terrible letdown. This woman boldly walked where there was significant danger, and the sucker punch was the end of it. Don’t get into that kind of situation if you can help it.
- If you can win “the fight before the fight,” you win. You win that fight by minimizing your potential for being attacked in the first place! That means making smart decisions and living a life of awareness and readiness so that you don’t take unnecessary risks. I am not blaming this mom one iota for the sucker punch; I am simply saying that staying at contact penetration range to an agitated person who doesn’t like you isn’t wise.
- The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict like this argument, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands! In this sucker punch you can see him clenching his fists and getting highly agitated.
- If you know there might be danger around, you cannot stand there flat-footed with your hands at your side. That’s a great way to die. Instead, if you think danger might be coming but not imminent, get your hands up protecting your head, neck, and chest. I do this by tucking one hand under the other elbow, and the free hand on my chin as if I were in deep contemplation. Others do it using the “interview position” with both hands as if they’re holding a pad and pen. Getting your hands up shaves split seconds off of your reaction time, but that might make the difference between life and death if you can prepare. This woman kept her hands at her side while she pursued an argument with a large man. That doesn’t mean she is responsible for the sucker punch, but it does give us pause when things like this happen.
- Using your verbal judo to de-escalate and redirect a conflict is always the best choice if it is available, so make sure that your verbal game is strong. Knowing how to redirect, how to persuade, how to empathize, and how to talk someone down from a confrontation is critical to avoiding some fights and not getting into a situation to defend against a sucker punch. That said, we must also know that some people will not be dissuaded from a fight, so knowing when to talk and when to act is critical as well.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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