A couple of days ago, I saw a post floating around on Facebook about a gentleman who stopped a knife-wielding assailant. Not much was known about this non-caped hero except for the fact that the positioning he assumed in the picture that was being shared and re-shared looked very familiar to something you’d see in the jiu jitsu community.
I did a bit of superficial digging, and found that the gentleman in the picture, the jiu-jitsu hero, is Kev Taylor, a 35-year-old father of two living in Manchester UK. I reached out to Kev to discuss his harrowing experience and to learn a bit about him.
Kev, who has been training off and on for about five years at SBG Manchester under Karl Tanswell, is a BJJ blue belt.
“I began training primarily MMA with the pro team at SBG, but I broke my back in 2011 and had a cancer scare which turned out to be all good. I’ve literally been training BJJ only now for about a year and love it, can’t keep me out the gym. I went an hour after the incident happened, had a massive adrenaline dump though. I’ve always trained BJJ, but concentrated more on striking until this last year.”
The incident forced Kev to showcase the skills that he has been honing for the past several years.
“We arrived at Morrison’s after school just to grab some salad because my wife likes the salad bar selection. When we left I was putting the shopping in the car. I heard shouting from a woman screaming ‘I can’t believe you said that get away just **** off!’
I got in my car and carried on watching making sure they were OK as she had 2 small children as well. He came round a car, reached in his pants, and pulled a knife. My wife screamed, “Oh my God he’s got a knife!” but he was already getting close to them, so I jumped out the car and slid across the bonnet and looked at where the knife was. It was in his left hand I hit him with a straight right knocking him into a car and cupped his left hand tight. I then took his back and harnessed him. Grabbing his hand with my other hand, we struggled and he tried to turn towards me, but I had full control. The knife snapped, but only the handle fell on the floor. He still had the blade. I took him down and drove his knife hand underneath the car, put my right hand on his hip, then knee rode his face and put my other knee on his hip so I could control his other hand. I applied pressure until he dropped the knife and maintained control until the police arrived. That’s about it. I’m just really glad I had my BJJ training at SBG under Karl Tanswell and Matt Inman. They’ve been amazing over the years!”
For a while Kev worked as a door man (bouncer), and has had to use his skills on occasion.
In general I don’t [have to use jiu jitsu often] now because I’ve stopped to the door Manchester is getting quite bad and everyone’s carrying.
As for the biggest benefits he has gotten from training…
The ability to control and stay calm
Jiu-jitsu doesn’t make us knife or bulletproof. It doesn’t guarantee that we won’t get injured in an altercation. Kev did the right things in the right moments and was able to be a hero to a mother and her children. He also put himself in danger, but it was a calculated risk, and he came out victorious. With all the negativity in the world today, Kev’s courageous actions shed a positive light on jiu-jitsu and give us all an example to live up to. We at Jiu-Jitsu Times applaud Kev and wish him all the best!