GRAPHIC: Terrorist Attack at Istanbul Airport Teaches Important Lessons

GRAPHIC: Terrorist Attack at Istanbul Airport Teaches Important Lessons

GRAPHIC. This terrorist attack might feel like a world away, but recent events show us how our Active Self Protection needs to be sharp because of how close a terrorist attack really is.

If you value what we do at ASP, would you consider becoming an ASP Patron Member to support the work it takes to make the narrated videos such as this terrorist attack? gives the details.


Original videos of the terrorist attack are available in our Instructor Development Portal.


News story with details of the terrorist attack:


What does this stabbing teach us about defending ourselves against a terrorist attack?


  1. Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, (a terrorist attack is by definition evil) and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. No negotiation would stop this terrorist attack; only preparation and willingness to kill the terrorists can.
  2. 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. A terrorist attack almost always gives some kind of warning if you’re aware, as the research in “15 meters in 11 seconds” shows.


  1. Marksmanship in a real deadly force encounter might mean that you need to be ready to make a precision shot on a threat, and you must be prepared emotionally and skill-wise to do so. Shooting a threat in the face, a target the size of a 3×5 card, under stress is no small feat! To be able to stop a terrorist attack or hostage situation, though, it is a necessary skill and you should train and practice your marksmanship until it is second nature. A good standard is Dave Spaulding’s “Skill on Demand” drill, which involves 2 shots in 2 seconds at 20 feet, in a 3×5 card.


  1. First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. In a terrorist attack, you WILL need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum: ) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones.


  1. Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. A terrorist attack is not a time you can always guarantee a win for the good guys. You want to be at peace with your loved ones and with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today.


There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this terrorist attack, so please join us in those programs to see them!



Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at




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