Assassination Caught On Camera (GRAPHIC)

WARNING: GRAPHIC. An assassination doesn’t normally provide much opportunity for self-defense, but this one caught on camera still can teach us some significant Active Self Protection lessons and therefore gain some redemption from a senseless act.

Original video: http://get-asp.com/tc93 (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible)

News story about the incident (Google Translate from Spanish required): http://get-asp.com/bpcb

How do I protect myself in an assassination attempt?

1. As always, situational awareness is always your best friend. This is doubly true when your chosen profession is one that you can make enemies, such as an attorney. Had this man been in condition yellow he MIGHT have seen this client coming, and MIGHT have had a second or two to defend himself. There are no guarantees, of course, but he might have had a chance.

2. Spiritual fitness is important, ASPers. You don’t get to decide your day of death in advance very often, and being at peace with God before you meet Him is the ultimate in ASP. So please, make peace with your Maker while you have time.

3. As a bystander, you must get away from the Bystander Effect and ACT. These bystanders tried to somewhat take cover behind their tables and hide a little, but their efforts were ineffective at best. Thankfully for them the murderer meant them no harm and so they lived, but we cannot count on that one iota. When the shooting starts, have your ASP covered and take decisive action to protect yourself.

4. I don’t know that there is much that the victim could have done once the shooting starts, but if he was aware and if he had seen the man coming even with a second to prepare, he might have been able to go IN to the attacker rather than away and perhaps defended himself while only being shot once or not at all. It would have taken some significant emotional fitness for sure.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

“Unarmed” Man Becomes A Deadly Threat In An Instant

Do you know what your boundaries are in regards to when you would draw your firearm? When you’d use it? Practicing Active Self Protection means knowing when an encounter escalates from verbal to physical to deadly threat, and this showcases the truth of that!

Original video: http://get-asp.com/gsj8

News story with more details on the incident: http://get-asp.com/vrzr

How do I protect myself from an escalating deadly threat?

1. We must first recognize the changing nature of a confrontation. This applies well past LEO, to CCW holders as well. This situation started as a call about a man attacking a woman in the area, and this officer started very calm and verbal. The man quickly escalated it by retrieving an improvised weapon and attacking the officer with it. We must all know our boundaries regarding when we are willing to use deadly force to protect ourselves, and when a verbal altercation changes into a physical or even a deadly threat.

2. Movement in a gunfight is not just good; it is critical. You must be able to hit a target while it is moving and/or while you are moving. We almost NEVER see a gunfight where a person faces a deadly threat while standing still in a perfect isosceles stance and draws and fires. Far more often you will be in a compromised stance, moving. So learn to move! Move laterally, diagonally, and vertically. You must be able to move and shoot accurately, so hone that skill.

3. Spatial awareness is important. Knowing our environment (everything in us, on us, and around us) means knowing the best places to go if we have to move in a hurry. Officer Blanford did what he had to in the moment and I am not criticizing his action, so don’t hear me doing so. When he moved to his left, though, he got caught in a corner where he really had few movement options. After the suspect moved away, he did a great job getting behind the car (or where he could use it to maintain distance). If you can, know where your safety lies and try not to put yourself in a corner.

4. We train and practice to shoot until the threat stops. Officer Blanford executed an excellent double tap in this instance that was effective in getting the suspect to change course and stop his attack, and once the threat ended, Officer Blanford stopped shooting. We do not shoot to kill but to stop the threat. Once the deadly threat has been stopped, we stop shooting and re-assess our needs for follow-up actions.

5. An attacker can be a deadly threat from a long way away. You might feel safe when someone is 10 or 15 feet away, but they can close that distance remarkably fast. Officer Blanford had his firearm out and on target when the suspect charged him, and still he was able to close that 15 or so feet and pose a deadly threat before the officer could shoot. Don’t think that distance creates safety automatically!

6. Respect the LEO in your life and your town, because they’re making $18 an hour (that’s under $40,000 a year before overtime, friends) to deal with stuff like this.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Two Lessons In Facing Multiple Attackers

We see again and again that real-life Active Self Protection involves facing multiple attackers. So are you capable of protecting yourself? Train these principles on the mat to improve your skills and plan!

