I had a nice break over the Thanksgiving Holiday last week. It was great to see my in-laws and spend some time away from the house and the office.
Airplanes and vacation allowed me some time to read a little as well. One of the books I read was a sort of a “rules of engagement” type of book about self-defense. What made this particular book of interest to me was that it was co- written by three people. A former military firearms instructor, a cop and a lawyer.
It engaged different modes of thinking.
It took so many of the typical scenarios talked about in self defense and really enhanced the idea that I’ve had on the subject. Things like “What do you do when ____ happens?” with real life instruction and advice based on the author’s experiences.
Now look, I’ve taken a lot of these types of classes from a lot of different instructors. I’ve read hundreds of magazines, books, lectures and watched YouTube videos of this exact stuff. This tactical/ Tac-ti-kool stuff is really popular in S. Texas!
Typically, There are two basic frames of mind (at the most three) for most questions. The fact that there is always black and white (and an off -gray as a third option) is a constant stressor in my life.
For example…and I want you to pause for 5 seconds to answer this yourself.
(and I’ll bet -5 seconds would seem like an eternity if you were being robbed.)
“What do you do when a bad guy tries to rob you?”
You either give the guy your money OR you fight him. Perhaps 2-3% of you had a third answer.
Now I’ll give you some generic answers to ponder.
As said by the Internet hero Firearms instructor – “Pop a cap in his ass! – that’s your cash he’s taking.”
What would the cop say? – I know some that might say fight, some that say give it up but all whom say, “call the police.”
The attorney – I think an honest attorney would look at this a little deeper and after some thought say, “How much cash do you carry in your wallet? OK – How much will it cost you to hire me if you shoot that guy?”
You: “But what about the principal of the matter – it’s my money, my hard earned cash, what the hell?”
Attorney: “True…But I’m your attorney, you are dealing with the legal system and you want an answer on my advice based on a million factors that came up before, during and after the event and then wanted me to form an opinion on what would be your best course of action. Correct?”
See how I could get into a book like this? It’s like philosophy of self-defense. Holy crap I just created a genre! Yes! Seminars coming to your area soon!
So? Back on track here –
What do you do when a bad guy comes into your house?
What’s the best way to draw a handgun from a holster?
What’s the best gun for home defense?
All of which can easily be substituted in my profession with…
What do you do when your back hurts?
What’s the best way to stretch if you’re a baseball player?
Which can just as easily be substituted for…
How should I teach my kids to be responsible?
What’s the best way to lay a baby down to sleep?
What’s the best defense against the spread offense?
How does your D end play the RPO?
Who should I vote for if I want to see climate change?
What do we do with the migrant caravan at the border?
Let’s just go on here – feel free to add your own, let me try to strike an emotion if I haven’t yet.
Vaccines in kids, Insurance, Cops, Trump, God, Abortion, gun control, Race issues as well as ____ . Add anything here you will not talk about (or shouldn’t) after 2 or 3 drinks. On and on forever.
I think you get where this is going don’t you?
Because so much of how we think what we think is based on our emotions. Not factual information and thinking through but on our immediate “feel.” We need to get the emotion out of the equation here guys, it’s messing up our entire process. Emotions lead us to creating “life rules.” We tend to gravitate toward rules because they are easy and give our lives a simple structure in which to act and live. They are often inadequate for our chaotic and ever changing lives however. Our internal rules NEED to be tested and can easily be by just mentally running through a situation from different angles.
The answer for any and every situation in the self defense book I brought up and the subsequent issues related above is… “IT DEPENDS.”
Yep. Always. No Matter what… well not always, sometimes it depends.
I mean you’ll get to a point where there is an immediate answer. If your life and that of your kids’ is threatened and the meat cleaver is arching towards you it’s time to act.…ok, you get it. Meat Cleaver = action.
But, it still depends. What if the guy with the meat cleaver is across the block? What if he’s the guy at the ribs joint and he’s cutting your meal? It’s obvious that Meat cleaver does not automatically equal fight back.
The point is: each instance is independent and is unique. The answer depends on how long you get to contemplate it and the factors involved before, during and after.
I live in Texas. Right now I have Texas friends reading this that are just itching uncomfortable about this whole idea. They are die-hard, this is the way it is, this is the law, this is a stand your ground state etc. Shoot the SOB. They have already made up their mind that “it depends” is a shitty answer and they wont stand for it. Well, for them – if they have their minds predetermined like this, they would most likely spend jail time with a bunk mate named Bubba if a self-defense scenario appeared and at best spend $100,000 defending their preconceived notion and what they have practiced mentally 1000x. A good attorney would spin this that in fact, my Texas buddy just couldn’t wait to blast someone!
I also have a lot of California hippie granola friends that are so anti-gun/anti-violence, in any situation, they’d let themselves become a helpless victim and would likely find themselves or their family in a hospital bed or worse taking a stand defending, or in this case not defending, their beliefs.
Both extremes would be better reserving judgement with the answer…”It just depends.”
