The Definitive Tactics Thread

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The Definitive Tactics Thread

In the recent Podcast; "2 Beers with Steve" we got a chance to expand a little bit on the "combat triad" - a model comprised of three "legs":
1. Mindset
2. Skillset
3. Tactics

So, in the interest of examining these, and how they work, I thought we could review some case studies and discuss and hopefully expand our understanding of what these mean, how they work and fail, and what we can do to create a "balanced" and practical understanding of the combat triad.

BE ADVISED THESE VIDEOS MAY BE VERY GRAPHIC AND CONTAIN BAD LANGUAGE:

1st Video; Mindset:
Success: http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/arizona-video-surveillance-helps-arrest-one-perp-involved-in-shootout-with-homeowner/

Failure: http://www.vladtv.com/video/3473/brutal-fight-mexican-guy-almost-kills-white-boy/
-How did this costly problem occur?

2nd Video; Skillset:
Success:

Failure:


-What happened here to make this end poorly.

3rd Video; Tactics:
Success: http://www.break.com/usercontent/2007/1/USAF-Room-Clearing-101-212475.html

Failure: http://globalgrind.com/content/5149/Akron-Ohio-Pizza-Beating/
-Discuss this guys mindset, tactics and what went wrong.

With regards to each video, I'd like to hear your comments on:
1. This level of proficiency or attitude in question.
2. The successes and failures of EACH video; even in the "success" catagory, there are oversights. What are they?
3. How can we train to overcome these failures, and build on the success?

I intentionally included videos that do not involve firearms, because firearms are not always available, and it's very important to balance your training. Skillset itself could be broken down further into three catagories: Hand to hand, Edged weapons and Firearms. Each of these can be further broken down.

It's extremely important to realize that a large cross section of the criminal element "looks" and "fight" like the guys in some of these videos.

Lets discuss several things that could be "sustained" in each video, and several things that could be improved.

Cheers, and enjoy the exercise.

Aaron

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Aaron,

I'm delighted to see you start this thread. I will monitor it with great interest!

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Woot...!

About time, now what do we kind of do with this...

Hmm...

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Aaron -

Glad to see the thread fire up.  This is one of my all time favorite clips.  Notice how the guy getting chased has complete control over his fighting measure.  At all times he has his back to his escape route and never lets anyone close to a grapple engagement.  He at one point takes a kick to time his opponent  - and promptly dumps the guy on his next kick with a knockout high sweep.  Then follows with a perfectly stride measured straight left for a knockout of a second opponent.

Clearly a skilled boxer - add some muay thai and this encounter would have run about 30 seconds.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Thank you for starting this thread. I know your emphasis is on the physical aspects of defense, but I think much of the mental approach is important for ALL aspects of preparation for the unknown, whether it's home invasion or the sudden cessation of all public services - something I'm anticipating soon here in California.

I'll start by commenting on the first video of the attempted home invasion. Clearly, the intended victim was well prepared. He had video surveillance, a weapon that was easily accessible and enough training to use it. There were some things that bothered me, however. First, the car containing the would be assailants went straight for the house. This means that they had either already cased the place or someone (a cleaning lady, delivery person or day laborer of some sort perhaps) had done it for them. Whoever did it missed the obvious - the video surveillance. Another possibility is that the "victim" and assailants were known to each other, and this was part of an ongoing feud of some sort. At any rate, whatever was going on definitely seemed a little fishy to me.

The more I think about it the stranger it is. Broad daylight. Brandiishing and discharging firearms in plain view. The victim was ready for them. There's more to this than meets the eye.

The victim got off a number of shots but never hit anyone though he appeared to hit the windshield of the car a couple of times. Hard to know if this was deliberate or wild shooting. Obviously you don't want to hit anyone in the back, since that will land you in jail even if you are defending your home. However, they all got away. I would be worried about reprisals, and probably nothing quite so blatant next time.

Whatever else, there were several of them and only one of him. I think he was lucky this time. Had the assailants had any sort of coherent plan of attack he would have probably ended up dead.

Arthur

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread
Aaron Moyer wrote:

1st Video; Mindset:

Success: http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/arizona-video-surveillance-helps-arrest-one-perp-involved-in-shootout-with-homeowner/

Failure: http://www.vladtv.com/video/3473/brutal-fight-mexican-guy-almost-kills-white-boy/
-How did this costly problem occur?

2nd Video; Skillset:
Success:

Failure:


-What happened here to make this end poorly.

3rd Video; Tactics:
Success: http://www.break.com/usercontent/2007/1/USAF-Room-Clearing-101-212475.html

Failure: http://globalgrind.com/content/5149/Akron-Ohio-Pizza-Beating/
-Discuss this guys mindset, tactics and what went wrong.

1st Video's Mindset:

  • Success: Preparation, the guy had video camera's set up to detect possible intrusion, he was prepared, knew where his defensive weapon(s) were, used them effectively enough to enable retreat from the assailants, did not halt his defense until they have UAO (un-assed the area of operations). Tactics,were edgy though, while not on the video shown the guy did spray the opposite side of the street too, which could have cause issues for unintended targets.
  • Fail: Wow talk about overestimating your skills and underestimating your opponent. He appears to have relied on his history and appearence to be intimidating and did not consider that his opponent was a worthy adversary who was unassuming and normal. Skillset wise the guy deserved everything he got, he telegraphed the haymaker he threw, which unbalanced him and added more to the shot he took that put him down. Tactically he also made an error, he tried to end the fight in one big go without fully figuring out his opponents strengths and weaknesses.

2nd Video's Skillset:

  • Success: Guy knows his weapon to a degree that few can master, rapid accurate fire matching full auto but with targetting. I wonder how he does with other weapons though...
  • Fail: Pimp didn't have the skills to pay the bills, I actually think that this closely mirrors the fail in mindset, rather than develop skills that could be used to effectively defend himself, he had not done so, likely relying on his street rep. Coming up against someone with effective training was his downfall. He also telegraphed his hostile intent, and leaned forward (something that's innate in humans is to push your face towards an aggressor), while the guy that flattened him was appearing innocuous (I laughed at the trainer since used to scratch my chin in the same type of situation to perform a roundhouse backfist, or elbow the result was identical to this result).

