This officer had to act fast to protect himself from this knife attack! We are pro-LEO at Active Self Protection, and support the work they do to help keep our communities safe. The lessons caught on camera here apply to CCW as well!
If you value what we do at ASP, would you consider becoming an ASP Patron Member to support the work it takes to make the narrated videos like these armed robbers getting their just desserts? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.
Original video of the assault on the officer is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the assault on the officer: https://get-asp.com/f3yg
More on the perpetrator, including his long history of mental illness and circumstances at the time of the assault: https://get-asp.com/1ilk
What does this officer teach us about defending ourselves against a knife attack?
- Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up! The assault here was by a man who was not in his right mind, but that doesn’t change the realities of defending against a determined assault!
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from an attacker, then your only option is to submit to their demands and hope it works out for the best. I would never suggest that a helpless person try to defend themselves against a carjacking or assault, though of course if it’s a matter of life and death you must do whatever you can. The point, though, is not to be a helpless victim! This is the heart of Active Self Protection, to motivate you to train and help you develop the attitude, skills, and plan so that you can choose to protect yourself if it makes sense in the moment rather than being forced into compliance with a violent felon. Here, the attacker was first caught on camera in the assault on the security guard. That guard chose to submit, and it worked out for him okay. That can be a strategy that works, but recognize the risks you take.
- In a deadly force encounter like this assault, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training!
- The Tueller Drill is a widely known standard for gun carriers against a knife attack, which states that an attacker can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds to get to their target. If the gun carrier doesn’t have their gun out and ready, they will get stabbed trying to get their gun in a fight. This has led to the “21 foot rule”, though it has been revisited by Sgt. Tueller and found to be more of a guide and principle than a rule. At any rate, in a knife attack, recognize that a knife-wielding attacker can be a deadly threat from a significant range, and recognize that they can close that distance very quickly. Get your firearm out and on target as soon as you recognize a threat! Thankfully the officer had the door and warning that the attacker was a threat, so he was able to defend himself against this assault.
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker. This assault involved both officers!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.