A carjacking tests a number of defensive skills simultaneously. Ask yourself as you view this one whether your Active Self Protection would have been up to the challenge this carjacker presented!
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 this carjacking? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.
Original video of the carjacking is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this armed victim teach us about defending ourselves against a carjacking?
- 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. This carjacker used the transitional space of the garage to get the drop on the victim. Your car becomes a transitional space every time it stops, so keep your eyes up for a carjacking attempt until the garage door closes.
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. The intended victim used his awareness to very quickly set a counter-ambush to defeat this carjacking.
- 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. The carjacker set the time and place of the attack when he launched the carjacking, and surviving that initial ambush was the key to victory here for the defender.
- In a deadly force encounter, 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 during a carjacking or other attack. 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!
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from a carjacking. 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. There was no way anyone not in the car could have defended the victim from this carjacking; he had to do it himself.
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.