Hi everyone! Just thought I'd share with you my experience in self-defense just shortly after I started karate.
It was 1991, I was in 11th grade at Northside H.S. in Ft.Smith AR.
It started with me walking down the hall and accidentally bumping into a known 'gang member'. I apologized,but he wanted to fight. I said sorry and walked off with him still talking tough.
The next day my locker door was broken off the hinges and my leather jacket and tape player/tapes were missing.The 'gang leader' moron stopped me in the hall later,told me heard what happened and wanted to know what I was going to do about it.I told him the principal knew about it and walked off.Then even later I was shoved under the back stairwell and again challenged by several of the 'gang'.Noone hit me,they just got in my face and talked trash.These intimidation tactics went on for the next week or so.Then I saw one of the gang members wearing my jacket!!
I followed him outside and helped him out of it with the use of a good privacy fence surrounding the heat/cool system.Suddenly I was yanked off him by our very large vice principal.I explained the situation,but the guy said his mom bought him the jacket for christmas.Somehow he couldn't explain why my initials were on the inside cuffs and inside pocket,so he changed his story to "I found it in the gym".
The next day I was at my locker when I was shoved from behind.I turned around to face about 6-8 of these idiots.Two of them showed me weapons (knives and small gun).
They tried to force me through the doors leading outside next to the lockers,but I broke free and ran to my car.I drove straight to my dad's job and told him what happened.
The 'gang leader' idiot was still in prison the last I heard for extra curricular activities after he dropped out.One ended up being a rapist and I don't know about the rest.Hopefully they straightened up.
I think this experience taught me avoidance and awareness.Looking back there's alot of things I would do different,but I did pretty good for a 17yr old.
Thanks for reading my boring story! You may now comment on what you would have done,how lame it is,or whatever!

p.s. These guys weren't actualy an organized gang,they just labeled themselves that to appear dangerous.
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Skinny,Bald,and Handsome! Fightingarts Warrior of the year