These attacks at a mall in St Cloud, Minnesota got national attention; the cameras in the stores show us some important Active Self Protection lessons!
If you value what we do at ASP, would you consider becoming an ASP Patron Member to support the work it takes to make the narrated videos like this mall attack? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.
The Wikipedia article on this attack has a TON of links to more information and gives a good synopsis of the timeline and players: https://get-asp.com/wjl5
What do these employees teach us about the realities of fighting off a knife attack?
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. This is the foundational core of spiritual fitness and the first step in taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you live in a fantasyland that nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has happened in the past, you’re setting yourself up for a terrible letdown. You can tell from the difference in responses of the two employees that one of them acted definitively and the other didn’t; one was ready for anything, one was incredulous.
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. Awareness that something was going on gave each employee some time to see the attack coming and do something to protect themselves.
- 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. This attack wasn’t stopped by good will; it only stopped when a courageous off-duty cop shot this attacker dead. (video forthcoming on that footage)
- A life of self-protection must be dedicated to avoidance, de-escalation, and escape whenever possible. You win 100% of the fights that you don’t get in, so make a commitment to de-escalate, escape, or evade any encounter you possibly can. Having good situational awareness will give you more time and opportunity to see problems coming and formulate a plan to stay away and protect yourself without danger to yourself or others. This is always our first choice as self-defenders. The employee who closed the gate prevented himself and the others in his store from being attacked in the first place, and that was a great strategy!
- There is a significant difference between territorial and predatorial violence. (I learned these terms from Marc MacYoung) Territorial violence occurs when an aggressor wants something from you; they put a line in the sand and tell you that you will give it to them, or they will hurt you. Muggings and rapes fall in this category among others. Predatorial violence occurs when the attacker wants you dead and there is no ability to comply with demands to live. In territorial violence compliance might get you out alive, but a predatory attacker will not be stopped short of your death or you having the attitude, skills, and plan to stop them. This attack was predatorial violence, plain and simple. The employees might not have WANTED to defend against that kind of attack, but there it was.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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