3rd Video's Tactics

  • Success: Air Force Dudes, were sharp, checked door frame for possible traps before entry (or emulated using det-cord, although entry was to quick for a det-cord door entry). Clean entry covering all points, primary guy swept from the closest quadrant to the furthest quadrant, second entry swept to the next furthest quadrant, well executed, rapid entry, firearms at ready position but not in firing except on entry, final guy was rear guard, at close which was quick all possible threat quadrants were covered by overlapping fields of fire, except rear guard, which was a potentially small attack angle anyway. Only thing I can complain about is they should have been lower (not standing) once they reached their firing positions to get better cover from the building they entered. Although if this was a terrorist house clearing then they likely wouldn't have that cover in the room they entered.
  • Fail: Rule #1 is if you think there is going to be trouble, don't go there, rule #2 is if you think trouble is developing leave in an orderly fashion, rule #3 is if you missed rules 1 & 2 leave at a run. He ignored all of these rules and could easily have left. He wasn't paying attention to the situation developing as he was on his phone, he then acted aggressively to the woman who was causing a ruckus, without realizing that she had a big boyfriend who then got involved, then he appeared beligerent to the boyfriend, finally he wasn't looking when the first punch was thrown. Even after he had acted aggressively towards the girlfriend, he could still have bailed out quickly, and tried to avoid the situation. Situational awareness complete fail.
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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Mindset

Success: This guy was obviously well-prepared and had already thought through the defensive measures necessary. He had the goods and was prepared to use them without hesitation. He didn't call for help or try to negotiate, he just got down to business. He also got everything recorded on tape, covering his ass just in case there was any legal ramifications.

Drawbacks: He might not be that skilled with his firearms... even if he intentionally missed the assailants, several of his shots went wild (across the street, into the neighbors yard). Also, IMO, he was using the wrong weapon... shotgun is much more effective in home invasion scenarios, especially against multiple assailants and it would have minimized some of the collateral damage that could occur in a neighborhood.

Failure: This guy was all talk, no walk. He was hyping himself up during the interview, talking smack about what a bad ass he was. Real bad asses are pretty quiet, they don't have much to prove with words and posturing (like the hispanic guy). The guy was overconfident and seriously underestimated his opponent... he went charging in and got his ass kicked. He relied too heavily on his speed and big swing.

Skillset

Success: Definitely has spent a lot of time practicing and honing his skill with the weapons. Obvious familiarity with the workings of the weapon and the gear... to include customization. The best weapon and gear in the world is useless if it isn't right/comfortable for you.

Drawbacks: If his special competition weapon wasn't available, would he be able to use another as effectively.... that's a big problem with specialization. Basic assumption is that nothing will go wrong with the weapon or ammo... at those speeds, a misfire or hotload could be a serious disaster. The target isn't shooting back, and conditions are optimum... who knows how good this guy would be in a live fire situation in the dark, rain, mud, just woken or without sleep for days.

Failure: The pimp did not have the level of skill that his opponent did. As far as I can tell, the pimp probably didn't have any real fighting skills other beating on his ho's. Not only was this a skillset failure, but also a mindset failure... he completely underestimated his opponent trying to be a bad ass.

Tactics

Success: All directions covered, inspected entry before advancing, man advancing covered, good communication.

Drawbacks: Relied too heavily on gear and gear might have been inadequate... if there really was a terrorist in the building, there could be explosives/biologicals. Should have been quieter or used hand signals... screaming out your position and status is a great way to let the enemy know you're coming, where you are, and how many of you are there.

Failure: Dude was not aware of danger potential and additional threats/combatants (i.e. was anyone dangerous with the loudmouthed bitch?). Even after the big guy stepped in to stand up for his woman, the guy kept interacting with the yappy chick, even to the point of turning his back on the big guy. This guy obviously had zero awareness of who the real threat in the situation was, nor did he attempt to reach a safer location/position when the situation got hinky. 

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GET TRAINING!!!!!!

I copied this post of mine from The Definitive Firearms Thread because I thought it to be that important. It's this noob tactical shooter's first experience with tactical firearm use. That said....

-----------------------------------

OK. First I want to disclaim some stuff before I talk about what I did tonight.

I own a dozen or so firearms, all calibers. I've put tens of thousands of rounds downrange.

I am an avid hunter. I am used to guns.

I'm a top notch shooter at the public shooting range. 1" groupings with regularity.

In fact, I am a GREAT shooter at the public range.

Now...

I joined IDPA last week and went to my first tactical drills session. Instructions from how to draw to stances, aiming, situational awareness, ect..

I realized that I suck. I mean, I suck REALLY badly.

I'm a great target range shooter, but..

start adding in moves, thinking on the fly, drawing, retreat, ect..

and I figure that without training my chances against a typical thug in a firefight are 50:50. (still better than being unarmed and letting a crazed armed intruder decide for me what those odds will be).

I don't like those odds.

Folks. Tactical weapons use is INFINITELY more difficult than shooting at a bullseye. Then again, Gungnir and Aaron said that pages ago.

Trust me, they are right. Get out there. Join IDPA or hire a defensive firearms tutor, enroll in a hands-on course. But get out there.

It left me shaken at how great a shooter I am and how crapper a fighter I discovered myself to be.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Pete,

Like they always say, knowing you have a problem is half the battle. You learned a lot by finding out the difference between target shooting and tactical situations. At least you were smart enough to find out before you needed to know. A lot of (dead) people didn't.

After watching the videos Aaron posted, it also made me realize that tactical awareness is critically important. I hope I have the time to attend enough training classes so that I can be smarter than deader!

Kudos to Aaron for bringing this critically important information to those of us who had their heads in the sand. I'm struggling to get mine out now.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Aaron. A couple of things went awry immediately.

First. I started my very first drills with a big, bulky, and heavy Springfield MIl-standard 1911-A1 .45 ACP. Cumbersome.

Second. It has a right-hand safety. I am a lefty. Awkward. Not only that but the bad guy has three caps in Pete's chest by the time I reach with my right hand, while holding the pistol with my left, to release the safety.

Third. I shot this pistol all day Sunday and had 3 stovepipes. I'm no limpwrist. I should have figured that after about 4,000 rounds that recoil spring was fatigued. It was. Replaced it on site and the stovepiping stopped. Regardless, Pete killed again. LOL

Fourth. Hotshot target range shooter here was flanked by a past local champion and a retired Broward Sheriff officer that's ex-SWAT. Pete looked pathetic. Pressure went up, way up and I started getting confused, and even forgot basic safety procedures that I usually do subconsciously! Put it this way. We were order to put three in the head in rapid sequence. I actually hit the head twice and miseed the target completely on the third. The guy to my left, a past champion of the area, had two holes in the head space a hair's worth of paper apart. But he fired three shots. One of those shots went through one of the two holes. And I swear he did in in less than 1/2 a second. They made me look retarded.

Fifth. First time I ever used a holster. No practice. And it showed. First time using a magazine holder. Anyone realize how embarrassing it is to grab a mag, and try to jam it in backwards because you didn't align them right in the mag holder? No time to think, just do. Well, I didn't think AHEAD of time and looked stupid.

