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Old May 2, 2000, 09:30 PM   #1
ctdonath
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A 14-year-old friend just narrowly escaped getting mugged by 5 thugs. His rather distraught parents are asking me what defensive training he can get.

For an adult, the issue would be fairly straightforward: standard martial arts training plus handgun, alternately knife or cane. The issue gets muddled with under-age people. This kid's only option (successfuly done) in this incident was to run; with such a disparity of force, his only other preparatory options are denied him by law due to his age.

Thoughts? 14-yr-old vs. 5 muggers: how to prepare?
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Old May 2, 2000, 10:23 PM   #2
beastman
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Perhaps some martial arts training might be in order. I have studied a little and some of the best advice my instructor gave was this: do what move is neccessary to break someone's hold on you and practice the ancient art of "run-fu". The martial art will help with confidence and assist in "getting out of Dodge".
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Old May 2, 2000, 11:38 PM   #3
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One thing they need to do is to find out exactly why he ended up in the situation in the first place, and to see if there is anything he can do to prevent this from happening again in the future.
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Old May 3, 2000, 11:31 AM   #4
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I agree with HB. Situational awareness is your best friend in avoiding dangerous predicaments.. This doesn't mean that danger can always be avoided but remember, your brain is your most valuable asset in times of trouble.

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Old May 3, 2000, 05:34 PM   #5
G50AE
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Well, if this kid is 14 he or she should also start lifting weights.
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Old May 3, 2000, 05:40 PM   #6
stdalire
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Running and avoiding places where most thugs are in is the best way to be out of trouble.

Martial arts and weapons will just come second when there is no more alternatives to be done.

thanks

[This message has been edited by stdalire (edited May 03, 2000).]
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Old May 3, 2000, 07:05 PM   #7
Glamdring
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Weight lifting for a 14 year old is a bit iffy. I think kids should wait untill 15 or 16 for weight lifting because of the potential of damage to the still developing bones. But condition is good idea, I suggest biking and swiming with "rock climbing" or such because those activities are more enjoyable and can be done as a group. They are also more whole body effect than weight lifting is. Also will let you RUN better.

I believe male kid is what you are talking about?

Boxing and Judo together are good martial arts if the kid is INTERESTED in such. Boxing covers pyscial conditioning in a balanced manner, and also uses controled sparring and focus mitts for training plus footwork from the first or second week.

Judo covers takedowns and falling plus ground work joint locks and strangles.

If the kid is not interested in training then show them the basic exscapes from holds and strangels [the two finger peel off]. Also show them how to apply a strangle from rear [naked strangle] and front [ie guillotine]. Also show how to head trap and then apply knees [from Muay Thai].

Show them how to move in and "swim" an opponent or shake and shiver to get by and run [ala football defensive line techniques used against blockers].

Moving in and then running is often a better idea than trying to run away because of psychological effect and body movement [they have to turn around and then chase you vs just chase].

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Old May 3, 2000, 07:17 PM   #8
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BTW 1 to 5 odds are bad if your ARMED!

Avoid if possible. But if you can't then hurt leader or closest one BAD and fast.

With 5 people vs 1 it sounds like the bully pattern more than mugging.

I drove school bus for 3 years and actually interogated several true bullies, since they were stuck in the front seat all the time and I had to put up with them I studied them, they were willing to talk about how they would pick on people. Pick someone they KNEW they could beat and still bring several buddies for insurance.

I learned a lot about self defense from driving the school bus. I quit because I could not stand the fact that so many of the kids were living in fear and suffering abuse, from other kids, AT school just because the system would not git rid of or correct the Goblins.

Sorry, I am ranting. There are REAL problems in our public schools. The teachers and administrators KNOW this. But they hide it from parents because they would lose their jobs it just a little got out.

If a kid seems afraid of something at school or unwilling to go, ask and listen to them about why. Chances are they have real good reasons.
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Old May 3, 2000, 07:53 PM   #9
ctdonath
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Perhaps some martial arts training might be in order.

Yep, figure Karate, Judo or Akido should be minimum to teach basic concepts and ingrain fundamental moves (blocks, falls, etc.).

I'm just a bit struck by the issue that certain options are legally not available.

One thing they need to do is to find out exactly why he ended up in the situation in the first place, and to see if there is anything he can do to prevent this from happening again in the future.

My guess (few facts so far) is that they wanted a target and he walked by. I will be suggesting that the family move (they're on the edge of a bad area that's growing).

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Old May 4, 2000, 03:08 AM   #10
George Hill
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Akido would be great and can be applied later in life to handgun fighting.

Reviewing the thread - 5 to 1 odds... Run.
Run fast. He did right.
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Old May 4, 2000, 07:49 AM   #11
Danger Dave
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Fighting, even with bare hands, should be a last resort - whether 5-on-1 or 1-on-1. Remember, there are no teachers or referees to break it up if things go awry - and who's to say that just because you're out of the fight, they'll stop?

