mike gillette

Four veteran martial artists — Kelly McCann, Mike Janich, John Riddle and Mike Gillette — answer tough questions about how well a martial artist might fare against a terrorist.

Question 9: How is fighting a terrorist — a person who’s willing to give his life for a cause — different from fighting a mugger, a gangbanger or a rapist? Kelly McCann: Fighting a person who has already given up their life to their cause is significantly different from fighting anyone else. Criminals want to live to continue to do what they do or enjoy the reputation they create for themselves. The concept of martyrdom includes the death of the perpetrator, so it is different. There are crossovers — a criminal may not care if he goes to prison or even dies rather than be seen as having lost a fight — but there’s not a religious element [to most criminal acts]. When confronted by a terrorist, it would be unwise to think the incident will end up any other way than someone dying.

Kelly McCann photo by Robert Reiff

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