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GRAPHIC: Terrorist Attack at Istanbul Airport Teaches Important Lessons

GRAPHIC: Terrorist Attack at Istanbul Airport Teaches Important Lessons

GRAPHIC. This terrorist attack might feel like a world away, but recent events show us how our Active Self Protection needs to be sharp because of how close a terrorist attack really is.

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 such as this terrorist attack? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.

 

Original videos of the terrorist attack are available in our Instructor Development Portal.

 

News story with details of the terrorist attack: https://get-asp.com/fn8a

 

What does this stabbing teach us about defending ourselves against a terrorist attack?

 

  1. Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, (a terrorist attack is by definition evil) and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. No negotiation would stop this terrorist attack; only preparation and willingness to kill the terrorists can.
  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. A terrorist attack almost always gives some kind of warning if you’re aware, as the research in “15 meters in 11 seconds” shows.

 

  1. Marksmanship in a real deadly force encounter might mean that you need to be ready to make a precision shot on a threat, and you must be prepared emotionally and skill-wise to do so. Shooting a threat in the face, a target the size of a 3×5 card, under stress is no small feat! To be able to stop a terrorist attack or hostage situation, though, it is a necessary skill and you should train and practice your marksmanship until it is second nature. A good standard is Dave Spaulding’s “Skill on Demand” drill, which involves 2 shots in 2 seconds at 20 feet, in a 3×5 card.

 

  1. 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. In a terrorist attack, you WILL 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.

 

  1. 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. A terrorist attack is not a time you can always guarantee a win for the good guys. You want to be at peace with your loved ones and 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.

 

There are 3 additional lessons for Patron Members and 3 class starters for Instructors from this terrorist attack, so please join us in those programs to see them!

 

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

GRAPHIC: Stabbing of Officer Caught on Camera

GRAPHIC: Stabbing of Officer Caught on Camera

GRAPHIC. This officer involved stabbing reminds us of some important Active Self Protection principles when it comes to empty-handed skills and staying in the fight. How much training do you do against a stabbing attack like this?

Original video of the officer involved stabbing: https://get-asp.com/ubgk

 

What does this stabbing teach us about defending ourselves against a knife attack?

 

  1. I have never seen a stabbing happen like you’ve seen in Hollywood. A real life stabbing 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. THIS is the problem you have to be able to solve to be able to successfully defend yourself against a knife attack.
  2. It’s important to be trained and ready to protect yourself against a stabbing attack as it is against an attack with a firearm. FBI homicide data says that about 4 times the number of people are killed with handguns as with knives, but since gunshots are about four times more fatal than knife wounds, it means the number of attacks are probably similar! (if you look at the FBI data, hands and feet kill a lot of people, too!) This leads us to the principle that we must be ready for a knife attack that begins at close distance, and have the empty-handed skills to defend ourselves.

 

  1. Even if you’re injured like this stabbing shows, you must stay in the fight and not stop as long as you have consciousness. The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of injury and still function, so never stop fighting just because you’re injured! Even if you’re shot or stabbed, you have a 67-95% chance of surviving! (https://get-asp.com/ew3l and https://get-asp.com/p0hn give the details) So practice emotional fitness by knowing that even if the bad guy gets the jump and you’re injured, you’re still in the fight and still likely to survive if you take definitive action to protect yourself.

 

  1. It is unrealistic to think that you can escape a stabbing attack unscathed; the old adage says that the loser of a knife fight dies at the scene while the winner dies on the way to the hospital. Rather, you should expect to be cut and expect to be hurt defending yourself against a knife attack. If you get to the hospital with a pulse there’s over a 92% chance you’ll live through the encounter, so keep fighting even when you’re hurt!

 

  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 such as this stabbing 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.

 

  1. Many attackers use their support or guard side arm as a leveraging tool, holding their opponent with it either to 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. We see this again and again in this stabbing. It gives them leverage, which is why we call it a leveraging arm. You have to train repeatedly as a self-defender against the leveraging arm so that you can deal with it before the dominant arm comes into play.

