Do you think this store owner was wise to fight the armed robber who had such a jump on him? These questions are part of practicing good Active Self Protection by mentally preparing to protect yourself in an armed robbery, so think about what your plan would be in this instance!
Original video of the armed robber with more information: https://get-asp.com/jcf9
How do I protect myself against an armed robber?
- 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. Notice that this armed robber was easily able to get into the space and ambush the owner, which is why transitional spaces like convenience stores present a significant threat.
- In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. The store owner here waited for his opportunity and did a good job taking the initiative!
- If you don’t have a force multiplier in the fight but the attacker does (and an armed robber by definition is armed!), to defend yourself you must know how to close the distance to get your hands into the fight. A firearm has significant distance advantage, and a smart attacker will keep it out of range from your hands. If you do choose to fight back, you MUST close the distance to get the gun out of the fight before he can use it against you. That usually will involve feigned compliance and redirection as well as waiting for the right opportunity to move.
- The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against a knife attack when we are not armed ourselves. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. We pursue them from first to last, in order, to give us the best chance of successfully defending ourselves against an armed opponent. Deflect their force multiplier, Dominate as much as possible (best is the whole person, second is the arm with the tool, last is the tool itself), Distract the attacker (usually using pain, redirection, movement, etc.), Disarm the attacker, and Disable the attacker. In this knife attack it’s important to see that the knife switched hands and remember that dominating the tool and arm means keeping it from switching!
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger such as this armed robber presented. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.