Bringing opposable thumbs to the fight. 

In the last post on building fences we talked about the physical and psychological barrier we want to build between ourselves and our opponents. This time let’s talk about what we are prepared to do once they attempt to cross this barrier. 

Folks will often begin to ask all the “what if” questions at this point however, my question to them is; have you done everything a reasonable person can expect you to do to avoid, deter and deescalate this situation? Is there an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death? If the answer to either of those questions is yes then there is no what if. The time to have talked to an attorney regarding a plan for the legal battle after the physical battle was long before you found yourself in a fight for your life. There is no time now for second guessing, which is why I can’t stress enough; talk to an attorney immediately if you haven’t already. You need to understand the in’s and out’s of the fight on every level so you can move with audacity and abandon when the time comes. Okay, with that out of the way…

I’m a big fan of going to a weapon as soon as possible during a violent criminal encounter. No ands, ifs, or buts. We have to understand this isn’t an honorable match or duel. We’re dealing with violent criminal actors who have chosen to commit a violent criminal act against us. 

One of the benefits of having opposable thumbs is the ability to use tools to achieve our objectives. In a violent criminal encounter our objective is to keep them away from us and disrupt their ability to function long enough to allow us to get away. We don’t need to win, we need to survive. This means breaking contact as soon as possible and getting the heck out of there.  The first tool I recommend to everyone is Red Sabre Spitfire or something similar. Easily palmed so you can have it in your hand as you verbally engage your opponents .

This is how I regularly carry mine. I grab it with the spray ready to rock. Craig Douglas refers to OC as an “eyejab in a can” for good reason. This stuff is HOT. You can hold this in a more discreet manner if you’d like, this is just a way I’ve found to work fairly well. Aim for the forehead but even getting close to the face with this stuff is going to be a distraction for the opponent. Keep in mind you will also be affected, just not as bad. Indirect exposure can be a bear but you’re tough and you’ll fight through it.

Another tool I like for this range is impact weapons. Saps, jacks, and improvised impact weapons will do the trick here. This is where all your time in the gym lifting heavy things in a ballistic manner comes into play. The ability to generate force and do so repeatedly is going to help us immensely now. Also the time you’ve invested in full contact stick fighting will give you a superior sense of distance, timing, power generation, and weapons familiarization. Take a moment and look around you. Do a quick inventory of all the improvised weapons available to you. If something happened right now what would you pick up and how would you use it? This is a simple mental exercise you can do regularly as you go about your day. You might be surprised at how easily and quickly you can arm yourself. If you can’t recognize items you could use as an improvised impact weapon or you’re not sure you have the ability to use an impact weapon, fix that ASAP. We don’t get to choose where the fight goes but we can train to have the skills to handle whatever is thrown our way.

Next post we’ll get into in-fight access of edged weapons and firearms. Until then focus on the positive, train hard, and stay dangerous.

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