It hurts my heart to see an armed robber murder a man like this. Please, friends, if you learn nothing more from Active Self Protection than awareness of your need to be prepared to protect yourself, I will consider my work to be worth it.
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video of the armed robber with scant details: https://get-asp.com/7ns0 (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)
How do I protect myself against an armed robber?
- Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. This store owner didn’t wake up expecting to be murdered by an armed robber! You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with your loved ones and with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today.
- We must each decide what is worth protecting, and this attack brings that to mind as well. Life is always worth protecting because it is of inestimable worth; as unique bearers of the image of God, people are the most valuable “thing” imaginable. Property is something else, though. With property we always have to balance the benefit against the risk to ourselves and our families. Even where it’s legally allowed, you should consider whether it’s wise or prudent to defend your property, because doing so puts you at risk and not just the armed robber. This store owner’s life was at risk from the armed robber, so he could legitimately be defending his life here. But realize that you’re taking a risk when defending yourself.
- In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. The store owner did a good job here of waiting for his chance with the armed robber, even though it didn’t work out for him in the end.
- 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. And as here against this armed robber, you might need those skills to get to your other tools!
- As one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy against an armed robber. You must know how to fight on the ground and not panic if the fight goes to the ground! You must have skills from bottom position, from top position, and in the scramble. You must be able to regain your feet and fight from wherever you find yourself. Too many fights require this skill to ignore it!
- The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed robber when we are not armed ourselves. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) 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. 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.
- Many an armed robber uses their support or guard side arm as a leveraging tool, holding their opponent with it either to guard their strong hand (with a force multiplier in it, often) or to put their intended victim at the preferred distance for their dominant hand to strike with maximum effect. It gives them leverage, which is why we call it a leveraging arm. You have to train repeatedly as a self-defender against the leveraging arm so that you can deal with it before the dominant arm comes into play.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)