 

  1. 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 your loved ones and 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.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Officer Involved Shooting Caught on Dash Cam

Officer Involved Shooting Caught on Dash Cam

This officer involved shooting reminds us of some important Active Self Protection principles when it comes to distance and threat. How much movement training have you done to be ready for times like this?

Original video of the officer involved shooting: https://get-asp.com/7r4j (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)

 

News story of the officer involved shooting and the DA findings: https://get-asp.com/dhgh

 

Multiple additional angles of dash cameras: https://get-asp.com/8p2k

 

What does this officer involved shooting teach us about defending ourselves with a firearm?

 

  1. Sometimes the danger that you must protect yourself and your family from isn’t evil, but is rather deranged. People who aren’t in their right faculties can be a real danger to your family, even if they are not inherently evil. You need the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from evil AND from non-evil threats that pop up! If you go read the news story in this officer involved shooting, the knife-wielding attacker actually called 911 to get officers to respond to threaten them into shooting him. Nevertheless, he presented a real threat!
  2. Having a light mounted on your pistol is not for everyone, but for those who can make it work it does give you another tool in the toolbox. I carry the TLR-1 HL on my pistol and it works wonderfully. It does not replace a handheld light for general lighting needs, but for illuminating a known threat it is very helpful. The key, as always, is to train with it regularly and seriously. This officer involved shooting shows how to do it correctly for sure!

 

  1. Using a pistol-mounted light effectively takes training. Don’t think for a minute that you can just put it on your gun and use it effectively without learning how! With a light on your pistol, the rules of firearm safety are the same as they were before it had a light; therefore, using it as a search tool is extremely limited unless your light has excellent spill. Likewise, you MUST get training on how to use the light effectively, in short bursts, with movement, and effective follow-up shots. Taking a low light pistol course is really critical for anyone who keeps a light on their pistol.

 

  1. Part of your training must be knowing when to use verbal commands, and when to abandon verbal commands and move to physical or deadly force. Many times self-defenders (and LEO) get caught in a loop of issuing the same command repeatedly to no effect. Using verbal commands is an important part of your force options training, and part of that training in verbal commands is knowing when to talk and when to stop talking and act. This officer involved shooting really shows the officers knowing when to talk, and when it was time to stop talking and stop the threat they faced.

 

  1. The Tueller Drill is a widely known standard for gun carriers against a knife attack, which states that an attacker can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds to get to their target. If the gun carrier doesn’t have their gun out and ready, they will get stabbed trying to get their gun in a fight. This has led to the “21 foot rule”, though it has been revisited by Sgt. Tueller and found to be more of a guide and principle than a rule. At any rate, in a knife attack, recognize that a knife-wielding attacker can be a deadly threat from a significant range, and recognize that they can close that distance very quickly. Get your firearm out and on target as soon as you recognize a threat! This officer involved shooting shows how far a determined attacker can move, even when the defender has a firearm out and on target!

 

  1. In a gunfight such as this officer involved shooting, movement is your friend. You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a gunfight because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.

 

  1. It takes great training to do successfully, but it’s worth noting that moving backwards should be our least preferred method of gaining distance in a gunfight. When you’re moving backward with a threat in front of you it is very easy to hit an obstacle and lose your footing, which allows the threat to close the distance while you’re off balance. If possible, move diagonally or laterally to get “off the line” of attack and still engage the threat with your firearm. The officer in this shooting did a fine job of moving laterally.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Sexual Assault Stopped by Brave Victim

Sexual Assault Stopped by Brave Victim

This intended victim is a brave fighter to stop an attempted sexual assault against her. This is a great and real-life example of how you practice Active Self Protection and stop a sexual assault of this magnitude!

Original video and news story of the sexual assault attempt: https://get-asp.com/qxrz

 

What does this brave woman teach us about defending ourselves against a sexual assault?

