Unfortunate loss - Alex Gong dies

TAKEN FROM www.mmaweekly.com:Sad news for fight fans across the world. Kickboxing Champion Alex Gong is dead after being shot in San Francisco. In a bizarre incident, Gong was shot and killed on Friday night. Gong had recently returned from Las Vegas as he had been helping Chuck Liddell train for his upcoming fight against Alistar Overeem. Liddell told MMAWeekly last night "It's a shock. I just talked to him yesterday on the phone. It's hard to believe he's gone. He's a really nice guy. It's hard to believe. I was just in Las Vegas with him a week ago training. "Investigators say there was a minor traffic accident as Gong's car was hit by a driver as the driver started to speed away. Alex apparently chased the suspect's car. Witnesses say that Gong confronted the suspect at 5th and Clara in San Francisco. "It appears that it was a traffic accident dispute," said Maria Oropeza of the San Francisco Police Department. "The victim chased the suspect, and upon contact, the suspect shot the victim." A witness named Jason said, "He tried to confront the guy. We heard one pop, and he fell to the ground." MMA fighter Duane "Bang" Ludwig fought Alex Gong for the World Muay Thai ISKA title on ESPN a couple of years back and Bang told MMAWeekly "He helped get muay thai bigger in the United States. He spent a lot of time promoting the sport, so it's a great loss to the sport." Alex Gong, a kickboxing champion, dead at the age of 34. MMAWeekly sends it's best to the family of Alex Gong.My condolences to all the family and friends of Alex Gong.I do not want this to sound disrespectful to Alex - becaue it is NOT. However, this tragic loss to the sportfighting community is also a learning opportunity for all those who train for reasons of "self defense" - it exemplifies that no matter how good of a fighter or teacher we become in the ring or on the mat there is still more to a STREET ALTERCATION!!! If Alex Gong - one of the BEST Muay Thai fighters in the world - can be murdered so quickly and easily in a street fight, what does that say for any of the rest of us? Muay Thai is commonly referred to on many of these forums as the "best" standup art to learn - but unfortunately, and as Tony Blauer has repeatedly stated for years, sport techniques alone are NOT ENOUGH in the REAL WORLD of self-defense. Your BRAIN is your most powerful weapon and the FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE - failing to use it - relying on "sport techniques" aone - can get you killed!!Applying even the most fundamental of the Personal Defense Readiness principles could have helped saved Alex's life FAR FARE MORE than all of that training he got in the ring. Rather than confronting the individual, it would have been more prudent to simply take down a license plate number and let Law Enforcement deal with it. It's not just HOW you fight - it's knowing WHEN or when NOT to fight!! Food for thought for all those who still believe that "Technique" is "king" or who ask the question "if someone trained in this art/system/style/method, would that help them in a street fight?" Alex Gong was a tremendously talented SPORT fighter...... but that failed to save him against one quick pull of a trigger when he SOUGHT OUT confrontation. That one mistake turned out to be fatal in this case......
and a very, very tragic example to have to relay to our students of what NOT to do.I for one will be relaying this "fight" account to all those I know that still don't "understand" that the difference between street and sport is all in the "scenario," in hopes that perhaps just ONE person will see the "light" and realize the true difference between a sport fight and a street fight in the future.May Alex Gong rest in peace. His death is sure to be felt by many.Adam LaClair

A huge loss to the MA world. He was such an intense fighter.
It's fucking amazing how 'tough' & 'courageous' a piece of shit is with a gun? These fucking COWARDS should have thier hands CUT OFF! SICKENING!

R.I.P. Alex


I'm at a bit of a loss at the moment as I had the pleasure of meeting Alex a little over a year ago. He was a real gentleman with a real passion for life and the martial arts.

My sincere condolences to the Gong family and his extended family and friends at Fairtex.


The purpose of this forum is to study personal defense
readiness, both its essence and the system I teach. Alex's
death is obviously a tragedy and its in some ways distasteful
to armchair quarter back events like this, but as with the
infamous 'hockey beating death' and other real world events,
invariably, people will wonder whcih style wouldve helped

Perhaps Bruce Lee, in the famous 'boat' scene from ENTER
THE DRAGON understood it
best..."That island, we can take this boat..." In other words,
deep breath, count, avoid.

In one of our law enforcement articles I wrote awile back
something that
often slips by on the first read: "Real self-defense are only
those fights that you cannot avoid."

Cannot avoid. In other words, the bagguy brings the fight to

Alex's death really sucks. But its a sobering pathetic
message about the sport vs. street debate.

Messge: "Dont bring boxing gloves to a gun fight" ??