I had two safety issues that I would NEVER EVER do when not under duress. That freaked me out. I'm a safety freak and I broke my code without realizing it until told so.

Wow. Know what this means? 

I have to switch to my lighter, smaller Beretta .40 with the ambidextriouis trigger, get in front of a full mirror, and dry practice every day until the next drill.

Which means as embarrassing as I was, I'm headed right back out there.

50:50 are crappy odds.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Sam. Tonight could have been a lifesaver.

See, at the target range the .45 is no problem. I take my time releasing the safety and then lock on. Also, I don't have to swing that big gun around.

Aaron did me a HUGE favor pushing this issue. Folks, I don't want to come across as a bragadocious ass but I am a dead-eye target shooter.

And against ANY of those IDPA regulars in combat (assume one of them went insane, LOL) I'd have been dropped in less than a second.

Do NOT become overconfident thinking that you're safe because you have a firearm.

You're not. Don't find out the hard way. Give it a go and see how much harder tactical shooting is. Remember, it's not a cap gun so when you bandy that thing about you're completely aware that one wrong move might blow your foot off. One safety failure and you might shoot your neighbor standing next to you. Things go quick, real quick, and you'd better be able to react instinctively.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Mindset -

1) Obviously prepared.  Video (did he see them before they got inside?  Seems as though he did).  Defensive weapons at the ready and seemingly a plan of action that had been rehearsed.  Like Arthur, maybe there is more to this story.  Were the assailants and the victim acquainted?  Why was the iron gate not closed?  Apparent passionate and prepared defense of property and person.

2) Looking for trouble.  Trying to prove superiority without the skills necessary - not prepared.  Even with necessary skills, potential trouble is to be avoided if possible, there is too much potential for bad things to happen.

Skillset -

1) Awesome skills with that weapon in a very controlled setting.  As with Plickety, how would he be in real life scenario. Maybe he is just as accomplished there.  However, that is not to be assumed from this demonstration.

2)  Skills?  We are not sure,although it is likely his skills were far superior to the pimp's.  It was one punch.  To me, the success here was more from a proper assessment of the situation.  When being approached by an obviously aggressive person and you have chosen not to vacate the premisis, you must become the aggressor.  If you have made that decision, be the attacker.  Again, he is taking a chance by pursuing trouble.  He had the mindset, most likely the skillset AND the tactical sense to assure a positive outcome.

Tactics -

1) Obviously rehearsed to the point of subconscious activity.  I don't know enough to critique this one. Although, the building was awfully small to hold anyone.

2) Again, a person seeking trouble.  Did he make inflammatory comments to the woman? If so, he is essentially seeking trouble.  Once he is confronted by the guy he REALLY should have reassessed his intentions and possible outcomes.  Leave as quickly as possible or become the aggressor as soon as approached by the guy. The time for talking is over when someone aggressively approaches.  Don't wait to take the first punch.

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Re: GET TRAINING!!!!!!

Aaron, glad you started this thread. After the TwoBeersWithSteve interview I started thinking more about bad guys in society - the wolves as you call them.  Something struck me today that I thought was a good change in my mindset.  Over the last few weeks I went into two different gun stores.  Both times I noticed a "skinhead" looking guy - shaved head, sleeveless shirt, lots of brightly colored tattoos, pierced body parts, etc.  (I think of them as skinheads because they looked like the neo-Nazi skinheads I saw protesting when I was living in Germany.  After seeing them at protests, my spider senses start tingling whenever I get around someone who looks the same way.)   Both times I was in the stores the guys were buying impressive looking assault weapons.  Now, I'm not saying these were "bad guys" just because of the way they looked but my first thought was "what is it with skinheads and automatic weapons?"  Later as I was thinking about these events I was reminded that when the stuff hits the fan and bad guys are roaming the streets, I'm not going to be able to hold off a band of thugs when they have assault rifles and all I have is a handgun. That's when I realized that I need to have some training and know what to do in different situations.  (Like run out the back door if need be.)  If our town becomes like post-Katrina New Orleans, I'm positive the bad guys will be much more heavily armed than me so I need to be armed with more training then them.  I don't yet know where to get the training but I do think I should get some.

><>Larry

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Being a newbie with a gun and being "an old geezer", I'm not sure how useful I can be here. (Notice how I cover my butt before I even start? That's an old guy trick. )

1st Video; Mindset:
Success: The homeowner shooting at the invaders was interesting if for no other reason than why he was selected. This didn't look like a random home invasion to me. What I took away from it was the need to have a loaded firearm instantly accessible at all times if you think you are likely to be attacked at a moments notice. As for me, I cannot conceive of living like that right now - although I do understand it's not inconceivable in the future.

Failure: This gruesome fight was interesting in the fact that it points out that whoever gets in the first serious punch can usually destroy the other. I'm surprised the white guy wasn't killed. Although, it doesn't look like it would have been much of a loss if he had been removed from the gene pool.

-How did this costly problem occur? Overestimating yourself - underestimating your opponent. Also known as being very, very stupid.

2nd Video; Skillset:
Success: Very impressive shooting. But, like Pete said, being a great shot doesn't mean diddly squat in a real-life nasty situation.

Failure: It was nice to see the black-belt guy take out the pimp. Too bad the damage wasn't permanent!
-What happened here to make this end poorly. I didn't think this ended poorly at all! (Unless you're a loud-mouth pimp who overestimated himself and underestimated his opponent - see above comment about stupidity.)

3rd Video; Tactics:
Success: While an interesting little display, I thought it was meant to be strictly humorous as the "building" was so tiny!

Failure: This "fight" was really ugly . It's a real problem when you're standing around minding your own business and you find yourself attacked by another. Talk about an unfair fight - the huge boy friend sucker-punched the smaller guy - after that it was all over. The poor slob never had a chance. I'm not sure what you wanted us to take away from that one - after all, how can you defend against a sucker-punch when you're not expecting a physical altercation?
-Discuss this guys mindset, tactics and what went wrong. Should he have just walked away after being verbally attacked by the nasty female? Sometimes you can't walk away if the fight comes to you.

The most depressing part? No one came to his aid - either during or after the "fight" was over. Poor guy was left lying on the ground while the other folks just milled around like it was an everyday occurrence - which maybe it was in that neighborhood. Sigh.....

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

A note on situational awareness, threat assessment and underestimating your opponent...  I'm not the world's largest person, I'm a girl, I'm quiet and I get underestimated a lot. I'm always tuned into what's going around me... they call it hypervigilence. I always note the interactions of the people around me... you can spot the real alpha (i.e. threat) from a mile away, they're usually the one who look calm but have serious, watchful eyes. When I think something bad is going to go down, I will try to exit the scene... but on more than one occasion, the troublemakers were watching the big guy when they really should have been watching me, especially since I'd already taken a defensive position near handy weapons. This is a really common mistake.

