Posts Tagged ‘defense’

Couple shooting

As times become unpredictable and criminals are emboldened by weak laws and corrupt politicians, concealed carry of a firearm is rapidly rising across the nation. The fact that Americans are starting to take active self-protection measures is encouraging. You and the ones you love are never safer then when they are at the side of an armed and trained family member. One of the newer trends emerging in self-protection arenas is women carrying firearms, and as a result that means that couples are now armed and can act as a team when confronted with threats. Let’s talk for a minute about armed couples and some of the unique aspects.

The biggest advantage is teamwork. With an armed couple you can now maintain overall vigilance longer, share the carry of equipment, shoot, move and communicate and work together to protect each other and children or other loved ones during a violent encounter.

Having a second set of eyes and your arm around some one means you will be allowed to take a moment’s break from trying to stay on point at all times. No matter how good you are or well trained, you cannot stay in condition yellow for long periods of time without being distracted and lapsing in concentration. Having a partner means you can switch off and each of you can have an opportunity to shop, enjoy the sights and still know someone has an eye on your six. Having a second set of eyes also means you can overlap the areas you scan to prevent a potential threat being overlooked.

A man and a women often see the same object but will pay attention to different details. One example is a suspect description versus the vehicle he fled the scene in. If you want a good description of the clothing ask the female half. Women are keen on the fashion side and can usually give you a better physical description. If the suspect is fleeing in a car however, ask the male half as he is usually more familiar with the make, model and description of a vehicle as well as the direction of flight. No offense ladies, but most of you do not keep tabs on cardinal directions as well as most male counterparts.

Now we can start talking equipment. Equipment is a huge part of everyday concealed carry and it is very personal and specific to each individual. Chances are that a man and a women are not going to choose the same type of holster, belt, firearm, or even carry position. With the advent of firearms manufacturers courting women we have seen an unprecedented surge in off body purses, bra holsters, corset holsters, thigh holsters etc. Despite being tough and armed, the fairer sex will always want to maintain her feminine appeal. A woman is not going to switch her entire wardrobe over to tactical pants and baggy shirts to hide her 1911.

While men are less fashion conscious and have no qualms about a single preferred carry method like outside the waistband, inside the waistband or appendix carry, women are diverse and will choose the carry method based on the season, outfit and personal style.

What this means is when it comes to accessing your firearm, as a woman, you will have to develop several different draw stroke proficiencies. What this also means, is that the man in your life will have to know where you are carrying your gun and be equally familiar with how to access your weapon if necessary. You might want to spend some time as a couple using unloaded firearms and practicing drawing from a corset, bra or a purse. Lingerie and firearms might lead to more loved ones to watch out for as well. Who said training can’t be fun? J

In addition to the weapon, what other personal security tools do you carry that your partner can share the use of? Flashlights, multi-tools and folding knives are usually the responsibility of the male half, or if carried by a woman they are not typically in easy to access locations. No one wants to dig through a purse in an emergency trying to find a flashlight or pocketknife so if your better half is part of your self-defense plan, discuss the carry location of equipment items.

One final suggestion you should consider under the equipment category, is standardizing the caliber and type of firearm you carry. I bring this up because some police agencies in America make their officers carry the same or similar firearms of the same caliber so ammunition can be passed between officers during a critical incident. For example, various models of Glock, XD and Sig Sauer pistols come in different frame sizes from a full size, compact and sub-compact that use interchangeable magazines. This is worth considering in case one of the handguns stops functioning, you can keep the other one running with the additional ammo source. This also allows you diversify how many spare magazines need to be carried by each half of the self-defense team.

If the threat is so great that you have to bring out your firearm, having a partner in a gun fight is a priceless resource. No matter how skilled the bad guy may be, he will have trouble taking on two armed citizens both keen on stopping him. Any enemy that has to fight in multiple directions at one time is going to make decisions slower and lose the initiative. If you and your spouse can get inside the OODA loop of the bad guy, you are going to win the fight.

The other major advantage is that bad guys these days are cowards and need the support of their friends when they set out to perpetrate crimes. A solo sheepdog confronting a group of two or three threats is at a disadvantage, but a husband and wife with a plan and training can easily outflank, outsmart and out communicate a group of bad guys.

The key to being successful is always founded in good communication. As a couple I suggest you work out a short series of phrases or key words you can use to communicate the following: A particularly dangerous or suspicious person, an area that is suspect, when it is time to exit an area that is becoming uncomfortable or dangerous and a go word that it is time to draw your firearm. I suggest keeping these fairly mundane or something you might hear in an actual conversation to avoid drawing unwanted attention or the attention of the bad guy.

For example, if you see a suspicious person starting to approach you, don’t point to him and say, “Tango, left flank,” and begin describing the suspect’s clothing. Think of something more casual like, Honey, let’s check out the store on the left.” That will identify to your spouse or girlfriend you spot something out of place or a person with evil intentions on your left and you are alerting them.

If you are in a bad area where you feel uncomfortable you could say, “Honey, I left something in the car, we need to go get it.” This is a simple signal that only you two understand but that does not sound unusual and those who may overhear it will interpret differently.

