Machetes are no joke to defend yourself against; the best course is not to get into a fight with someone wielding one!
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Original video of the armed machetes being used is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this surveillance video teach us about defending ourselves against attackers armed with machetes?
- If you can win “the fight before the fight,” you win. You win that fight by minimizing your potential for being attacked in the first place! That means making smart decisions and living a life of awareness and readiness so that you don’t take unnecessary risks. You don’t get attacked with machetes much when you’re not around people openly carrying them and willing to hack people with them. I have a rule: unless we’re in a farm setting, if I see people carrying machetes around, I leave.
- I think that the Rules of Stupid come into play here. The Rules of Stupid state that you should never (1) go to Stupid places, (2) with Stupid people, (3) at Stupid times, and (4) do Stupid things. You can usually get away with breaking one Rule of Stupid, but two or more really increase the odds of bad things happening. I think a MINIMUM of two Rules of Stupid were broken here. (2) was broken (you’re around angry people who have multiple machetes in plain view), and (4) was broken because the guy decided to escalate the conflict from verbal to physical.
- Using your verbal judo to de-escalate and redirect a conflict is always the best choice if it is available, so make sure that your verbal game is strong. Knowing how to redirect, how to persuade, how to empathize, and how to talk someone down from a confrontation is critical to avoiding some fights. That said, we must also know that some people will not be dissuaded from a fight, so knowing when to talk and when to act is critical as well. If the guy in white hadn’t escalated the conflict, there’s no telling if the machetes would ever have come into play!
- The first pillar of lawful, moral self-defense is “innocence.” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe ) Innocence requires that we not be the instigator of the fight and that we not be the aggressor or the perpetrator. In some states when we attempt to leave or run we can re-establish innocence in self-defense, but states differ on that. Regardless, getting into a fight is a poor basis for a self-defense claim later, so always live in such a way that innocence isn’t a problem for you. Here the physical push doesn’t justify the use of machetes, but from a moral and legal standpoint he jeopardized his standing as a moral self-defender by escalating the conflict!
- Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with your loved ones and with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. I also think that if you are at peace with God you minimize your chance of escalating a conflict and being attacked with machetes, which adds to the points above.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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