This is perhaps the most chaotic armed robbery I have ever seen. It certainly shows a good number of Active Self Protection lessons, but we need to go through it a time or two to consider them!
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Original video of the armed robbery is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this video teach us about surviving an armed robbery?
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you, armed robbery or otherwise. 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.
- 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. Banks are effective transitional spaces because of their design and propensity for armed robbery.
- If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues of an armed robbery or other attacker. If you’re paying attention to your surroundings and the people in your vicinity it becomes a lot easier to see who is out of place! Look for people lurking and not doing what everyone else is doing, or covering their face or head when that’s not necessary (like inside or when it’s warm out). Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety.
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. (an armed robbery by definition is territorial violence) 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.
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from an armed robbery, 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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