If you saw someone escaping down the street after robbing a shop, what would you do?
For martial arts student Taupuru Brightwell, it was a no-brainer.
When the 23-year-old saw a man running at full tilt out of the O Sushi shop in Wellington's Riddiford St about 2pm yesterday, it was clear from the shop owner's shouts that all was not well.
His training in the martial art of kendo, a style of sword-fighting, let him quickly assess the situation and pursue the robber.
"I didn't want to get too close to the guy because you never know what might happen, but I kept an eye on him so I could get a good description for the police."
After a short distance the robber dropped the bag he had stolen from the counter in O Sushi and dashed through a line of traffic.
The stolen bag contained about $1000 cash and the sushi shop's chequebooks, which were returned to shop owner Kimiko Kageyama.
Mr Brightwell, who spent time in Japan last year and can speak some Japanese, was able to give the police a full description of the thief.
"It was a strange coincidence because of my connections with the Japanese culture. For me, the mindset from kendo helped me not to hesitate and keep control of the situation.
"It is not resorting straight to violence, but instead you look at the situation and make the best of it that you can."
Ms Kageyama was just grateful and happy that Mr Brightwell had been around. "When it happened I just screamed and screamed. It was so nice that someone was looking out for me."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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