Posts

Concealed Machete Used In Motorcycle Theft

How would you have responded to this man pulling a machete out from concealment like that? I think that it would take some significant Active Self Protection to be emotionally and physically ready to successfully defend yourself in this instance. So could you?

Original video: http://get-asp.com/o3lc

How could I protect myself against someone with a machete?

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. Awareness might have kept these guys out of danger by not getting in range of the thieves to begin with.

2. Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it. In the moment against a man with a machete who could swing imminently, it would be very difficult to get to a firearm. Better to deal with the immediate problem with your hands, then get some range, and THEN get to the firearm.

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. 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 man with the machete was only half the problem here!

5. Many attackers use their support or guard side arm as a gauging tool, holding their opponent with it to either guard their strong hand (with a force multiplier in it, often) or to put their intended victim at the preferred distance for their dominant hand to strike with maximum effect. You have to train repeatedly as a self-defender against the gauging arm so that you can deal with it before the dominant arm comes into play.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

Officer Involved Shooting In Missouri

Whenever there is an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) caught on video we should work hard to see what Active Self Protection lessons we can glean from it. I think this officer did a fine job! Could you have won this fight?

Original video from the Columbia, MO POA: http://get-asp.com/8kom

News story with details of the incident and what led up to it: http://get-asp.com/wc9m

What does this Officer Involved Shooting teach LEO and CCW alike?

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. This officer knew that he had no time initially to draw his gun; he had to win the fight he was in and earn his draw. That’s an important skill to drill again and again in a fight. Whether an Officer Involved Shooting or an armed robbery, empty-handed skills are key.

2. To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. This officer was on his back, with a man trying to kill him, in a fight for his life. In that situation you need to be mentally strong first before physical skill takes any effect!

3. 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. If you read this story, the second officer (who didn’t get on camera) shot this attacker multiple times eventually, and he kept fighting and kept resisting. Those shots, in the back, were not incapacitating! In many an Officer Involved Shooting we see the same.

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. We couldn’t see them on the camera in all their details, but we certainly saw deflect and disarm and disable.

5. Fights are physically demanding. Sure, a pure gunfight might last 10 seconds and not place a huge burden on you physically, but the vast majority of encounters we see here at ASP involve physical self-defense as well. Getting into a honest-to-goodness fight with someone is incredibly physically demanding, so being physically fit is an important part of maximizing your chances to protect yourself. Fit people are harder to beat and harder to kill! Get on the mat and spend 30 seconds brawling with someone trying to dominate you and see how winded you are!

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)

Armed Robbery Goes Badly For Robbers!

Despite Stand Your Ground Laws and/or Castle Doctrine sometimes the best Active Self Protection is to do what this guy did! The end made me laugh, even if it’s something I can’t commend or recommend. How would you have protected yourself from this kind of armed robbery?

Original video: http://get-asp.com/ihi9

How do I protect myself from an armed robbery?

1. This man was engrossed in his mobile phone, and the armed robbery might have started because they saw he was unaware. Your mobile phone is a useful tool but a dangerous one. It can be used to communicate, to get emergency help to you, and to avoid problems altogether in numerous ways. It can also be a very dangerous distraction, because it is designed purposefully to grasp our undivided attention and hold it. When in public, use your mobile sparingly and correctly. Don’t allow it to hold your attention for more than 20-30 seconds at a time, and hold it high so that your head is up and you can see past it to what is going on around you.

2. A sidewalk next to the street is a transitional spaces and 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 sidewalk qualifies! (One of my mentors, Skip Hancock, and I talked about sidewalks as transitional spaces at length, and his argument that they meet the definition is compelling to me) This works in hand with point 1, that you must be ready to protect yourself at all times.

3. This man ran away from the armed robbery, and I think that was a great choice. 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.

4. In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself. This intended victim waited until he had an opening, then ran like his life depended on it. If you can escape an armed robbery by running away, do so! And to do so, sometimes you have to wait for your opportunity.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

Kidnapping Caught On Surveillance Camera

I think that this is the first actual kidnapping I have seen caught on camera at Active Self Protection. Could you have protected yourself from this kind of attack?

Original video: http://get-asp.com/cv1u

How do I protect myself from a kidnapping?

1. Never, ever, under any circumstances allow yourself to be taken to a second location. The odds of terrible things happening to you rise exponentially when an attacker is allowed to get you isolated and in private. You must make the decision that if an attacker tries to take you to a second location that you will fight to the death to prevent that. This takes spiritual fitness, the courage to know what you’re willing to fight for.

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. This couple certainly needed 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. If you are paying attention to your world you are much harder to ambush.

3. 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. This is a transitional space because of the ease of approach and escape for the attackers; being on the roadside walking down the sidewalk is absolutely a time when you need to recognize there is an increased risk of danger. This certainly includes more than kidnapping; seeing cars coming can keep you from getting run over by a distracted driver as well!

4. 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. Since kidnappings are something that most people don’t encounter often, it’s easy to get stuck in the “this isn’t happening” mindset. Instead, you have to be able to flip the switch in your mind that it IS happening and deal with 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.

5. Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it. In this case, it’s the third reason that is most significant.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

Terrifying Knife Attack Caught On Video

A real-life knife attack is a terrifying ordeal. This officer-involved confrontation out of the UK provides some interesting lessons in Active Self Protection for fighting off a knife attack. How would you have dealt with this attack?

