So, have any of you guys ever been robbed? What happened and what did you do?
Well, for my own story, I've never been robbed, but my boyfriend got mugged yesterday while talking on the phone to me, so it's fresh on my mind. Thankfully he's OK, but the whole thing was a little frightening. A guy snuck up behind him, knocked his phone out of his hand, and put him a choke hold while two other guys took his wallet.
A lot of art students have been mugged or attacked recently around where I live lately, and I spend a lot of time walking back and forth between school buildings on deserted city roads late at night, so I was wondering if any of you macho guys and gals had any tips.
Also, feel free to share your robbery stories.
Well, I'm kinda big and most of my friends tell me I have the face of a serial killer when I'm pensive, so most people tend to leave me alone or.. you know, go on the other side of the street at night.
I did have an encounter with 2 wannebe muggers though, they took out a knife and tried to put it against me, so I shrugged and walked away. Had a backpack on which was ripped apart, but they didn't follow me, which was nice.
(Living in a building where there's blood sprayed on the entire entrance hall at least once every two weeks leaves you desensitized quite quickly.)
That + being overly paranoid and constantly hyperaware of my surroundings keeps me relatively safe.
Never been robbed, been burgled though.
They decided my stuff wasn't even worth stealing and grabbed my flatmates gear instead.
The year before someone did my mates flat, they stole the stereo but ejected the Pantera CD and removed the Bowie album from the record deck.
Burglars as music critics? That's cheeky..
I once paid 4 dollars for a drink at the state fair. I'd say that counts.
Those bastards have a monopoly on the soft drink market at that fair
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I got robbed 2 times some years ago, they didn't harm me though, but they did harm my brother when they took his wrist watch, they left his face almost un-recognizable, also he lost some little bits of some teeth... he is ok now, but that was a tough time for the family. Things like these have been increasing over the years in my country, a murder is announced every single day, if they don't steal your car, it's your cell phone, if you don't give it, they kill you, it sucks, but that's the times we are in... violations, crimes, twisted morals, all on the increase...
Never been robbed in the traditional sense, but I had my phone stolen at a party. One guy distracted me while I had my phone laying on a table, another guy swiped it. They also took a lot of stuff from the house.
About 5 months later, one of the guys were bragging while drunk about the whole thing and someone who heard him told the guy whose party it had been, we called the guys up and basically told them to return everything they took and pay for our expenses getting new stuff. Otherwise we'd turn them in to the police, or find our own justice.
A week later, I got my phone back (the asshole had actually given it to his girlfriend as a birthday present, I can imagine the conversation when he had to ask for it back), along with the $800 I claimed to have spent on a new phone.
A guy attempted to rob me once. It was outside a concert venue. I was walking back to my car and this guy asks me for change. I say "I dont have any." and try to keep walking.. He pulls out a knife and says "Give me your wallet." He was a shaky crackhead that looked a little unsure of what he was doing. I said "Seriously dude? You're robbing people? HERE? Tonight? I just stepped out of a Gwar show. You might want to wait until Bob Seiger night or something." "JUST give ME your Wallet." So I pulled my wallet out "Ok, here." and I dropped it on the ground in front of him. He bent down to pick it up and took his eyes off me. As Mr. Miyagi says "Always look eye." I kicked him in the face and broke his nose. A good break too....like, his nose went flat. I picked up my wallet and kept going as I was. He was too busy screaming and bleeding to do anything.
As for tips. Yeah, there is all kinds of things. The biggest problem with people these days is they dont think. Dont think it will happen to them, Dont think about where they are. Dont think about what kind of mark they are walking down a street.
Dont walk down the street with your iPod blaring. If you cant hear the world around you it's easy to sneak up on you. Being on a cellphone like he was isnt bad, but you cant let yourself become absorbed in the conversation. It is a good safety thing so if something looks suspicious the other person can aid if something goes down. They can tell you where they are regularly and it can be a bit of a trap. It may look like they are lost in conversation, but are actually aware of the world around them and reporting it in to the other person on the line. So if shit goes down the other person can call the cops. So the cellphone is more of a prop in this case.
People answer is always pepper spray. Pepper spray is, in my opinion, a bad idea. Too many variables. It's only good once, the device itself offers no other use, if the wind is against you you're screwed, if it's a tighter area like an alley you can get spray back, etc.