I think it's also important to know your limitations. My accuracy with a rifle and handgun suck... so I'll reach for my shotgun first. I'm not going to overpower most men with upper body strength alone, but I can seriously put a hurt on them with my legs. I'm completely uncoordinated and my balance sucks, but I'm double-jointed and can bend/twist/turn out most grab-n-holds. Guess what I'm trying to say is that once you have mindset down, skillset and tactics are highly dependent on the individual... you gotta work with what you have to the best effect, not try to follow "the manual".

Pete, your shoot-house stories make me laugh. I know how you feel! I've gone through the shoot-house and the bomb-house a few times myself, and noticed that I did really bad when I was trying too hard to do everything right. I was lucky that the range officer let me go back through and do it "my way", which was technically the "wrong way", but I successfully saved the hostage, eliminated the threat and didn't get myself dead. Weird how that works sometimes :)

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

All,

First, one of the "points" I was fishing for was the importance of recording your training events.
We're only able to troubleshoot these event scenarios because of video. When you train, record it.
You'll humble yourself, it won't always be flattering, but you will learn!
A real quick note, the "Mindset" failure really is every bit as applicable to the "Skill set" failure.
That guy was "Unconsciously Incompetent". This is the absolute worst place to be in terms of "awareness".

In addition to the exercise, think about these terms and who they apply to:
Unconsciously Incompetent
Consciously Incompetent
Consciously Competent
Unconsciously Competent
Here are some of the questions that raised in my mind during each of the given circumstances, please feel free to answer them, elaborate, or ask your own questions:

Mindset:
Success: How many rounds were fired? My estimate is between 6-10. What does that tell us about his weapon selection?
What does the aggressor response tell us about their level of awareness and standing on the "combat triad"?

Failure: This guy represents what I think will be the first class of criminal to disappear during the collapse; the "born trouble" type. Unskilled, incompetent, wild and dangerous only to the unprepared. (edit: or in numbers)
 

Skill set:
Success: Plickety hit the "home run" on this one. Specialization. For extra points, what can we learn from Pete's experience tonight that might add to our analysis of Jerry Miculek's level of ability in shooting, versus his ability to fight?
(Please note: I'm using him as an example, not degrading his skill - I'm certain he'd be a skilled adversary, as this is one event of many that he participates in)

Failure: This scenario could really have been a "skill set/mindset" success video. The karate master is relaxed, at ease; confident.
His adversary, surging on adrenaline, out of control, off balance. Would weapons have changed this event if:
*They were presented while there was a greater distance between the two?
*The Weapon was presented at "contact" range?
 

Tactics:
Success: Good team work, good communication. Just the first decent example I found.

Failure: How was situational awareness the key to the victims failure? Can't really develop a tactical solution if you're unaware that there is a situation!

- Arthur Vibert; Thanks for your comments! You pointed out the nefarious circumstances under which the Success for Mindset occurred! Tell me your thoughts on facing down multiple assailants armed with military rifles, with a handgun. What does this tell us about our "good guy"?

- Gungnir; you tagged a lot of main points, and get extra credit for the "hooah" comment about us Air Force guys ;)

- Plickety; in addition to your "home run" you said "He relied too much on speed and a big swing". Excellent observation. How do you think this guy compares to the pimp in the Skill set fail video? In addition, braggadocio is an alarm. How could you use this in everyday life? Especially if you're "alert" to potential threats?

Pete; Know your hardware! This is one of the main reasons I advocate the G19. Small enough to carry, big enough to fight, lightweight, holds 15 rounds, no external safetys to mess with and extremely reliable! We can talk more about the 1911 in the Def. Firearms Thread if you want... I can suggest a few things that might help with the 'ole warhorse ;)

In addition to that, your contrast from the world of "Shooting" to the world of "Fighting" was precisely one of the points I was hoping to discuss. Oddly enough, I'm not that great of a shot. Standing around, patiently firing a ragged hole escapes me entirely. The question becomes; how do we mix the accuracy with the urgency? What's the appropriate "mixture"?

Thank you for sharing your experience. It ties in nicely with this thread, and I grinned ear to ear when you wrote:
"Which means as embarrassing as I was, I'm headed right back out there."
That's exactly what we must commit ourselves to each day - regardless what aspect we choose to tackle.

Sam; In your Email to me, you wrote:

Quote:

"The "fight" in the pizza parlor was really ugly. It's a real problem when you're standing around minding your own business and you find yourself attacked by another. Talk about an unfair fight - the huge boy friend sucker-punched the smaller guy - after that it was all over. The poor slob never had a chance. I'm not sure what you wanted us to take away from that one - after all, how can you defend against a sucker-punch?"

The answer is: Don't drop your guard!!! This guy here is a perfect example of Mental Condition "White".
http://www.teddytactical.com/SharpenBladeArticle/4_States%20of%20Awareness.htm

Had he not been oblivious, he could have prepared to fight back, dodge or block the attack, strike, or present a weapon. 
Needless to say, jabbering away on your cellphone is not a good tactic for dangerous situations.

What would the appropriate course of action be here?
This is a very tough situation - and I don't believe there is a "right" answer. Just different ways for the situation to play our "wrong", and for who.

- MarkM; Excellent point about becoming the aggressor. This is a great example of the "sheepdog" mentality. What are your thoughts about taking someone of that size on while unarmed? How about while armed? Why?
Good call on the building as well. It goes to show even "professionals" sometimes have to work with sub-standard accommodations.

- Larry (Mr. Fri); Thank you for sharing that experience!!! You've hit on one of the "Subtle" key points I wanted to share with this: these dirt bags defy racial profiling, they defy cliches, and they are arming themselves to do violence. The Skinhead in the first video is a good example of how these men think and act. Imagine him with a military rifle. You followed up saying "I wouldn't be able to hold them off with a handgun".
Would his technique become refined simply by possessing the weapon? How about his tactics and mindset? What would change there? Would they improve, weaken or stay the same?

Think on this, think how you could react; and think of our "success" in video one.

GREAT COMMENT! As to your question on where to seek training, post up your general location in the Definitive Firearms Thread, and we can discuss some options near you.

Cheers, and stay sharp!

Aaron

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Pete, pleased you learned something new, you have the right tools in the box, now you just need to learn how to use them in an orchestrated way. Good job, and you're showing a lot of determination, practice with your holster, and mag swaps and you'll get it in no time.

