Your Assignment Should You Choose To Accept It

Very good article over at Active Response Training.

I will be doing the homework assignment as well as thinking of other options. What about you??

19 thoughts on “Your Assignment Should You Choose To Accept It

  1. Interesting scenario.

    When out with my family, my view has always been essentially: people get one warning to step away; my family’s personal space is my personal space.

    He gets a warning, which also means he gets a choice. He gets to choose whether he wants to escalate the situation or not.

    So, how would one train for that scenario? I don’t think you can. I think all one can do is be aware of your surroundings, observe people, be cordial and polite, and ensure you have the necessary tools (and skills to use them) when needed.

    What if the perp has positioned himself between you and your spouse? Then he gets a warning.

    But what if he doesn’t comply? He already had a warning and he chose to escalate the situation to physical contact. Like it or not, you’re now engaged.

    But what if he’s bigger than you? Doesn’t matter. You’re engaged and he got a warning.

    But what if?

    Be aware of what’s happening around you. Stand up and take action.

    Or, in this case, distilled down to its simplest form: shoot, move, and communicate — not necessarily in that order.

    • @John – some ideas on how to train for this

      You train for this by getting someone to keep coming at you in spite of your commands/actions. No guns allowed in the training area – your finger will do just fine for this. Start off at 1/2 speed except for the verbal commands. Your training partner just ignores you and keeps on coming until you have figured out a resolution to the problem they are presenting you with – the aggressive panhamdler, the “can I bum a cigarette/light?”, the “I lost my puppy, will you help me find it?”, or the “are these your keys? I think you dropped them”. Your training parttner can decide to be evil-intent or just persistent but has to keep in that role through the specific event. They can either keep pushing at you until you “do something” to end the encounter or they can terminate their action based on your “solution” to the event.

      You get to decide if and when any weapon comes out and when it then goes into play. Just announce what you are using – “I take out OC and hose you down for 30 seconds” or “I drop all my groceries but the plastic sack of canned corn and prepare to use it like a mace” or “I draw my pistol but do not shoot you – when you get even closer I’m going to beat you with it.” Any training event can be stopped at any point and restarted from the beginning or any point after that – giving you the chance to try something different (better? maybe.).

      When you have a good feel for what you might do (every time through should, like real life, start out differently and end differently) go from 1/2 time to full speed still with no weapons, then to running through with training-safe weapons – blue guns or zip-tied real ones.

      I hope you will do your level-1 training out in public just so you can see the public’s reaction to your behavior – it will probably open your eyes. And if the cops do show up, act nice and explain what you are doing, Even the anti-gun/anti-rights cops seem to understand training although they might suggest going somewhere less public.

      These are not my ideas, just a really condensed version of various trainings (some formal, some very ad hoc) I’ve been engaged in over the years. Anybody who wants to can create a curriculum with this as the base idea. (AGirl – that’s a hint. Talk it over with John.)

      stay safe.

      • John, exactly what Skidmark replied and also for me one of the main reasons I continue to post these kinds of “exercises” is to get people thinking. Many times we read something and it doesn’t motivate us to action. My hope is that one of these will appeal to someone and in turn get them thinking and then doing. Even if it is just one more thing then they did before. Is there a clear cut answer to every scenario…no. Being aware, being calm, and reading the situation at hand are the key, but thinking, planning, and training all help with the on the spot kinds of situations.

  2. No need to do “homework” on this – I’ve been playing this and other “what-is”s about/in the supermarket for years*. I left a comment and a spoiler you may want to look at and also discuss with the SM. Your kids are also old enough to discuss some very basic “what-if”s and E (it is E, right?) may actually benefit most from knowing she can (and how to) take back some control if things go south again.

    stay safe

    *Just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you.

  3. Those are actually some very good things to think about. Even tho I’m male, 6’4″ and 280lbs I do the “shopping cart behind” trick myself. You can’t be aware 360, especially when you’re focused on paying for your groceries.
    The OTHER thing, that WASN’T mentioned, is that any fight you get into is ALWAYS a gun fight because there will always be a gun present: yours. What would you do in that scenario if the badguy DIDN’T pull a gun or knife, but was wooping your butt anyway? At what point do you pull a gun on an _unarmed_ attacker? If you DO draw on an unarmed attacker, can you follow thru and actually shoot them? Is not, what keeps them from taking your gun away from you? Remember, they were kicking your butt to begin with or you wouldn’t be in this situation. Shooting somebody who is armed is relatively easy. Shooting someone who’s not isn’t so much… but what are your other options?

