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Old February 17, 2015, 01:37 PM   #1
coyotewsm
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what skills/things should you pracrice for on preparing to defend yourself

I know that marksman ship skills are key when defending yourself but what else should I train for? If I ever do have to defend myself I plan to come out of it alive and unharmed so what kind of mind set should I adopt? I know on top of being able to hit what i'm aiming at I need to be able to get my gun out the holster quick but I feel like there is even more to it than that. Please share your insights.
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Old February 17, 2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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My thoughts:
  • Avoid questionable circumstances.
  • Do not act or look like prey.
  • Never provoke, antagonize, or offend anyone.
  • Be able to recognize potential danger signs early.
  • Decide quickly how to avoid danger, and do it timely.
  • Should trouble come to you, react quickly, move, draw, and if necessary, shoot fast and effectively.
  • Look for the other guy.
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Old February 17, 2015, 01:51 PM   #3
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Some people (police and military, for example) might get a pass when their bullets miss the intended target and hit something else.
We commoners don't enjoy such privilege.
So train to make sure you don't over react to a situation and make a grievous error.
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Old February 17, 2015, 01:55 PM   #4
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Expanding a little on that:
  • Avoid concentrating on smart-phones, gas pumps, or ATMs in public, or listening to music.
  • Do not walk close to cars, corners, alley openings, dumsters, etc.
  • Don't take long to get put things into or get into your car.
  • Don't sit in your car for very long.
  • Keep looking around.
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Old February 17, 2015, 01:56 PM   #5
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Get some professional training/instruction so that you have a realistic frame of reference to develop your own personal self defense system. Which will likely include

Strategics
Tactics
Mindset
Skills
Gear
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Old February 17, 2015, 01:57 PM   #6
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I think OldMarksman and FireForge have pretty much nailed it.
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Old February 17, 2015, 02:03 PM   #7
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For a CCW holder, some time learning AND practicing some Extreme Close Quarters (contact out to ~4feet) is advisable.

Its nice to say "im aware of my surroundings and would never let someone that close"....thats not reality. Sometimes people WILL get close enough to grab you. Being prepared to deal with that is critical. Much more so then being able to make a 25yard head shot
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Old February 17, 2015, 02:13 PM   #8
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Reading books are a passive but productive way to foster a well rounded mindset. Everyone has a few they consider to be a good- read, here are few I liked:

Facing Violence- Rory Miller
Scaling Force- Rory Miller
Meditations on Violence- Rory Miller
The book of 5 Rings- Miyamato Musashi
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Old February 17, 2015, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
For a CCW holder, some time learning AND practicing some Extreme Close Quarters (contact out to ~4feet) is advisable.

Its nice to say "im aware of my surroundings and would never let someone that close"....thats not reality. Sometimes people WILL get close enough to grab you. Being prepared to deal with that is critical. Much more so then being able to make a 25yard head shot
Generally speaking, we cannot and do not control the public spaces we frequent. I agree that problems that occur is close quarters is a very realistic issue to mitigate. I say mitigate simply because we cannot stop or prevent all bad things but we can have a very good plan.
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Old February 17, 2015, 03:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
If I ever do have to defend myself I plan to come out of it alive and unharmed so what kind of mind set should I adopt? I know on top of being able to hit what i'm aiming at I need to be able to get my gun out the holster quick but I feel like there is even more to it than that. Please share your insights.
Your mindset should be one of self-protection throughout the entire sequence of events. The "attack" is just the second part; you must keep court in mind at all times. This does not mean you should paralyze yourself for fear of court. I am suggesting that you know the law and have a series of rehearsed questions and answers that are designed to minimize damage to your court case. This is just part of the training.

