This article is one piece of an ongoing effort by The MMA UnderGround to understand what really works in martial arts. The focus is not on what happens in the arena, but rather on what happens on the street. If you enjoyed it, check out more stories on:
1. Martial Arts on The Street
3. Style vs. Style
In the small town of Starokorsunskaya, in south-west Russia, a gang of thugs were reportedly the cause of a rise in petty crime. Approximately a dozen members of the group were trying to drag a woman into the club's VIP Room for drinks, when her husband returned from the bathroom. His name is Nicolai Vlasenko, and he is a professional boxer and martial artist.
One of the thugs, Leonti Yevdokimov, 33, suggested Vlasenko "take it outside." When the fighter did so, he was surrounded by a mob.
An eyewitness, Eldar Vinogradoff, 27, described what happened.
"There were at least ten of them, led by the two who thought they were real big shots," said Eldar. "One of them took off his shirt and started squaring up to the boxer, and I don't think he even knew what hit him as he went down like a bowling pin. A second man tried to kick the boxer and he was floored instantly as well.
"Then a third man joined in, and he was left staggering and on the point of collapsing, after taking three blows to the head and not landing once himself."
The rest of the gang reacted as bullies do when confronted by force. They backed off. And in this case, tried to put the Humpty Dumpties back together again.
The action opens with Vlasenko speaking to a big bellied man; five other men are milling around in the foreground. The number of other men swells to six, and then eight. Vlasenko walks away from Big Belly, as a ninth man enters the scene, and moves menacingly towards the fighter.
Vlasenko exhibits expert distance management backing up, then suddenly plants in a solid stance and springs forward, flattening the newcomer with a leaping left hook. Then a man with white sleeves runs forward and attempts a front thrust kick. In fighting, like life, timing is everything.
A straight right that hits a person moving away will typically have a minimal effect on an adrenalized opponent. However, the same blow, against someone moving in can be devastating. It is, and immediately after, the fighter pops back out of any danger. There are now two men unconscious on the pavement.
Fearless, Vlasenko moves into the group, which now number twelve, or more properly, ten and two on the ground. A man circles around the crowd and then moves at the fighter, with his hands down. That's not wise, and he takes a left hook to face, snapping his head. Unusually for that night, he doesn't immediately fall.
Another long left hook lands, and #3 slumps back into his fellow thugs. He eats a straight right, and still stands, albeit unsteadly. It is not clear if he remembers his own name, or not. It's likely the latter.
And the video closes.
Enshrining themselves permanently in the A****** Hall of Fame, the gang later a hired an attorney, and filed a complaint with the police over what happened. The police viewed the security cam footage, and determined that it was an act of self-defense. No action was taken against Vlasenko.
"My client wasn't prepared to allow them to harass his wife," said the attorney. "He was prepared to discuss it in a reasonable manner, but when they resorted to force, then he was forced to defend himself with inevitable consequences."