A few weeks ago I was, for the first time in my adult life, a victim of crime. Some low-life scum smashed my rear windscreen with a rock, tore the parcel shelf up and stole my (hidden from view) handbag from the boot/trunk of my car. I was fortunate in many ways. There was a low volume of cash in the handbag, nobody was hurt (I was away from the car for 10 minutes), and family nearby where able to come to the rescue and help me.
However, in the aftermath of events, when credit cards had been cancelled, the police informed, the window repaired, a new lock fitted to my house (the keys were in the handbag), a new driving license applied for and my ranting calmed down etc etc, then a number of, “what if,” scenarios came to mind.
Now for various reasons I think someone had seen me store my handbag in the boot/trunk of the car and had followed me to the remote parking spot. A few minutes after I left the car a drive past and confirmation that I was gone from it presented them with a chance to smash the window and make off with things of little monetary value but of great convenience value. So how determined were they to get that handbag?
What if some drugged up idiot had been determined to get that bag no matter what? What if they had followed me into the field I had gone into and instead of smashing my windows had smashed my head?
What if I had come back to the car when the crime was taking place? Would the person have panicked and responded violently? Or tried to just drive off? Or stopped and run away?
And from my point of view as a trainee martial artist, what would I have done if either of those above scenarios have happened?
One advantage our martial art training gives us is to help prevent us from freezing with fright when encountered with danger. While I find it unlikely I would have physically engaged with the low-life-scum I do like to think I would not have frozen in shock. Instead I would have found it within me to shout out, frighten them a little and (hopefully) deter events from escalating. Yes, at one level it would be good to think I could have gone in with metaphorical guns blazing (gun carrying is not normal in the UK), but perhaps training in a martial art has made me more aware of my own limitations. If this person was just lifting my bag out the car, probably best to shout and leave it at that. If he/she was attacking me with a rock then the game changes and I would have been forced to defend. If they had a mate with them? Different story again.
So despite running several, “what if,” scenarios in my head, the reality is that I just don’t know how I would have reacted. But it makes for interesting thinking.