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More Proof That Compliance Doesn't Mean Safety

More Proof That Compliance Doesn’t Mean Safety

The victim’s compliance in this mugging didn’t mean he was safe; far from it, he was stabbed repeatedly by his mugger. We say at Active Self Protection that compliance can be a useful strategy, but we must never forget that it offers no promises of safety!

 

 

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 these armed robbers getting their just desserts? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.

 

Original video of the compliance is available in our Instructor Development Portal.

 

What does this victim teach us about muggings and compliance?

 

  1. 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. Most people live their lives thinking that nothing bad will happen, and that compliance with any violent actor will make them safe. That’s simply untrue.
  2. 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. The mugger used the transitional space here to isolate the victim, which increases his chance of compliance.

 

  1. 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. These armed robbers represented predatorial violence, in that they offered no ability to comply with their wishes and not get hurt!

 

  1. If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from a mugger, then compliance is your only option and to hope it works out for the best. I would never suggest that a helpless person try to defend themselves against a carjacking or armed robbers, though of course if it’s a matter of life and death you must do whatever you can. The point, though, is not to be a helpless victim! This is the heart of Active Self Protection, to motivate you to train and help you develop the attitude, skills, and plan so that you can choose to protect yourself if it makes sense in the moment rather than being forced into compliance with a violent felon.

 

  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. If you can see the ambush coming it gives you time to formulate a plan that isn’t about compliance but purposeful self-defense.

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this ATTACK, so please join us in those programs to see them!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Bystander Hurt in Defensive Encounter Caught on Camera

Bystander Hurt in Defensive Encounter Caught on Camera

Do you think about what might happen to a bystander if you’re in a gunfight? Especially when the bystander is a loved one, you have to think about them as part of your Active Self Protection so that you don’t expose them to harm!

 

 

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 these armed robbers getting their just desserts? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.

 

Original video of the defensive encounter is available in our Instructor Development Portal.

 

News story on the incident from local news: https://get-asp.com/ii3y

 

The bystander who was hurt spoke to reporters: https://get-asp.com/8xkq

 

A video reportedly shot by the man with the AK pistol says more from his perspective (it’s not verified to be him, though, so take it with a grain of salt): https://get-asp.com/vyes

 

What does this defensive encounter teach us about protecting ourselves against an armed attacker?

 

  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! The officer here defaulted to his training, and that saved his noggin for sure.
  2. 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. Gas stations are absolutely transitional spaces, and defensive encounters happen there with frightening regularity. That doesn’t mean that you should be paranoid while getting gas, but it DOES mean that you should be more ready there!

 

  1. The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something. If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands! The attacker here flashed the gun, and that’s when the defensive encounter really started.

 

  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. Neither the bystander nor the defender here could afford to wait for police!

 

  1. You must know what parts of your car offer cover, and what parts of your car are only concealment. Car doors and windows are no help against bullets, friends. They are concealment. The engine block provides cover, as do steel wheels and the transmission and axles. If you have to use your car to protect yourself from incoming fire, movement is your best friend and you must be ready to shoot from unconventional positions. Taking a course on using a handgun in a vehicle is much advised.

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this ATTACK, so please join us in those programs to see them!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Officer Shoots Teen Who Tried to Shoot Him

Officer Shoots Teen Who Tried to Shoot Him

There are lots of lessons that this officer teaches us about our Active Self Protection, but sometimes, luck is what gets you through the day! I am certainly glad that the perp here had a malfunction in his firearm.

 

 

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 these armed robbers getting their just desserts? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.

 

Original video with details from this officer involved shooting is available in our Instructor Development Portal.

 

News story on the officer-involved shooting: https://get-asp.com/0nf8

 

What does this car owner teach us about protecting ourselves from carjackers?

 

  1. Part of your training must be knowing when to use verbal commands, and when to abandon verbal commands and move to physical or deadly force. Many times self-defenders (and LEO) get caught in a loop of issuing the same command repeatedly to no effect. Using verbal commands is an important part of your force options training, and part of that training in verbal commands is knowing when to talk and when to stop talking and act. This officer tried to use verbal commands, but knew when to act!

 

  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!

 

  1. Firearms are machines, and machines malfunction. Your firearm could potentially malfunction in a gunfight for a number of reasons, among them a bad magazine, a bad cartridge, a fouled slide, or user error. With the stress that comes with a gunfight, an important skill to master is what is known as the “tap-rack-reassess” malfunction clearance. This is a critical skill to master, and takes instruction and practice. Thankfully the attacker here didn’t do a good job of that, and the officer was first to get shots on target.

 

  1. In most instances that we see on surveillance video, the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. That’s not 100% because injured people can stay in the fight a long time, but it is a good “rule of thumb” because once someone gets shot they usually stop thinking about whatever it is they were doing and start thinking about the pain they’re in and how not to get shot again. The lesson in that is clear: be the first to put shots on target. (this is the corollary to Joe Frick’s Rules for a Gunfight #3, “Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.”)

