Self-defense: 2 drugged guys trying to extort money

The self-defense scenario

In this article, I will describe a personal defense situation that happened to me (Kongling) walking on the sidewalk of an (apparently) not degraded residential area in England (a lot of years ago).

The background (in short):

  • My friends and I went to spend a study holiday in the south of England (on the coast, we were guests of a family)
  • We had prepared to go out and we were walking down to the city center (it was probably 6-7 p.m.)
  • At that time I was simply a Jeet Kune Do practitioner and a NLP beginner; the 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s project didn’t exist (not even in my thoughts, S.A.F.E. method included unfortunately, read S.A.F.E. method of 6 Dragons Kung Fu)

The situation that has triggered the criticality:

  • We were chatting and joking, when, along the avenue, in the distance, we see 2 boys
  • They were young but quite robust, one of them wielding a kind of stick (both were clearly under the influence of drugs)
  • As they advanced in our direction, they stopped passers-by to extort money from them
  • Their goal was not the money itself, it was more like a way of transgressing imposing themselves on the others
  • After a poor loot, the 2 had spotted us and started to advance ominously towards us
  • As he advanced, the boy with the blunt object was trying to scare us by striking the wall with unprecedented violence

A note by Master Kongling – It is important o stress that, the fact that he was trying to scare us is a symptom of insecurity and inexperience.

Trying to break down sequentially everything that happens next, let’s see what my (our) analysis of the situation has been. Needless to say that everything happens in a matter of seconds.

The application of the S.A.F.E. method


  • Already from the time of Jeet Kune Do I was (indirectly) educated to monitor the situation around me (read Avert dangers: the concept of constant attention)
  • Given the considerable distance at which we realized the potential threat, we were able to evaluate what to do
  • The first reaction was the surprise, we never expected such a meeting in a neighborhood like that
  • To have a martial preparation we were in 2 out of 3, so we decided to position ourselves frontally and leave behind our other friend (visibly scared)


  • At the time, our ability to express ourselves in English was not the best and this, combined with the fact that our interlocutors were under the influence of drugs, made it clear that the level of communication would remain primarily on a non-verbal plan
  • Taking advantage of the few notions of communication acquired, I gave an indication to my friends
  • I advised them to slightly close the eyes and to stare at them, in silence, motionless, to stand in front of them like impassive statues

A note by Master Kongling – At least 2 of us were able to be credible doing this, due to the fact that we had a full (but absolutely exaggerated) certainty of our fighting skills. None of us (myself included) could have thought of simulating that kind of security without really possessing it (for example, I didn’t yet know the anchoring technique, read Fighting and mind control: the anchors).


  • The idea of not going in their direction had not even touched our mind (and this is the biggest error)
  • Unconsciously (and stupidly), we didn’t want anyone to limit our freedom of action
  • We felt strong, ready to defend ourselves and the adrenaline was already loading our body

A note by Master Kongling – At that time we were very young and very irresponsible (more proud and aggressive rather than tactical and truly prepared for the fight): probably the possibility to change the path, given the great distance that separated us, was more than feasible but not having had a serious and complete education to real self-defense, the aspect linked to the prevention was completely unknown to us (read Best martial arts for self-defense).


  • When the 2 boys were a few meters away (and therefore able to “fully” understand our body language) they stopped
  • They had probably perceived a different kind of reaction than the other (scared) passers-by
  • Nevertheless, after watching us and exchanging a few words between them, they decided to face us
  • We stood watching for a few seconds, in silence (at that moment, the time seemed to have slowed down)

The final result

How the scenario has been solved:

  • The situation was this, we had the look of someone who is ready to attack and fight to the end
  • They were in the minority, poorly motivated and in a semi-confused state of mind
  • The first to break the silence was the smallest of the two (as to show the other that he was not afraid)
  • Although he brandished a blunt object, instead of asking us for the money the same way he did with the others (eg. “give me the money!”), with a whisper, he asked us “do you have money?”
  • Without ever taking my eyes off his eyes, I immediately answered in a clear, slow and decisive way, “no” (the adrenaline was sky high and it was very visible)
  • After a moment of hesitation, the boy began to beat the “stick” with violence on the ground (to the point of damaging it)
  • At that moment I was sure that the fight was about to begin
  • Instead, after that outburst, the 2 guys left, without saying a word
  • Keeping the situation under control, we left without hurry

Final notes

Some things to think about:

  • The first deterrent has been the level of determination that we have expressed but it has worked only because it was sincere (without preparation it is extremely difficult to simulate different mental states, especially under stress)
  • In addition to this, the fact of being numerically advantageous, young and strong also contributed to mine their already poor determination
  • In spite of everything, if our eyes had betrayed fear, things would have ended very differently and our arrogance could have put us in big trouble (especially so far from our home)
  • It is almost comical to think that those who are not prepared for self-defense prefer to face death rather than take 10 more steps (or renounce the pride)
  • If there is a lesson to learn from this report, it is that in self-defense there are only 2 weapons worthy to always have with us, the first is prevention (the capability to avoid the problems), the second is determination (the strength to be ready to do everything that is necessary)

A note by Master Kongling – Unfortunately very few courses and martial instructors give real weight and time to the development of mental abilities suitable for self-defense (read /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///), if things have been resolved in this way, in this case, it was only luck.

To conclude, I would like to list some realistic “alternative endings”:

  • They insist for the money – We would not have given it to them (even if a few coins would have been enough) and we would have had to face a street brawl in a hostile scenario, in their neighborhood (from which, for example, they could even have sprouted their friends as we have seen a lot of times in other circumstances)
  • They attack us – Probably in a 3vs2 we would have prevailed but not without suffering damages and if someone had called the police, we would have had to explain in a language that we did not master what had happened (against people born in that place, it just wouldn’t have been worth it)

A note by Master Kongling – The photo is not directly related to the real event but the city is the same and the scenarios very similar.

In the next article of this series, we will analyze other cases of personal defense (and not only) ended badly, so as to work not only on hypothetical situations but amalgamating theory and practice through a concrete basis of real events (if you want us to give priority to this kind of topics read Learn Kung Fu online: request a specific article).

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  • Have you ever experienced a robbery?

Author: Master Kongling

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