COMBAT MIND SET Feed

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 →


For the past few years we have mentioned the importance of mindlessness, or the ability to react skillfully, perfectly and spontaneously to a threat. We have also discussed the way to attain those skills, to develop the pattern-less/system-less ability to improvise to an unexpected event. Those attributes, by the way, are the keys to winning the reactive fight. I don't care how well or accurately you shoot. If you do not have the ability to move on demand, quickly and dynamically as you draw the weapon and counter attack, you will lose and you will die. We show that time and time again in our force on force sessions. In the reactive realm it is all about timing and about not getting shot. As we focused harder and deeper on the development of the gunfighter it became clearer that the method to get our gunfighters to the level we wanted them to be was not via more range training, nor more force on force. The methodology had been laid out a long time ago and it was something that some... Read more →


In years past we submitted the idea of The Gentleman Killer. As anticipated the fearful ones in the training industry all grabbed their chests in angst. But in a world of scruffy, saggy-panted, man cubs the real world image of the Gentleman Killer is exactly what is necessary as an example of the way things ought to be. Jonathan Nobody posted a list of attributes on warrior talk. Here is a link to that discussion - warriortalk His list is a very good one. What is conspicuously missing from the attributes of the Gentleman Killer? Uncontrolled emotion. In truth, emotion is a tool and the show of it is a weapon. You control it, not the reverse. Political motivations. Marx was wrong...it is politics and not religion that is the "opiate of the masses". Defensive exculpatory positions when challenged. Learned men will recall their Macbeth and not "protest too much". What should be there? Mission focused and goal oriented with a firm held belief that nothing is impossible. Well spoken and sharply articulate to get the point across and have... Read more →


SUAREZ INTERNATIONAL WILL NOT HAVE A MEMORIAL DAY SALE We make plenty of money during the year. Memorial Day is not a day for us to focus on selling things at attractive prices...not for us. That day is for celebrating and remembering fallen brothers and sisters. For raising a glass to them, perhaps wiping away an errant tear, and for vowing to remember what they stood and died for. Until Valhalla. Read more →