Zhou Pigai, a professor at the School of Public Administration of Xiangtan University in China’s central Hunan province, arrived in Los Angeles on 31 October. The next day he was looking for a hotel and walking down an alleyway, when a man in a black mask emerged and pointed a gun at him.
Mr Zhou spontaneously acted and used his left hand to block the gun, and his right fist to knock the gun to the ground, reported the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper.
Mr Zhou ran away dragging his suitcase and stopped a little distance away to use his phone and check on his injuries. But the robber confronted him again and pointed his gun at him. Protecting his laptop bag, which contained all his documents, Mr Zhou pushed his suitcase towards the man. He then punched the robber, used his elbow to hit the man’s head and jumped to kick the gun out of his attacker’s hand.
“I remained calm at that time since I evaluated that the man, who although taller than me and strong, could not win a fight against me,” Mr Zhou said, according to South China Morning Post.
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the incident and said that Mr Zhou has lost an estimated $3,130 (about £2,300) of personal belongings, reported China Daily.
To help local police with their investigation, Mr Zhou re-enacted the fight. The video has since gone viral and has been shared widely on Chinese social media.
But Mr Zhou advised people not to fight with an armed attacker. “I felt scared after the incident. Generally speaking, I don’t suggest the public copy my actions. I have learned martial arts before,” he said.