Mr Choong Chee Wah, a Malaysian with Singapore permanent residency, had stopped at a petrol kiosk for a toilet break in Johor Bahru, only to have his Singaporean wife attacked by a man armed with a knife.
The Choongs were heading to Desaru with friends for a National Day fun trip and the group agreed to meet up at the Shell petrol station immediately after clearing the Malaysian immigration checkpoint at about 6am.
As the couple went into respective toilets, Mr Choong Chee Wah 56, heard his wife scream. As he rushed into the toilet, he saw a man pointing a knife at his wife's neck.
Mr Choong subdued the robber, holding him down with his "tiger's claws" grip on his neck, till the man begged for mercy.
Mr Choong said he taught martial arts in England when he was doing his Masters, and that he had invented Choong-Kwan-Do, which is a combination of tai-chi, taekwondo, hapkido (Korean martial arts) and Shaolin gongfu.