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Suicide by Cop Caught On Camera

Do you think the officer did right here? There is a lot of angst in America right now about police conduct, and it’s appropriate to hold officers to high standards for sure. This suicide by cop that was caught on local surveillance camera shows some significant lessons for citizens and LEO alike about how fast these incidents happen. At Active Self Protection we’re pro-LEO (not pro-bad-cop at all!) and agree with the DA here that this officer acted in good faith to protect himself.

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 information on the incident: http://get-asp.com/htrw

 

Second video of the incident with details on the events: http://get-asp.com/oyvp

 

What does this Suicide by Cop teach self-defenders of all kinds?

 

  1. One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “imminence,” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe). Imminence means the threat is happening RIGHT NOW, that it’s neither too late nor too early for you to defend yourself! The standard of imminence is seen as a triad of ability, opportunity, and jeopardy (also known as the AOJ triad, which is explained here: http://get-asp.com/pm3k). Notice in this suicide by cop that the officer brought deadly force to bear not when the perp was yelling, but when he made the furtive gesture from concealment to do him harm. That’s an important reminder, that imminence is a critical principle of lawful and moral self-defense.

 

  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 suicide by cop happened in a matter of 10 seconds of pre-shooting yelling, and then a second of action. Be ready by training!

 

  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. For LEO, every encounter you have to use your firearm in will end with you going hands-on with a perp to get them in cuffs. Armed citizens might not have to deal with suicide by cop, but we might have to deal with gunfights that close to fistfights.

 

  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. In this suicide by cop the officer stayed cool emotionally and reacted appropriately because he had great emotional fitness.

 

  1. The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of punishment and still function. You can shoot someone multiple times and they can still pose a deadly threat! Even mortally wounded people can continue to pose a threat for several seconds to even minutes after being shot, so don’t think for a moment that shooting someone will necessarily immediately incapacitate them. That is Hollywood myth. In this suicide by cop we see that even a mortally wounded man can continue to function and fight for a long time.

 

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)

Scary Home Invasion Caught On Camera

Your home is your castle, but don’t let it become your coffin! You can’t turn your Active Self Protection off when you get home, as this home invasion shows. Does this video make you reconsider carrying a firearm at home, or getting some significant empty-handed skills training?

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 and original video here: http://get-asp.com/qwzh

 

How do I protect my family in a home invasion?

 

  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. This home invasion came a week after this business owner was targeted a first time, so she had to know that more bad stuff could be coming her way. That’s probably why she was aware.

 

  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. This woman definitely was aware of her surroundings, and that awareness gave her almost four seconds to protect herself from the home invasion, which is a lot of time in a fight.

 

  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. We say that doorways are transitional spaces because they take our attention away and make us stop a moment to open the door, which can provide attackers with an opportunity for ambush. Be a bit more cautious when entering transitional spaces! This home invasion certainly was planned at the doorway because of the opportunity it presented.

 

  1. You must consider home defense in your planning and personal protection. Having a deadbolt that is simple and fast to operate is a good idea; something like this can be what you need: http://amzn.to/1Lminbn. In a fight for your life you want simple, fast, and easy defensive solutions.

 

  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 this woman had empty-handed skills and the ability to take a firearm away from an attacker, or even to hurt him significantly at close quarters, this home invasion might have ended very differently.

 

  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. If you’ve never had someone in your space like this it will be very difficult to defend yourself, but if you’ve done it over and over in training, you will have the emotional fitness to act.

 

  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.

 

  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.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

Teen Armed With Shotgun Confronts Home Invaders

Have you taught your teens how to protect themselves from home invaders with the firearms in your home? This teenaged girl could have used some better Active Self Protection lessons from mom and dad to keep her safe. Teach your kids, everyone!

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 here: http://get-asp.com/75ib (Google Translate from Afrikaans required)

 

How do I protect my family from home invaders?

 

  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. Home invaders pick whichever house they think is easy to steal from or has something they want, so yours might be it.

 

  1. If you run from an attack, don’t just run AWAY from danger. Run TO something. Run TO the corner where you can fight one at a time. Run TO a store where a guard can help you. Run TO your house where you can lock the door. Run TO a place where you can better defend yourself from attack. Running FROM danger is great, but running TO safety is better! This girl didn’t really run FROM the home invaders, but rather TO the safety of the inside of her house. She locked the doors as well, and that was good stuff.

