What if superheroes were real? What if they were more than just the fictional characters that graced the pages of comic books and lit up the big screen? There are people out there who are looking to make a difference and help those in need. The Dark Guardian is one of those real life superheroes who patrols the streets of New York. His goal is to stop and deter crime, making the streets a safer place for its everyday citizens. He also participates in homeless outreach and community clean ups. I recently had a chance to ask him a few questions and he graciously took the time to respond.
1. What’s your definition of a hero? What makes someone a superhero?
A hero to me is someone who shows great courage.
A superhero to me is someone who shows great courage, seeks out people to help, and makes the wrongs right.
2. Who are your favorite superheroes?
My favorite superheroes are Daredevil, Punisher, Captain America, and Superman.
3. What made you decide to become the Dark Guardian? Was there a defining moment?
I don’t think there was a defining moment. I have seen firsthand what crime and apathy could do to an area and that had an effect on me. One day I just said, “Hey, why hasn’t anyone ever tried to be like a Superhero in real life.” I talked to a few people online and we just started doing it.
4. How did you get the name Dark Guardian?
Made it up. I’m typically out at the dark of night and feel it is my duty to guard and protect the community.
5. Could you explain some of the things you do as the Dark Guardian? What is your average day on patrol like?
As the Dark Guardian I do safety patrols working to stop and deter crime, calling out and taking on pedophiles, homeless outreach, needle pick-ups, community clean-ups, and more.
6. What kind of gear do you have with you when you are out on patrol?
I will wear a bullet proof vest from time to time. Sometimes I will wear a Ronin safety patrol shirt or vest, and some Dark Guardian gear.
7. Tell me about the type of training you do? Strength training? Endurance? Martial Arts?
I’ve trained martial arts for about 17 years. I’ve done a mix of Kempo, Muay-Thai, BJJ, boxing, Filipino martial arts, and Shotokan Karate. I do body weight exercises, rock climbing, obstacle training, and some weight lifting.
8. Do you train your mind? How do you deal with stress? Are you ever afraid?
The best thing is meditation. I have to admit I find it difficult and definitely don’t do it enough. Working on it. Reading and writing helps me a lot mentally. I am afraid at times, but I usually just get in the zone and that fear fades away.
9. If you could give the average person one important tip about staying safe, what would it be?
It’s the simplest tip of being aware. We get so wrapped up in our phones or whatever else is going on that we stop paying attention to our surroundings and potential dangers. Get off your phone and see what’s around you!
10. What kind of feedback do you get from the public? What is your relationship with the police like?
Typically when people meet me or actually see what I’m doing they are very supportive.
Some police know of me. My relationship with the police is ok. Nothing negative.
11. Do you ever team up with others, or do you mostly work alone? How can people help you? What can the average person do to help make the world a safer place?
I have a group called Ronin that I work with regularly. I have worked with a lot of different people over the years. If they are local and in the NYC area, they can get in touch and come out with me. I think the average person can keep an eye out to what’s going on, take a stand where they see something wrong, and simply show kindness to others
12. What are your plans for the future? Any projects in the works?
I am doing a lot of work with my Ronin group. I want to grow my local group, then expand to different areas of the city. I’ve started taking on pedophiles and it’s already growing into a movement of people helping take them on and calling them out. My goal is to make some changes in the communities we work in and make some real societal change.
You can find the Dark Guardian on Facebook, Instagram @darkguardiansh, and on YouTube @ Chris DarkGuardian