Armed Robber Picks the Wrong Store To Rob

This, friends, is the way we want every armed robber to end up. Here we see Daniel Gaskey, a Texas firefighter and inactive Marine (there’s no such thing as a “former Marine”, as my USMC combat-veteran pop and grandpa always say) definitely practiced Active Self Protection to protect himself and everyone else in the store! I would say the people of Midlothian, TX have a special guy working for them, wouldn’t you?

Original video and news story:

How do I protect myself from an armed robber?

1. Recognize that convenience stores are transitional spaces, and that transitional spaces are more likely spots to be attacked. 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. Since convenience stores are transitional spaces, we must be more vigilant when in convenience stores to be ready to protect ourselves.

2. We say it all the time, but it bears repeating: situational awareness is a beautiful thing. If you notice, Mr. Gaskey immediately saw that something was wrong and performed not one, but two distinct threat assessments on the armed robber, Dylan Bearden. The first time he got away from the threat, the second time he decided he could end the threat and did so. Situational awareness means being cognizant of what is going on around you and having your mind engaged as well as your eyes, so that you can formulate plans and implement them in the moment if you need to.

3. When dealing with an armed opponent, waiting for your opportunity is key. Gaskey didn’t go right after Bearden, but instead waited until Bearden was not paying attention to him to counter-ambush him. That was fabulous strategy. If you’re outdrawn, stay alert and wait for your opportunity, and then when it comes, take it with speed, surprise, and violence of action!

4. Gaskey practiced the Five Ds here pretty darn well. Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. These aren’t a magic formula designed to ward away danger, but larger general principles that we see work again and again and again. You can apply many martial arts/DT/combatives techniques in different situations, but knowing and training with the Five Ds gives you the path of priorities to accomplish your goal of stopping the armed robber from hurting you.

5. As Skip Hancock, the professor of the martial art I study, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy. Gaskey used the ground to great advantage to trap, to inflict pain, and to disorient Bearden. Your empty-handed and firearms training should utilize the ground as part of your defensive strategy!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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