Singapore Tai Chi Chuan


Imagine you are caught in a dangerous situation. How would you react?

In hindsight its always easy to analyse the situation and give stock answers. But seriously, despite the claims of being able to teach self defence, can one really learn to defend against the unpredictable?

Consider a situation where you are driving a transport vehicle, maybe a bus, and you knock a person down accidentally whilst you were in a remote village. You get down to see what happened. The closed community didn’t like what you did and promptly tried to set upon you.

You fled into the cover of the bus with the body still under the bus. You thought you are safe but then the villagers had gathered. They started shouting and scolding. They even tried to rock the bus, maybe try to topple it. When that didn’t succeed they started throwing things including heavy objects that could seriously cause a world of hurt. Along the way they even tried to set fire to the bus.

What should you do whilst the above was happening? Do you try to drive off? Do you try to call the police? Do you try to reason with the mob? Do you just hide between the seats to avoid the missiles being thrown at your vehicle? What do you do to survive, knowing that if help does not arrive soon your chances of being visited by bodily harm increases by the minute? What would your martial arts training tell you to do?

It sounds like I made up the above scenario but I based it on what I read of the interview of the bus driver who was in the Little India riot.

In his case he did not drive off but took cover in the bus. He tried to call his boss for help but the boss was in the shower and did not answer. He then tried to call his supervisor but the supervisor too did not answer. Finally, he called his daughter and asked her to call the police. Thankfully he was not hurt.

I wonder what would have happened if he had not been able to get hold of his daughter. Why didn’t he call the police the first time? Why didn’t he try to drive away even earlier? Yes, I know that its an offence to leave the scene but if one’s safety were threatened by no less than a mob would this justify doing so? Keep in mind that not only the driver was in the bus but his lady coordinator was also hiding with him.

I won’t know what I would do. Its impossible to tell until I am in the same shoes. This is why I am never in favor of teaching self defence. You can’t train for the unpredictable. You can only keep your wits with you and trust that your mind will flow and you will react in a way that will minimize the harm coming at you.


Author: ZenMindSword

Mushin is a practitioner, researcher and trainer for Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. He is also author of The Ip Man Koans, The Ip Man Questions and TaijiKinesis series of eBooks, as well as co-author of Complete Wing Chun.

Comments are closed.