Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Assumptions On Fighting

When it comes to responding to a violent assault people have a tendency to assume how the fight will progress, and how the threat will react. It’s always good to have a plan, but you need to remember that the fight will never go like you think it will, so you need backup plans, the unexpected will always occur, and to make assumptions may put you in a bad place before the fight ever begins.

As an instructor people always share their ‘tactical’ response plans with me. “If someone breaks into our front door,” they explain, “I’m going to do this while my wife is doing that.” Their plans will work great, as long as the threat does exactly what they are supposed to. The problem is that we really don’t know what the threat will do. Good guys often don’t have the experience to ‘think’ like the bad guys. What if they come through the back door, and now the husband is in one end of the house while the wife is in the other, with the threat between them?

It’s important to have a plan, but you need to have several options. When plan A doesn’t work, you roll into plan B, and if that doesn’t get the job done you’re flowing into plan C. Try to consider all the variables in a fight, and then plan for the worst case scenario. That way when things don’t go exactly right, which they won’t, you are still prepared with options.

We also need plan X, which is for the unexpected. You could consider a million ways the fight may happen – when, where and why – and you won’t come up with the conditions that will occur during your fight. We practice the skills we know we’ll need – movement, communication, shooting, manipulation of our weapon, and using cover – so we have the skills necessary to respond to any type attack. This also prepares us for the unexpected. I’m fighting with my rifle and it malfunctions. While this is expected, I knew it could happen, so I immediately transition to my pistol, continuing to engage the threat.

The most dangerous thing about preparing for a violent conflict is assuming how the threat will respond to your actions. The only thing in a fight you can control is what you will do. There is no predicting how the threat will respond. You may present your weapon, issue verbal commands, and the threat complies. Or you shoot, several times and getting good hits, but the threat is unfazed and continues fighting. Remember the old saying about when you assume something. It makes you an ass; I won’t be there so it won’t affect me.

Fights are violent, dynamic, and unpredictable. The only thing we control is our actions. We start with plan A, B, C, and X. The progression of the fight is not always sequential. I may start with plan A, then I jump to plan C, then it’s back to plan B. Prepare by practicing the skills you know you’ll need, and then always expect the unexpected. The fight will likely be determined by your reactions to the unknown.

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September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset

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