I thought on this, in essence one- sentence “Buddha-esque” answer that took an entire book to break down and show examples of – proving the point over and over again, for the week. It bore into my brain.
Look, hopefully my examples above strike a chord. I hope it IS personal. Personal is what we’re all about and SELF is and should be a priority in everything we do and how we live. I want you to be more personal. The problem arises when we pick a side. Black white or even gray isn’t good enough for us as humans and how we live our life. Even with 100’s of shades of gray we should have a rainbow of answers that fit our lives. And it differs with where our lives are lived in history and where we are in our lives at this point.
Does that make sense?
Sometimes it’s about Where are you in History…
I got that answer from a channeler I listen to at times. Yep, a mystic Channeler who states he talks to people from “the other side.” His name is Paul Selig and he has a very strange way of doing his channeling where he mumbles in a low fast voice and then repeats what the “guides” have told him.
He has sold millions of copies of his books and is a pod cast celeb and states quite matter of factly that in the last decade he became famous and made a lot of money. As he states… If he had tried to do this in the 1920’s – to 1950’s he would have been institutionalized as a psycho and lived his days in a padded room.
Had he done this in the 1400’s he would have been burned at the stake.
He does it now? It’s a career.
The outcome…of his LIFE, depends on where in history he is.
The same with firearms..(Its not the old west)
The same with diet (fat free food is pretty ‘out of vogue’ right now, I’m actually not a caveman, eggs are good etc)
The same with raising kids (Moses was put in a basket and sent down the river for crying out loud and I used to bike to the park all by my little self)
It’s also about where we are in our own lives…
Remember when, as a kid, we had an absolute answer and now it just looks foolish to think that way?
Girls are gross? If I had a million dollars I’d buy a million Slurpees?
Yeah. But now we KNOW. Haha. Sure we do.
Don’t you think the old folks sitting in assisted living just giggle to themselves at all the stupid crap they see us doing right now. What we worry about, how much money rules our lives, the stress of raising kids.. Or on that point what we deem “news?”
I’m telling you – listen to your elders. They have these crazy ideas that are easy to eye roll…until you start thinking just. Like. them…. It’s Experience baby! It’s real. That’s why Yoda is the Jedi Master and all the other guys keep making the same damn mistakes over and over.
All of our decisions lie along the graph of nonsense at one end to life changing seriousness at the other…It’s only from the perspective of where we are in our own lives that allow you plot the points.
This entire website is based on making your life better. Being healthy, feeling good, being happier and laughing more often.
Every single day, in my clinic I am asked, “what’s the best shoes, best mattress, the best way to sleep? What supplements should I take, How should I lift weights, What do I think about keto, Should I become a chiropractor? What do I think about this medicine, CBD oils, Physical therapy, should I get surgery?
I was describing this to a client a minute ago that has been struggling with supplements and pain and treating it naturally at home and she said to me, “But we want an answer, an easy- catch all answer that works all the time.”
I know you do, but that’s crap doctoring and guess what? It’s crap life.
Look, I don’t want to be so wishy washy that we never get anywhere. The whole idea of this article is NOT that there are NO answers. Quite contrary – there usually is an answer…often a better answer and most likely a best answer.
The problem is that it depends on your situation and the timing.
It takes a book or at least an article on a kick ass website (like this one) to help you figure out your path and what is the best for you.
The problem is you may need a better question or scenario in the first place.
The problem is it probably takes a detailed exam and a long explanation and you may just not BE there yet. You may still be hunting a simple one sentence easy answer like “I’d pop a cap in his ass.”
What this article is about is about taking the time to not have your mind already made up. Be open to new experiences and new outlooks on things in your life – even those you are rock solid sure about.
“It depends” does NOT make the answer cloudy and unclear. It should allow for laser beam focus and WAY less uncertainty and stress. Having that answer in your back pocket is a stress reducer and should immediately impact your life positively. I know as human beings we like the idea of a tribe and surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals. But getting caught up in a decision being made before you’ve had a chance to analyze anything is a sure-fire way of increasing your stress, discomfort and anxiety.
It’s basically the overall mantra of this entire web page and works for any scenario.
This weekend, the busiest travel holiday of the year, my kids all took off in the airport to ride the moving walkway. They know that’s a “no-no” for me. But I took a second, I had been thinking about the “it depends” mantra and realized that there was nobody in that entire section of the airport. I could see them a ¼ mile away if I needed to and they were fine. Just having fun. Hell, I could hear them.
I could have scolded them, reminded them of the rules of our family and travel and broke out a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation on safety in the Airport complete with diagrams and charts on abduction OR just realize it was a different situation and therefor my kids responded differently. I could just accept that my kids are responsible and intelligent and the scenario was different than “threat level yellow” and they were just going on a joy ride.
Now, If you are bull headed and stubborn and scoff at this advice, if rules are rules written in Stone then I will use and presently enact advice I started using years ago when confronted with a person of this caliber. I ask (or often just think) “Is there anything I could say or show you that would change your mind on this?”
If the answer is “No.” I ask to simply stop the conversation and let’s go have a beer. We can still be friends.