The message below is from one of my greatest mentors in self-defense named Mark Gordon. Since he was a career Marine, my nickname for him is Marine Mark. This guy is one of the people who inspired me to start Girls Fight Back, and goes down in my book of one of the most amazing people on the planet. Anyways, he has taught extensive women’s self-defense, and last night it got personal. Here is his story.
This morning at 0700 my daughter Heather walked in from work. Last night was her first experience of working a late shift at the hotel she works at. At 0300 this morning a guy walked in with sunglasses and a what Heather described as a hair net the lunch ladies wear while serving food. She instinctively knew it was not going to be good.
He had his hand in his coat pocket and pointed it at Heather and demanded money. Heather (thinking he had a gun) gave him all the money $160.00. She was then able to hit the panic button…it didn’t work. The second employee was in his office doing an audit. The perp demanded Heather to go in the back room. He then fled the scene.
Heather was upset at herself because on the video you could see that he just put his hand in the pocket. She couldn’t tell. She said she didn’t get scared until after the incident. She said that when she was walking back toward the back room she was saying…fight HIM not his gun, take his eyes first. She told me that she remembered everything all at once. And that she was waiting for HIM.
Now, as I sit here and right this I am shaken up bit. No one wants their daughter to have to deal with that….ever! But, if I never teach another person anything about self defense, everything that I have taught was validated in a most personal way. She is 19, innocent, not a mean bone in her body but she was faced with a man who she thought had a gun, looked that bastard in the eye, did what she was instructed to do and was formulating a plan to take him out.
I love this story because it illustrates how having self-defense training keeps you calm and cool when others freak out. Heather had taken self-defense with her dad, and had experience fighting while under adrenal stress. She was able to calmly acknowledge that it was a bad scene, but not dwell on it. She had already moved on to her action plan.
As I told Marine Mark this morning, it reminded me of a recent interaction I had with a college professor. She was saying how amazing it must be to have my job, and to save people’s lives. But I told her, I don’t save lives. I teach people to save their own lives.
Remember that your personal safety begins and ends with you!