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Florida Man Faces Murder Charges for Escalating Conflict From Physical to Deadly

Do you think this man should be facing aggravated battery charges? Knowing when you can use your firearm, and when you can’t, is a VERY important part of practicing Active Self Protection.

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 motorcyclist escalating conflict, along with news story: https://get-asp.com/gy01

UPDATE: The District Attorney has decided to drop charges: https://get-asp.com/efu5

What do we learn here about the dangers of escalating conflict?

 

  1. One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “proportionality,” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe ). Proportionality requires that the response is proportional to the threat, and escalating conflict is not allowed legally or morally. When we fail the test of proportionality by escalating conflict, we lose our innocence in the eyes of the law and put ourselves at risk of spending significant time in prison. Proportionality is also why I carry a pepper spray, because non-lethal threats require non-lethal responses. (I carry this one: https://get-asp.com/lesslethal )

 

  1. 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 rather than escalating conflict. 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.

 

  1. Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself (without escalating conflict). Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary.

 

  1. In the moment of need, the old saying goes that you will not rise to the occasion but fall to the level of your training. Usually, you’ll fall to the level of your WORST DAY in training. That means you want to train hard, train regularly, and make no excuses (to paraphrase one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock) so that your worst day is good enough for the fight you’re in. An appropriate amount of training may well have saved this man much trouble from escalating conflict. Had he had other skills and enough experiences in training to use them well, he might be free today.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

Dog Attack Forces Officer to Shoot

A dog attack is no joke, and though we don’t see too many of them on video at Active Self Protection, this one definitely showcases some of the challenges you might face if attacked by a dog. This is scary, but it’s also how fast real-life defensive encounters happen!

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 dog attack: https://get-asp.com/js3c

 

More details on the dog attack and its aftermath from local news, including an apology from the dog owner who screams in this video: https://get-asp.com/e9mr

 

What can self-defenders learn from this dog attack?

 

  1. In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. This dog attack started in a split second for sure! 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! Getting training against a dog attack in particular is difficult to find, but Force on Force training in general is helpful for stress inoculation and decision-making.

 

  1. 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. In this dog attack the second officer thankfully didn’t take a shot with his partner as his backstop!

 

  1. Marksmanship matters! The old saying is quite true: you can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight. As a self-defender you need to practice and train to put your first shot on target as fast as you can, but the key is to put as many shots on target as possible. The white dog put a couple of significant bites on the officer in this dog attack, and getting shots on target quickly saved him from injury.

 

  1. In a gunfight, movement is your friend. The officer didn’t stand still for the dog attack here! You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a deadly force encounter because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.

 

  1. Our goal as self-defenders is to stop the threat. We are not vigilantes and we are not out to kill, we seek to stop the threat against us. Shooting to wound will not stop the threat reliably, and neither will shooting an attacker in an extremity. The only reliably means to stop an aggressor who means us death or grievous bodily harm is to put shots in the center of their available mass to cause nervous system collapse or bleeding out. (exsanguination is the technical term) In this dog attack it meant two shots to center mass of the first dog, then reassessing the second dog and NOT pulling the trigger. Great work by the officer!

 

  1. The rules of firearm safety apply whether you’re training or fighting for your life. One of the most difficult to follow in a real life gunfight is Colonel Cooper’s Rule #4: be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. It is exceedingly difficult to do, but self-defenders must stay aware of what is behind their threat so that they take minimal risks to innocents when defending themselves. The backup officer responded to this dog attack as best he could, and because he didn’t have a decent backstop he didn’t shoot. Good work.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

Two Israeli Knife Attacks Caught On Camera

Have you fought against a knife in real life? Israel is like a powder keg right now, and knife attacks are very common. Practicing Active Self Protection before and during an encounter can help you get out of knife attacks alive, though of course any attack with a knife is scary, bloody, and deadly.

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!

 

News story on the knife attacks and video of the first: https://get-asp.com/l78m

 

Video of the second of the two knife attacks: https://get-asp.com/xlth

 

How do I protect my family from knife attacks?

 

  1. 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. While someone might argue that the first of the two knife attacks was akin to guerilla warfare (I wouldn’t), the second attack on three ultra-orthodox was clearly unconscionable.

 

  1. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. Both of these knife attacks came from obscurity, and the second one shows how important that first response is. Notice that the first and second victim were really in trouble, but the third had enough presence of mind to be able to successfully mount some sort of defense. Surviving the ambush is a key to successful self-defense.

