Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up again. This is one of the better quotes from the Dark Knight Batman movies starring Christian Bale. This not only applies to life, but it also applies extremely well to the military and, of course, Krav Maga. In Krav Maga, if you fall you want to get up as quickly as possibly because we do not like the ground. However, sometimes in life we fall and the best thing to do is laugh about it and find a solution to improve the situation.
Recently we went out to teach one of our tactical shotgun courses. Unfortunately, due to the gun culture in Canada and the attitude of local ranges we have yet to create a partnership with any of them. However, so long as you are using non-restricted firearms, according to Canadian law, you can go out and shoot anywhere in the wilderness that is designated Crown Land (Federal Government). As such, we have our favourite spot to teach. This spot however, is a long drive into the middle of nowhere and really requires a suitable off-road vehicle. Luckily for us, Borhan has a Honda C-RV, albeit an old one but still reasonably capable off-road.
Normally when we do the course at least one other person has an off-road vehicle, however this time what we got was a Mini cooper and an older Toyota Corolla. We only had room for one extra person in the C-RV due to all the equipment, and the rest packed into the Corolla to make the slow trip (for them) up the dirt road filled with potholes and rocks.
I, Borhan, and a student led the way barreling across the road to get to our favourite spot before anyone else took it. Borhan enjoys off-roading as he was trained by the Canadian military to do so. Off-roading is where he can be free to drive without worry of hitting another vehicle or be hit by one…again. Due to the fact that the tires were worn, and the C-RV is old, Borhan decided to play it safe and stick to the side of the road with less potholes. However, what is off-roading without a little speed.
There we were, driving and minding our own business, when suddenly a vicious rock decided to jump in front of the car. “Good thing the army taught me how to drive off-road” he said, but before the period could be placed in the sentence the attack rock made its move. WIth a loud thunk and some poor timing, the next thing we know we are smack in the middle of a ditch in 2 feet of mud. Oh the irony, it’s a good thing the army taught him how to drive! The comic timing was far too perfect, something like the Kodak moments of the 90s that we only wish we could have had on film, lest no one believe us that he actually said it 2 seconds before we were attacked and pushed into the ditch by the devious rock!
At this point we were tilted at an angle in the ditch. Carefully I opened the door, getting out only to sink in the 2 foot deep mud puddle. Making it back to the safety of the road I managed to take this picture of Borhan getting out of the vehicle before Borhan got his revenge on the rock and threw it into the woods.
We had to wait about 10 minutes for the overloaded off-roading Corolla to show up with help to see if we could come up with solutions. Those in the Corolla looked at the vehicle ominously. However, I had seen enough IDF Hummers stuck in sand and ditches to know when a stranded vehicle could be pulled out to safety. My original thought was to use all 6 of us to pull the car out but alas, we had no ropes. Although I suspect even if we did have ropes nobody would have wanted to. I know we could have, as I remember a time in the army when a car had parked in front of our bus. About 7 of us got out and physically lifted the car out of the way. But, being the only one with this experience the others were doubtful.
Then it was suggested we find someone with a truck to pull us out. This area is full of rednecks and trucks so we knew it wouldn’t be too hard. The off-roading Toyota which was faring far better than the Honda in the ditch left on its mission. In the meantime about 3 SUVs passed us without a care in the world. How times have changed.
We began to unload the car to make it easier to deal with when help finally came. As well, we began to find lumber and branches to create a ramp under the right front tire to give it some traction in the mud. Though we did not have rope we took a small bungee cord and lashed together the logs into our small makeshift bridge.
Eventually the Corolla came back with a friend. An old green and grey Ford F250 showed up. The door opened and out stepped an older, bearded, toothless man that looked like he was fresh out of the show Duck Dynasty. The man (of which I never did get his name) handed us two small crane rigging lengths with some shackles. We hooked it up to the frame in the front and got ready. Borhan started the engine only to have it stall; I guess the car didn’t like being in the ditch after all. He popped it into neutral and told the old man to give it some gas. It must have been my light-hearted spirit that gave the car some lift because it literally took 5 seconds to pull the car out. Disaster averted. Checking the car for damage, of which there was none, we loaded up the vehicle, thanked the old man, and headed out to start our now somewhat delayed course.
In the end this potential disaster turned out to be quite the fun adventure, and not only that it allowed us to bond. Group problem solving can often bring people together, at least when there is success. This really made me feel like I was back in the army. After this near-death rock attack that only slowed us a little, we set up for the course. The course itself ran quite well except for the fact that the delay allowed someone to take our favorite spot, but that’s ok, it could have been worse.
So, why do we fall? Or in this case, crash into a ditch. So that we can pick ourselves up again. Every bad situation has a silver lining. In this case we were fairly lucky, but I am confident that even if things had been worse we still would have had a wonderful bonding experience. Life does not always work the way we want it to, but as long as we keep smiling, find a solution and learn from it, everything works out for the better.
Written By: Jonathan Fader
Edited By: Warren Chow