 

  1. It takes great training to do successfully, but it’s worth noting that moving backwards should be our least preferred method of gaining distance in a gunfight. When you’re moving backward with a threat in front of you it is very easy to hit an obstacle and lose your footing, which allows the threat to close the distance while you’re off balance. If possible, move diagonally or laterally to get “off the line” of attack and still engage the threat with your firearm.

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this ATTACK, so please join us in those programs to see them!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Multiple Armed Robbers Storm Convenience Store

Multiple Armed Robbers Storm Convenience Store

Armed robbers don’t come much more dangerous than this. Pistol, shotgun, AND rifle among the three armed robbers? Winning this one takes some nuanced Active Self Protection for sure.

 

 

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 these armed robbers getting their just desserts? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.

 

Original video with some detail on the armed robbers is available in our Instructor Development Portal.

 

News story on the armed robbers with significant details: https://get-asp.com/1soh

 

What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against armed robbers?

 

  1. 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. These armed robbers didn’t target any of the people in the store, but the valuables of the store, and if you are ever in one of these places, you too can be caught up.

 

  1. 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. The speed with which these armed robbers could attack came because they were in a transitional space.

 

  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. These armed robbers launched their ambush with gunshots, which makes it more difficult still.

 

  1. As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from armed robbers. 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 armed robbers because the police simply can’t.

 

  1. Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze (these bystanders certainly did), but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. 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. Before your Kung Fu, and before your Gun Fu, you should consider whether your best defense is Run Fu! The customer stayed where these armed robbers could get to him rather than leaving. If you can run from armed robbers, then RUN!

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this ATTACK, so please join us in those programs to see them!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Armed Attackers Try to Ambush Officer, Pay Dearly

Armed Attackers Try to Ambush Officer, Pay Dearly

Fighting off armed attackers is no small feat, but this officer did a fantastic job of practicing Active Self Protection! How would you have responded in his shoes?

 

 

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 armed robbery? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.

 

News story of the officer-involved shooting (Google Translate from Tagalog required): https://get-asp.com/uqi5

 

Original video of the armed attackers is available in our Instructor Development Portal.

 

What do these armed attackers teach us about effective defense against an ambush?

 

  1. 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. Vehicles that are parked are transitional spaces! They allow for easy ambush and for armed attackers to come upon victims quickly. Be careful in transitional spaces; this officer was, and it likely saved his life.

 

  1. 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. In this ambush the officer knew something was up, and moved from orange to red in a hurry to protect himself!

 

  1. 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. A mugger or rapist 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 ambush was likely going to be predatorial violence, which means that the officer had no time to wait to see how things panned out. He had to ACT!

 

  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! The officer had only a revolver against three attackers, but he used it to great effect.

 

  1. In most instances that we see on surveillance video, the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight, whether the mugger or the victim. That’s not 100% because injured people can stay in the fight a long time, but it is a good “rule of thumb” because once someone gets shot they usually stop thinking about whatever it is they were doing and start thinking about the pain they’re in and how not to get shot again. The lesson in that is clear: be the first to put shots on target. (this is the corollary to Joe Frick’s Rules for a Gunfight #3, “Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.”) These armed attackers ran like scalded dogs once the officer got shots on target!

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this ambush, so please join us in those programs to see them!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

 

Knife Attack Held Off by Smart Victim

Knife Attack Held Off by Smart Victim

People ask all the time about surviving a knife attack, and what strategies work best. I am not at all saying this is the FIRST strategy to use, but it DOES provide something of a general principle for our Active Self Protection against a knife attack!

 

 

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 these armed robbers getting their just desserts? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.

 

Original video of the knife attack is available in our Instructor Development Portal.

 

What does this brave intended victim teach us about surviving a knife attack?

 

  1. A Knife attack does not often 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. THAT is the kind of knife attack you need to be prepared for. That kind of ferocity is not often seen in most combatives or martial arts training, but it is what is necessary.

 

  1. The old adage says that the loser of a knife fight dies at the scene while the winner dies on the way to the hospital. That said, the first rule of a knife attack is “don’t get stabbed!” Just like we don’t want to get shot in a gunfight, we don’t want to get stabbed in a knife attack. If you get to the hospital with a pulse there’s over a 92% chance you’ll live through the encounter, so keep fighting even if you do get hurt!

 

  1. It’s important to be trained and ready to protect yourself against a knife attack as it is against an attack with a firearm. FBI homicide data says that about 4 times the number of people are killed with handguns as with knives, but since gunshots are about four times more fatal than knife wounds, it means the number of attacks are probably similar! (if you look at the FBI data, hands and feet kill a lot of people, too!) This leads us to the principle that we must be ready for knife attacks that begin at close distance, and have the empty-handed skills 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. If you’re in a vulnerable population take extra precaution and train! I don’t know why this knife attack happened, but these rules generally apply and always help!

