No one ever said there was an intelligence test to become an armed robber, did they? Still, we must keep our Active Self Protection sharp to protect ourselves at all times! How do you think you would have handled this incident?
News story and raw video: http://get-asp.com/z5fm
What do we learn from this bungling armed robber?
1. 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. The ol’ “finger under the shirt trick” didn’t fool this store employee, so he needed empty-handed skills more than gun skills to handle this armed robber.
2. If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a 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. This clerk and customer didn’t work together very well against the armed robber, and while it came out okay for them, we still want to work together as a team to keep ourselves as safe as possible.
3. 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! This incident, in the original, is 7 minutes from arrival of the armed robber to the arrival of the officer. You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t.
4. Fights are physically demanding. Sure, a pure gunfight might last 10 seconds and not place a huge burden on you physically, but the vast majority of encounters we see here at ASP involve physical self-defense as well. Getting into a honest-to-goodness fight with someone is incredibly physically demanding, so being physically fit is an important part of maximizing your chances to protect yourself. Fit people are harder to beat and harder to kill!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)