Would you have taken this armed robber down, or just complied and hoped for the best? We suggest practicing Active Self Protection because it gives you the option to stop the armed robber if you choose!
Original video of the friends stopping the armed robber: https://get-asp.com/fgc9
What does this video teach us about protecting ourselves from an armed robber?
- 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. When you’re in a transitional space like a convenience store you must be ready, because that’s where you’ll run into an armed robber if you ever do!
- Regular people really battle Normalcy Bias. Normalcy Bias is a mental state that causes people not to react to disaster, or to underestimate the ability of that disaster to affect them personally. In defensive encounters, Normalcy Bias makes people stand around in the danger zone and not take defensive action. The clerk seemed to suffer from it, but thankfully the pair of customers broke through it to handle the armed robber!
- Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders, even against an armed robber. 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.
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked by an armed robber (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker.
- The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed attacker when we are not armed ourselves. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. We pursue them from first to last, in order, to give us the best chance of successfully defending ourselves against an armed opponent. Deflect their force multiplier, Dominate as much as possible (best is the whole person, second is the arm with the tool, last is the tool itself), Distract the attacker (usually using pain, redirection, movement, etc.), Disarm the attacker, and Disable the attacker.
- 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 (or, as against this armed robber, a great bludgeoning 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.