>Thanks for your questions and I have listed my responses >below them.
First _ let us remember that, our training notwithstanding, an enraged, adrenalized, 270 pounds adversary spells trouble, armed or unarmed.
"I am 250 but in better shape than fat 'ass' and know how to hit (thanks to training with Ahti, yourself - at least once- and many others on the East and West Coast). However, my thought (if we were to go "at it") would have been to drive all of my power into fat ass' solar plexus. It did not occur to me until later, that I should have considered throat or eye targets (should it have been necessary to engage)".
Next a few questions:
1. Did the father of the baby respond at all to the verbal assault? If so, How?
"The father did stand up for his child and wife. He put himself in front of the ass and did not verbally or physically assult the ass. He stood his ground while they were nose to nose. He was fairly calm and did not back down. He was outweighed by about 100 lbs and he did not appear to be a trained fighter (but one would never know). He and the mother did try to reason with "fat ass" to no avail.
The father did not "take the bait" to go outside and calmly picked up his cel. phone after he gained some distance from the aggressor and started to call the police.
When I heard the cursing and shouting at the man's baby, wife and another woman it just "sent me off" and that is when I exploded with my roar which temporarily shut up everyone in the store including "fat ass"."
2. As you decided to intervene with the _ ‘knock it off’ _ did you become adrenalized? Tell me what your body was telling you at that moment. What body alarm reactions did you become aware of?
"I was very much adrenalized at that instant, I did feel "the shakes" and was totally focused on my opponent. I could feel my blood pressure rise (which is not a good thing for me as I am on bp medication).
Nervousness did come upon me but I also realized that my training would stand in me good stead should "fat ass" come near me.
I stood and crossed my arms to give a more imposing and not necessarily threatening but cautious warning to "fat ass". This gesture actually realxed my entire body and I am not sure why."
3. Were you armed in any way? If not _ can you name any store items within your reach as improvised weapons and or shields?
"I didn't have any weapons. The store was full of knick-knacks, furniture (including an end table I had just purchased which I could have used as a shield) and various objects that I could have thrown.
There was no question that "fat ass" would have had to plow throw aisles of furniture and racks to get to me until such time as he moved towards the front door. He and I were then facing each other with no obstacles, although he was still too far away to reach me. My thoughts were not on objects within the store as they did not register in my consciousness.
My thoughts were "punch hard" and "punch fast", if necessary. I did have the presence of mind to keep the distance so that he would not be able to close the gap without me burying him. I was the person closest to the oopneing of the store and deliberately placed myself there to protect my wife, the other women and the children from "fat ass".
There were two black guys in the store, one was well conditioned, muscular, about 6' and the other was shorter and out of shape. Neither of these guys did or said anything until after the incidient and the "ass" had left the scene, when they came to see if the father, mother and kids were OK. They just stayed out of the way during
I opened my arms and gesticulated for him to come back in the store and take me on.<
A] This would be seen at law as ‘conflict escalation’ on your part taking away your ability to plead self defense in a criminal charge.
"Yeah, that was stupid. I was reacting to a provocation and I was not thinking clearly. My thought was to pound the crap out of the guy if he came in to the store an/or intimidate him so that he woud leave."
I guess I am pondering why I didn't go out to the lot and taken out this ass (I simply can't abide bullies and I really wanted to pound the "s**t" out of this guy).<
B] You would then have become the aggressor, and found yourself in deep trouble with the law. And assuming you have a personal umbrella policy, your insurance company would have denied you defense and indemnification if suit filed against you. Also a criminal court judge, would have ordered you make restitution for any medical and other expenses your sh**t pounding might have caused to the big boy.
"Yup, I do have an umbrella policy and yup, I do have lots . to lose including my career ("CFO in jail after brawl" would not play well with investors) I didn't know that the
umbrella policy would be ineffective in this situation"
The people in the store, including the father of the kid, would become hostile witnesses against you telling a DA under interrogation that YOU went after the guy to start a fight when he really posed no threat so far away from you.
"Huh? Why would they be hostile witnesses?
Why wouldn't they stand up to "fat ass"?"
