I saw a story on CNN about a guy robbing a clerk with a rifle. The clerk was trying to get the money while the robber tried to shoot him! Luckily the rifle just clicked so the clerk figured he had nothing to loose and fought back! The clerk deflected the rifle and wrestled for it (the rifle). The robber then ran away!
Wow… this situation could have easily gone poorly for the clerk. What most people don’t realize about initial movement is the first one to move – wins. If a guy is pointing a rifle at me within my reach – I can deflect the rifle with my practiced initial movement, before he can pull the trigger! The trick is to isolate the rest of your body and just move your deflecting hand!
This is what drove me nuts about western movies where the good guy and bad guy would have a gun fight. If both gunfighters were relatively good at drawing… the first one would always win!!!! (providing he was a good shot).
Tailgaters know that if the guy in front of them stops short – they (the tailgaters) cause an accident (but this does not seem to dissuade them).
Fighting is the same way; a student learns initial movement as well as critical distance, to become an effective fighter.
So the real challenge when being robbed becomes (assuming the victim is a trained fighter) figuring out whether the robber just wants the money or he is going to kill you anyway.
I personally would defend myself if I was alone with the robber and the weapon (does not matter what the weapon is) was within reach. I assume a person holding a gun means to shoot (otherwise why the threat?).
However if there were lots of people around and the robber seemed intent on just getting the money – I would try to give the robber what they wanted fast and reassure the robber I would cooperate. I would cooperate because there would be no telling how many people might end up shot in a struggle.