This armed robber was expecting an easy mark, not an angry clerk! I am not positive that this is the best way to practice Active Self Protection, but at least he was willing to defend himself. And hey, he came out on top, so success covers a lot of mistakes, right?
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Original video of this armed robber is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the armed robber having the tables turned on him: https://get-asp.com/xs3f
What does this angry clerk teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber?
- In MANY armed robberies, a counter is between the armed robber and the intended victims. That counter is a double-edged sword, because it can keep a knife-wielding attacker out of contact, but keeps a firearm-wielding armed robber relatively safe from your contact unless they put it over the counter. Even then, your empty-handed skills will be sorely tested by a situation when you can’t close the distance because of the counter top. The answer if you work in one of those environments is to train over the counter so that you know what your options and possibilities are.
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. The clerk was at an initiative deficit to the armed robber here at the beginning, but thankfully he was able to overcome it.
- 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. A convenience store is a transitional space and this armed robber used that easy access to launch his attack.
- Compliance does not at all guarantee your safety in the face of an armed robber or other attacker. We know, for instance, that rape victims who fight back are no more likely to be harmed than if they don’t fight back, and they are less likely to be raped. (study here: https://get-asp.com/601c if you need proof on that) Compliance does not guarantee safety, as placing your safety in the hands of someone willing to commit a felony is a terrible idea. Now, that said, you have to resist in smart ways to keep from being a statistic…
- 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. The bystanders here didn’t want to get involved in stopping the armed robber for fear of being hurt themselves. Never expect a bystander to come to your aid!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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