Clerk Fights Machete-Wielding Armed Robber

This clerk practiced pretty good Active Self Protection, don’t you think? To fight an armed robber you need to seize the opportunity you’re presented, and I think he did a great job.

Original video and news story:

How do I protect myself from an armed robber?

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. 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. All this clerk had was empty-handed skills to go on, so that alone shows you how important they are!

2. 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. This clerk got stuck in dominate, which is not the worst place to get stuck, but didn’t know to distract so that he could disarm and disable. Use the Five Ds to train yourself against an armed opponent!

3. 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!

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.

5. The Bystander Effect is real. There were lots of people around here, but no one stepped in. 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. Usually the best way to break the Bystander Effect is to have a force multiplication advantage, which is a great reason to keep your force multiplier on you at all times.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of

Home Invasion Caught On Camera

Think a home invasion can’t happen to you? Think again! You need a plan to put your Active Self Protection into practice in the event of a home invasion. Do you carry at home?

News story of the incident:

How do I protect myself from home invasion?

1. You need to consider your home and reinforce likely points of entry. That includes a walk-around to determine where burglars are likely to try to gain entry and reinforcing those points of entry. (I recommend a kit like this: Reinforcing doors is a must for you home, as this home invasion shows. They were very easily able to kick the door down and gain access. Had the door been reinforced, the homeowner might have had the time to stop the home invaders before they even got in the door.

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.

3. 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. This man confronted three burglars with nothing more than his hands, which isn’t ideal for sure. It worked, which is awesome, but have some tools on your person in case you need them.

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!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of

Ambushed Officer Badly Injured In Armed Robbery

What do you think was the most effective way to win the fight in this armed robbery? This officer practiced Active Self Protection and lived to tell about it!

Original video (Google Translate required):

How do I protect myself from an armed robbery?

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 armed robbery was definitely made worse because the officer didn’t see it coming until it was right on top of him. Don’t forget to keep aware of your surroundings!

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. The ambush in this armed robbery happened twice: once at the initial start, and the second time when the second attacker came into play.

3. 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. You have to earn your draw in a close-in gunfight.

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.

5. 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!

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. This officer needed his IFAK on him with a hemostatic agent and potentially a tourniquet.
7. 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. This officer only had one hand available!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

(music in the intro and outro courtesy of

Armed Robber Shot And Stopped By CCW Instructor

The more times an armed robber meets a bad ending in the commission of their crime, the less likely armed robbery becomes. This is why we applaud good people stopping armed robbers at Active Self Protection! Bravo to this man in Ohio.


If you value what we do at ASP, would you consider becoming an ASP Patron Member to support the work it takes to make the narrated videos like these armed robbers getting their just desserts? gives the details.

Original video:

A debrief statement from the shooter:

How do I protect myself from an armed robber?

1. The most effective way to stop an armed robber from hurting you is to protect yourself from them. Anyone threatening deadly force against you or your loved ones can be presumed to actually mean to do deadly harm to you, and you have all the moral right in the world to stop that threat. Some people might say that giving him the money was a smarter idea, but if you’ve followed ASP awhile you have seen enough instances of people who comply with armed robbers still being killed to know that compliance does not equate to safety at all. Only comply if you have no other viable options. Otherwise, protect yourself.

2. A firearm is the most useful force multiplication tool we currently have available. A good handgun is portable, concealable, and useful. In this case the good guy had a Glock 27 with 165gr Remington Golden Sabre defensive rounds and they did the job just fine. A pepper spray or a taser are great, but there are times that only a firearm will do. That’s why I carry one and I suggest you do as well.

3. Marksmanship matters! This CCW instructor knew how to draw and knew how to shoot, and that’s why he put 3 out of 3 shots in the bad guy, where they belonged. Point shooting is a great technique for fast, close shooting and that’s exactly what he did. He knew his technique and used it effectively. That only comes from training, so make sure you’re training regularly and effectively and practicing often.

4. Notice as well that the self-defender didn’t stay stationary. He moved when the danger started and didn’t stay in one place. That’s very wise! In your training, whether live training or Force on Force or airsoft or dry fire, remember to move and still put shots on target. This is critical!

5. It’s important in your defensive shooting to be aware of bystanders and innocents and not to shoot them! This self-defender moved well and got himself a good firing line so as not to endanger the mom and baby, or his coworker. That’s fantastic. Excellent work. Move to get an angle that allows you to focus on your task and provides you the most margin for error possible.

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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Disabled Does Not Mean Defenseless!

At Active Self Protection we talk about disabled self defense with some regularity. You’ve got to be your own self-defender, and this guy certainly was!


The interview with the good guy is awesome: What a stud!

More on the story here:

What does disabled self defense look like?

1. All self-defense starts with attitude. I love the interview with Larry, the Good Samaritan. I love that he says he is just doing what he was raised to do, which is help people. The baseline of all self-defense, let alone disabled self defense, is an attitude that says that you are worth protecting and that everyone has value, worth, and dignity. Attitude First!


2. I love that the defender did not consider his disability (which he got from an ATV accident a decade before) a detriment. He had the ability to protect himself and the clerk who was being assaulted by the robber, and he did. Self-defense is about what you CAN do, not about what you CAN’T do. So work with what you have! Paraplegic? Learn to use your arms effectively. Missing a hand? Use your other, your legs, and whatever you have. It’s all about what you have, not about what you might not.

3. The good guy had some skills here. Some might think that his skills were lacking because the guy got out of his holds, but any jiu jitsu practitioner can tell you that holds and locks are much tougher against a non-compliant opponent. He did what he needed to do to get the robber off the woman, and his skills were good! He had a rear naked and a guillotine in there at one point.


4. The other shoppers didn’t fall victim to the Bystander Effect, and that’s tremendous. Because the first person stepped in, the others were spurred to action. Frankly, if you see a guy in a wheelchair stepping in and you don’t help him, shame on you! These other people stepped in and lent a hand as well, which is fantastic. Perhaps they could use some work on their swarm tactics, but that’s forgivable at this point.

5. Convenience stores are transitional spaces. Be extra careful in transitional spaces because they are frequent places of danger. When you’re in transitional spaces, be careful!

Attitude. Skills. Plan.