This man only had a split second to respond, but his Active Self Protection was enough to win the day against his attacker! What would you have done in the moment?
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What does this man teach us about defending ourselves against an armed attacker?
- 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. This man at least shows that he knew an attacker could possibly come his way, and that acceptance alone is a significant part of the battle!
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker 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. The attacker here showed his hand a little bit in bringing the gun up from a few feet away, which gave the man a split second to survive the initial ambush.
- 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. Here the walk-up provided the attacker the element of surprise and the ready escape to launch his ambush.
- The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands! The victim had a split second to respond because he saw that the attacker had a gun in his hand. Scan the hands of potential threats to give yourself an edge!
- In a gunfight, cover and concealment are important tools to know and use. Cover is anything that will stop bullets; concealment is that which will not stop bullets but will hide you from being seen by the aggressors. In many instances concealment works as well as cover against attackers who are not highly trained because they won’t shoot through it. Even so, cover and concealment only work for a few moments before the bad guys will start to work around them, so use them judiciously to buy you time and give you an advantage in a gunfight. Here we can see that the man used concealment very effectively because the attacker didn’t shoot through it, even though his bullets would almost certainly have penetrated it! This lesson works in reverse as defenders as well; you CAN shoot through concealment to protect yourself if you need to.
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