Sam you raise an interesting point, about what I term situational awareness, to get this up a little, spend some time people watching. Go grab a coffee, and sit outside, its getting nice now and so it should be really pleasant. Look for groups of people 3-4 ironically girls in their late teens to early twenties make great observation subjects for this with less risk of retaliative violence, and they tend to be a little louder so you can hear their speech. Weigh them up see who you think is the leader, who you think is the biggest threat. Watch them surruptitiously, if they're around you for a time, you should see behavior or language that confirms or denies your initial thinking on who is who. Even if you never really figure it out from the groups behavior think about why you thought "Person A" is the leader of the band, and "Person B" is the biggest threat, question those assumptions. Did you pick the biggest threat as the biggest guy in the group, if so did you ignore the little guy there (I ask because little guys scare me, big guys go until they get hurt, little guys go until they're disabled in my experience)? Was one more intimidating than another. etc. etc. It's all about getting your brain to do this automatically, and accurately. Also don't forget to look behind you use mirrors, windows, and reflective surfaces to see what's behind you too.

As far as the reaction of the people in the Pizza place is concerned, it doesn't surprise me in the least, for two big reasons

  1. They were likely all stunned at the intial attack, because they weren't paying attention to what was happening around them, improved situational awareness will minimize this shock, in fact in that situation I'd have seen that possible outcome approaching after about 30 seconds.
  2. Once the shock wore off, it was all over, and any attempt to help the guy out might have led to retaliation, with visible evidence of what that retaliation might have looked like.

The other thing to remember is that if there wasn't a tape in the Pizza place then the rest of the customers (and likely the workers) descriptions would be there was a black woman and a big black guy who attacked the guy lying there, after some argument.

 

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread
Aaron Moyer wrote:

- Plickety; in addition to your "home run" you said "He relied too much on speed and a big swing". Excellent observation. How do you think this guy compares to the pimp in the Skill set fail video? In addition, braggadocio is an alarm. How could you use this in everyday life? Especially if you're "alert" to potential threats?

Both the white fighter and the pimp are relying on bravado and posturing to pump themselves up and strike fear into their opponent. For me, this signals the asshole is likely going to cause trouble because he has something to prove. He's likely going to pick who he believes is the lowest threat and weakest/most vulnerable opponent because he doesn't have the skills so wants to make sure that his big show is "successful". Unfortunately, as I noted above, that usually means that I get targetted for nimrod's attacks... because I appear innocuous enough. Luckily, as I noted above, I know this jackass doesn't have the skills or he wouldn't be showing off. All I have to do is stay out of the way of the obvious stuff (grabs, haymakers, etc) and then retaliate with whatever is handy (like a can of peas or a cue ball) to either diffuse the situation or at least disorient the assailant long enough to un-ass the AO. So, the loud showy bastards are going to cause problems, but if you know what you're doing they aren't going to be a problem... just don't fall into the trap of underestimating them yourself though!

Aaron Moyer wrote:

Sam; In your Email to me, you wrote:

Quote:

"The "fight" in the pizza parlor was really ugly. It's a real problem when you're standing around minding your own business and you find yourself attacked by another. Talk about an unfair fight - the huge boy friend sucker-punched the smaller guy - after that it was all over. The poor slob never had a chance. I'm not sure what you wanted us to take away from that one - after all, how can you defend against a sucker-punch?"

The answer is: Don't drop your guard!!! This guy here is a perfect example of Mental Condition "White".
http://www.teddytactical.com/SharpenBladeArticle/4_States%20of%20Awareness.htm

Had he not been oblivious, he could have prepared to fight back, dodge or block the attack, strike, or present a weapon. 
Needless to say, jabbering away on your cellphone is not a good tactic for dangerous situations.

What would the appropriate course of action be here?
This is a very tough situation - and I don't believe there is a "right" answer. Just different ways for the situation to play our "wrong", and for who.

The guy seriously messed this one up... he didn't recognize a dangerous situation, he didn't identify the real threat (even after the big guy got in his face), and then he proceeded to turn his back on the threat and continue arguing with the woman. I don't think the big guy sucker-punched him at all... that would imply a random hit out of nowhere with no warning. The only reason this guy got hit in the first place was because he did just about everything wrong there is to do.

Better course of action: 1) when the chick started yelling, hang up the phone and put it away so you have both hands free; 2) when she really got in your face, do not engage in the argument, scan the room for additional threats and exits, attempt to diffuse the argument; 3) if the situation continued to escalate - go for the exit, or at least get to more defensible position (i.e. back to the wall); 4) once the big guy got in your face, do not lose eye contact or present a vulnerable target... certainly don't keep yelling at the woman out the door.

I've been in situations very similar to this when I was younger and it never got that out of hand. I certainly never ended up bleeding and helpless on the floor! Bleeding, yes, but not helpless and not on the floor. Never, ever, ever, ever take your eyes off the real threat... you can track secondary threats in the peripheral. The alpha is always going to be the one taking the shots or at least calling the shots, when he twitches, you'll know where the threat's going to come from.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Plickety,

The Akron Pizzeria fight was a "cornerstone" discussion piece some years back.
The question was poised: "How would you deal with this guy" - assuming of course, you were armed.

The general consensus was that his body type would create a "disparity of force", and would justify force elevation from physical to lethal if he started getting rowdy. Which he did. The questions then become, in such close quarters:

- Which tool do you use? Physiology, edged, or firearm?
- How do you retain your weapon? (That is to say, make sure it doesn't get grabbed out of your hand)
- How do you assure you won't strike a citizen with a stray round, if you choose firearm?
- Prevent panic in such tight quarters
- Avoid being attacked further by mamajama or other bad guys unintroduced?

We should all learn from his mistake, and think/discuss what we'd do in this situation and situations like it.
As ridiculous as it may sound, visualization, and contemplation will dramatically aid you in making tough descision before you're required to. Miyamoto Musashi said "Die each day in advance". To picture yourself stricken by terrible harm, you'd vanquish your fear of it, and thus focus all your attention to your enemy.

The Pimp v. Karate dude is a great example of "Unconsciously incompetent" vs. "Consciously Competent".
Very predictable outcome. The same that played out for the White Trash dude in the Mindset Failure Video.

Thank you all so much for particpating in this discussion! Please, keep the comments coming in so we can further dissect these events.

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Firstly to answer Some question you posed in earlier an earlier post on this topic.

Bravado/Braggadocio, generally this is a threat of force to avoid the use of force rather than a precursor to actual application of force. It's like a bluff charge of a Bull or a Bear, the instinctive intent is to avoid violence not engage in it. However the risk there is in Braggadocio/Bravado is that things can escalate very quickly if it appears that you are not cowed by the show.

