What would you have done against this armed robber? This clerk won the day, and that’s good Active Self Protection!
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Original video of the officer trying the TASER is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this clerk teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber?
- 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. This armed robber didn’t use the advantages of the transitional space to launch his ambush, but almost certainly wanted to use it to effect his getaway. If you’re in a transitional space, be more aware of your risks!
- If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from an armed robber or other attacker. If you’re paying attention to your surroundings and the people in your vicinity it becomes a lot easier to see who is out of place! Look for people lurking and not doing what everyone else is doing, or covering their face or head when that’s not necessary (like inside or when it’s warm out). Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions. Check hands as well to see if they have anything in them or are hiding unnaturally in pockets. If you see a pattern that makes you uncomfortable, move from condition yellow to condition orange and take action to investigate or move to safety.
- If you have spiritual fitness by knowing what you’re willing to fight for and that you’re willing and ready to win the fight no matter what, you place yourself way ahead of an armed robber. An armed robber is looking for victims and not looking for fights, so many times when an intended victim puts up a significant fight they will disengage and find other prey. This makes sense even in the animal kingdom where we often see an apex predator disengage from feisty prey for fear of injury. Being ready to defend yourself is a key in self-defense because that defense will often cause the bad guy to run. This is part of why spiritual fitness is so important to self-defense.
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from an armed robber. 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.
- The “Five Ds Plus 1” are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed attacker when we are not armed ourselves. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) First, before the others, we need to control Distance. (it’s the plus 1…it stands by itself and is the gateway to the others working) Then Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. We pursue them from first to last, in order, to give us the best chance of successfully defending ourselves against an armed opponent. Close the Distance to the place where we can effectively use our empty-handed skills. Deflect their force multiplier, Dominate as much as possible (best is the whole person, second is the arm with the tool, last is the tool itself), Distract the attacker (usually using pain, redirection, movement, etc.), Disarm the attacker, and Disable the attacker.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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