How would you have responded to this man pulling a machete out from concealment like that? I think that it would take some significant Active Self Protection to be emotionally and physically ready to successfully defend yourself in this instance. So could you?
Original video: http://get-asp.com/o3lc
How could I protect myself against someone with a machete?
1. 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. Awareness might have kept these guys out of danger by not getting in range of the thieves to begin with.
2. 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. In the moment against a man with a machete who could swing imminently, it would be very difficult to get to a firearm. Better to deal with the immediate problem with your hands, then get some range, and THEN get to the firearm.
3. To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way.
4. We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Rats travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers! The man with the machete was only half the problem here!
5. Many attackers use their support or guard side arm as a gauging tool, holding their opponent with it to either guard their strong hand (with a force multiplier in it, often) or to put their intended victim at the preferred distance for their dominant hand to strike with maximum effect. You have to train repeatedly as a self-defender against the gauging arm so that you can deal with it before the dominant arm comes into play.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)