Incognito?

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Here is a great quote from a great book!  “The goal is to invest thousands of hours of training so that in the heat of the battle the right maneuvers will come automatically, with no interference from consciousness.”  – David Eagleman

Is your training incognito? So the big question is, what amount of time are you spending on your self-protection training?  Once a month, once a week, once a day or very infrequently?  Here is an interesting measuring tool!

Amateur Talent – 2000 hours of practice

Average Talent – 5000 hours of practice

Expect Abilities – 10000 hours of practice

Yes, that is a lot of practice time.  Just remember, focus on mastering the basics, they will be there when you need them.  In my opinion, way to much time is spent on practicing so-called advance skills and letting the basic skills deteriorate.

Practice your basic self-protection skills daily to include your situational awareness. You should also study your body’s external and internal natural reactions to fear.  Why?  This way you will know what to expect when faced with sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activation.  Remember, the SNS is most likely activated from the FEAR of Death, Serious Bodily Injury or Pain.  Our goal is to calm the fires of the SNS and get the PNS (para-sympathetic nervous) system back in control.  One simple method to do this is BREATHING!  I will discuss this more in future post.

Ok, enough talking.  Get out there and train.  Do something today to enhance your Self-Protection skills and be safe!

Effective Self Protection!

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I am constantly reminded by events that happen, that the keys to effective Self Protection have little to do with actual physical fighting skills.  Do we need the fighting skills, absolutely!  However, if you practice the following three things, you can certainly keep yourself out of a lot of trouble.

  • Practice good Situational Awareness! Look around, keep your head on swivel and look for pre-incident indicators.  There are usually warning or danger signs that precede an attack.  Do you know what they are and have you honed your abilities to see these signs.  Remember and practice Colonel Jeff Cooper’s Color Code system of Mental Readiness.
  • Maintain Distance or Space between you and a potential adversary.  If not distance, find an obstacle or barrier at get behind it.  Most trainers describe the reactionary gap as 6 feet or more.  If you can not maintain this gap, then get your hands up and prepare for a potential assault.
  • Always look for an Escape Route. Again, put you head on swivel, if you can find an opening to disengage, take it.  There is nothing wrong with running away and seeking a better tactical position.

Simple enough:  Situational Awareness, Maintain Distance or Space, and look for Escape Routes. These are all skills that can be trained daily.  Train effectively and often and remember to always pay attention!

What is the BEST gun?

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I get asked this question at least once a week, what is the best gun?  The best gun for what?   Is it for concealed carry, home defense, personal safety, vehicle defense or family protection?  Here is the short and simple answer! The best gun is the one that you will train with and become extremely proficient with.  It really does not matter to me what type of firearm you decided to purchase or carry, as long as you do it legally.  All I do suggest is that you buy something that you will train with.  You can buy a .22 caliber pistol, train with it daily, shoot from all types of positions; seated, standing, kneeling and or grounded.  Learn to draw it from a concealed holster from all of the above mentioned positions.  Practice force on force engagement scenarios with a non-lethal training weapon and build your skills to deploy this firearm effectively in legally justified shoot scenarios.

In my opinion, the firearm that you are most proficient with is the BEST!  In the heat of the battle, we do not have time to consider how to disengage the safety or load the magazine or sight the weapon properly.  We need to be making the determination if deadly force is authorized and if it is, then we need to deploy our firearm immediately, proficiently and effectively.

So there you have it!  BTW, if you really want my opinion on the best gun, buy a Glock 19 and train with it until you proficient with it as you are with your toothbrush.  Thanks!

 

SO WHERE’S PART 2? RIGHT HERE BABY!

REMEMBER, DON’T BREAK INTO JAIL! Part 2

 By Burton J. “Jimi” Brown, JD, PhD

Last time I wrote about the potential problems arising during the aftermath of a citizen involved shooting incident. The type of shooting incident where you, the good guy, shoot and kill, or wound another person, the bad guy. Keep in mind that I’m working off the assumption that you, the citizen shooter, is the good guy and the other guy, the “shootee,” is the bad guy. I’m going to talk about this topic again but before diving in let me provide you with some simple words to remember:

STAY ALIVE!

First and foremost the idea is to stay alive! You must survive the violent encounter! You must live to fight another day if that unfortunate event were to happen again. That said, here’s the rub. In surviving you live to face the results of the police investigation and, if the bad guy is dead, a likely grand jury conducted by your local prosecutor. If you don’t survive, none of this matters. The stressful hassle of the post shooting inquiries won’t be important to you if you’re not around to participate. So, once again, Stay Alive! Failure to do so is both lethal and permanent.

You may be thinking, why should I be so careful about what I say to the investigators at the scene? Why can’t I tell them I’m a black belt in Kick Ass Fu? What exactly do you want me to say? Fair enough, lets get to it.

You: Officer, I’ve had tactical hand gun training and I’m a pretty good shot!

Investigator: Really? That’s great! Who’d you train with?

You: Charley Crux over at The Kill Fu Studio. I’ve taken all the pistol courses and I believe him to be one of the best tactical shooters in the country.

