What would you have done if you were the guard? I don’t necessarily like the outcome, but he did what he had to do against these armed robbers, and sometimes that’s as good as your Active Self Protection gets.
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Original video of the armed robbers is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this guard teach us about defending ourselves against armed robbers?
- 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. These armed robbers used the transitional space of the sidewalk (a normal activity for people to do kept them hidden in ambush as long as their body language didn’t give them away) to get the drop on the guard.
- 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. Now certainly this guard knew that armed robbers could attack him, no question, and acceptance of that danger was part of his job.
- 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. In territorial violence compliance might get you out alive, but a predatory attacker will not be stopped short of your death or you having the attitude, skills, and plan to stop them. These armed robbers brought territorial violence, and thankfully they weren’t out to kill the guard or he would be dead.
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker (here armed robbers) 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.
- You must recognize that if you have valuables visible, you make yourself a more inviting target to muggers or armed robbers. Showing valuables like expensive jewelry has social value as well, but the trade-off of that social value is increased attraction of attention from criminals as well. In some places, that valuable might be an openly carried firearm as well, so if you open carry recognize that trade-off and plan for what you will do if you are targeted for it.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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