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First, stop calling it a game….

I’ve been so hesitant to jump into the fray on the ‘knockout game’.  It’s really been going on for decades in one form or another, and if not for social media I’d argue that it would remain as obscure as it’s always been.  Now, however, the possibility that Youtube, LiveLeak, FB and the likes will spring board this historically limited scope violence into an epidemic, is very real.

It’s all been said on FB, and rather well by some (and frankly rather poorly by others).  So as much as I’d like to bloviate about awareness and self-defense moves, I instead will only offer this…if you can get sucker punched in the head or neck, you can get stabbed just as easily.  It requires no changes of tactic or movement to change the punch to a stab.  Only a decision on the attacker’s part to take a life.  Clearly these punks do not value human life at all and have no respect for anyone other than themselves.  The only difference between the two attacks (aside from the victims POV) is the punishment if caught, and they never think they’ll get caught so that thought really never comes into play for them.  It’s not long before the DB’s escalate from punch and run to stab and run.  I can back that statement up because the ‘game’ has already caused at least one fatality, with murder or manslaughter charges on the docket, and it has not been a deterrent from what we can tell.  In fact you can expect it to continue to spread and grow with the press feeding the fires by showing the videos.

So, the reason for this post is to arm you with the right MINDSET…that any attempt on you as the intended victim of the ‘game’ can, and in my mind SHOULD, be treated as a deadly force threat, and met with whatever force is necessary to defend it.  Sound harsh?  I’ll show you exactly why a sucker punch and a ‘sudden stab’ have no detectable differences and need to be treated equally.  Because of who we train, we are exposed to hours of CCTV footage of stabbings and sucker punches by the lowest scum society has to offer.  Without a follow up report, context or sound, telling the attacks apart are usually nearly impossible, even with the benefit of “replay”.  If you knew that an attempted ‘knock out’ on you was actually an attempted murder, would it change your behavior?  Of COURSE it would.  So treat it as such.  If you want to sit there and scream at this article “but they’re only trying to PUNCH you, you can’t SHOOT them!” have at it, you must not have read the last 4 sentences….but I’d venture to guess too that you’ve never been knocked out.  Try it, you won’t like it.  Add to it that many a ‘knockout’ victim was repeatedly punched and kicked after going down.  To be convinced, you only need take a look at what happened to Sgt. Deen of the NYPD while off duty (purposely did not link to video of the beating, but you can find it);

Having read the story, or maybe watched that video, don’t you think now that you should behave as if your life depended on it?  Punch or Stab the end result could be the same so at least for me there is no marginalization of one simply because a knife exists or doesn’t during the attack.  And by the way, you wouldn’t know whether a knife was present or not in these attacks until it was way too late.  That notion alone is enough to articulate why you MUST treat every punch attack as if it’s a stab.  Look at the 2 animations and see what differences you can pick up between punch and stab…there is one of each here, and the attackers movements are literally identical.

barfight animation knockout near bus

But just because I’m advocating using force here, don’t think for a minute that I’m saying practicing with your gun is going to help in this situation.  It’s not.  Don’t take this the wrong way, I really don’t care if you carry a gun or not, but the gun has NOTHING to do with recognizing or defending this kind of attack.  If you get the feeling there is something going on with that group of teens up ahead, alter your course.  You cannot simply draw your gun…that would make you pretty much an idiot who shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun.  On the other side, if you don’t see the threat coming before hand, your concealed gun won’t help you.  Worse, there is a good chance your concealed gun will become the property of the one that knocked you out….and you’d have nothing to say about it until it’s far too late.  Take this example of the guy who actually shot the teen that was trying to knock him out.  In Lansing, Michigan 17 year old Marvel Weaver attempted to ‘knockout’ his victim with a STUN GUN.  The stun gun actually malfunctioned, and when he tried again his would be ‘victim’ shot him with his legally concealed handgun.  This is of course a ‘win’ for the good guys, but don’t get carried away.  The only reason this intended victim was able to defend himself against the ‘game’ was because the stun gun malfunctioned.  Had it not, the victim may well have been incapacitated for a period of time.  Here’s one link to the story;

No, we’re not going to put on a “anti-knockout game seminar”, we do that 6 days a week in class at Colorado Krav Maga, all year every year.  And frankly the chances that YOU will be a victim of the ‘knockout game’ are far lower than the chances of YOU experiencing a Home Invasion.  What we will do is encourage you to be more aware of your environment and don’t take any unnecessary risks, and you’ll probably need to learn to put aside some bravado for this.  If there’s a gaggle of young men that fit the profile (yes, you should profile), walking towards you, take some precautionary action before the gap is closed.  Change your path, enter a business quickly, turn around, or at the very least make clear eye contact, keep a good distance between you and them and possibly arm yourself.  Next, when you get home, make sure you have good locks on your doors and you have a home emergency plan, because there’s far more chance you’ll need that then to have to defend yourself in a ‘knockout game’.