Hello my friends and fellow Guardians – Pat Kilchermann here, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
As I talked about last week, this week I want to continue our conversation where we’re making PRE-POSITIONING a real, concrete thing in our minds. To provide you with plenty of tangible examples of PRE-POSITIONING in use, so that you’re well aware of just how much of an easily-understood, tangible, trainable, and practicable skill PRE-POSITIONING IS.
Before we continue, a quick reminder:
Why are we discussing pre-positioning? Because along with the idea of learning to identify and CREATE windows within an actively violent self-defense situation, pre-positioning is the primary focus of Volume 3 of 3 SECONDS FROM NOWat-home training program. And before we move on to Volume 4, which will be released within the next 60 days, I want to make sure we’re all pre-positioning masters: at least in our heads. Because if we understand it, we can work on these skills physically in our visualization, in our training, and in our practice at the range or in our living rooms.
Second and finally, I want to call to mind that reality that we are dividing the idea of PRE-POSITIONING up into four categories, based on the chronology of a violent attack.
Category #1 are all those things we can and should be doing in our day to day lives, even when we don’t feel threatened. Having these habits in place will do three things. First, it’ll MASSIVELY cut down our reaction times to violence. Second, it’ll MASSIVELY boost our effectiveness to shut down violence with and without our handguns. And thirdly, it’ll MASSIVELY decrease our chances of sustaining injury during an attack.
Categories #2 and #3 also come with all those benefits, but Category #2 are the things we can do AFTER we begin feeling threatened, but BEFORE an actual attack begins. Category #3 are the things we can actually do WITHIN a violent attack, as our attackers are trying to kill us or other innocent people.
And Category #4 represents all the things we can do immediately following a violent attack, so that our experiences going through the criminal justice system will be as favorable as possible. Nothing illegal by any stretch – these are just things every responsible citizen should be aware of, but things that many of us have never had to think about.
Okay. Last week, we finished our discussion on Category #1. This week, we’re diving into Category #2: things we can do AFTER we begin feeling threatened, but BEFORE an actual attack begins. I’m just going to dive right in, bulleted list style. Here goes, and I’ll limit my examples here to whatever we can cover in one broadcast.
Okay, first is the idea of being able to draw your handgun DISCREETELY. This is a big one. Obviously, you’re not going to draw your handgun every time you feel threatened, just in case you end up needing it. But to have that ability is something that could one day be critical for your success. Imagine you’re in a situation where someone enters your vicinity who is acting sporadic, belligerent, and they’re even armed with a weapon. They haven’t USED that weapon yet, but it really, really seems like they might. Now, you know 911 has been called or is being called, and you also know that if they start using that weapon, you’re going to have to act. BUT: you know that it’s possible that he’ll turn against you first of all before anyone else, and that if he does, it’ll probably be too late to get your gun out. Well, what if you have the skill to draw your handgun so that absolutely nobody else was aware, and to keep that handgun hidden beneath your shirt or behind your offhand or offhand arm. All so that you’re effectively standing there with your gun in your strong hand, even possibly bladed toward your threat, but with your gun completely hidden, so that you really just look like a bored spectator crossing his arms? That would be an excellent skill to have, right? It is. We call it the ability to discretely draw your pistol. The keys are to do so with minimal movement, minimal contrast, and with zero telegraphing. This requires a lot of secondary or pre-requisite skills, such as an ability to maintain excellent situational awareness and avoid tunnel vision when you’re stressed. If your heart has ever started pounding before speaking up in a meeting or group of people, just wait until you try to discretely draw your handgun on a living, breathing human being. That’s why we’ve got to practice this ahead of time.
Next, combat breathing. Beginning intentional and focused combat breathing at the first sign of a threat is going to help with every other skill you need to execute within that sphere of pre-positioning, and within the entire engagement as a whole. But if you don’t practice combat breathing every time you’re threatened, it won’t be habit, and you probably won’t think to do it when it really counts.
Next is to begin working toward cover and concealment at the first moment you’re able to once you sense a threat in your presence. This will not only help to pull off a concealed draw stroke, but it’ll help save your life if you begin receiving fire during that engagement. Just remember: as with ALL these things we’re talking about: if you botch any of these, you could make your situation much worse. You could make a situation where you weren’t going to have to use your gun in self-defense, but suddenly you DO have to. In other words, your attempt at pre-positioning could actually INSTIGATE a situation that otherwise would have never exited the realm of mere Threat, into the realm of actual violence. If you can’t do these things without instigating or without remaining off the radar, stay in place and do what you can from there, unless you’re dead on certain that it’s going to become violent and that staying put will threaten your survival.
Another pre-positioning item may be to get the attention of and coordinate with other good guys or innocent parties. This is a deep subject.
If you’re seated at the beginning of a threatening situation, you may want to stand. Or, you may want to shrink down. Or, you may want to draw beneath the table. When we get into this realm things become extremely situationally dependent, but you’re getting the idea.
An example of how situationally dependent these pre-positioning items become once you begin feeling threatened, is that if you’re facing multiple attackers, you can discretely maneuver against them, to keep the two of them (or two OF them, if there are multiple) lined up with each other. This can make it so that you’re only fighting one at a time, and it can make it so that the rearward threat can’t fire at you without jeopardizing the life of his companion.
If there are other helpful assets nearby, like a fire alarm, a door or window to exit out of, or something to throw if that would help, you can maneuver toward them during this space of time.
Now these is a lot of situationally dependent items that may be totally irrelevant to us. The idea is to educate your mind with enough specific, tactical ideas like these, so that when you need it, you’ve got a mind between your shoulders that’s capable of acting quickly and effectively with these sorts of pre-positioning ideas, so that – a few seconds later – if deadly force becomes absolutely justified and absolutely required, you can deploy faster, more effectively, and in a way that is SAFE for you and very dangerous for your violent threat or threats.
But overall, my friends, and this is the last item we’ll cover today, and yet it’s the most important:
After you begin feeling threatened but before that threat has become violent, the most important things we can do are these:
We need to become aware of all the threats. The number of threats. Look for accomplices. Don’t let yourself be blindsided by additional help.
We need to accurately evaluate the objectives and the intentions of the threats. Why are they there? What are they after? What will they have to do, to get it? Do they seem smart, tight, and focused? Or do they seem loose and sloppy? Are they acting singularly, with sound minds that they are in control of? Or do they seem sporadic, wild, easily agitated, extremely stressed?
Are they wearing masks? Are they trying to disguise themselves? What are they armed with? What kind of condition are their weapons in, and what advantages can you gain over them based on the weapons you see?
These are all keys, perhaps the most important keys, to be aware of during a threatening encounter, and I’m sure there are more. Perhaps you’ve already come up with a great many more ideas, and that is excellent.
The bottom line is, we will need to decide what we’ll do, and when we’ll do it, based on their behavior, their own pre-positions, and their actions.
We need to draw our RED LINES for these situations, based on those actions, and we need to keep adjusting them in real time as those actions change.
We need to decide what will give us the greatest chance of surviving, and we need to focus on survival and the survival of all the other innocents nearby as our primary goal.
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