Auto After Action
Just getting caught up here after some real world busy time.
Sager, I wanted to address your automobile-based altercation. The primary take away, as Aaron points out, is that it was a success because no one was hurt or arrested. You wound up instead with an opportunity to do a post-analysis and improve your future reactions.
However, I’d like to challenge a couple of your conceptions – food for thought for yourself and anyone else interested (and throw it right back at me if you disagree). As a matter of introduction, I’ve done four professional level courses dealing partially or totally with automobile-based tactics. Both firearms and ‘anything goes’ based (ECQB and VTAC with Southnarc), probably 60hrs total focused on vehicle tactics alone. The constant in all of these is that a stationary car is a really bad place to be if someone wants to do you harm, and also that it’s one of the scenarios you’re most likely to be in when you meet an attacker (from parking lots, to traffic situations like you describe – any predator who wants to get you out of your comfort zone is going to have an easier time doing a car invasion than a home invasion).
You mention holding yourself back from unbuckling your seatbelt – I would offer that in any dynamic self defense situation I’d rather *not* be strapped down. One instructor suggested that as soon as we’re in slow traffic, that thing should come undone. With respect to albinorhino’s (are we cousins?) suggestion that the first out of their vehicle is the aggressor – and there may be some meat to that argument if it all goes bad and the police come around – there are plenty of good explanations as to why you’d get out of your car as fast as you could that don’t have to do with "I’m a sitting duck and didn’t want to be stuck in a bullet magnet". Perhaps you’re worried that the person in front of you is having a problem and you want to be a good citizen and offer to help. However you want to phrase it, you’re far more mobile and therefore at least a harder target outside your vehicle (and if you’re counting on it to shield you from bullets, that only works in Hollywood).
If you let the other driver dictate whether or not it becomes a fight, you’ve given him the advantage. Practice exiting your vehicle as quickly as possible (do *not* get caught in the triangle of the door) and making your way up to their window to ask if everything is alright. In that situation you control their door, you have far more maneuverability, and you’ve gotten inside their OODA loop. You may very well take what *would* have become a fight and diffuse it with your eager concern (genuine or not) for his well being.
Of course, if you can see an AK being loaded and racked as you exit your car, you might rethink the whole "go to his door, hold it in and ask if everything is ok" thing, but you still don’t want to be in your vehicle.
Regardless, I’m glad it was only a scare.
Also, Aaron – in regards to the "Convict Conditioning" book I got – it follows six specific exercises – hanging leg lifts, bridge, pull up, squat, push up, headstand push up – and brings you through build up exercises (10 levels) that are sometimes very different from the final result but will strengthen you for it. Allows you to step in at absolute beginner if you’re injured or weak, or whatever level you can comfortably do (there are ‘qualification’ guidelines for moving to the next level).
My routine is haphazard at the moment. I haven’t really gotten my groove back since being injured in VTAC, but I usually try to bunch several days together of overstress and then recover for as long as I need (light exercise or only cardio) before going again. That’s a birds eye of my general technique – it served me well years ago so we’ll see…