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Street Stories

Real life experiences on the street & in the dojo

Be Careful Who You Attack

By Christopher Caile

The old gray haired man walking along the street with his pension check in hand looked frail, an easy victum to a band of muggers.

Sixty seven years old, 187 pounds, and five foot eleven, George was not such an easy target. And did we mention he was a former amateur light-middle weight boxer title holder and an ex-Army unarmed combat trainer?

Guess who was surprised?

The attack happened on a street near his home in Byaliss of Edmunds, Suffolk, England. When the gang leader tried to mug him, Byaliss responded with a left hook hitting him on the jaw. The whole group then just ran.

Bayliss later commented that he didn’t think they were very tough and that he had faced more formidable opponents in the ring. According to a BBC news website account, he commented that they “picked on the wrong man.”

Bayliss’s quick encounter with the leader may have just saved him from more serious injury, if they had that intent in addition to robbery. It has often been observed that in group situations, removing the “head of the snake,” so to speak, will often end an attack. With the leader gone, followers become shocked, confused and intimidated and fear most often wins out over bravery. It is for this and similar reasons that in warfare leaders and senior officers are targeted.

On the other handd if you find yourself alone and unskilled (in self-defense or combat) on the street facing muggers who just want your money, it is best calmly and without resistance to give over what they want. After all, money can be replaced. You and your health may not be.

The final lesson is to be careful of your judgments. A person who looks frail might not be. If someone doesn’t look like he can fight or resist you might just be very, very wrong.

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About the Author:

Christopher Caile is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of He has been a student of the martial arts for over 43 years. He first started in judo. Then he added karate as a student of Phil Koeppel in 1959. Caile introduced karate to Finland in 1960 and then hitch-hiked eastward. In Japan (1961) he studied under Mas Oyama and later in the US became a Kyokushinkai Branch Chief. In 1976 he followed Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura when he formed Seido karate and is now a 6th degree black belt in that organization's honbu dojo. Other experience includes aikido, diato-ryu aikijujutsu, kenjutsu, kobudo, Shinto Muso-ryu jodo, kobudo, boxing and several Chinese fighting arts including Praying mantis, Pak Mei (White Eyebrow) and shuai chiao. He is also a student of Zen. A long-term student of one branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong, he is a personal disciple of the qi gong master and teacher of acupuncture Dr. Zaiwen Shen (M.D., Ph.D.) and is Vice-President of the DS International Chi Medicine Association. He holds an M.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington D.C. and has traveled extensively through South and Southeast Asia. He frequently returns to Japan and Okinawa to continue his studies in the martial arts, their history and tradition. In his professional life he has been a businessman, newspaper journalist, inventor and entrepreneur.

To find more articles of interest, search on one of these keywords:

Street fighting, attacks on the street, self defense

Read more articles by Christopher Caile

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