In no particular order (suggested instructors in parens):

1) Handling compliant attackers (You have them at gun point, they gave up, now what?)
2) Handling witnesses
3) Handling police and 911 -- KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, especially your positive assertion of your 5th Amendment right to STFU!
4) Wound/trauma management (Greg Ellifritz)
5) Law and nuances (just because you can doesn't mean you should) (Mas Ayoob, local attorneys)
6) How to choose an attorney. Get a few self-defense attorneys' contact info. (Mas Ayoob)
7) Tactics and so forth as mentioned earlier
8) How to use a knife and WHEN to go to the knife
9) Unarmed combatives and WHEN to use combatives
10) When and how to move
11) Shooting at moving targets while moving yourself. (Roger Phillips, "Point Shooting Progressions")
12) Gun safety and gun safety while carrying a defensive handgun. (Don't shoot a hole in your pants!)
13) Vehicles
14) Movement through structures (SouthNarc AMIS)
15) Handling firearm malfunctions
16) Low light shooting
17) Scenarios and role playing with Airsoft/Simunitions. This is very important. (ECQC, many other instructors)
18) Learn all about initiative (Roger Phillips, "Point Shooting Progressions")

The single two most beneficial classes I have ever taken are SouthNarc's ECQC course and my first two day defensive pistol course.


#17 is very important. Firearms, Research and Instructions' Level 3 class included scenarios. One included a male on top of a female punching her. My friend decided to intervene. He ended up shooting the male. She charged him and stabbed him as he got several rounds into her. He was intervening in a domestic violence event in which the female stabbed the male several times. The male was in the process of defending himself (we learned this in the AAR which would have included witness interviews). At least two role players "died"; he was "stabbed" in the belly.

Last edited by tomrkba; February 17, 2015 at 03:43 PM.
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Old February 17, 2015, 03:26 PM   #11
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When I've been asked this sort of question, I usually look at the package of knowledge and skills.

Competently having a gun for self defense involves more than just marksmanship:
  • You will want to know and understand the legal issues -- when the use of lethal force would be legally justified, when it would not be, and how to tell the difference. You will want to understand how to handle the legal aftermath of a violent encounter and how to articulate why, in a particular situation, you decided to take whatever action you did.

  • You will want to know about levels of alertness and mental preparedness to take action. You will want to understand how to assess situations and make difficult decisions quickly under stress. You will want to know about the various stress induced physiological and psychological effects that you might face during and after a violent encounter.

  • You will want to develop good practical proficiency with your gun. That includes practical marksmanship, i. e., being able to deploy your gun and get good hits quickly at various distances. It also includes skills such as moving and shooting, use of cover and concealment, reloading quickly, clearing malfunctions, and moving safely with a loaded gun.

Good, professional training is useful for acquiring that basic knowledge and those basic skills.
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Old February 17, 2015, 04:12 PM   #12
coyotewsm
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Fireforged I'm gonna check out those books.
Tomrkba you said a mouthfull but where do I go to learn it all.
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Old February 17, 2015, 05:01 PM   #13
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"Learn it all" is a lifetime endeavor.
Start at the beginning with a local training facility.
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Old February 17, 2015, 05:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
1) Handling compliant attackers (You have them at gun point, they gave up, now what?)
I dont see this a issue I must deal with.. if he is no longer attacking or if attack is no longer imminent, I am going to remove myself from the danger area. I have absolutely no inclination to capture anyone or hold anyone at gunpoint. My main priority is my personal safety and if I remain in a volatile situation any longer than necessary, I may be attacked again. My only personal exception to this is a situation where I may have someone down and I feel confident that if I let them up they are going to immediately harm me or someone else. If that is the case, I guess I may have to remain until help arrives. My general rule of thumb is to leave if I can safely do that. Calling the Police, EMS or other "help" oriented responders is certainly part of the process and I would call as soon as practicable.

Quote:
2) Handling witnesses
...again, I dont see this as an issue for the armed citizen.
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Last edited by FireForged; February 17, 2015 at 05:19 PM.
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Old February 17, 2015, 05:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
"Learn it all" is a lifetime endeavor.
Start at the beginning with a local training facility.
I second that motion
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Old February 17, 2015, 05:57 PM   #16
zombietactics
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Quote:
... If I ever do have to defend myself I plan to come out of it alive and unharmed so what kind of mind set should I adopt? I know on top of being able to hit what i'm aiming at I need to be able to get my gun out the holster quick but I feel like there is even more to it than that. ...
I would offer one key "more than that" idea:

Your goal is "... alive and unhurt ...". That is primary, and everything else is subordinate to that goal, including fast draw and accurate shots.

Shooting might be part of the solution. Shooting might be what eventually stops the attack. Shooting someone however, does not stop them from shooting or stabbing you for several seconds. Your attacker can empty a mag into you in several seconds.

