Five Principles for Combat Effectiveness will give you the tactical edge. In this short series I will teach you five principles that will give you a tactical advantage over your adversary. The five principles are:
➢ Life Hangs in the Balance
➢ Know Who You Are
➢ Understand the Role of Emotions
➢ Identify Unresolved Inner Conflict
➢ Identify Your Acceptable Outcome.
I hope you enjoy this first of the series. I do look forward to your comments and feedback. If you find this meaningful and beneficial please share it with others.
Your Combat Coach
Life Hangs in the Balance
I am going to share with you a few principles that have saved my life. Because I closely adhere to these I have been able to avoid or prevent very serious attacks on my life. Because of these principles, on some occasions I have been able to act preemptively which gave me a decisive edge against my adversary.
In this particular conversation, I am confining the context to one-on-one, empty-handed, close quarters combat. (Working effectively with a partner or friend requires experience and specialized training.) Additionally, using a weapon effectively or defending yourself successfully against a weapon, also requires specialized training and experience. Let’s leave those specific matters for another time and conversation.
Violent conflict can come at a high cost and great risk. Even for the victor, costs can include serious physical injury, legal sanctions, and risk of jail time or loss of employment. Social sanctions can damage your credibility, authority your own business. There are many ways to lose a fight and not all of them are in the immediacy of the physical conflict. For some background see What Defines a Win?
Some People Lack Regard for the Sanctity of Life
For purposes of our conversation let us define a fight as a conflict in which, at least potentially, life hangs in the balance. Now understand that in potentially every confrontation, life does hang in the balance. This may seem extreme, particularly if you have not experienced the complete lack of regard for the sanctity of human life. In my experience, some people are willing to kill for a few hundred dollars or a simple insult.
Don’t Succumb to Denial
If you are thinking, “I manage my life…” “I live in such a manner…” or, “I am not around those kind of people.” then you are in a form of denial. Well-experienced detectives will tell you that a lot of murderers sit in the interview room with their head in their hands and tears in their eyes. They never saw themselves becoming a killer. Yet, in a moment, the wrong series of decisions, drug abuse, alcohol, pride, ego, all led them to cause the death of another human being. These same people walk among you and your families as you shop, dine and travel.
Unintentional Trauma is Still Trauma
Not all homicides are intentional. I have attended several autopsies wherein the victim had only been struck one or two times. Their attacker had not meant to kill them, but the wrong strike at the wrong time had caused sufficient trauma to the brain to kill the victim. I have also seen death as a result of ill-placed chokeholds damaging the cervical region. As a police officer, I knew a giant of a man that I dealt with regularly. Powerful and aggressive, a known brawler, and he always made it difficult to arrest him. He was found dead one morning after having slipped on icy ground and striking his head on a car bumper. My point is that falling can be dangerous. It is even more dangerous when you combine the momentum, mass, and velocity of two people engaged in combat.
Always assume that there is a weapon.
On one occasion, responding as a backup officer, I arrived to find the primary officer wrestling on the ground trying to control a female who we later determined was a prostitute. After restraining her we determined that she was simply trying to dispose of her syringes. My mind always goes to such occasions. It would be very easy in a fight to get contaminated with body fluids either inadvertently or intentionally. How easy would it have been for her to purposely stick the officer with the syringes rather than trying to separate herself from them? Any time you take the risk of a prolonged engagement you risk the introduction of knives, guns, and improvised weapons.
In summary, you should assume that life hangs in the balance of any conflict that you enter into. You don’t always know whom you are fighting. You don’t know their current mental or emotional state or their circumstances. You don’t know what they are carrying, who is with them, their skill set. A simple argument, perceived slight, traffic conflict or accidental bump can be the beginning of a very bad conflict. Well-trained, experienced, disciplined and capable warriors try to avoid conflict because they know how easy it is for violence to escalate. They are planning to be the victor and they assume that their adversary has the same intent. Those that are too eager to engage reveal their own lack of understanding of just how quickly violence escalates.