 

  1. To defend against knife attacks, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way.

 

  1. Knife attacks do not happen like you’ve seen in Hollywood. They are brutal, fast, and mean. Stabbing attacks do not generally come from slashes or from any notice whatsoever, but tend to come from concealment and repeatedly stab at a rate of 2-3 stabs per second.

 

  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. Both of these knife attacks justified firearms use to end them, but neither of them provided the time to get to the gun initially. In the second video the man uses his back and feet to keep the attacker at bay, and if he had a firearm that would have been the time to get to it.

 

  1. As one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy. 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! Both of these knife attacks involved having skills on the ground, and having those skills is important.

 

  1. First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry this at a minimum: https://get-asp.com/IPOK) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. Both of these knife attacks involved innocent people taking significant wounds, and having first aid skills can be the difference between life and death.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound)

Knife Attack in Jerusalem Caught On Camera

We don’t see a knife attack like they show in Hollywood very often, but this type of attack is much more typical. Jerusalem is a scary place right now, and we’re hoping the people there are practicing Active Self Protection! These kinds of attacks happen anywhere, so the lessons apply to us all.

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 knife attack here: https://get-asp.com/g9vk

 

News story with details on the knife attack here: https://get-asp.com/qrae

 

How do I protect myself from a knife attack?

 

  1. If you know there might be danger around (and with the prevalence in Israel of this kind of knife attack, any soldier is in danger), you cannot stand there flat-footed with your hands at your side. That’s a great way to die. Instead, if you think danger might be coming but not imminent, get your hands up protecting your head, neck, and chest. I do this by tucking one hand under the other elbow, and the free hand on my chin as if I were in deep contemplation. Others do it using the “interview position” with both hands as if they’re holding a pad and pen; this is taught in many LEO academies. Getting your hands up shaves split seconds off of your reaction time, but that might make the difference between life and death in a knife attack.

 

  1. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself from a knife attack or any other kind of attack.

 

  1. The concept of a reactionary gap is important to consider as self-defenders. This is normally taught as something like the “21-foot rule” against a knife attack, though that’s a principle and not a rule. As a self-defender if you’re in a situation where an attack is a possibility, leaving yourself some distance to allow for additional time to respond to an attack from ambush is very smart. Even 2 or 3 feet of additional space allows the reactionary gap to successfully defend the ambush and get into the fight.

 

  1. To defend against this kind of knife attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. Even after being stabbed you need to be able to stay in the fight, and training gives you the emotional fitness to do so.

 

  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. This soldier had to use his empty-handed skills to protect himself from the knife attack before any of the other soldiers could possibly get their gun in the fight.

 

  1. A real knife attack does not happen like you’ve seen in Hollywood. Knife attacks are brutal, fast, and mean. Stabbing attacks do not generally come from slashes or from any notice whatsoever, but tend to come from concealment and repeatedly stab at a rate of 2-3 stabs per second, whether overhand like this or underhand.

 

  1. You must be able to fight and defend yourself from all different stages of action. One of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, likes to say that we must be able to fight wherever the fight happens to be! So whether we are at contact stage (just able to come in physical contact with our attacker), penetration stage (where attacks can contact and penetrate significantly), or manipulation stage (a clinch or similar where joint and body manipulations are possible), we must be able to use effective technique to protect ourselves. If you’re paying attention to this knife attack, the attacker grabbed the soldier by the neck, putting this fight at manipulation stage.

 

  1. 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. This knife attack shows the importance of teamwork! 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.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)

Good Samaritan Fatally Wounded Trying to Stop Active Shooter

If you were in this Good Samaritan’s shoes, would you have stepped in and tried to stop the murderer? At Active Self Protection we believe that these decisions are very individual and depend on a lot of factors, but you better know beforehand what the dangers are.

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 Good Samaritan being murdered: https://get-asp.com/qflu (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)

 

News story detailing the incident, including identifying the murderer and Good Samaritan: https://get-asp.com/sfvw

 

The latest information in the news, which is not very new: https://get-asp.com/3d0i

 

What do CCW holders learn from the murder of this Good Samaritan?

 

  1. Every person gets to decide who they are willing to protect. For some, their “flock” is only themselves and their immediate family. That’s an acceptable answer. For others, they are willing to protect their friends, coworkers, and extended family. For a few, it might mean being willing to protect anyone who is weak, powerless, and in need. Each of us must decide the size of our flock and have that decision firmly in mind when it is time to act. This Good Samaritan, a comedian by trade, chose to extend his flock far from himself. It was a noble gesture, for sure, and one he should be commended for.

