When does the fight start? Most people would answer that by replying when they perceive a potential threat. What we want to do is think outside the box. Recognizing that fighting is a mental process, the fight begins when pick up your weapon, check to make sure it’s loaded and ready, and then saying in your mind, “Today may be the day, and if so I am ready.” Mentally you are already preparing to deal with a problem, which puts you ahead of the situation before you ever spot potential trouble.
At the top of our list for responding to a threat is avoidance and escape. When these are not options then we must fight, but if we can solve the problem, win the fight without ever being involved in an actual confrontation, that puts us way ahead of the curve.
When and where will the fight occur? If we knew that we would be somewhere else, avoiding the situation, or arrange for plenty of support to dominate our opponents. Fights, like car wrecks, can happen at any time and come from any direction.
Stay aware of your environment so you can spot possible trouble and apply the tactics of avoidance and escape.
If forced to fight, what will it take to win? The problem may be solved by the presence of a weapon and strong verbal commands. It’s documented that two and one-half million times a year presenting a weapon and issuing verbal commands to the threat prevent potential trouble, and there are probably many more situations like this that are not documented. While issuing verbal commands it is a good idea to proceed to cover, create distance, and still be working towards avoiding and escaping the situation.
When verbal commands don’t solve our problem, we should use force, engaging the threat with accurate fire until they decide they don’t want to participate any longer or we’ve inflicted enough damage to their body that they can’t continue to fight. At this point avoidance is no longer an option, we’re in a fight, but while placing accurate shots on the threat we’re still working on how to escape the situation.
How the long fight will last? The fight isn’t over until everyone and everything is secure and there is not chance for any further problems. Just because the threat ran away or is down doesn’t mean the fight is over. They could come back at any time, and maybe with friends. A downed threat may decide to get back into the fight. As soon as possible we’re escaping that environment, getting to a safer area, and attempting to avoid any other potential problems.
The point is that avoidance and escape are always our best tactics, and just because we are forced to fight doesn’t mean those tactics are no longer options.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of “The Book of Two Guns” - http://shootrite.org/book/book.html writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk’s DVD, “Fighting With The 1911 - http://shootrite.org/dvd/dvd.html McKee’s new book, AR-15 Skills and Drills, is available off Shootrite’s website: http://shootrite.org/AR15SkillsBook/AR15SkillsBook.html