Do you carry a purse or bag? If so, recognize that you have to account in your Active Self Protection for the fact that it’s a target for mugging and purse snatching. You must also be able to know how attacks like this happen so that you can defend yourself!
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 of the purse snatching from LAPD: https://get-asp.com/7kk5
More thoughts on this purse snatching and lessons learned from Greg Ellifritz: https://get-asp.com/blu1
How do I protect myself from purse snatching?
- Since criminals are looking for victims and not fights, they tend to look for vulnerable people to target for something like a purse snatching (or any violence, really). 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 you must train in self-defense and carry the most effective tools possible to even the odds against bigger, stronger, faster attackers.
- 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. At the beginning of this purse snatching the woman has a split second of notice where she senses the attack coming, and that gave her a moment to prepare. The more time you have to prepare, the better your odds of coming out ahead.
- 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. This purse snatching happened in a place where the mugger could easily ambush and easily escape. When you’re walking down the sidewalk, just be aware that you’re in a transitional space and stay alert accordingly! (that means no mobile surfing!)
- To defend against a purse snatching 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. Being shaken like a rag doll is very disorienting, so having emotional fitness helps you stay in the fight.
- 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 as it did in this purse snatching! 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!
- On body carry is the preferred method of keeping your force multipliers, whether a firearm or another tool. Purse carry is shown repeatedly to be less effective at retention, less effective at draw and accuracy, and much more likely to be a target in an attack. (for more on purse carry, read this: https://get-asp.com/s0gk )
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)