Idriz Redzovic, who is a third-degree black belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, managed to take down an allegedly violent thief at a 7-Eleven store in Chicago last week, and while that’s pretty awesome, the real reason he’s getting so much attention at the moment is because he pulled out his cell phone and began doing a livestream while he pinned the suspect to the floor until the authorities arrived, according to a report from WFLD-TV.
Man, this is why I love martial arts. As a Machida Karate practitioner, myself, I can attest to the many, many benefits of learning a martial art, which go well beyond self-defense. It’s great for fitness. It’s fun. And you get to learn cool ways to beat up bad guys. There’s hardly a better use of your time.
Redzovic, who is the head honcho of the Supreme Academy of Jiu-Jitsu located in Lincoln Park, paid a visit to the 7-Eleven on Ashland and Lawrence to pick up a couple of Slurpees for his children Thursday night, the local station said.
However, according to a report from TheBlaze, the black belt, who has 22 years of self-defense training, noticed that a man was harassing folks outside of the store.
Then the report stated that the man also noticed Redzovic.
“He comes up to me and says, ‘What are you looking at?'” Redzovic recounted his story to the station. “In my training I tell people to take a step back, hands up, don’t engage unless you feel safe.”
This is absolutely what you need to do. Never just willy-nilly start a fight. You never know if the assailant has a gun, knife, or other weapon. Fighting, unless for self-defense — meaning you get attacked first — is never a good idea. It’s dangerous. All it takes is for a person to rush you, take you down, and bounce your head off the concrete and it could be lights out. Permanently.
Always back away and take a posture that makes it clear you aren’t interested in trading blows.
“Redzovic told WFLD he continued to watch the man, who soon made his way into the store and then appeared to attack an employee — a moment that was caught on surveillance video,” the report said.
And that was when Redzovic knew the time was right to strike. Martial arts and self-defense aren’t just about protecting yourself, but other innocent people as well. That ideal is woven deeply into the fabric of martial arts philosophy.
“Once I saw him actually connect and hit the employee in his head, I jumped in, grabbed him like I do in training here, put him down, flattened him like a pancake, and then I tied him up like a pretzel in a position called ‘Gift Wrap’ or ‘Twisting Arm Control,’” Redzovic said as he shared his story with the station.
It was at this point that Redzovic then took out his cell phone and livestreamed himself keeping the man subdued…for a whopping 18 minutes.
To say the other guy was not pleased with this arrangement would be an understatement.
“Come on, man,” the guy pleaded from his helpless position on the ground.
“No, I’m not letting you go,” Redzovic responded, according to a clip of the encounter. “You were harassing those girls, and then you swung at that 7-Eleven employee.”
“Arriving officers arrested 30-year-old Christopher Cruz and charged him with two misdemeanor counts of retail theft and battery, the station said,” TheBlaze reported.
“What’s more, police told WFLD that Cruz stole merchandise from the 7-Eleven earlier that day, and when Cruz returned, a 19-year-old employee told him to leave. Police said that’s when Cruz punched the employee — after which Redzovic made sure the suspect didn’t get away,” the report continued.
Redzovic then took some time at the end of the report to share with folks a very important truth. It’s much better to be proactive about learning how to defend yourself, than it is to be reactive.
“Sometimes people come to us after something happens to learn self-defense … why not learn it now?” he said during his interview with WFLD.
You can watch the video here.