So then people think "I'll take a self defense course." So they go to some course at school or the Y or something and that is that. That does nothing. Not only are the tactics they give you often situational and not versatile, but you cant just try them a few times and think you're ready for street trash. Self defense tactics have to be practiced over and over on a regular basis. That way they become muscle memory, not thought about. They just happen. You dont have time to think about what it was you're supposed to do when a guy grabs your shoulder when it's actually happening. You have to be able to just react.
You say a number of art students have been attacked. Might it be because they can often be easy targets? Over burdened with backpacks, man purses, portfolio cases, and brush boxes? If you can hardly walk or run you're disabling your ability to counter attack or flee. An artist has things in his/her possession that would make great self defense items. That big brush with the really solid handle is great for stabbing and leverage. Xacto knives, tools for clay and modeling, hell even a tube portfolio case might not be bad.
Above all you just have to be alert. Know your route, but not only that know the safest way you can take that route. Which side of the street has better lighting, which side has less dark doorways and alleys, is cutting though this dark hole in the fence to save 2 minutes really worth it? Always look around, try not to travel alone, take advantage of school sponsored safe walks or driving services (even if that's only for nerds).
There is all kinds of stuff in this department but these were some basics. Hope it helps at least get the brains juice flowing.
I got robbed in at gunpoint in a phonebooth once. Pretty scary experience. Was on a major street during high traffic too, very visible. But I was hunched over, not really being aware of my surroundings which allowed 3 gang bangers to sneak up on me. When I felt the gun in my side and someone say "give me your wallet" I thought it was my g/f at the time playing a joke on me. Not too funny when I turned around.
I definitely try to be more aware of my surroundings now when I'm idling around, but overall I'm probably still a relatively easy mark. :/
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Some other people think carrying a knife will do the trick. I always tell my students....Heh, I just realized I didnt mention that. I teach Chin Na, which is part of kung fu and tai chi. It is the fine point techniques that can be used as self defense. Joint locks, muscle separation, sealing the air flow and blood flow to the brain, and pressure points. Anyway, I always tell my students that anyone on the street with a knife is either A) Really good with it. Or B) An idiot/ crazy person. Both are dangerous. If you carry a knife and dont know how to use it, you just gave them a knife. So unless you go through years of training in knife fighting I would stay away from that avenue.
Another thing you hear is to position your keys in your hand to create this menacing ball of flesh and metal. Try that and put some pressure on it from various angles and tell me that you dont think that will hurt you just as much. There is a cheap solution along these lines called a kubaton
You can get these for 5 or 6 bucks. These things are solid. You could punch through a car door with one of these. They are discreet and legal. Enough to put a hurt on someone so you can flee, or much further. Something like this doesnt take much training, but you can get pretty wicked with them. Just youtube it for some mean pressure point strikes and what not.
But like I said before there are plenty of things in an artist's arsenal that would suffice. And not just artists, but there is all sorts of everyday stuff that works great. Pens, belts, purse straps, those belly chains that used to be popular, those godforsaken scarves that people wear everywhere year round regardless of weather. Some simple movements while unarmed work great too. Step on their instep, knee to groin, claw out eyes, throat punch, etc.
All that being said, you do have to know when to be smart. You need to know when to use better judgment and just sacrifice a few things that are less important than your life. You'll see all sorts of self defense versus guns books and videos. Dont ever screw with someone with a gun unless you are willing to die. Reaction time is a factor, but it doesnt take much to pull a trigger.
Last edited by hippl5; July 31st, 2009 at 03:01 PM.
From now on I think we need to address hooksword as hooksword sensei. Oh speaking of which I have been robbed a couple of times, that's what happens when you work in Newark.
Generally you can legally return the amount of force put on you. If you feel your life is in danger you can go above and beyond, to a point. If a guy grabs your shoulder and hasnt uttered a word or gone beyond said grab it is generally not fair in the eyes of the law to turn him into a drooling quadriplegic. But if you are in a situation where you feel your very life is threatened you may use additional force to save your life and generally avoid trouble for doing so.
The idea is to be ready. Something like the keychain is easy to have in your hand and ready if you think you're in a situation that warrants it. So that you are ready before you are in a compromised situation. But if these things are buried in your purse, then yes they wont do you much good.
But a gun is the absolute WORST way to deal with a mugging.
Firstly, you can only legally use it if you are faced with immediate and deadly force (for instance, if THEY have a gun).
Most muggers (provided they are somewhat sane) do not want to commit murder... they just want to make money.
The gun is simply a power play.
If you are not a threat to them, and they will simply take your money and leave.
But if you pull a gun, YOU are now an equal threat and put the thief in a desperate situation.
His choices are:
1. get shot
They will ALWAYS choose #2.
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I've had my car broken into a couple times. Friends have been mugged in town. I've never had anything happen in front of me other than asking for change and being a little aggressive about it, fortunately. I chalk it up to either not looking like I have anything worth stealing, or there just being much softer looking targets around (the area is Yale, so it's not hard to find wealthier and softer looking targets I'm sure). I always walk women friends to their cars even in nice neighborhoods, because you can never be too safe.
If art students have been mugged several times in the area, then odds are some group has realized it's a good spot for that kind of thing. They aren't likely to walk away from an area that has paid off before until they get caught or run off by police. That's why an area will often have a rash of home break ins, or car thefts, or muggings- once an area has been shown to be easy pickings it's going to keep getting hit.
My suggestion would be to get the school to insist on more cop patrols in the area, and to have students walk in groups whenever possible. It's probably not a good idea to obviously carry valuable items like cell phones, cameras, iPods, laptops etc. If you carry them, hide or disguise them as best you can. If you get mugged hand over whatever they ask for because it's not worth your life. I'd only fight back if you feel your life is in danger, or you are confident in being able to drop them fast and hard.
I 100% agree. The thing to remember is people mugging others are already desperate. They are already prepared to do just about anything to get that money by this point, and the usual deterents already are meaningless to them. They may well be more afraid of not getting their drug of choice tonight then they are of getting shot. With less to loose, they will go into a fight meaning business if it comes to it.
Absolutely right. I work at a college and we never really had a crime issue. Then all of a sudden there were a ton of incidents. The student body spoke up about being concerned for their safety and the school and local law stepped up. The safe walk staff was upped and hours extended, the campus safety patrolled more and gave more safe drives, I taught a weekly self defense course, the cops patrolled the area more, etc.
It's not uncommon for crime waves to hit different parts of town. Criminals switch up their spots. If this area is easy pickings then it will continue until it isnt worth the risk.
We got a knock on the door at 3 am and my dad was smart enough to open it. Two dudes busted in with guns and took the money on the table. also took the money I was saving up then to go to a show. got the money back from my parents then and they called the cops but nothing was resolved. Seriously, who opens a door at 3 am when everyone who lives at the house is there. Especially in the shitty neighborhood we lived at.
Second time it happened myself and a few people were up at the skate park and a drug deal went bad, so the people who were buying decided to try and rob us, luckily the dealers are cool people and all stepped out of their car with their guns and the buyers left. 2 against 6 was pretty easy math.
Some other times people have tried with knives but when we're out we're usually skating so with our boards we had longer reach and knives were never really effective.
Sucks but you gotta deal with things as they come. Only upside to this is that you develop a real sixth sense for when things are go awry. And you can act accordingly. (I.E. get your ass out of there)
Hookswords, If you had kicked that guy in the face, and he had pulled a gun, you'd been dead. You were lucky. He could be the most shaky crackhead in all the world, and still carry a gun, just opting to use the knife, as a gun, as you said, has a lot more serious potential consequenses. Or perhaps he had five more crackheads, waiting in the shadows. I appriciate the fact that you know how to handle an agressor a lot better than the regular guy, but this guy wasn't agressive towards you. You'd been a lot better of giving him your wallet and not risking going away from that concert in a bodybag. I'm pretty sure you agree with that as well.
Self defense is one thing, escalating a robbery in progress into a fight is a totally different beast. You could be a seasoned martial artist, hell you could be the heavyweight champion of the UFC, you won't win by knockout against a guy with a glock.
Unless you are 100% sure that your mugger/attacker does NOT have a weapon, do as he says. Sure, more people fight off attackers than get killed from provoking them, but do you want to risk ending up on the wrong side of that statistic so that you'll get to keep your phone/wallet? Ever heard the term "robbery gone wrong?" well, a lot of those cases are everyday heroes who try some fancy kung fu shit and get themselves murdered, to save a few dollars and a contact list.
If the guy attacks you, obviously you have to defend yourself, and as Hooksword said, pepperspray will more likely than not result in an angrier attacker, while your keys will cut your hand. One of those self-defense key-chains is a much safer bet, aim for the eyes or the throat. Trying to hit some fancy pressure point on a guy who is raining down punches on your head will not work, pusing that spike into his eye socket, there you go.
