Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Decision To Defend

When I was in Junior High I went to an outdoor fair the school had. I don’t remember what month it was but it was already hot and toward the end of the school year in Arizona. I went to this activity with a friend of mine, Mike. Both of us were tall skinny 14 year olds. We weren’t very big and a swift wind would blow us away. Toward the end of the activity we decided to leave. The school was designed with the hallways outside. There were corridors connecting the buildings and in these corridors were where the lockers were located. Some of these corridors were closed with rolling gates. As we were making our way through the school to the street we chose the wrong corridor. We were jumped by 5 “courageous” young men who initially asked for money. We didn’t have any money so they proceeded to beat on us. Well we were skinny and wiry kids and so they got in a few punches and kicks but we were scared and took off like rockets! I think I had a bloody nose and somehow found my glasses. We went over to the Tastee Freeze and called our parents. Our parents called the police and we gave them a description the best we could. I went home and went straight to bed with a headache. I was woken by my Mother who said the police were here with some guys in their car they wanted me to identify. My Mom was afraid to let me but I insisted. They were the guys. I smiled at them and said to the cop “That’s the skumballs that jumped us.”
That is story number one. This next one is story number two.
I was in the military on a training mission in a Central American country. We thought it was just going to be a routine training mission we had been on before when everything went sideways. We were all in combat gear and in a place that was defendable. We had plenty of food, water, and ammo. We were in a very good defensive position. But we were basically ambushed in what turned into a 3 day siege where we lost 4 guys as the 30 of us fought what was thought to be about 250 men. We got out of there by the skin of our teeth and a few days later the guys that attacked us were wiped out by a superior force. After 2 days of several battles a day and through the night you started to think that this was going to be your life. But from that experience and the story above I made some decisions about my life.
1. I would never be a victim again
2. I would never be ambushed or surprised again
3. I would learn whatever it took to be successful with numbers 1 and 2
This is my background of why I have become such a proponent of defending oneself and our loved ones. I became a weapons instructor in the 80’s when some instructors still advocated the revolver. There is nothing wrong with a revolver, just look a Jerry Miculek. But soon auto loaders dominated the defense world and the military got on board. I had the distinct opportunity of training military members in the use of the Colt 1911, the Smith and Wesson Model 15 revolver, and the M9 Beretta. In my opinion more guns, more fun! Even though I maintained an “Expert” status with a revolver, I’ve never been very good with one. I only own a few.
In the military I was also asked to write a curriculum for teaching situational awareness (SA) in combat. So me and another sergeant researched and developed a lesson plan for teaching SA. SA made a big difference in my survival in the two incidences above. The former was a lack of SA, in the latter SA literally saved my hide several times.
I’ve talked about SA a lot because I believe it can save you a lot of problems. Just as you can’t be focused on the road 5 feet in front of your car, looking ahead keeps you out of problems that can arise. Can you always be in Yellow? Really? What about when you are reading a book? A map? A menu? It’s impossible to be safe from an ambush, but you can turn the odds in your favor by just paying attention. I’ve talked a lot about the Cooper Color Codes. They are:
In condition white, you are relaxed and unaware of what is going on around you.
Ideally, you will only be in condition white when asleep, but realistically we often drop our guard when we are at home or in some other environment we assume to be safe.
In condition yellow, you remain relaxed, but are aware of who and what is around you.
This merely means that you are paying attention to the sights and sounds that surround you whether you are at home or moving in society. In comparison to condition white, you simply have moved your alertness to a level of attention that will prevent you from being totally surprised by the actions of another person.
You are not anticipating a threat, but rather keeping your awareness on your surroundings and the other people around you.
In condition orange, you have identified something of interest that may or may not prove to be a threat. Until you are satisfied that no threat exists, your “radar” will stay focused on that possible threat (but not to the point where you are oblivious to other possible threats).
If you are well trained, your subconscious mind will be visualizing “what if” situations as possible solutions should an attack take place.
If the focus of your attention in condition orange does something you find threatening, you will shift to condition red.
Notice here that condition Red IS NOT the firing stroke. Instead, condition red simply changes the focus of your attention from a potential threat to a potential target. You will draw your weapon, or move still further to sight acquisition, only if the potential target’s actions dictate such a response.
If you are attacked in red, you should be fully prepared to defend yourself. Whether or not you have a gun in hand or on target will depend on the circumstances, but mentally, you are already ahead of the game.
These codes are only a guide to try and live with. No one will ever be perfectly focused on everything around them at all times. With practice, you can be pretty good most of the time.
I gravitated toward guns but had the opportunity to receive training in other less than lethal weapons and in some hand-to-hand combat. You may pick another option other than firearms. But whatever you do, be serious about it. Just like taking care of our bodies exercising we need to be well trained and experienced in defense. Like exercising, defense training should be scheduled and often to stay skilled and competent. Otherwise, like exercise, doing it sporadically will make you weaker and much less prepared.
Look at your own life. Use a little introspection and see if you can pinpoint some events that would move you toward taking care of your own self-defense. If you don’t have any experiences to draw from, consider those close to you or those you most respect. Can you draw upon their experiences? It has been said that wise people learn from their own mistakes. But superwise people learn from OTHERS mistakes, or experiences.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

