The victim’s compliance in this mugging didn’t mean he was safe; far from it, he was stabbed repeatedly by his mugger. We say at Active Self Protection that compliance can be a useful strategy, but we must never forget that it offers no promises of safety!
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 like these armed robbers getting their just desserts? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.
Original video of the compliance is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this victim teach us about muggings and compliance?
- 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. Most people live their lives thinking that nothing bad will happen, and that compliance with any violent actor will make them safe. That’s simply untrue.
- 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. The mugger used the transitional space here to isolate the victim, which increases his chance of compliance.
- 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. These armed robbers represented predatorial violence, in that they offered no ability to comply with their wishes and not get hurt!
- If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from a mugger, then compliance is your only option and to hope it works out for the best. I would never suggest that a helpless person try to defend themselves against a carjacking or armed robbers, though of course if it’s a matter of life and death you must do whatever you can. The point, though, is not to be a helpless victim! This is the heart of Active Self Protection, to motivate you to train and help you develop the attitude, skills, and plan so that you can choose to protect yourself if it makes sense in the moment rather than being forced into compliance with a violent felon.
- 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. If you can see the ambush coming it gives you time to formulate a plan that isn’t about compliance but purposeful self-defense.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.