There’s a “nice” video compilation of hijackings in South Africa. There are some important lessons we can learn from this.
In terms of the 5 stages of crime, most of these videos only start from when the Bad Guys are already Positioning themselves for the crime. We don’t get much information about the Interview stage of the crime, but we can get info about the blitzkrieg that seems to be the standard M.O.
Movement = life
Lesson 1 – sit with your back to the world and your door open in a stationary car at your own peril.
It’s difficult to hijack someone when they’re cruising along the fast lane like they’re Jeremy Clarkson in the world’s fastest car. This alone tells us the 2 times we have to worry about hijackers:
1 – Places where you go slowly or stop (driveways are popular, so are traffic lights and stop streets)
2 – Anybody causing you to stop your car is a possible threat – immediately prepare to kill them and then de-escalate as appropriate (remember, it’s harder to try escalate your mindset quickly when danger comes knocking. It’s much faster and easier to start off at a high level and relax when you see the danger isn’t that bad, or isn’t there at all)
The Bad Guy wants you standing still. Whenever possible he will box you in so you can’t move (escape; run away early; run him over). This means we need to keep distance in front of us. You may or may not get a chance to use this gap – but you’ll feel stupid if you missed that opportunity, and there’s no real downside.
If they can’t box you in then they will blitzkrieg you so you won’t have time to move. Either way, if you don’t see what’s happening early enough, then you’ll have little chance of escaping. And that lowers your odds quite substantially.
Easy targets get eaten first
Lesson 2 – Watching that first clip you can see how true this is. How many other cars aren’t there around the victim? And who gets chosen to play the role of victim? The easy target.
I’ve talked about this before, and I’m sure I’ll do so again – look like prey and you will be eaten.
When your life is in danger – but you’re not dead
Lesson 3 – Most hijackings are life-threatening, but not deadly (notice the guns being pointed at you? The possible/probable getting tossed in front of moving traffic? Easy to articulate the danger you were in). Most hijackings end up with the victims rattled, but not hurt. Usually the hijackers just want the car. If they wanted you dead it’d look more like this
And then they’d take the car afterwards.
So as long as you can get your kids out the car, a hijacking will usually end with minimum damage to you.
But this doesn’t matter – whether you’re going to end up ok, or whether you’re going to end up dead you have to know there’s always the chance they’ll kill you. You need to be prepared for that. You need to have already “flipped the switch”.
The moment you realise what’s going on you need to turn into mother bear with a cub, just waiting to see if the threat is stupid enough to make you think your cub is threatened. That way if there’s even a hint that things are going sideways, you can drop whoever you need to drop in order to get your kids home alive.
So you’re in a hijacking situation and you’re scared and freaked out. So you’re calming yourself down by thinking “It’s going to be ok”. But then you think “hang on! Are they trying to keep my child in the car with them?” Then you reach the conclusion that “Yes, they are. This is really happening.” Now you’ve got to run through your options. Ask. Demand. Plead. Fight. Cry.
It’s around this time that you realise you need to kill these people to save your child.
Well, that’s a long process to go through when seconds count.
But if you’ve already decided to kill them as they approach the car (you’re just holding back to see if they let you get your kid out the backseat or not) … well this is a much faster mindset. “They’re stopping me from getting to my child.” Bang. (Or stab.) That quick. No need to figure out your options – you already know the stakes and your options because you’ve mentally rehearsed all the different ways this could play out.
To paraphrase Kelly McCann “In my mind I’ve already hit him”.
Have a mental list of “Things I shall not allow”, mental lines in the sand.
Group stompings suck
Lesson 4 – some people like nothing more than to stomp someone. Why do we care that people were so keen to stomp the hijackers? What’s this got to do with our safety?
Look at how many of those people couldn’t possibly have seen the original crime. That’s an awful big crowd stomping someone – and most of them hadn’t seen what had happened, they were just “recreational stompers”.
In other words they didn’t care what is was about, once it started everyone joined in.
What if we get caught up in a protest or riot? If we fall down or get knocked down, and just one person starts kicking us – very possibly game over. Want to take a guess that everyone will magically realise what a really super good person you are and leave you alone?
We know how protests and riots can turn out if the crowd turns on us. So we use knowledge like this as motivation. Motivation to train more. To train harder. To not lie to ourselves about how everything will magically turn out OK. To dispel any false hope so you can get your mind right – and fight like a cat being dragged off for a bath. Or preferably fight like a farmer killing a chicken for supper. (Hint: It’s not a fight)