Another tip is taking away the element of surprise, look directly at people coming towards you on the street. Take a look behind you every so often, for example a few seconds after going past an alley etc., because often that will be enough, taking on an unsuspecting victim is easier than someone who is seeing your coming from 20 yards away. This has saved be a couple of times, guy comes walking towards me, black leather jacket, I watch him closely, get eye contact, he turns slightly towards me and looks to be gathering his nerve to go for it. So I stop and take my hands out of my pockets, guy starts moving and walks in another direction, muttering "fucking asshole" as he walks by me.
Damn, I'm glad I don't live where some of you guys live. The only person I've known who I can recall being mugged (or rather, attempted) was a guy I used to know years back. He was a thin guy with a moustache, about 140lb soaking wet, looked like a breeze could carry him off. Thing is, he was ex-Forces, so when two big guys thought he'd be easy pickings they got a shock. He absolutely mullered them, smashed them unconscious then calmly phoned emergency services and waited for them to arrive. When the culprits awoke from their slumber they refused to make a complaint which, everything considered, was the best move for all involved.
I have never been robbed/attacked or something on the street, got in trouble a few times but always found a way to talk myself out of it or walk away.
But some of my friends got attacked though. Getting stones of the pavements thrown at them or a fist to the head, but they either talked themselfes out of it, or gave those people what they wanted.
I've only heard one time of this punker who runs a bar in the city, he got threathend with a gun and he jus puched the guy in the face and messed up his face while he was down. Now he either has no fear what so ever or is just kinda fucked up.
As for 'defence' goes, always have your friends with you, close friends that would have your back. Try to smooth talk out of it or punch the guy if he attacks you. As a group you appear alot stronger and also act stronger because u dont want ur friends to think u pussied out. so u stand united when things go wrong.
If your alone on the street,.. I mean if I am out alone at night, I pay close attention to other people, if on a bike i dont just pass them closely cause its easy to kick someone of his bike while he's riding. Try yo look though and mean, look confident of what your doing. I am a pretty tall guy and I look sporty, look like some kind of street thug so people might think that I'm not such a weak target;
"It's all about the presentation"
And you are right, in that no kind of trained fighter can beat a gun. I always have students asking about gun tactics. I tell them to do what the guy says. You can cancel credit cards and earn more cash, but you cant Ctrl Z a bullet out of your head.
I'm not telling anyone to arm themselves to the teeth and go out and fuck up muggers and log yourself onto superheroregistry.com. I'm just trying to offer some tips, faq, and options to consider as well as common things I hear people do and why they're wrong. If I've learned anything from teaching it is that most people are rather sheepish when it comes to engaging with another person in a situation that will warrant either of you pain. If you're in a fist fight you will get punched. If you're in a knife fight you will get cut. On any given day you will lose. When people find out I'm a martial artist one of the most common questions is "Ok, what would you do if a guy punched you." My response is always "I dont know...I might get punched." You can never know the outcome and you cant plan your moves. All you can do is react and move through muscle memory and calm assessment.
Not long ago there was a long time muay thai kick boxing instructor in my area that was gunned down at a gas station because he wouldnt comply. No one is invincible.
The best thing for a regular civilian is to be more aware of the world around them. But it doesnt hurt to have a little basic knowledge of defense. Things like that keychain are a good bridge. You can hit a sensitive or weak area and run. If you have a "never gonna happen to me attitude" then you may become a statistic. You might as a blackbelt in Fuk Yu Soon Bahd as well. A bit of awareness along with some psychological warfare goes a long way. If you do get into a situation it doesnt hurt to have your wits about you in more ways than one.
Hook, I hope you didn't take my post as being negative, as I said, I was sure you'd agree with me totally =)
Self defense is something everyone should know, for example because that increased confidence can save your life by allowing you the calmness to NOT strike at a robber. Also, in the unfortunate event that physical attack is unavoidable, you'll be MUCH better equipped to handle yourself.
As you said, if your in a fistfight, you'll get punched, knife fight you'll get cut. If someone came after me with a punch, I might try to fight him off, but if someone came after me with a knife, you'd see me do my very best Usain Bolt impersonation =p There is only one way to never lose a fight, and that is by not fighting.
