94-Year-Old Marquess Thwarts Mugger with Judo Throw in London

94-year-old Marquess of Queensberry uses judo skills to fend off mugger, highlighting lifelong benefits of martial arts training.

Salman Khan
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94-Year-Old Marquess Thwarts Mugger with Judo Throw in London

94-Year-Old Marquess Thwarts Mugger with Judo Throw in London

David Douglas, the 94-year-old Marquess of Queensberry, successfully fended off a would-be mugger near his home in west London using his judo skills. The retired ceramics professor, who holds a brown belt in judo, managed to throw the six-foot tall attacker who was attempting to steal his wallet.

The incident occurred about a year ago when the Marquess encountered the assailant down the road from his residence. Despite the significant height and age difference between them, Douglas was able to employ a judo leg sweep known as 'Osoto-gari' to send the mugger stumbling backwards. "A guy down the road gave me some trouble about a year or so ago," the Marquess recounted. "He was trying to rob me. He was all over me with his hands."

Douglas had trained in judo for several years during the 1960s, studying under Percy Sekine at his club in Hammersmith. He achieved a brown belt but did not quite reach his goal of earning a black belt after four years of dedicated practice. His judo skills proved invaluable in defending himself against the attempted mugging.

The Marquess comes from a family with a notable history in the world of combat sports. His great-grandfather, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry, is highly regarded for codifying the 'Queensberry Rules' that form the basis of modern boxing. Douglas himself served in the Royal Horse Guards before pursuing a career in ceramics, becoming a professor at the Royal College of Art.

In recent years, the Marquess has largely stayed out of the public eye following the tragic deaths of two of his eight children. His son Milo took his own life in 2009, and his daughter Lady Beth Douglas died from a drug overdose in 2018 at the age of 18.

As a hereditary peer, the 12th Marquess spoke in the House of Lords on laws enabling same-sex relations, expressing his delight in associating his family with a liberalizing measure. This marked a departure from the family's past, as the Queensberry name had previously been tied to the prosecution of Oscar Wilde in 1895 over allegations of an affair with the 9th Marquess' son.

Why this matters: The Marquess of Queensberry's successful defense against an attempted mugging highlights the lifelong benefits of martial arts training, even at an advanced age. It also highlights the importance of personal safety and self-defense skills in urban environments.

The 94-year-old Marquess' ability to protect himself using judo techniques learned decades ago serves as a lasting legacy to the enduring value of the martial art. "He was definitely after my wallet," Douglas stated, emphasizing the very real threat posed by the mugger. The Marquess' background in judo, combined with his military service and academic achievements, paint a picture of a multifaceted individual who has maintained his physical prowess and mental acuity well into his tenth decade of life.

Key Takeaways

  • 94-year-old Marquess of Queensberry used judo to fend off mugger
  • Marquess trained in judo for 4 years, achieved brown belt
  • Marquess comes from family with history in combat sports
  • Marquess served in Royal Horse Guards, became ceramics professor
  • Incident highlights lifelong benefits of martial arts training