It was about 2 weeks after graduating from my Intro to Multiple Assailants and Weapons with IMPACT Bay Area. I was coming home to my apartment at around 10:30 p.m. I pulled into my driveway when I noticed someone was parked in my parking space. No big deal, I thought, I’ll just park on the street. I looked around and there was no parking available, so I honked my horn hoping whoever was parked in my spot would come out and move their car. No one came out. I sat for a moment and decided that it must be a friend of my neighbor’s who lives in the apartment behind mine. He has friends visiting him all the time. So I walked back down the driveway towards his apartment door with my keys in my hand. A motion detector light came on as I approached the back of the building. As I came into the light, I noticed two dark figures coming out of the bushes at the back of the building. At first, I thought it was my neighbor and a friend, but as they became more visible, I could see they were wearing ski masks and both were carrying guns.

I stopped, and as I was taught in my classes, I went to zero. I felt my body completely collect itself as I put my hands out to show the assailants that I would cooperate. I kept thinking of my training and what I would do if they got close enough with their weapons. I was waiting for my opening. They told me to “Go in the house!” I told them in a clear, low voice that I did not live there. They told me again to “Go in the house!” They motioned me to go up the stairs to the door of my neighbor’s apartment. I did as they told me. When we got to the door, they told me to “Knock on the door.” I knocked on the door and my neighbor came to the door and looked out his window. He saw me standing there, and he started to open the door. As he did this, the guys started to rush into his apartment.

Here was my opening, and my mind and body said “GO.” Like my training taught me, I went with 100% commitment to stay alive. I ran past the muggers and down the stairs all the while remembering the statistics that I had learned in class, i.e. that 90% of people who get shot live. And that most people, in an adrenalized state, can not shoot and hit a moving target. I ran, dodging back and forth, back around the building and back towards my apartment. I could hear the attackers running behind me. As soon as I got into my apartment, I spun around to see the men running past the building and down the street. I ran to my phone and dialed 911. I was safe! My neighbor had managed to slam the door on the assailants preventing them from entering the building. We both escaped the situation unharmed.

I am so glad that class had taught me the importance of waiting for an opening and going with 100% commitment. I am not sure how I would have reacted to this situation before I took my classes, but I am positive that this training helped me to make the decisions I made that helped save my life.

Pamela James, Basics and Level II Graduate

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