On a side note, when Bruce Lee died, I wanted it to be a
murder...as a 13 year old, I couldnt grasp how the most
deadly man in the world could just pass away...so I found all
the conspiracy theory supportive. Alex, like Bruce, was also
deadly, and taken too soon, so I wonder if it was a set
up...stanger hits his car in front of his school...Alex chases,
the guy waits at a light...weird accident...wouldn't surprise me
if when they catch the guy theres more to it. Hope so...it
doesn't get Alex back but it adds some sense to the
senselessness of it all.

Stay safe and stay away from open windows.


*Incidently in one of the witness acounts there was a
description that described the startle/flinch
response...reminder to muscle-memory buffs: our survival
system overides our cognitve training during sudden surprise
attacks, no matter how skilled we are. Its not a concept its a
physiological rule.

A tragic loss. How many of us have confronted someone?

"Hey, I was waiting for that space."

"Excuse me, I think I was next."

"Would you keep it down. We are trying to watch the movie."

"*HONK* Jackass! Learn how to drive!"

"Well if you hadn't been driving so damn fast, maybe you wouldn't have rear ended us."

"Hey dude, you hit my car back there. Where the hell do you think you are going?"

How many times have we all faced a similar situation?

"He was a fighter to the end. He was arguing with this guy to get him to pull over-all he had to do was get his plate,but he had to get into it with him"
Brian Lam Witness

What will your next confrontation be with?

Will pride or ego write your eulogy?

There are many wise words above and I am sure many more to come....I hope that people learn something, somehow, from this absolutely senseless and stupid waste of a good man's life.....it is sickening....


Although I completely agree with the 'street vs. sport' arguement made in this thread, I don't agree of the judgement made on Gong's death as being a 'sport' fighter killed due to his 'sport training'. That comes across like facts manipulated to serve your points. I know Adam wrote that it wasn't meant to be disrespectful but it is. It is sad that such an unfortunate incident is used to further an age old debate. This incident proves nothing.

This is from another thread from someone who knew Gong.

From: Gumby
Date: 02-Aug-03 01:08 PM
Member Since: 01-Jan-01
2180 Total Posts

WEAK...I can tell you that Alex was the kind of guy that stridently AVOIDED street fights and confrontations.

I can tell you he was within the last six months or so involved in an altercation which every witness said he did his best to avoid, and only got physical when his girlfriend was threatened. Afterwards it was asked it was kept on the downlow as he really felt bad about it.

To imply that Alex was any kind of hothead or was the type to look for trouble is absolutely ludicrus.


So to imply he was killed simply because he didn't train with Tony Blauer or study PDR SPEAR is not only wrong but disrespectful to him and those who knew him. Using a tragedy to further an agenda is classless. Sorry but I had to voice my opinion.

I agree with Poignant. And I would also like to add that the kind of life where you constantly allow yourself to be stepped on because you're afraid that if you stand up for yourself you'll be gunned down is not a life worth living. People will say that chasing down a guy who ran into your car isn't worth your life....I would argue that having enough self respect so that you don't shy away from every confrontation under the rationalization of prudence is very much worth your life.

RIP for Alex Gong


I don't think Adam was implying that Alex shouldve trained
with me or that he tried a sport tactic...

I reread Adam's post and I didnt find his contentions self-
serving. Give it a reread.

There's more to the dynamic than meets the eye...

Emotional Climate Principle: How do you feel?

If you were meditating and someone hit your car would you
'feel' like chasing them?

If you were sparring and someone hit your car would you be
more apt to chase them?

What I read from Adam's post was angst, frustration and
education possiblities. Choosing to chase a car wearing
shorts & boxing gloves was not tactically sound, irrespective
of the result we all now

Which brings me to Saxon's message: YES, I agree, "A life
worth living..."but there's perspective here...in fact there are
laws and parameters for these type of things. Someone hits
your car, you call the insurance company. If you can you call
the police.

I dont want run off on an tangent here, but this is the point of
(should) include scenario training that includes legal & moral
strategies that surround personal defense decisions.

This next point not to be misconstrued!

Lets say a great fighter chases down a guy who hit his car
and beats him up a bit...would that be cool? Would that
make news in the Undergorund? You bet. Would it be legal?
Nope. Would be there be a point?

Alex was no coward, in fact he was a warrior, but all warriors
must learn to fight the good fight. All Adam was saying was
he couldve memorized the license plate as an option and for
those of us who take our student's safety seriously, we need
to read between the lines and learn from all encounters.