  4. So, if you’re armed and some dude pushes past you to get a peek at the PIN #, and you challenge them physically/verbally, isn’t this escalation? Better to direct attention to the spouse and ignore the BG as best as possible. Leave! You can always buy groceries some other time, some other place.

    Get out of there!

    • Leaving is a very choice. I am a big fan of just trying to avoid, avoid, avoid. Who knows when one is in the situation if leaving will be possible, but if so do it! I have no way of knowing, but I truly feel I had time to leave or withdraw before I was mugged. Had I had the presence of mind to do so I might have avoided the whole ugly mess.

      For anyone else who perhaps realizes they could have made a better choice…IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. Blame no, but lessons to be learned and applied yes.

  5. I love Active Response Training. I always learn something new – though running “what if” scenarios is pretty common for me. If you never think about what a bad guy might do, you’ll never have a plan. My kids and I used to play the what if game a lot together. It gave us time to talk things through and they often came up with solutions I hadn’t thought of.

    • Us too! We love the what if game. We do that a lot and we also be sure to include a lot of what not to do and how to know a bad guy from a good one. My 6 old who is mad at the kid on the playground for shoving him a bit too hard on his way to the football, is annoying yes, but not a BG and thus is not a threat…

  6. I don’t enter my pin without my other hand blocking the view of others. If someone is looking, I don’t enter it. I suppose if it got bad and the perpetrator were as out of control as this one was, I would hit cancel and leave the store, calling the police outside. My state covers me to fire on someone in my home or on my farm. I am reluctant to engage someone by pulling a firearm in a place as crowded as a grocery store. Although I carry a semi-automatic weapon any time we are out, I will only pull and fire when I have no other option. In the article scenario, I could have left. Let the police get this nutbag.

  7. I do this also, and always keep the familiy ahead of me in line. Also, someone grabs the first heavy bag off the turntable and just holds it just in case… As for the physical, a straight arm/open palm to the nose WILL stand somebody straight up.

  8. Combination, or layers of defense.

    Shopping cart behind us and at an angle. Me positioned such that wife has an escape path out towards the exit, but me such that I can follow/respond but also block those behind if necessary. If anybody other than the sacker comes up from the ‘clear’ exit area, I reposition the cart to be more in the way and move to be in the middle. Wife never notices it.

    We stopped using ATM/Debit cards at places if checks are okay. We’ve gone back to that when paying at stores. But if we have to, we’ll process the debit card as credit to avoid keying in pin numbers with people around. But that will depend on the situation.

    My wife is trained in Tae Kwon Do and I have a black belt in Combat Hapkido. Close in grappling, kick, punch, grab defenses are not an issue. I trained with a prison guard as a fellow student who was 6’5 and 245 or so. Strong as an ox cart. No problems getting him to comply when done right and I’m only 5’10” 175 lbs. 🙂

    I’ve had people follow us before in the supermarket when we were shopping and it started to set off the bells in my head. he kept looking in our direction, looking for items around us, etc. I went one way, this guy went another, following the wife. He stopped when she stopped and went when she went. After observing, I went back and told her it was just time to go. We left the cart where it was (only 3-4 things in it at that point), and got out. Mentioned to the manager on duty at the service desk that we observed somebody acting suspiciously and following us through the store. Even tried to follow us out, but at a distance.

    With movement of my strong arm to my hip (without showing anything but making perfectly clear I see him and know he’s up to something) put him on his heels to go to the store next to the grocery store.

    The biggest issue I see is maintaining that space around you and your family, regardless of location. Even in a crowded mall, I like to ensure we have our space. My wife is claustrophobic, so that helps. Combine the maintenance of personal space with situational awareness (and yes, a degree of paranoia), you’ll avoid most confrontations.

    • Wow Paul…great comment.

      Maintaining space is tricky. I think having my kids in toe is both what helps me stay focused and what distracts me.

      I left a grocery store once for that same reason. M and I both noticed a man entering the same aisles us and never putting anything in his cart.

  9. My plan is to block the attacker’s blows with my face until he gets tired, then use his fatigue to my advantage, and run away.

    My wife would be a critical force multiplier in this area, by hanging on the attacker’s back like a spider monkey. She would also use intense sound to disorient the individual by screaming directly in his ear like a banshee.

    It works. I swear. We tested it.

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