Given what you see here, do you think these employees should have fought back against this robbery, or did it place them at too great a danger? Thinking about your Active Self Protection means knowing when to fight and when you don’t have the skills and plan to back up your attitude!
Original video of the robbery: https://get-asp.com/zeev
News story of the robbery with details: https://get-asp.com/54th
What does this robbery teach us about protecting ourselves from danger?
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (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. In this robbery the employees didn’t really work together much, and if they had communicated and worked as a team they might have been more effective.
- 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! If you think that being able to protect yourself from a lone armed robber is enough, hopefully videos like this show you otherwise!
- 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. In this robbery, a chair can become a barricade! Don’t discount environmental weapons if you don’t have access to purpose-built tools.
- You must be able to fight and defend yourself from all different stages of action. One of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, likes to say that we must be able to fight wherever the fight happens to be! So whether we are at contact stage (just able to come in physical contact with our attacker), penetration stage (where attacks can contact and penetrate significantly), or manipulation stage (a clinch or similar where joint and body manipulations are possible), we must be able to use effective technique to protect ourselves. This robbery went from out of contact to contact to penetration to manipulation and back again, which reminds us to have those stages of action in our repertoire as self-defenders.
- 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.
- Fights are physically demanding. Sure, a pure gunfight might last 10 seconds and not place a huge burden on you physically, but the vast majority of encounters we see here at ASP involve physical self-defense as well. Getting into a honest-to-goodness fight with someone is incredibly physically demanding, so being physically fit is an important part of maximizing your chances to protect yourself. Fit people are harder to beat and harder to kill!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.