View Full Version : Combative Assessment

Darren Laur
August 12, 2002, 02:35 PM
Just back from holidays and catching up. Here is a little something to review:


In any hostile encounter it is always important to tactically assess the situation in which you find yourself in. Through a quick and proper assessment, you are more likely to choose a reasonable and appropriate Tactical Response Option.

Given time, distance and opportunity, there will be two basic categories of combative assessment that should be assessed and analyzed which are:

1. Threat Assessment, and
2. Environmental Assessment


To me, threat assessment means assessing the threat directly in front of you, usually your attacker(s). It is important that prior to a physical attack, you obtain as much information about this threat as possible, such as:

. Intent
· Size and body type
· Skills or perceived skills
· Number of attackers
· Weapons
· Pre-assaultive signs (Ritualized Combat)
· Mental state
· Range and positioning

All the above, plus many more, will assist you in making an appropriate tactical response. (Readers may want to read my earlier post on Tactical Response Options for more details)


It is also important in a hostile encounter that you assess the environment (surroundings) around you. Your immediate surroundings include:

· Your house
· Your car
· A nightclub
· A bus
· A store
· Your officer
· A parking lot
· Or any other place that you may find yourself in when the **** hits the fan

No matter what environment you find yourself in, you want to assess the following:


Remember that self-protection is about "winning" and "survival." There is nothing wrong with escaping from the situation, if possible and reasonable, if and when the s**t hits the fan. Escape routs are just that, exits to escape to in order to remove yourself from a dangerous situation. Some escape routs include:

· Cars
· Buses
· Windows
· Doors
· Stores and businesses
· Stairs
· Bushes
· Walls
· Fences
· Escalators
· Traffic

For those who have never practiced going through, over, or under the above noted obstacles, you should and must. Proper pre planning prevents piss poor performance. Whatever escape route chosen, obviously be careful not to get your self cornered or trapped.


Improvised weapons are those objects which are commonly found and that can be used as a weapon against your attacker. Improvised weapons can be broken down into three categories: impact weapons, edged or pointed weapons, shields and barriers.


Improvised impact weapons are those objects which can be used to either hit an attacker with a fluid shock strike or, hit an attacker as a distracter. Fluid shock Improvised Impact Weapons include:

· Chairs
· Stick
· Rock
· Telephone
· 2x4
· baseball bat
· lamp
· vehicle
· pool cue
· umbrella
· cane
· barstool
· wall
· bar table
· garbage can
· flashlight
· crow bar
· pool ball
· beer mug
· briefcase
. the floor or ground
· or any other common item which has weight behind it and which you can use effectively to strike your attacker with


An improvised distraction weapon is an object or item that can be thrown at an attacker, to temporarily distract him so that you can either escape, or set him up for an attack. These weapons are usually directed towards an attackers facial area or legs and include:

· spit ( my favorite)
· beer
· pop
· keys
· coins
· hat
· sunglasses
· racks
· sand
· salt/pepper
· cigarette ashes from an ashtray
· cigarette lighter
· magazine
· bag
· books
· purse
· pop can
· beer can
· car antennae ( another favorite of mine)
· wallet
· pager
· comb or brush
· newspaper


Edged or pointed weapons are those items which can be used to sleash or stab your attacker. These items could include:

· knives (obviously)
· screwdrivers
· broken bottle
· pens and pencils
· forks
· razors
· scissors
· keys
· nails/spikes
· knitting needles


Shields and barriers are those items and objects which you can use to put between you and your attacker. These items can be used to protect you against a punch, kick, impact weapon or edged weapon attack, or, be used as an obstacle which an attacker has to go through to get to you. These items could include:


· cars and other vehicles
· table
· telephone booth
· fence
· wall
· mail box
· dumpster
· garbage cans
. the bad guy


· bags
· briefcase
· skateboard
· garbage can lid
· table
· bicycle
· wall picture
· suitcase
· chair
. the bad guy

The whole purpose of this post was to get others to think about and assess their environment. By assessing your surroundings for escape routs and/or improvised weapons, it may give you the tactical edge needed to survive a hostile encounter.

Strength and Honor

Darren Laur

August 13, 2002, 12:57 AM
funny some of the things you mention! great list have used a few in my day! my current best are a small daypack from northface with a trauma plate in it, and a brief case from eagle with 2 soft trama plates in it makes great cover in a pinch!