EPISODE #155: Combat Dynamics and the Phases of Human Conflict

Hello my fellow guardians, and welcome to another Guardian Broadcast. I’m your host and founder of the Concealed Carry University, Patrick Kilchermann. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and for those of you that got them, good long weekends and winter breaks.

This week, I want to talk about Combat Dynamics.

Why? Because what I call Combat Dynamics is the backbone of the bulk of our effort here at Concealed Carry University, and it’s the unique approach that we are bringing to this beautiful space of ours. And it is my hope that Combat Dynamics is your secret weapon. The advantage that YOU have over every other permit holder out there… and especially every criminal out there. Your nuclear option for ending fights fast, for surviving violence without sustaining injury, and for putting violent attackers out of commission very rapidly. And not only that, but I believe Combat Dynamics taps into fundamental truths about human behavior that can help us live better, richer, more enjoyable lives in general. I know I’ve used the principals behind Combat Dynamics to make me better at achieving my fitness goals… to making me a better driver… a better husband… a better leader… certainly better at competitive sports, and a better entrepreneur.

Okay, the first question is: do you need to know about Combat Dynamics. The answer is: no. That’s because Combat Dynamics is a philosophy, and at the end of the day, you really only need to be an effective individual who has been taught and who has practiced good Strategy and good Tactics. That’s enough. So, when it comes to being a good fighter, or effective at self-defense with your handgun, you really only need to be educated and trained by someone who understands combat dynamics.

And here I have to say: some of the best trainers out there seem to have an excellent grasp on what it is that I call Combat Dynamics. My favorite example is Gabe Suarez. Another stellar example for the hand to hand space is Tim Larkin. These guys live and breathe Combat Dynamics. It’s in their DNA. I talked to Gabe a bit about this when we had him up here to Michigan, and he knew exactly what I was getting at. So, it’s enough to learn from guys like this.

That said, most trainers definitely don’t understand Combat Dynamics, and as a result, the Strategies and Tactics they teach fall epically short in the arena of life and death – that is, self-defense on the street. And so, if you understand the philosophy behind Combat Dynamics, and the strategies and tactics that pour out of it – you are set for life, for when it comes to knowing what is and isn’t good training, and for knowing how to teach and train yourself. PLUS, for a very large portion of men and women out there, Combat Dynamics is NOT in our blood and DNA. Many of us are by nature NOT natural and fluid fighters like a Suarez or Larkin, and so when we try to learn directly from people like that, we may find that what feels like an un-bridgeable gap between the student and instructor. But if you know Combat Dynamics, you will be able to maximize the education you get from these inspiring leaders and warriors.

Alright. The second question is the big one: what IS Combat Dynamics?

Simple. Combat Dynamics is the study of Energy within Human Conflict. That’s it. But there are other ways we can phrase this so that it might click for you, or so that you might know by context exactly what we’re referring to here.

You see, human conflict is as much a psychological clash as it is a physical clash. In fact, human conflict is MOSTLY a psychological clash. That is because by the very nature of our humanity (and even more basically, by the very nature of the parts within us that are fully animal), conflict was never intended to be lethal. Lethal conflict almost never serves the species. That’s why animals almost never fight to the death or even to the point of mortal wounds, when competing for mating partners or territory or food sources. We humans however make it lethal, usually for accidental or practical reasons. Reasons such as the consequences of the tools we use. Or out of murderous rage. Or, as a means of leaving no witnesses and escaping the consequences of our crimes.

But because of our animal nature, we are programmed in an inescapable way to KNOW when we are defeated before we actually are.

(Phase 1) : That’s why most conflicts never happen to begin with, because provided we are sane and not under the influence of drugs, we humans are excellent at sizing up our opponents and knowing when we should just shut up – or, knowing when we are the uncontested Alphas in a scenario. This is why military strategy, posturing, and maneuvering are so important. Having a good enough military that is ready enough can prevent you from ever going to war to begin with.

(Phase 2) : For the times when an altercation DOES spark – either because one party failed at sizing up their opponent, or is under the influence, or perceives themselves as the Alpha and wants to prove it or reap its rewards, OR simply because one of us wants something so bad we’re willing to fight about it – most of these altercations are settled by communication. Usually non-verbal communication, such as posturing, but sometimes verbal communication. Most altercations that spark into this realm are settled without physical conflict when one party chooses to back down and disengage from the posturing match. This is the bad guy saying: “Okay, okay, hey, I don’t want any trouble, this was a misunderstanding bro.” Or, the good guy saying “You know what? You’re not worth it. I’ll leave.” Or, the good guy saying, “Don’t shoot – here’s my watch, just go!” Or, because Combat Dynamics is as true for nations or coalitions as it is for individuals, it could be one side conceding land to another and withdrawing troops.

(Phase 3) : Sometimes, conflict does become physical. It is rare. Fights are rare. And when they happen, they are almost always settled in a non-lethal way, where one party chooses to disengage. One party realizes they are getting the crap kicked out of them. They want the pain and humiliation to end. They want out. They crumple and cover their head and chest with their hands. Or, they tap out. Or, they surrender. Or, they run away. This is how most fights end. It’s certainly how all wars end – meaning, never in history has every single combatant down to the very last man in an actual war been killed. And smaller-unit engagements end this way as well. A platoon withdrawing with four injured and one killed might be the organized combat equivalent of a barroom brawler turning away and heading for the door after a well-landed punch lays his eye open and has him seeing stars. But the bottom line is, most fights end when one of the combative parties decides to disengage.

(Phase 4) : In rare instances, conflicts that become physical continue right up to the instant where one party suffers fatal or non-fatal incapacitation. Meaning: they become totally unable to offer any more resistance or offensive action.

Alright, so where does Combat Dynamics fit into all this common-sense truth? Well, Combat Dynamics is the explanation of WHY these truths are indeed truths. Remember, Combat Dynamics is the study of Energy, and all these things are true because OF the physical and – mostly – psychological energy that sparks, flares, explodes, and rages within human conflict.

I’m going to talk more about this next week. But for now, I’d love for the reader or listener to spend the week pondering this reality: That most people who teach armed, handgun self-defense survival do not understand all of this. They teach self-defense as if it exists completely within the final realm, the realm of lethality. Most are totally unaware that, to leverage your BEST chance to use a handgun to end a fight quickly without getting hurt yourself, you must react in a very specific, energetic way and that you must do so much sooner than most instructors are aware. And those few who do understand this often believe that tactics designed specifically for the final, lethal realm of human conflict are the most important ones and can therefore neglect factoring in the circumstances of the other realms of human conflict.

This is however most certainly not the case, as is proven by the thousands of uses of deadly force that have been caught on camera, and as has been proven in the hearts of those who have survived real violence, either by winning or losing.

In short: Combat Dynamics teaches us one extremely important lesson: That we stand the best chance of being phenomenally, remarkably, astoundingly successful in combat with our handguns if we shift our strategies and tactics away from the singular goal of trying to shoot our attacker dead, and instead broaden our perspectives and launch our defensive reactions with the primary goal being this: to end that fight as absolutely FAST as possible, however that looks.

Leveraging the Strategies and Tactics within Combat Dynamics, it is possible to end a fight in this way much faster than most people who train and practice in traditional ways imagine. It is possible to save more lives in nearly any situation than most of those people would imagine.

We will continue this discussion next week, my dear friends.

Until then,
Patrick Kilchermann

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