Threat Management 101

by Mike Straw

The threat will illegally strike when conditions are most favorable for him, and least favorable for you. You're not a "random disarmed victim." You've been carefully selected. Perhaps a more accurate term would be "a target of convenience." You were available, and didn't make it sufficiently difficult that the threat was dissuaded from pursuing you. Someday, you'll be at home, alone. You may be asleep or in the shower. You may just be relaxing with the tunes cranked. The threat knows this, and this is the moment he'll pick to illegally assault.

Statistics demonstrate that trends show growing numbers of assault by tumult rather than deception. That means that the threat's already "cased" your house, determined what's of value and how to best get it. You won't be able to just tell him to "go away," because your first inkling that this may not turn out to be one of your most stellar evenings is when the threat literally kicks in your door or window, and rushes in with at least half a dozen armed, screaming thugs.

He'll bring three elements to the party: surprise, momentum, (sometimes incorrectly referred to as "speed") and violence, the identical elements taught to all SWAT and special forces as the basic elements of close-quarter combat.
In his tome "On War," the brilliant early nineteenth century Prussian soldier, Carl von Clausewitz, advised: "Surprise lies at the foundation of all undertakings, without exception."

A general who catches his enemy off-guard has control of the field, Clausewitz noticed. Not only does he cause confusion and discouragement in the opposing troops, he also determines the place and terms of battle, an immense
advantage. What's the difference between excitement and surprise? Excitement's a surprise you know is coming.

Unless you've previously thought about it, you don't have a plan to counter surprise. Having achieved surprise, his next course to defeat you as a threat is to cause you to be physically unable to offer any resistance to his ability
to illegally do you harm. He'll accomplish this by aggressively assaulting you, typically first using momentum to propel you backwards, then to the ground, but occasionally, by immediate application of ferocious violence, usually employing an illegal weapon giving him disparity of force, such as an illegal firearm, knife or bludgeon. An alarm may give you some fleeting tactical advantage to counter his surprise, allowing you time to access a defensive weapon that'll defeat his momentum.

By not having to rob you of precious split-seconds deciding whether to grab a defensive weapon first or call for backup first, you now have time to prepare a little surprise involving violence to him, knowing that it's only a matter of time until his position is untenable. If you're surprised and must meet his onslaught with only open-hand techniques, I recommend first to go for his eyes and/or chin, which tilts his head backwards, and failing that, use the clavicle notch to disable and drive the threat backwards, creating momentum. Your implemented plan brings to him exactly the same elements and is the only method outside of overwhelming superior force to reverse the assault.

If you're being illegally assaulted so viciously that you have no chance to counter it, drive in, protecting your head by holding it under one of his arms, against his chest, holding yourself to him by wrapping one arm around him, using the other to fend off his illegal assault.

A tenuous position? It only appears so. This position gives you time to relax, comparatively, and regroup. What can you do to reverse the course of the assault from here? You're in a perfect position to bite. That should get his attention. He won't be expecting it.

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