Against An Armed Robber You Must Choose When To Protect Yourself

If you were the man in the second video, would you have stayed concealed or would you have used your concealed firearm to end the threat? Practicing Active Self Protection means having the plan in place beforehand so that you’re ready to go in the moment of need!

Original of first clip:

Original of second clip:

How do I protect myself against an armed robber?

1. Carry your firearm! The ladies in the first clip had very little ability to resist the armed robber because they had no force multiplier of their own. Even if they had one, if it was in their purse it would have been useless because they had their purses taken so quickly!

2. If you carry a firearm, you better know when to use it. The elderly gentleman chose not to use his, and he had a loaded shotgun pointed at him several times as compensation and was in grave danger for quite some time. If you carry a firearm you better know what your boundaries are and when you will use it to save your life and the lives of others.

3. In both clips, empty-handed skills would have been very important had the victims chose to defend themselves. In the first clip the ladies had chances when the armed robber put his firearm away to gather belongings. Had they had attitude, skills, and plan to deal with an armed robber, they could have won a fight even if they weren’t armed. The elderly gentleman needed to know some disarm techniques against a long gun, or at least some deflect and draw techniques, and the danger could have been over in an instant.

4. I am not knocking the elderly gentleman because we all get to make our own decisions and determine whether and when we use our defensive tools. As a reminder from the second clip, though: if you find in your heart that you can’t use a defensive firearm, don’t carry one. If deep down you know that you won’t use it in the moment of need, it’s not safe for you to have it. I don’t know this man’s heart, I don’t know if he made this decision based on the situation or his soul, but let’s all recognize the need to be willing to use deadly force if you carry a firearm.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

GRAPHIC: Brutal Attempted Murder Caught On Camera

VERY GRAPHIC. Do not watch this one if you’re squeamish, everyone. We do not glorify violence or murder at Active Self Protection, but there are some valuable lessons here that we want to remind us all of. How would you have responded if this man walked into a store where you were? How would you have responded after he was attacked?

Original video with additional information:

What do we learn from this attempted murder?

1. This is a great reminder to all of us to keep an individual first aid kit (IFAK) on our person. Stopping bleeding is a high priority item because if you get to the hospital with a pulse (i.e. with some blood volume left) the chances of living are high! If you need one, I carry this kit: and augment it with some hemostatic:

2. Reading the story on this situation, the man actually lived. That’s incredible! It just shows us the incredible amount of injury that the human body can endure. Use that information to your advantage to help you cover your ASP by knowing that even if badly injured, you can live and can even continue to fight.

3. This is also a great reason to keep your firearm on your person. This man might have been able to protect himself if he had one, and if any of us saw this happen in public I would hope that we would step in to protect the man who was almost murdered. I couldn’t see a murder like that and just stand by!

4. Injuries cause your situational awareness to plummet, so it’s something you have to be aware of. Emotional fitness comes into play here in big ways as well, because the injuries cause our focus to turn internally and to ignore the dangers that might still be lurking. Training and knowing what it’s like to stay in the fight while in pain, lots of sparring and ground work and physical training, can help you prepare for the worst moment of your life.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Off Duty Officer Murdered With His Own Gun

At Active Self Protection we talk a lot about knowing how to fight in close quarters with your firearm. Have you trained in this kind of scenario against having your firearm taken from you? I hate seeing any off duty officer murdered (or anyone murdered!), so let’s learn something from his senseless murder so that nothing similar happens to any of us.

Original video with some details and commentary (I do not speak Portuguese so I don’t know what the audio commentary is):

What do we learn here about deadly force encounters?

1. A firearm is not a magic talisman that wards away danger. Many people think that having a firearm with them keeps them safe, but this off duty officer murdered in cold blood shows us that there is more to it than that. A gunfight is a fight with a gun, and you have to be ready to win the fight in whatever form it comes at you. A firearm can be a very effective force multiplier but you’ve got to have the ability to fight.

2. As Skip Hancock has taught me, “The ground must be your friend and not your enemy.” If you choose to go to the ground, and you choose to fight off your back, you need to have the skills and plan to be effective from there. Spending time on the mat training is the only way to get it! This doesn’t mean you need to earn a brown belt in BJJ, but it does mean that you need to be comfortable fighting off your back and know how to win a fight in that situation.

3. Range is everything with force multipliers. A firearm is an extremely long range, fast moving force multiplier, so you need to either be completely out of range (behind cover or more than 25 yards away for handguns) or be inside its effective range. When the murderer got the gun away and a little bit of distance from the officer, he caught the officer in no-man’s land where the murderer was at perfect range to deliver killing blows, and the officer was out of contact range and unable to defend himself. That’s where murders happen.

