Some heroes don’t wear capes. But if they’re blue belt Marquise Brown they do stop at CVS before training and casually stop an armed robbery while they’re at it.
Brown, a Washington D.C. area local and student at Capital MMA Team Takoma, had popped into the Brookland drug store before class to grab a fighter’s best friends, heating pads and ice packs. He was on the phone with a training partner talking about an upcoming tournament when he heard yelling from the front of the store. Upon investigation, Brown found a man yelling at the store manager with a knife in his hand.
“When I first saw the knife that’s when it got real in my head that things were serious,” Brown told Jiu-Jitsu Times. “As soon as [the guy] started chasing the manager I rushed in. At that point my main concern wasn’t on my safety, but protecting the store manager.”
An MMA and BJJ cross-trainer, Brown explains he took a second to angle himself correctly and then used a takedown he felt confident and well-practiced with. He also focused on hand-and-arm control to make sure he wouldn’t be stabbed.
Once the pair hit the ground the fighter assumed security would step in and help restrain the assailant until police arrived, but no such luck. Brown ended up having to pin a struggling, flailing opponent for about five minutes solo, something he said took little effort given his three years of training. The video shows security entering the frame to clean up a display of post cards accidentally toppled by the scuffle, but they deftly avoid Brown and the robber entirely.
“When you look at the video it looks like no one was willing to help and they [were thinking] about cleaning rather than assisting me,” says Brown. “But if you look at it from their point of view, when a situation like that happens the fear becomes REAL. From what I gathered they were probably in shock. They could see that I had things handled.
To them they probably felt like they had to at least do something, and as a result started to clean,” Brown reflected.
Once police arrived they opted not to arrest the armed robber chasing a store manager with a knife, but they did “order him not to return to CVS,” according to local news reports.
Brown, it should be noted, was hailed by the multiple teammates who submitted his video to media as “a standup guy” and “genuinely good person.” He says is was a rough breakup a few years ago that got him into grappling as an outlet in the first place, so here’s to heartbreak resulting in some heroic measures which may have saved lives.
Marquise is aware some keyboard warriors will pop off about how it’s dumb to engage with an armed opponent, but says his drive to do the right thing and help someone in danger took over.
“Everyone is always going to have an opinion on what you did wrong, or what they would have done differently,” he explains. “If I didn’t step in and do what I did lives could have been lost. What if you were the store manager and you were in fear for your life? Would you not want help?”
Hell yes we would, Marquise. And we’re hoping professor throws another a stripe on that blue belt for public badassery sometime soon.