When this bystander walks into an armed robbery in progress, he decides not to let it be. That might not be the safest choice, but he certainly got the job done!
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Some slight details on the armed robbery from the local constabulary: https://get-asp.com/kjea
What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves against an armed robber?
- Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. Convenience stores are all transitional spaces, and as potential bystanders to an armed robbery, it pays to look through the glass door before entering to make sure that the scene inside is safe!
- 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. This bystander went full-bore against the armed robber, and that’s why he came out okay.
- 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 armed robbery, 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. The clerk was compliant, and given her situation, that was probably her best choice.
- 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.
- The “Five Ds Plus 1” are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed attacker when we are not armed ourselves. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) First, before the others, we need to control Distance. (it’s the plus 1…it stands by itself and is the gateway to the others working) Then Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. We pursue them from first to last, in order, to give us the best chance of successfully defending ourselves against an armed opponent. Close the Distance to the place where we can effectively use our empty-handed skills. Deflect their force multiplier, Dominate as much as possible (best is the whole person, second is the arm with the tool, last is the tool itself), Distract the attacker (usually using pain, redirection, movement, etc.), Disarm the attacker, and Disable the attacker.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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