Attitude is always first, but you need skills and plan to back them up to properly practice Active Self Protection. Would you have tried to resist like this store owner, or would you have complied with the armed robber and hoped for the best?
Original video with news story of the attack: https://get-asp.com/mndt
What does this store owner teach us about protecting ourselves from an armed robber?
- 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 armed robber was able to use the transitional space to ambush the clerk and get the drop on him.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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 store owner decided to act right away, where it might have been better to wait for a better opportunity.
- First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry an individual first aid kit at a minimum: 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.
- In MANY armed robberies, a counter is between the armed robber and the intended victims. That counter is a double-edged sword, because it can keep a knife-wielding attacker out of contact, but keeps a firearm-wielding attacker safe from your contact unless they put it over the counter. Even then, your empty-handed skills will be sorely tested by a situation when you can’t close the distance because of the counter top. The answer if you work in one of those environments is to train over the counter so that you know what your options and possibilities are.
- 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.