Whether you think it’s an increasing or decreasing trend is not important, the fact is that the “Knockout” game exists and LE has been aware of it prior to the recent rash of publicity.  And as Dan Djurdjevic points out in this article, the worst effects may not necessarily be caused by the punch, but by the victim striking his/her head on the ground/curb.  As I’ve mentioned previously, the most common cause of death in a street fight is hitting your head on the ground.  
I recommend you read the entire Djurdjevic article and also watch the video (because they provide insight to the environmental/social conditions that led to the outcomes).  He has some interesting comments on how these scenarios are different from a“relatively safe” MMA bout.

In general, two important concepts to keep in mind:

1) Awareness -  As we say in karate, “the eye must see all sides; the ear must listen in all directions.”  Don’t walk, jog, or drive with your hoodie up, your ear buds screaming, texting your BFFs about how great the hot yoga class was and how you’re looking forward to
that guava and quinoa smoothie.  Pay Attention! Get your eyes up and use them.  Look around (yes, even behind you) and far ahead. If something doesn’t look/feel right, trust your instinct and get out of Dodge as fast as you can.  
Now I have to confess that I also need to continually practice this.  As recently as a week ago, while attending a local high school event, my good friend TB ghosted up on me in
the lobby full of people as I was waiting for the show to begin and rightly chastised me for my lack of situational awareness (never even saw him coming).  Of course this was in a
school where it’s always safe, so not to worry, right?  Good thing I had several “accessories” on my person that could have aided in my protection if necessary, but point being, I let someone get close enough to sucker punch me without even noticing him.   Bad, bad, bad.

2) Preparedness -  Being prepared doesn’t just mean having the skills necessary to
protect yourself as well as supplemental training with weapons if desired.  It means being prepared to run if necessary. Are you physically fit enough to run more than a dozen feet?   How about 100 yds?  Could you climb over a wall if necessary?  General physical preparedness goes a long way.   You don’t have to be a studly CrossFit games kind of guy/gal, but at least be able to move and manipulate your body thru space enough to save your life if necessary.  And if you have a family, do you have enough skills and are you in enough shape to defend them?  If not you, then who will?  
Being prepared also means being prepared not to go to stupid places with stupid people who do stupid things.  Crowded bars with drunken people, “bad” sections of town, walking down alleys alone late at night?   Prepare yourself with some common sense.  If you watched the video you could see how that crowd kind of morphed thru the parking lot, people taking videos with their cell phones, following the chaos. Nothing beneficial was going to happen, and although everyone wants to rubberneck and watch the train wreck, all those cues should be the first sign to beat feet and boogie home. 
All for now

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