Hand To Hand Combat Refresher

A punch is thrown, and the officer moves to deflect and redirect it. In a flash the assailant is on the ground with little understanding of how they got there.

Just as quickly the officer is on top of them, applying handcuffs. While this has a modern-day feel to it, this episode could have taken place almost anywhere on earth for the last several thousand years. There is an undeniable link between modern defensive tactics taught in police academies, military bases and security institutes and the ancient dojo.

While the modern police academy defensive tactics room looks little like a martial arts dojo, the lessons remain the same. Training gi’s are replaced with T-shirts and sweats. The sword is now an expandable baton, and the warrior wears a badge instead of a family crest. The techniques are taught in a slightly different manner, but the lessons remain the same. While possibly an oversimplification, these lessons can be broken down into five sections. First up is striking.

Strike Through It

The idea of striking an adversary seems to be a simple matter. They attack you, and you throw a punch in reply. This is an oversimplification of effective technique, however. Senseis and drill instructors teach the same thing: If you are going to hit something, strike through it. To make contact with the surface and stop will result in a less-than-effective strike. By striking as if you are aiming at a point beyond your initial contact, you will get much deeper penetration into your target. Additionally, you are taught to strike with your entire body. A relaxed body concentrated behind a punch or kick allows the transfer of much more energy into the subject. This is essential for those who may not possess great strength or size.

Lock It Up

Another essential skill in any combatives program is joint locking and manipulation. All officers must have the ability to manipulate a subject’s joints in order to not only control them but also to handcuff them as well. The world of joint manipulation is vast and complicated, yet pieces can be cut out for those wearing a badge. The primary principle behind joint control is moving a joint against its normal direction. This is accomplished by moving the joint away from the subject’s center to weaken it, then using your entire body to turn and control the joint.

The most common control points are the wrist and elbows. Used correctly, these controls can provide pain compliance and, more importantly, mechanical compliance. They can incapacitate an assailant and keep them from causing any further injury. A unique aspect of joint manipulations is their dual application nature. These controls allow an officer to control a subject, but if need be, they can break joints as well. If an assailant continues to be dangerous, an officer can damage a joint to a degree that the subject cannot utilize it in a continued assault. While not preferred, the option is available.

Combative Grappling

In many cases, combative events end up on the ground. This, coupled with the huge popularity of MMA and the belief by many assailants that they are the next UFC champion, makes strong grappling skills a must. The difference, however, is that combative grappling is not a sport. There are no tap-outs or referees. The main goal in combative grappling is to either disable the assailant quickly or to get back onto your feet. The opportunity for the assailant’s friends to kick an officer in the head while they roll is very high. Even after an officer or soldier does disable an opponent, they need to get to their
feet as quickly as possible.

Using Weapons

The world of weapons in our context goes be-yond firearms. A student of combatives must have both offensive and defensive skills with a variety of weapons. The two most common are edged weapons and impact weapons. Edged weapons are extremely dangerous in that they are easily concealed, easy to use and silent. Traditional disarming techniques follow three components: Get off the line of attack, control the weapon and then control the assailant. The introduction of an edged weapon also elevates the event to a deadly-force incident. If the person is willing to take your life, then they should be considered a deadly, dedicated adversary. A kinetic response to the attack must be swift and overwhelming.

Much of this applies to the introduction of an impact weapon as well. The flipside of this coin are skills that allow an officer or soldier offensive skills with these weapons. Training with impact weapons is common and for the most part is adequate. Offensive edged weapons training is almost non-existent, however. Without going into too much detail, the use of blades in traditional training is based on stopping the adversary. The most effective way to do this is to stab. Slashing does damage but is not nearly as effective as penetration into internal organs. This is a lethal-force option when a firearm is not available.

Survival Mindset

Of all the relevant training that has flowed from the dojo to the training room, focusing the mind is the most important. Samurai would dedicate years in training their mind to stay focused and calm during conflict. While the methods of mental training have changed, the lesson remains the same. A calm mind allows for more options to present themselves. Panic and overwhelming fear can cause irrational behavior and less-than-effective responses to threats. There is a Japanese phrase that sums up the most critical lesson in mental training: dochu-no-sei or “calmness in action.”

