Have you heard about this? I'm rather astonished myself. Knockout is a violent game that involves randomly attacking innocent pedestrians in an effort to knock the victim out with one punch. It has been making the headlines rather often lately and has resulted in serious injury and even death to the victims.
Earlier in September, three teens from New Jersey aged 13 and 14 years of age were charged with murder after killing a man in a game of Knockout.
The internet is ripe with recent videos of this so-called 'game'.
And it's not just the game you need to be worried about.
Over the summer a man was punched by an angry motorist. Right in Lewes!
Though these last two particular incidents had nothing to do with the game, it backs up the point I intend on making with this article.
I have a saying in my martial arts school, "Train every day and pray you never have to use". No one needs to be a Grandmaster in the martial arts, but it pays to have some self defense training. Much like the people mentioned in the stories above, you will never know when you need it and thinking this sort of thing can "never happen to you" is very naive.
It all starts with situational awareness. In most of the cases above the victims were not prepared for the assault even though they were aware of the other person's presence: they were caught off guard. It pays to pay attention to the people around you. Your body has a way of warning you. Call it a sixth sense. Call it your Spider Sense. We have all been in a situation where our gut tells us, "this is not good, something is wrong..." Listen to those signals. Its these instincts that warn us of danger on a more primal level. Its these signals that helped us survive as a species well before we formed modern civilization.
However, if you are walking down a dark street at night texting on your cell phone, you may not be aware of these signals and you certainly will not be aware of the person stalking just beyond the shadows.
The victims above could have done a few simple things that could have prevented them from being hurt. Keeping more personal space between you and a suspicious passerby, watching body language, and keeping your hands in a position so they can quickly aide in your defense are just a few things.
I don't want anyone to be walking through life being paranoid of everyone they pass, but being prepared will certainly help. And having martial arts training can help sharpen those instincts and give you the tools you may need, should you ever need them.
Stay alert and stay safe.
- Dan Sorber is the owner and instructor at Fight Club Martial Arts in Rehoboth Beach. He is ranked an advanced instructor in both Jeet Kune Do and Muay Thai and has studied numerous other styles including Wing Chun, Shaolin Lohan, Tae Kwan Do and Isshinryu Karate. He can be reached at 302-396-7438 or firstname.lastname@example.org
His school offers martial arts lessons in both Jeet Kune Do and Muay Thai and instructs all ages. He is available for seminars and Bully Proofing workshops