My name is Josh Garvin. I’ve been a student at Urban Tactics Krav Maga for about a year now and I love every minute of it. Besides it being an enjoyable experience training with everyone at Urban Tactics, the exercises we do have provided me with valuable, life-saving skills.

I live in the West End with my partner and run my own poster advertising business called Silverfox Postering.  Besides training in Krav Maga, I practice Xing-yi Quan kung fu, sword fighting, wrestling and parkour and have been training (through Urban Tactics) to use firearms. I plan on taking stunt courses and further developing my skills with using firearms.

I’ve been in some dangerous situations in my life… I‘ve been in several street fights… been mugged twice and ended up chasing away my attackers… been beaten up by a gang of about a dozen people… been attacked by a person with a knife and disarmed that person unscathed… seen and disrupted fights on many occasions, including several group fights… and have thrown numerous people out of bars while working event and bar security. Basically, I’ve been threatened in all sorts of crazy ways and with all sorts of crazy things. All of these incidents are good reasons to train in Krav Maga.

On Sunday, November 17th, there was a stabbing on Granville street. I was there, and this is my account of what happened.

I was on Granville putting up posters when I heard the sounds of something similiar to a smack or a punch, followed by a woman crying out. Looking across the street, I saw a man throw a punch at another man outside of a nightclub. Within seconds, the fight had moved through a sectioned seating area, across the sidewalk and into the street where it went to the ground. As we learn in class at Urban Tactics, the ground is a terrible place to be in a street fight. The guy in the bottom position had a large commando-style knife (similar to what Rambo uses in the movies) and was stabbing the guy holding top position in the buttocks and around the kidneys. While calling the police, I ran across the street to assist. The entire time, I had clear awareness of everything around me, all of my thoughts accounting for my surroundings.

“Do these guys have friends? If so, are those friends also carrying knives? Who is close by? Where is the knife right now? What’s on the ground? Where am I putting my bike? Is my guard up?”

The man in top position managed to pin the assailant’s knife hand. Someone grabbed the knife, and I lost track of it in the fray. More questions: my training was engaged the entire time. The guy who got stabbed ran Southbound on Granville Street. The other man returned to the sectioned patio of the nightclub from which they had previously emerged, seating himself at one of the patio tables. All of this happened in less than a minute. Then, the police arrived.

Two officers arrived on the scene first. One of the witnesses was standing close to the knife and the first officer grabbed the witness, apparently mistaking him for the assailant. Noticing this, I called out to the police,

“That’s not him!”

I then pointed out the attacker, directing the second officer to the seated man who, on sight of the approaching officer, yelled out,

“I have been assaulted!”

At this point, as the officer approached the suspect, I had a concern that he was putting himself in an unsafe position. The officer had his hand on his firearm, but the firearm was still holstered and strapped in when he came to about six feet away from the suspect, while the knife in question had not actually been secured at this time. There is a 21-foot rule which stipulates that if the suspect had still carried a knife, he could have reached the officer before the officer would have had time to draw his own weapon. Furthermore, the suspect, at that time, had his hands concealed on his lap under the table at which he was seated.

Intent on locating the knife, I began repeatedly calling out,

“Where’s the knife?”

Raising his hands, one of the witnesses informed me that the knife was on the ground, kicking it toward me. An officer spotted the knife and the police were able to secure it. (During the fight, the knife had been taken away and held by one of the good samaritans from Saudi Arabia.)

Once the knife was secure, I became aware of the man who had been stabbed in his Southbound retreat down Granville Street, and directed another officer towards him so he could be provided with medical aid.

I then noticed an officer who had his hands down while questioning a witness and I had a concern for his safety. The witness, who appeared to be hostile, had one of his hands behind his back, and it’s possible he could have been reaching for something.

In Krav Maga we learn situational awareness and combat psychology. Combined with rigorous training, these practices condition us to respond safely and effectively to real life combat situations. When the incident with the stabbing occurred, I found myself naturally present and aware: I didn’t let my guard down for a second. I could see the entire situation objectively, allowing me to clearly distinguish and act on actions to keep myself and others out of danger. That experience has made me truly appreciative of everything we are learning and practicing in class. I am constantly encouraging people to come and train with Urban Tactics. Anyone can end up in a life threatening situation and the training we do could make a difference in saving your life, or the life of someone else.

Please remember that this story is my own account of what happened. I encourage anybody who is interested in further exploring the details of this event to do their own research and hear other accounts and points of view. Here’s a link to another article about the event: http://globalnews.ca/news/973671/good-samaritans-disarm-man-in-stabbing-incident-on-granville-street/

Written by: Josh Garvin / Edited by: Borhan J

 Josh Garvin is a Vancouver based musician, writer and artist. He runs his own advertising / poster disturbing business with his girlfriend Kristl.

Josh can be reached by his email: unicornicide@gmail.com