That carjacker got the ol’ two piece and a biscuit from his intended victim! This is what a carjacking attempt can look like if your Active Self Protection is strong.
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What does this carjacking victim teach us about defending ourselves against a carjacker?
- 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. This carjacking would have gone very differently if the intended victim was buried in his smartphone; instead, he was aware, and that made his carjacker have a bad day!
- Cars are constant transitional spaces. When they are moving, they’re really not, but when standing still your car is a more likely place of attack. When you’re getting in or out, your awareness generally suffers because you’re distracted, providing carjackers and muggers with opportunity to ambush you. When approaching the car when it’s parked in public, it can be used as a hiding place as well. When you’re stopped at a light you have a highly valuable commodity (the car itself) and can be ambushed and carjacked. Recognize the increased risk your car brings and keep your awareness high!
- If you can use your car to escape, that’s normally your best bet. If you CAN’T use your car to escape for whatever reason (you’re blocked in, it’s dead, etc.) then it becomes a mobile coffin where you can’t really move, and you can’t freely maneuver to engage threats all around you. In that case, do what you can to get away from the coffin. Use the car as cover or concealment if you can, but don’t stay in the car if it’s not going to be moving. The carjacker here was certainly not expecting his victim to move definitively to engage him!
- In a deadly force encounter like a carjacking, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! This intended victim was able to see, assess, DECIDE, and act because he was clearly well-trained.
- If you have spiritual fitness by knowing what you’re willing to fight for and that you’re willing and ready to win the fight no matter what, you place yourself way ahead of most carjackers. They are looking for carjacking victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the bad guy to run. This is part of why spiritual fitness is so important to self-defense.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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