 

  1. 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! This Good Samaritan didn’t have time to consider his options; he had to act in the moment.

 

  1. As each of us considers whether to be a Good Samaritan and step into encounters that do not directly involve us, we must consider the implications on our lives and families. Does your desire to step in override your duty to your spouse and children and loved ones? Or is it part of your care for your family to protect others wherever you can? We must also all realize that when we come across an incident in progress that it can be VERY difficult to determine who is the aggressor and who is the defender, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and that must give us pause as well.

 

  1. The Bystander Effect is real. There were lots of people around here, but no one stepped in. You cannot count on anyone breaking the Bystander Effect to help you, especially if the attacker is armed and any help would be at a force deficit from it. Usually the best way to break the Bystander Effect is to have a force multiplication advantage, which is a great reason to keep your force multiplier on you at all times. Once the Good Samaritan had the situation well in hand, others came to his aid and that’s tremendous. Many times you’ll have to be the first one to break the Bystander Effect.

 

  1. Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. 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 God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. Certainly, the comedian who became a hero Good Samaritan didn’t wake up that morning thinking it was his last day. Let’s all live today since it’s possibly our last.

 

  1. The Five Ds 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) 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. Neither the bouncer nor the Good Samaritan was able to dominate the gun in the murderer’s hand, and that was fatal.

 

  1. As one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy. 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! Clearly the Good Samaritan was badly injured by the time the fight went to the ground, but he did well from there.

 

  1. First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. There’s no way to tell if this Good Samaritan’s life could have been saved, but it is certainly worth having the skills for the possibility.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)

 

 

Armed Robbery Ends with Clerk Writhing in Agony

The adage says that you learn more from a loss than from a victory, but the Active Self Protection lessons in this armed robbery make me angry nevertheless. How do you protect yourself from being attacked like this?

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 this armed robbery: https://get-asp.com/pepc

 

What do we learn from this about protecting ourselves from an armed robbery?

 

  1. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. This armed robbery is certainly evidence for the ambush effect, so be ready.

 

  1. Your eyes go where your hands go. That means that your awareness and your attention go where your hands go as well, so make sure as a self-defender you mentally unlock your eyes from your hands so that you can be aware of your surroundings. When you grab your cell phone next, pay attention to how quickly your head and eyes go down to meet them and how little you can see around you. The next time you reach into purse or pocket, think about what it does to your awareness outside of that action. You must consciously train yourself to get your hands and eyes unhooked so that you’re aware and ready. In this armed robbery, the victim’s eyes and attention got sucked into her fanny pack to the point that the armed robber could attack her.

 

  1. Since criminals are looking for victims and not fights, they tend to look for vulnerable people to target. Think about a pride of lions chasing wildebeest in Africa and you get the picture. They target the elderly, the young, and the sick for easier attack and greater success. Likewise, criminals pick victims who they think will not effectively resist them, or that the criminal can quickly overwhelm. This includes the elderly, the young (kids and early teens), the sick, and the distracted. Men (the overwhelming majority of attackers) also target women because women tend to be physically weaker than men. I am not saying that this armed robber wouldn’t have attacked her if she was a woman, but I wonder if she was a large man if he would still have attacked. I doubt it. That means if you’re a vulnerable person, you need to be more ready.

 

  1. As each of us considers whether to be a Good Samaritan and step into encounters that do not directly involve us, we must consider the implications on our lives and families. Does your desire to step in override your duty to your spouse and children and loved ones? Or is it part of your care for your family to protect others wherever you can? We must also all realize that when we come across an incident in progress that it can be VERY difficult to determine who is the aggressor and who is the defender, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and that must give us pause as well. The man who tried to hold the door in this armed robbery is brave for sure, but was it wise?

 

  1. To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. This armed robbery might not have been preventable, but getting whacked in training a bunch might have given her a frame of reference to protect herself after the ambush.

 

  1. 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. Unless an officer was physically present there is no way that police could have stopped this armed robbery.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)

Concealed Carrier Murdered Trying to Stop Mass Shooting

If you were there that day, would you have tried to stop this before it became a mass shooting? This is the kind of mass shooting attempt that doesn’t get into the statistics because it doesn’t meet the threshold for killing, but it nevertheless is sad and tragic. Joseph Wilcox should be remembered as a brave man, and we must learn Active Self Protection lessons from his death to redeem his murder.

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 mass shooting with details of the investigation and more: https://get-asp.com/lkvm

 

What can CCW holders learn from this mass shooting attempt?