You asked a question also about the pimp/Karate Dude if the Pimp was armed with a firearm, my perspective on this is had the situation developed as shown and the pimp drew at close proximity then the result would have been the same (or worse) for the pimp. However if I was the karate guy, I would not allow any space to develop between me and the pimp if I suspected he was armed with a gun, since (assuming it was just me without a firearm) space prevents me from employing my weapons, but not him employing his, and of course I cannot disarm, or remove his weapon at a distance. Of course if I suspected the Pimp was armed (either with a firearm or a blade) then I wouldn't be in that situation in th first instance anyway.

Finally, to the Pizzeria.

Few things I might have done differently. Assuming that I for whatever stupid reason I didn't leave immediately, or I was looking for a trip to the ER.

  1. When the woman cut in line in front of me, I might suggest she cut in further up the line to get served faster.
  2. Identify the boyfriend, and attempt to gain his sympathy, you know it the she's like that with you she's likely similar to him, and you might be able to find common ground.
  3. Once things escalated leave if possible, if not, and I was pushed into violence, chances are I would strike first. Weapons employment other than physiology here would likely be a bad idea, the shop was too crowded even a blade could cause collateral damage.
  4. Big guy seems confident, so joint attacks would be primary focus, in particular knee's, breaking or dislocating kneecaps destroys confidence, hurts like hell and takes away a lot of power from any counter attacks, as well as slowing down pursuit. Once this is complete, you can disable completely, far easier. If successful I'd reasonably expect a broken knee and a second strike probably to break the opposite arm, or a throat strike, and complete disablility in under 2 seconds. Note to others, Groin attacks can hurt like hell, but are not stoppers, it takes a second or so for the pain to develop to incredible proportions, that second can be disasterous.
  5. Woman, might or might not get involved, since a rapid destructive assault on big boy could shock her into inaction, or completely destroy her current mental picture of the situation, since she thought she had the upper hand, now that has changed. If she did, she's a far easier disable than the big guy. Similarly that rapid destructive assault will have a huge deterence effect on anyone not introduced. If one second the situation looks rosy, big guy getting up in someone's face, the next he's down with a destroyed knee, and arm, or destroyed knee and flopping like a fish for breath, then what would you do if you were a bad guy...? It does change if other BG's are armed.

On the other questions like panic in close quarters, since speed is needed to avoid follow-ups it might take longer to realize what's happening than to actually do it, so people likely could panic after the events. As I mentioned I personally would not employ weapons in this situation, even though I have training in weapons in both military and martial arts, there is one fact that I always remember, a weapon can be taken from you, and the psychological impact of losing the weapon, or worse it's employment against you can itself lead to your defeat.

Of course all of the above have assumptions, which may or may not be accurate, although in my mental play through from my experience these steps and results are all likely outcomes

YMMV

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread
Aaron Moyer wrote:

The Akron Pizzeria fight was a "cornerstone" discussion piece some years back.
The question was poised: "How would you deal with this guy" - assuming of course, you were armed.

The general consensus was that his body type would create a "disparity of force", and would justify force elevation from physical to lethal if he started getting rowdy. Which he did. The questions then become, in such close quarters:

- Which tool do you use? Physiology, edged, or firearm?
- How do you retain your weapon? (That is to say, make sure it doesn't get grabbed out of your hand)
- How do you assure you won't strike a citizen with a stray round, if you choose firearm?
- Prevent panic in such tight quarters
- Avoid being attacked further by mamajama or other bad guys unintroduced?

Tool preference in this situation in order: physical, blunt, blade, firearm. I definitely would not have drawn a firearm in this situation unless all hell had completely broken loose and collateral damage was acceptable. I probably wouldn't even have drawn a blade unless I could do so without losing the element of surprise... drawing any sort of weapon alerts your opponent and can cause bystander panic. If straight physical attacks were not enough (likely with little old me against big boy) then I'd use whatever blunt environmental objects were available to augment my physical attacks. Seriously, if you crack someone with a shaker jar of parmesan or pepper flakes, you can do more damage than just your fist alone... even better if there is a fire extinguisher handy! Another tactic to even the playing field when fighting someone bigger than you is to step into him... which seems counterintuitive, but it puts you where his strikes are less effective and yours are more effective. Just watch out for elbows and knees!

Retaining your weapon is always a problem. Firstly, most people unconcsiously rely too much on whatever weapon they are carrying, so when it's taken from them they lose their confidence. Secondly, drawing a weapon has a higher chance of escalating the situation than diffusing it, so you should only draw a weapon if you intend to use it immediately before your opponent has time to recognize it and react, and you are assured of an immediate take down... but that element of surprise makes it pretty difficult to prove self-defense or deny excessive use of force in court. Thirdly, there is always the risk that your weapon will be used against you or that your opponent has a bigger/better weapon... so, again, you have to deploy and employ your weapon and take the opponent down immediately, which is easier said than done. This is one reason why I would favor environmental weapons in this case... no one is expecting you to nail them with a cheese shaker or napkin dispenser.

Since I would choose firearm only as a last resort in this situation, and only if all hell had broken loose (i.e. multiple assailants had joined the fray), any collateral damage to bystanders is acceptable. Sounds callous, but by the time things had gotten so bad that I would actually use a firearm, everyone else should have clued in to the situation and taken cover, etc. At that point, it's every man for himself. Sure, I'd try to avoid shooting the wrong person, but if I did I wouldn't feel too bad about it because they should have gotten out of the way.

Avoiding panic is always best acheived by doing whatever you're going to do to drop the guy quickly. It actually takes a surprisingly long time for shock to turn to panic, which you can evidence in the video. Even though there was a relatively long lead in to the true altercation and the violence lasted several seconds, no one paniced not even once it was all over. Most people will not panic as long as there doesn't appear to be an immediate threat to them... which is also another good reason not to draw a weapon. Weapons increase the probability of bystander panic exponentially. Even if you are the good guy, the fact that you have a weapon often causes bystanders to think you are the bad guy... so instead of seeing you as a savior, they see you as the threat. This is very bad for business, since they can not only panic and get in your way, but they may also attempt to disable & disarm you.

Once big boy is incapacitated, I doubt mamjama would be much of a threat. Reading the situation, it's likely that she was only mouthy and confident because she knew she had backup. Take that away from her and she loses confidence. However, I still wouldn't have stopped tracking her in my periphery and would be expecting an attack just in case. If she did attack, it's highly likely that it would be an emotional, rash attack which puts me at an advantage as long as I remain cool... I have a higher chance of landing a strategic hit because I'm still thinking clearly. Same goes for more bad guys joining the fray... never lose track of the what's going on at the door. One guy coming in could be handled the same as mamajama. Multiple guys coming in, or anyone producing a weapon, all bets are off... but your chances are improved because everyone else will panic and disorient the assailant(s). You can use this to your advantage for a strategic strike or retreat as long as you keep your wits about you... it at least gives you some time (and human cover) to dive behind the counter to evade or at least get more solid cover.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Gee, Aaron, this thread really makes me feel like my PTSD hypervigilence is a good and useful thing. Thanks!!