 

  1. Compliance does not at all guarantee your safety in the face of a sexual assault. We know that sexual assault victims who fight back are no more likely to be harmed than if they don’t fight back, and they are less likely to be raped. (study here: https://get-asp.com/601c if you need proof on that) Compliance does not guarantee safety, as placing your safety in the hands of someone willing to commit a felony is a terrible idea. This victim fought back and her outcome was certainly no worse than if she hadn’t. Kudos to her!
  2. Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. This sexual assault didn’t stop because the intended victim negotiated with her attacker; it stopped because she fought back.

 

  1. It’s dark for half the day, and bad guys of all kinds love to launch ambushes from the dark. That means, as a self-defender, that part of having good situational awareness involves keeping a flashlight on your person. That flashlight doesn’t have to be crazy tacticool and shouldn’t be firearm-mounted, because its purpose is to help you see at night to give you better awareness of any potential threats far before they can hurt you. A VERY compact option for under $20 that runs on AAs is this Streamlight: http://amzn.to/1U9S39H and I carry this 1000 lumen Fenix: http://amzn.to/1S73jjb which is rechargeable and has multiple modes of brightness. A middle ground that I have used very effectively is this Olight: http://amzn.to/29htS3q. I highly recommend a flashlight for everyone, simply as an awareness tool at night. I am not saying this sexual assault couldn’t have happened if she was scanning with a flashlight, but at the very least she would have presented herself as a far less inviting target, and would have had a small kubotan in her hand to stop the sexual assault more effectively.

 

  1. 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. This intended victim had great emotional fitness to fight off the sexual assault and not freeze in the moment.

 

  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 a sexual assault because the police simply can’t. This intended victim had to be the primary agent in her own rescue.

 

  1. Successful self-defense against many attacks involves a counter-ambush, where the victim (or bystander, as this student was) finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the active killer and launch an ambush of their own. That involves thinking and knowing your own strengths and skill set, and being ready to strike the attacker when your opportunity for counter-ambush comes. It also means not allowing the attacker to see that attack until it’s launched.

 

  1. One significant strategy that works (if you don’t have tools or skills to mount a more effective defense) to keep from being taken to a second location in a kidnapping or sexual assault is to drop to the ground and use your legs to keep the kidnapper from moving you. Nothing good happens at the second location, so dropping to the ground in a sexual assault and then using your legs to fight your attacker can keep you from being moved! The way I talk about it is this: have you ever tried to pick up a toddler who didn’t want to be moved? It’s TOUGH! Now think about doing it to an adult. Flop down, stay on your back, and use your legs to kick the attacker off. Jiu jitsu practitioners use this strategy when grounded pretty routinely.

 

  1. 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! This is doubly so of a sexual assault, which by definition will be close in and almost always on the ground.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Brave Student Stops Active Killer on Campus

Brave Student Stops Active Killer on Campus

My hat is off to Jon Meis, the student security guard who stopped this active killer on his campus! Excellent Active Self Protection to protect himself and every student on campus that day.

Original video of the active killer stopped by a student security guard: https://get-asp.com/68wy

 

News story with more details on the active killer: https://get-asp.com/xhss

 

Timeline from local news of the entire active killer event from start to finish, which is pretty eye-opening: https://get-asp.com/ocf8

 

What does this brave student security guard teach us about defending ourselves against an active killer like this?

 

  1. Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. This active killer was deranged and bent on killing people. He succeeded once and doubtless would have succeeded again if he wasn’t stopped by the brave student.

 

  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. Most of us live our lives thinking that an active killer like this could never happen to us, and for most it won’t happen. But if it does, you need to be ready. Active killer situations are unfortunately no longer unheard of, and being ready to defend ourselves as this student was is critical.

 

  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. Meis had incredible emotional fitness to counter-ambush the active killer and put a stop to his attack. Nicely done!!

 

  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. Imagine how many people this active killer could have shot if an unarmed student didn’t step in and end it.

 

  1. Successful self-defense against many attacks involves a counter-ambush, where the victim (or bystander, as this student was) finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the active killer and launch an ambush of their own. That involves thinking and knowing your own strengths and skill set, and being ready to strike the attacker when your opportunity for counter-ambush comes. It also means not allowing the attacker to see that attack until it’s launched.

 

  1. Against an active killer, the most popular paradigm for defending yourself is Ready Houston’s Run-Hide-Fight approach. If you can get out of the danger zone, run. If running is not an option, hide because the bad guy won’t shoot what he can’t see. If running and hiding are not an option, then fight with everything you have with whatever you have on you. Greg Ellifritz has some good thoughts about the limits of the Run-Hide-Fight mentality, which to me are more discussion of its limits than whether it is useful or not. This active killer was stopped because the student was willing and ready to fight.

 

  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, such as happened against this active killer. (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.

 

  1. Pepper spray (also called OC or OC spray) can be a very useful defensive tool for non-lethal threats. I carry this one, and it’s nasty stuff: http://amzn.to/1kxJpls . It can also be used against you in a fight, so you should know how to defend yourself if you’re sprayed or exposed like this student was! Take a good course on pepper spray and how to employ it, and as part of that course take a dose yourself so that you know the effect it will have on you and how to fight through it to continue to protect yourself. I wouldn’t like to fight an active killer with a pepper spray, but if it’s all you have, use it effectively.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Purse Snatching Turns into Brutal Beating

Purse Snatching Turns into Brutal Beating

How would you have responded to this purse snatching and assault? These are very difficult situations to be in for sure, but practicing Active Self Protection and training in defense would make it much more possible to successfully defend against.

Original video of the purse snatching: https://get-asp.com/iban

 

News story with more details on the beating that started when he couldn’t complete his purse snatching: https://get-asp.com/8g3j

 

What does this purse snatching teach us about defending ourselves against a beating like this?

 

  1. Since criminals are looking for victims and not fights, they tend to look for vulnerable people to target. Think about a pride of lions chasing wildebeest in Africa and you get the picture. They target the elderly, the young, and the sick for easier attack and greater success. Likewise, criminals pick victims who they think will not effectively resist them, or that the criminal can quickly overwhelm. This includes the elderly, the young (kids and early teens), the sick, and the distracted. Men (the overwhelming majority of attackers) also target women because women tend to be physically weaker than men. If you’re in a vulnerable population take extra precaution and train! This purse snatching was undoubtedly at least partially because the perp thought he could easily overwhelm his victim; could you imagine if it was a 300-lb biker with a man purse?

 

  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. Most of us live our lives thinking that a purse snatching like this could never happen to us, and for most it won’t happen. But if it does, you need to be ready.

 

  1. Situational awareness is your best friend, because if you can see a carjacking attempt coming you can probably avoid it. 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. If this woman had acknowledged that the man was in her vicinity and known how to perhaps position herself for best defense, the purse snatching might have been averted before it began.

 

  1. To defend against a purse snatching and beating like this, 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. It’s difficult when you’re on your back with blows raining down on you to get your head back in the game and effectively defend yourself, and again I am not blaming this woman for the beating. Repeated training gives you a frame of reference to get back in the fight, and that kind of emotional fitness has to be earned.

 

  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. The bystanders couldn’t protect this purse snatching victim even!

 

  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. This woman had NO chance to get to a gun in this purse snatching; she had to use her hands and feet to defend herself.

 

  1. 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! You don’t necessarily need to be a jiu jitsu brown belt, but having some understanding of fighting a purse snatching like this and defending your head and neck would go a long way.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Clerk Successfully Fights Off Armed Robber

Clerk Successfully Fights Off Armed Robber

Would you have fought this armed robber or just given him the till? Each of us must think of our own response in the face of an armed robber, and how our own Active Self Protection comes into play to choose the response best for us. This clerk was brave, but was it smart to take the armed robber on?

Original video of the armed robber being run off: https://get-asp.com/cq25

 

News story of the clerk’s actions against the armed robber, including the fact that the armed robber shot through the door after the footage ends: https://get-asp.com/co6f

 

What does this clerk teach us about defending ourselves 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. The clerk had almost no notice that the armed robber was coming, and that’s par for the course and what every armed robber wants to do. When you’re in a transitional space, make sure you know your vulnerabilities and do the best you can.

