This knife attack happens in a flash, so the honest question for us all is this: is your Active Self Protection up to the task of not being a victim here?
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Original video of the knife attack is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story of the details of the knife attack: https://get-asp.com/iett (it shows the knife used as well…looks like a kitchen boning knife to me)
What does this soldier teach us about defending ourselves against a knife attack?
- Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. This knife attack wasn’t going to stop because others were around; he was intent on killing this soldier for a complex set of ideological and racial and religious and historical reasons. The soldier couldn’t have done anything to stop this knife attack from happening; he could only protect himself from it.
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. I don’t know what this soldier could have done before the knife attack started, but if since he was aware, he was able to react very quickly when it did.
- There is a significant difference between territorial and predatorial violence. (I learned these terms from Marc MacYoung) Territorial violence occurs when an aggressor wants something from you; they put a line in the sand and tell you that you will give it to them, or they will hurt you. Muggings and rapes fall in this category among others. Predatorial violence occurs when the attacker wants you dead and there is no ability to comply with demands to live. In territorial violence compliance might get you out alive, but a predatory attacker will not be stopped short of your death or you having the attitude, skills, and plan to stop them. This knife attack shows us predatorial violence, in that he gave the soldier no chance to avoid the attack.
- If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from a robber or other attacker. Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets, which is common in a knife attack. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety.
- A knife attack does not happen like you’ve seen in Hollywood. They are brutal, fast, and mean. Stabbing attacks do not generally come from slashes or from any notice whatsoever, but tend to come from concealment and repeatedly stab at a rate of 2-3 stabs per second. Thankfully the attacker here had a lot of threats around to his efforts so he wasn’t able to focus on the soldier he first attacked.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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