In the end, this was a post about stratgeies, not tacitcs, it was
not about 1/2 SPEAR or jab vs. 9mm. 'Weigh & consider' prior
to reacting...that goes for reading and fighting.


I think the reason why Alex chased the shooter down is based more on the influences of todays society rather than the type of training he's done.

Its not hard for those of us living in large cities to be frustrated at the constant barrage of thugs, perverts, thieves, and human scum that seem to roam free and do what they want. And any of us can relate to a sense of helplessness when dealing with unscrupulous insurance companies, lawyers, big business cheats, and rising costs.

About the time you get a few bucks ahead something or someone comes along and snatches it. Back to square one. Don't get me wrong. I don't view all of life as being so bleak, but bad things exist and it pressures all of us.

I'd like to think that Alex was himself feeling fed up with all the crap and felt he should try to handle what he could. That was his motivation. One lesson I can reinforce in myself is that of 'there is no possession on earth worth your life.' If only he had contemplated that more himself. Who knows?

In the end, perhaps what could be said about what he did is not to categorize it as good or bad, this training or that, but as an unfortunate act of reality. He was a warrior. He died acting as one. And in that there is honor....the only thing a man can take with him.

Terry G.

POignant, I delted your post as you can see, youve posted
twice about agendas...rather than trying to see our point you
feel the need to sell your point. For some reason youve
completely misinterpreted the message here. YOu choose to
focus on the negative, in your last post you alluded to some
commercial conspiracy here (do you have an agenda?) - I
found your posts fixating and derogatory and whether you
see it or not youve completely misinterpreted my posts...

If the forum isnt to your liking, go elsewhere.

PLease dont post some defiant rebuttal. This thread isnt
about Alex, its about the lesson. If I could bring Alex back I
would, we knew one another through mutual aquantances,
our businesses had interaction, if I could cath the guy who
did this I would and if I had a time machine I'd do someting
with it.


self-respect......a term that is often applied to situations where other terms would be a more accurate description.
Having enough self-respect that you do not feel the need to engage AND escalate every confrontation WITHOUT the rationalization of prudence is very much worth my/your life.

I guess it comes down to what you are willing to fight for, rather than what you are fighting against.

I have a wife and two young boys....their life, safety, and well being are paramount. Self-respect is an internal emotion, you should not need to fight for it, or because of it. It will take a bad situation and make it worse....


Yesterday I sat in traffic trying to cross the mouth of the Holland tunnel in NYC. All traffic was at a standstill. The temperature was high and tempers were flaring. Someone aggresively edged their car in front of me in a way that completely blocked traffic in three directions and was in total violation of common sense and traffic laws. We were all trapped in relative "close quarters", furious, hot and frustrated. There was a lot of arm waving and shouting of not very "choice speech". Had I not been reading this thread over the past few days I might well have engaged in this confrontation, presuming that there is safety in public spaces and broad daylight. I would not have had the words of FJJ828 in my head "how many times have we all faced a similar situation?" I would not have had the tragic and senseless death of warrior in the front of my mind. I strategically disengaged from the situation by simply turning around to face my children in the back seat,and elected to use the emotion of the moment to tell them the story of Alex Gong. They had never heard of him, but I know they'll never forget him now, and neither will I. I thank this forum for altering our awareness forever.


Self respect in my mind is not being someone who is always looking to pick a fight. I respect putting the safety of your family above everything else. Perhaps it is a matter of where you draw the line and we simply differ on that. Although I think Tony and others have made good points on this thread, I stand by my assertion that having that strength of character is worth risking tragedy. And I have no doubt that Alex Gong's family are proud of who he was and wouldn't have changed him.



Im not disputing 'strength of character' Im relaying practical
observations...one could easily argue that character, in the
virtue sense, contains
'conscience and accountability'. One of my favorite quotes
on the subject is:

"Character is who you are when no one is looking."

Like Ive wirtten a few times already, this thread is about this
from 'philw':

"I would not have had the words of FJJ828 in my head "how
many times have we all faced a similar situation?" I would not
have had the tragic and senseless death of warrior in the
front of my mind. I strategically disengaged from the situation
by simply turning around to face my children in the back
seat,and elected to use the emotion of the moment to tell
them the story of Alex Gong. They had never heard of him,
but I know they'll never forget him now, and neither will I. I
thank this forum for altering our awareness forever. "

Thats all its about.


Mr Alex Gong's death was a tragedy. No doubt. This forum is one of which "shares experiences" and trouble shoots the ambush moment in the fight continuum, dissects it and hopefully we learn and become a bit wiser. As coaches and teachers we should not judge.

