Toronto, Canada, May 16, 2013 - In this SAFE International Self Defense Canada Blog I want to share a story about a male client I taught, and his personal story asking "What would you do if you were attacked by your own child?" Anyone who has been attacked knows the emotional, psychological, and physical challenges one faces, but if you want to magnify it a 1000 times, imagine if it was your own child who was trying to kill you? That brings a whole new dimension that I have never experienced, but have spent many hours thinking about after hearing this story that a private client shared with me a couple years ago. SAFE International has taught more than 175,000 people, but this story shows so many successful strategies that a person with ZERO training implemented, but they still felt as if they were unsuccessful. Please share this story with others.
I received a call requesting some private lessons with a gentleman who had experienced, perhaps the most horrifying experience a parent could go through. This man had been stabbed by his own son and had spent a considerable amount of time questioning what he did, with many of his friends telling him he handled the situation wrong. Immediately when I hear that someone's friends say they handled things "wrong", I get uncomfortable because those friends usually don't have a clue what they would have done. More on that as I tell the story.
This man was at the hospital with his son who had been diagnosed as being "bipolar". He was 21 years of age and had shown some signs that prompted the father to seek treatment for this condition. The doctor put his son on a set of medications to treat him. That day for some seemingly unknown reason this man felt an overwhelming, acute, gut wrenching feeling of fear from his son. He felt that his son may harm him and this feeling came with no obvious explanation. He expressed this feeling privately with the doctor asking "Should I be worried?" The doctor said he would be fine. I ask, what is the doctor basing this on? Likely on statistics, and that odds are he will be fine, BUT as I always teach, your INTUITION overrides everything. Why would you let anyone, regardless of their credentials cause you to not trust your intuition? Yes, take into consideration what the "expert" is saying, but don't let it cause you to dismiss your personal feelings, especially if they are so strong.
That night at their cottage, the father and son were alone. At one point the son grabbed a knife from the drawer and said to his father, "I am going to kill you!" The father told me that he grabbed a golf club which was nearby and stood in front of his son with it. He told me he could just not strike his son with it. He then grabbed a chair nearby creating distance and moving it back and forth.
I teach to grab an object if attacked by someone with a knife. This can allow you to create some distance and have ability to possibly knock the knife out of attacker's hand with the object.
He said, "But while I was moving the chair back and forth, my son slashed at me cutting the meaty part of my forearm" I said, "GREAT, you can take a cut there, you don't want it on the inside part of the forearm". Now, HERE IS A KEY PART TO THE STORY! With all this violence, this man has every right to be angry, pissed off, and yelling at his son as so many self defense courses would teach you, but this man with ZERO training, calmly said to his son, "You are killing your father". Think about that? He is not challenging his son, he is not threatening his son, he is not even telling his son to stop, but rather, he tapped into something in his son that caused him to stop and drop the knife. No, there is no guarantee this strategy will work, but so much better in my opinion in regards to, he is less likely to escalate the situation.
The son dropped the knife and ran out of the house to escape. This father called the police who arrived, found the son, and arrested him. His son is now getting professional treatment. After telling me this story, this man/father asked me, . I said, "Are you kidding? You handled that brilliantly!" He said, "But I have lost some of the use of my arm." I said, "I don't mean to seem insensitive, but I DON"T CARE, you are here, alive and well".
The smile on his face made me very emotional, as it is doing right now remembering his story because he had beaten himself up thinking he had handled things wrong. Also, all his friends saying he handled it wrong didn't help. I asked what his friends said and he told me they had said, "I would have disarmed my son with move A, move B, etc". I said, "Bullshit, they have never likely been in a scenario like what you went through"
1) What he said verbally to his son was AMAZING! It met so many of the criteria I now teach which are: Don't Challenge, Don't Threaten, Don't Tell Them They Are Wrong, Don't Tell Them What To Do! If he had done any of those he may have escalated his son's attack.
2) Grabbing the chair was very smart, particularly for someone with no previous training.
3) My only advice which I completely understand his hesitation to do, was to use the golf club to stop his son from stabbing him. See, using violence on his son in this case would have been a good use of violence because it may stop his son from killing him and then going to jail for life.
VIOLENCE CAN BE USED FOR GOOD REASONS! VIOLENCE is not bad if it is used to get home safely to your family, or to save your family, even if you have to use it on them.
This story has been a big part of all my seminars now. I never stop being amazed of the success stories people are comfortable to share with me.
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