Zero Plus 342
Terror Backfires On Terrorist
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, August 20--Murphy's Law says: "If something can go wrong,
it will." Well, that was the case for a car hijacker the other
day. He picked the wrong car to hijack. It just wasn't
I caught part of it on television, and the
rest in the paper. It seems Tyrone Jermaine Hogan of Los
Angeles had a bad hair day. The 20-year-old earlier hijacked a
car, pulling out the owner's husband and holding his wife prisoner as he
escaped. Then he shoved her out as the moving car and decided to
ditch it for another.
He spotted a mini-van at the gas station.
He made a bad choice. The van was full of members of a Florida judo
club that had just finished teaching a self-defense class.. They
were on their way to the airport to return home.
"The boys are punching him in the face and I
wanted to go around for a choke, to choke him out, but I didn't want to
risk getting punched in the head, so I started pounding him from the
back," said Christina Baldacci, a Florida International University judo
Christina was a slim, pigtailed young woman who
could pass as a frail teenager. On television she was
animated, beaming, telling the on-the-spot news reporter how she tried to
wrestle the hijacker from behind, and when he started elbowing her,
pummeled him with karate chops, kicks and a fury that only a
well-trained woman combatant can deliver a man trying to steal from her
Christina wasn't alone
A herd of Florida martial arts youths fell
to her assistance. In the scuffle a gas pump broke loose and doused
Hogan was battered and bruised when the police
Thinking he could use Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency to make his victims cower to his demands, he erred terribly.
Instead of Terrorizing them, he pushed their
Sentinel of Vigilance buttons. The 911 alarm went off in the kids.
Instead of running from the face of Fear, they fought back, kicking,
hitting, chopping as they had been trained.
Courage, Conviction and Right Action ruled their
beings. They became Shields of Vigilance, warding off the
Terrorism, and bringing to the Terrorist, the Terror of Fear, Intimidation
What caught my eye more than anything was
the look on the young girl's face as she told her part of the story about
how their group foiled the alleged car-napper. She was almost
jumping with joy as she related her fearlessness in attacking the
"I didn't want to risk getting
punched in the head, so I starting hitting him from behind."
Her comment struck me.
Martial arts is all about training the mind to think through events at a
rapid rate, to anticipate the opponents moves and to attack the weaknesses
not the strengths of another's assault.
Most people in a Terrorist situation tend to think only one
way--survival. That plays to the Terrorists hand, for his
great tools are Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. Complacency in
Terrorism is that feeling of helplessness when one doesn't know what to
do, or feels incapable of dealing with the threat of the situation.
An example is someone pointing a gun or a knife at you, or holding someone
you love a hostage, or, in the case of current times, wondering if the
Osama bin Laden group will attack next with chemicals or bombs, and that
feeling of utter helplessness if they do.
But martial arts teaches a person to
be offensive rather than defensive in his or her thinking about any
threatening situation. There is always a counter, always
a way to turn the tables.
The Christina Baldacci used the best
strategy at her disposal to thwart the carjacker. She became a wasp,
stinging and landing unexpected blows in a flurry of Vigilance that ended
up with the kidnapper being arrested on a host of charges.
And, she wasn't alone.
Her buddies, a group of Youths of Vigilance, were there to help her--all
equally trained in the art of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions.
All aware of how to control and manage their Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency. Suddenly, Terrorism became Terrorized by
I cite this story and its importance
because America needs to take a lesson from the Judo Youths of Vigilance.
As citizens, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts,
cousins and loved ones, we owe it to our children and all children to be
ready to go face-to-face with Terrorism. None of us can afford
to feel Complacent when something attacks us, threatens our welfare, or
holds us hostage to Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
As the one-year anniversary of September 11
approaches, the question for all of us should be: "What have I done
to become more Vigilant in my thinking and actions regarding Terrorism?"
If the answer is
"nothing," then perhaps we all ought to take a lesson from the Youths of
I'm a big fan of martial arts.
I believe every man, woman and child should
undergo its training. It is not about violence. It is about
Any study of martial arts is the study of how to
replace Fear with Courage, Intimidation with Conviction, and Complacency
with Right Actions.
It is about how one thinks. It
strengthens the muscles of the mind, the ones that atrophy to states of
helplessness and victimization because one doesn't think he or she can do
anything to protect themselves against the threats of others.
As a result of Complacency, we sit back and
let our government take full responsibility for our security, knowing that
a Terrorist could be anyone. It could be someone in our
neighborhood, planning to snatch a child. It could be a
relative who is a child molester no one knows about. It could
be someone at work plotting and planning to make you look bad to get your
job. It could be the drunk driver who doesn't see the red
light or stop sign as you're crossing the street. It could be
yourself when you look in the mirror and see a loser, and begin to feel
your self-worth is like Jell-O on a hot day. It could be the abuse
you put up with because you feel you can't live without the abuser, that
you are a nobody, that no one loves you, that you are worthless.
