So we had some major issues this past weekend. A shooter in Orlando walked into a club and started shooting people. Tactics were employed and the shooter obviously had weapons training. How effective would a gun be against a group of unarmed, untrained, unsuspecting club-goers? Well, obviously very effective. There was another tragedy in Orlando just yesterday when an alligator drug a 2 year old child into a man-made lake to his death at Disneyworld. The father was in striking distance but was unable to save his son. It is a really tragic occurrence and I can’t help but feel horrible for the victims and their loved ones. With that said, other things always come to mind. I wasn’t in either of these situations nor have I ever been in similar situations. These are extremely rare but it does make me wonder what would happen if the victims, or the bystanders were devout Martial Artists.
I am always discussing all of the wonderful qualities that Martial Arts brings us, and I mention discipline, honor, integrity, and other helpful tools that Martial Arts teaches us. I want to talk about the raw power and skill that Martial Arts brings. Now, if an active shooter were to walk into a large Brazilian Jiujitsu tournament, I doubt there would be 103 victims. I have the sneaking suspicion that as soon as an active shooter were to walk into a crowd of martial artists, the problem would be solved a lot faster.
Fight or flight is the response when faced with a dire situation.
In my humble opinion, Martial Artists choose the fight reflex far more often than flight. Listening to the people in the club when the madman was shooting seemed to revolve around the same theme, hide then play dead. One victim even said that he got shot while he was playing dead because the shooter was walking around making sure everyone was dead. Now who am I to judge? Nobody, but I can’t help but feel that he was somewhat of a coward.
In robbery situations and scenarios of extremely violent crimes, the Police (who are experts in these situations) say to cooperate unless a victim really feels that their life is in danger. If someone feels that their life is in real danger, the Police recommend fighting back. Rape, kidnapping, and murder of cooperative victims is far more likely to come to fruition if there is no struggle. We teach children to scream loudly if someone tries to accost them. Going to the Orlando situation, I can’t believe that in a club with several hundred people, the masses chose to hide and run as opposed to rushing the attacker. Maybe it boils down to selfishness and those individuals felt that they would self-preserve if they fled. Maybe self-preservation is a great instinct, but for 103 people, that didn’t work. I find it very hard to believe that there would have been 103 victims if the crowd turned immediately to the attacker and decided not to be victims.
Now once again, maybe I’m no expert, but I did research this. I searched active shooter situations (like the one in our home town of San Bernardino) and violent crimes. Violent crime prevention and intervention, as well as the information known about the Orlando shooter.
Maybe we should aim more toward self-defense as opposed to self-preservation.
In the 9/11 attacks, one of the flights never made it to its destination of a highly populated target where there would have been way more casualties. A passenger on the plane was talking to his wife who informed him about the terror attacks at the Pentagon and World Trade Center Towers. The flight was being taken over by terrorists with box cutters, so when the man learned that the same fate was intended for the plane he was on, a group of passengers rushed the terrorists. Now, yes, the flight went down, but it went down in a field, not in a crowded metropolis where there would have been a higher death toll.
All of this is very tragic, but we as a nation need to understand that the threat of violence is always around us. Domestic, foreign, or alien (lol) but having the confidence and skill to defend others in a situation like this can truly save lives. I’m not saying that everyone is a hero, but martial artists have a better chance of being one. My thoughts go out to the families who have lost loved ones in this dark past few days.