A wonderful post from The Strength Within.
A wonderful post from The Strength Within.
I had such a great time yesterday, it was worth every second. Well, maybe I would have skipped the particular second that I tried to stop a knife attack with my pinkie and ended up with a broken hand, but other than that…
Yesterday morning, my student and colleague, Naomi Yitzhak and I drove to Maaleh Adumim, a small city near Jerusalem, to join a group of travelers from abroad who are here to train in IKI Krav Maga with Moshe Katz.
Moshe Katz was one of the first martial artists I met in Israel. We have been friends and colleagues ever since. He is one of the most knowledgeable, dedicated and generous instructors I have ever met.
Like a true “artist”, Moshe starved in obscurity for many years. Then, a couple of years ago, Moshe was finally “discovered” by members of the international martial arts community. He travels all over Europe and the United States teaching seminars. Now he has started hosting seminars here in Israel as well to give students of Krav Maga the opportunity to experience the Land and People that produced this in-your-face form of self-defense training.
The men with whom Naomi and I trained came to Israel expressly to train with Moshe—or more correctly, to Tour & Train with him: Craig Grey from Grand Rapids, MI, Tim Hillis from Cottonwood, Arizona, Fred Heins from Tilburg, Holland, Stephan Shutter from Germany, Robert Amos from Indiana and Justin and Gary, two of Robert’s students.
We worked on all kinds of knife and gun defenses including defenses inside a car based on the same simple, straight-forward and effective principles. There is something so rewarding about taking these nightmare scenarios, analyzing them and finding ways to deal with them, fusing the mind and the body to make the ‘impossible’ possible. And when you are lucky enough to do that together with people of this caliber, generous, humble and dedicated, it is a truly spiritual experience.
Those of you who read this and think, ‘this woman is crazy’ are in good company. I could intellectualize and argue that, in the world of self-defense, as the song says: “We’re never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy”.
But those of you who need no explanation, who identify with the high of this kind of body-mind-spirit learning and growth, painful though it may sometimes be, you probably identify, as i do, with these sentiments from the same song: “In a world full of people, only some want to fly. Isn’t that crazy?”
* * *
This story is a keeper. It is not from Israel, but from the US . It is about five “crazy” women who prevented a murder and put the potential murderer in jail. May there be many more crazies like these both here in Israel and around the world!
Wed May 5, 2010 9:29 PM EDT
Five women stop man accused of Maine campus stabbing
BANGOR, Maine — Five female students, including one who’d recently completed a self-defense class, jumped to the aid of a fellow student, grabbing her knife-wielding attacker and holding him until police officers arrived at Husson University, officials said Wednesday.
Jesse Hladik put her new skills to work when she lunged for the hand holding a knife, while fellow students grabbed the man’s other limbs and wrestled him to the ground. Hladik, 21, of Buckfield, said she knew the pressure points to make him drop the knife, thanks to the class.
“It was really scary, but I’m glad we got involved,” said student Heather Mann, 18, of Rochester, N.H. “Because I really think he would have killed her.”
Officers responding to the report of a domestic fight at 7:40 a.m. arrived to find 45-year-old Horst Wolk of Bangor subdued on the pavement. A campus officer cuffed him, and city police hauled him away.
John Michaud, professor of legal studies, heard the commotion and saw a pile of people on the pavement, while more women stood by, ready to jump in, if necessary.
“I was very impressed by the students,” Michaud said. “How many times do you hear about people walking by incidents like this? These young ladies weren’t going to walk by this incident.” He said the young women disarmed the suspect and “had the situation well in hand.”
Wolk has been charged with attempted murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and violating a protection order, said Bangor Police Sgt. Paul Edwards. He remained jailed Wednesday afternoon on $25,000 bail. There was no indication whether he had an attorney.
The incident unfolded in a parking lot next to Husson’s O’Donnell Commons. Wolk, who isn’t a student, rammed the victim’s vehicle after she pulled into a parking space at 7:40 a.m., then jumped out of his vehicle with a knife in his hand, said Julie Green, Husson spokeswoman.
