Point of No Return 1. She's Overtaken, Fights BackApr 17, 2022
This video was shared on a parent community in Facebook, and has been popular on YouTube.
The reality is this, that girl did a good job, from what is seen in the security camera. Without knowing what led to this, or where she was headed to, it's tough to tell. She did however - fight back.
Here's the deal, and you can have all the mat time and black belts holding your gi pants up, but when your child is suddenly fighting for their life, then biochemical response and involuntary gross motor skills take an immediate front seat, not complex kicks or leg sweeps.
Consistent exposure to different stimulus are what's most important, and most kids really do not have that.
Let’s look at the video. In the first few seconds we see this girl running, and is overtaken. Fight or flight is real, but when confronted, the physiological response is arms and legs go numb first - TKD hook kicks go out the window, BJJ half guards are meaningless in this moment - thousands of years of evolution know that the arms and legs take the first cuts, and thus pull blood up inward, (it's why your legs shake and hands get cold when facing fear or a pretty girl who suddenly digs you)... however, in this moment it CAN be overridden, but this takes 'exposure'.
This usually then leads to the body wanting to quickly dispose toxins incase of internal injury in the melee, it's why people piss or shit themselves when scared... it's also part of the reason why people squat and drop to the ground when afraid.
The next step is confusion, and what's called the freeze factor. You've all heard "I got stabbed a dozen times and I had no clue" ... I'm sure most of you have experienced this. This usually happens at the moment of PNR, or point of no return, when it goes hands on, and contact/impact shock has begun.
She did a classic freeze, her brain is over riding with stimulus, fight or flight is haywire, she's locked.
I'm going to bet this girl has a big brother or two, her freeze is short, she remains engaged for about five seconds and doesn't turn her back to him and she fires one knee and a limp kick before going to the ground. Her legs and helpless, she's scared, but trying. This guy has done this before, it's an easy read how he handles her legs on the take down, untrained but experienced. Against legs pulling blood up and frozen, it's an easy overcome.
Three cars pass slow. That's a circumstance of culture, sadly. when the third car stops, as the bad guys is trying apparently sexually assault her, he gets up and casually walks away. At this point, bystanders approach.
This is common, and you can't really blame the bystanders as many freeze in those moments as witness <--- that is a key reason why bullying is so prominent, as kids ARE NOT trained on how to manage this response and engage a threat to another child. As Dads, THAT should be your biggest takeaway.
Now, could she have dropped her purse and given him what he may have wanted? Unsure, not a fan of that approach. Could she have kicked his ass if she were a martial artist? Nope, often times a little knowledge can get you in more trouble, but it can also save your life!
Tough to tell. This girl had some fight in her, with some exposure in her to impact and threat, that's what kept her going, and that exposure is vital, yet missed in almost all martial arts. That stuff comes from the experiences we as Dads provide for our kids, it comes through resilience and letting kids take risks, explore and take their lumps. I mean this. She has some street smarts, not a lot, but enough. She didn't collapse, and was willing to right to her phone to call someone. She most likely couldn't get up for a few minutes.
That's my take. I'm sad for her, but also glad it stopped where it did. Sadly, too often it does not.
Pro tip, do scary, hard physical experiences with her. There's a strategy to this however, and one you'll have to lead her on. You go first, Dad.
If she gets more comfortable being able to process stimulus and decision making, in extremely short bursts of time, while the chemical dump of fear is trying to override judgement - that will be the fuel to the training she is doing.
Another thing to help is allowing her to process that fear after you've experienced it. This is critical, as if she can recognize the looping in emotion after overcoming a threatening or fearful situation, she will naturally have much greater agency in what's called post-conflict, this is where judgement, self triage, communicating with first response, etc. all take a VITAL role in personal protection my friend. Remember the first time you got into a fist fight, and had to talk and talk and talk about it after? Yeah, there's a chemical reason for that.
See it for what it is, help her recognize this and she'll shorten her post conflict response gap and be able to function even if hurting.
Remember, when watching this there are three roles we play.
- We are Dads who teach children to be resilient, confident and recognize escalation and how to quickly get safe from threat. Do NOT let a false sense of safety created from martial arts training skew their judgement. Track and field save more lives than any black belts, however as a professional martial artist, I believe nothing is more beneficial.
- We are Dads who prepare our kids to stand up, teaching them how to engage as concerned leaders, unwilling to let suffering take place in front of them, and refuse to live as traumatized onlookers. We raise kids who take action, have empathy and know how to resolve. We know those emotions linger with them for life, and they will leak out in ways we'll never put our finger on, we know that when kids are witness to cruelty over and over and simply don't know what to do, it leads to long term trauma. That's more a risk than the first.
- We raise men who are not like this criminal, but acknowledge what is criminal behavior. We raise men who are not kept naive to darkness of nature, predators exist, mental illness and substance abuse are very real. Demons exist. We talk to our boys about these people, we expose them, we explain to them - and we do it without judgement, fear or name calling - because we know those are forms of weakness also. Show your boys this video. Ask them how they feel, without adding anything. Listen and honor them.