On Friday February 23, 2007, a
70-year-old man exemplified the motto of the
Marine Corp League, “Once a Marine, Always a
Marine.” When three thugs boarded a tourist bus
in the Costa Rican city of Limon armed with a gun
and knives they must have thought the twelve
senior citizens onboard were easy prey. They were
dead wrong. And I mean D-E-A-D.
After witnessing a 20 year old terrorist put a
gun to a female passenger’s head, Allen Clady, a
former Marine made his move. The senior citizen
grabbed a hold of the thug and strangled the much
younger thug with such force that he broke his
collarbone and killed the man. This prompted the
other senior citizens on the bus to begin
fighting back and the other two assailants run
off the bus.
So, how could a 70-year-old man could take on,
and kill, a much younger armed opponent? The
answer lies in his old-school Marine Corp
The Marines recently introduced a new system for
close quarters combat called the Marine Corps
Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). This new sissy
system is supposedly for peacekeeping operations
in urban areas and theoretically allows for a
wide variety of situations where a Marine needs
to use non-lethal force.
Prior to the development of this new crap that
will undoubtedly get more than one leather neck
sent home in a body bag, the Marines used more
lethal techniques originally developed by Major
His techniques standardized close combat
techniques for the Marines and were based on
boxing, wrestling and fencing. In addition,
Captains W.M. Greene and Samuel B. Griffith
shared what they learned about martial arts from
William Fairbairn while stationed in China.
Being a former Marine, Allen Clady learned the
Corp’s old (and real) style of close combat that
emphasizes taking down an opponent hard, fast,
and permanently. It is most likely that Clady
over took the thug from behind with a “Japanese
strangle”. The forefather of the sporting “rear
naked choke” as seen in MMA competition today,
this simplistic and deadly old-school strangle
was very popular among military trained martial
artists and pre-WWII Judo and Jujutsu
In seconds of his arms locking around the thug’s
esophagus and throat, the would be terrorist
began to choke on his own spit and drop
unconscious. This technique is even more
devastating if the person employing the technique
is taller then their opponent, because it takes
little effort to take someone off their feet,
thus making the strangle work that much quicker.
Another good reason to strangle the thug from the
rear like this was because the punk was armed.
While the thug did fire two shots off into the
air before the gun jammed, the moment Clady had
his hands on the thug’s throat he immediately had
control of the situation. When the bus driver
drove to a local Red Cross clinic, the gun
wielding maniac was declared dead. Thanks to
Clady’s swift action, only the gunman was injured
and the tour group returned to their cruise ship
When asked if anyone on the bus would be charged
with a crime. Local Police Chief Luis Hernandez
said, “They were in their right to defend
themselves.” It is clear that the chief
understand that the police cannot be everywhere,
and that stopping a criminal is not a crime.
It takes an example like Allen Clady to remind
everyone that with the right training anyone can
fight back. What happened on that tour bus was
clearly a life and death situation and Allen
Clady chose life. Those animals did not care who
they had to hurt to get what they wanted and Mr.
Clady attacked to prevent people from being hurt.
This just goes to show you that swift decisive
action combined with good solid training can save
the day…regardless of age or physical fitness.
While Allen Clady has not spoken publicly about
this incident at the time of this article I can
almost guarantee that he was not trying to be a
“hero”. He was simply protecting people who
needed help, and is a credit to both his
generation and to the Marine Corp. Too many
people willingly would have become victims, but
he stood up and went into battle mode. He was not
acting like hero he was acting like a man.