Off Duty Cop Gets the Last Laugh on ATM Muggers

I think that this off-duty cop made a few errors for us to be aware of, but in the end it’s the muggers who lost the fight so that’s a win for good people!


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News story on the off duty officer and muggers (Google Translate required):


Second news story with details on the capture of the second mugger, and his long record (Google Translate required):


What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against muggers, especially at the ATM?


  1. Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can.


  1. 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 they used the poor design of the ATM to ambush the off-duty cop. When you’re in a transitional space, make sure you are aware!


  1. There’s a well-worn joke that ATM stands for “Accessory to Mugging,” and it’s not far from the truth. The ATM is of course a likely place to be attacked because it is a transitional space. Thieves and armed robbers can easily ambush you if your attention is engrossed in the machine, and they are built to allow for easy access and escape. When you’re at the ATM, be sure to be extra aware of what is going on around you. I even suggest standing with your back to the machine, or at least with your shoulders perpendicular to it so that you can constantly see what is happening around you!


  1. One of the most significant benefits of training ourselves to the point of unconscious competence is the ability to think under pressure. (the path to unconscious competence is different than most have been taught, as this article shows) If your skills are significant enough that you don’t need to think about the physical manipulations, such as drawing your firearm or countering a takedown attempt, your brain can stay engaged in problem-solving mode to allow you to make good decisions in the blink of an eye. (this is a concept that one of my most significant martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, introduced me to)


  1. Successful self-defense against many attacks involves a counter-ambush, where the victim finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the attacker and launch an ambush of their own. That involves thinking and knowing your own strengths and skill set, and being ready to strike the attacker when your opportunity for counter-ambush comes. It also means not allowing the attacker to see that attack until it’s launched.


There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this video, so please join us in those programs to see them!


Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the outro courtesy of Bensound at




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