My Suggestions For Church Defense

With the changing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints policy on firearms and “lethal weapons” I’ve had a few requests for training that would improve your chances in an active killer (I hate calling them shooters, the police are shooters, these people are killers). So I’ve put together some things I’m sharing with my family. I’m sending them a DVD of these things. They are not all mine so I can’t sell them or give them to you but I can tell you where to find them to train yourself, or your family. Don’t be fooled, reading an article, or seeing a video is not real training. Seek out real, competent training where you live. These things are only a glimpse of what is really needed. After being trained you must practice. Without these two things, training and practice, you can fool yourself into believing you can handle an attack. With these two things, training and practice, you can begin to learn what you will need to survive an active killer or criminal attack.
Here are some of my recommendations:
Read First!
October 2019
Pre-advice before you choose a self-defense weapon or method.

Get trained. Most of us have busy lives. We have children and homes, jobs and callings. Learning about defense can easily take a back seat to life. That is OK as long as you eventually get to it. Look for a course on the use of these weapons where you live. If you are so inclined you can find these classes in other places and put aside the time and money for them. Once you receive training, set up a practice or training schedule. As we make time to exercise we should make time to practice the defensive skills we learn. Unlike physical exercise your defense training schedule can be monthly or quarterly. Reviewing simple training and getting “hands on” real life training is not difficult. Setting up some simple drills can mean the difference between real defense, and a false sense of security. Skills are perishable. Do not get caught into thinking you will react the same under the stress and pressure of a real attack as you did during a course 2 years ago. Training and practice are extremely important. With training you need to know the limits and the implications of the weapon you choose to defend you and yours with. Some “non-lethal” weapons can be lethal if not used properly.

Be lawful. Find out the laws where you live. Don’t just take the advice of someone you may ask or internet information, make sure you get real information about the laws concerning defense where you live. Look for “stand your ground” laws or “castle doctrine”. Some of the weapons I’ve suggested may be illegal where you live. Also, don’t get information and then never look again, laws change all the time and you must be aware.

Be aware that non-lethal is just that, non-lethal. Sometimes without the threat of death an attacker will continue on and “take his chances”. Make sure if you use non-lethal weapons and you temporarily stop the threat, that you can escape and get to safety. A good blast from pepper spray may stop someone but not everyone. The effects will eventually stop and then the attacker will just be mad.

Choose and use these weapons prayerfully and with sense. You will be lead to what is best for you and your family in their safety and security.

Watch First!

Into the Fray Episode 56: Defense Without A Gun?


Defensive Mindset Personal Defense Network
By Bob Pincus
Could not find the video

The Master speaks on: Mental Color Code
By Jeff Cooper
Look on the internet for a copy of Color Code in print.

Personal Defense Tips: Firearms Training - The OODA Loop
By Bob Pincus

Threat Indicators

You can find this on the internet
Staying Alive When Rules Don't Apply
By Tim Larkin



ASP Techniques: Defensive Tactics

Tactical Pens

Focused Impact Volume 1: A Practical Course In Self-Defense With Tactical Pens

Pepper Spray
Self Defense Tips - How to Use Pepper Spray

Choosing Pepper Spray
Pepper Spray Review - The Pretty Loaded Field Test

Hand to hand combat

Geoff Thompson on real violence-The Fence

The Fence - Geoff Thompson - Clip 1

How to throw a throat punch (Extreme Self-Defense)
https://youtu.be/rLMX BOYNOw

The Elbow Spike

Focused Impact Volume 2: A Practical Course In Self-Defense With Tactical Pens

Pepper Spray

Self Defense Tips - How to Use Pepper Spray

Knife Fighting

Knife Fighting 101- Black Scout Combatives

Stun Gun
I haven’t found good training information or videos on this weapon. I’ll keep looking.

