|Posted by Dan Hausel, Soke on August 22, 2015 at 5:00 PM|
A handicapped driver from Mesa, Arizona, was confronted by Road Rage last Thursday evening (August 20th) while driving to the Arizonal Hombu to take a karate lesson. More than 2.5 years ago, Dennis, a handicapped man, decided to try martial arts to help manage his physical fitness and pain. He had both knees replaced a few years ago, and undergoes pain management treatments for his back pain. He signed up for karate, kobudo, self-defense and samurai arts lessons from Hall-of-Fame instructor, Soke Hausel, and found that martial arts not only gave him confidence, but also helped him manage physical limitations. Now a brown belt, Dennis trains year round at the karate school.
Road Rage is all too common in the Phoenix valley of Arizona - it happens to individuals and even to families. And Road Rage almost took another victim last Thursday.
Dennis grew up in the slums of Mesa where he was assaulted by gang members growing up. By the time he reached manhood, he had been beaten, stabbed and shot. Now, nearly 60, his body has taken so much abuse he has serious pain problems and drives a car with a state-issued handicap sticker. But none of this has detered his interest in the traditional martial arts.
While driving to the Arizona Hombu Karate School last Thursday along Country Club Drive, Dennis was harassed by a driver who did not like the fact he was driving below the speed limit. In an instant of road rage, the other driver attempted to run Dennis off the road twice and then blocked his entry to an intersection and then jumped out of his car thinking he was going to have his way with a handicapped senior citizen. But the Road Rage driver was in for a major surprise!
His intended victim is "one of the toughest martial artists at the Arizona Hombu dojo", according to 16-time Hall-of-Fame Grandmaster Hausel. The grandmaster indicated that Dennis constantly practices shitai kori (body hardening) with anyone in the dojo who will hit him during self-defense training. Thus, when Dennis stepped out of his car to greet his attacker, he was wearing his karate uniform known as a gi, since he was on his way to the martial arts school. Dennis said to the Road Rage Driver, "Ok, I've had a bad day - so, tell me, what hospital would you like me to deliver you to?" The Road Rage driver took one look at Dennis, and hearing his comment, turned about face and ran back to his car and sped off.
Now this was a perfect defense. Both drivers were able to go home without injury and hopefully the Road Rage driver will think twice in the future.