One of the signal phrases my wife and I use when we are out and a large crowd gathers or we start to notice a situation turning badly and it’s time to get out, I tell my wife, “Honey, time for a smoke break.” Since I do not smoke the phrase sticks out to her, but to others who do not know me it sounds benign. When my wife hears that she knows it’s time to drop what we are doing, grab the kids and get out of the area.

If you do get stuck and have to resort to violence to save yourself, have a signal for that as well. For example, you can say, “Looks like I’ve been painted into a corner.” If your significant other hears that common phrase, he or she knows its time to draw a weapon and get ready to fight or flight. If it is a fight signal you should have a pre-planned out triangulation attack, a plan for a bounding extraction, or a flee signal which means one of you grabs the kids and goes with the other half covering your rear with the firearm. As you make your plan also consider non-verbal cues as well.

Whatever you decide, it needs to be worked out well in advance. You can’t expect these signals and plans to work without a bit of rehearsal and discussion so spend some quality time with your spouse or girlfriend and work out your offense and defense plan.

Remember, you are only as strong as the weakest link of your team so train hard, train together and stay safe.

Scott S – Founder, One Weapon Any Tool

www.oneweaponanytool.com

 

TRAINING UPDATE:

I am deeply saddened to announce that Bob Mayne will not be coming to California in 2014. He is battling cancer and it has taken an unexpected turn. Due to his health, he will not be here on October 18th as previously announced.

We will however have a training course that day. I am running Offensive Pistol, our very own intermediate firearms skill building course. You can register online at the One Weapon Any Tool website and I am offering it at a discounted rate of $150.

We will try to host Bob again next year. In the meantime, he would covet your prayers.

 

fight-girl

Too often when thinking about personal protection we focus on the defensive aspect. We talk about being ready to defend yourself and those you love and we have a plan to defend our homes. I think this is a misconception that is going to get someone hurt or killed because when you are on the defense that means one thing… Someone is doing something to you. Being on the defense means you are being attacked, you are covering, hiding, fortifying, or blocking and there is no victory in defense.

I think we need to turn this on its head and start talking as a community about the Offensive Mindset.

Think about it, there is nothing defensive about pulling the trigger and actively trying to kill another human being who is a threat to you. There is nothing defensive about striking, kicking or inflicting damage on someone that is try to do the same to you. You want to be on the offense. You want to be the one moving forward on the balls of your feet, with your head down and ears pinned back.

When it comes time to protect yourself you want to bring the maximum amount of violence to bear as fast as possible and overwhelm your opponent. Reread that last sentence and ask yourself… is that the definition of defense? We need to talk about the offensive mindset and we need to start now!

While we should never discount a defense completely, the defense is what we establish to ensnare our opponent and slow him down to give us the initiative and use our offense to win the fight. When you are attacked initially, you may be surprised or startled and begin the fight in a defensive posture. You have to move from defense to offense as quickly as possible and be the one who dominates! You have to act with intent! When the fight is on and your life is at stake you have to act decisively. There is not time to assess and come up with a plan. This is the moment that the training you have (or don’t have) is going to kick in. There is only one goal, be the one who walks away and take as little damage as possible during the altercation.

Your intention is to use violence and inflict pain, damage or death upon another living breathing human being. You have to do this, or you will become the victim. You have to think about this now while you read this in your living room in front of your computer rather than thinking about it when you are faced with a lethal or dangerous threat.

Violence is nothing more than a tool. Bad guys use it to intimidate, harm, rape or steal. You use violence to fight off the attack, protect yourself and the innocents with you. Using violence is not a bad thing and you need to reconcile yourself that hurting someone, may be what saves your life. You have to establish your own rules of engagement now so when it comes time to fight… You FIGHT!

Fighting is always a last resort and even as a deputy I hate getting into fights… but I will if I have to and it’s going to end badly for you. I will give you every opportunity to submit to arrest or comply, probably more chances than you deserve, and the choice lies with the evil doer which way they want the encounter to go.
When not on duty I will walk away and give you every opportunity to leave me alone and go away. If you want to push your luck, make sure you are ready for what’s coming. I’m ready, are you?

Are you?

Remember, it is not for you to start the fight, but it is for you to win it. Fighting is a last resort but I will book anyone a ticket there if they try to physically harm myself or a loved one. Go forth and train!

Hopefully I’ve shaken up the way you think about personal protection and self-‘offense.’