First video, with details on the incident: http://get-asp.com/enof

Second video: http://get-asp.com/lv8r

How do I protect myself from multiple attackers?

1. As a first point, we must reiterate that the best way to protect yourself from multiple attackers is to live a consistent lifestyle of avoidance, de-escalation, and escape. Your verbal judo must be strong, your willingness to avoid problems must be resolute, and your desire to escape potential danger must be honed. You win 100% of fights you don’t get into, and winning this kind of fight is difficult at best. Stay out if you possibly can!

2. If you can’t avoid the fight, then you need to begin the physical fight with attitude. All self-defense starts with attitude. The attitude that we always adopt is an attitude that we can and will stop the attackers from hurting us. (this is the core attitude we work from in Kenpo, taught to me by my teacher Lawrence Robinson and his teacher, Skip Hancock) Whether one or multiple attackers, we begin with the core truth that we have the right to protect ourselves from harm, and we will protect ourselves from harm.

3. The skill set necessary to protect yourself from multiple attackers is larger than the skill set necessary against a single attacker, which makes training important. You need to get on the mat and train! Skills necessary here include movement, multiple attacker engagement, awareness, and effective striking and manipulation of an attacker so that you can get them out of the fight quickly.

4. If you can, deal with one attacker at a time. Move so that you’re not in the middle and being swarmed, and take one down before quickly moving to the next. Use the principle of knocking the attackers “out of time” (or, in gun folk speak, disrupting their OODA loop) so that you can then transition to another attacker.

5. If you run, don’t just run away from the danger. Run TO something. Don’t simply run away. Run TO a place of better position where you can face fewer at once, or a higher spot to have an advantage, or to a doorway to go through to cause them to have to come one at a time. Run TO something.

6. This all requires good emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is the ability to internally present a situation to yourself such that you are powerful to successfully overcome it. To beat multiple attackers you must have strong emotional fitness!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Assassination Caught On Camera

Honestly, how often do you allow your electronics to make you forget about the world around you? Lack of awareness allowed this assassination to happen, but practicing Active Self Protection could at least have given this guy a fighting chance.

Original video here (no info, though): http://get-asp.com/r164 (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible)

How do I protect myself from assassination?

1. Try hard not to make enemies that might want to murder you! Assassinations like this can happen from jilted lovers or crazy ex-business partners and the like, but the truth is that more often the “business” is drugs or other illegal stuff. Follow the Rules of Stupid (don’t go Stupid places, with Stupid people, at Stupid times, and do Stupid things) and you’ll not often have to worry about it.

2. When it’s beyond your control, you must practice situational awareness and threat assessment. You must operate according to the color code of awareness in condition yellow, not white. Yellow means you are aware of your surroundings. Live in condition yellow!

3. You cannot live in condition yellow with headphones on. This is non-negotiable. I know that many young people love to listen to music, watch Netflix, and play games, and smartphones make that easier and more desirable than ever, but it is terrible self-defense to be oblivious to the world around you. If you MUST use headphones, use only one so that you can still hear the outside world. For best results, keep your dominant ear open to the environment!

4. This means the payoff is this: put your phone in your pocket. Just do it. Keep your eyes on your surroundings, and if you’re in an internet café or a restaurant or whatever, be aware of who is coming and going and do your best not to spend long stretches of time with your back to the comings and goings of others. Had this man thought of his self-defense and been aware, he might have seen the first attempt and been able to defend himself effectively.

5. Assassinations don’t come out of the blue. If you’re in a situation where someone might have it in for you, you must be even more careful and not allow yourself to be ambushed like this.

6. Spiritual fitness is important, ASPers. It really is. You don’t often get to know the day that life ends in advance, so make peace with God before you need it.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Dash Cam Catches Road Rage in Toronto

Do you make a conscious decision to avoid road rage while driving? Practicing Active Self Protection means swallowing your pride so that situations like this don’t happen to you!

Original video with more information: http://get-asp.com/8638

How do I protect myself from road rage?

