I started the martial arts in Hawaii at age six. At 16, with 10 years under my belt, I started working with a safety patrol Guardian Angels’ knockoff group.
There was an issue in Laguna Beach in the early 1980’s where skinheads from the Riverside area were driving out to beat up the gay men gathered along Heisler Park.
We were patrolling the area as a deterrent one night, when a pickup truck filled with skinheads pulled up. They leapt out and spread out looking for people to assault. I got to one of them just as he started beating on a local. After my initial impact, he pulled out a folding knife, flicked it open, and started at me.
He swept the knife from side to side for his cutting pattern, so I entered the pattern parrying his knife hand with one hand and throwing a slicing eye-hook with the other (scraping the eye with a crooked fingertip). His knife passed closer to my elbow than I planned, cutting a surface vein as it passed.
My finger-slice had ripped his cornea open, so he immediately dropped the knife to clutch his bleeding eye with both hands.
I looked down at my forearm.
The cut was clean and took a few seconds to actually start bleeding. It started slowly, then spurted. I clamped my free hand over it, used my bleeding arm to help the local up, then split the scene before authorities arrived.
For all the blood that came out of that cut, it turned out to just be a tiny 2-stitch nick.
Had it not been over a vein, it would have barely bled at all.
Now I have a faint scar across the upper, inner forearm … and a story to tell.