Did I stop out of fear? Well, yeah in that I didn't know if this idiot was armed. <
C] Fear is a survival instinct and nothing to be ashamed of. A small blade could have been hidden anywhere on him and you wouldn’t have seen it in the chaos as it slashed you open.
Also taking down 270 pounds gorilla is not as easy as one thinks even with Uechi techniques when ‘fat boy’ feels no pain.
"Again, my thoughts were not on potential weapons. My thoughts were to protect others and "teach fat ass a lesson". I was concerned, that if we did get into it that we might end up wrestling around in the store or on the concrete parking lot."
"I most definiitely had nervousness but stayed loose mentally which caused my bdy to relax. I must say that the training really helps in this regard as does the body conditioning since I knew that I can take a punch, if necessary."
"I should also mention that I wear glasses and as all short sighted folks will tell you, there is always a fear of losing glasses or having them knocked off, which puts us at a disadvantage. That fear is always with me should there be a confrontation"
So what would any of you done (besides call the police and/or security who never showed up in time to deal with the situation)? <
Not much, other than defuse and evade.
I would have just stood by the window looking confident but not ‘escalating’ in words or actions.
'Yes, you understand what I was trying to do. I was trying to intimidate but I went about it the wrong way."
As you left the lot, were you making sure the fat ass would not be lying in wait to follow you home?
"The father was about to leave the store without checking to see if "fat ass" was lurking. I stopped him, went to the window and looked to see if "fat ass" was hanging around."
"He was there at the side of the building and that is when he saw me and gesticulated to come out an "take him on". I threw my hands up and gave him the same gesture and that is when he shook his head and walked away. You are now telling me that my gesture would have been interpreted as a provocation and so I will remember not to do that again."
"Before I left the lot, I made sure he had left but I did not look to see if he was following. Again, this thought didn't occur to me. Next time, it will."
"In my mind, the incident was over although I was still adrenalized. When I came home, I had to have my 16 year old son hold bags for me while I pounded away (It helped!). Of couse, my son told me that I should have taken on the challenge. Now I have to disabuse of him doing so, should he face a similar situation.
"While sleeping, I kept reviewing the incident wondering whether I should have taken on the challenge and I keep coming back to the same answer. It would have been wrong for me to accept mutual combat in a shopping mall for all of the reasons you mentioned including possible serious injury to myself."
"So the next question I keep asking myself is why did I get the "shakes" and how can I avoid them in the future? The "shakes" weren't obvious to anyone who was watching me but I could feel the muscles and nerves twitching.
This time around, I was better able to control this reaction I have had a few incidents over the years dealing with overly agressive types but I have not yet had to give or take a swing (It has been my experience that bullies and agressive types have a hard time following through with me due to luck or perhaps due to a sense that I am trained or a little of both.) "
What made you leave before waiting to talk to the police? [loaded question]
"I just wanted to leave the scene and go home. I wasn't interested in talking through the incident with the police
and there were many witnesses in the store that could
describe what happened. In my mind, I had already
"done my job" (i,e, protected the innocent, driven away
the "bad guy" etc.) I know that this is childish thinking
and that I have had a hard time taming my internal "Quixote".
Glad you made it home without things getting ugly.
Were you looking in your rear view mirror on the way home and did you feel any tremors post adrenaline dump?
"I didn't bother to check the mirror. I thought this incident was done and over with and that was no reason to worry about someone following me home."
"Yeah, I felt the dump. I only live a few miles from the mall so I went out to my yard and started pounding away on bags and mitts held by my son. He wasn't too happy
with the force I was using so I had to stop after about 10 minutes but it sure felt good. I then went into katas and sparring drills."
I must say when it "comes down to it" in thought or for real, the "fancy" technique with complicated movements get dropped in the proverbial memory muscle trash
heap. My thoughts were to hit hard, harder, hardest and overwhelm as necessary. That is the way taught by all of my instructors (Forrest Sanborn, the late Carmine
DiRamio - former Golden Glove champion, Rod Mindlin,
the late Ahti Kaend, Steve Goss and Mehran Shahkar).
It is the same way I teach my students.
All the best,