How would you have responded to this kidnapping attempt? Thankfully kidnapping like this is rare, but we still need to consider how we’d respond as part of our Active Self Protection.
Original video of the attempted kidnapping: https://get-asp.com/c9nb
News story of how the kidnapping was stopped: https://get-asp.com/s3u4
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an attempted kidnapping?
- 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 kidnapping attempt, thankfully, was a very poorly timed and executed ambush that provided time for the mom to act.
- Parents must consider their children in their defensive plan. The younger the child, the more the parent(s) must consider how holding or dragging their child will affect their ability to protect both of them. Naturally, the more children you have the more you’ll be constrained in retreat or running, and the more you’ll have to “stick your foot in the ground” and defend yourself without retreat in many situations. Also, as this kidnapping shows, as the parent you have to be the defender of your children!
- If you have spiritual fitness by knowing what you’re willing to fight for and that you’re willing and ready to win the fight no matter what, you place yourself way ahead of most attackers. Attackers are looking for victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the bad guy to run. This is part of why spiritual fitness is so important to self-defense and quite evident in this attempted kidnapping.
- 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. The police officer just HAPPENED to be in the parking lot in this kidnapping attempt, and therefore was able to take the suspect into custody, but note that he couldn’t stop it from happening to begin with.
- Never, ever, under any circumstances allow yourself to be taken to a second location; nothing good comes of a kidnapping. The odds of terrible things happening to you rise exponentially when an attacker is allowed to get you isolated and in private. You must make the decision that if an attacker tries to take you to a second location that you will fight to the death to prevent that. This takes spiritual fitness, the courage to know what you’re willing to fight for.
- One significant strategy that works (if you don’t have tools or skills to mount a more effective defense) to keep from being taken to a second location in a kidnapping is to drop to the ground and use your legs to keep the kidnapper from moving you. Nothing good happens at the second location, so dropping to the ground can keep you from being moved! The way I talk about it is this: have you ever tried to pick up a toddler who didn’t want to be moved? It’s TOUGH! Now think about doing it to an adult. Flop down, stay on your back, and use your legs to kick the attacker off. Jiu jitsu practitioners use this strategy when grounded pretty routinely.
- 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!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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