1. Your ego is one of the most dangerous attributes you possess. While ego isn’t evil in and of itself, too much (as seen here) makes you need to be right and have your way. As Ed Parker, Sr. once said, the best way to win a fight is to let the other guy be right. Wave him in. Give him the right of way, or let him merge. Let go of the idea that you need to tell him what he did wrong and get him to admit he can’t drive.

2. Stay in your car. Exiting your vehicle is a normally a bad tactical move for many reasons! First, if the other guy is still in his car you’re at a huge disadvantage of force multipliers. Second if he isn’t, you’ve just accepted his invitation to fight and can’t rightly be called a self-defender anymore. You’re now in mutual combat. Stay in your car and, if he exits his, use the opportunity to drive away.

3. If for some reason you have to exit, such as an accident or you’re blocked in, do so knowing the gravity of the situation. You’re in DANGEROUS territory, so treat it as such. Keep your cool. Stay aware. Use de-escalation techniques and verbal judo to try to avoid the fight.

4. If he won’t be dissuaded, a force multiplier like a pepper spray is a good idea to have for these kinds of situations. A solid spray to the face will stop the fight for long enough for you to get back in the car, get out of there, and call 911. For the guy in the red car in this video, it would certainly have been preferable to the beating he took!

5. As a last resort against deadly force, I do recommend having a firearm on your person.

6. The guys who broke it up first had to overcome the Bystander Effect to do so, and that’s awesome that they did. They prevented this from becoming a really bad scenario. If you see this happening, be sure you know what you’re doing before you step in.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Off Duty Officer Stops Carjackers

Do you practice shooting at 7 yards and beyond? You might well need that skill to protect yourself or someone else! This officer in Mexico City practiced great Active Self Protection to keep these carjackers from hurting someone else.

Original video: http://get-asp.com/0dqj

What do we learn about carjackers here?

1. We learn that there will be times that you can’t just drive away from them! This might be better termed an armed robbery than a carjacking, but there was nowhere for this person to run to. The cars all around prevented escape in the car. Carjackers pick people who are victims that they can corner, so sometimes you have to be able to simply fight where you are and stand your ground.

2. Carjackers travel in packs! Two or three opponents are not uncommon, so make sure that your defensive plan includes multiple attackers. Your training should regularly include multiple attackers and how to successfully defend yourself against them.

3. Marksmanship matters. This officer had a shot of 7-10 yards or so, with a terrible backstop. He had to put the shot on target to be able to stop these guys and not endanger others. Do you practice shooting at 7 yards? I hope you do, and hope you do it until you can get reliable hits.

4. Notice that the officer didn’t get tunnel vision on the one carjacker that he shot. He maintained awareness of the others who ran off, which is excellent! Keeping aware of what is going on keeps you from getting ambushed as you recover from the fight.

5. Notice as well that the officer shot to stop the threat, and that was enough. It was a psychological stop and perhaps a neuromuscular incapacitation of his legs, but he didn’t keep shooting once the threat stopped. That said, he went and got the gun in the guy’s waistband so that the threat couldn’t re-emerge, and that was excellent as well!

6. Even with multiple attackers, when shots are fired many times the gang will scatter. You won’t often have to fight 4 or 5 carjackers or other attackers, because once they realize that the force equation has tipped against them, they run for safety. They’re looking for victims, not fights, so when they encounter a fight they find alternate things to do with their day.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

This is Why Your Defensive Skills Need To Be Sharp

While compliance may not get you what you want in an armed robbery, at Active Self Protection we talk about attitude, SKILLS, and PLAN for a reason. Do you have the skills and plan to win the fight in confrontations like these?

Original of first clip: http://get-asp.com/ypbf

Original of second clip: http://get-asp.com/4f3x

Why are my defensive skills so important?

1. Attitude is the foundation of everything we do at ASP. (I study martial arts at Attitude First Martial Arts Academy, which should tell you a lot about how I view attitude!) These men both had the attitude that they would stop their attackers from harming them, and that is tremendous. However, it’s not enough on its own! Attitude is FIRST, but it is not ALONE.