 

  1. Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. 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 God and your loved ones, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today! Joseph Wilcox didn’t wake up this morning thinking he was going to try to stop a mass shooting and die, so learn the lesson from his death and be at peace today.

 

  1. 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. If you go read the link, this mass shooting was stopped by officers with guns who killed the first perp. (the second killed herself) Wilcox was willing to step in with great violence as well.

 

  1. Most attacks are perpetrated by men (source: http://get-asp.com/821s for that) but that doesn’t mean that women are always safe. It does mean that statistically women are much less of a threat than men for violence. However, each person is an individual, and each individual must be considered for their unique threat profile rather than lumped into a category. Just because women are less likely to commit violent crime doesn’t mean that they are unlikely in a given instance to commit violent crime. In this mass shooting, it’s possible that Wilcox ignored the woman simply because he was so focused on the screaming and shooting of the man, but she also presented a lower threat profile as a woman.

 

  1. 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! I am not saying that there are a lot of classes on intervening in an attempted mass shooting, but the more training you have the more you will know whether you’d intervene or not. So train!

 

  1. Every person gets to decide who they are willing to protect. For some, their “flock” is only themselves and their immediate family. That’s an acceptable answer. For others, they are willing to protect their friends, coworkers, and extended family. For a few, it might mean being willing to protect anyone who is weak, powerless, and in need. Each of us must decide the size of our flock and have that decision firmly in mind when it is time to act. Kudos to Wilcox for having a flock big enough to try to stop a mass shooting in his area.

 

  1. We must never settle for being able to protect ourselves against a lone attacker because of how common multiple attacker engagements are. Rats travel in packs, so we must always be prepared to face multiple attackers! This mass shooting could have been stopped sooner if the second attacker was seen earlier, though of course I am not blaming him one bit for not seeing her in the chaos of a gunfight. Remember there is always the “unknown opponent,” as Skip Hancock and Lawrence Robinson have taught me over the years.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)

Brutal Sucker Punch of Elderly Woman Caught On Camera

How would you have responded if you were the next guy in line? When I see a sucker punch like this is jut makes me angry. Doubly so when the victim is elderly! We practice Active Self Protection so that these kinds of incidents are minimized, but we also watch these so that we’re ready to respond if they happen near us.

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 this sucker punch with details of the incident is here: https://get-asp.com/m8tt

 

What does this sucker punch teach us about covering our ASP?

 

  1. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. Clearly it would have been nearly impossible to stop this sucker punch in the moment, but the point is nevertheless valid that we must survive the ambush to be able to defend ourselves.

 

  1. Since criminals are looking for victims and not fights, they tend to look for vulnerable people to target. Think about a pride of lions chasing wildebeest in Africa and you get the picture. They target the elderly, the young, and the sick for easier attack and greater success. Likewise, criminals pick victims who they think will not effectively resist them, or that the criminal can quickly overwhelm. This includes the elderly, the young (kids and early teens), the sick, and the distracted. Men (the overwhelming majority of attackers) also target women because women tend to be physically weaker than men. I can’t tell if this sucker punch was because the victim was elderly, but I highly doubt he would have tried this with a professional bodybuilder.

 

  1. As each of us considers whether to be a Good Samaritan and step into encounters that do not directly involve us, we must consider the implications on our lives and families. Does your desire to step in override your duty to your spouse and children and loved ones? Or is it part of your care for your family to protect others wherever you can? We must also all realize that when we come across an incident in progress that it can be VERY difficult to determine who is the aggressor and who is the defender, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, and that must give us pause as well. This sucker punch makes it easily clear who is the victim and who is the aggressor, and the sheer evil of the attack means that I for one couldn’t have stayed out of it. You need to decide the issue for you.

 

  1. The Bystander Effect is real. There were at least two people around here, but no one stepped in. You cannot count on anyone breaking the Bystander Effect to help you, especially if the attacker is armed and any help would be at a force deficit from it. Usually the best way to break the Bystander Effect is to have a force multiplication advantage, which is a great reason to keep your force multiplier on you at all times! These people watched the sucker punch happen and then stood there dumbfounded, which is not uncommon. When you see something like this, ACT!

 

  1. First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. You might never come upon a sucker punch like this, but having first aid skills to help the woman and the willingness to do so, as well as some basic equipment, is wise.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)

Real-Life Knife Attacks Aren’t Like Hollywood

We’re conditioned by Hollywood to accept their view of what a real knife attack looks like, but real life is much different. We need reality if we’re to practice Active Self Protection, and this is the reality of a knife attack.