A few years of training would not prepare anyone to take on 5 attackers. It ain't easy to fight one guy who's an experienced fighter (I would assume that being a bully, he would have been in a few fights...), much less to fight more than one. The few (okay, two) people I've known that have succesfully fought multiple opponents (3+) in an open confrontation were:
1) Big guys themselves
2) Well-trained, experienced fighters
3) Highly skilled, exceptional fighters
4) In exceptional condition
5) Were tough as nails
6) Mad-dog mean when in a fight (both were pretty nice people other than that, though)

To fight more than one opponent, you have to be able to out-endure and out-fight them all. They all have to be exhausted, before you're even tired. This means, first, you'd better be in some serious cardiovascular condition - you're going to be doing a lot of moving around during this kind of fight (you never want to be caught in the middle), plus punching/kicking. Then, you'd better be able to eliminate each threat given the opportunity - so you'd better have skills, experience, & power to spare. But if you have all that, I don't think you'd be being picked on by bullies to begin with - they don't want to "pay the price" every time they want to intimidate you. So, unless you're some sort of marathon runner/triathelete turned pro boxer or something, HAUL YOUR BUTT OUTTA THERE!!!

None of this should be taken as discouraging taking some sort of training, however, just be realistic about your expectations. Nothing is going to quickly prepare (or ever fully prepare) him to face those kinds of odds. If you told me this kid was a 6'3", 260lb wrestling/boxing/karate champ, I'd still say running was his best option. One of those skilled fighters I mentioned gave me some sage advice: "If you fight, win or lose, you're gonna get hurt."

The only other advice I can give is be careful about what instructor you choose - that's probably more important than what style(s) you pick.

------------------
Beginner barbarians probably had the idea that every house they broke into would be full of untouched loot and frightened, unarmed victims. It just doesn't work that way, my friend.

I hope these evil men come to understand our peaceful ways soon - My trigger finger is blistering!
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Old May 4, 2000, 07:50 AM   #12
ctdonath
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Reviewing the thread - 5 to 1 odds... Run. Run fast. He did right.

Unfortunately, that almost didn't work. They kept up for a long ways, and he finally finished the escape by jumping into a stranger's car (someone saw what was happenening and offered to help whisk him away).
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Old May 4, 2000, 10:43 AM   #13
Simon Yu
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Hmmm . . . Having migrated over here recently via Bladeforums, one question is what are the laws regarding a minor carrying a knife around? Obviously can't do it on school property but for other occasions it helps to have one handy for general utility purposes in addition to defensive situations. Knives, even small ones, can be very effective in combat even in the hands of an unskilled user, much to the surprise of many martial artists who decide to do "red marker" tests to test their knife defenses. More importantly is the visual cue. If you can't get away, showing a sign that you won't be an easy target can send a bully running, especially since of the "eww yuck" factor that even people trained in fighting have at the thought of a knife attack. Martial arts training is definately recommended to build fitness, techniques that can be mixed in with armed combat, getting out of holds, and hopefully the calmness to assess the situation around you and keep a clear head while figuring out how to escape. A style more oriented with striking than grappling might be a better idea with multiple attackers in the picture.

Of course, if moving is a viable option that would probably be the best solution. Assuming they don't wind up somewhere worse.

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Old May 4, 2000, 11:32 AM   #14
G50AE
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glamdring, weight training when done properly and under supervision is NOT iffy for a 14 year old, or for that matter any over 10. The key is proper form and good coaching. Elington Darden a researcher who works with Arthur Jones, the inventer of Nautilus, has pleny of documention on this subject.
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Old May 4, 2000, 01:26 PM   #15
Glamdring
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G50AE: My concern with children weight lifting is that they might damage the growth "plate" of one of their long bones, because they used too much weight or because they used to much speed with a weight.

And while a 60 to 70% maximal weight (or less) workout might be safe I don't think 10 to 21 year old males would stick to that limit. I still remember how hard I and others in the gym pushed ourselves in college.

I can see how form would protect joints and soft tissue but not how it would protect bones?

If you have some references I would welcome an email listing them...it has been 5 or so years since I have done any real osteobiology.
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Old May 5, 2000, 01:38 AM   #16
zot
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My son was attacked by 2 bullies on the playground...he,s 13...other kids a year older. The first kid put my son in a chokehold from behind while the other kicked him in the back, my son flipped the chokeholder aand hit him in the throat...open handed...then got up and kicked into second kids leg aand rightcrossed him...the kid limped away. the cops gave my kid a ticket for disorderly conduct...said he should run away...not fight. My son said if I'd a run I be running from them every day. Juvenial court said these kids have a history of being dumbass bullies...my son has a history of B honor roll and no previous fights...I taught my kid to disable eyes throat etc...but not to kill. But with 5 bullies I'd say RUN LIKE HELL!!! Any more than one is trouble...5 could be whatever???RUN LIKE THE WIND GRASSHOPPER!!
Do you hear the grasshopper at your feet?
zot
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Old May 5, 2000, 01:50 PM   #17
tonyz
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I did but the 9mm slug Made him very quite!

I am not sure of the laws but what about mace, taser's, or stun guns?