4. We say it regularly, ASPers, but spiritual fitness is important. When we see an off duty officer murdered, or anyone murdered, it reminds us that life is short and there are no guarantees of tomorrow. Make sure you’re at peace with God as part of your attitude, skills, and plan. Tell your family that you love them regularly and live life in such a way that if today is your day, you don’t leave with regrets.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Officer Involved Shooting Caught On Camera

Do you have the attitude, skills, and plan to survive this kind of attack? This officer involved shooting shows us some important Active Self Protection lessons about how a real deadly force encounter goes down. Would you have come out alive?

News story:

Original video (most of it irrelevant):

What can this officer involved shooting teach LEO and CCW alike?

1. Deadly force encounters seldom announce themselves before they become life or death. There was no escalation or warning in this officer involved shooting; the officer asked the guy to step over where he wanted him, and the knife came out. This looks like “suicide by cop” to me, but the fact remains that knife-wielding attackers seldom telegraph their intentions. You must be ready to go from discussion to deadly force in an instant.

2. I know some people will get frustrated with me for saying it, but this shows that some of our training hinders real life. In a LOT of movement training I see on the range people are taught to shuffle step or drag their feet for safety or so they won’t trip. That’s all well and good for range safety, but if someone’s coming after you with a knife you won’t shuffle step. You’ll run as hard as you can! This makes it very important to work on Force on Force training that involves realistic movement and putting shots on target in less than optimal positions.

3. Shoot to stop the threat. This officer did a great job of shooting until the threat stopped rather than shooting once and admiring his work, and he also did a great job of shooting until the threat stopped and then not shooting any more. Once the perp was down he was not in range with his knife and so the officer stopped shooting.

4. Range matters. A knife is a fast-moving, short-range tool. A firearm is a fast moving, extremely long range (out to 25 yards or so with a pistol for most) tool. That means if you’re wielding the knife, you want to get CLOSE. If you’re wielding the firearm, you want DISTANCE. The tool you have determines your plan.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Two Police Officers Murdered In Cold Blood On Camera

Are you ready in the moment to fight like your life depends on it? Are you ready at the end of that fight, no matter how hard you tried, to meet your Maker? Of course, we never want to see police officers murdered, or anyone else for that matter. At Active Self Protection, both concepts are important, and these officers needed both in their moment of need.

News story:

Original videos: and

What do we learn from these police officers murdered?

1. Spiritual fitness is important, ASPers. There is nothing you can do apart from living on a deserted island to completely prevent an ambush from getting you, so you need to be at peace with God as a self-defender.

2. Situational awareness is critical to all self-defenders. These two police officers murdered both gave up their awareness at the same time, and that was a major factor in their deaths. If you have a partner (be it a fellow officer or a spouse or your BFF) with you, then you can at times give primary responsibility to one or the other to allow one to “check out” for a bit. The key is not to let both check out at once!

3. The first officer complied and died anyway. The second officer tried to fight back, and died as well. No strategy is fool-proof. At least the second officer went down fighting! Neither was an acceptable outcome, but the second one had a chance of succeeding at least.

4. The problem for the first officer was that when he felt the gun at his head, his reaction was to cower. There are plenty of solutions to this problem if you’ve got the Attitude, Skills, and Plan to execute them, but if you’re not practiced and drilled and competent you’ll hesitate like this man did, and unfortunately likely die.

5. The problem for the second officer was twofold: (1) he had two and at one point three guns on him, and (2) he tried to draw on a drawn gun. That’s a dying man’s game for sure, but he might have stood a chance had he moved IN on the gun and practiced the Five Ds, using the first murderer as a shield between him and the others. It is low probability, but he was a dead man anyway so some chance is better than none!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Neighbor Argument Turns Into Deadly Gunfight

We talk about de-escalation, escape, and avoidance for a reason at Active Self Protection. This argument between neighbors turned into a deadly gunfight where one man is dead and the other will spend years in prison. Don’t miss the many lessons, both moral and tactical.

Original video:

News story with more details on the incident:

What can we learn from this deadly gunfight?

1. You must, must, MUST dedicate your life to avoiding as many fights as possible, ASPers. No one won this fight. No one. One man is dead, and his family grieves his loss. The other man will spend years in prison, and his family grieves his conviction and loss. These kinds of ego battles have no place among those who are shepherds and warriors. Swallow your ego and avoid fights. How many of these could be avoided with a handshake, and apology, and perhaps a cold beer?

