The world is a scary place, there’s no denying that fact. However, there are people who will deny the possibility that violence could ever happen to them. These are the people that most often say, “not me”, “that would never happen”, “I don’t have to worry about that”, “I’m prepared for that”, “I know how to react”. The issue with all of these blanket statements is that you WON’T know how to react, or be prepared for it. No two fights look the same. Two very recent incidents that come to mind are the brutal attack in Newark, NJ, where a home invasion led to a mother being brutally attacked in front of her 3 year old child, and the more recent video of UFC fighter Maiquel Falco attacked and beaten by a group of men.
Instead of trying to rationalize the fact that a certain type of violence could never happen to us, we should spend more time thinking of ways to counter that violence. How would you react if your front door is kicked in and you’re home alone with your child? How would you react when confronted by 5 people in a gas station with malicious intent? You need to step outside your relative comfort zone and inoculate yourself with the idea that a worst case scenario type situation CAN happen to you. By being narrow minded in your approach to self-defense, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It doesn’t matter how many cage matches you’ve won, deployments you’ve had, or bad guys you’ve arrested. Even the most highly skilled people get caught off guard, and can be attacked, doing the most mundane tasks.
One of the disciplines I teach is how to efficiently use a handgun at a distance that is statistically proven to be where most self-defense gunfights occur. I teach people how to react, using as little time, effort, and energy possible, to defend themselves at a distance of 9 – 12 feet, in a way that works well with what their body will do naturally under the given conditions. That being said, is that ALL I teach? NO. Is that ALL I’ve been taught? NO. Statistics show that the 9 – 12 foot distance is where these fights occur 86% of the time. Should I be happy with that, and hope that the other 14% doesn’t apply to me? Of course not.
I’ve learned to step outside my own training, and learned to defend myself at closer distances, both armed (gun/knife), and unarmed. I’ve learned that maybe, I’ll be at a far greater distance, with a rifle, and I should learn how to defend myself that way too. I’ve learned that most violent attacks involve multiple aggressors (as is evidenced in the Brazil fight). Most attacks have me at a disadvantage, because I don’t know it’s going to happen. If I did, then I’d probably do something more advantageous for my survival to better sway the outcome in my favor. Most attacks will start with an unequal initiative, and a disproportionate armament. I will not get to pick the time, place, or weather conditions. Recognizing these factors, I push myself, and my students to step outside the comfort zone and not isolate their skills to one set of circumstances. I thought I was pretty proficient with a rifle, until I took a Viking Tactics class with Kyle Lamb, and realized the skills I had were lacking. I thought I would be able to fend off a carjacker, until I took an ECQC class with Craig Douglas, and realized I was wrong. The lessons I learned were invaluable, and have helped me realize the fact that evil comes in all forms of gender, race, class, height, age and weight. Skills, ideas, and tactics that would have been unknown to me, had I not pushed myself to train for the widest set of possible circumstances (plausibility principle).
I’ve also learned that everything I’ve been taught, and trained for, may not work, and I’ll have to improvise, but I’m ready to do so. Just because I’ve trained, doesn’t mean the fight will go in my favor, but having a better understanding of the dangers I face, in turn, makes me just as dangerous to the bad guy. We call it the Warrior Expert Theory: through frequent and realistic training we learn to use the power of recognition to respond more efficiently to an attack. Having seen something in a training environment, similar to what you may see in real life, will help you respond more efficiently (less time, effort and energy) and could in turn result in you winning the fight.
Now is not the time to sit back and HOPE that violence will never happen to you. In a time, where violent crimes are becoming more common place, you owe it to yourself, and your loved ones, to know how to properly defend yourself from evil. Go out, get some training, step “outside the box”, and better prepare yourself to not be a victim.