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 and news story here (Google Translate from Russian required): http://get-asp.com/qfyj

 

How do I protect myself from a knife attack?

 

  1. I think that the Rules of Stupid come into play here. The Rules of Stupid state that you should never (1) go to Stupid places, (2) with Stupid people, (3) at Stupid times, and (4) do Stupid things. You can usually get away with breaking one Rule of Stupid, but two or more really increase the odds of bad things happening. This knife attack happened after a night of drinking (doing stupid things), arguing with a drunk (drunks are stupid people by definition), and I would guess later at night (a stupid time). That doesn’t mean the victim is responsible for the knife attack, but that the risk factors were high. Use the Rules of Stupid to protect yourself from unnecessary risk!

 

  1. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Kenpo, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. This ambush was all it took for the knife attack to be lethal, so seeing the ambush before it is sprung can be a critical component of surviving.

 

  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. In this knife attack it wouldn’t have mattered if the victim was armed one bit. He had no time to get to a gun in that moment unless he saw the knife in hand and was ready before.

 

  1. If you know there might be danger around, you cannot stand there flat-footed with your hands at your side. That’s a great way to die. Instead, if you think danger might be coming but not imminent, get your hands up protecting your head, neck, and chest. I do this by tucking one hand under the other elbow, and the free hand on my chin as if I were in deep contemplation. Others do it using the “interview position” with both hands as if they’re holding a pad and pen. Getting your hands up shaves split seconds off of your reaction time, but that might make the difference between life and death if you can prepare. I am not saying it would have stopped this knife attack, but it might have helped.

 

  1. Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. 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 God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. This man didn’t wake up expecting a knife attack to end his life. But it still happened.

 

  1. First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. That said, this knife attack shows how quickly someone can die in an attack, and a stout first aid kit oriented to stop severe bleeding and the skills to use it might have helped! (I start with this: https://get-asp.com/IPOK and then add https://get-asp.com/hemostatic and http://get-asp.com/6p76 at a minimum)

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)

 

Woman’s Physical and Sexual Assault Caught on Camera

Active Self Protection isn’t about owning guns (though we’re pro-2A all the way), it’s about being able to protect yourself in the moment that evil comes your way, from sexual assault or any other assault. This woman fought back and escaped with only minor injuries, and for that we applaud her!

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 with some details here: http://get-asp.com/vbw6

How do I protect myself from sexual assault:

1. First, it is worth mentioning that we do not blame the woman for this sexual assault. The blame rests squarely with the perpetrator, not with the victim. She didn’t “earn” her sexual assault or “deserve” it in any way, so do not take any of the advice after this as blame. Instead, it is learning from her experience for the rest of us to make proactive strategies and plans to protect ourselves from harm. That’s why we do the narrated videos at ASP, to learn from real-life incidents so that we can be better prepared if they happen to us.

2. 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. Accepting that danger existed in her life in the moment gave this woman courage to defend herself against this sexual assault!

3. If you can win “the fight before the fight,” you win. You win that fight by minimizing your potential for being attacked in the first place! That means making smart decisions and living a life of awareness and readiness so that you don’t take unnecessary risks. In this instance, ask yourself if it was wise for this woman to go somewhere secluded and private with a man she had only just met. Again, that’s not blaming her for her sexual assault, but simply asking if we can recognize “off-ramps” in the encounter to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

4. To defend against a sexual assault, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. The attacker here was using slaps and (I am fairly certain from body language) his voice to try to overwhelm his intended victim emotionally so that he could have his way. She found the emotional fitness to fight back and get away, and that was excellent!

5. In the moment of attack, 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 attacker is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. This sexual assault was stopped because the victim found a moment when she had time, space, and opportunity to get out, and she took it. Again, that is highly commendable!

6. You must establish some “bright lines” of when you’ll fight for your life, no matter the odds. Sometimes it might be best to give in, but there are some situations that are so dire that any odds are better than none. Sexual assault is, in my opinion, one of those times. Studies definitively show that intended victims who fight back are not injured more than those who don’t, and the chances of the rape being completed are far less (http://get-asp.com/601c for the study from DOJ). Only you can establish that bright line for yourself.

7. An important part of spiritual fitness is knowing what you are willing and able to fight for. As bearers of the image of God, humans are uniquely valuable and it is always acceptable to protect human life, whether your own or someone else’s. Your person is infinitely valuable, and it is entirely acceptable morally, ethically, legally, and spiritually to stop an attacker from harming you. This certainly extends to sexual assault.

8. 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.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)