When you learn a combat sport like jiu-jitsu, you ensure that no matter what happens, you’re never left without a weapon. For BJJ black belt James Fairclough, this fact worked in his favor when he was woken up and encountered a man who was allegedly trying to rob his home.
Fairclough, who has trained for over twelve years under John Goldson (head coach at Rebellion BJJ in the UK), detailed the following story to the Jiu-Jitsu Times:
“I followed [the burglar] to another street where he found an open car … and proceeded to rob it. I approached the car and checked to see if he had a knife, but I could see his hands were full, so I decided to extract him from the vehicle. The plan was to take a high grip and a low grip and direct him to ground and take a knee on belly position… He was turning towards me, so I took a sleeve control to get him on his back. I was looking up regularly because I didn’t know if he had backup, and also looking for someone to raise the alert to the police. I had [rung] a nearby doorbell before I started, so I hoped they would wake up.
However, the robber started to try to kick me, so I positioned myself so that my butt stopped the kick at his thigh and then they weren’t really connecting. I decided I didn’t want to take any damage to myself, so I took the opportunity to transition to an RNC, but just used it to hold him. When he struggled, I closed it a bit to demonstrate that it could finish if he carried on thrashing. I was explaining this to him as we were progressing, however, finally the neighbors came out of the window and I told them to call the police. At this point, he began to thrash around as he didn’t want to go to prison, so I transitioned to a high mount with a gift wrap.
The neighbor finally came out screaming at him and was about to give him a good kicking, but I calmed him down and just told him to kneel on his legs. Eventually, the police arrived and took him away. They were very surprised with my restraint. All my neighbors are inviting me ’round for Christmas now. It is quite difficult though not to hurt someone who is trying to hurt you, but jiu-jitsu has allowed me that privilege. I actually felt quite sorry for him because he was almost certainly going to be going to prison, and also must be quite desperate if that is the lengths he had to go to to make some money.”
A good portion of the incident was captured on a surveillance camera, so you can watch Fairclough in action below: