Is it just me, or does it seem that driving for Uber or Lyft is just too dangerous to be worth it? This driver practiced Active Self Protection enough to keep himself from serious harm, and eventually used his pepper spray well to protect himself, but man it seems like a dangerous way to make extra money!
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video and news story of this idiot eating a face of pepper spray: https://get-asp.com/w2d6
What does this pepper spray video teach us about defending ourselves from harm?
- 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/20ywVen. 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. In this fight that exposure beforehand would be important because no doubt the driver got a dose himself while inside the car.
- I think that the Rules of Stupid come into play in this pepper spray incident, though the driver isn’t one of them. The Rules of Stupid state that you should never (1) go to Stupid places, (2) with Stupid people, (3) at Stupid times, and (4) do Stupid things. You can usually get away with breaking one Rule of Stupid, but two or more really increase the odds of bad things happening. Driving for one of these services will definitely expose you to a lot of Stupid people, which is breaking one rule. It was only 8PM so it wasn’t a Stupid time. To me, picking strangers up in your car who sit behind you borders right on doing Stupid things. I do not know if they were in a Stupid place. So here we have 1 to 1 ½ Rules of Stupids broken, which increases the odds of bad things happening. I think anyone who drives for one of these “transportation networking” companies should seriously consider whether the juice is worth the squeeze.
- 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. Remember, your car becomes a transitional space at stops and whenever someone is entering or exiting. Don’t be lulled into complacency! Thankfully this driver had his pepper spray handy and knew that something bad might happen.
- 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. The pepper spray wasn’t useful until the driver had already been attacked pretty significantly. You’ve got to survive the ambush!
- 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. The pepper spray might be effective at longer range, but this fight was a manipulation stage fight. Don’t neglect to learn defensive skills at every range!
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)