If you have any presence on Facebook, Twitter, the Internet or any other social networking, you can’t help but to have seen this latest viral video, of a school boy who finally snaps and fights back at his bullies.
In order to look at this video in a little more detail, I first have to express a few comments and assumptions.
We only get to see 40 seconds of this event, which means we can only surmise what has happened in the lead-up to this event both in the previous moments and in the days, weeks and months of torment that it has been reported young Casey has been subjected to.
We also only get a limited view of the scene, and so it’s difficult to appreciate what else is happening around the two who are the focus of the video. What support the younger, smaller bully has with him (clearly he has one person who’s helping to film the event) and towards the end of the video, a larger, older lad steps in to confront Casey, and actually starts to follow him as the video ends.
Finally, I also don’t feel comfortable using this video as a way of analysing how our victim could have applied better self defence techniques and better confrontation management strategies to protect himself against the abuse and the assault that he was subjected to. He was clearly feeling intimidated, clearly trying not to fight back and only defend himself and probably in quite a lot of emotion distress.
As a bullied child myself, being bullied all the way up to the age of 15, I can totally understand and relate to how Casey will have felt, both during, in the days, weeks, and months leading up to, and after this event.
We can only speculate that this won’t have been the first time Casey had been confronted in this way, especially for a younger and smaller boy to be doing the intimidating, it’s clear he would not have been doing this unless he thought he would get away with it and wouldn’t receive any retaliation.
Casey Heynes vs Bully by kleksiq
So, lets examine the footage without being critical of what either party have done.
Casey has his back to the wall. Not always a great place to be in terms of options to escape, but if he was faced with several members of a group, and we can assume our attacker isn’t alone here, then putting your back to the wall at least reduces the angles that you can be attacked.
Casey actually has his hands out in front of him, which is as we always recommend with Fence strategies, however, our attacker is still allowed to get close enough to grab hold and then punch.
This illustrates that when you are in a confrontation and you know it is aggressive, your Fence needs to be far more controlling and less passive if it is going to have any effect.
What this also shows me is just how, regardless of size, strength or ability, we can all adopt a victim and passive mindset when we allow feelings of intimidation and fear to take control. Again, this is no criticism of Casey, just a statement of how we should all understand that the most effective part of our self defence strategy starts with our mind-set, not our physical prowess.
After the first punch has landed, Casey then becomes more pro-active in stopping further assaults.
The point to note here is that Casey manages to block the next attempted right hook to his face, and some may use this as justification for using blocks as effective self defence. Unfortunately, whilst the block may have prevented further attacks, it did nothing to stop the assault from continuing. It did not remove the threat, nor did it improve the safety of the victim. Blocks don’t work when we are dealing with real self defence, at best, they merely reduce the damage you may receive at any moment in time, but will very rarely remove the threat. Attack is the best way to take control of a confrontation and fighting back is the only way to prevent further attack, when you have exhausted all other options such as escape, or verbal dissuasion, etc.
What happens next is a fantastic show of superior strength from Casey, who simply charges in, grabs our attacker, picks him up and slams him on the ground.
Whilst this may look quite violent and extreme, lets consider for a moment that Casey didn’t hit back, nor did he slam the attacker onto the low wall behind him or dump him on his head. These and many other options could have resulted in far worse injury for our attacker. Whether this was a conscious decision by Casey, displaying a cool presence of mind to choose a course of action that would stop the attacker without really hurting him, or whether this was pure luck during his instinctive reaction, we shall probably never know. Either way, our attacker here was very luck not to receive far worse injury.
Casey then steps back away and monitors the situation.
Something to be applauded and a lesson for anyone who teaches self defence with combinations that show the victim throwing an assailant to the ground and then finishing them off with blows or kicks to the head. The first bit is self defence, but the finishing blows can then become assault.
When I teach self defence I always talk about escaping at the earliest opportunity, so if the situation progressed to this stage, the defendant should have ran away the moment the aggressor was on the ground.
However, situations such as these can become complicated, especially when you know your attackers and may have to face them again on a daily basis. Sometimes, when you turn the tables such as this, you have to stand your ground and remain at the scene to back up your actions with lots of verbal and posturing to ensure anyone else thinking of taking the bullying helm, are deterred and left to ponder how it will feel if the same things happens to them.
What we see here though is the victim still being in a state of fear, adrenal dump and shock. He is focused on the attacker who is now climbing back to his wobbly feet, and not really paying much attention to the rest of his surroundings, including the taller lad who then steps forward to face him.
This, again, is a classic case of in-fight fear and adrenalin. Casey has not yet got to the stage where the fight is over, and so is still in a heightened state of awareness but has become target focused.
Fortunately another bystander pushes the taller lad back, but as we see, at the end of this video, the taller lad moves around her and follows Casey down the corridor.
When we have fights with people we know or in environments where we frequent or have no option to return to, such as school, places of work, streets near our homes, etc, fights such as this are never over just because this single altercation has ended.
What happens next is our victim (and I still call him the victim as he was the one being bullied to begin with), will now have massive post fight fear and adrenalin. The fear of what will happen next, the fear of comebacks and retaliation from the bully and his supporters and the fear of punishment from authorities. Often these fears, along with the pre-fight fears that lead up to these events, are far worse, far more damaging and far more personality destroying than the fear you experience during the fight. Often, when pushed to the limit, the body switches into autopilot and it just gets on with the task in hand, not leaving much time to consider the consequences, the dangers, the unknowns.
It’s only when we have time to stop and think that our minds can run away with us and start to create stories that will conjure far greater fears.
I think finally, this also shows how few people are prepared to step in and help in situations such as these. I wonder what our comments would have been if we’d only caught the tail end of this video with the much large lad picking up and throwing a smaller, younger boy. Thankfully we’ve seen more of the story, but we can also wonder if even what we’ve seen here is the full picture!!!
I congratulate Casey in turning this event around and I hope that everyone involved can move forwards, learn from this and lead better lives as a result.
I don’t think we should be watching this kind of thing for enjoyment, but I do think videos such as this are a source of education, not only for school children and teenage bullies, but for us all, as a parallel to more serious violence and self defence principles.
Thank you for reading
NB: I have now posted a follow-up to this blog, with some more analysis and feedback from recent comments - CLICK HERE to jump straight to the article http://al-peasland.blogspot.com/2011/03/casey-heynes-bullied-fights-back-part2.html
Stay Safe and Have Fun
Personal Safety Expert