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Diane Binz

Diane Binz is a nurse at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Diane is also a full time mother and is a Tracy's Karate Black Belt at our Kirkwood location.
Diane presented this article as part of her black belt requirements.
Pictured above is Diane with instructor Dave Hofer.



5 Scenarios and My Plan for a Safe Resolution
by Diane Binz

I chose this quote as the theme of my black belt project. Although the wording is a bit crass, there is much truth to the statement. In this world, there is always some degree of risk in everything we do. That doesn’t mean that one should not participate fully in life and be left to cower in a corner. It simply means that the wise person has had the forethought to be prepared for as many situations as possible. A black belt is symbolic of the rank you have achieved but does not mean that you are immune from harm. Reasonable precautions must be taken to avoid possible threatening situations. One must be prepared and HAVE A PLAN. This is what I have learned from Tracy’s Karate over the last 4 years.


1. A Suspicious Person in a Parking Lot from a Distance

            I am walking out to my car in the garage at Mercy Hospital. I usually park in the same general area so I am not put in the vulnerable position of looking around for my car. I am on the third floor of the garage. I have taken three flights of stairs to get to my floor. I glance in all directions checking my surroundings as I start out for my car. I notice a suspicious person hanging out close to my car which is about 100 feet away. I make a point of always having my keys in my hand before I start out for the garage. The person is not in a Mercy uniform so I am wondering what business they have being there. I trust the uneasy feeling I have and press the panic button on my car keys and note the person’s response. The person looks alarmed at the noise and walks away from my car. Not knowing where the person has gone, I quickly go back down the stairs and back into the hospital. I call security from the phone next to the entrance to the hospital and report the incident to security. They drive me to me car and verify the area is safe for me as well as others.


2. A Suspicious Person in a Parking Lot at Close Range

            I am in the parking lot at the grocery store and have loaded my groceries in the trunk of my car. I am reaching for the handle on the door of the car as I feel someone is standing close behind me. No one has accompanied me to the store and there is no reason for anyone to be in my “personal space.” I respond with a palm/palm to their chin and face. The person is thrown off their feet and falls back to the ground. I use this opportunity to escape and run back into the store to report the situation.


3. Irate Visitor in a Patient’s Room

            I am making my nursing rounds on the Mother/Baby floor at Mercy Hospital. I hear yelling and screaming coming from one of my patient’s rooms. I hurry to the room and quickly note the situation. The father of the baby is standing over my patient, yelling at her. She is lying in the bed. He is very upset and looking as if he is going to hit her. My first action is to push the panic button on my badge. This notifies other staff of my location and that there is an emergency situation. Others should soon come running to help. I try to calm the situation with my words, noting the location of the baby. The baby is safe in the crib in the corner of the room. Another nurse appears at the doorway and I tell her to call security immediately. The father is ignoring my words and raises his arm to strike my patient. I grab the man’s right punching arm with my right hand and put him in an arm bar as I lower him to the ground. I kneel on his shoulder/arm as I tell the aggressor to calm down. Security comes into the room and escorts the man out of the room.


4. Home Invasion

            I am home alone. My husband and girls have gone camping. I am in bed and am awakened by the sounds of someone rifling through the drawers of the china cabinet in the dining room. I know no one should be in the house. I ritually keep the doors of the house locked and check that the garage door is closed every night. I go to the bedroom door which I make sure is locked which should give me a few more seconds of time. I hear someone start up the stairs to the second floor.  I go to one of the windows of my bedroom which face the front of my house. I open the window which does not have a screen in place. I put my feet out the window and hold on to the ledge and let myself drop to the ground. It is a two story house and the distance to the ground when hanging out the window is maybe 12 feet. I would rather break a bone than confront an intruder alone. I make my way to safety at a neighbor’s house and call 911.


5. Car Jacking at a Gas Station

            I am alone and filing up my car with gas on a trip to South Carolina when someone with a gun comes up from behind me and wants the car. I give up my keys, my purse and any other belongings to try to make him feel as if I am cooperating, hoping the situation doesn’t escalate further. He is standing about 7 feet away. He waves the gun at me, telling me to get in the car. He wants me to drive him to an ATM to retrieve some cash. I cannot know what his full intentions are. This is obviously a lethal situation. I know I should never get in a car with a stranger and be driven to another location. He will either shoot me here or worse if I get in the car with him. I don’t see the filling station attendant anywhere. It is night time. I know my chances of survival are better if I stay here. The man is too far away to do a gun play. I must get him to come closer. I put my hands up and say, “I’m sorry, I cannot do that.”.  He gets angry and steps a couple feet closer in order to threaten me with the gun, and repeats his request. The gun is now 6 inches from my head. I use this opportunity to duck my head to the left side, parry the gun with my right arm and trap his gun arm with my left arm. I push the gun out of his hand towards his chest and take the gun in my right hand. I back away from the person with the gun pointed at him, calling for help and move toward the filling station store to call 911.


--Submitted by Diane Binz, with grateful appreciation to all the instructors at Tracy’s Karate Studio, July 31st, 2013.