Movies are made of this...

I hadn't at all planned to write a blog tonight, in fact I'm supposed to be studying right about now but sometimes 140 characters on Twitter just aren't long enough + I felt compelled to share my thoughts on something I never expected to see happening right before my very eyes.

Today (on my way to the dentist of all places) I watched two security guards drag a rowdy, broad-shouldered, bald-headed thug off the Luas. Now this is what said security guards are supposed to do, it's what they're paid for and I'm happy for them to execute their power in a justified manner, but what I didn't expect was to watch an actual 'police takedown' happening right before my very eyes. This is stuff I expect to see in a good action movie, NCSI: Los Angeles, Law & Orders or a crappy late night documentary about spectacular American police stunts.

As it happened, said takedown happened less than twenty metres away from me and gave me a good fright. I generally don't go about my business expecting to see action movie worthy things to happen - they happen in my head or in my favourite Jackie Chan movie, but never in real life. Well I guess today I learned to's a strange world we live in!

I did say that I'm glad those security guards did their job and after initial difficulties they finally managed to restrain the rowdy thug by pushing him to the ground, wrestling his arms onto his back and twisting them (it must have hurt because said thug screamed) in a way that implied they were going handcuff him and escort him to the nearest police car. I don't know what caused the thug to lose it in the manner that he did and I don't know whether the security guards called for reinforcement (e.g. the GardaĆ­) but once the guards managed to restrain the thug, people around me started murmuring about the incident they'd just witnessed. Most seemed relived, others just wanted the Luas doors to close and the train to start moving again and another few (who are the reason / inspiration for the blog) moaned about the apparent incompetence of the security guards.

It's been years (more than 10, I believe) since I last did a takedown myself (in judo class...I don't have a secret double life as a special agent) and even when you follow your Judo Master's instructions one by one, it's not a 'piece of cake' to push your opponent to the ground and keep him or her there. Generally, when practising any material art or self defence you have the bonus that your opponent will actually stay on the ground once you have followed your Master's real life that usually isn't so. I can't say that I know anyone who will willingly allow somebody to push them to the ground and restrain them (unless they've a kink for that but that's an entirely different subject).

The moral of my little story you may wonder? Simple. No matter the amount of training you went through and the years of experience you may have, restraining somebody in a real life situation is unpredictable and will not be easy. I therefore do not believe that it is justified for someone who has next to no idea about executing a takedown to belittle a security guard's (or police officer's) attempt to restore peace and ensure safety. We all have voices and we are encouraged to use them but when said voices are used before consulting that tiny part of our brain that is responsible for 'think before you speak / act' I am downright disappointed in society.

I don't feel that I have the expertise to comment on how good or bad the takedown techniques of the security guards were (though in my eyes they were doing the best they could given the level of resistance they were receiving) but I do feel that I can safely say that it is just a little disappointing to witness such blatant disregard for someone who is indeed doing their job...a job that is not exactly a walk in the park. I can barely recount all the reports you hear of when police men aren't doing their job / do it wrong, etc. but when they are actually doing their job to help they get stick for it. It's a bit of a devil's circle to me and downright unfair to those who vow to protect their fellow men from violent attacks, robberies, drunks, rowdies and whatnot.

I hope I've given you a bit of food for thought and if you have anything to say, please do share your opinion, I'd love to hear it!