Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Watch for Wasps

You’re opening the door on the old shed, which has a tendency to contain wasps; ’round here it’s the big ugly red aggressive ones. You open the door quickly and step back. You don’t want to be standing there when a swarm of those things come buzzing out ready for attack. Immediately you begin scanning to see if any are inbound for attack, glancing high, down low, and left and right. You’re using your vision, hearing, and feel – because you’ll feel the air from their wings right before they land on you – and even your “spidey” sense is tuned in. Now if you go through all this to avoid being stung, shouldn’t you do the same in a fight?

One of the most difficult things to teach students is for them to be always be scanning, checking their environment for possible trouble. It’s that ugly “range-mentality” getting in the way. On the range all the threats are in one direction. On the range you’ll get a chance to make ready; nobody is sneaking up behind you to attack. On the range . . . Real life isn’t like the range.

In reality we normally operate in a 360-degree environment. A threat can present from any direction. We know in over 50-percent of attacks there is more than one possible threat. You need to constantly be assessing your environment and people in it. In other words you need to be scanning like there are wasps out there ready to attack.

You also need to be checking for objects that can be used for cover. As soon as possible you’re moving to cover. At the same time you’re checking to see where better cover is, so at the first opportunity you’re moving there, and searching for an escape route. You want as much distance between the threat and you as possible.

Where is my family, or friends? You scan to discover where they are, and what if anything you need them to do. At the same time you don’t want them to come up behind you and under stress pull a “Wild Bill,” shooting a friendly coming from behind to help. It’s also not a bad idea to scan and check your weapon to insure you’re not standing with the slide locked back on your pistol.

Keep in mind that scanning is much easier if you use the many reflective surfaces around you. As I’m getting out of my truck I use the side window to see what’s going on behind me. The same thing applies to the windows on the convenience store I’m going into. Once I’m in the store, the doors on the beverage cooler, and the multitude of security mirrors, provide me with a view of what’s to my rear and sides. Just like the rear and side view mirrors on my truck.

The fundamentals of combat are moving, communicating, shooting as needed, using cover and thinking. In order to do these keep your eyes up, constantly evaluating your environment. And remember, the key to winning the fight is seeing there’s trouble on the way.

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September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset, General Training

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