Monday, December 24, 2007

Excellent use of self defense principles

From comes this story:

December 20, 2007 06:51pm

A 95-year-old World War II veteran dared two knife-wielding home invaders to kill him.

Robert Taylor was sitting on the front veranda of his home in Liverpool, in Sydney's southwest, when two men tried to rob him yesterday afternoon.

One of them threatened him with a knife while the other went inside the house, cut the phone line and then rummaged through the elderly man's belongings.

Mr Taylor said the men told him to get inside the house or they would kill him.

He said he refused and dared them to carry out their threats.

"I said to them while they were standing there,'If you are going to kill me, kill me now','' Mr Taylor said on Channel 10.

The men fled without taking anything.

Mr Taylor, who served in New Guinea and Bougainville during WWII, had a message for the men.

"Wake up to yourselves and go and get a job, there's plenty around,'' he said.

Police described the incident as a "callous, cowardly attack''.

I really like this one. It demonstrates a number of important self defense principles that are easy to forget under pressure.

First, most people are lazy and prefer to do things on autopilot. This includes a lot of criminals. As long as things are going the way they want everything is good (for them, not for you). When something unexpected happens it takes time to refocus and do something else. Effective self defense rests on making things not go the way the criminal wants. Mr. Taylor made the lowlifes start reacting to him instead of the other way around.

Napoleon said "I might lose a battle, but I will never lose a minute." The earlier you mess with the bad guys' plan the better. This gentleman started his self defense the moment the criminals started their crime. The further along things go the more he's got invested in doing this particular crime right now.

Make them realize that what they want from you is not worth what they're willing to pay. Mr. Taylor guessed (correctly) that they weren't willing to kill someone in front of witnesses in the middle of the day. He gave them the choice of doing that or leaving. They left.

All of these are principles. When we taught self defense we had very few iron clad rules. One of the biggest was "Never ever allow yourself to be taken to a secondary crime scene or restrained. Nothing good can happen if you give a criminal the time and privacy he wants. If you let yourself be made helpless it just lets him get creative with the blowtorch and pliers." The defender refused to go into the house where g-ds alone know what the two thugs would have decided to do.

I suppose it could have been better. He could have shot them both between the eyes. The story is a beautiful example of the fundamentals of self protection.

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