Here’s some dad-spiration like no other.

Mike Trinh, an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter from Texas, took down a mid-sized alligator in his driveway before dropping his kids off at school.

Trinh retold the event on Instagram, saying, he first dismissed his daughter’s alligator alert, because he thought she was messing with him in an attempt to dodge her first day of middle school.

Unexpected Visitor

After visually checking the driveway, Trinh decided to throw towels on the hissing alligator’s head to calm it down. He then wrestled with the dinosaur throwback, before subduing it.

The 47-year-old posted pictures of the dad vs. beast encounter on Instagram, attributing his takedown to an Australian legend:

‘All my years watching Steve Irwin, I figured I can deal with any wildlife as long as it ain’t a stingray. Anyways, I threw a towel to calm it down so I can take the kids to school.’

Trinh added,

‘Once I came back, I secure the towels, pin its head, knee on its head, mount on its back for 4 points, and held its jaw shut. I had my daughter helped me tie up the mouth. Then I tied its legs.’


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A post shared by Mike Trinh (@mike.trinh.967)

The kids safe and the amphibious intruder secured, Trinh dialled up animal control (TPWD) only to find they opened at 8am.

Rather than wait around, Trinh put the alligator in the back of his truck and released it in a local creek, while his wife finished the school run.

Alligators are not uncommon in Texas.

An information sheet available from Texas Parks and Wildlife said that the sharp-toothed carnivores live in ‘swamps, rivers, bayous, and marshes of the southern US, including the eastern third of Texas.’

TPWD also noted that alligators — once a protected species — are ‘now a protected game animal in Texas,’ meaning special hunting permits are required.

Taking It in His Stride

In addition to being a proud dad to sassy kids, and a 5 wins to 3 losses MMA fighter, Trinh is a restaurant owner.

Riding the viral social media wave, he’s laughing along with the light-hearted memes about him, and using the attention to help promote his seafood business.

Dubbed with the epithet “The Alligator Man”, Trinh posted a video on Instagram of himself at Starbucks, as well as an image of himself as Steve Irwin, with the caption:

‘I’ve been called many things. And some not so flattering. F*** it, I’ll just learn to embrace this one. Life’s a short ride, you just try to enjoy what you can along the way.’

Manly Dad

Trinh’s tackle gave his kids an insight into how masculinity and fatherhood meet. He applied a firm, measured response that met well with his capabilities and experience.

Instead of avoiding the problem or passing the buck, Trinh stepped up and delivered on behalf of his family. In other words, he heard a call for help, then ran towards the sound of bullets.

Whether Trinh knew it or not, by observing, orienting, deciding, then acting, he was applying what military strategists call the “OODA loop.” (observe–orient–decide–act)

The history of OODA goes back to the Korean War. It was formulated by US Air Force Colonel John Boyd, based on his air-to-air combat experience.

Using Bruce Lee’s teaching as an example, the Strategy Bridge defined OODA as a decision-making framework.

As Brett McKay of The Art of Manliness website fame concluded, OODA is about learning to adapt to a changing environment, by using what’s observed to overcome problems and counter blind spots in the decision-making process.

Decisions and actions are informed by spatial awareness and timing, not just speed.

Regardless, Trinh’s example is one of a dad loving on his family in the greatest way possible. He was prepared to lay down his life for his family, by putting himself between them and harm’s way.

A dad need not have mixed martial arts training to do this, but a little OODA, a sense of humour, and a sprinkling of MMA skills certainly don’t go astray.


Photo by Ricardo Esquivel.

Published On: September 2nd, 20220 CommentsTags: , , , , ,

About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.

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