How would you have handled this altercation if you were this woman? Her beating is horrific and inexcusable, and it’s one of the biggest reasons that we at Active Self Protection think that all people must have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect themselves.
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Original video of the beating is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this woman teach us about defending ourselves against random violence?
- 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. This woman’s beating should give us all a wakeup call to be ready to defend ourselves.
- 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. No negotiation was going to stop this woman’s beating. Period.
- 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 woman was aware and saw the problem coming; if she had the skills and plan, she had plenty of warning to defend herself against this beating.
- 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. Sidewalks are transitional spaces because they allow for easy ambush and escape. That just means we must be aware while using them.
- 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. This is predatorial violence; there was no chance for her to avoid the beating.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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