 

  1. You must know the range of your force multiplier and the range of various force multipliers that might be used against you. Knives are short-range, fast moving force multipliers. Firearms are extremely long-range, fast moving force multipliers. Generally, your legs are longer range than a knife attack can overcome, so use that to your advantage.

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this knife attack, so please join us in those programs to see them!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

(GRAPHIC) Officer Almost Loses Firearm to Deranged Man

(GRAPHIC) Officer Almost Loses Firearm to Deranged Man

GRAPHIC. How much do you train in firearm retention? This officer shows us why that training is so important, and that empty-handed skills are very important for firearm carriers! I am glad this officer came out of it okay.

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 these armed robbers getting their just desserts? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.

 

Original video of this armed robber is available in our Instructor Development Portal.

 

News story on the officer involved shooting with details: https://get-asp.com/26my

 

What does this officer involved shooting teach us about firearm retention and use?

 

  1. In a deadly force encounter like this officer was involved in, 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!

 

  1. Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up! This man didn’t try to take the officer’s firearm because he was necessarily evil, but he was not in his right mind for sure. The officer couldn’t do anything but what he did, though!

 

  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. The officer exhibited great emotional fitness to continue to fight for her firearm and continue to try to subdue the attacker.

 

  1. You must know how to fight to keep your firearm from being taken from you. Thankfully this officer did enough to keep her firearm! If you carry a gun or keep one nearby, you must do what it takes to keep unauthorized people from accessing it and using it against you. If it is on your person, you must be trained and proficient in keeping the gun from being taken from its holster. (yes, that means a quality belt, a quality holster, and if openly carried, at least level 2 retention; the only one I recommend is the Safariland ALS: http://amzn.to/1SjOirW ) If it is not on your person, it must not be accessible to unauthorized people. There can be no workarounds for this rule! Your force on force and empty-handed skills training must include training on firearms retention. And once the firearm is out of the holster, you need to train to keep it safe as well.

 

  1. If you have a firearm out, distance is your friend. A firearm has a functionally infinite range in a deadly force encounter. (yes, I know, that’s not 100% true…for the purposes of a self-defense fight, it is functionally true) If you are at contact distance to someone you have a firearm aimed at, you give them the ability to fight you for your firearm and negate the advantage you have. Therefore, if you have a gun on someone, stay out of range of their hands if at all possible! This officer certainly found out the truth of that statement, albeit the hard way.

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this ATTACK, so please join us in those programs to see them!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Knife Attack Against Security Guard Caught on Camera

Knife Attack Against Security Guard Caught on Camera

Not every knife attack comes from where you might expect it! Does the source of this knife attack surprise you or make you consider how your Active Self Protection would have helped you? This security guard might not be young, but he stayed in the fight!

Original video of the knife attack: https://get-asp.com/rt9m

 

Brief news story of the knife attack: https://get-asp.com/25q3

 

What does this security guard teach us about defending ourselves against a knife attack?

 

  1. The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the hands are the windows to the intent of a person. If you’re in a potential conflict, ALWAYS pay attention to what the aggressor is doing with their hands. They might have a force multiplier in their hand, as in this knife attack, or they might be hiding their hand so that you can’t see what is in it or using their hand to conceal something (which this knife attack also features). If their hands are empty, there is a difference between someone with fists and someone whose hands are open and relaxed. As a self-defender your situational awareness must include seeing the hands of any potential threat in your vicinity, so watch the hands!
  2. If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from a 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. The news story on this knife attack said that it was a conflict that escalated to the knife attack, which means there were likely clues ahead of the actual stabbing.

 

  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. 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. I am not blaming the elderly security guard for the knife attack at all; we must be aware of the fact that he might have been able to end it at the verbal phase if he knew how and was willing!

 

  1. To defend against a 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. To stay in the fight during a knife attack is not easy emotionally, so training is key!

 

  1. It is unrealistic to think that you can escape a knife attack unscathed; the old adage says that the loser of a knife fight dies at the scene while the winner dies on the way to the hospital. Rather, you should expect to be cut and expect to be hurt defending yourself against a knife attack. If you get to the hospital with a pulse there’s over a 92% chance you’ll live through the encounter, so keep fighting even when you’re hurt!

 

  1. It’s important to be trained and ready to protect yourself against a knife attack as it is against an attack with a firearm. FBI homicide data says that about 4 times the number of people are killed with handguns as with knives, but since gunshots are about four times more fatal than knife wounds, it means the number of attacks are probably similar! (if you look at the FBI data, hands and feet kill a lot of people, too!) This leads us to the principle that we must be ready for knife attacks that begin at close distance, and have the empty-handed skills to defend ourselves.