The injured woman, who was not identified, was treated at a local hospital and released.
Edwards said officers generally don’t want bystanders to put themselves in harm’s way.
“We would never recommend getting involved to the point where you might get hurt yourself and become a second victim. But am I proud of what they did? Of course I am. Am I glad they did it? Yeah. I’m happy because the outcome was good,” Edwards said.
Hladik said she realized the importance of self defense.
“Not that the situation is going to happen again here, but it is so much better to know what I was doing, to make a little plan in a couple of seconds before doing something because I can’t imagine being one of the girls without training and not knowing what to do,” she said.
“I think that is bravery because they had never fought … they had no idea what to do and they still stepped in.”
I have a love-hate relationship with my cellphone. I love having the whole world at my fingertips whenever and wherever I may be. But, I don’t like being at the whole world’s beck and call. And I’m not alone.
Our general ambivilence about our cell phones is reflected in the self-defense world. On the one hand, people who are up to no good need three things going for them before they can successfully carry out their nasty deeds: intention, ability and opportunity. For the vast majority of them, isolating their target is part of creating opportunity. Cell phones break isolation, giving potential victims a connection to the world outside, a chance to get someone’s attention or call for help. No isolation, no opportunity, creep moves on to a more vulnerable victim.
For a wonderful example of the use of a cell phone as a tool of self-defense, see the success story below in which a 16 year-old Beersheva girl outwits her three captors by saying she has to call her mother… A great Mother’s Day tribute.
On the other hand, you probably don’t need me to tell you that cell phones can be a real safety hazard— and not just for drivers. According to a study of pedestrian safety at the University of Illinois published this past November, using a cell phone while walking can be hazardous to your health. Compared with people just listening to music as they crossed, users of hands-free cell phones took longer to cross the same street under the same conditions and were more likely to get run over by a vehicle.
Personally, I think the cell phone is one of the best tools of self-defense ever devised. Unfortunately, it seem that good always comes with a price tag attached. Chocolate has calories; weekends have Monday (or Sunday if you live in Israel). Your cell phone can connect you to the world, or soak up so much of your attention, you become more vulnerable becuase of it. It can be a source of increased safety or increased danger. It’s a matter of maximizing your awareness and deciding how to use the tools you have. Which reminds me: don’t forget that striking someone straight on with a cell phone to the nose, the solar plexus or the groin can get your message across with no additional air time charges and without even calling your Mom.
Beersheba: ‘3 Arabs tried to kidnap, sexually assault girl’
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Police in Beersheba arrested three Israeli Arabs on Thursday on suspicion of attempting to kidnap and sexually assault a 16-year-old girl.
According to suspicions, the suspects noticed the girl walking and offered her a ride to her friend’s house. The girl apparently entered the vehicle, but soon learned that the suspects had no intention of letting her out unless “she agreed to their sexual demands,” police said.
The suspects allegedly confiscated the girl’s phone to prevent her from calling for assistance.
“Keeping her wits about her, the girl told her captors that she wanted to phoned her mother to let her know she would be late. The suspects gave her the phone, and the girl proceeded to immediately contact police,” Negev police added.
The suspects became alarmed by the call and in the confusion, the girl escaped from the vehicle. The suspects fled the scene in the vehicle.
Police in the meantime deployed large numbers of patrol cars to the area, and located the vehicle containing the suspects, and the girl walking along a main road.
I can’t believe I somehow missed this news story in September but I can’t think of a better time to share it with you than at this Spring Holiday season, filled with renewal and hope for a brighter future.
Please feel free to share it with the people in your life who could use a little reminder: sometimes women and older adults know their worth and their strength. Sometimes bad guys get hit where it hurts. Sometimes judges ignore stupid excuses and throw the book at criminals.