Alex was most likely ambushed. Lets learn from it. His "experience" has already had an impact on some people who have posted here and those people have already educated themselves and their children. I appreciate this forum that Tony Blauer has put together as one that strictly adheres to its rules and regulations and doesnt allow itself to get caught in any of the shortcomings that other sections of the UG tends to stray towards at times.

May Alex rest in peace. We should learn from "his choice". Without being armchair quarterbacks understand that the outcome could have been different given his response. Given another chance and knowing the outcome, would he have made the same choice?? Who is to say. But what is, is what is. Respect the death of a family man, appreciate his life and what he did for many.

Joe Mullings

Poignant, Tony was right - my post WAS and IS about my emotional response to what happened, and about taking a REAL WORLD situation - however tragic - and creating a "positive" element to it by turning it into an opportunity to educate students.If you knew me at all (rather than making opinionated assumptions), you would know that the "sport vs. street" debate is one that I find ridiculous. I was not saying you should not train for sport, which seems to be your interpretation of my post (point of fact, I myself train and coach for sport grappling/BJJ, Karate, and MMA). Some people argue that it has to be one OR the other..... I support BOTH. I firmly believe that sport training can teach invaluable skills which CAN be utilized in a self-defense situation....... but only if the situation ALLOWS it. (Blauer Maxim: "The Scenario dictates our actions.") There are times that sport training might be enough to physically survive an altercation, but there are also other times that sport training alone is not enough. In this instance, I was making a point that even the BEST sport fighters can fall prey to a predator. Therefore, there is more that needs to be addressed. My ONLY agenda is to keep myself, my family and friends, and my students SAFE, HAPPY, and ALIVE!! If I can share a thought that might help protect another human being from falling prey to a human predator, than I see nothing wrong with doing so. I have no other agendas, I hate politics (especially in the martial arts), and I certainly was not trying to convince anybody that Alex should have trained with Tony Blauer in the PDR system.When I wrote this, I even had two particular students of my own in mind that needed to hear this message. As young, strong, talented athletes they seem to think they are "invincible" and are sometimes mouthy, brash, and provocative. They lack consideration for the extreme measures that another human being might be willing to go when feeling threatened or wronged, in something that may even seem as "simple" as a verbal dispute. This causes me concern, and I found this unfornuate incident to be a good example to use with them. I wanted to share my thoughts here, as well, with those who either train with Tony as I do, or are interested in Tony's research. My intention in stating earlier that fundamental principles of the Personal Defense Readiness curriculum might have saved Alex's life was not an attempt to "enlist" people into a PDR session, but rather an AFFIRMATION to the system's integrity, and that it is "common sense" that is usually UNCOMMON that tends to hold up in hindsight. FJJ828 wrote: "How many of us have confronted someone?.....How many of us have faced a similar situation?"
I for one, have "been there, done that" more than I care to admit. It is easy to see that we often put ourselves un-necessarily into harm's way with our emotional responses to events around us. By using our heads a little, we can often circumvent the danger and increase the "readiness" of our "personal defense." That is what the system is all about. That is what we need to keep in mind should any of us find ourselves in a situation like Alex's - which WILL and HAS happened to each of us at some point in time (just hopefully without the fatal gunshot).

By posting my thread on this forum, I am speaking primarily to those who are already at least somewhat familiar with Tony Blauer's system - many of who have already spent much time in training with him. Had I truly had some kind of conspiratory "agenda," you would have seen my post on every other Q&A, the Underground, the Otherground, other forum sites throughout the internet, etc. in an effort to spread my message as far as possible. I DID NOT do that; I posted here, with a comment that was relevant to what this forum's purpose is - to discuss the application of Tony's research. I deemed that if ONE PERSON should read my post, apply it to a future situation for themselves, or pass it on to a student, resulting in even just ONE PERSON making a choice to "look" before "leaping," than my post would have value.Philw wrote: "I thank this forum for altering our awareness forever."
Thank YOU Phil - both for the story you shared, and for fulfilling my only "agenda." Thank you Tony, as well. For providing us with this forum, sharing your research, and teaching us how to make the proverbial "common sense" just a little bit more "common" that it actually tends to be.Adam LaClair

While this thread truly contains valuable information and some very good posts, maybe we could all take a break to think about what happened, to wait for all the facts to come in.

The difference between this and the "hockey dad" incident is that the hockey dad didn't have hundreds of friends on the forum. So out of respect maybe at least wait until after Alex's funeral before further discussing the finer points of his death.

My apologies for getting carried away. I just got sensitive over a death because someone I know who was close passed away untimely. Didn't mean to come across so hard and I have no agenda. This is an exellent thread and does make many valuable points.