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A Chicago jiu-jitsu instructor successfully detained a theft suspect during a scuffle in a convenience store last week.
Idriz Redzovic, owner of Supreme Academy of Jiu-Jitsu in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, put his unique skills to use on June 16, when Christopher Cruz, 30, allegedly walked into a 7-Eleven on West Lawrence Avenue stole food from off a shelf, and left briefly before walking back inside and punching a 19-year-old store employee.
“My instincts kicked in,” Redzovic, a third-degree Gracie jiu-jitsu black belt, told Fox News Digital. “I just grabbed him and … took him to the ground, flattened him out like a pancake, and then I started to put him in a … jiu-jitsu hold in a position called gift wrap I’m twisting arm control.”
Redzovic was buying slushies for his six children at the 7-Eleven when the incident unfolded. Security footage and a Facebook live stream of the incident show Redzovic taking Cruz down and holding him in a secure headlock without hurting the suspect.
The instructor emphasized that he “did not hurt” Cruz because the “whole position” he pinned him in “is controlled.”
“Jiu-jitsu is such a beautiful art that I don’t have to apply pressure. I could read a temperature gauge, right? If I had to hit him, I would hit him. … I could have easily escalated … into a chokehold, into an armbar, into another situation. But I had it under control.”
Redzovic learned the practice while growing up in Chicago. Learning jiu-jitsu kept him out of trouble and prepared him for crime incidents like the one involving Cruz. He mentioned a previous incident in which he had to use his skills to stop a juvenile from stealing his vehicle.
“I grew up in the streets of Chicago … and my mom [was] working two jobs since I lost my father. I’ve been in a lot of like street fights,” he explained. “I was able to learn juju itsu. Before, I didn’t know how to fight. … My mom didn’t get home until 12. I was an 11-year-old kid, you know?”
Martial arts taught him that “you can fight without hurting…