Original video: http://get-asp.com/8bvk

News report of the attack: http://get-asp.com/1txg

How do I protect myself against a knife attack?

1. You just don’t see a knife attack happen like you’ve seen in Hollywood. A real knife attack is 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. In this instance the attacker was clearly not really intending to harm the officers because he easily could have.

2. 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. A baton is a medium-range, medium speed force multiplier. A pepper spray or CS gas canister is a long-range, medium speed force multiplier. To fight against an attack you want to have a force multiplier that is longer range, faster, or ideally both!

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. The officers in this video both were emotionally fit and handled their business quite well!

4. If you have a partner with you when you’re attacked (be it a LEO partner if you work on a team, or your spouse or martial artist buddy), you want to do everything you can to work as a team. Knowing each other well and communicating clearly will help you protect yourself from danger. This takes training and practice and commitment, but two partners working together present a formidable challenge to any attacker. In this instance the partners worked together well, and it paid off for sure.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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

Grandma Fights Off Armed Robber

Do you think this grandmother did the right thing by not pulling the trigger on this armed robber? We talk a lot at Active Self Protection about stopping the threat, and Mrs. Aldana certainly accomplished that!

Original video, along with an interview with this brave woman: http://get-asp.com/9286

How do I protect myself against an armed 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. Mrs. Aldana owns a convenience store, and because people come in and out quickly it’s always a transitional space where an armed robber is more likely to strike. When you’re in transitional spaces, be sure to be extra alert!

2. Keep your firearm on your person! Plenty of people keep a firearm stationed near them under the counter or on a desk, but in the moment of need you can’t ever be sure that you can get to it if it’s not on your person. In this case it worked out just fine against this armed robber, but if he had decided to come over the counter she might not have been so lucky. Keep your gun on you!

3. 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. In this instance, the counter kept the knife from being immediately deliverable and so as a defender you can know that you have the upper hand.

4. This incident required emotional fitness to be able to successfully defend yourself. 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. 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. Train against situations like this so that if they ever happen in real life, you’re ready!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

Empty-Handed Skills Are Critical For Firearms Carriers And This Is Why!

Do you honestly have what it takes to win this fight? At Active Self Protection we talk a lot about marksmanship as well as empty-handed skills, and this is a perfect example of why we do. So could you have prevailed here?

Original video and news story (Google Translate from Portuguese required): http://get-asp.com/a9xd

Why are empty-handed skills so important for self-defenders?

1. Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents.

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 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. This guard found out the hard way that a gunfight is just a fight with a gun, and he didn’t have the fighting skills to win the fight when it closed to physical contact. That’s not a mistake you can make.

3. Marksmanship is important, and putting shots on target ends a good number of threats. However, even attackers who have been shot multiple times, and even attackers who are mortally wounded, can continue to fight for several minutes and continue to present a deadly threat to self-defenders. There are plenty of reports of jacked-up assailants being shot five or ten times (even with the .45ACP, the very Hammer of Thor itself to some people) and still being a threat. Your empty-handed skills might be the difference between being badly hurt by those guys and merely roughed up a little.

4. Your empty-handed skills come in training and practice, and 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. 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. Training in empty-handed skills regularly builds your emotional fitness, and that’s valuable!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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: http://get-asp.com/15vj

Original of second clip: http://get-asp.com/2upb

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: http://get-asp.com/zlsy

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: https://get-asp.com/IPOK and augment it with some hemostatic: https://get-asp.com/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.

This is why fighting back can help you survive

We talk a lot at Active Self Protection about being willing to defend yourself. So are you? One of these ladies was, and the other wasn’t, and while both were “okay,” I think the outcome from fighting back was preferable to not, personally. How about you?

Original of first video: http://get-asp.com/ntr0

Original of second video: http://get-asp.com/jlxf (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible)

Why should I fight back against a mugger?

1. First of all, you shouldn’t always fight back. Every situation is unique, and you must consider your attitude, skills, and plan in relation to the threat you face. I am not blaming these women for being victimized and not saying that the attackers were anything other than reprehensible for attacking them. If you don’t have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from an attacker then you’re at their mercy, which is not a place I want to be. If you want to defend yourself, though, read on.

2. That said, in studies of rape and attempted rape it has been shown that victims who resist are not at increased risk of the offender being physically violent (http://get-asp.com/ufr4 for more) and that it has been shown to be effective at deterring rape attempts as well as fighting off attackers. Therefore, it is a wise strategy to be ready to defend yourself and resist an attacker.

3. As with any attacker, muggers are not looking for fights but for victims. When they meet significant resistance they often abandon their plans and flee. We certainly see that in the second clip, that when the woman mounted a semi-effective resistance the attacker broke off his attack and fled. Note, though, that I said that it requires a significant resistance. This cannot be a token resistance that hopes for the mugger to give up. You must commit to fighting back to the point of winning the fight and stopping the attack completely.

4. Of course, the presence of multiple attackers greatly increases the level of attitude, skills, and plan needed when fighting back. You learn these skills in the training center, so commit to empty-handed skills training!

5. Force multipliers are important tools for women to carry. (men, too, but these videos are both female victims) Against bigger, stronger, faster attackers a person really needs the most effective force multiplier they can have. A firearm is best, and if either of these woman had been armed the outcome could have been much different. If a firearm is not available, a pepper spray or a TASER or a knife would make them a far more formidable opponent than her bare hands. You’re a tool user, so carry tools!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.