Aug 222017
 

transitional spaces in self defenseTransitional Spaces In Self Defense are places where we MUST be more aware of potential attacks. A transitional space is any location that allows dirtbags to prey on their victims with the element of surprise and provides them with a viable escape. A corner that you have to walk around is one of those transitional spaces.

What is a transitional space? A simple way to understand transitional spaces is to recognize them as the areas you traverse on your way to a destination. For example, a parking lot is a transitional space on the way to your vehicle or on your way to and from a building. Doorways are transitional spaces between rooms or to and from a building. Corners are transitional spaces between directions (hallways and corners at the end of the block or hallway). When getting in or out of your car you are passing through a transitional space.

Let’s look at it from the attacker’s point of view, transitional spaces are a great opportunity to catch you unaware and not paying attention. Did you know most attacks happen in or around or getting in or out of an automobile?  Watch people as they move through transitional spaces: most people walk thru parking lots with their eyes fixed on their cell phones or looking at the ground. Most people blindly turn corners, not giving any thought about whats on the other side. Most people move through doorways oblivious to their surroundings. People getting in and out of their vehicles are often attempting to carry groceries or other possessions and their attention is focused on those tasks. Give some thought to how often you fit into these descriptions of daily activity.

When walking around corners use the approach shown in the picture above. Never go around a corner close to the wall. Always be away from the wall so that you can have time to recognize a threat on the other side. If you have a drawn firearm never lead with that firearm it could be taken away from you very easily. When moving through transitional spaces you should experiment with turning your situational awareness up a notch. Taking the everyday activity of rounding a corner as an example I will briefly explain what turning up your awareness a notch might look like. As you prepare to turn a corner there are a few things to consider.

Look for window reflections which may allow you to actually see what is around the corner. Also look for shadows which could indicate that there is a person or other object around the corner.  Slow your pace a little as you prepare for the corner. Moving just a little slower allows you to pay more attention to what is going on. Take the corner wide.(see the diagram above) This means don’t hug the wall as you turn the corner but instead walk a few feet wide of the corner. This simple step allows you to see what is on the other side of the corner before you are fully committed to turning the corner. These are all examples of heightened awareness and are simple to practice.

Transitional spaces give you an opportunity to practice heightened situational awareness. It is very rare that a person needs to walk around expecting a physical attack around every corner. That would be unhealthy for you both physically and mentally. It is important to be aware that such attacks can happen but there is no sense in the average person cultivating a sense of paranoia over it.

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Sep 042017
 

In a recent article by Tom Givens in his monthly newsletter he stated that many of the incidents involving weapons and homicide go unsolved. In a recent study of 122 homicides in a large city, 98 were committed with guns, 9 with knives and the other 12 cases were unknown. Arrests were only made in 42 cases, the most common when the motive was listed was domestic or argument when the motive was a robbery or unknown there was rarely an arrest made. This reflects the difficulty in solving stranger murders in which the victim and offender are not known to each other. These are most often Street robberies and carjacking incidents.

The breakdowns of the motives are listed as follow- in 120 cases 91 cases were unknown 11 were arguments,10 robberies or domestic and one was gang-related. The robbery and unknown accounted for 83% of all homicides, note that only one case was determined to be gang-related this shows that by far the greatest threat to loss of life is from robbery or unknown which usually turns out to be a robbery or attempted robbery in some form. These are crimes that are committed in public places such as convenience stores, shopping malls, shopping centers, and dangerous parking lots.

Dangerous Parking Lots And Concealed Carry

This is why it is so important to be dialed into your surroundings. Know whats going on around you. You don’t have to be paranoid just pay attention, especially when in parking lots.  I was recently in Colorado Springs and was going to stop at a convenience store to get a drink. When I pulled into the lot I saw some shady people hanging around and the location all of a sudden seemed not to be so safe. I drove right thru the lot and out the other side. Thus eliminating any risk I might have had by stopping at this location. Nothing we do in life is so important that we can’t change our mind about it, or use another location for the same service.

One of my students recently told me about someone dropping a gun in a parking lot that he was in, and the gun discharged. Maybe it was an NCC (Nervous Chamber Checker) I have heard that they roam the streets. NCC (Nervous Chamber Checker) is a person who is not confident in carrying a gun with a round in the chamber. He or she is in a movie theatre or a coffee shop and thinks I better check my chamber and see if it’s loaded. Sometimes in the process, they can’t keep their finger off the trigger and bang, you know the rest. I can’t imagine how scary this was let alone why or how this would happen as most modern pistols and revolvers are drop safe, but think about it, parking lots are scary places. Moving cars, panhandlers, people coming and going, lots of things going on that we must be aware of. Even worse is the amount of activity in these lots around holidays.