In the end, there is little that differentiates modern students of combatives from ancient ones. Society has advanced to a great degree, yet there will always be those who wish to do harm to the innocent. Those who stand as guardians of the weak will always be the product of warrior training. They have been and will always be the product of sweat, pain and mental focus.

source: tactical-life.com

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4 Scenarios to Get the Tactical Advantage

By CTD Blogger in How To, Safety and Training

The right of self-defense is among the most basic of human rights, and the majority of us own, and/or carry a firearm to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to obtain a CCW permit and take on the additional responsibility of self-defense. However, having a firearm and the law on your side does not automatically translate into good self-defense. You’ll need situational awareness, quick reactions, solid weapons handling skills, and a good outcome in the event of a violent attack. But first, you’ll need plan and train yourself to respond effectively to a threat in several common scenarios can vastly improve your chances of surviving and eliminating the threat.

Car Jacking Get-Away Tactics

Here are four scenarios that once mastered, will serve as the basics that you can modify and rely on later should you find yourself in a self-defense situation.

Scenario 1

You’re walking in a parking garage, descending a flight of steps, and an attacker confronts you.

Elements to Remember

  • Mindset: If you don’t think you can use deadly force, don’t carry a firearm. Instead, opt for a less than lethal option such as a taser, pepper spray or CQB striking device, and do not concern yourself with the remainder of this article.
  • Clothing for Concealed Carry: Wear a loose shirt or jacket that allows you to easily access your weapon. It’s best to sew in a small weight into the hem of the shirt, so when you sweep it back it will swing out of the way and not interfere with the draw. Loose change in a jacket pocket also works well.
  • Practice: Run through this scenario drawing and firing with an unloaded weapon until you can do it smoothly in 2-4 seconds. IDPA matches at a local range require you to draw from concealment and make excellent practice for real world variations of this practice.

Scenario 2

Driving in a vehicle and facing a carjacking or road rage incident.

Elements to Remember

  • Mindset: Always be aware of your surroundings when stopped at a light, parked, or driving slowly through an alley or behind stores where an attacker can surprise you. Drive through ATMs, especially at night, have you in a funnel where you can easily be trapped. Think about how an assailant might attack, and be aware of what is around or behind the you. If you cannot easily turn to see behind you, do not be afraid to use the car’s backup camera if so equipped.
  • Clothing: Don’t carry on your person where interference from a seatbelt or your elbow hitting the seat as you attempt to draw can hinder your ability to access your weapon. However, if you are carrying on your person, all hope is not lost. The Shooter’s Log recently ran a video showing, while not ideal, how to draw and engage from this situation.
  • Vehicle Attachments: Consider a gun magnet which can be easily mounted near the steering wheel for a quick grab/draw.

Scenario 3

Attacker grabbing young boy

While walking, an attacker approaches and attacks from behind.

Elements to Remember

  • In this scenario, traditional advice has been to clasp your keys like a weapon to strike an attacker, or to throw them far away from you in hopes of giving yourself time to run. This assumes the attack is a carjacking. What if it’s a violent personal assault or a kidnapping? Never carry your keys in your gun hand; always keep them in your support hand. Likewise, if you are on the phone, hold it in your support hand.
  • Instead of turning away from your car to confront the attacker, immediately turn inside and either drop or throw your keys directly at him with your support hand, while simultaneously drawing your weapon with your gun hand.
  • If you are carrying groceries, a purse, workout bag, laptop, cellphone, etc., use it as a weapon of distraction by hurling it at your attacker as hard and as quickly as possible.

Scenario 4

Entering or exiting your car when an attacker is close enough to grab you.

Elements to Remember

  • You are at your most vulnerable entering or exiting your vehicle. Stop, look around and assess the situation before getting out. When pulling into your garage, close the door before unlocking or getting out of your vehicle. Knowing your surroundings, noticing who’s around you and their body language and staying in the “condition yellow” cautionary awareness is crucial.
  • If someone approaches you under the ruse of asking for directions, spare change, etc. and manages to get hands on you, push or kick violently against the attacker to offset their balance enough that you can access your handgun and shoot from retention. This is when having the proper gear is critical. A holster that allows your gun to fall out or is too difficult for you to manipulate under pressure could prove disastrous.

The Tactical Advantage

Ultimately, carrying a concealed weapon is an enormous responsibility that requires you to understand your skill set and be prepared to use deadly force (carrying a round in the chamber). You must also have good weapons handling instruction, so you don’t become a victim of your own gun. Practice regularly at the shooting range until acquiring a sight picture, drawing and firing is committed to muscle memory. Staying in the “yellow” cautionary mindset, and rehearse every step, so if the time ever comes, you could maintain the tactical advantage that saves your life.

Take advantage of your rights.

What scenarios do practice or have committed to memory? What elements would you add to these scenarios? Share your answers in the comment section.

