This is definitely one of the biggest lessons I have ever seen an armed robber get on camera, but it also teaches us about the line between self-defense and becoming an aggressor.
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Some scant information on this educational beat down: https://get-asp.com/1bfu
What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves from an armed robber?
- One of the things that we see in most places is what is known as an “educational beat down,” which is described very well by Rory Miller and also by Greg Ellifritz (with a second helping here). While among some groups and in some places the educational beat down is an expected part of keeping order (and I personally remember it happening in the construction industry I worked in as a teen in Sacramento, multiple times) we must remember as self-defenders that we defend ourselves and that’s it. We can’t be the bringers of punishment, and make no mistake an educational beat down is punishment. It will get you charged with assault or more serious charges, so restrain yourself and don’t give them!
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. This is the foundational core of spiritual fitness and the first step in taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you live in a fantasyland that nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has happened in the past, you’re setting yourself up for a terrible letdown. The bystander here clearly knew that danger existed in his world and he was CLEARLY ready to counter it when the armed robber launched his attack.
- The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands! The armed robber was hiding his hands, and that was a big sign of trouble. Watch the hands!
- One of the factors we see in injury to victims of crime is half-hearted resistance or half-hearted compliance. This amounts to an ego check or a will check of the armed robber to see if they really mean what they say they mean, and while that’s normal for people to do, it gets a lot of people hurt. Either comply fully with the criminals’ demands, or resist with everything you have to overwhelm the attacker and end the threat. Don’t go half-way. At the very least I love that this bystander didn’t go half way!
- 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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