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

This is the law: The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no victory in defense. The sword is more important that the shield, and skill is more important that either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.
-John Steinbeck

Be safe – train hard – Get into the Offensive Mindset
Scott S
One Weapon Any Tool
http://www.oneweaponanytool.com

Helmet
When I founded my firearms training company I set out to educate my students in the principle that the mind itself is the ultimate weapon. As a long time practitioner of martial arts, a defensive tactics instructor, a firearms trainer, and a deputy sheriff; self-defense and personal protection is something I take very seriously. I recognized that no matter where I was, either armed or unarmed I was capable of defending myself and those I love. I was capable of doing so because I had trained my mind, thought about situations, analyzed my surroundings, run through scenarios, watched and remained aware, looked for cover and concealment and I knew that I was ready to use violence to overwhelm any threat I may come across. Yes, I was ready to physically harm or kill another human being to ensure I go home safely… and my partner or family member goes home with me.
I also realize that I am not the world’s greatest kick boxer, knife wielder or gun fighter. There is always someone out there that is better than me… and should I meet that person, I’ve thought about how to extract, fall back and fight a different fight, or escape. If your life is in danger and you or your family escapes the lethal threat, that is a win. You can call me a coward if you like, but any lethal encounter you survive unscathed is a victory. Sometimes the better part of valor is to egress. I don’t care how badass you think you are, or how much training you have had, there is someone out there better trained, and better prepared than you. Being a warrior also means knowing the limits of your ability.

Knowing your limitations gives you a place to start when you undertake training. You should seek out people who have skillsets superior to yours and strive to achieve their level of proficiency. During my basic pistol courses while I’m teaching new shooters the fundamentals of marksmanship, they always marvel at how fast or accurate I can shoot. I use these demonstrations as teachable moments to explain to them that the only difference between us, is the number of repetitions. What a new shooter is doing on the range for the first time, I’ve done 10,000. They are striving to achieve my level of skill, have sought training and are working towards success. I continue to do the same things except I compare myself to Max Michel and strive towards his level of proficiency. Max Michel is sponsored by Sig Sauer and is a multiple time world champion shooter. What I have practiced 10,000 times Max has practiced 150,000 times. (Check him out at http://www.maxmichel.com)

As you develop your warrior mindset you also need to remain humble. You have to be open to learning new techniques, willing to change your mind about how and why you do things, and realize there is always room for improvement. As much as I hate to acknowledge this fact… as an instructor, you should take multiple training classes from different instructors. Not one instructor has all the knowledge or answers or methods to help you achieve unconscious competence. While I admire loyal students, after three or more classes, I’ve nearly exhausted the amount of knowledge I can impart. You need to branch out, seek new techniques and tactics and find what works for you. If one person tells you they have all the answers… run away! Look for instructors who are constantly trying to evolve, learn and ones that are even willing to change their mind about equipment, techniques and training. I’ve had a several training concepts I’ve had to question and change over the last 14 years. I expect there will be many more changes in the future.

Part of your pre-battle mentality is having a winning mindset.

Warriors expect to win. This is a fine balance between confidence and cockiness, but every fighter that trains and prepares for battle, has an expectation that they will win the conflict. They trust their training and know they put in the sweat and blood equity and have a plan to emerge victorious. When they face a lethal threat and the confrontation begins, the stronger will usually prevails. When working patrol and the jail, when I got into a fight I would subconsciously tell myself, “It’s time to win.” While every physical conflict I got into was not an overwhelming victory… it was a victory. I knew I was going to win, that was an unshakeable belief deep inside me. My unbending will coupled with training was too much for an opponent who lacked sufficient will. The suspects wanted a quick, easy fight not one with a determined opponent. Criminals, like most predators prefer easy prey. If you look like a potential threat, if you look aware, if you appear confident, the criminal will move on.
Part of having an iron will is also harboring the desire to use violence to enforce your will if the situation dictates. In our “civilized” society the practitioner of violence is shunned and looked at with wary or disdain by the “civilized” people. (Often referred to as the sheep of society). You have to decide now, that you are willing and capable to physically harming or potentially killing another human being if your life or the life of a loved one is faced with an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury. You have to make that decision prior to being faced with that event. If you wait until something bad happens you will freeze or hesitate. If you freeze or hesitate rather than act, then you will be forced to live with regret over your indecision. One of my favorite quotes is from a fellow warrior and American Hero, Chris Kyle. He simply states, “Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems.”

Everyone… yes, every single person on this earth is capable of killing given the right set of circumstances. We are not as civilized as we like to believe. We still have human nature and eons of hardwired conditioning locked in our brains which has helped us thrive and survive so long. Humans are built to adapt, solve problems and survive. Fighting and killing is one of the ways we do that.

It comes down to this series of very simple rhetorical questions:
Who are the most important people in your life?

Who are you willing to die for?

Are you willing to kill to protect the people in your first two answers?

All of this is a required part of your Pre-Battle Mentality. To awaken your inner warrior, start looking at the world around you. Identify the places you go, the potential threats you may find there and start playing out scenarios in your mind about how you would deal with them. Is it best to fight or retreat? Do you have an expectation of winning? Are you willing to use violence and the tools you carry with you to solve the problems you may face? Is the training you have sufficient to meet those threats?
Think hard, prepare your mind for where your body has to go. As always, stay safe, train hard! Godspeed.

Scott S – One Weapon, Any Tool

Find us on Facebook! New courses posted for April & May 2014, sign up today!
NRA Basic Pistol on April 6th in Valley Springs, CA
Defensive Pistol on April 26th at San Joaquin Rifle & Pistol Range in Linden, CA
Ladies & Lead – Girls Only! Basic Pistol Course on May 10th – Training is a great Mother’s Day Gift! Also in Valley Springs. No husbands or boyfriends allowed!