Last week’s topic on the self-defense realities of dealing with an active shooter brought a huge response concerning our exploration of the swarming tactic as the best option in an otherwise lousy situation.
I noted that many used their response to promote the way they WISH the world operated… rather than the reality of HOW the world actually is. As a life-long student of our penchant for using violence on one another… this tendency has always fascinated me.
Because here’s the thing: When it comes to your own personal self-protection, you’ve got to make a fundamental decision… am I going to live in the real world… or the world as I ‘believe’ it exists.
Choose the former (the real world) and you’re forced to deal with some harsh realities… such as swarming an active shooter.
Choose the latter and you end up following Alice down the rabbit hole to a land of self-defense make believe…
…Where you get to ignore realities like training for bigger/stronger/faster threats, and the fact the bad guys probably carry weapons and often hunt in packs,
…Where weight classes, rules, and referees exist to protect you (even when they can’t),
…Where you can kick ass, and wear skullcaps or badass t-shirts with elaborate graphics of Celtic war symbols and death skulls,
…Where you can win trophies, tournaments and championships belts, and never once worry about getting stabbed, shot, or jumped by “his buddies” focused on stomping you to death.
It IS seductive… this “world as we wish it was.”
In the past 10 years most of the US military (as well as many law enforcement agencies) has opted for MMA-style training for its personnel. Yet quiz higher-ups on the goal of this training and they’re quick to point out it’s mostly for “team building” or “esprit de corps” — NOT building a skill set necessary for combat. It’s a decision I feel has cost them dearly.
Because train in the real world and you face the ultimate reality: to stop another human determined to cause you grievous bodily harm you must break a structure or sensory system until this predator is non-functional… meaning he’s injured, unconscious, or (if it’s what it takes for you to survive) dead.
That MMA-style programs are devoid of these skill sets is understandable. MMA isn’t somehow inferior, just not designed for the outliers of the real world, the packs of misfits with weapons who always appear bigger, faster and stronger.
MMA is competition… with a ring, a ref and rules. And highly entertaining. Which is precisely why I (and everyone else) enjoy it… because… it’s one time we can shut off our ‘real-world’ lenses!
Here’s my point: I attended the last UFC here in Las Vegas with my 17 year old son. It was an outstanding evening. We had great seats right on the floor, amongst fans and MMA competitors alike.
There we were, surrounded by some of the toughest guys and hardest men on earth. Yet as competent as they were in the seemingly violent world of MMA… transported suddenly into that crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, I don’t think they perform one bit better than anyone else running from the shooter.
As well trained as they all are for competition… they are simply unprepared for destruction.
Again, this isn’t a criticism of those who study MMA or competition martial arts. Like others they simply don’t want to be the ‘next person shot.’
Which is why I implore you to explore the ‘real world of violence’… as it truly is (not as you wish it were)… and ask yourself how you’d solve those lousy questions…
Creator, Target Focus Training
PS. The easiest way to understand why the concept of ‘swarming the shooter’ is the best approach for minimizing loses when disaster unfolds (as it did in the Colorado shooting) is to review TFT’s principle-based approach to self-protection. And the quickest way to do that is by reading our book, “How To Survive The Most Critical 5 Seconds Of Your Life.”
And remember, you can now get both the book (in hardcopy) PLUS the professionally-recorded, 5-CD audio version at a special introductory price by going here: hardcopy book + audio CDs.