This article is very hard for me to write. It concerns one of the two most terrifying moments in my life. That even now, some 9 years later, i still can feel the mental scars. Writing this, adrenaline is running through me, and i'm becoming very emotional. I've only told this event to my closest of friends, and my family. i've never used this in an advisory, teaching format specifically before, although my teaching is without a doubt based on such personal events. If in this, i come across in a way that seems out of character for a self defence Instructor, it's cause i'm just human. I'm not a hard man, i'm just a guy who has had some negative experiences, and wants to use them for something positive.

Around nine years ago i was at a party in a house. A guy who had left earlier came to the door. I answered and he said to me, "Run quick!". Immediately i saw a group of others come up behind him. We were immediately ushered into the house. I recoqnised some. One, or possibly two, had been convicted of murder some yeas earlier. Killing someone, whilst on drugs. I looked at them, with their bottles of alcohol, and wide-staring eyes. I could tell they were on drugs again. I thought to myself, here we fucking go again.

The tenant & myself were brought into the kitchen. We began to be interrogated, and beat up. I remember i kept looking at my friend, and then at kitchen equipment, though he never seemed to be ready to do anything. They eventually found out who i was. I have to explain something here. I never got along with the various terrorist factions in Northern Ireland who wished to try to tell others what to do, and whom to be friends with. I was pretty well known within the area, and once they found out who i was, they sought permission to escalate things. Once they recieved permission, i began to get beat up some more. I was panicking immenesly, very, very scared. It was beginning to get hard to think properly, hard to focus.

One guy pulled out a semi-automatic handgun. He was no more than two or three feet away. I thought to myself, 'I wasnt ready to die, not like this'. I grabbed the gun, and started struggling with the guy. Out of the corner of my eye i saw that my distraction had enabled my friend to run out another door. I remember feeling so abandoned looking at that empty doorway. There was no way i'd get to there. I don't blame him though. He done what he had to. And he did go get the police.

I wasn't being brave by grabbing that gun. It was the most terrifying thing ever. I wanted to live but. I'd a right to live. We moved into the living room, in front of all the other guests. I began to shout for someone to help me. One person stood up, but was immediately attacked and put down. It must have been sheer survival instinct, but i remember thinking i must try to do something to distract them. There was four of them, and only one of me. I began to scream for the police. Now, i knew that no-one was going to call the police, these people had a stranglehold on their areas. I hoped that maybe in their drug crazed state, this little distraction might somehow stall them. There's nothing else i could think of. The effect of my ploy was that they started beating me with bottles around the head. I can still hear them bouncing of me. This carried on for some minutes, at least, it seems it did. I was beat down until i went on one kneee. I remember thinking to myself, if i go down here, i won't ever get up again. I managed to get up, and by this time i was bent in toward the gunman, with him slightly over me. Suddenely the gun dropped to the floor. I picked it up and stuck it into his stomach. I tired as hard as i could to pull the trigger 8 or 9 times. I couldnt get it moved. I then tried to take the safety off, and coudn't find it on one side. When i started to fumble the other side i heard someone shout , "Run!". Looking behind me i could see i was between the attackers and the door! I dropped the gun and ran.

They chased after me, and outside i got hit on the head again. I stumbled, but manged to stay up. I thank god for that. If i had of went to the ground there, these psychopaths would have killed me in the street. I kept running, and rembered what i'd saw in movies, to keep zig-zagging if folks are trying to shoot you. I done that, and managed to get into town. By the time the police came (which was only minutes), i was crawling up the town centre, in my tracksuit bottoms only, covered in blood, vomiting, and going into shock.

After some hours, i leaft the hospital, and went to my fiancee's home. It was so comforting being there. My mum came very soon after, once she heard what had happended.

At this point in my life, i'd had some combat training. It was martial arts training however, and never equipped me to deal with this scenario. What saved me was my instincts, reflexes, and of course the person who alerted me to the open door. No-one can really advise another what to do in an attack. It really depends on things there & then. However, CPP advises that if it's a mugging, give them what they want. Dont escalate it into a seriosu assault or murder. If your life is in danger, or anothers, there is a right to live. Do whatever it takes to ensure survival.

We can see from my experience, there was of course a huge element of luck. We can also see that under high stres, it is very hard to think properly. What i done, was do anything that might stall the attackes from the main goal. even if that meant getting beat up with bottles, it was better that than them stopping my keeping the gun away from me. If you are put into a situation where you're health or life is in danger, you might experience fear. This is natural. It doesn't however mean you are weak or you are already beat. The adrenaline rush can make us freeze with fear, equally, it can also make us fight with reflexes faster than ever possible. If we understand that the shakey, energy like feeling runnign through us, isn't a weakness. It is our strength, that knowledge can greatly help. We all have a right to life, to safety. Give yourself something you can use to distract, whilst looking for the opening. Only a fraction of a second is all we may need sometimes. In a life-threatening situation, never give up, there is always hope. We have everything to gain.

Footnote: Northern Ireland has been under-going a fantastic transformation in recent times. There is a current of our population who are finding solidarity, and courage. We're decent people, who just have to work through some things. Together.

Stay Safe

copyright © wayne harrison 2010

Author's Bio: 

Personally trained by numerous noted martial artists, and trained to Senior Instructor level in another reality based system, Wayne's primary training is real world experience.

For thirteen years Wayne was a gang leader, heavily involved in crime in Northern Ireland. Having many life-threatening experiences, including numerous attacks by terrorist organisations, Wayne has first hand, real life knowledge of how criminals work, and of how terrorists operate on civilians.

Having paid his debts to society, Wayne began to slowly move away from that lifestyle. Embarking on an intense period of Hatha Yoga study, Wayne became a Yoga Teacher in 2001.

2005 saw Wayne learning Reiki level 1. Wayne became a Reiki Master in 2006. Having been mentored by one of the World's formost Reiki researchers, Wayne has founded a somewhat unique Reiki forum. He continues to daily give advice & support worldwide.

In 2010, Wayne became a Kuji-in teacher. Kuji-in is a spiritual practice uniting mudras (finger locks), mantras & visualization. An intensely profound spiritual experience.

Wayne is extremely passionate about assisting others acheive thier potential. His all encompassing system - Civilian Personal Protection, aims to stop people being victims of crime, to enable criminals to leave that path, and to create more health & happiness within oneself.