Thursday, September 5, 2013

Understanding the Attacker: 3 General Reasons Assailants Choose Small Spaces

At around 2pm, on August 24th, a 76 year old woman was assaulted in an elevator at Dundas Square.

For details go to:

Besides highlighting the disturbing reality that assaults can happen anytime/anywhere(not only during late hours or in discrete locations) this horrible incident also points to the problem of defending in small spaces. 

 Some examples of small spaces include:

·      Elevators
·      Parking lots (close to a car)
·      Public or private bathrooms
·      Hallways
·      Home invasion
·      Public Transit (subway, streetcar, train)

Why Small spaces?

Here are 3 reasons an attacker will choose a small space.

  1. Discretion:  An elevator, even a public bathroom, is an opportune space for an attacker to isolate you.  An elevator in motion, for instance, does not allow for escape or access to help. 
  2. Control:  Small spaces allow him more control as it forces physical closeness and limits access to escape routes. 
  3. Limited Mobility/Reaction Time:  The attacker knows a smaller space means there is less room to move.  There is little or no chasing and your reaction time is severely reduced.   

Assaults in small spaces are particularly challenging due to limited mobility, escape routes, and access to help.  Our next blog will offer some tips on protecting yourself in such settings.

For more insights into assailant tactics go to:

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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