Please take all of this information as a beginning. Get competent training and then practice. Be careful and don’t think that anything here is earth shattering material. This is only a tool to give you a background in these subjects. I put the mindset first because the proper mindset can keep you out of more trouble than being a professional with any of these weapons or techniques will. Also, learn the laws of your state and maybe even county or city. But some of these things may be illegal. Know what you’re doing.

These weapons are not considered lethal even though all of them have killed in the past. They are not designed to be lethal, maybe that’s the key. Even a hammer can be lethal but that’s not what a hammer is for. So in an effort to remove ambiguity from the Church’s firearm policy, they decided to make it clear on guns, and muddy on everything else. It does bother me a little that the Church believes the Constitution to be inspired all but the 2nd Amendment. It’s something I can live with.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Overwatch: Drill of the Month For October

Measuring Progress Drill
This is a great drill to find your baseline of accuracy and gauge your improvement over time. It is good practice to have drills that allow you to have measurable outcomes and a tool to see your progression. Trainers recommend this drill for those who are attempting to find the gun that allows for the best accuracy. This drill uses 50 rounds for the five different sequences of 10 shots each.
• Start with five loaded rounds.
• Set target at 3 yards.
1. Place spare rounds within reach.
2. Fire one shot at target's center, follow through for one second and then return to low ready position.
3. Raise pistol and fire two shots, one second follow through and return to low ready.
4. You will want to repeat the previous action, but will fire three shots this time and reload for the third shot.
5. Bring the pistol up and shoot the center four times, one second follow through and place your firearm on the bench.
6. Bring in target, record your marks made in body scoring area. The outer scoring area and the head do not count in this drill.
7. Write your score as (3) X/10, where the number in parenthesis is the yards, X the number within range and 10 is the number of shots fired.
Repeat the drill again at 5, 7, 10 and 15 yards.

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page for more drills

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Ammo Shortage of 2008 and Gunbot.net

2008 Brought many crazy things. The stock market collapsed and politics was fully engaged. Barack Obama was just elected and that scared the heck out of every supporter of the second amendment! I think that’s probably how it started. President Obama had made some noise in his campaign about gun control and many believed stricter laws were imminent. So many started to buy up all the ammo they could find creating a “run” on ammunition throughout the country. This also happened somewhat in 2012 after the Sandy Hook shootings. When this “crisis” started I decided on buying reloading components instead of ammo. That proved to be a bonus for me because the shortage had not hit primers yet, although it eventually did. It didn’t affect me a lot because I’ve always had an inventory of ammunition. What worried me some was that I would start to deplete that inventory and not be able to replace it. It turned out that I didn’t have to worry and things bounced back. During this time of uneasiness I found a great place to search for ammo. Gunbot.net
This site is great for finding what you need in the area of ammunition, reloading components, and magazines. I like the no nonsense way this site is set up and that they tell you when something is out of stock or not. It also will show you the total price of ammunition but also the price per round. You can set your “good deal” threshold which means you can pick a price per round that you’re looking for and the site will let you know in red letters or a “beep alert” that you can set. I found this site easy to use and simple (like my brain). Now, I know that there are other similar sites out there but this was the first one I came across and it helped in my time of “need”. There is even a list of retailers that they follow on this site that is ever growing.
I am grateful even in these times of plenty that gunbot.com is out there. It’s easy to find what I need fast. Check it out
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Learning Threat Indicators

