COMBAT MIND SET Feed

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 do...be 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 event...to 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 →


We have all heard the analogy of the indian and the arrow. It is true, a skilled indian - or in this case "archer" - can do amazing things with less than optimal equipment...and we all hope to be that man. But the skilled archer with the best arrow and bow will be able to express his skills to a much higher level than if he was equipped with less optimal gear. I have a S&W 686 in my safe. It is the epitome of the police service pistol circa 1985. It went with me into harm's way for many years, and if it is what I had in my belt when I faced a trio of terrorists, I would be very thankful for it and go into battle smiling knowing that I would accomplish my mission well and artfully. But if I had a choice, and of course we all do, I would opt for what I am carrying now - a Suarez modified Glock 17 - as it would afford me the ability to express my skills with... Read more →


We live in a curious time. While the west has been at war for nearly two decades, most men still live in comfortable homes with few things lacking. And fewer have seen hardship...the sort of hardship that changes one's world view. And so they move through their lives inhabiting grown men's bodies, but with the emotions and mental toughness of kids. Toughness is something one builds and develops, not something one is given at birth. And toughness builds an emotional maturity that allows a man to control his emotions. We all have breaking points, but the breaking point if a tough man is farther down the road. Hemingway was once asked in a long ago magazine article to describe toughness or "guts". He said it was grace under pressure. Kipling wrote about it as well (and it is a sad and unfortunate thing that so few will have ever read either of these men) "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you. If you can trust yourself when all men... Read more →


HOW TO REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE FOCUS OF THE INVESTIGATION

By Detective Wendell White This is a forum for dangerous people, who may one day find themselves in dangerous situations doing dangerous things. After dangerous things are done there is the inevitable reckoning, at least most of the time. To assist in preparation for the reckoning from a lethal force event we had an outstanding training opportunity with Brent in Washington this past Saturday. I just want to discuss one of dozens of issues covered, in the simple hope it will assist dangerous people to continue doing dangerous things to dangerous people for a very long time - the investigative "time out." This isn't a secret, but by the comments in the class wasn't especially known, so for the good of all I'll mention it here. The initial police contact will involve into an investigative detention. The investigative detention, with its particular court-afforded latitude to law enforcement may allow reasonable suspicion to evolve into probable cause. When dealing with reasonable suspicion and probable cause a natural byproduct may, depending on custodial issues, be the advisement of one's constitutional rights. These... Read more →