OK, here are some things that I do subconsciously and automatically that may be of some use for less traumatized folks to start practicing consciously if they want to improve their situational awareness and threat assessment skills.

Whenever I enter a new location:

  • locate all exits and entries and position myself where I can see them all and can access at least two. I never sit with my back to a door or window unless there is something reflective in front of me that I can see behind me with, or I'm with someone who I trust is just as aware as I am. 
  • locate all persons and assess their threat level**. If there seems to be too many people that could be a threat and the potential for danger is unacceptable, I leave. If I can't assess someone's threat level I make sure I position myself so I am not in their potential attack path and can keep an eye on them, just in case.
  • locate all areas of reasonable cover/safety and position myself where I can access at least two (or create at least one)
  • locate and assess all environmental objects that could be used as weapons (either by me or an assailant)

Whenever someone changes their position, or enters/leaves the location, I reassess everything because the dynamic of the room just changed and new threats could develop, exits could be blocked, potential weapons could be moved, etc.

** Assessing someone's threat level is a skill unto itself. Gungnir posted some suggestions further up about people watching to improve this skill, and I think that advice and approach is pretty good. I can't exactly explain how I do it, but some people just give me a hinky vibe and I'm always aware of the quiet guy in the corner. If you watch long enough, you can see changes in the dynamic of a group as it grows and shrinks, and especially when key members arrive and depart. It usually takes me less than 5 minutes to pick out the leader, the muscle, the scout, the mouth and the straggler. Identifying stragglers is important, they are potential allies in dangerous situations because they are not entirely committed to the group's mentality.  Not every group has all these members, or one member may perform multiple roles... but a few more minutes of observation will normally tell you that, too.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

And another thing... LOL

Don't rely on a single sense and don't put yourself in a situation where one of your major senses is hindered. Talking on the phone, wearing headphones, cranking up the stereo, wearing sunglasses, sometimes even wearing hats & gloves can all mess up your ability to detect potential threats. This is one of the reasons that night clubs and crowded places are nightmares... your visibility is hampered, your hearing is hampered, your sense of touch and smell is overloaded. You can still track a person in a room even if you can't see them as long as you can still hear (talking, clothes rustling, footsteps) and smell (perfume/cologne, laundry detergent, BO).

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Pete - Your story was very interesting to me because we seem to share some parallels.  While I am not near as experienced or skillful as you, I'm very comfortable with sport shooting and I've done some hunting.  Until recently, I never considered owning a weapon for defensive purposes.  I am going to follow your example, and the lead of others in this thread, in taking some self defense & tactical shooting classes.

The videos made me think of several things:

  • I need to study the legal limits of using a weapon in a confrontation.  I suspect, had the homeowner hit one of the fleeing invaders, he would be guilty of a criminal offense.
  • In the pizza video, why didn't anyone step forward to try to diffuse or break up the fight?  The "don't get involved" mentality seems all to common.  Message: we cannot afford to hope that others, especially strangers, will help protect us.
  • Street toughs are encouraged to attack if they see that you are intimidated and will always try to strike the first blow; it is a huge advantage.  In such a conflict, I would clearly warn the potential attacker not to get too close  I think this helps protect you both physically and legally (if you must throw the first punch).  If you had a gun in this situation, would it be wise to alert the potential attacker that you armed and capable (without drawing the weapon)?  
  • The videos made me imagine how I would react in different situations if I decide to carry a gun.  Aaron's comment "Which tool do you use? Physiology, edged, or firearm?" made me think that I should consider carrying mace or pepper spray in addition to carrying a gun.  

Aaron, thanks for the thread.

Larry

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Gee, Aaron, this thread really makes me feel like my PTSD hypervigilence is a good and useful thing.

PlicketyCat,

I've been fascinated by your participation in this thread. You bring some interesting perspectives to the table.

Re your "PTSD hypervigilence", have you been in a combat zone or similar situation? A very close buddy of mine is a Vietnam Vet and he reacts much as you have described.

I thought I was a relatively vigilant person, but you are leagues ahead of me!

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread
DrKrbyLuv wrote:

Pete - Your story was very interesting to me because we seem to share some parallels.  While I am not near as experienced or skillful as you, I'm very comfortable with sport shooting and I've done some hunting.  Until recently, I never considered owning a weapon for defensive purposes.  I am going to follow your example, and the lead of others in this thread, in taking some self defense & tactical shooting classes.

The videos made me think of several things:

  • I need to study the legal limits of using a weapon in a confrontation.  I suspect, had the homeowner hit one of the fleeing invaders, he would be guilty of a criminal offense.
  • In the pizza video, why didn't anyone step forward to try to diffuse or break up the fight?  The "don't get involved" mentality seems all to common.  Message: we cannot afford to hope that others, especially strangers, will help protect us.
  • Street toughs are encouraged to attack if they see that you are intimidated and will always try to strike the first blow; it is a huge advantage.  In such a conflict, I would clearly warn the potential attacker not to get too close  I think this helps protect you both physically and legally (if you must throw the first punch).  If you had a gun in this situation, would it be wise to alert the potential attacker that you armed and capable (without drawing the weapon)?  
  • The videos made me imagine how I would react in different situations if I decide to carry a gun.  Aaron's comment "Which tool do you use? Physiology, edged, or firearm?" made me think that I should consider carrying mace or pepper spray in addition to carrying a gun.  

Aaron, thanks for the thread.

Larry

In Florida, according to section 790.015, Florida Statutes, 1999, the homeowner would be liable for assault with a deadly weapon.

The threat was OVER. You are not allowed to continue in the use of deadly force if the perpetrator(s) is fleeing the crime scene.

My NRA instructor told us NEVER warn them. On par with your personal defense weapon, the element of surprise is your most potent advantage. Why waive that? 

I am looking for a BUG as a second line of defense. What if I am jumped from behind by his buddy and my primary falls out of my hand? You have to have a backup to situational awareness, right? 

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread
SamLinder wrote:

Gee, Aaron, this thread really makes me feel like my PTSD hypervigilence is a good and useful thing.

PlicketyCat,

I've been fascinated by your participation in this thread. You bring some interesting perspectives to the table.

Re your "PTSD hypervigilence", have you been in a combat zone or similar situation? A very close buddy of mine is a Vietnam Vet and he reacts much as you have described.

I thought I was a relatively vigilant person, but you are leagues ahead of me!

