Apr 272017

Written by ILya Koshkin, April 2017

I witnessed something interesting last night that is not related to guns or optics and wanted to offer some thoughts on the subject.

This is an interesting example of how real world throws in quirks here and there.  I am currently in Las Vegas for the NAB show.  I am not a huge fan of this place as I do not gamble, drink very little and do not cheat on my wife.  There aren’t all that many things this city can offer me, but I enjoy meeting friends who come to the same conventions and who I seldom see otherwise, eating good food, and seeing some of the less decadent attractions here.

Last night, my friend Jeff, his son and I were at Caesars at the Peter Lik photo gallery (for the record, while Lik is more famous, I prefer Andrei Duman’s work).  I stepped outside of the gallery and sat down by the fountain to check my e-mail.  I hear yelling and see one guy chasing another one.  Apparently, a guy who works in a store (we’ll call him “good guy”) is chasing another guy who stole a couple of fancy purses or something (perp).  He catches up to him right in front of me, takes him into a headlock and yells “security”.  Since security is somewhere out there taking a break, and the perp is squirming, the good guy transitions into back control and sinks in a reasonable rear naked choke.  There are a few people standing over them (and not blocking my view), so I choose to not interfere.  The perp says that he can’t breath and proceeds to pull a folding knife out of the pocket.  Before he can do anything with it, one of the people standing next to them kicks it out of his hand and away from him (the knife opens somewhere in the process).  There is more yelling, squirming and arguing and after a while security shows up.  As I look at that crack security team, I realize that a shoplifter in Vegas has to only worry about evading the shop employees.  The security forces are unlikely to be an issue.  However, between the three malnoursihed security guards and the “good guy”, and a few good samaritans, they finally manage to figure out how to work the handcuffs and get the perp’s wrists into them.  The perp immediately makes a point that while he took the knife out, he did not actually try to stab anyone with it.  At that point, I sorta lose interest.  Jeff and his son make their way out of the gallery and we walk off in search of an Uber to take us back to the hotel.

As some of you may know, I am sort of a martial artist.  My background is primarily with muay thai and kung fu, with a little judo (when I was a kid) and kali (last few years) thrown in.  I’ve done a few other things here and there as well.  Why “sort of a martial artist”? Because I do not practice as much as I should or used to.  However, I have been at it fairly continuously since 1985, and I pay attention.

I’ve gone over to many different martial arts schools sometimes to just watch a practice or two, sometimes to join in for a bit.  One fairly consistent thing I hear there, especially in BJJ schools, but others as well, is that with grappling skills you can restrain the bad guy without hurting him.  When they talk about restraining someone they always talk about holding someone down in a choke hold or a submission hold until police arrives.

That is all fine and dandy, when there are no weapons involved.  Had other people not been around, the good guy yesterday would have gotten stabbed or cut leading to serious injury or death.  If you are ever unlucky enough to find yourself in a situation like that, view “restrained” as: the perp is either unconscious or his various extremities are properly immobilized, or both (I vote for both).

Simply holding someone down works great in practice or as a team tactic, but might get you killed out there if you are all alone.

In the grand scheme of things this is part of an ever lasting argument between a striker and grapple.  Both sides have a good argument and in the world that has discovered MMA, exposure to both is important.  However, even if grappling is your passion and you are good at it, hitting the bad guy a few times until he is unresponsive and can do no immediate harm to you or anyone else is a pretty good start.

 Posted by at 1:45 pm

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