Krav Maga Leeds instructor Mike gives a first-hand account of being mugged.
“I don’t remember the specific point that it happened but the mood became darker.”
I have been mugged 3 times in my life. Only once in my adult life but I thought I would share all of my experiences, in the Krav Maga Leeds blogs. I will share them in separate blogs, plus what I learnt from them and also add in a little of what I know now through my training and experience as a little food for thought..
Krav Maga Leeds Blog: Mugged 1998 – 13 years old, mugged in the city centre
This may seem trivial but I learnt a lot of lessons from being mugged as a young Teen.
On a shopping trip with my best friend at the time, we chose our usual seats on the number 56 bus, the top deck seats right at the very front. Having a good view of the journey made the trip go more quickly (and we always used to love seeing the huuuge Rottweilers kept in the yard at the bottom of Chestnut Avenue).
Krav Maga Leeds: Mistake Number 1
About halfway through our journey, we noticed 2 lads a few years older than us had sat behind us. They engaged us in seemingly friendly conversation and cracked a few jokes with us, asked us where we were going and what we were doing. Being naïve teens and having a laugh with older lads we told them the truth, we were on our own coming into town to do some shopping.
Krav Maga Leeds: Mistake Number 2
I don’t remember the specific point that it happened but the mood became darker, the jokes stopped being “with us” and were instead “at us”. At one point I made a witty retort and was given a ringing slap around the back of the head for my troubles.
Krav Maga Leeds: Mistake Number 3
We were stuck on the bus with these clowns until it reached town and, unsurprisingly, when we went to get off the bus, so did they.
Krav Maga Leeds: Mistake 4
They marched with us through town, first through the St John’s centre, then down Briggate and through the old Arcade towards the Corn Exchange. At various points one of them would make a demand or throw an insult and any refusal or reply was met with a punch or kick.
Krav Maga Leeds: Mistake 5
At some point they split me and my friend up, and when it was just me and the one other guy, I felt a lot less threatened and when we found ourselves in a crowd I tried to lose him and get away. He was furious, he ran after me and started slapping and pushing me, trying to goad me into fighting him. I was terrified, all I could think of to do was shout “LEAVE ME ALONE” as loudly as I could. I am lucky in that a few people in the crowd stepped forward to get him away from me and make him leave.
Krav Maga Leeds: Mistake 6
In the end the lads got away with a few quid from either of us and we both had a few bruises to show for it, but we were both wiser from the experience and here’s what I learnt.
Mistake #1 – Choosing to sit in a location on the bus where not only were we in full view to anyone looking for younger lads to mug, but we also had our backs to every single person on the upper deck. We hadn’t a clue what was going on or even who was getting on the bus. This all comes down to being aware of your surroundings. To this day, where possible, I sit behind the stairwell on the upper deck and sit sideways allowing me a full view of everyone on the bus and everyone getting on. Always know what is going on around you.
Mistake #2 – Giving away all the information I did. I told these guys that I wasn’t with an adult and that I was going shopping. I basically said “Hi, I’m alone, vulnerable and I’m carrying money, why not mug me?!”. If you don’t know someone who is asking you questions you are not obliged to answer. If you find yourself in this situation either leave, or tell them you’re meeting a group of friends nearby. Never let anyone think/know that you’re an easy target.
Mistake #3 – I riled up the aggressor, not only that but when I was struck I did nothing about it, no immediate aggressive response or anything. This is a big problem. In a more serious assault type scenario this could get you killed – no joke. By making him more aggressive and angry towards me then not responding when attacked, I invited more attacks onto myself, easy to see how if I were being seriously physically attacked and not responding how it could escalate to something far more dangerous. Never wind up your attacker and if you are attacked and cannot run you must fight back, immediately and aggressively.
Mistake #4 – Allowing myself to be moved from one place to another. Myself and my friend knew something wasn’t right, but instead of informing the bus driver or anyone else we allowed ourselves to be herded around the city centre. It seems so obvious now but you should NEVER LET SOMEONE MOVE YOU FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, the only reason somebody wants to move you is because they cannot do whatever they want to do to you if you stay put. Stay put at all costs.
Mistake #5 – Compliance. If somebody is threatening you to take something of yours, just give them it. Its not worth your life or a beating to keep hold of money. It may feel humiliating and shit to hand it over but its better than being severely hurt or dead. I have done Krav for over 6 years and I would still follow this rule.
Mistake #6 – Shouting for help was not a mistake, the reason I highlighted this was for the fact that I did not do it sooner. Please please please, if you find yourself in a threatening situation, even if you’re not certain, raise the alarm. If it’s a false alarm then being a little embarrassed is better than being hurt, raped or killed I think we’d all agree.
So those are the lessons from my first ever mugging! Next week I’ll publish the blog about my second experience with a mugging and what I learned.
If you think Mike and Krav Maga Leeds can help you then get in touch!