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Tenets and Principles Part Deux: 10 More Maxims for Winning the Fight

“Don’t think outside the box … Get rid of the box.”

1. “Most Gunfights Start Out as Fist Fights” - Or at least the attacker will be close to you. Many gun owners believe if they are attacked or assaulted, all they must do is produce their firearm and all will be well. However, there are many reasons why they may not be able to get their gun in the game – they don’t have it, they dropped it, they can’t get it out of the holster because they are being pummeled by the attacker, etc. Hand-to-Hand skills are as or more important than shooting skills if you carry a firearm for personal protection.

2. “Always Counter-Strike in Combinations; No Single Techniques” - Ever hear of the boxers old, “One-Two”? It wasn’t the old “One” for a reason. ‘Punches in bunches’ works – it keeps an opponent/attacker off balance and out of his rhythm and allows you to strike available and high value targets (HVT) multiple times. “Cycling”, or the constant repetitive motion of two or more techniques (i.e. palm heel strike and hammer fist) at a variety of targets, is a good example.

3. “The Most Important Thing to do if You Get Knocked/Taken to the Ground is GET UP!” – We (humans) are not built to fight or move around on our backs/sides on the ground. We are bipeds, and that means we move by means of our two hind legs, and this movement includes walking and running. This allows us superior mobility and the ability to move quickly away from danger when necessary. As mentioned above, you should still have some basic grappling skills if you happen to wind up on the ground.

4. “If You Know You’re Going to Have to Fight in a Mud Hole, go Find a Mud Hole and Train in it.” – Thucydides said, “We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.” Training should be hard to prepare you for any battle you have to fight. Coach Bobby Knight said, “Everyone wants to win but not everyone wants to prepare to win” and Coach Bear Bryant said something similar - Their teams seemed to have done well. Few people are truly committed to training to become better.

5. “A Stance in Just a Piece of Footwork,” – Traditional martial arts styles have dozens of different stances they teach and practice. The overall purpose of any fighting stance is to maximize balance and position (mobility) so the maximum amount of power can be delivered to the target. They are not meant to be static positions used to launch or block an attack. You will ‘move through’ dozens of stances during a fight.

6. “Reasonable Force is OK” – Many people I speak to regarding self-defense, seem to be hesitant about using physical force to defend themselves. The stumbling block seems to be their mis/non-understanding about the laws regarding using force. What the laws essentially say is, it’s permissible to use force to protect yourself, as long as it is reasonable given the circumstances that existed at the time the force was used.

7. “De-Escalation is Always Preferable to Physical Confrontation” – Avoidance is always preferable to fighting. Especially as you get older – you get injured more easily and heal much slower. Those soft verbal skills can literally be a life saver.

8. “Bad Guys Do Bad Things to Good People for no Reason” – It’s my opinion that many crimes are crimes of opportunity. VCA (Violent Criminal Actors) will seek out the weak, infirm, soft targets, or whatever is available when they think they can get away with it. They have no sympathy for the safety of others as they only seek self-gratification at your expense.

9. “If You Know You’re Going to Subconsciously React a Certain Way When You Are Attacked (i.e. flinch), You Should Train With That in Mind” – It stands to reason if you KNOW are going to instinctively react a certain way when you are attacked, you should work that into your training. Working against the millennia of survival instinct seems counterproductive. Tony Blauer has been advocating this for over twenty years.

10. “Some people Just Need to be Hit” (With apologies to Clint Smith) – Clint said on a 60 Minutes interview once, “Some people just need to be shot”. We teach LEO and civilians alike that there are times when a ‘pre-emptive strike’ may be appropriate. Attackers often give off cues (‘tells’) before they attack – glancing, grooming, pacing, clenching fists, etc. It has been shown many of these occur just before an attack – either planned or spontaneous. If we see them, why should we wait to respond? Wouldn’t a pre-emptive strike be appropriate?

Keep learning. Keep training. Always be prepared.


Never Pick a Fight with an Old Man.


The Director's Desk

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