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"Hookswords, If you had kicked that guy in the face, and he had pulled a gun, you'd been dead. You were lucky. He could be the most shaky crackhead in all the world, and still carry a gun, just opting to use the knife, as a gun, as you said, has a lot more serious potential consequenses. Or perhaps he had five more crackheads, waiting in the shadows. I appriciate the fact that you know how to handle an agressor a lot better than the regular guy, but this guy wasn't agressive towards you. You'd been a lot better of giving him your wallet and not risking going away from that concert in a bodybag. I'm pretty sure you agree with that as well."
kab, Hook' may basically agree, but I don't. Why didn't you just keep going and point out that the spaz with the knife was a trained Navy SEAL, had a small nuclear weapon hidden in his back pocket, and was just waiting for you to turn towards him so his 300 buddies in their silent helicopters could drop down and dismember you. And before you react badly to this, keep in mind that I just did what you did--took someone's example, blew it into something it wasn't based on unfounded assumptions or proof, just to make some kind of point that I really don't understand.
Let's deal with some facts here...
1. Hook' DID kick him in the face, and from the sounds of it, injured the guy to the extent that even if he did have a gun, shock, pain, and blood would have made him fairly ineffective just long enough for the victim to react appropriately.
2. He a fuckin' crackhead. If he has a knife AND a gun, the odds are incredibly in favor of his using the gun FIRST. HE'S a FUCKING MORON! if he doesn't. Odds are, he had no gun was a pretty safe bet.
3. "Perhaps he had five more crackheads waiting in the shadows..." (as reserves)? These are fuckin' junkies, and they already have the shakes. If there's six of them, they're ALL gonna be in your face at one time, not patiently wait to take turns like a carnival ride. Exactly what kind of reasoning are you using here?
4. "...this guy wasn't agressive towards you." WHAT!?! If this is not aggressive, would you mind explaining what you DO consider aggression, please?
I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm jumping down your throat here, kab, but I really can't figure out where you're coming from with these comments, or why you even made them. None of it makes sense to me.
WHAT does make sense is...
1. If you pull a weapon of any kind, be prepared to use it IMMEDIATELY to try and KILL the motherfucker attacking you. Otherwise, you shouldn't be armed.
2. It doesn't matter if someone attacking/threatening you is somebody's mother/a nun/some poor misguided result of demonic experiments in some asshole's basement, don't GIVE A SHIT! They are ATTACKING you. Fuck 'em!
If you can. RUN.
If you can't, and you think it will work (due to being in a heavily traveled or highly public place), give up your shit, then run as soon as you can.
If you don't gut-trust the reactions of the person(s) in front of you, no matter whether or how they're armed, assume the worst and do everything you can with anything you can to try to distract/disable/KILL them as quickly as possible, including screaming at the top of your lungs the whole time. Your goal is to GET AWAY. If that's not possible, take as many of them with you, or leave as much evidence and damage on them as you can.
3. Where junkies are involved, there are no proper politically correct methods of protecting yourself. They ARE NOT CAPABLE OF THINKING as you do (if at all), and if you assume something reasonable will happen, you're an idiot. 50% of the time, you will probably be killed/raped/mutilated/injured in some way JUST BECAUSE...no matter what you were told you SHOULD do. React/plan accordingly.
4. Don't rely on weapons if you're from a "white bread and mayonnaise" background with all the little ethical politically correct "Jesus says..." notes sticking out of your ears. You have a weapon of any kind and you pull it, YOU DAMN WELL better be prepared to use it in as lethal a manner as possible the second it leaves your pocket. Otherwise, learn to talk fast and well, and brush up on your sprinting.
5. Only an asshole travels through life with his/her eyes and ears covered. Save your phone calls, texting, and porn viewing for when you can sit or stand in a safe-looking public well lit space. Leave your fuckin' ipod home unless you're goin' to the library or a really boring movie. Watch everything and everyone around you, especially cars that slow down when they get near. Carry those little weights that look like tiny barbells when you run or jog alone. They can kill if swung back-hand, and take somebody's fingers or face of if jabbed forward.
6. We're talkin' common sense here, people. Not theoretical physics, theology or pre-Cambrian literature. We're talkin' survival. The world's usually as dangerous to you as you let it be. You can't avoid everything, BUT you can avoid MOST of it.
Sorry, all, for this rant. I didn't grow up in a penthouse on Park Avenue or have a white picket fairy tale house in the 'burbs. I grew up in a filthy mill neighborhood with over 60 nationalities/colors/religions represented, most of them hating each other. If you were approached threateningly by a bunch in front, a bunch behind, and they all looked alike, you picked up the heaviest longest piece of shit within reach that looked lethal and attacked the closest to you, with the intention of splitting his skull open and moving on to the next closest. If you made a mistake, you went to jail. If you didn't, you lived one more day. Use common sense, and be safe.
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