Clerk Repels Knife-Wielding Armed Robber

Would you have used the chair if it was all you had, or just complied with the armed robber? Practicing Active Self Protection means using whatever you have available to protect yourself from an armed robber!

Original video of the clerk fending off the armed robber:


What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves from an armed robber?


  1. You must know the range of your force multiplier and the range of various force multipliers that might be used against you. Knives are short-range, fast moving force multipliers. Firearms are extremely long-range, fast moving force multipliers. This armed robber had a knife, and the clerk was wise to keep out of its range!


  1. In many armed robberies the counter of the store comes into play from a defensive standpoint. If the armed robber has a knife, the counter can be a buffer that allows the victims to keep their distance if the perp doesn’t jump it. If the armed robber has a gun, the counter can work against the victims effectively taking the armed robber out if they don’t have a firearm because it prevents them from closing the distance with the armed robber. If you work in an environment with a counter like this, think through how that counter enters into your plans to protect yourself.


  1. While we certainly recommend that people carry the best defensive tools they possibly can, there will be times when those tools are unavailable. In those instances, though, being aware of any environmental weapons of opportunity you might use to defend yourself is helpful! A glass bottle can become a very nasty slashing tool. A pen can be used as a makeshift kubotan. A wrench can become a workable fighting stick. Don’t discount environmental weapons if you don’t have access to purpose-built tools. In this case the clerk fought the armed robber off with a stool. Unorthodox, but effective!


  1. Watch the bystanders in this video and think about what they did. Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary.


  1. The clerk hit the panic alarm, but the police were utterly irrelevant against this armed robber. As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. 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.


Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at




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