Another good post from Matthew over at Ikigai, discussing another video that’s been going around. In short, some TV show was filming a prank and the prank backfired when the prankster/actor got a wicked kick to the face from a Good Samaritan. You can watch it below. You’ll see all you need to see in about the first 10 seconds of the video.
Speaking purely as a martial artist about the kick… awesome kick.
But what Matthew really wants to discuss is getting involved.
Part of me applauds him for his quick thinking and desire to help make the world a little more scum-free. It takes courage and conviction to step in and aid your fellow man. Furthermore, his technique selection was probably a good one – if he tried to tackle the guy, he ran the risk of getting stabbed or shot while tussling. If he tried to stand in the bad guy’s way non-violently he would have gotten bowled over or pushed aside.
I too want to applaud the guy. He heard something bad going down and wasn’t going to let bad things stand. Given what he knew about the situation at the time, he did the right thing.
Unfortunately, as we see in this video, quick acts of effective violence are sometimes misplaced. As it turns out, there was no theft occurring, and the man in the leather jacket was angry and loud because he was annoyed at the childish prank pulled on him. The striped-shirt-kicker made a big leap in judgment assuming that the man trying to escape was both a.) a perpetrator of crime, and b.) the actual bad guy in the situation (he might have been trying to escape a bad situation himself).
This is a very good point. Just because you see things unfold a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how things are. So you’re pulling up to a convenience store and you see someone running out in a panic saying they store has just been robbed. You would naturally assume the person saying this was a victim, or at least not the thief. But if they were a clever thief they may well have used that as a ruse to distract you so they could get away. Things may not always be what they seem.
Furthermore, the kicker took the law into his own hands and introduced violence into a non-violent situation. In a crowded mall like that, it is very possible to grab the attention of nearby security and alert the authorities to a crime in progress. In most large shopping centers there is both mall security and real law enforcement officials nearby.
I take odds with this. Where was the nearby security guard? Watch the video. Much time passes and at least I would think if there was a security guard around they would have gotten involved in the scene… someone lying on the ground, people huddled around minding them… wouldn’t a security guard get involved? I never saw any security guard in the scene. Meantime, a potential scumbag gets away. It’s just like the old saying: when seconds count, police are only minutes away!
Nevertheless, the discussion is a valid one: should you get involved?
In this case, it was just a kick. How about people who carry concealed handguns? There’s greater potential for lethality there. The rule generally is that you should only draw your gun if you or someone else’s life is in danger. You use the gun to defend life, not to stop a criminal and/or hold them at bay. In a case like this, no one’s life was in danger so no gun should come out. If the gun did come out, it greatly changes the situation for all involved parties.
Me, I’m torn on getting involved. My heart says yes, get involved. Bad things should not be allowed to stand, even stupid prank shows that pull crap like this (IMHO, they reaped what they sowed here). My head knows that there’s great risk for legal and other trouble if I did get involved. Is it worth it? It’s hard to say. To me, it all depends upon the circumstance and situation, and that I can’t know until I’m there and in it. One good question to ask yourself is: is it worth dying for?
I don’t feel good people should be or feel crippled to help those in need, because the bad guys certainly feel no restrictions. It’s sad that our society is moving in a direction that encumbers good people and makes them have to think twice about doing the right and good thing.