The old adage says, “If it’s stupid, but it works, it ain’t stupid.” Any method that successfully stops an armed robbery is going to get the thumbs up from us at Active Self Protection!
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Original video of the armed robbery is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What do these victims teach us about effective armed robbery defense?
- 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 ease of entrance and exit is what makes places apt targets for an armed robbery, so when you’re in a transitional space, be more aware of your surroundings! Lots of people walked right through this armed robbery without thinking about it.
- 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. In this armed robbery, the victim behind the counter was paying attention, and the victim with the dolly was too.
- There is a significant difference between territorial and predatorial violence. (I learned these terms from Marc MacYoung) Territorial violence occurs when an aggressor wants something from you; they put a line in the sand and tell you that you will give it to them, or they will hurt you. Muggings and rapes fall in this category among others. Predatorial violence occurs when the attacker wants you dead and there is no ability to comply with demands to live. In territorial violence compliance might get you out alive, but a predatory attacker will not be stopped short of your death or you having the attitude, skills, and plan to stop them. Armed robbery is territorial violence, which gives an armed victim more opportunity to defend themselves.
- In the moment of an armed robbery, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. You have to wait your turn to act! 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.
- Successful self-defense against an armed robbery usually involves a counter-ambush, where the victim finds the right opportunity to seize the initiative from the attacker 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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