 

  1. In a deadly force encounter like this armed robber was, 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 clerk had to decide in that moment what she was going to do to protect herself from the armed robber, and that was a good decision for her!

 

  1. As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. The clerk hit the panic alarm, but the armed robber was long gone by the time police arrived. 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 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. The clerk tried several times to get the gun out of the fight against this armed robber; thankfully the armed robber was too stupid to know that.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed robber or other 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.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Legally Armed Firearms Trainer Shoots Man Who Corners Him

Legally Armed Firearms Trainer Shoots Man Who Corners Him

Would you have taken the route that this legally armed firearms trainer took? Would your other skills have come to the front, or would you shoot him as well? These kinds of encounters are why we post after action reports on Active Self Protection!

Original video of the firearms trainer getting backed into a corner: https://get-asp.com/t2bl

 

News story of the DA’s decision on this shooting with details: https://get-asp.com/pos4

 

Official statement from the DA with audio of the 911 calls: https://get-asp.com/akru

 

What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an attack?

 

  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, 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. This legally-armed firearms trainer tried pretty hard to de-escalate and escape, and that was a wise decision that probably swayed the DA quite a bit.

 

  1. Using your verbal judo to de-escalate and redirect a conflict is always the best choice if it is available, so make sure that your verbal game is strong. Knowing how to redirect, how to persuade, how to empathize, and how to talk someone down from a confrontation is critical to avoiding some fights. That said, we must also know that some people will not be dissuaded from a fight, so knowing when to talk and when to act is critical as well. This legally armed citizen used his words until he recognized that they wouldn’t help him anymore, which is good. As a firearms trainer I am sure he was thinking about his responsibilities in this area, and we all should as well.

 

  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 in some detail). The firearms trainer here didn’t use his firearm until he was backed into a corner and reasonably in fear for his life from a man who wouldn’t leave him alone. He didn’t use deadly force too soon, and that was important to his legal situation!

 

  1. Pepper spray (also called OC or OC spray) can be a very useful defensive tool for non-lethal threats. I carry this one, and it’s nasty stuff: http://amzn.to/1kxJpls . It can also be used against you in a fight, so you should know how to defend yourself if you’re sprayed! Take a good course on pepper spray and how to employ it, and as part of that course take a dose yourself so that you know the effect it will have on you and how to fight through it to continue to protect yourself. Certainly in this instance, a good pepper spray may have ended this fight before the firearms trainer had to use his firearm. I am not at all blaming him for shooting the guy who attacked him, because he did what he had to in the moment. But if he had a good OC on him, he might not have had to. This is why I carry OC spray.

 

  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. This is why we recommend being legally armed. You and only you can protect yourself in the moment.

 

  1. Fights are physically demanding, and this firearms trainer certainly felt the physical toll of the fight. 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! The firearms trainer here needed to be able to stay in the fight for several minutes, with adrenaline flowing. That takes fitness.

 

  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 you’ve never fought from the clinch with your gun in the fight, on the ground and on your feet, your training has a huge gap in it. This man really needed empty-handed skills and close quarters fighting skills. He also needed to get both hands in the fight before it was time to use his firearm.

 

  1. You must be able to fight and defend yourself from all different stages of action. One of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, likes to say that we must be able to fight wherever the fight happens to be! So whether we are at contact stage (just able to come in physical contact with our attacker), penetration stage (where attacks can contact and penetrate significantly), or manipulation stage (a clinch or similar where joint and body manipulations are possible), we must be able to use effective technique to protect ourselves.

 

  1. You must know how to fight to keep your firearm from being taken from you. If you carry a gun or keep one nearby, you must do what it takes to keep unauthorized people from accessing it and using it against you. If it is on your person, you must be trained and proficient in keeping the gun from being taken from its holster. (yes, that means a quality belt, a quality holster, and if openly carried, at least level 2 retention; the only one I recommend is the Safariland ALS: http://amzn.to/1SjOirW ) If it is not on your person, it must not be accessible to unauthorized people. There can be no workarounds for this rule! Your force on force and empty-handed skills training must include training on firearms retention.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

This is Why You MUST Have Retention on an Open Carry Firearm

This is Why You MUST Have Retention on an Open Carry Firearm

Do you ever open carry? If you open carry your firearm, you must think about retention as part of your Active Self Protection. There’s a reason law enforcement uses retention holsters!

