1). Defense does not exist – there is attack and there is counter attack 2). Everything begins and ends with marksmanship 3). Justify Shooting first 4). You must understand the role of initiative in the fight 5). Remember that it is not about the score, it is about killing 6). Your body must be capable of doing whatever you need it to do 7). Tactics exist to get you an angle for your shot 8). It is not about speed, it is about timing 9). Gunfighting is simply hand to hand combat at 1500 feet per second 10). Live as if there was an enemy around every corner and behind every door 11). The pen is not mightier than the sword, it must be its equal 12). The tiger is good at killing, but the antelope tells the tale Read more →

Some of us are comfortable inwards - at times...and it is the only place, alone, that we can organize the horror and the beauty of the life we have thusfar lived. That periodic "house cleaning" can't be done with others - even with is done alone...and then, once the things are in their proper places, we ask the Lord Commander to come and inspect...and walk with us...and encourage us...and tell us why it was all important. But when that is done, we do not continue walking like ghosts among the living. We enjoy a drink with our brothers, we love our wives, we encourage our children, we sharpen our iron, and we celebrate the life that is gone so easily and so suddenly. Read more →

Today, armor is prolific and common. Armor that withstands rifle fire is also common. You don't know the quality and level of the bad guy's armor. So which is a better tactic? Break through or bypass it? In my 3 vs 1 gunfight (way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) all three bad guys were wearing armor. My default tactic of directing fire toward upper chest and face made such equipment irrelevant. And the most important point is that I was not aware they were wearing armor until later. I don't think you will be aware either. The other point is, that even if you know there is armor, do you know what sort of armor do they have and do you feel lucky enough to test it? Then there is the matter of what if what seems like armor is not really armor but explosives? So the suggested default is to assume armor is present, even if you do not see it initially. And the reality is that you will be dealing with the problem with a CCW-EDC Pistol... Read more →

People want to do what is fun. If it is not fun or entertaining, they tend to avoid it. As a result, they will get good at the fun thing only. That describes perfectly the state of gun skills in the world today. Shooters is how they identify themselves and the act of sending bullets downrange into cardboard or steel, sometimes for a score, is how their pursuit is measured. And there is nothing wrong with that if that is the end goal itself. But if the objective is fighting skill, that is a very incomplete process. It is like a race driver only turning left in a big circle and thinking he is a great pursuit driver, in traffic. Or a cardio kickboxing advocate throwing a flurry of punches into the bag (while the score from Rocky plays in the background) declaring himself ready for a street fight. Not quite. In fact, not anywhere close. What is missing? Let me make a list. 1). Context in relation to an enemy. A piece of immobile steel or stationary cardboard is... Read more →

I want to discuss a topic we see with dogs, but has rarely been ever used to describe humans in conflict. That is Fear Aggression. Look at the two images above. Before reading the rest of the article look at them and see the differences in demeanor, posture, emotion, as well as the outward manifestation of those emotions. On the left we see a small dog baring his teeth. If a picture could have sound you could almost hear the little growl coming from the little throat rolling into a full blow little bark. The little dog is afraid and if he was a human, we would say he was emotional, upset, and loudly acting out those emotions. A fear aggressive dog is dangerous because he is unpredictable and uncontrollable and his fear will lead him to bite even if biting is not what is called for...and even then, those bites will be applied hesitantly and poorly. On the right we see a wolf on the stalk. Look at the image again. There is no fear in the wolf, no... Read more →

I do have a coffee habit. It has gotten better over the years but I still enjoy a couple of cups in the morning and at least one before my workout in the afternoon. So I stopped at Starbucks. I go there for the coffee because I don't do doughnuts and I could not care less the political leanings of the CEO nor the sexual leaning of the barista that makes my special Espresso. Like I said...I go there for the coffee. And I listen while they are making it. I look around, not only in the event a bad guy chooses that place, but also because it is what predators watchful...listen...hear and see. No...I did not shoot a terrorist but here is an example of reading people and listening and making judgements based on what information is presented. The lady in front of me is talking on the phone. She has a northeastern accent...perhaps NY. I look at her clothing. She is dressed well, but trying a little too hard to look "southwestern". The Cartier on her wrist... Read more →

It was July, 1992, right after the Rodney King Race Riots in Los Angeles. My partner Al Acosta and I were assigned to a perimeter surveillance point in Los Angeles on what I recall was a bank robbery take-down. We were both Gang Officers and sported the shaved head, steroided-out looking Gold's Gym physiques and Fu Manchu facial hair. The surveillance was likely going to turn into a gunfight so while attempting to fit into our environs, we were armed to the teeth. Hour after hour we waited with our team, posted in various locations, for the target to arrive. It was hot and staying hydrated meant drinking water. As as many of us know...what is taken in, must go out as well. We were parked in an alley and needing to check my hydration levels, I got out of the Mustang and walked over to a dumpster to check for color of stream. Apparently my cover shirt had ridden over my belt pistol (strong side carry back in the old days) and someone happened to be looking out the... Read more →

Your claim of justified self defense...or defense of others, must fit inside the justification window. Thus your actions must be contemporaneous to the the assault, attack, etc. Contemporaneous means "close to" in terms of timing. So using our framework of decision-making, you can't justify shooting a prospective and potential attacker because you thought, one day, he might seek to harm you. Similarly, you can't justify seeking a subsequent contact with a past aggressor and claim retro-active self defense. This is a point that is so internalized for many of us who've lead a violent lifestyle that we take it for granted, but it bears repeating since so many questions have been raised recently in this theme. The case was a thread on a sexual assault suspect in a bar. At first sight I would question the judgement of going to a loud and boisterous bar where this sort of thing might happen. Having been in a couple of bar fights in my younger years, I'd rather not get into another one. But in truth, this event could happen anywhere,... Read more →

Your training should lead to mindless execution. If it doesn't, then you are wasting your time. Think of what we do in class. Let's say for a contact weapon attack at ten feet away (just outside of hand to hand range). Our strategy for a contact weapon attack, assuming we are armed with a projectile weapon (pistol) is to maintain the distance while we draw and shoot the attacker to the ground. The tactic for doing that is the take off footwork to the 5 o'clock and 7 o' clock lines. So we train that tactic hundreds of times alone without any pressure and without any opponent until we understand how to physically execute the movements. Then we bring in a training partner and with minimal pressure, we drill the technique that supports our strategy in context of application an equal number of times. Once we have a contextual understanding, we turn up the pressure in force on force exercises. This brings physical memorization, understanding of context and combat application. It is what we do and have done for nearly... Read more →