Monday, January 25, 2016

Self-Defense: Plan A, B, And C

As I was at the range I ran into a Law Enforcement (LE) officer who I’d met there before. He is a federal officer with 20+ years in LE. In the course of our conversation we got on the subject of improvised or unusual weapons. I told him my son has a “samurai sword” next to his bed. It’s a replica of course but it is sharp. My friend told me a story he had read about a woman defending herself with a similar sword. I looked up the article.
Indy Star October 10, 2015
“When a man broke into Karen Dolley’s home on Thursday night, her training in medieval combat came in handy. So did her sword.
The 43-year-old woman said she awoke around midnight to the voice of a man in her house near 10th Street and Emerson Avenue on Indianapolis' Eastside.
She leapt out of bed, turned on the lights and saw him standing in her living room, she said. Then her instincts kicked in.
Dolley, standing 5-foot-6, said she immediately attacked, punching him about 10 times and cornering him in her bedroom.
She reached for her gun in a nearby drawer, but she accidentally opened the wrong drawer during the chaos of the moment, so her gun wasn’t there.
She reached for her backup weapon, a Japanese-styled sword called ninjato, which she keeps near her bed. Her intruder crouched in the bedroom as she held him at sword-point until police arrived, she said.
She called 911 and police arrived within two minutes, she said.
Police say Jacob Wessel, 30, of Greenwood, was arrested after forcing his way through the house's backdoor. Wessel, standing at 5-foot-10, was later charged with residential entry, a Level 6 felony…
…When Dolley called police, she said she was in control of the situation, but there was a brief scare when the intruder reached his hand into a pocket. That's when Dolley applied more pressure into the sword and told him to stop moving.
“I’m really, really glad I didn’t have to do anything more,” Dolley said. “I know I could do it, but I don’t want to do that.”
Wessel was sent to the hospital because he was high on an unknown substance, according to police reports.
He actually apologized on his way out, Dolley said. Now, Dolley is only upset that the intruder ruined her sleep and angered her cat.
“At the end of the day, I’m glad to know that even if I wake up in the middle of the night, I’m not going down without a fight,” Dolley said.”
This is a perfect example of fight or flight instincts. Not printed above was the comment from a self-defense school who advised people to get away first and fight only if you have no choice. I tend to agree with that philosophy. This woman jumped right in to defend herself and her home. I’m not sure of her motivation for being so aggressive but whatever the reason, if confronted with a situation where you feel you need to fight, do as she did. Before the burglar could even react, it seems she was on him. She smacked him and probably just stunned him because of her aggression. It doesn’t sound like she really did much damage but the shock of being attacked may have given her the time to get a weapon. I would not recommend a sword but apparently she had some real experience and training with this weapon so for her it was not a problem. As I said before, flight is always better than fight. Risk is risk. The more you can eliminate risk to bodily harm the better.
But I do like her attitude toward self-defense. She was trained in more than one weapon and had them available. She also had a Plan B. In the stress and pressure of the fight she opened the wrong drawer. That is a very real act that can and will happen in a fight. Instead of rifling through other drawers, she changed her OODA Loop position and grabbed a different weapon. All of this was after a physical altercation. So actually the gun was Plan B and the sword was Plan C. The versatility of these options is what we need to have in our defense plans. Seldom does anything go exactly as we’d planned so additional plans are necessary. Training in more than one area of self-defense is always good for versatile defense plan.
Improvised weapons are always available but we have to have that mind set. A frying pan, a baseball bat, a fireplace poker, or a kitchen knife can all be used as a weapon. There would be nothing wrong with walking through your house and observing what is there that can be used as a weapon in a pinch. Grabbing those items and practicing on a pillow or punching bag would be a good idea. Pre-positioning weapons would also be a good idea. Remember safety in this especially with children. A unsecure gun or knife will not be any good if your child, or visiting child, gets to it. The likelihood of actually having to use these weapons are slim but if you experience this small percentage you would want a way to defend yourself.
Remember that your gun is not your primary weapon. It is number 3. Number one is your mind.
2 is your body. Learn vulnerable points of the body that you can strike to cause damage. One you cause damage, cause more damage until you feel you can turn your back on your assailant. One they are no longer a threat, stop. You may have to account for your actions in a court and you need to be justified in what you do. If you can't "fight to your gun", then you're missing the most critical training you'll ever need - yes, even more important than getting that tight shot group down at the range. Want to test this theory? Get a training weapon, trainer gun or airsoft, (do NOT use a real gun!), and have someone hit you with cushions or improvise foam rubber “strikers”. Then try to draw your practice gun or get to it. You may find you can’t do it. Often fighting comes before the draw. Get that training. I recommend Target Focus Training ( You do not need years of martial arts training but some training and practice is required.

As with the above article Karen used several weapons that she was trained in to defend herself. This should be your mindset.

Semper Paratus
Check 6