30 November 2013

The Knockout Game...a wake up

As we roll through the Rolodex of situations in our minds that would force us to defend ourselves, we can usually group them into four categories-

Theft-  force used against you as a pretext for taking property (robbery), either strong arm (no weapon employed) or armed (obviously using a weapon).

Sexual assault- force used as a pretext to control victim prior to sexual assault.

Perceived wrong doing-  when you are targeted because someone believes you have done something to wrong them.  Two good examples would be things like taking someones parking space, or staring at someone involved in a domestic dispute.

EDP- Emotionally Disturbed Person,  keeping in mind that there is a good chance that anyone confronting you in any of the previous situations will likely be under the control of an illegal or legal substance, this is also coupled with mental illness.  The difference is that when dealing with strictly an EDP situation there is a possibility that the person attacking you is not doing so for the reason of theft, sexual assault, or even a specific situation.  Basically, you just crossed paths and that is all it took.

Now we really need to add a fifth category that is typically only seen in prison, an unprovoked violent attack against someone with the reason being nothing other than trying to hurt someone.  Most people are now familiar with this at the Knockout Game.

As humans, we are always focused on what is in front of us.  This is why the first part of the OODA Loop is Observe.  This is where the term blind sided comes in.  Usually there is a noise that will force us to face and square of to the threat, thus beginning the OODA Loop.  This is often necessary since you need to know what the job is before you choose your tools.

Face it, people are not only easily distracted but these days make a habit of distracting themselves with their cellphones and other personal electronics.  Focusing on your phone is nothing but training for tunnel vision.

The first two ways to avoid becoming a victim on the Knockout Game are Awareness and Avoidence.  First knowing the types of environments where these type of attacks are most likely to occurr and avoiding them whenever possible.  When this is not possible, you need to be scanning and concentrating on what is around you and not become fixated.  Make a habit of automatically scanning when something catches your attention.  There is a good chance that the first thing your attention is drawn to will be either an intended or unintended distraction.

The last part is Aggression.  Since the beginning part of the MCS curriculum has been to begin scenarios and drills using physical contact.  Usually by being knocked to the ground or punched in the head (with boxing gloves while wearing headgear), but also after being stun gunned in the kidney.  A good punch to the head or being shocked does an incredible job of provoking the fight/flight/freeze response.  Much better than a buzzer or whistle.

When you take into consideration that most "tactical" minded folks who carry guns, knives, and other tools for self-defense dedicate little time to open hand combatives, it paints a very grim picture for those who don't even see the need for tools.

The use of tools goes like this; Selection, Carry, Deployment, and Use.  Whether you read the magazines, cruise the forums, or actually attend classes, you will find that people concentrate on Selection, Carry, and Use.  Deployment, the study of when and how is seldom the concentration.  The primary reason is that people always avoid the hard stuff.

Let's talk about Deployment in reference to the Knockout Game.  We will begin by suspending disbelief and say that a situation could actually occur where we're truly blindsided.  Two things are going to happen; you will be knocked out as the game implies, or you will be somewhere between stunned and losing consciousness.   For most people still conscious, they will have two responses to the punch.  They will fight or they will shut down.  The odds of you shutting down increase dramatically if you have never trained to begin to fight by being struck.  If you carry a gun or knife as a "tactical woobie" and have trained to access these tools as a default response to fear, there is a good chance of failure.  You need to recover and use open hand combatives to damage your attackers or create time and space to deploy your tools.  This cannot be accomplished making a nice pretty ragged hole on the buzzer at the range, or knife dancing in the dojo.  Train for the worst possible situations, not the ones that make you feel good about yourself.

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