Back in my misspent youth I spent some time in the military. It was there I learned some skills that I probably will never use again in my life. I took a tactical driving course given by the State Department back in the 80’s. I have never had to perform a “J” turn in regular life yet. I also learned, and practiced, building clearing. This is actually one skill that I have used once. But the hand-to-hand combat training really has had its advantages. I don’t get in a lot of fights. But in the military I often found myself around those who had been drinking. With the training I had I was able to stop altercations before they turned into something ugly. Recognizing an imminent attack is something that most humans don’t even realize can be done. Most attackers don’t realize that they broadcast their intentions, sometimes very loud! Body language is something that each of us as humans have. Here are some of the indicators:
Blading/Change of Stance: Body ‘blading’ happens when the aggressor puts his strong foot slightly behind him so that his body is bladed, setting up his strong hand to have more power (fighting stance). He is subconsciously setting up his attack.
Fist Clenching or Pumping: One of the side-effects of the fight-or-flight response is that blood is pulled from the extremities into the large muscle groups and major organs. Due to vasoconstriction in the hands and fingers, a natural response is to pump or clench them. It is also a physical manifestation of his plans to strike you.
Trembling: Due to adrenaline, you may notice trembling of the hands or knees. It’s just another indicator that the aggressor is in an agitated state. This is not necessarily a sign of fear, rather it is another physical manifestation of the huge amount of adrenaline coursing through the body, readying it to strike and fight.
Rapid Breathing: Again, this is another indication of agitation and stress. Breaths frequent to distribute oxygen to the large muscles, the heart rate goes up and the body is in a state of excitement.
Avoiding Eye Contact: This could mean a few different things or a combination of them. When a person is trying to mentally process the situation in an agitated state, it is difficult to multitask (hold your attention and think of a plan and psyche himself up). It could also be an attempt to lull you into a sucker punch (i.e. looking over your shoulder so that you turn your face).
Posturing: It is common among many animal species as well as us humans. One of the main indicators is puffing up the chest to make one appear larger and flaring the arms a bit out to the side to make it look like their muscles are pushing their arms out so as to appear more muscular, or lowering the head as if ready to charge.
Bobbing and Rocking: This is similar to trembling and fist clenching above. With the adrenaline getting pumped into their systems, the aggressor may display odd movements. He may bounce up and down, rock back and forth, sway, or bounce his fists up and down. This is an outlet for the dump of extra energy, and indicates a subconscious preparation for action.
Hiding the Face: An aggressor on the verge of attacking may attempt to conceal their stress and excitement by turning their head or hiding their faces. This may also be seen when an aggressor wipes his face, slicks back his hair, scratches his nose, wipes his mouth etc.
Focused Attention: AKA “target glances”. Focused and/or repeated attention on a particular body part such as the chin or groin showing where they will probably strike, or to your gun if you open carry.
Thousand Yard Stare/delayed responses: The person seems to be looking through you/seems to glaze over or "gone". He is mentally shutting down and is ready to go on aggressive physical autopilot. See above “avoiding eye contact”. Attacker is preparing his next move and may be slow to respond to questions. Blink rates may noticeably go way up or way down as their body preps for contact.
Pacing: the adrenaline running through the attacker’s body provides an immense, abnormal burst of energy. This may be manifested by pacing to relieve the body's excited energy.
Scanning/looking over their shoulder/your shoulder: looking for witnesses, their friends/backup, law enforcement, your friends
Mouth/Jaw activity: licking of lips, clenching of the jaw, pursing of the lips, chin jutting forward, lips become pale, talking to themselves out loud or under their breath working themselves up, suddenly setting their jaw- if jaw was relaxed it is suddenly clenched in preparation to better take a counter-strike.
Flaring of nostrils- goes along with rapid breathing- flared nostrils allow for more oxygen intake.
Increase in pulse- can be visible in the neck arteries, sometimes veins in forehead can protrude.
Sweating- profusely, suddenly
Dilation of pupils: eyes widening or squinting noticeably- varies by person.
Excessive animation: unnaturally moving a lot, especially with the hands/arms. This could be to try to trick you into thinking he is just gesturing when it is really serving to cover a coming strike.
Moving the hands up to the face or chest area: he is trying to minimize the distance from his fist to your face
Pointing/poking/pushing: Poking a pointer finger into the chest is an indicator that they are not yet ready for a strike and need to be “pumped” up some more, they are looking for you to say/do something to take them to the next step of being validated in hitting you. Pushing/shoving is also another way a person can make physical contact in an aggressive manner when not yet ready to strike.
Usually at least one of these signs can be seen in an attacker before the attack has actually happened. Sometimes stepping “off the X” is enough to give you time to react. If you detect one of these signs it may give you time to get away or defuse the situation. Nevertheless, knowing these signs can give precious seconds to prepare for what is coming. Doing your best to never be in a situation where someone would feel compelled to attack you is always the best course. The best fight to be in is the one that never happens. But if you find yourself in the wrong place, or with the wrong people, these signs can be invaluable. Always remember the defensive ADD, avoidance, deterrence, diffusion.
Semper Paratus
Check 6