Real Life Combat: You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing With

67 Year Old Vietnam Tom on right.

The video of this fight has gone viral (Language warning!), and Kuntawman has beat me to the punch and posted it with his commentary.

In short, a young guy and a 67 year old man exchange words. The old man gets up and moves. They continue to exchange words. The young guy gets up, approaches the old man, and throws a punch. At this point the old man stands up and delivers a barrage of punches, and the young guy is sprawled face down over a seat. He then gets up and staggers to the rear of the bus, streaming blood from his nose.

But rather than just be entertained by the video, and it is entertaining, we should look at it for lessons. One way to learn is to go onto a bus and get into as many fights as possible in order to see what works. I don’t think that’s very practical, especially if you consider that you’re bound to be on the losing end of things sooner or later. I prefer to learn from real life combat and study it for lessons.

Here are what I hope will be a couple of unique takes on the confrontation:

  1. Getting Up and Leaving Isn’t Easy. When the old man gets up to move, that is a submissive act. He leaves himself open to being called coward, and worse. “Look, that old geezer is scared! Look at him run!”

    If your friends were with you, would you be able to get up and walk? “Hey, I thought you were a real fighter, and a black belt, and Kim Duk Woo is the world’s best fighting style. And you’re backing down? Are you just talk?”

  2. Getting Up and Moving Is the Smartest Tactical Move. If the cops come, it is clear who the aggressor was, the young guy who got up and followed the old man. The old guy can point out that he tried to avoid a fight, and he’d be correct.

    Notice that the old man is near the exit, so he can escape if he needs to. If they are both in the middle of the bus, and the young guy pulls a knife, the old man is trapped in a confined area and facing a knife. By moving forward, if the young guy pulls a knife or a gun, or several of his buddies decide to join in, the old man is near the exit, and can leave.

    Also, if the old man has a weapon, whether a knife, pepper spray, or an impromptu weapon such as a rock in a sock or a handful of chili powder, he has time and distance to secretly access his weapon or to prepare one (Such as winding a belt around his fist).

  3. You Don’t Know Who You’re Fighting. The old man is not all there. There is video of him being tasered by the Oakland PD. In an interview he admits to carrying a knife. So if you think this old man is scared of a confrontation, you’re wrong.

    I am reminded of my former roommate who would get into fights. For his opponents, they were just boxing matches, but for Chris, it was a chance to release years of pent up anger. People were not fighting Chris as much as they were fighting his inner demons, and it usually went very badly for them.

    Be careful not to put people into “no threat” categories like “old man,” “old drunk,” “girl,” “preppie,” etc.

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2 Responses to “Real Life Combat: You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing With”

  1. I think President Theodore Roosevelt said it best: “Walk softly and carry a big stick”. The old man did engage in a little too much verbal provocation, if he had simply moved and kept quiet, the entire incident could have been avoided, perhaps. I still think that punk got what he deserved, and he grossly underestimated the old man’s resolve. He’s lucky that older man didn’t pull out a weapon, can you imagine the outcome? I thought it was especially funny that he was asking for someone to call an ambulance for his bloody nose. I’m sure the paramedics had a good laugh as well.

  2. What was really funny was when the girl doing the taping said “We got it on camera. We can sue.” That video is so damning to the young punk’s case.

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