And sometimes, as I have told many an older student, walking sticks (and knees) sure come in handy…
Seven years at hard labor and two years probation. That was the sentence handed down this morning (Sunday) at the Haifa District Court for 30 year-old Haifa-resident Wissam Ahmadat. Ahmadat was convicted of assaulting an elderly man and the robbery of 74-year-old woman in her apartment. During the robbery, he put a pillow over the elderly woman’s face to prevent her from resisting.
YNet: Sept. 13, 2009
Achya Raavad (and translated by Yours Truly)
The defendant admitted carrying out the acts at the end of 2008 and early 2009. The first case for which Ahmadat was convicted involved pushing a senior adult and knocking him off of the bench on which he sat at a pizzeria in the Hadar neighborhood in Haifa.
The second crime occurred early in the morning at a Nordau Street apartment, where a 74-year-old woman lived. The defendant and a partner entered the apartment through a window and began looking for money and jewelry.
“During the search, the defendant entered the complainant’s bedroom and purposefully put a pillow over her face in order to rob the complainant or facilitate the execution of the robbery, or to facilitate his escape from the apartment after the robbery,” the charge read.
It went on to describe that the woman succeeded in struggling with her attacker, hit him over the head with her walking stick and even kicked him in the testicles. The two robbers eventually left the apartment with a total of NIS 1,000.
“It Was the Good Fortune of This Older Woman To Be Endowed With Resourcefulness and Courage”
During the trial, it became clear that the defendant had dozens of past convictions, and that he had already served five sentences in prisons around the country. He committed the robbery at the pizzeria less than a month after his last release from prison. These activities, as determined by the testing service, were carried out as a result his addiction to drugs.
Judge Oded Gershon ruled that addiction does not constitute a justification for the defendant’s many crimes. “The defendant’s behavior, over the years, shows that he has no regard for the property of others and he also used serious and dangerous methods such as placing a pillow over the face of an elderly woman to facilitate the completion of the robbery … His action could have caused the death of the complainant… She is fortunate to have been endowed with resourcefulness and courage and thus girded with strength, she fought back against the defendant, “said the judge in pronouncing the sentence.
The judge added that we must give harsh sentences that will deter those who attack the elderly.
“The safety and security of those elderly who are helpless and defenseless, especially those who live alone and are considered by criminals like the defendant to be ‘easy prey’, must not be abandoned. It is proper that every criminal should know that potentially, if he raises his hand against an older adult and injures him or his property, he is liable to be punished very severely via imprisonment at hard labor and being behind bars and locked up for a long time. “
Previously, Judge Gershon gave a six-year sentence to the attackers of elderly victim Malka Yariv, who stole her purse and seriously injured her.
God bless YNET for their ongoing coverage of local stories in both Hebrew and English. Really.
But, take one look at the picture they selected to illustrate the story below and, what do you see? A women shamed and beaten down. Read the headline and you are filled with fear and dread. Is that really what this story is about?
Very few readers will bother to read all the way through this story. If they did, perhaps they would see what I see: an incredibly brave young woman who fought like a lioness with her body, her voice and finally, her teeth for her life and her dignity. A self-defense success story in the truest sense.
The fact that there are predators in the Human Jungle should come as no surprise. What is really important, and rarely reported as such, is that there are also lions and lionesses who are ready and prepared to stand up against them and defeat them like this young woman did. She is a heroine. And yet, the news media, reflecting back society’s own prejudices, chose to illustrate her as a helpless victim and glossed over her victorious battle by choosing to emphasize that it was the presence of by-passers, not her all-out refusal to become a victim, that drove off her attacker.
And if that was not frustrating enough, how about the fact that this was a stranger attack in which the guy actually jumped out from behind the bushes?Do you have any idea how many times I have reminded self-defense students that 82% of attackers are known to their victims, and that the chances of a stranger jumping out from behind the bushes is nil?
Well, either I can say so much for statistics… Or I can use them to say that, assuming the Lod Police ever find this guy, there is a good chance that the stranger behind the bushes isn’t so strange to his intended victim after all.
Either way, we can be sure of one thing. This guy will look like he has been in one hell of a fight…and will have the teethmarks to prove it,thanks to one courageous young woman.