Would you have fought this armed robber or just stayed out of it? I think watching real-life videos like these and learning the lessons they teach is a great way to think about our own Active Self Protection if ever we’re in a similar situation.
Original video of the armed robber getting his just desserts: https://get-asp.com/95mz
What does this armed robber teach us about surviving an armed robbery?
- Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. The armed robber here used the easy access to hide in plain sight until he was ready to attack, which is their stock in trade. So when you’re in transitional spaces, know that you’re in more likely places for attack and stay alert.
- Successful self-defense against many attacks involves a counter-ambush, where the victim finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the attacker and launch an ambush of their own. That involves thinking and knowing your own strengths and skill set, and being ready to strike the attacker when your opportunity for counter-ambush comes. The victim here waited for his opportunity until the armed robber wasn’t thinking about him, and then he handled his business!
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker. Sometimes your partners are those who are fellow victims, as this armed robber found out the hard way! Communication is key to successful self-defense.
- As one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy. You must know how to fight on the ground and not panic if the fight goes to the ground! You must have skills from bottom position, from top position, and in the scramble. You must be able to regain your feet and fight from wherever you find yourself. Too many fights require this skill to ignore it! This victim had the armed robber on the ground, but needed to have the jiu jitsu skills to splay him out there and control him. A good choke game would have really helped!
- To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. We often call this a warrior mindset or a willingness to stay in the fight, and this victim had that! He stayed in the fight as long as it took to win it.
- The Bystander Effect is real. There were lots of people around here, but no one stepped in. You cannot count on anyone breaking the Bystander Effect to help you, especially if the attacker is armed and any help would be at a force deficit from it. Usually the best way to break the Bystander Effect is to have a force multiplication advantage, which is a great reason to keep your force multiplier on you at all times. Once the good guy got after the armed robber it gave the other bystanders courage to act, and that’s important! Be the one to act.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.