2. From a tactical perspective, if you have to attend a deadly gunfight, do so with a long gun rather than a handgun. The shotgun was a show stopper, while the handgun didn’t have near the ability to end the fight. A handgun is a great tool because of its portability and superiority to tools with less range, but a long gun FAR surpasses a handgun in the ability to stop an attacker.

3. Again PURELY from a tactical perspective, use your vehicle! The man in the truck pulled back in to fight the man with the shotgun, and to do so he pulled up and stopped to use his handgun. If you have to defend your life, use your vehicle if you’re in it. Use it to get away (best choice), or if that’s not possible then use it to stop your attacker using your grille.

4. If you are in a gunfight, MOVE. The man with the shotgun stood there and because of it took a round to the arm. Moving targets are far harder to hit, so don’t stand in one place. This is doubly so in the case of having an aging parent standing beside you. Move away from putting your loved ones in danger.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Off Duty Officer Shoots Armed Robber

If you’re a concealed carrier, you really need the attitude, skills, and plan exhibited by this off duty Brazilian officer! This is Active Self Protection at its very best.

Original video with some information:

How do I protect myself against an armed robber?

1. Realize that the robbery starts from an ambush and you will be at an initiative deficit. The officer did a fantastic job of waiting for his opportunity and staying aware of where the armed robbers were so that he could tell when he had a moment to get in the fight, and patiently waited his turn. If you’re outdrawn and outmaneuvered, wait if possible for your opportunity.

2. If you watch the longest version of this video, the officer has excellent situational awareness even before the armed robbery starts. He is looking outside the store, looking around occasionally, and is very aware of what is happening. That kind of awareness gives advanced notice of problems and is good to practice!

3. The entrance of the pharmacy is definitely a transitional space, so be careful at registers and entrances because they are more likely places for problems. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. This definitely qualifies!

4. The officer had to chamber his firearm, and it’s not uncommon in Brazil for off-duty cops to carry without a round in the chamber. In this case it worked out for him, but if you’re paying close attention the sound of the gun chambering drew the attention of the gunman and made it a closer contest than it needed to be. I strongly suggest you carry with a round in the chamber to give yourself every advantage possible in the moment of need.

5. Marksmanship matters! The officer put his first shots on target, and that accuracy won the day. You can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight, so in your training work on those first shots from the holster being on target quickly. In your dry fire and airsoft and force on force training, work on a smooth, fast draw that quickly finds the front sight and puts shots on target. It was the difference between life and death here.

6. Multiple attackers are the norm in most armed robberies. In this case there was a gunman and a grab man, and that pattern is fairly common. (the grab man might well be armed as well…I see that regularly) The officer rightly concluded that the gunman was the biggest threat to him rather than the grab man, even though the grab man was closer, and because of his decision he shot the gunman. That was wise thinking. Deal with the biggest threat first, realizing that the biggest threat might not be the closest threat.

7. The officer did a fantastic job of continuing to be aware of his surroundings, even after he had to use his firearm. He dealt with the immediate threat and then made sure that any additional threats were dealt with as well. Tunnel vision can often lead to being ambushed a second time by an accomplice, but this officer did wonderfully at staying aware of the world around him. Train this in your training by breathing and verbalizing when you have to shoot, and rather than doing a robotic scan and assess, actually look around for threats that might emerge.

8. Shoot until the threat stops. The officer did a phenomenal job of stopping the threat, and also did a fantastic job of stopping when the correct amount of force was applied to the situation to end the threat. The officer had an additional potential threat come his way but dealt with it appropriately as well. Stop the threat!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Assassination Caught On Camera (GRAPHIC)

WARNING: GRAPHIC. An assassination doesn’t normally provide much opportunity for self-defense, but this one caught on camera still can teach us some significant Active Self Protection lessons and therefore gain some redemption from a senseless act.

Original video: (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible)

News story about the incident (Google Translate from Spanish required):

How do I protect myself in an assassination attempt?

1. As always, situational awareness is always your best friend. This is doubly true when your chosen profession is one that you can make enemies, such as an attorney. Had this man been in condition yellow he MIGHT have seen this client coming, and MIGHT have had a second or two to defend himself. There are no guarantees, of course, but he might have had a chance.

2. Spiritual fitness is important, ASPers. You don’t get to decide your day of death in advance very often, and being at peace with God before you meet Him is the ultimate in ASP. So please, make peace with your Maker while you have time.

3. As a bystander, you must get away from the Bystander Effect and ACT. These bystanders tried to somewhat take cover behind their tables and hide a little, but their efforts were ineffective at best. Thankfully for them the murderer meant them no harm and so they lived, but we cannot count on that one iota. When the shooting starts, have your ASP covered and take decisive action to protect yourself.

