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Mark Darrah
10th October 2002, 10:10
Hi folks,

I just wanted to tell the story of an incident that occurred a couple of weeks ago, when I was on Long Island, attending my wife's high school reunion. It's funny how situations can pop up on you suddenly.

We had attended the party on Saturday night, and I was nursing a bit of a hangover as we drove from the Garden City hotel to a brunch that some of her school chums were attending the next morning. We needed to make a phone call, but our cell wasn't working, so I pulled over near a pay phone. This was in a place called Hempstead, which has apparently turned into a less-than-great neighborhood over the years since my wife lived on Long Island. I crossed the street to the pay phone, looking casually around, seeing nothing that would cause alarm.

As I was dialing the phone, I had the beginnings of a sense that something was not right. I turned, putting my back to the wall as best I could, considering the short tether of the phone cord. There was no booth, just a phone on the side of a buidling. At the same moment, I heard a voice calling, "Hey, Amigo! Amigo!" followed by a string of Spanish which I didnt understand. Said feeling of "not right" intensified immediately. I made myself look as unapproachable as possible, which considering I am fairly big and fairly ugly, is quite unapproachable. Nevertheless, this fellow proceeded to walk right up to me, standing very close, well within my personal space. I scowled at him as the phone was ringing, sending a clear message of GO AWAY! I could see where this was going, so when he stuck out his hand and offered a clearly false smile, I snarled that I was busy and he should piss off. Taking his hand would have been a huge mistake, since 1) inappropriate friendliness is a sure mark of someone who means you harm; 2)his intentions were radiating from him in waves; 3) I was against the wall with one hand on the phone, giving him my other would leave me defenseless if he pulled something from behind his back (I couldn't see his other hand). After I refused to take his hand, he smiled and said "I'm gonna have to ask you a little favor......" as he slid around to the side of me. At this point, I slammed the phone down, and wheeled on him, ready to fight for my life, bgellowing F--- OFF! But since this type are cowards, he practically crapped his pants at the sight of someone who wouldn't be an easy target, and a knife clattered to the sidewalk from behind his back, as he backed away, telling me to be cool. I kicked the knife away, then heard a few cars coming down the street. Rather than fight, I thought it best to get the hell out of there. So when the cars were relatively close I darted across the street, so the cars would pass between me and him, and he couldn't follow. I hopped into our Blazer, firing it up and making tracks. My oblivious wife looks up from her copy of Entertainment Weekly, asking me what my Mom had said. Then she noticed my demeanor, and asked what happened. She had not seen any of what had happened.

Anyway, my story isn't that exciting, but I think it is a fair example of how our training can save us from bad situations, even if it doesn't require fighting.

If anyone has similar stories, please share them.

Be well,

Kolschey
10th October 2002, 10:22
Glad to hear that you were able to react effectively to the situation, and survived none the worse for wear.

TheCannon
10th October 2002, 12:54
That's 'Strong' Island for you.....

Yeah, when danger comes, it comes quick. It's amazing how "the bad guy" just approaches out of nowhere and usually uses the "friendly guy" way of approaching, knowing that if you don't reciprocate his kind gesture, then you're the one that's being offensive.

That's great that you were able to break his spell and get the hell out of there. I think that by running you protected your wife, since he was not showing his knife....he may of had more plans than just your money, and had friends nearby.

John Conklin

Moko
10th October 2002, 16:02
I'm glad you weren't hurt and that you didn't have to hurt anyone. I think the only thing I would have done differently is grab the knife. A: So he can't use it, B: Trophy. Hehehehe

Kreth
10th October 2002, 18:16
Hey Mark,
Glad to hear a fellow Big Ugly Dude (tm) got out OK... :D

Jeff

Noodles
10th October 2002, 22:00
I'm glad you got out safely. Thanks for the positive example about how to do it and do it right!

Mark Darrah
11th October 2002, 03:50
Hi folks,

Thanks so much for your kind words. I think this incident marks a stage in my development, because this is likely the first time I have been presented with a threatening situation where I did not opt to solve it by physical means. I also felt a sense of calmness that I have never felt before in such a situation, even though I had a major adrenaline dump when I saw the blade. I guess that all means something.

Anyway, enough about me. Does anyone else have a similar story to tell?

Karyu
11th October 2002, 05:02
I have a relative who, due to age and general orneryness, is not quite in his right mind and likes to take a swing at me when he forgets who I am. Usually I have to restrain him firmly but gently using either onikudaki or ura gyaku until he is mentally coherent again. It's very sad and unfortunate that I have to use my art on a family member, but at the same time it's taijutsu's philosophy of "not losing" instead of winning that allows me to non-violently end a violent encounter.

