Would you have been able to stop this suspect if there wasn’t an officer in the store? This officer had a very determined and angry attacker on his hands, and his ability to put shots on target in a bad shooting position showed excellent Active Self Protection!
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Original video of the officer stopping the attacker is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story on the incident from local news: https://get-asp.com/uugy
What does this officer teach us about protecting ourselves against an armed attacker?
- In a deadly force encounter, 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! The officer here defaulted to his training, and that saved his noggin for sure.
- 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. 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. Having an officer in the store like these women did was incredibly rare; don’t count on being so lucky!
- Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it. Notice that the officer and the women all used their support-side hand and forearm to block the blows with the stick…that’s empty-handed skills right there. So train to use them EFFECTIVELY so that you’re not getting beat on the forearm with a large stick!
- If you have a firearm out, distance is your friend. A firearm has a functionally infinite range in a deadly force encounter. (yes, I know, that’s not 100% true…for the purposes of a self-defense fight, it is functionally true) If you are at contact distance to someone you have a firearm aimed at, you give them the ability to fight you for your firearm and negate the advantage you have. Therefore, if you have a gun on someone, stay out of range of their hands if at all possible! The officer tried his best to stay out of range of that stick, but sometimes our environment simply doesn’t allow it.
- If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on an officer team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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