Muggers Beat and Rob Woman in Elevator

How would practicing Active Self Protection have helped this woman? Certainly, she is not to blame for them attacking her. But how could she have prevented this attack or defended herself against it?

UPDATE: This video is from Kuala Lumpur; news story here:


Original video of the muggers:


How do I protect myself against muggers?


  1. If you can win “the fight before the fight,” you win. That means you minimize your risk for selection by muggers as a potential victim in the first place! That means making smart decisions and living a life of awareness and readiness so that you don’t take unnecessary risks. Here the woman took a risk by not acknowledging the men in the elevator, perhaps to avoid being hit on or harassed, but which gave them signals that they could victimize her. Train and practice victim avoidance so that you’re less likely to be chosen.


  1. Since muggers are looking for victims and not fights, they tend to look for vulnerable people to target. Think about a pride of lions chasing wildebeest in Africa and you get the picture. They target the elderly, the young, and the sick for easier attack and greater success. Likewise, muggers pick victims who they think will not effectively resist them, or that the muggers can quickly overwhelm. This includes the elderly, the young (kids and early teens), the sick, and the distracted. Men (the overwhelming majority of attackers) also target women because women tend to be physically weaker than men.


  1. Your mobile phone is a useful tool but a dangerous one, especially when we’re talking about muggers. It can be used to communicate, to get emergency help to you, and to avoid problems altogether in numerous ways. It can also be a very dangerous distraction, because it is designed purposefully to grasp our undivided attention and hold it. When in public, use your mobile sparingly and correctly. Don’t allow it to hold your attention for more than 20-30 seconds at a time, and hold it high so that your head is up and you can see past it to what is going on around you. Don’t use it to hide behind!


  1. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. These muggers certainly used their advantage! 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. This woman never had a chance to survive the ambush because the attack came from obscurity (and a purposeful obscurity on her part, it seems) and was devastating.


  1. As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you (muggers or anyone else). A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.


  1. We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Rats travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers!


Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at


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