pugilist
11th October 2002, 15:15
Wow, great story Rich!
About 3 years ago, before i even started training I had this little incident happen to me...
Walking down a rather dark and gloomy street, I see two guys leaning against a rusty car, not paying too much attention
as I walk past them. One of them comes up to me and ask if he can borrow my cell phone, to which I reply I dont have one(it was true at the time!).
I'm keeping the same pace all the time, not stopping. Anyway he keeps persisting, oh come on man, please! feeling the frustration building up in his voice...
Finally he gets even closer and grabs the arm of my leather jacket, but I wrench my arm out of his weak grip, then I hear the other guy still leaning against the
car shouting "KICK!!"(I found this rather funny afterwards) and I promtply received a sloppy kick in the behind, leaving a big footprint on my butt! Now, the adrenaline was
bubbling inside me but I sharply turned around and told him in as controled voice i could muster to BACK OFF!!! He almost looked shocked, jumping back and putting up his hands going hey maan, its cool, its cool ...
he walks back to the car and when I get around the corner I run like hell!
Anyway, I tought it was a bit similar to Mark's story in some ways... If I was a bit more hot-tempered ,perhaps I would
have engaged him as soon as he grabbed my arm, but who knows if he could have produced a knife, and what about the other guy?
I never would have imagined the impact of tunnel sight, I was practically blind to the sides! What do you think?

Rolling Elbow
14th October 2002, 23:40
Hey Mark,

I know you and have been taught by you on many occasions so all I can say is that the "amigo" in question is lucky that he s$%t himself and dropped the knife. You would have crushed him like and empty coke can and left him begging on the sidewalk for a real "favour" from the first medic on the scene..

Glad to hear you're still kickin. Come visit us soon!

John Lindsey
15th October 2002, 00:29
I was driving home with my wife when we saw a lady running across the road and into a field, chased by two guys who followed her out of our local HEB super market. I slowed down and asked the guys what happened, and they told me she had just shoplifted some things and ran off. I saw that she was running to an apartment complex, so I drove to it, winding up in front of her.

I get out of the car and position myself in line with her path. She comes jogging up into the parking lot and I yell out ďstopĒ real loud with a kiai. She freezes but then sees that I am probably not a cop and runs off into the apartment complex. I run after her, in my nike shoes that should have been tied on tighter. She is running real hard, and her shoes go flying off! I turn a corner and my left foot rolls over inside my loose shoe, hitting the outside of my anklebone to the sidewalk. It is a good thing that I had worked on conditioning my ankles over all those years! I follow a trail of packages that she dropped as she ran off. I lost sight of her, but it was right in front of the apartmentís main office. I walk inside and ask the lady at the desk if she saw someone run it. She didnít, but then again her back was to the door. I asked if I could look around and she let me. I noticed a steak knife and picked it up for a weapon. I walked back to the restrooms and looked inside them. I noticed a closed stall with two little stocking feet being pulled up quickly as I entered. I knew I had her cornered, but I didnít know if she was armed or what. We called the police and they came out and arrested her. She was not armed. I left the area quickly after that. Only thing else I remember is that she smelled really bad after all that running.

Mark Darrah
15th October 2002, 13:26
Hey Mr. Panzerotti,

Good to hear from you, bud. I'm going to call your fearless leader tonight and see about coming up to play with you guys soon. I miss throwing you guys around and being thrown around by you. Plus, a bunch of my former students are supposed to be joining up since they moved to your area.

See ya soon,

TheCannon
15th October 2002, 13:40
Following is an email I just got from a friend, from Seattle who owns a house but sleeps in the basement which is at half-ground level. Next to his bed, hung on the wall is a quick release daisho. Though a black belt in TKD, he naturally moves and thinks as a ninja.
(Next to his bedroom wall is a wooden shed, that his room has an internal window to.)

I awoke this morning at 3:30 am to the sound of someone sneaking around in my shed. My bed is right through the wall with only a little window connecting the two. Remember? I raised my head and body, shook off the sleep and focused on the man. (all the while, mindful of the rythmic green flash my vcr light emitted.) 5'8" to 5"11, wearing a flannel shirt, buttoned up,with a backpac. Hood. I stared at him for a few moments and then said,"What the §§§§ are you doing!?" The tresspasser quickly beated an exit and took off.(my next move, like wind across the ocean, My shoto, My hand, mind and
body are one .) I crossed my floor soundlessly. Opened my ajacent door ( to the driveway), turned out my light over the doorway and proceeded into the darkness. I let whoever might see at 3:32 in the am That I was armed, my sneakers were on and now, I'm coming outside.....Shoto in my right hand, sheath in my left. ( I store a charge of baby powder in the sheath so as to create a cloud of distraction.) I stalk to my front yard going by way of the
most wooded and overgrown area. The area where two days before I was sword training on some monsterously overgrown Blackberry vines. Once into the front yard I notice my neighbor outside with a flash light. He saw the thief(who got nothing from me) walking around. We flashlight scanned the area and chatted for a few. I then melted back into the night, retracing my original steps, reclaiming my blade that I hid so as not to be seen by my neighbor. Trueth.

John Conklin

KOII
16th October 2002, 18:19
Rare posting:

Well done Mark! This confirms my belief in your highly developed ability to sense danger and to react instantly. Maybe now those who criticized me when I recommended you for your Godan, although you were only a 2nd Dan at the time, will understand my reason for doing so. What you lacked in skill and experience you compensated for in sensitivity. Nevertheless there is much more to Bujinkan training than that, therefore I hope you have also continued to practice and to learn Tai Jutsu in order to maintain a good balance between mind and body.

Keep well, John Willson