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I just read recently in the newspaper about the sad story of a 34 year old father of twin daughters who was stabbed to death on their birthday.

The story told how the man celebrating his daughter’s birthday and giving out some party food to a homeless man when two youths ran past and stole it.

Allegedly the man shouted at them to ‘get lost’ and he would knock ‘them out’.

But they returned later mob handed looking for confrontation.

Apparently the man got involved once more and chased them into an alley where he emerged a little while later stabbed. He fell to the ground with 4 wounds and subsequently died from these.

Friends and family of the victim reported that he had been a hard-working family man who hated bullies. He is being hailed a hero.

This is another tragic story of knife crime and the consequences of it. A good man has lost his life and a family is left behind.

The perpetrator of the crime has been arrested. He is 16 years old.

Now as a father and Grandfather I am truly saddened by the story and my thoughts go out to his family.

In my professional role as a Self-Protection instructor, I can’t help but see the flaws in the actions that Mr. Gibbons decided to take and if only he had chosen different options, he would probably still be alive now.

I am not speaking as some self -righteous know it all ,God knows I have made many bad decisions in my 60 years on the planet but I have learnt through my training that strategy outweighs physical response 99% of the time.

Ego can be a killer.

When it comes to confrontation against gangs of youths these days you are in a no-win situation.

Threatening them just doesn’t wash. They don’t give a fuck about your age, gender or standing in the community.

They are not frightened. You touch them they will be running to the police with assault charges.

Also, you have to always suspect they are carrying weapons and that they are prepared to use them in defence or for Kudos amongst the pack.

The days of shouting a warning or flexing your biceps to scare off a kid are well and truly gone.

They hunt in packs and will come back to find you.

Threatening to ‘punch them out’ is not a sound thing to say in most circumstances. Yes, I understand it was done in the heat of the moment and the victim

thought he obviously could carry out the threat. But ultimately his actions played a tragic part in what transpired.

Unfortunately fronting these people is seen to them as confrontational and a challenge.

You have to be mega careful before you decide to do these things.

Nothing is black and white.

Back in my day if a policeman or adult caught you up to no good or loitering round one word from them would have you running home because back then there was something called respect which you had for authority and your elders.

Not anymore.

If you choose to fight these scum ( which by the way is not self- defence) they are not going to fight fair.

Chasing after a gang and going down an alleyway is not going to end well for you even if you think you are Bruce Lee reincarnated.

Multiple opponents armed with knives and having the intent to use them does not bode well even for the most seasoned of Martial artist.

Tactics and strategy usual win wars and the same can be said for Self - Protection.

Although this is a tough thing to do and I have learnt the hard way in the past if you allow your chimp brain to override your logical one it will hi-jack it and make you react emotionally which is never a good thing.

In the above situation yes what those kids done was rude and annoying taking that food but you need to let that shit go and go back to enjoying the party. It is likely they would have gone on their way.

The situation at that stage was certainly not life threatening from what I can gather.

Calling them out brought back trouble which needed some body to make a call to the police and let them sort it.

Chasing after these people is a direct act of willingness to engage in violence and again can’t be deemed as self defence however much the little shits needed a slap.

Having the physical skills to beat on these bastards doesn’t mean you win.

The physical skills of Self- defence should only be used when you feel your life or loved ones is under threat or you are actually under attack.

Otherwise, it is all about awareness, tactics and strategy, it is not about how strong, big or deadlier you believe you are.

You can have all the black belts in the world, be a UFC champion or the world’s strongest man. You make the wrong move tactically and you will pay the price.

If you find yourself in these situations of possible impending trouble you have to ask yourself does this situation warrant me possibly doing time or losing my life.

Most situations probably won’t.

Prisons are full of tough guys and graveyards full of heroes.

Be smart. Think hard before you react to impending trouble and hopefully you will be ok.

Keep safe and God bless.

Kevin .

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