You win 100% of the fights you don’t get it, friends. Practicing Active Self Protection means not allowing your ego to get you into deadly force encounters, because even when you win the fight the cost is high financially, emotionally, and socially (among others). Learn the lessons here!
Original video of the argument escalating to deadly force: http://www.khou.com/story/news/2014/07/22/11889626/
What does this argument teach us about winning a fight?
- If you can win “the fight before the fight,” you win. You win that fight by minimizing your potential for being attacked in the first place! That means making smart decisions and living a life of awareness and readiness so that you don’t take unnecessary risks. That readiness means knowing how to control your ego and stay out of fights. Never allow the fact that you carry a firearm put you in a place to make foolish decisions that endanger yourself, your family, or your future in order to tell some punk what he should know.
- If you know there might be danger around, you cannot stand there flat-footed with your hands at your side. That’s a great way to die. Instead, if you think danger might be coming but not imminent, get your hands up protecting your head, neck, and chest. I do this by tucking one hand under the other elbow, and the free hand on my chin as if I were in deep contemplation. Others do it using the “interview position” with both hands as if they’re holding a pad and pen. Getting your hands up shaves split seconds off of your reaction time, but that might make the difference between life and death if you can prepare.
- A life of self-protection must be dedicated to avoidance, de-escalation, and escape whenever possible. You win 100% of the fights that you don’t get in, so make a commitment to de-escalate, escape, or evade any encounter you possibly can. Having good situational awareness will give you more time and opportunity to see problems coming and formulate a plan to stay away and protect yourself without danger to yourself or others. This is always our first choice as self-defenders.
- To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. In this case emotional fitness would have allowed the clerk to maintain his composure and not get baited into opening the door.
- Pepper spray (also called OC or OC spray) can be a very useful defensive tool for non-lethal threats. I carry this one, and it’s nasty stuff: http://amzn.to/1kxJpls . It can also be used against you in a fight, so you should know how to defend yourself if you’re sprayed! Take a good course on pepper spray and how to employ it, and as part of that course take a dose yourself so that you know the effect it will have on you and how to fight through it to continue to protect yourself. It might have been a very good tool for this encounter rather than a firearm, which could have gotten this man in a lot of trouble.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.