Original video of the open carry firearm being taken: https://get-asp.com/zbtk

 

What does this video teach us about defending ourselves from having our firearm taken?

 

  1. You must know how to fight to keep your firearm from being taken from you. If you carry a gun or keep one nearby, you must do what it takes to keep unauthorized people from accessing it and using it against you. If it is on your person, you must be trained and proficient in keeping the gun from being taken from its holster. (yes, that means a quality belt, a quality holster, and if you open carry, at least level 2 retention; the only one I recommend is the Safariland ALS: http://amzn.to/1SjOirW ) If it is not on your person, it must not be accessible to unauthorized people. There can be no workarounds for this rule! Your force on force and empty-handed skills training must include training on firearms retention.

 

  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. If you open carry you must know that you have a very valuable item available for all to see, so being aware of who might want it is important. This isn’t really different than wearing an expensive watch.

 

  1. 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. Here the perp saw a moment of opportunity to grab the gun, and open carry definitely played a part in that.

 

  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. Fourth, this open carry situation demonstrates that you could conceivably lose the use of your firearm, and in that moment you need to still be able to protect your family!

 

  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. This open carry theft shows that sometimes, we need to know these strategies not to take someone else’s tool from them, but to take our own tool back for ourselves!

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Officer's Firearm Repeatedly Malfunctions on Camera

Officer’s Firearm Repeatedly Malfunctions on Camera

How much confidence do you have in your firearm that it will work EVERY time? We know at Active Self Protection that training trumps gear, but we also know that a reliable firearm is an important part of winning the fight when it starts!

Original video of the officer’s firearm malfunctioning again and again: https://get-asp.com/16ry

 

What does this video shooting teach us about knowing our firearm well and knowing how malfunctions work?

 

  1. You must know your firearm, how it functions, and how you’ll respond with it in the moment of need. Pressure testing your firearm manipulations in force on force and other training classes is critical because you need to know that you can get your firearm in the fight and keep it in the fight! If your habits will inadvertently drop the magazine or your grip will cause the slide not to lock back on empty or other induce other malfunctions, you do NOT want to find that out when the balloon goes up.

 

  1. The rules of firearm safety apply in a gunfight, just like they do on the range or in your home. Whether you prefer to articulate them as Colonel Cooper’s four rules of firearm safety or the NRA’s three rules for safe firearm handling (I have a discussion of my preference here: https://get-asp.com/cfgf if you want to read it), you must have the presence of mind to keep your firearm pointed in the appropriate direction and only fire when you will not hit an innocent. You are morally and legally responsible for the rounds that leave your firearm, so make sure to train and practice so that you take responsible shots in the moment of need.

 

  1. The rules of firearm safety apply whether you’re training or fighting for your life. One of the most difficult to follow in a real life gunfight is Colonel Cooper’s Rule #4: be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. It is exceedingly difficult to do, but self-defenders must stay aware of what is behind their threat so that they take minimal risks to innocents when defending themselves.

 

  1. Keep your firearm ready to fire. Some people carry their firearm with an empty chamber, but doing so is not recommended for several reasons. First, it assumes that you will have both hands available to you to draw your firearm, which isn’t necessarily the case. You might have a hand engaged or injured. Secondly, it assumes that you’ll have time to chamber a round in a gunfight, but gunfights are won and lost on tenths of seconds. Third, it assumes that you’ll have the dexterity to chamber a round under duress, though in the moment many times I have seen people fumble their chambering attempt. Finally, it assumes that everything will work correctly when it comes time to chamber your firearm, which as we see here isn’t always guaranteed. Keep your defensive firearm ready to fire, with a round in the chamber!

 

  1. In a gunfight, movement is your friend. You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw your firearm and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally. You simply will not stand still in a gunfight because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or Isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.

 

Attitude. Skills. Plan.

 

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

 

 

 

Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.