In one of the last articles we talked about the number of spare magazines folks should or shouldn’t carry. It was more a drill in fully thinking through the problem in an effort to draw out some discrepancies.
The biggest discrepancy that I saw was the dependence on firearms. Don’t get me wrong, the importance of a firearm cannot be overstated, particularly a pistol for personal protection, but the reality is you may not have access to it or it may not be your best choice at first. If you are so worried about carrying a spare magazine did you think through the other tools you may need to carry on a daily basis as well?
By proxy I get lumped into the “gun guy” group, but the truth is I’m a “combatives guy”. The way I define combatives is perfecting my skill across a wide range of weaponry and styles. Even when we streamline down to a single platform we have identified core skills that must be mastered to achieve the highest level of success during unknown and unplanned events. For instances, the pistol has fourteen core skills and then a boat load of supporting skills.
Zero defect armor
Taking that same approach towards combatives as a whole is critical to achieving the best set of metaphorical armor. You obviously want to avoid chinks in your armor so once you identify a chink, you need to work on bringing it up on line, on par with the rest of your skills. You will find that maintaining a standard level of proficiency across this spectrum is not as hard as you may think. The hard part is developing the skill in the first place, maintenance gets easier with time and experience.
Bullet proof philosophy
One of the best ways to bullet proof your armor is developing a greater sense of your surroundings. Your primary goal should always be to avoid the ambush, initiate action, neutralize the threat, move to superior position and evaluate the situation. In order for you to recognize an ambush you have to understand how they occur. Studying various urban ambushes will narrow down to a few target indicators. Those target indicators will only be valuable if you are maintaining situational awareness. So, the first thing you need to do is detect. Once you can pick up on the target indicators it provides you with the opportunity to avoid contact. If avoidance is not possible, then the next step is diffusing the situation. This has been talked about to some extent, but what it really requires to understand is fear management. You need to be able to address your fears so that you can take action to de-escalate the situation. No matter your overt action towards diffusing the situation, they should always have hidden within them means to protect and counter. Good communication skills start with respect, for both parties and then progresses towards your goal. As you enter the diffusing stage you should have a goal in your head that allows you to move forward when things go sideways. Lastly, is your ability to defend yourself. Remember, every confrontation has the potential for lethal force. If you are carrying a firearm, then that possibility exists, whether the situation escalates to that is to be determined.
One meter rule
What you should be figuring out is that by the time you get to this point, you are danger close. Within one meter as we like to call it and that is pretty damn dangerous. Sure, you may have a spare magazine, but you may not even be able to get to your firearm in the first place. The situation may be better handled going hands on first, do you have good striking abilities. Since we always want to improve our weaponry and position, can you move up the ladder to say an edged weapon? Some may argue if you can get to a blade, you can get to a gun. Ha…easier said than done for sure. The bottom line is are you prepared to go to an edged weapon if that is the better choice.
Hopefully, you never have to go to lethal force, but it’s not always going to be wrapped up in a nice little bow. So, those of you that opted for a spare magazine, are you carrying other tools or are you just a gun guy?