Tony Z

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Old May 5, 2000, 03:18 PM   #18
G50AE
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It is a myth the weight training stunts your growth. The only type of growth that gets stunted is the growth of fat. If you want to be a fat slob, don't lift weights.
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Old May 5, 2000, 03:49 PM   #19
Glamdring
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by zot:
My son was attacked by 2 bullies on the playground...he,s 13...other kids a year older. The first kid put my son in a chokehold from behind while the other kicked him in the back, my son flipped the chokeholder aand hit him in the throat...open handed...then got up and kicked into second kids leg aand rightcrossed him...the kid limped away. the cops gave my kid a ticket for disorderly conduct...said he should run away...not fight. My son said if I'd a run I be running from them every day. Juvenial court said these kids have a history of being dumbass bullies...my son has a history of B honor roll and no previous fights...I taught my kid to disable eyes throat etc...but not to kill. [/quote]

So how did that end up? A co worker's 1st grade daughter was chased and grabbed by a 3rd grader and then knee smashed severly enough that she had to be taken to ER. The 3rd grader has a history of course, so he loses his recess for awhile. And if he does anything else he will be out (yeah sure).
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Old May 5, 2000, 08:58 PM   #20
Simon Yu
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tonyz: Have you ever read the results of stun gun tests? A few people at bladeforums have done tests on themselves where they applied a stun gun to themselves (in areas recommended by the manuals that come with them) and have not felt any effects other than perhaps an intial surprise at the jolt and then some minor pain. One tested how having a stun gun against them would affect handgun accuracy (keeping in mind that at that range you wouldn't even need to be TOO accurate) and was still able to get several shots into the "kill zone" of a target while zapping himself with his non-gun wielding hand.

Comments by people who have used tasers and stunguns have reported a wide variety of reactions ranging from targets not being affected or dropping to the ground. The shock seems to work if you think that it will or get caught by surprise. Remember that Rodney King still managed to keep resisting after taking a few taser hits.

Disturbing that people still buy the things and the makers keep selling them claiming that they'll work . . .

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Old May 5, 2000, 09:18 PM   #21
zot
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Glamdring,my son is now on a list that if he
defends himself again he might be charged
with assault,no the 2 kids weren't expelled
or susspended, just warned again,the principal was on my sons side because he isn't a bully his grades and actions in class
show he's doing well,the principal told my
son he'd have done the same but its not
allowed,alot of police who CAN't really
enforce the law on minors is a waiste of time
kids fight and bullies will allways be,so I
told my son to watch his back and fight if
all else fails,but try to walk away and words
can't hurt so ignore them,he has no more
trouble with the 2 since and let off with a
warning
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Old May 5, 2000, 09:33 PM   #22
ctdonath
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Have you ever read the results of stun gun tests?

Been on the receiving end of 30,000 volts. Felt like a bee sting. Proceeded to empty a magazine into a target.

To make a stun gun actually work, you have to apply the durn thing to the recipient for several seconds. Nobody is going to let you apply that pain for any extended period. The only fast-working application is to the spine, which has a good chance of killing the guy.
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Old May 6, 2000, 05:22 PM   #23
Glamdring
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by zot:
Glamdring,my son is now on a list that if he
defends himself again he might be charged
with assault,no the 2 kids weren't expelled
or susspended, just warned again,the principal was on my sons side because he isn't a bully his grades and actions in class
show he's doing well,the principal told my
son he'd have done the same but its not
allowed,alot of police who CAN't really
enforce the law on minors is a waiste of time
kids fight and bullies will allways be,so I
told my son to watch his back and fight if
all else fails,but try to walk away and words
can't hurt so ignore them,he has no more
trouble with the 2 since and let off with a
warning
[/quote]

I agree bullies will always exist. I commend both you and your son on the prep for this type of problem. And his restraint on not using permanent means.

Interesting to note that self defense isn't allowed. And the school assumes no liability for your son's injuries? While he is at school they are guardians or wards [not speaking legally but THEY are responsible for his well being and etc]. I have wondered why some parent doesn't try "child endangerment" or "child abuse" law suit against schools that let this stuff occur.

I would suggest documenting this incident in case another one happens.

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Old May 8, 2000, 05:43 AM   #24
George Hill
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Training in martial arts is the best thing he could do...
Giving the kid a weapon is out of the question.
Education is the key - and that means training.
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Old May 9, 2000, 01:06 PM   #25
Simon Yu
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George Hill, I would dispute that. Every kid is different and some can be trusted to handle weapons. I've seen plenty of kids ages 8 to 12 handle staves and swords (albeit lighter and shorter versions) in various martial arts classes without doing reckless things. If there's a significant difference in weight and strength, then unarmed martial arts can quickly lose their effectiveness. We're talking about a 14 year old after all. Isn't this the same reason many of us try to encourage women to get firearms? Since we're dealing with a kid in the middle of adolescent development so the weight and strength are likely to be similar to that of an adult woman. While I do admire and enjoy unarmed martial arts styles I also keep in mind that there was a reason that various weapons were adopted into them, a fact that many modern day practioners sadly seem to forget.

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