The adage says that you learn more from a loss than from a victory, but the Active Self Protection lessons in this armed robbery make me angry nevertheless. How do you protect yourself from being attacked like this?
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video of this armed robbery: https://get-asp.com/pepc
What do we learn from this about protecting ourselves from an armed robbery?
- 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 robbery is certainly evidence for the ambush effect, so be ready.
- Your eyes go where your hands go. That means that your awareness and your attention go where your hands go as well, so make sure as a self-defender you mentally unlock your eyes from your hands so that you can be aware of your surroundings. When you grab your cell phone next, pay attention to how quickly your head and eyes go down to meet them and how little you can see around you. The next time you reach into purse or pocket, think about what it does to your awareness outside of that action. You must consciously train yourself to get your hands and eyes unhooked so that you’re aware and ready. In this armed robbery, the victim’s eyes and attention got sucked into her fanny pack to the point that the armed robber could attack her.
- Since criminals are looking for victims and not fights, they tend to look for vulnerable people to target. Think about a pride of lions chasing wildebeest in Africa and you get the picture. They target the elderly, the young, and the sick for easier attack and greater success. Likewise, criminals pick victims who they think will not effectively resist them, or that the criminal can quickly overwhelm. This includes the elderly, the young (kids and early teens), the sick, and the distracted. Men (the overwhelming majority of attackers) also target women because women tend to be physically weaker than men. I am not saying that this armed robber wouldn’t have attacked her if she was a woman, but I wonder if she was a large man if he would still have attacked. I doubt it. That means if you’re a vulnerable person, you need to be more ready.
- As each of us considers whether to be a Good Samaritan and step into encounters that do not directly involve us, we must consider the implications on our lives and families. Does your desire to step in override your duty to your spouse and children and loved ones? Or is it part of your care for your family to protect others wherever you can? We must also all realize that when we come across an incident in progress that it can be VERY difficult to determine who is the aggressor and who is the defender, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and that must give us pause as well. The man who tried to hold the door in this armed robbery is brave for sure, but was it wise?
- 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. This armed robbery might not have been preventable, but getting whacked in training a bunch might have given her a frame of reference to protect herself after the ambush.
- 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. Unless an officer was physically present there is no way that police could have stopped this armed robbery.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)