Your Tactical Training Scenario- Violent Purse Snatching

Watch the video. It’s only a minute long. The first 55 seconds show the purse snatcher’s identification of the victim, approach, and escape. After second 55 the view changes and you see the attack.

Ladies, the question for you is: “Have you trained to defeat this level of violence?”

The attacker was not big, nor skilled. He was fast and extremely violent. Notice how quickly he appeared and grabbed the purse and how violently he reacted when she didn’t give it up. What would you do if that were you?

Notice he didn’t get the purse.

Those of you who carry weapons like a gun or pepper spray…could you get to it here? How many of you carry your guns in your purses? Do you see a problem?

There was NO forewarning. There was no way to run. There was no time for negotiation or verbal disengagement. It was quite simply a fight. Your choices are resist or submit. There are no other options here.

How prepared are you for an event like this?

When have you last trained to defeat someone who is bigger, stronger, and more skilled than you are?

Have you ever pressure tested any of your defensive techniques with this level of intensity?

The criminal here decided when the crime would happen. At that point, the woman didn’t have many options to prevent the violence. This attack was the poster child for the problem of “initiative deficit.” Have you spent time training with hard charging partners who place you at an initiative deficit?

For the men in my audience, if you saw this attack happening on the street, would you intervene?

If yes, could you defeat the attacker without using a weapon?

If you need to use a weapon in a fight against this guy, how would you do it? Do you have the skills to take a shot at a bad guy who is moving fast and dragging an innocent person around in front of him?

Would other weapons like pepper spray, a baton, or a knife be a better solution? If you think so, are you carrying those weapons?

These are hard questions to answer. But questions like these, when answered, take your skills to the next level. If you wouldn’t be prepared to deal with this attack, either as a victim or as a witness, do something about it. Figure out how to change your “no” answer to a “yes” for any one of these questions.

Doing that is how you become better than the other people in the world who are interested in guns and tactics, but don’t take the time to improve their skills. Changing one “no” to a “yes” would provide uncountable benefits across many domains.

Give it a try.

Greg Ellifritz is the full time firearms and defensive tactics training officer for a central Ohio police department. He holds instructor or master instructor certifications in more than 75 different weapon systems, defensive tactics programs and police specialty areas. Greg has a master's degree in Public Policy and Management and is an instructor for both the Ohio Peace Officer's Training Academy and the Tactical Defense Institute.

For more information or to contact Greg, visit his training site at Active Response Training.

Help us fight for your rights!

Become a member of Buckeye Firearms Association and support our grassroots efforts to defend and advance YOUR RIGHTS!

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

Get weekly news and instant alerts on the latest laws and politics that affect your gun rights. Enjoy cutting-edge commentary. Be among the first to hear about gun raffles, firearms training, and special events. Read more.

We respect your privacy and your email address will be kept confidential.


Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.