I always heard throughout my training that, though the chance of a physical encounter is minimal; I should always be trained and ready. My master would state even further that trouble won’t find you when you are 100% ready and able. It always seems to find you at unfortunate times. Well, who would have thought that I would be tested at night, towards the end of a hot physical day at work. I was a 1st brown at the time, and I worked as a valet attendant at a hotel. I cannot name the hotel or any intellectual property due to an NDA. Continuing on, I had carried on about my day as usual running, picking up luggage, and moving/parking cars.
Around 10pm we start to do a count of cars in the parking lot; before we close for the night. As I had entered the parking lot, I had noticed a commotion going on by one of the vehicles. Three guys, ranging from my age at the time to a little older, were breaking into a BMW I had recently parked. I followed procedure and called in on my walkie-talkie to the front desk to phone the police about the crime. From there, I proceeded to confront them. I had drove up to them in the golf cart and sternly asked what they were up to. Caught by the surprise, they really didn’t know how to respond. I had told them that the cops were on their way to the scene and it’s best if they remain. Their response to me was not too kind.
I had turned to my golf cart to grab an incident report and before I knew it, they had taken one of their skateboards and broke it across my back. Good thing it wasn’t the chuck side of the skateboard hitting me then or this story would be very different. As I turned back around, the young man who had hit me with the skateboard decided to throw a straight right to my face. I stepped to the outside using practical self defense #2 and used my elbow in a downward motion striking the top of his shoulder as hard I could. He had almost instantaneously fell to the floor from excruciating pain, holding on to his shoulder. I then turned my attention to the other two. One had decided to make a run for it however the biggest of the 3 decided to have a go. He had taken a few steps towards me then started a quick sprint to tackle me by my waist. I used a Hapkido move I had practiced often; sidestepping to avoid and using a circular motion with my arms against his to send his energy to the ground. Once he fell, he was trying to get up to face me again. I capitalized on his fall and put all my strength into a sidekick against his femur while the target was vulnerable. Suffice enough to keep him down for good.
All this happened in the span of 15 seconds.
I am not telling this story to glorify our martial arts, my name, or for acknowledgement. I am telling this story so that we may have a better understanding of self defense. I wasn’t as still as water, I didn’t have any plan of action in my head. My adrenaline was peaked, I was breathing hard, my mind was running at a million thoughts per second. If it wasn’t for putting in dedication, sweat, hard work, and yes even blood I will say this situation could have ended up dire for me. Self defense training is there for our benefit and should never be taken lightly.
I understood one thing clearly that night, my biggest enemy out there could have been myself had I not trained properly.