 

  1. We must each decide what is worth protecting. Life is always worth protecting because it is of inestimable worth; as unique bearers of the image of God, people are the most valuable “thing” imaginable. Property is something else, though. With property we always have to balance the benefit against the risk to ourselves and our families. Even where it’s legally allowed, you should consider whether it’s wise or prudent to defend your property, because doing so puts you at risk and not just the bad guy. This girl probably shouldn’t have come out of the house to begin with, shotgun or no. There were no people out there to protect, just property, and she wasn’t equipped to confront the danger that was out there. These home invaders could easily have killed her if they had the desire to. Therefore, teach your kids to batten down the hatches, arm up, call the cavalry, and don’t go exploring. (there’s something here about teenagers watching enough horror movies not to go wandering around in the dark, too, because that’s where you get murdered with a hatchet)

 

  1. Capacity matters. My rule of thumb is that I want a minimum of 5 rounds for each bad guy I might face, which accounts for 2 misses and 3 shots on target for each. (of course, you never want to miss…I am just accommodating me on my worst day) Here we see 2 or 3 home invaders, and that’s not the kind of situation I want a shotgun with 5 or 6 rounds for.

 

  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. These home invaders weren’t going to be stopped by police, because police couldn’t get there in time.

 

  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. This teen had a shotgun, but it didn’t look to me like she was particularly ready to use it if she had actually seen these home invaders. She did some good things like staying at distance to the door and running for safety when she got spooked.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

LEO Has Split Second to Decide Whether to Shoot

Have you ever watched a video of police interactions and thought you knew the whole story? This one shows why having multiple angles and reserving judgment is wise! At Active Self Protection we are pro-LEO (but of course, not pro-bad cop, and we expect excellence and high standards of professionalism from all in authority) and think this shows how small the window is where LEO or CCW alike have to make life-or-death decisions.

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 here: http://get-asp.com/loky

News story on the incident here: http://get-asp.com/cepg

What does this video teach LEO and CCW alike when it comes to deadly force encounters?

1. Video doesn’t always tell the whole story. The first angle from the dash camera might lead some to claim that the LEO overreacted and drew a gun on a citizen for no reason. Thankfully the body camera Officer Wheeler was wearing shows a much better angle of what was really going on. If I were a LEO, I know I would want a body camera for just this reason, especially given the current political climate regarding police use of force.

2. 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!

3. 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. This officer was aware and alert as he made his traffic stop, and it might have saved him having to shoot this man.

4. While we know that shooting with both hands on the gun is best for recoil control and putting fast, accurate shots on target, we also know that it’s not always possible to do. We must train and prepare to use our firearm with both our gun hand and our guard hand in case of injury or incapacitation. Notice that Officer Wheeler, for whatever reason, couldn’t get two hands on his firearm in this encounter. (thankfully it is a moot point!) Be able to run your firearm one-handed.

5. 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. Here, Officer Wheeler had enough training to use his voice to control the man in the car so that he didn’t have to shoot him. His training and experience saved the day, and that’s commendable! Most LEO I know are working long hours and don’t get enough training in their month for time or financial reasons. Don’t be one of them!

6. If I had one suggestion for improvement here (and don’t read it as a criticism of Officer Wheeler, just a suggestion for learning) it is this: 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! Here Officer Wheeler, just because of the circumstances and situation, had his firearm where the man in the car could have reached for it and had a fight for it. Thankfully it didn’t happen and all came out well!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

CCW Holder Escalates Argument To Deadly Force

Frankly this video just makes me angry. As a self-defender and concealed carrier, this is 100% what NOT to do. Active Self Protection ceases when it escalates argument into a deadly force encounter, and even though he “won the fight” I think he lost his dignity and his moral standing with his actions. How about you?

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.

Original video from the Tampa Bay PD: http://get-asp.com/1l64

How do I keep myself from having to use deadly force to protect myself?

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 (doubly so for deadly force encounters), so make a commitment to de-escalate, escape, or evade any encounter you possibly can. This is always our first choice as self-defenders. This man chose instead to escalate the fight, which is not ethically allowable and will also land him in serious trouble legally.

2. 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. Here we see two rules broken, a stupid person doing stupid things.

3. 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! If this CCW holder had ground skills he might not have gotten into the deadly force position where he felt like his life was in danger and he needed to pull his firearm and threaten deadly force.

4. Ego is a killer. Your ego isn’t necessarily a terrible thing in that it helps you make your way in the world, but when your ego gets you into a fight, it can get you into trouble in a hurry. To paraphrase an old adage from the movie “Top Gun,” when your ego writes checks your skills can’t cash you end up in a bad spot. So as part of your spiritual fitness as a self-defender, check your ego and your need to be right and be in charge of others. Just let it go. Part of spiritual fitness is being at peace with yourself and with others such that you don’t need to act like this and show them what their faults are, so work on your spiritual fitness as well. Your ego is not worth fighting for.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

Assassination Attempt Caught On Camera

Would you hesitate to tackle a man on crutches? I don’t think I have ever seen a stranger assassination attempt at Active Self Protection, but the method of handling it was absolutely spot on!