2. To successfully defend yourself, you need skills. The first clip required skills using a long stick like a pool cue as well as empty-handed skills and skills for dealing with multiple attackers. Those skills don’t come overnight and they require an investment of time and money and attention. The second clip required firearm skills, draw and shoot skills, and movement skills. While many people think they’re easier to acquire, in reality they are perishable skills that need constant practice and training. You can’t do that at home exclusively; you need to sit under the teaching of a competent teacher to hone your skills!

3. Once attitude and skills are sharp, it’s time to focus on the plan. Do you have a heart and plan in place to take the fight to the bad guy with ferocity? If you have time, like the guy in the first clip did, can you formulate your desired plan of attack and then carry it out? Just “I will hit him with my cue” isn’t enough…you need a path to total victory! Do you have a plan that you’ve trained if your blaster pukes in a gunfight? Can you overcome that problem, or if your gun doesn’t go bang are you dead? That’s an important question to ask.

4. The bottom line in this is that these clips must lead us to a place where we make defensive training an important part of our lives. As Dave Grossman has famously said in his book “On Combat”, “Do not expect the combat fairy to come bonk you with the combat wand and suddenly make you capable of doing things that you never rehearsed before. It will not happen.” Don’t it back and think that you’ll rise to the occasion, because you won’t. Train like you will get the worst you have in the moment, and make that as good as it can possibly be so that you have a chance to come out alive.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Armed Robbers Murder Clerks On Camera

I have heard talking heads on television tell people that if an armed robber robs you, just give them what they want and you’ll be fine. At Active Self Protection we know that’s certainly no guarantee, and these incidents give a lot of evidence to that fact!

Video 1 original: http://get-asp.com/ipja

 

Video 2 original: http://get-asp.com/us5t

 

Video 3 original: http://get-asp.com/m0g9

 

Should I comply with armed robbers?

 

  1. The fallacy in the advice to comply is that it seems to be blanket advice. No advice will work in every situation, and someone pointing a gun at you can be reasonably inferred to mean you deadly harm. You have the right to protect yourself from a deadly threat, but if you don’t have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from the threat then compliance might be the only option you have. I would prefer that everyone have far more options, though!

 

  1. No product or inventory is worth getting shot for, so giving the armed robber the cash in the till or the product off the shelf is wise. Even if you’re only buying time to find an opportunity, don’t deny the armed robber what he wants without more to back it up than your angry stare. If you can’t win the encounter, then just give him the stuff!

 

  1. You must always look for your opportunity, but don’t look so long that the opportunity passes you by! Defend yourself at the earliest possible moment.

 

  1. The best solution to the first two videos would have for sure been the clerk having a firearm of their own and using it effectively. I think that every ASPer should be proficient with firearms and carry one if their laws allow. In the third clip, empty-handed skills and the Five Ds would certainly have made for a better outcome.

 

  1. We talk about spiritual fitness from time to time at ASP, and these videos remind us that you don’t always get to pick the day you meet your Creator. Part of ASP is being ready spiritually for that day in the event that today is the day, so make peace with God as part of your preparation.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Fatal Officer Involved Shooting Caught on Bodycam

Would you have been able to protect yourself in this situation? Be honest! Deadly force encounters don’t announce themselves, and the ability to transition from talking to shooting is a critical component of Active Self Protection. Sgt Green and Officer Griffin both did a fine job here, and their decisive action teaches us all some important lessons.

News story with more details on the incident: http://get-asp.com/vz3x

 

Original video of Sgt Green’s body cam: http://get-asp.com/nrid

 

Original video of Officer Griffin’s body cam: http://get-asp.com/jidz

 

Interview with the suspect’s brother, which is surprising: http://get-asp.com/8gkm

 

What lessons can we learn from this officer involved shooting?

 

  1. In the moment, it is not possible to tell the difference between a real firearm and a replica. This reminds us that the media hype surrounding someone having a fake gun and being shot is hype and not reality. In the heat of the moment it is perfectly sane and reasonable to treat that gun as real and defend yourself against the person wielding it such that they cannot hurt you with it.