Moving quickly is a good idea ... out of the way, then further away, then to some combination of distance, cover and/or concealment. Moving quickly makes you harder to shoot, and especially harder to stab, especially if you are shooting back at the time.
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Old February 17, 2015, 06:30 PM   #17
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Posted by FireForged
Quote:
I dont see this [compliant attackers at gunpoint] a issue I must deal with.. if he is no longer attacking or if attack is no longer imminent, I am going to remove myself from the danger area. I have absolutely no inclination to capture anyone or hold anyone at gunpoint. My main priority is my personal safety and if I remain in a volatile situation any longer than necessary, I may be attacked again.
I could not agree more.

Quote:
My only personal exception to this is a situation where I may have someone down and I feel confident that if I let them up they are going to immediately harm me or someone else. If that is the case, I guess I may have to remain until help arrives. My general rule of thumb is to leave if I can safely do that. Calling the Police, EMS or other "help" oriented responders is certainly part of the process and I would call as soon as practicable.
Well, I would not intend to "have someone down"--I want 'em gone.

One renowned instructor in use of force law mentioned the idea of holding someone who had entered the house in violation of a restraining order.

TheTacticalProfessor said that he intends to write something on the risks and rewards of holding someone. I haven't seen it yet.
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Old February 17, 2015, 06:40 PM   #18
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Posted by tomrkba:
Quote:
I am suggesting that you know the law and have a series of rehearsed questions and answers that are designed to minimize damage to your court case.
I don't want to sound argumentative, but I think it is more important to know what substance to impart and what to not say, and why, than it is to have "rehearsed answers". Many people have heard what the "right answers" are said to be, and one does not want to come across as spouting cliches.
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Old February 17, 2015, 06:58 PM   #19
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g. Willikers what kind of training facility are you referring to? The only thing I know about in my area is the gun ranges that offer shooting classes.
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Old February 17, 2015, 07:28 PM   #20
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What State do you live in?
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Old February 17, 2015, 07:31 PM   #21
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Posted by g.willikers
Quote:
Some people (police and military, for example) might get a pass when their bullets miss the intended target and hit something else
F'N REALLY? Try reading your state laws some time I am sure most state laws do not give a "Free pass" to LE if they hit a innocent bystander.

For instance ARS 13-401. Unavailability of justification defense; justification as defense

A. Even though a person is justified under this chapter in threatening or using physical force or deadly physical force against another, if in doing so such person recklessly injures or kills an innocent third person, the justification afforded by this chapter is unavailable in a prosecution for the reckless injury or killing of the innocent third person.

There is no exclusion for LE anywhere in there.

But feel free to spread misinformation!!

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Old February 17, 2015, 07:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotewsm
g. Willikers what kind of training facility are you referring to? The only thing I know about in my area is the gun ranges that offer shooting classes.
Some of those might be a good start. Among other things, someone might be teaching the NRA classes, Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home, near you.

And check out these threads:

A number of first rate instructors travel around. Massad Ayoob will be putting on his excellent MAG-40 class in Arkansas (in May and October) and Florida (in October). Check Tom Givens' schedule. The Second Amendment Foundation has started to put on training programs around the country.

You might need to travel a bit, but going off to a shooting class can make a nice vacation.
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Old February 17, 2015, 08:23 PM   #23
coyotewsm
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Fireforged I'm a southeast Ga resident.
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Old February 17, 2015, 08:44 PM   #24
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Quote:
Expanding a little on that:

Avoid concentrating on smart-phones, gas pumps, or ATMs in public, or listening to music.
Do not walk close to cars, corners, alley openings, dumsters, etc.
Don't take long to get put things into or get into your car.
Don't sit in your car for very long.
Keep looking around.
If I have to worry about all that, I am moving - that is NOT the way to live your life - paranoid and worrying about every shadow in the parking lot. Being aware is one thing, going to this extreme is another......
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Old February 17, 2015, 08:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
If I have to worry about all that, I am moving - that is NOT the way to live your life - paranoid and worrying about every shadow in the parking lot. Being aware is one thing, going to this extreme is another......
Its called exclusion zone theory, the idea is that if you avoid certain conditions and circumstances you greatly reduce the chances of being a blip on the radar of the predatory criminal.

its no more "worrisome" or "paranoid" than wearing a seatbelt, walking in the light vs through a darken alley, locking your doors or having a fire extinguisher.
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