If you’re going to fight armed robbers like this, you better have the skills to do so! But with that said, the clerks practiced pretty good Active Self Protection and ended the armed robbers dreams of a quick score.
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Original video of the armed robbers is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the armed robbers: https://get-asp.com/ev79
What do these clerks teach us about protecting ourselves against armed robbers?
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. 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. These clerks were able to protect themselves from the armed robbers at least in part because they accepted that they could be attacked.
- 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. The armed robbers used the transitional space to launch an ambush, and that’s very common.
- There is a significant difference between territorial and predatorial violence. (I learned these terms from Marc MacYoung) Territorial violence occurs when an aggressor wants something from you; they put a line in the sand and tell you that you will give it to them, or they will hurt you. Muggings and rapes fall in this category among others. Predatorial violence occurs when the attacker wants you dead and there is no ability to comply with demands to live. These armed robbers represented predatorial violence, in that they offered no ability to comply with their wishes and not get hurt!
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from armed robbers, 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 robbers, 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.
- 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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