 

  1. The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against a knife attack 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.

 

  1. First aid skills are important, especially in the aftermath of a knife attack. 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: http://amzn.to/1Or4yVz ) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

chambering a round

This is Why You Carry With One in the Chamber!

If you want to start a “grab your popcorn” debate in the gun world, a good way to start is by talking about carrying with the chamber full (condition 1 for 1911 lovers) or empty. (condition 3) At Active Self Protection we believe that each person has to make that decision for themselves, but as for me and for what I teach, I believe that the best way is to keep the chamber full if possible. This video is why.

Why is chamber full a better defensive setup?

1. Chambering a round takes both hands. Everyone teaches chambering with both hands because that is the fastest way to do it, until some goofy holster makes the rounds again that is impractical and not helpful for concealed carry. If your support hand is engaged in a bad guy or holding a child or is injured in earning your draw or otherwise engaged, you’re out of luck. Sure, range masters will teach using the rear sights to hook on the edge of your boot or belt or whatever, but those are small targets and someone is stabbing you or bashing your head in.

2. Chambering a round takes time. In the life-or-death struggle of a gunfight, you’ve got the rest of your life to get your gun on target and rounds in the bad guy. In most gunfights, you might well have the time to chamber a round. But as these examples show, you can’t guarantee that, and under the duress of deadly threat you might not have the time. To me, that’s not worth the risk.

3. Chambering a round is risky. We see two examples here of people trying to chamber a round under stress, and both fumble the chambering and it makes their blaster puke. If you haven’t done it 10,000 times with 0 malfunctions, there’s a good chance you will short stroke your gun and put it out of the fight at your greatest moment of need. You might not; you might do it great. But why take the risk?

4. Chambering a round is unnecessary. Modern striker-fired semi-automatic pistols are all designed to carry with a round in the chamber, as are all modern revolvers (those that have a transfer bar). Heck, the 1911 design is over 100 years old and is designed to carry with a round in the chamber!

5. Chambering a round reduces your gun’s capacity. I recognize that in a standard capacity modern double-stack semi, that’s not a high percentage of available ammunition. That’s why I put this one at the bottom! 🙂Nevertheless, it is a concern. The only time you have too much ammo on you is if you’re on fire or drowning, so in my VP9 I would rather have 16 than 15 in the gun. I have never heard of someone finishing a gunfight and lamenting having too many rounds, but we’ve seen several where people perished for having too few.

It’s a personal decision for sure, and I would rather someone carry with the chamber empty than not at all. But for everything we see here, chamber full is the method for me.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

DASHCAM VIDEO: Brutal Attack On Officer

DASHCAM VIDEO: Brutal Attack On Officer

Honest question: would you have had the ground skills to survive this attack? Kudos to Officer Hyman for being able to stay in the fight long enough for help to arrive! This is why we preach fighting skills at Active Self Protection so much.

Original video of the attack: https://get-asp.com/zmd2

 

News story of the attack with details on the officer and suspect: https://get-asp.com/kf72

 

What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an attack?

 

  1. If your awareness is solid, you should get plenty of pre-attack cues from a robber or other attack. 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! Watch for furtive glances which are an indicator that they are looking for potential witnesses to their actions or escape routes after the attack. 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.

 

  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. The officer here survived the initial ambush and stayed in the fight, and that was crucial to his success.

 

  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. The officer in this attack needed emotional fitness to stay calm and in the fight until help got there, not to gas himself out and wear down. It’s not easy, but when you’ve done it on the mat repeatedly it becomes second nature.

 

  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. You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t. It might seem odd for me to say that in an attack against an officer, but look at how long it took backup to get there for him. And he’s an officer!

 

  1. The root word of gunfight is “fight,” not “gun.” Whether you carry a firearm or not, recognize that you need to know how to fight and protect yourself against an attacker! Even if you do carry a firearm, you need empty-handed skills to be able to fight your way to your gun or defend yourself before you get the opportunity to draw. To think otherwise is madness. Officer Hyman needed every bit of skill he had with his hands to fight this attack off, and his gun wasn’t an option.

 

  1. Even in a gunfight, empty-handed skills are important because many gunfights close to “extreme close quarters” or “bad breath distances.” Knowing how to protect your firearm from being taken, and how to win the fight that you’re actually in rather than the fight you want to be in, is crucial. If you’ve never fought from the clinch with your gun in the fight, on the ground and on your feet, your training has a huge gap in it. This attack on an officer shows that clearly.

 

  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! The officer had just enough ground skills to survive until his partners got there.

 

  1. The Bystander Effect is real. The woman in the audio of this attack stood there and didn’t help, which to me is baffling but not uncommon. 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 and know how to use it to end the attack.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.