• Brad Parker

Machete Attack? Are you Prepared?


What does this machete attack say about our self-defense training?

A family in Brighton, a suburb of Denver, was brutally attacked in their home by a man with a machete killing the mom and injuring the dad, the two daughters, and a friend living in the home.


The news story of the machete attack doesn't contain much info -- only some short, factual pieces:

  • A neighbor says she heard lots of screaming coming from the house around 10 p.m.

  • 51-year-old Bonnie Skinner of Brighton was killed in the attack. Injured were her husband, Vincent Skinner, two daughters, Paige and Abigayle Skinner, and Daniel Smeal, a family friend who lived at the residence.

  • Arrested was 48-year-old Lonny Lynn McNair, of Brighton, who is charged with one count of homicide, four counts of attempted homicide, first-degree burglary, and felony eluding.

The Rhetorical Question: Are You Prepared for a Machete Attack?


My intention of this post is not so much to inform us about this incident as to pose the rhetorical question: are you prepared for such an attack?


Experience shows us that not many of us are. Why would we be? Most of us have lived our whole life rarely coming close to this kind of violence. Why would we expect that we would have to face a homicidal attack on us and our family?


It can't happen to me, right? We live in a nice neighborhood, it can't happen here, right? If something does happen, I'll just call the police, right? If something happens I saw on Oprah that I can just yell 'fire' and people will come to help me, right? I'll set off my personal alarm, use a rolled up magazine, scream, play dead, etc., etc., etc..


There's a lot of rationalization we do to avoid the subject of violence. The biggest one is the normalcy bias -- "it's never happened before, so it probably won't happen in the future". Survival experts say people who have this strong bias can have difficulties accepting and adjusting to emergency situations.


We have to accept that evil can visit us at any time -- even when we are not the primary target. We can get caught up in a violent situation when we are completely innocent and not involved with the other parties at all. Or we can get caught up by violent people in our own homes and other places that we've always assumed was 'safe'.


Past cases -- and cases like this -- show that you cannot count on a place or people to keep you safe. Our safety is our responsibility. Accept that there are predators out there who want what you have, who hate you for your happiness, who will involve you in their homicidal rage or psychotic event -- whether you know them or not. We have to be realistic when it comes to our self-defense.


We must accept that our family can be attacked at any time or place of the predator's choosing. The predator knows what he is capable of. He can bring more predators. He can bring a weapon of his choice.


We don't have control over those things. But we do have control of many things that will add to our self-defense quotient:


  • Our awareness

  • Our fitness level

  • Our ability fo fight

  • Our ability to defend against and use weapons


To increase our self-defense abilities, we will have to:


  • Get instruction on how to physically protect ourselves. Against one attacker. Against multiple attackers. Against weapons.

  • Practice and train the knowledge we've gained from our coaches so we can use it effectively in an emergency.


Remember, our brain is our best weapon. Stay with us here at Women's Self-Defense Community as we give you more information for surviving real-life attacks. Train religiously so your physical performance maximizes the effectiveness of your skills and your skills maximize the effects of your will.


The result? You will be Smarter. Stronger. Safer.


Related: Control What You Can Now -- And Always be Improving for Self-Defense