Investigator: Really! Cool! Clearly you’re a great shot. You put 2 in this guys bean under stress from about 7 yards! Most cops couldn’t do that. Hell, I don’t think I could do it. Hey, have you taken any of Crux’s other classes?

You: Oh yeah, I’ve been taking his Kick Ass Fu for five years including the edged weapon defense courses. I’ll soon be a Black Belt!

Investigator: Most impressive! (Pause for dramatic color.) I was wondering why you didn’t use your Kick Ass Take the Knife Away Fu instead of shooting? I’m also wondering why you put two impressive shots in the guys bean when you could have run away screaming like a little girl with her hair on fire?

You: Uhhhhhhhhh! I believe I have the right to stand my ground!

Investigator: OK, whatever you say.

Now think about this. You may have just set let loose the hounds of hell straight from the bowels of Pandora’s Mythical Box. Worse, your lawyer may find it extremely difficult to put the hounds back in the box. The thing about the Hounds of Hell is that they are bigger than the box they came out of. This is one of life’s great mysteries. You’ve provided the gasoline before the fire was even lit. Your first question may be that the investigators are going to find this out on their own. Yes, they probably are but during the timely process of investigation and AFTER you’ve been coordinating your defense with a lawyer. If you provide all this information before the fire there will almost certainly BE a fire. If it is learned during the natural course of investigation it may not.

As I mentioned in the first article, most law enforcement officers are not looking to jail a citizen shooter. This included myself. If it appears to have been a self defense incident then we were OK with the bad guy getting shot. No guarantees of course but you get the point. However, if you put damaged fruit in the basket while it is empty the investigator is now going to have to deal with it because it is, after all, the only thing in the basket other than the bullets fired. As long as the bullets are the only thing in the basket, leave it that way.

The Bottom Line: Do Not Break Into Jail.

You: But like I said, they’re going to find out I trained with Crux and have studied Kick Ass Fu! How’s it going to be different?

Because you’ve trained in pistol combat techniques and martial arts does not mean you were not scared into a maximum, bowel emptying, defecation episode. Even if only in the figurative sense. (By the way, don’t be surprised or ashamed if you actually do so. In point of fact, a good pants loading could work for you, provided it’s naturally occurring.) If you’re running on about it you risk the possibility that you won’t be able to use fear as a defense. Someone might infer that you were out looking for trouble and simply won a gun fight. Do not go there! Remember, you should be asking to be taken to the hospital and not on the scene engaging in idle chit chat with the investigators, the press, or standers by.

You: The press? What do you mean the press?

It’s a shooting of a person involving a gun toting citizen! Damn right the press. If they approach you say nothing. If you get pressed by the press, say nothing except to ask a nearby policeman to get you to the ambulance. You are, after all, not feeling well and need a full check over. Your attorney can coordinate press releases later.

You: A grand jury? Why? That seems unnecessary. I’m going to touch on grand juries in part 3 of this series. For now understand that in some states it might be required by law when a person has been shot and killed. Grand juries are conducted as a type of investigation by the prosecutor of the jurisdiction in question. So for now don’t worry about it. It is another post-shooting possibility and one best worried about by your lawyer.

One final note. In no way do I want to leave you the impression that I don’t recommend taking pistol combative training and other martial arts. Not at all! You SHOULD take these courses, practicing, and getting good. All I saying is shut the hell up about it. Becoming proficient is how you increase the odds of surviving an armed encounter. So, stay alive and stay out of jail. You can do both.

Do you need to learn Combative skills? YES!

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Finding the time to learn combative skills is often challenging.  Here is an excellent source of authentic fighting skills that can be learned in the privacy of your own home.

Please visit http://nickhughescombatives.com/.  Nick Hughes is an awesome combatives instructor with many, many years of experience.  He is also an excellent public speaker, so combine this with his deadly combative skills and you have a WIN/WIN situation.

Please visit Nick’s website today and check out some of the free clips.  You will not be disappointed.  All the best.

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What is your threat?

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You must know your enemy.  Sun Tzu, Chinese General and military stratagiest stated:

 It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

I define your current enemy as Criminals, Crazies and Crusaders.  Let us look at each of these in detail.

Criminals are looking for a target of opportunity and often do not have any great plan of attack.  This is not always true, but most crimes just happen, except for crimes against a person, such as sexual assault or abduction.  Making yourself a hard target, in most situations, will deter the criminal and he will move on to find an easier target.  Criminals are like a disease.  They have no place in society and we should all be prepared to deal with them.  Criminals target easy prey; do not allow yourself to become complacent.  Be like the hunter, not the hunted.  Since criminals are looking for a target of opportunity, being unpredictable will help to ensure that you do not become a target.  If you want to know more about the type of crimes that criminals are committing, please visit http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#cius.  This is the location of the Uniform Crime Report, a great resource conceived in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  Decide right now to become more aware of your environment and make yourself a hard target!