Not military combat, no... just a really crappy childhood, living/working in some questionable neighborhoods, and having a few loser boyfriends. Which I guess is really similar when you think about it.

LOL - now you know why I want to live in the middle of nowhere, miles and miles away from other humans :)

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread
Pete In Florida wrote:

My NRA instructor told us NEVER warn them. On par with your personal defense weapon, the element of surprise is your most potent advantage. Why waive that? 

I wholeheartedly agree with your instructor. You can tell them to stop or to leave you alone, that normally covers your butt legally, but don't ever warn a perp that you have a weapon or that you intend to use it. The element of surprise is your greatest advantage in most situations, especially when you are outnumbered or facing a larger opponent.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Larry,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

In most states, there is a "castle doctrine" - in which if you're attacked on your home turf, you have the right to defend yourself.
That said, it's always wise to consult your local regulations, and state laws on the matter. They should be available publically.

Whatever you do *don't* take the word of someone working in a Gunshop. They're there because they can't find a job in the profession of arms, not because they are experienced in the subject. Not always the case, but a good thing to keep in mind when they start spewing advice.

Since we've all had a chance to look on some successes and failures... USAF guys joking around... and analyzed the reasons that we fail or succeed under pressure, let's follow Plickety's example and describe things we can do on a daily basis to increase our awareness, ability and readiness to take action in bad situations.

Today, I worked in the gym for an hour, the pool for a half hour, went to the range and fired with both my strong and support side, sparred against a friend with training knives, airsoft and hand to hand.

I think it was a good day for developing skillset. Plickety touched on mindset.
How do tactics figure into our routine? Feel free to comment on any one leg of the "combat triad" and what you feel you have done or could do to "strengthen" yours. Keep in mind that equipment is, as a mentor of mine said, the "paint" on the stool.

Can yours support your weight? 
How can we improve?

Cheers!

Aaron

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Aaron. I am familar with the Castle Doctrine. Do you know that it does not apply to your front yard though in FL? 

I read, and studied Florida Statutes. The last invader was shot at while fleeing. That's a felony in Florida if the DA wanted to prosecute. That's also what our CCW instructor warned us never to do. Engage a fleeing perp. The threat is over, he's out of the house. Castle doctrine no longer applicable.

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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread

Knowing the extent of your rights under the Castle Doctrine, or even whether your state has one (some don't), is essential information that I encourage everyone to know and understand. If you're planning to relocate as part of your SHTF prep, this information may also be vital in selecting your new location. So far, I'd have to say that Texas and Alaska have the best law and precedent cases (because those count too) -- you essentially have the right to defend yourself, your family, your property and your possessions from anyone who is trespassing no matter where they are on your property or whether they are armed, etc.  A lot of states require that you attempt to leave first, and/or that the perp has to be inside your home or physically engaged with you... which, tactically, is usually too late.

If home invasion is your worst nightmare, here are some home security tips (I've intentionally linked to multiple suppliers and products - I don't endorse, just illustrate):

You have locks - use them, even (especially) when you are inside, regardless of time (i.e. not just at night). Don't just rely on a handle lock, get a dead bolt and a door guard (lever) or security chain... I prefer the guard to the chain because it's stronger and harder for a perp to bust open; but if you install a chain, make sure that the chain doesn't have more than an inch or so of slack to keep the door from gaining any momentum. Ideally you want to secure the top, bottom and middle of the door.

Replace your exterior doors with steel-core entry doors (no windows, side lights or open mail slot - get a barred priest hole, install a wide-angle peephole or an enclosed mail catch) with heavy-duty security hinges (pins on the inside please!) and get the jambs reinforced (at least a solid 4x4). The door between your house and garage should be treated as an exterior door, no matter how safe you think your garage might be. Install a heavy duty articulated garage door (not the big swing types) with an electric remote opener (which you should periodically change the RF code on... just like a computer password) that has a light which comes one BEFORE the door starts opening. The opener needs to have both an emergency stop AND an emergency drop... you don't want to be waiting for that door to wind down if a perp is hot on your tail.

Purchase locks with extra long, heavy latches and bolts that extend at least 1 inch into the door frame. Use heavy, extra long, deep thread screws to attach the hinges and striker plates. If you can afford them, the ideal locks are in the center of the door and throw bolts into the jamb top, bottom, left and right. They're an eyesore, but industrial bar locks that slide into external brackets are also good safety measures.

If you have sliding glass doors, consider having them replaced with impact/shatter resistant glass or applying shatter-safe security film. Again, have the jambs reinforced, or at least make sure that they are installed with heavy screws in several points. Do not rely on the wimpy flip lock, have a deep bolt cylinder lock or spring lock installed on the top and bottom that extends deeply into the frame... this should have two positions, closed and slightly open (for ventilation). At least use a pin lock. Install a charley bar at the bottom or center of the door, or at least place a 2" dowel the full-length of the bottom track.

If you have glass french doors, replace or film the glass. Reinforce all jambs. Do not rely on a simple latch and dead bolt in the center between the two doors... this is the weakest point of the door assembly! Install deep slide bolts to the top and bottom of both doors directly into the frame above and below (not to each other). Yes, I know, there are slide bolts on the inside of the "stationary door" but more security can't hurt.

For all windows on the ground level, or any that can be reached easily from a deck, garage roof, tree, etc replace or film the glass. I don't recommend bars or grates because the are a visual indicator that "hey, I've got something worth protecting in here". For all your windows, again, don't rely on the flimsy sash latches or even keyed center-sash locks (because these can still be popped by applying force to the sash), install either through-jamb or through-sash locking pins with two positions (or whatever comparable units work for your style of window).

Secure all ladders, trash cans, and other items that could be used to gain entry to upper floors. Don't park your RV or trailer next to house either... it can be used for ingress, it obscures your view and it gives the bad guys a place to hide. Same goes for trees and shrubs near the house, especially near doors and windows... cut them down or cut them back! And it goes without saying that you should have functioning lights at every door, preferably motion or light activated (i.e. they come on automatically when the sun goes down) with an "always on" override via inside switch. Security lights should be installed (with overlapping arcs) around the entire house, such that several yards of your entire perimeter are lighted... ideally, you want these to be individually motion-activated (with overlapping arcs) and wired so that you can flip a switch (preferably in multiple locations) and turn all the lights on at once. It's also a good idea to install automatic (i.e. solar powered, solar activated) ground lights in any area where it's likely a perp could hide and scope out your property... raised planting beds, grove of trees out back, the swingset, etc.

See? All sorts of things you can do to secure your home even before you start installing video surveillance cameras and electronic alarm systems and stashing guns in the corners 

I guess this qualifies as "tactical" - right Aaron?

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