In today’s world we see threats everywhere. The evening news report is full of them; rioters looting and destroying, unknown perpetrators invading homes, bank robbers, pedophiles, and the list goes on and on. How do these threats pertain to you?
I view threats in threat two categories, active and passive. An active threat is one that has directly poses a threat to you such as a stalker or a dangerous work environment. A passive threat is what we all face each day. While no one has directly threatened you, there is always the possibility that you could stumble into a threatening situation or some miscreant invades your home.
What can you do to prepare for these threats? The most logical plan is to train for the most extreme situation. Let’s take it in steps. First is to develop an attitude of awareness. Those who maintain an appropriate level of awareness intuitively know what is going on around them, if someone is following them or watching them. They know if their current location is placing them in danger. Those who live in that state of awareness learn to stay out of locations and situations that are dangerous. I cannot over emphasize the importance of staying aware of your surroundings.
Each of us can develop this ability. We can live in the “Aware” state. This shouldn’t be construed as a constant state of paranoia. Think of it as “keeping your head on a swivel” as they would say when working on the active deck of an aircraft carrier (the most dangerous work environment I have ever known). When you turn a corner in your car or walking you get an impression of who and what is present and in your immediate surroundings. This awareness gives you seconds and maybe even minutes of advanced notice of an event.
The second step of preparedness is to get training. Training is not a one-size-fits-all solution. For some, depending on their work and living environment, advanced hand-to-hand combat training is the most logical path. This can be very time consuming, as in years, but in the end, very rewarding in terms of physical fitness and overall health.
Another avenue is to get training in the use of firearms, normally handguns. Long guns, while extremely effective for personal defense are not practical for everyday carry and having available. When contemplating where to train you should investigate who is most likely going to give you the best training. Obviously, your trainer should be experienced in all levels of personal defense whether it is hand-to-hand or firearms. Your trainer should have the attitude of “the best fight is the one that never happens.”
When looking at firearms training there are three levels of training, basic, intermediate, and advanced. Basic firearms training is just that, basic. It teaches you the parts of a gun and how those parts work together. This is not a tactical course but it is the foundation of your training. All other training is built on this foundation. One essential part of this basic course is going to the range and actually learning how to use the gun. Stay clear of trainers who do not take this important step in your training.
The intermediate level of training takes you from basic familiarization of the gun to becoming completely comfortable using it on the range. One of the first tasks we learn as young children is how to tie our shoes. By the time we reach adulthood we have done it so many thousands of times that our muscle memory takes over the task and we just do it. This is the goal of intermediate firearms training.
Advanced training brings in the tactics of how you carry your concealed carry gun, what we call your Every Day Carry (EDC). What is the best way for you to carry, how can you best conceal your EDC, and just as important, how do you deploy it in the most logical and efficient way? Beyond that, this training teaches you how to stay out of situations that would require you to deploy your EDC. This is a necessary extension of your awareness training.
As important as advanced training is, the third step, continued practice and training, physical and mental is just as important. Effectively using a handgun requires the development of muscle memory. Even with this development it requires practice to maintain it.
A passive threat can become an active threat in the time it takes for you to turn around. The only way you can be prepared to counter this threat is to train, mentally and physically.