Terrorism comes in all sizes and
shapes. It isn't the privy of an Osama bin Laden or a
carjacker. It is both Emotional and Physical in nature.
It is created always in our minds, regardless of what threatens us
One person can look down the
barrel of a gun and have no Fear at all of the person holding it, because
he or she knows how to disarm that person, knows how to use his or her
Vigilance to take control of the most seemingly frightening situation.
While, at the same time, another looking down that same barrel, might
begin to shake and shudder, crumbling to their knees, begging for their
Conversely, the same two people looking in
the mirror might also see the barrel of a gun. They might see
themselves as a person unworthy, victimized, a tragic hero who has no way
out of his or her dung pile.
A non-Vigilant person will accept that feeling,
will shy from
looking themselves in the mirror and taking responsibility for their lives
and their future, will lay the burden of their future at the feet of
others, enslaving themselves to their "lot in life," or wallowing in the
quagmire of their disrespect for themselves, masked by the victimization
of being a victim. They perpetuate their own demise as human being,
and lash out at others, accusing them as the cause of their pain and
anguish. They look for reasons to continue to wear the "loser
label," and are quick to find them for all they see and know is how to
hurt themselves and others in retaliation of the hurt they have felt by
looking at the pain and sorrow of their lives.
A Vigilant person looking in the same
mirror might also see a vision of themselves as a victim--not pretty
enough, not rich enough, not loved enough, not happy enough, not tall
enough, not smart enough, too fat, too thin, unpopular, victimized by
life. These are not unnatural thoughts. Everyone
has them. They are part of human nature. They are
called "self doubts."
The most courageous of all heroes
will speak in length about Fear. Not about embracing it, but
about overcoming it. About how he or she turned the fuel of
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into Action. All heroes use
Fear to drive themselves through its wall, to burst through it to the
other side where Victory of the Self awaits.
The young woman who attacked the car-napper
used her Fear in a Vigilant way. She attacked it rather than
letting its weight crush her into Complacency.
Martial arts training will help everyone
reconstruct their thinking toward the art of Vigilance. It can
be a family tool. Mothers, Dads and all the kids can participate.
It is especially good for young children to help them learn to control and
manage their emotions, rather than to be ruled by them.
And, it teaches respect.
The idea of "power over another" is not the goal
of martial arts. The goal is to "restrain the power of abuse,"
to only use one's power to defend, and to signal to whomever might attempt
to Terrorize that he or she will fail if they do. Ultimately,
the ability to use such power is designed to "never use it," because the
power one carries will neutralize those who may want to prey on the
I believe that Terrorists who know they can't
make others Fearful, or Intimidate them, or drive them into states of
Complacency, run the other way. Their venom doesn't work when they
try and inject it into the Veins of Vigilance.
One of the great advantages of martial arts
occurs when each opponent bows to one another before "combat."
It is a signal of respect between the two, an appreciation of life, and a
tribute to peace. A mother who presses her palms together and
bows to her daughter or son, and whose daughter or son does the same, cuts
through the barriers of child-adult. In that instant they
become one, equals, not only to themselves, but to all human beings.
The same applies when a father bows before his
children, and they to him, before practicing the martial arts'
disciplines. The training the family participates is far more
than just a "sport," it becomes a bridge to gap the barriers between young
and old. It creates a sense of trust between members of the family
that they are equals as human beings, peeling away the Fears,
Intimidations and Complacencies that can polarize a family.
It also fertilizes the Courage, Conviction
and ability of each individual to take the Right Action--regardless of
A five- or six-year-old can learn to
overcome Fears just as a 60-year-old can, but in the case of the younger
individual, the impact is far greater. Self confidence or the lack
of it starts at birth. The world is a pressure cooker.
Each of us need to defend ourselves against the onslaught of both expected
and unexpected Terrorisms.
A child who learns martial arts is being
taught to look in the mirror with pride and dignity, and to learn to
counter Terrorism both of Physical and Emotional form. An
adult can learn to reconstruct his or her self-image. But when
the entire family becomes part of the training, a mass transformation
takes place. All equalize. Doors open to each
other that may have been shut by the idea that common goals didn't exist.
Terrorists wouldn't like families taking
martial arts. It would remind them that weakness has been replaced
by strength, that Courage was standing at the family's doorstep and Fear
better find a more vulnerable family.
There are many ways to battle Terrorism.
The last way is to wait for our government to let us all know the Homeland
Security Department is finally reorganized, and we are "safe."
That's kind of like Samuel Beckett's play, "Waiting for Godot."
No one can afford to wait to protect the children, or the children's
That would be Complacent.
Start protecting your family and loved ones
today. Take the Pledge of Vigilance, and sign up your family for
some martial arts training, or give your loved ones a gift certificate to
try it out.
The only loser will be Terrorism.
Ask the Youths of Vigilance.
Especially the young woman in pigtails.
To Aug 19--Global Father Of Vigilance Won't Give Up
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