Do you have the emotional fitness to deal with an armed robber who attacks like this? Honestly, practicing Active Self Protection is helpful against any kind of attack, but in my opinion an attack with a hammer is a particularly difficult one to defend against successfully!
Original video of the attack: https://get-asp.com/1sgd
How do I protect myself against an armed robber?
- 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. This armed robber launched his attack from ambush and it took the victim a long time to recover his wits to start defending himself.
- If your situational awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from an armed robber or other attacker. If you’re paying attention to your surroundings and the people in your vicinity it becomes a lot easier to see who is out of place! Look for people lurking and not doing what everyone else is doing, or covering their face or head when that’s not necessary (like inside or when it’s warm out). Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety.
- There is a significant difference between territorial and predatorial violence. (I learned these terms from Marc MacYoung) Territorial violence occurs when an aggressor wants something from you; they put a line in the sand and tell you that you will give it to them, or they will hurt you. Muggings and rapes fall in this category among others. Predatorial violence occurs when the attacker wants you dead and there is no ability to comply with demands to live. In territorial violence compliance might get you out alive, but a predatory attacker will not be stopped short of your death or you having the attitude, skills, and plan to stop them. This armed robber was all about predatorial violence. There was no threat of physical injury…there was simply injury. Defending yourself from predatorial violence must take much more thought!
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. 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. No officer who wasn’t standing in the store could have helped here against this armed robber. You’re responsible for your own safety. Train like it’s true because it is.
- Many attackers use their support or guard side arm as a leveraging tool, holding their opponent with it either to guard their strong hand (with a force multiplier in it like this hammer, often) or to put their intended victim at the preferred distance for their dominant hand to strike with maximum effect. It gives them leverage, which is why we call it a leveraging arm. You have to train repeatedly as a self-defender against the leveraging arm so that you can deal with it before the dominant arm comes into play. The armed robber used that leveraging arm to attack the victim several times.
- 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 armed robber took his victim down and it took some willingness to fight from him to be able to get back up again. Learn those skills on the mat, practice them diligently, and survive!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.