EPISODE #149: What to Do In a Gunfight and Why to Do It

Hello my friends and fellow guardians,

This week, we wrap up our discussion on PRE-POSITIONING.

Over the last few Guardian Broadcasts, we’ve covered this topic with specific examples of how you can use Pre-Positioning to make your deployment of deadly force faster and more effective, and how truly effective pre-positioning can help you avoid ever needing to use deadly force in the first place.

In the first part of the series, we covered passive pre-positioning life-habits that, if we focus on developing them, will radically boost our effectiveness in most aspects of life, but especially where giving you an “unfair advantage” in self-defense is concerned.

In the second part, we discussed Active Pre-positioning tactics we can employ, once we begin feeling threatened.

Those are the most important categories, but I want to briefly inject a couple examples of the categories that remain, to help drive home exactly what pre-positioning is and what it means for all of us. And so:

The third category of pre-positioning represents the things we can do within the span of a violent engagement, and here we really drill down in the micro. Pre-Positioning within an active engagement– literally as you’re moving or as you’re shooting – encompasses most of what we know of or think of, with regards to actual tactics. The shooting, the moving, the awareness: the survivor of violence and the effective fighter is always acting with the demands of the next half second or the next second or two or three in mind.

Does that make sense? Now, a lot of this pre-positioning concept is common-sense simple. It’s nothing more elaborate than just re-categorizing things that we already know about; things that we already do. But it’s so helpful to pull all that within these categories of Pre-Positioning, because it really helps us to see the full brilliance of what good strategy and good tactics mean.

Good strategy, remember, is the effective pre-positioning of all available resources to – ideally – defeat your enemies and solve your problems without tactile, or tactical, intervention ever being necessary. But should it become necessary, having effective strategy in place allows and ensures that your actual, physical response is as fast, advantageous, effortless, and effective as possible. That’s what good strategy does.

Good tactics do two things: not only do they work toward physically solving the problem at hand, but every tactic – if it’s a GOOD tactic – will make sure that the very NEXT tactic and the very next SET of tactics that you have to or may have to execute after that one are – similarly – as fast, advantageous, effortless, and effective as possible.

In other words, throwing a punch and hoping it solves all your problems is not good tactics. The good tactician won’t throw a punch that leaves him vulnerable. And he won’t ever expect one punch to solve any problem; instead, this next punch seeks to tire or weaken or stun his opponent, so that the next punch, or the throw three punches from now, can actually end the fight.

It goes on and on, and it gets deep fast. But this is precisely why the study of tactics is so extremely important and valuable. This is why the massive pool of people, young and old, congregating on gun ranges, on YouTube, or on internet forums to knit-pick tactics and to ingrain and focus on good tactics is so universally important to all of us. It matters, because every tactic – every single action – contains the power and potential for effective pre-positioning. And to ignore or disregard that is, then, a big mistake.

People who win fights and survive violence know this. They know that they don’t need to be tactical masters; you don’t even have to know WHY you’re doing what you do. Provided you learn from someone who knows why it was important, and who therefore developed good tactics, you’re creating for yourself massive advantage.

I remember being a young man, engaged in a paintball combat scenario against some combat veteran US Army Officers. I was an unwashed civilian, teamed up with some high school friends. We fought blindly against these officers, executing tactics as if they were poorly rehearsed dance numbers. At the same time, the Army Officers executed tactics that squeezed every ounce of potential pre-positioning out of all their resourced: each of their six men, each bit of terrain and obstacle, each of the strengths and weaknesses of their paintball guns. For the first few seconds, their tactics seemed a little comical. We seemed to have the upper hand in gusto and volume of fire. But after about three seconds – and I kid you not – sheer terror set in, even amid this fun game, as I realized the trap that we were already in. By the time I began realizing it, we had already lost. The game was over. None of us had even been hit yet; all my friends probably still thought we were winning. But, I knew it was done. It was a terrifying masterpiece display of tactics, as these two fireteams moved against us. I lowered my gun, stunned by the beauty of the situation. And within another ten seconds, we were all marked – all “dead” – and not one of them had been touched. It was superb.

SO.

Within an engagement, maneuvering is the clearest example of how pre-positioning can be used, while you’re actively being attacked. You move to avoid being shot; you move to position yourself to be more effective once you’re there. When you fire. You fire to try to hit the guy, but you also fire to put him in a state of reaction, a state of fear, a state of suppression. The way you draw, the timing of your draw. The list goes on and on and on, and it can go on further and further. Eventually, every tactical motion or action holds two powerful components: the immediate result, and the options that this action then opens to you and closes you off from. You want to choose potent, open-ended tactics.

Even through the end of an engagement, after the smoke stops. Calling 911 isn’t just a response or an action. It’s effective pre-positioning. Every word you say. Your vocal tonality – these things WILL have real consequences later on, so the bright tactician uses these resources to make sure his or her life is easier, rather than harder, later on. Consider all these things, everything, as you work toward changing your perspective of a violent situation and your responses within it from closed-ended tactics that either do or don’t solve a problem, to open-ended efforts toward effective pre-positioning.

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