Shocking video of a man being forcefully removed from a United Airlines flight has drawn anger and condemnation from around the world.
It’s also got people wondering what their rights are if they find themselves being removed from a flight, or what amount of force airlines or police are allowed to use in removing you.
For anyone worried about finding themselves in the same situation, don’t fear –Rener Gracie, a renowned martial arts instructor and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, has got you covered.
In the above video, Gracie shows off some “self-defence” techniques you can use if you find yourself being “re-accommodated” by United or any other airline.
“I made the video to have a laugh, yes,” Gracie told Global News from his martial arts academy in Torrance, CA. “But I do think it was also a statement against United’s actions.”
Rener is part of Brazil’s legendary Gracie family, who invented and popularized the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu around the world. The family is also credited with being the driving force behind the creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
If it isn’t clear upon watching, Gracie doesn’t intend the video to convey serious self-defence techniques – a “tornado spin inverted heel hook” isn’t exactly a move that can be gleaned from a YouTube video.
In fact, Gracie says he would preach a much different approach should someone find themselves in the same situation as Dr. David Dao, the man in the now-infamous United Airlines video.
De-escalation is a big theme of Gracie’s approach to self-defence, which emphasizes the use of force only when absolutely necessary.
“The best thing you can do is talk your way out of the situation,” Gracie said. “There’s no street fight that can’t be avoided.”
Gracie has made a name for himself online with his popular “Gracie Breakdown” videos, where he along with his brother Ryron Gracie and wife (and former WWE champion) Eve Torres break down self-defence techniques for a general audience.
The videos are often in response to UFC or other MMA fights, but not always. In fact, the most popular “Gracie Breakdown” video was a demonstration of self-defence techniques women can employ if they are assaulted by their taxi or Uber driver, as a recent high-profile cases in Halifax brought to light.
Still, Gracie emphasises that one of his goals in making the video – which has accumulated nearly 1,000,000 views on Facebook since it was posted Tuesday night – was to call out United and other airlines for the “crazy practice” of removing passengers from overbooked flights.
“All airlines overbook these flights intentionally,” Gracie said. “My conviction is that the customer is rightfully entitled to his seat.”
Anyone looking to learn Gracie self-defence techniques – plane related or otherwise – can visit the certified academies in North Vancouver, Edmonton, Gibsons, Saul Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Winnipeg and Magog.