Real Life Combat: Choking a Terrorist

Hero Jason Schuringa

What Went Down

On Christmas day a terrorist on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit ignited an explosive device that he had concealed on his leg. Passenger Peter Smith described the muffled explosion as “a firecracker in a pillowcase.” “First there was a pop, and then (there) was smoke.”

There was a commotion and panic. The terrorist’s clothes were on fire, and passengers could see flames. Jason Schuringa bounded over seats to get to the terrorist and saw that he was holding a burning object in his hands. Jason pulled the burning object from the terrorist (burning his hands in the process) and yelled for water.

Accounts have Jason getting the bomber in either a headlock or a chokehold and dragging him to the first class section. Some accounts have other passengers helping Jason subdue the terrorist. At that point the terrorist was bound and searched for explosives.

Hero Todd Beamer

Lessons Learned

Learn to Choke Someone Out. Regardless of the type of martial art you do, and even if you don’t practice the martial arts at all, you should be able to apply a chokehold. The beauty of choking someone is that it doesn’t matter how doped up and impervious to pain he is, he still needs to breathe. Properly applied, a chokehold enables you to subdue someone without injury.

I have found a great article here that details the basics of choking.

We Have to Fight Back. Just three days before this attack I said:

How long is it before terrorism comes to America? …Let me suggest that it’s not enough to teach the martial arts, but that we as martial artists must advocate for a strong society that reacts to violence with overwhelming and disproportionate force. I think it’s time we started fighting back.”

The old platitudes about “Just give him your wallet,” “Don’t resist, it only makes things worse,” “Don’t resist, you’ll just enrage him,” “Don’t take things into your own hands,” “It’s a police matter,” “Let the police solve it,” and so on, are prescriptions for disaster.

Like Captain Gaffaney, Todd Beamer, and Jason Schuringa, you may find yourself defending not just your own life, but the lives of dozens or hundreds of others.

David Alan Basche as Todd Beamer

I agree wholeheartedly with this blogger:

” How long will it take Secretary Napolitano (at least) or President Obama (my preference) to visit [Jason Schuringa] in the hospital if these facts turn out to be true?  Passengers are the last and most effective line of defense in cases like this.  But the incentives to sit tight are still great.  We need to honor the heroes who react quickly to thwart attacks in the air.


2 Responses to “Real Life Combat: Choking a Terrorist”

  1. V.E.G. Says:

    There is much bigger hero than Todd Beamer: Samuel Keith Irick! Samuel Keith Irick, the distant cousin of a Moffat County saddle shop owner, Elbert Conway Irick, gave his (Samuel) life saving a mother of her children!

  2. There is a much bigger than Todd Beamer: Bruce Wilson Maloy! Maloy, a Irish-American hero gave his life saving many others! Best of all, Maloy is a direct descendant of the American Revolution and the veteran of the Confederacy of the Civil War. Another hero: Michael Lee Jones! He (Jones) saved William Vernon Husfelt, III!

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