01 January 2013

Have a plan to use what you carry

When I got into the game I was working uniformed patrol. The knives I always carried were an Al Mar SERE 2000 in my back pocket behind my gun, and an Emerson K-Bit in my reaction side rear pocket. After thousands of hours on the street and hundreds of hours in the dojo, I wracked my brain trying to imagine under what situations I would have the time, opportunity and need to draw everything I carried and attempted to train accordingly. This is what eventually became MCS. Let me explain the progression and where I am now.

If I got out of my car to deal with a person call (pedestrian, domestic) had my closed ASP in my hand. Once I got a feel for the situation I would use it, or holster it to take out my pen or cuffs. I did lots of things with it closed and open, seldom striking, but I did that more than a few times. About 5% of my calls resulted in my using it at all. Most of the time I ended up quickly reholstering it.

I carried OC but never used it, even though I was an instructor and got hosed by other officers more times than I can count.

I had pistol out hundreds of times, and had to use it once.

I trained with the Emerson K-Bit to defend against gun grabs, both standing and on the ground. There is no knife that is faster into the fight for this role, not to mention unlike other knives you will be able to draw your pistol and retain it.

The reason for stating the above it to explain my mindset when it comes to the strong side folder. Lots of guys carried folders on their strong side. Never really understood why since it was hard to get out even without stress because of the holster being worn over top of it.

My Al Mar 2000 was carried as a tool that if needed could be pressed into service as a backup weapon. But try as I might, I could not imagine a situation where I would draw it as a weapon. For that to happen I would somehow to have either ambushed, or felt comfortable enough in the situation to have put my ASP away, my primary pistol my Glock 19 would have had to have been dropped or lost, because if at contact distance I had the choice of using a malfunctioned pistol as an impact weapon, or drop/holster it, or drawing a strong side folder for deadly force, I would use my pistol as an impact weapon 10 out of 10 times. Because of this I never trained to use the Al Mar as a weapon, but as with anything else I would not hesitate to do so if I had to.

Now fast forward and I am retired from LE. I carry a Kel Tec P3AT in my PT shorts using a pocket holster. This is my primary deadly force option. A large Sebenza rides IWB behind my hip for utility purposes. Again, I am hard pressed to imagine a situation where I would be in a position to use my Sebbie for defensive purposes. Not only because I have my pistol, but if I have even the slightest reason to believe there is some kind of a threat, I have a sturdy pen in my hand. So just as when I was on duty, I would have to be caught totally by surprise to not have my pen in hand. And as with my closed ASP, the pen in my hand is an excellent tool for an improvised impact weapon that would either stop the fight or would help me create time and distance to draw my pistol.

In the rare scenario when I find myself in a situation where a folder is my primary deadly force option I carry a Spyderco Military. The reason is that it happens to be close to the Spyderco Endura trainer that I have extensively trained with, mostly using Inverted Edge Tactics. Where some may by a live blade and try to find a trainer that is close to it, I got the trainer and then got a knife that is close to it. I could of course have 100% comparability and just carry a live Endura, but I prefer the Military because I find the pommel better for striking. In accordance with Combative Anatomy if I have a choice between striking to attack the Central Nervous System or stabbing/cutting attacking the Circulatory System I will strike 10 out of 10 times. This is not because I am under the silly belief that using a using a closed knife in a fight is any different than using an open knife, but from my training, and watching other, I know how hard it is to deploy the the knife from the pocket and then the blade from the knife. Training to strike just makes sense to me.

Just wanted to explain my thought process to show that carrying tools is not worth much without planning and training to prepare you for when and how to bring them into the fight.- George

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