4. I don’t know that there is much that the victim could have done once the shooting starts, but if he was aware and if he had seen the man coming even with a second to prepare, he might have been able to go IN to the attacker rather than away and perhaps defended himself while only being shot once or not at all. It would have taken some significant emotional fitness for sure.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

“Unarmed” Man Becomes A Deadly Threat In An Instant

Do you know what your boundaries are in regards to when you would draw your firearm? When you’d use it? Practicing Active Self Protection means knowing when an encounter escalates from verbal to physical to deadly threat, and this showcases the truth of that!

Original video:

News story with more details on the incident:

How do I protect myself from an escalating deadly threat?

1. We must first recognize the changing nature of a confrontation. This applies well past LEO, to CCW holders as well. This situation started as a call about a man attacking a woman in the area, and this officer started very calm and verbal. The man quickly escalated it by retrieving an improvised weapon and attacking the officer with it. We must all know our boundaries regarding when we are willing to use deadly force to protect ourselves, and when a verbal altercation changes into a physical or even a deadly threat.

2. Movement in a gunfight is not just good; it is critical. You must be able to hit a target while it is moving and/or while you are moving. We almost NEVER see a gunfight where a person faces a deadly threat while standing still in a perfect isosceles stance and draws and fires. Far more often you will be in a compromised stance, moving. So learn to move! Move laterally, diagonally, and vertically. You must be able to move and shoot accurately, so hone that skill.

3. Spatial awareness is important. Knowing our environment (everything in us, on us, and around us) means knowing the best places to go if we have to move in a hurry. Officer Blanford did what he had to in the moment and I am not criticizing his action, so don’t hear me doing so. When he moved to his left, though, he got caught in a corner where he really had few movement options. After the suspect moved away, he did a great job getting behind the car (or where he could use it to maintain distance). If you can, know where your safety lies and try not to put yourself in a corner.

4. We train and practice to shoot until the threat stops. Officer Blanford executed an excellent double tap in this instance that was effective in getting the suspect to change course and stop his attack, and once the threat ended, Officer Blanford stopped shooting. We do not shoot to kill but to stop the threat. Once the deadly threat has been stopped, we stop shooting and re-assess our needs for follow-up actions.

5. An attacker can be a deadly threat from a long way away. You might feel safe when someone is 10 or 15 feet away, but they can close that distance remarkably fast. Officer Blanford had his firearm out and on target when the suspect charged him, and still he was able to close that 15 or so feet and pose a deadly threat before the officer could shoot. Don’t think that distance creates safety automatically!

6. Respect the LEO in your life and your town, because they’re making $18 an hour (that’s under $40,000 a year before overtime, friends) to deal with stuff like this.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Assassination Caught On Camera

Honestly, how often do you allow your electronics to make you forget about the world around you? Lack of awareness allowed this assassination to happen, but practicing Active Self Protection could at least have given this guy a fighting chance.

Original video here (no info, though): (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible)

How do I protect myself from assassination?

1. Try hard not to make enemies that might want to murder you! Assassinations like this can happen from jilted lovers or crazy ex-business partners and the like, but the truth is that more often the “business” is drugs or other illegal stuff. Follow the Rules of Stupid (don’t go Stupid places, with Stupid people, at Stupid times, and do Stupid things) and you’ll not often have to worry about it.

2. When it’s beyond your control, you must practice situational awareness and threat assessment. You must operate according to the color code of awareness in condition yellow, not white. Yellow means you are aware of your surroundings. Live in condition yellow!

3. You cannot live in condition yellow with headphones on. This is non-negotiable. I know that many young people love to listen to music, watch Netflix, and play games, and smartphones make that easier and more desirable than ever, but it is terrible self-defense to be oblivious to the world around you. If you MUST use headphones, use only one so that you can still hear the outside world. For best results, keep your dominant ear open to the environment!

4. This means the payoff is this: put your phone in your pocket. Just do it. Keep your eyes on your surroundings, and if you’re in an internet café or a restaurant or whatever, be aware of who is coming and going and do your best not to spend long stretches of time with your back to the comings and goings of others. Had this man thought of his self-defense and been aware, he might have seen the first attempt and been able to defend himself effectively.

5. Assassinations don’t come out of the blue. If you’re in a situation where someone might have it in for you, you must be even more careful and not allow yourself to be ambushed like this.

6. Spiritual fitness is important, ASPers. It really is. You don’t often get to know the day that life ends in advance, so make peace with God before you need it.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.