Street Combat – This Ain’t No Game! – Part 2 of 9, by Pat Cascio


The right cross came out of nowhere, followed immediately by a second blow. Before the victim had time to think about it, he had collapsed to the cold, snowy concrete walk. He had been attacked and robbed. The attacker had stolen a new pair of gloves from the seven year old. The attack had taken place on school grounds, during recess. The attack was swift, without warning and final! The eight year old attacker was already a known member of the Latin Kings street gang in Chicago. The seven year old victim had just learned his first (and most important lesson) in street combat. A lesson he would never forget– “This Ain’t No Game!

The middle-aged man arrived at the city park early, hoping to catch a few bass in the small pond before the sun rose. The angler had fished at this same park hundreds of times. There was nothing to fear; this was a small town in Oregon. At best, there were usually one or two senior citizens taking an early morning walk, but not this morning!

Upon arriving, the man noticed an older Ford Bronco parked in the parking lot. The driver was in his early 20’s as well as the male passenger next to him. Two girls, approximately 15 or 16 years old, accompanied the men. “Probably runaways,” the man thought. It was obvious the entire group had been “living” in the vehicle. They were all dirty, and their clothes were filthy.

Minding his own business, the man ignored the youthful group and fished his usual spot. One of the men started to approach the angler from the left. The angler made sure the rapidly approaching man knew he had been observed approaching in the predawn light. The unwelcomed man turned and left. In short order, this entire process was repeated, with the same results.

Not to be denied, the unwelcomed visitor to the park decided to walk around the outside of the park and approach the angler from a different direction. The angler was keenly aware of his surroundings and movements of the determined man. When the park visitor was within 30 feet of the angler, the visitor stooped down and attempted to retrieve something from his right sock. “Probably a knife; this isn’t going to be a good morning,” the fisherman thought to himself.

The angler turned toward the park visitor and gently swept back his vest, revealing his 9mm Star Firestar pistol nestled on his right side. The park visitor immediately decided he had business elsewhere and left at a brisk pace. The angler finished fishing and left the park. “This Ain’t No Game!”

The first incident took place in Chicago, Illinois in 1958, while I was but a mere lad, ignorant of the dangers surrounding me on the playground of the public school. The second incident took place in September 1997 in Ontario, Oregon. However, almost 40 years of life-long experience and learning had better prepared me for that latest threat.

We’ve all heard people interviewed on the t.v. news after a senseless shooting spree say, “I never thought it could happen here.” Can people really be so naive as to believe they’re “safe” anyplace these days? As I write these words, a police officer in Boise, Idaho is being laid-to-rest. He is their first officer killed in the line of duty. The officer had recently moved to Boise, Idaho from Southern California, where he worked as a deputy sheriff. He left California because it was “too violent”. The City of Trees proved no less violent, or deadly, for this brave man.

It can, and it will happen to you, no matter where you live, if you allow it! Can you protect yourself from every possible threat? Of course not. However, with a little common sense, training, and mental awareness, you can avoid many threats or at least diminish them so that they no longer pose a lethal threat to you, just as I did while fishing. In my case, a “picture was worth a thousand words”. I didn’t have to draw my gun. The simple act of sweeping back my vest and allowing him to gain sight of the gun (on my side), laid to rest any notions the man had about attacking or robbing me. There was no “threat” implied by my actions, just a “friendly warning” that the would-be attacker clearly understood.

Make no mistake, we are involved in street combat every time we leave the so-called “safety” of our homes. You never know when a disgruntled postal worker is going to go “postal”, (as shrinks now call it) and start shooting everyone in sight.

Everyone has seen the graphic images on t.v. of the aftermath of yet another “fired” employee taking revenge on his supervisors and former co-workers. It happens all too often. It happens in small towns and in “safe” neighborhoods of big cities. It happens where “I never thought it could happen.”

This book contains a lifetime of study, training, and experience in street combat that I have been exposed to. Much of my experience comes from working as a private investigator, police officer, K-9 handler, military infantryman, and martial arts instructor, and being just a plain ol’ “ordinary citizen” just like yourself.

With you, the reader in mind, I humbly offer this book:

Street Combat – This Ain’t No Game!