Crazies are very interesting.  They are unpredictable and have some extremely violent tendencies.  Crazies are often called Emotional Disturbed People (EDP).  A good example of a potential EDP is your local homeless person.   Keep in mind that the thought process of an EDP is not that of a normal person.  This could be because of the medication they are taking or even lack of medication in their system.  Crazies are potentially or completely uncooperative.  Either way, they are dangerous and you must be prepared to deal with them.  They will often exhibit superhuman types of strength and have a pain tolerance exceedingly higher than the normal person.  They will use weapons of opportunity, so awareness of edged weapons and blunt objects is important.  You can try, but you will most likely be unable to reason with Crazies.  Whenever reasoning stops, run!  If you cannot run, hit them hard and keep hitting until they are down and out, then run and call 911.

Crusaders, or terrorists, as they are often called, are detail-oriented threats.  Bombing, assassinations, kidnapping & hijackings are all part of their normal modus operandi.  The scariest and most likely new threat presented by the terrorist is in taking control of one of our schools.  Many of you probably remember the Russian school incident in Beslan.  Terrorists went into the school, took several hundred hostages, killed many, and waited for the Russian Elite Special Forces to assault.  Once the assault was completed, 300+ hostages were dead and many more injuried.  Can you imagine the impact this would have on our society if this occurred in the United States?  Look at the aftermath of September 11, 2001!  We are still dealing with this issue.  Responding to a terrorist incident requires a precise and planned response.  Awareness is the most important aspect of your security plan to thwart the terrorist.  Once the threat is identified, notify the proper authorities so that they can apprehend the suspect as quickly as possible.  The terrorist is very concerned about being identified prior to the completion of his mission.  Obviously, you should get in the habit of keeping your eyes and ears open.  If something seems wrong, do not dismiss it–notify the local authorities.  Your viligance could be the catalyst in preventing a major offensive attack against the United States.  Security of our country is the responsibility of ALL CITIZENS.  Remember: know your enemy.  When you are dealing with any of these threats, make yourself a “hard” target.

Levels of Awareness!

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Survival begins long before you step out the door of your home, office or car.  YOU must prepare yourself in order to survive.  Failure to understand the dynamics of armed confrontations may become a matter of life or death.  We must put ourselves in touch with the reality of violence.  Being shot atExchanging gunfireHearing shotsSeeing death may cause you to under-react, over-react or not act at all during a violent encounter.  You should always be aware of the dynamics of a critical incident.  Keep in mind the following:

  • How fast are things happening?
  • What is the violence level?
  • How prepared are you…MENTALLY?

The reality of an encounter exists, but being prepared can help prevent a violent encounter.  It has been said, “Things seldom happen when you’re fully prepared for them”.  Always having a plan, possessing an attitude that stresses anticipation and the use of the following tactics are the greatest tools to utilize for mastering the fundamentals of survival techniques.  If you prepare yourself mentally for an attack, you will be prepared for an “unexpected” encounter because you will expect it.  You will be able to evaluate and mentally rehearse the event, and emerge victoriously.  Winning, never losing!

In order to deal effectively with an incident, you must be switched “on” and be alert to what’s going on around you.  Law enforcement officers, military, and trained civilians are taught different “Conditions of Readiness” in a color code system that approximates different levels of awareness that a normal human being experiences.  Your response to any situation is largely determined by the “condition” you are in at the time.  You obviously do not want to live your life oblivious to the world around you and become a walking target.  On the other hand, it is not practical or appropriate to live it with your finger on the trigger of a firearm.  The following color code system is designed to help you construct the proper readiness mindset for security in your own daily world.

Condition White:  This first “condition of readiness” really has nothing to do with “readiness” at all.  Still, it is the state of mind in which most people spend their lives.  In Condition White we do not expect any trouble, nor do we look for it.  We are largely unaware of our surroundings and the events taking place there, nor do we believe anything will happen to us.  Condition White is the state of “readiness” of most victims.  It is also the state that criminals love to see you in!

Condition Yellow:  This is the condition you want to be in when you walk out the front door of your home or any otherwise unsecured location.  It is the mental equivalent of the yellow traffic light that you will see at an intersection while driving.  It dictates that you should proceed with caution, maintaining 360-degree security at all times.  You must also be tuned in to any instinctual feelings of danger.  NOTE:  Gavin De Becker’s interesting and informative book, The Gift of Fear will help you truly appreciate the importance of Condition Yellow.   Some people may consider Condition Yellow as that of a “paranoid” state.  It is not.   It is just using good sense.  You are simply in a state of relaxed, yet heightened, awareness.  Keep your head up and keep looking around.

Condition Orange:  At this level, you realize that something is definitely wrong.  There is danger.  You are in a state of alarm.  You must either move away or prepare for action.  Your main focus should be on identifying the danger, accepting it, formulating a plan of action and implementing that plan.

Condition Red:  In condition Red, action is imminent and the threat is upon you.  As soon as the threat is apparent, you make your move.  Whatever response you have planned for should be delivered with total commitment and aggression.

Remember, we must: See the threat, Accept the threat, Formulate a plan, & Execute the plan!