Back To The Wall

Here is a situational awareness tip for while in a crowd (or anywhere) and how to avoid looking over your shoulder while still accomplishing the same thing – seeing what would be behind you or out of your field of vision — and avoiding any ‘surprises’.

Instead of looking over your shoulder, position yourself such that your back is against a surface.

When you are standing or sitting (perhaps waiting) within a crowd (or anywhere – regardless of a crowd or not), or while you’re at an event of some sort or waiting for a train, a plane, etc.. you obviously cannot see behind you. You have some peripheral vision, which may be effective out to an angle of 140 or 160 degrees if you are ‘aware’, but that’s about it…

You have a blind spot (a zone) of approximately 220 degrees. There’s a lot that could be happening in this zone and unless you hear it, feel it, or smell it, you won’t know it’s there.

If your back is up against or near a strategic surface (a wall, a pillar, a tree, a building, etc..) you will have the advantage of seeing your environment while potentially avoiding any ‘surprises’ behind you in your blind zone.

The next time you’re out in a crowd, look for strategic surfaces which you could position yourself in front of, or lean up against.

If you are simply walking and are concerned about your environment, although you cannot see what’s behind you – you might choose to walk along a wall or other such tangible or semi-tangible edges. You might casually stop once in awhile – turning enough to see what’s behind you while checking your cell phone, etc.

Sometimes having your back to the wall isn’t a bad thing, it’s the proper strategic defensive posture from which to launch your attack.

Paraphrased from Derek Paulson for The ShieldWall Network.

Whatever you do, don’t freeze!

Paraphrased from Jonathon Chambers, Patriot Vigilante

Mentally training yourself how to react in a survival situation takes practice, and that takes a commitment and some time.

According to the FBI, a home invasion happens every 20 seconds in the United States. Just one well placed kick around the door handle will break in 75% of front doors. Or a couple of hard yanks on your sliding glass door might be enough to lift the entire thing right out of its frame.

A surprise attack can cause a person to freeze, as a fast, overwhelming attack can be too much information for the mind to orient to. Fear can also cause the freeze. And the combination of fear and an overwhelming attack, even worse.

In Facing Violence, Rory Miller devotes a chapter to different types of freezes and how to break them. I don’t have enough experience with freezing or breaking freezes to go into specific examples and details for each type, but two strategies that have worked for me follow the solutions Rory offers.

The nature of a freeze is that you’re “frozen”, or not doing anything. And it’s triggered by someone or something else that is doing something. The key to preventing the freeze (and breaking a freeze) is to actively do something. This may seem obvious, but there’s more to it, as described below, and it should be a fundamental part of your self defense strategy.

Most predators will attempt to take their victims by surprise. And when you get nailed by an assault you didn’t see coming, you will at least momentarily freeze. Everyone will. First, your body and mind will be shocked by the physical nature of the assault. Second, you’ll either be completely paralysed on a primal level, stuck trying to figure out what’s going on, or you’ll pause for a moment while you switch from your everyday mind to a more aggressive state. During this period, you may very well be getting mauled by your attacker. One way to prevent this from happening is to use what’s called pre-positioning.

Pre-positioning requires you to be aware of the threat before the situation goes physical. Ideally, you’ll position yourself far, far away, and there won’t be a physical attack at all. But when you can’t avoid the threat, (and he’s closing in on you) pre-positioning involves becoming the predator yourself, mentally and physically. You pre-position yourself to attack the threat. Mentally switching from being a victim to being a predator, makes all the difference in the world. Pre-positioning is active. It involves doing something. And doing something is the opposite of freezing.

Anyone who has sparred just a bit, standing and with strikes, knows that standing flat footed, chest to chest, with your hands down, and directly in front of your opponent is a very bad idea. But circling to the outside of your opponent, for example, minimizing his options while maximizing your own, works well. Pre-positioning involves setting up your position relative to your opponent, and seeing your opponent as your prey rather than as your attacker. If he moves to attack, he’s giving you something.

He’s creating an opening that you will use to your advantage.

You’ll need to practice pre-positioning in order to understand and use it, but it should be part of your physical martial arts and self defense training. Sparring will help with your ability to pre-position.

The second strategy, conditioning effective default responses to various types of attacks, is a last ditch option when you are attacked by surprise. If you’ve conditioned yourself to unconsciously respond to a physical assault, even if you are surprised by the attack, your body will execute the conditioned response. Immediately after the response, you may freeze as you try to figure out what just happened. Hopefully, your training will kick in and you’ll continue to act as quickly as possible.