Original video: http://get-asp.com/g7wf

How do I protect myself from assassination?

1. Well, honestly, you can’t always protect yourself all the time. It’s just not possible, and even the greatest situational awareness can’t keep you from being ambushed. No one launches an assassination attempt where they think the intended victim has a chance to escape! Therefore, 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. The Bystander Effect is real. There were lots of people around here, but no one stepped in until one brave soul had the courage to act. 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. Once you negate that advantage, the chance of others stepping in with you increases.

6. 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!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

Gunfight Erupts When Armed Robbery Victim Fights Back

Would you have taken your opportunity to fight this gunman during this armed robbery? There are a BUNCH of Active Self Protection lessons in this one to consider!

Original video from the Broward Sheriff’s Office: http://get-asp.com/bx1v

News story with plenty of details on the incident: http://get-asp.com/rlv2

How do I protect myself in 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 armed robbery 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.

2. Even in a gunfight, empty-handed skills are important because many gunfights close to “extreme close quarters” or “bad breath distances.” Knowing how to disarm a gun-wielding attacker in an armed robbery, and how to win the fight that you’re actually in rather than the fight you want to be in, is crucial.

3. 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.

4. The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of punishment and still function. You can shoot someone multiple times and they can still pose a deadly threat! Even mortally wounded people can continue to pose a threat for several seconds to even minutes after being shot, so don’t think for a moment that shooting someone will necessarily immediately incapacitate them. That is Hollywood myth. The victim shot the attacker FIVE TIMES in the chest, and he lived. Multiple shots on target may well be necessary to stop your attacker, so shoot until the threat stops.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Capacity matters. My rule of thumb is that I want a minimum of 5 rounds for each bad guy I might face, which accounts for 2 misses and 3 shots on target for each. (of course, you never want to miss…I am just accommodating me on my worst day) This bad guy’s gun, turned on him fired at least 5 hits and one miss (at the second attacker) before running empty. How much capacity is enough for you? That’s a personal decision, but for me and mine I like a gun with 15 or more if I can have it.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

GRAPHIC: Tragic Suicide Caught On Camera

WARNING: GRAPHIC. I share this one to teach two IMPORTANT Active Self Protection lessons, friends. It’s important enough to share it, but hear my heart that I am not sharing it to glorify it one iota.

First and foremost, I share it to remind us all about the horrors of suicide. Please, if you are in crisis or know someone who is in crisis, please get help. Visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1 (800) 273-8255 anywhere in the US to get help. Please don’t ignore the warning signs of suicide.

Original video here: http://get-asp.com/dawz (WARNING: lots of NSFW content on that site)

Second, I share it with self-defenders because it teaches us several more lessons for self-protection.

1. Please keep your firearms out of the hands of unauthorized persons. I am not saying someone let this man have a firearm, but it’s a good reminder that we must keep our firearms properly stored so that the threat of them being used in this manner is minimized.

2. The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of punishment and still function. You can shoot someone multiple times and they can still pose a deadly threat! Even mortally wounded people can continue to pose a threat for several seconds to even minutes after being shot, so don’t think for a moment that shooting someone will necessarily immediately incapacitate them. That is Hollywood myth. This man stood there for 25 seconds after a high center chest cavity hit at point blank range, which reminds us all of the need to be careful if we have to use our firearm against someone else in a deadly force encounter.

3. The corollary for self-defenders is that if you’re shot in a fight, you might still have enough fight in you to protect your family. That requires great emotional fitness, though.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

Violent Robber Sucker Punches Clerk

Protecting yourself from a robber requires Active Self Protection both before and during the incident. What would you have done if you were this clerk?

Original video and news story, part 1: http://get-asp.com/987c

Original video and news story, part 2: http://get-asp.com/x3sv

How do I protect myself from a robber?

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. Convenience stores are built purposefully as transitional spaces and must be treated as such, so if you have to work in one, beware of what that means!

2. 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 case, the clerk allowed the register to take his entire awareness and it allowed the robber to launch his attack from ambush.

3. 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 robber launched his attack when he had the advantage, which is when they will happen.

4. 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 clerk, had he had a gun, would have had to fight his way to it to stop the robber.

5. 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.

6. 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)