I always tell the ladies in class that if they come back to their car in the parking lot and the tire is flat keep right on walking. Do not stop at the car, it can be a setup for something terrible to happen to you. In these situations, a criminal can pose as a Good Samaritan in order to abduct women from parking lots. The man first lets the air out of his target’s car tire while she is shopping. When she returns to the vehicle, he offers to help change the flat tire. After changing the tire the man can toss you in the trunk or force you into the vehicle.  Best way to handle the flat tire is to walk back into the store and call for some help. The other thing that’s great to remember about parking lots is that an auto makes a great barrier between you and someone else. You can talk to someone asking for a handout right across the hood of a car and this gives you the time and distance you need to make good decisions. As we head into the last part of the year think about your activities in some of the bigger parking lots. Pay more attention when coming and going in these parking lots and especially when you are distracted putting away groceries or carrying many items, you and your family will be safer for it.

This is where a close quarters drill is a good thing to practice when carrying a concealed carry firearm. Many hazards exist when executing these drills your hands and your torso can be in the way of the muzzle.  Check this video from Rob Pincus and learn some Close Quarters techniques. Remember to check the rules for the range you will be practicing at and it is always better to have a training partner so that he or she can detect anything that might not be safe in your training routine. As always I am available to run these drills with you.  Sometimes an instructor can run a drill in a shooting range that you can not do on your own safely.

Check out some of the accidents in this article

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Aug 062012
 

awarenessSome of my concealed carry students from the weekend asked me to get them a copy of Jeff Coopers Combat Mindset Color Code of awareness. So I decided to publish it on my website for all my concealed carry students to use and review.

The most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation, according to Col. Jeff Cooper, is neither the weapon nor the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset, set forth in his book, Principles of Personal Defense.

White: Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my God! This can’t be happening to me.” Texting while walking or Talking on the cell phone are good examples of this

Yellow: Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself”. You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that “I may have to shoot today”. You don’t have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don’t know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to “Watch your six.” (In aviation 12 o’clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft’s nose. Six o’clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are “taking in” surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360-degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, “I might have to shoot.” When you leave your office or exiting your car are good examples of this.

Orange: Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to “I may have to shoot that person today”, focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: “If that person does “X”, I will need to stop them”. Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.

Red: Condition Red is a fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. “If ‘X’ happens I will shoot that person”.

Concealed Carry Mindset

In Concealed Carry mode you can see how these awareness color codes come into play. It is very important to be aware of your surroundings when you are in concealed carry mode, which for most of us is all the time.

Be alert in concealed carry mode

Stay alert watch around you and stay safe when you are in Concealed Carry mode. Remember you have to watch everyone and they only have to watch you. Concealed Carry Class is available to anyone wishing to gain some knowledge about concealed carry in Colorado.

 

 

 

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Jan 302011
 

awareness

  • White-Unaware of Surroundings
  • Yellow-Conscious and Tactical Awareness of your Surroundings
  • Orange-You are in a Potential Tactical Situation
  • Red-Fight or Flight

Many people walk around in level white- singularly focused on the task at hand or even texting or talking on a cell phone. You know these people you see them every time you go somewhere.  This can be one of the worst levels- you are not really paying attention to your surroundings.

Yellow,on the other hand, is you are aware of your surroundings, walking to your car or walking up to your house you are paying attention to who is around and what may be happening nearby. This mode will put you into a better position to react if your threat level changes to orange or even red.

Orange is you perceive things that may add up to a confrontation or attack.  Someone is approaching you maybe at a high rate of speed while reaching into their coat pockets. Maybe you are standing in line a the local drug store and you can see something is about to happen.

Red is no time think, react immediately depending on the threat you may have to draw your gun and seek cover. Training is the key to all these situations. Survival is the mode you want to be in. Maybe all you have to do is walk the other direction. Most times you will have options. Remember your only obligation is to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Avoiding a bad situation may be your best solution. Thinking about these things in advance gives you an edge on your assailant.  Remember if you choose concealment or cover these can degrade over time you need to move to a safer area as soon as possible.

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