Would you have been able to fight this robber off? I think the victim did a good job once the fight started of practicing Active Self Protection, though it might have been better if he had seen him earlier!
I wish I had more information on this ATM robber, but here’s the original: https://get-asp.com/7wbe
What does this ATM Robbery teach us about protecting ourselves from harm?
- There’s a well-worn joke that ATM stands for “Accessory To Mugging,” and it’s not far from the truth. The ATM is of course a likely place to be attacked because it is a transitional space. Thieves and armed robbers can easily ambush you if your attention is engrossed in the machine, and they are built to allow for easy access and escape. When you’re at the ATM, be sure to be extra aware of what is going on around you. I even suggest standing with your back to the machine, or at least with your shoulders perpendicular to it so that you can constantly see what is happening around you!
- 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 robber was expecting an easy victim, but his intended victim had good emotional fitness and could take a punch!
- 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.
- Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it.
- 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, 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.