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Guard Murdered During Armed Robbery

This video is sad, and we do not glorify violence at Active Self Protection. But there are lessons for all of us to learn from this armed robbery that can help the next person to avoid this man’s fate. So LEARN! Learn the real dangers you’ll face in a fight for your life, then go train to overcome them.

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How do I protect myself in an armed robbery?

1. 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. The guard in this armed robbery got stuck in the second D, dominate, and that was all it took.

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. Whether this guard had a firearm or not, he had a fight to win in this armed robbery before the gun could come into play.

3. 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.

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! Most of the time an armed robbery will involve multiple attackers.

5. 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!

6. 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! It seems in this armed robbery that the victim tired, and that tiredness was part of what the challenge was. I am not blaming him at all, but reminding us to be fit!

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)

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)

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.

Real Life Machete Attack Shows Five Ds Beautifully

Do you have the attitude, skills, and plan to engage a machete attack? You may not have the ability to draw a gun, but practicing Active Self Protection can help you if ever you need to fight this fight!

Original video here: http://get-asp.com/2×94

How do I protect myself against a machete attack?

1. Recognize that with any force multiplier, you want to control distance. You want ideally to stay out of range of the attackers force multiplier while being in range of yours! Obviously, staying outside of the range of the machete is a great idea because that machete can do great damage to you. As this video shows, though, if you can’t stay out of range, get inside the range of the force multiplier. This defender knew he had to get inside, and his double leg takedown got him in a range that the machete attack was ineffective because it couldn’t be swung effectively.

2. Ground skills are important. This machete attack changed with the defender changed levels and hit a perfect double leg takedown, then controlled his attacker from top position. Those skills come in very handy in a fight, so training takedowns and ground skills is important. Certainly, we would rather not be trapped on the ground in a public environment with potential unknown opponents, but as Skip Hancock is fond of saying, “the ground must be your friend and not your enemy.”

3. The Five Ds are significant in the successful ending of this machete attack. Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. This overarching strategy to fighting an attacker with a force multiplier isn’t designed to be thought through in the heat of the moment, but a training tool to engrain priorities when having to defend against attack. If you try to disarm before the first three, for instance, the chance of failure is high and the success rate is less. We see in the narration in the video that the defender practiced the Five Ds successfully to get himself out of danger and defeat his attacker.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

GRAPHIC: Real-Life Knife Attacks Caught On Video

Intro

WARNING: GRAPHIC. Are you prepared for a real knife attack? Not a Hollywood scene, but a real life, honest-to-goodness knife attack? An awful lot of training I see out there is directed towards single attacks and telegraphed movement, but Active Self Protection exists to realities of attacks so that we can learn how to defend ourselves from what really happens.

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Video Lessons

How do I protect myself against a knife?

  1. It takes great emotional fitness to really survive a knife attack when you’re unarmed. Emotional fitness, the ability to present a situation to ourselves so as to strengthen our inner self to face and overcome the situation, can be trained and must be maximized. It is scary stuff to fight against a knife-wielding attacker, but doing it in training again and again can give us confidence and inner strength to do so successfully. So hit the mat!
  2. Recognize that real-life knife attacks are fast, brutal, repeated, and not telegraphed. I see a lot of “knife techniques” in martial arts and combative schools taught against a single thrust with the assumption that the defender will stop the attack and disarm the attacker on the first strike, but that is not really realistic in my opinion unless you’re a master who gets really lucky as well. The best you can probably hope for in real life is to deflect the first attack and buy a brief moment to weather the ambush and regain composure for the second strike that is coming immediately.
  3. The Five Ds are the larger general principle to work on when facing an armed opponent, and this holds true for knife attacks again and again. Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. If you practice them as principles to prioritize in self-defense they will certainly help you in a real fight.
  4. Empty-handed skills are crucial in surviving a knife attack. I carry a firearm every day and recommend that you do, too, but there is no way that you will be able to immediately draw a firearm in this kind of attack. You must have empty-handed skills to weather the ambush to get to your gun!
  5. Spiritual fitness is the foundational fitness and the foundation of covering your ASP. Several of these victims simply didn’t survive the ambush, and there is no guarantee any of us will either in a real ambush against a knife-wielding attacker. Make peace with God so that if today is your day to meet your Creator, you’re ready! And then train like you want that meeting to be a long ways down the road.

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