 

  1. Both sighted fire and point shooting are necessary skills for self-defenders. The first shot that Sgt Green fired was point shooting. Knowing instinctively how to get the firearm tracking where you want to shoot and being able to get a shot on target as fast as humanly possible is a critical skill in a gunfight.

 

  1. Shooting fast is great; shooting fast with accuracy is critical. Sgt Green took nine shots, and he was shooting about .25 splits (I counted in my editing software). That’s about what we see, again and again, in deadly force encounters. That makes training to the standard of being able to put shots in a man-sized target at 5 yards in that kind of split territory an important performance benchmark to train towards!

 

  1. I like that Sgt Green knew when to move from hands-on to his firearm. He tried to take the suspect down but he was too big and moved away, and as soon as he realized that he wasn’t going to be able to control him, Sgt. Green created distance, drew his firearm, and started putting shots on target. That was significant! He didn’t hesitate one bit.

 

  1. The strobe on the pistol-mounted light was annoying, but having a light to see what was going on was very helpful. It’s dark a lot of places a lot of the time, so if possible I really recommend having a light mounted on your pistol. (I keep this one on mine: https://get-asp.com/NightStand) Notice that in the point-shooting maelstrom of the fight that the laser on Sgt Green’s gun didn’t really come into play at all. A laser might be helpful in other situations, but it isn’t really helpful in the instant stress of a draw and shoot gunfight.

 

  1. Officer Griffin did a great job communicating with her partner. If you are not LEO, you might still have a partner in your spouse or best friend who you’re out with. She didn’t just scream, she alerted her partner to the danger and being able to verbalize is important!

 

  1. Capacity matters, everyone! Sgt. Green shot nine times before the threat ended. Nine. If he was carrying a 1911 or a single stack, he would have needed a reload. So do you carry one? I hope so! (and of course, I know that he wouldn’t carry a low capacity firearm on duty, but I just saw a local officer carrying a 1911 on duty last week, so it’s pertinent to LEO, and I know LOTS of CCW who carry fewer than 9 in the gun they carry every day)

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

GRAPHIC: Real-Life Knife Attacks Caught On Video

Intro

WARNING: GRAPHIC. Are you prepared for a real knife attack? Not a Hollywood scene, but a real life, honest-to-goodness knife attack? An awful lot of training I see out there is directed towards single attacks and telegraphed movement, but Active Self Protection exists to realities of attacks so that we can learn how to defend ourselves from what really happens.

Video



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Guest Message

Video Lessons

How do I protect myself against a knife?

  1. It takes great emotional fitness to really survive a knife attack when you’re unarmed. Emotional fitness, the ability to present a situation to ourselves so as to strengthen our inner self to face and overcome the situation, can be trained and must be maximized. It is scary stuff to fight against a knife-wielding attacker, but doing it in training again and again can give us confidence and inner strength to do so successfully. So hit the mat!
  2. Recognize that real-life knife attacks are fast, brutal, repeated, and not telegraphed. I see a lot of “knife techniques” in martial arts and combative schools taught against a single thrust with the assumption that the defender will stop the attack and disarm the attacker on the first strike, but that is not really realistic in my opinion unless you’re a master who gets really lucky as well. The best you can probably hope for in real life is to deflect the first attack and buy a brief moment to weather the ambush and regain composure for the second strike that is coming immediately.
  3. The Five Ds are the larger general principle to work on when facing an armed opponent, and this holds true for knife attacks again and again. Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. If you practice them as principles to prioritize in self-defense they will certainly help you in a real fight.
  4. Empty-handed skills are crucial in surviving a knife attack. I carry a firearm every day and recommend that you do, too, but there is no way that you will be able to immediately draw a firearm in this kind of attack. You must have empty-handed skills to weather the ambush to get to your gun!
  5. Spiritual fitness is the foundational fitness and the foundation of covering your ASP. Several of these victims simply didn’t survive the ambush, and there is no guarantee any of us will either in a real ambush against a knife-wielding attacker. Make peace with God so that if today is your day to meet your Creator, you’re ready! And then train like you want that meeting to be a long ways down the road.

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Teaching Points

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