You never know when life will throw you a curveball: when something will pop up that you may never have considered dealing with.
That’s why preparing for as many common cases is so important: you want to have the upper hand when the time comes.
One elderly veteran strolling along on Raglan Street in Kentish Town encountered something he probably wasn’t expecting.
As he walked, he saw a young woman being attacked by thugs. Five of them, to be exact.
There was no way she was going to be able to fend off her attackers. They were wielding knives and going after her purse.
It wasn’t even much of a decision for 88-year-old John Nixon to approach the fray. Besides, he was used to this sort of thing. He’d trained for it and made a career out of being in tricky situations.
Nixon boasts extensive military training. He was part of an elite special forces unit, and went on intelligence missions to Germany, the Middle East, and Egypt. He also fought in the Korean War.
“My initial thoughts were to divert their attention away from the girl who was screaming,” he later told reporters. “I shouted ‘leave her alone.'”
Not so easily thwarted, the attackers turned their attention to this new target, demanding the same thing they were trying to take from their initial target.
“But they turned on me, saying ‘We’ll take your money instead’ and I said ‘No you don’t’. Kids this age are full of bravado, you see, they weren’t expecting a surprise.”
But who would have expected an 88-year-old man to suddenly pull out the moves? Nixon was unusually spry and had seen combat in his day: he used his experience to put an end to these assailants’ deeds. He managed to land a karate chop on one thug’s neck and sent him reeling.
“I disabled one but another pulled out a knife so I had to try and deal with him too,” he said. “I tried to disarm him and in the process I got stab wounds here, there and everywhere.
“There was a lot of blood. He wasn’t trained and it was more of a pocket knife. Luckily my wounds were shallow.”
These kinds of situations are just another day for Nixon. “I’ve been shot in the leg and even bitten by a snake, the venom lay dormant in my spine for years,” he said.
He related that he’d been near death so many times in his life that it simply no longer concerned him. “Fear is not in my vocabulary,” he said.
The woman managed to run away when Nixon engaged the attackers, and since he never got to check in with her he hopes she is doing well.
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