In this episode of Active Self Protection, John talks about the importance of having a plan in place as well as the significance of your attitude and skills against unexpected violence. To illustrate the lessons, he shows us a video taken at a restaurant in China that he says is a perfect example to talk about having first aid skills, breaking the bystander effect, and keeping appropriate distance against a knife-wielding attacker.
According to the news report, the attacker is drunk, unemployed, and frustrated. In the video, he pulls out a knife and stabs a man four times before running off and yelling at everybody that they’re wasting food. As he goes through the restaurant, the people try to stay away from him and use the chairs to defend themselves and keep the attacker at bay. Five minutes later, the police show up, but the police officers don’t have firearms or tasers, so they had to use sticks to keep the drunk from attacking them. It takes seven police officers to get apprehend him.
John talks about the importance of noticing pre-attack indicators. The drunk was standing in a place that you wouldn’t normally expect and looking around looking for avenues of escape. The man who got stabbed wasn’t able to notice because he had his back turned to his attacker and was focused on choosing his food. But as soon as he got stabbed, he immediately got out of the danger zone. Flight is a viable response unless you have some reason to stay in the fight.
The bystanders almost immediately react and look for something to defend themselves with. In this case, they picked up chairs and sticks. Their response was pretty good and showed that they have good self-defense instincts. Defending against someone who wants to hurt you with a knife is no small feat, and the video shows it. However, knowing the principles of knife defense is a good place to start!