Thursday, September 10, 2009

Learning from Your Mistakes: A Survival Trait, 3

Continued from "Learning from Your Mistakes: A Survival Trait, 2"

Okay, you've had that light-bulb moment when you suddenly recognize that you made a mistake that could have been serious. Now what?

To explore the process, let's put you in my barber's place in that late-night encounter: Subject A appears out of nowhere as a distraction & you immediately sense someone behind you.

You cover your wallet with your left hand, reach for your knife with your right and simultaneously push past subject A, pivoting to face both subjects. Later you realize this is wrong, because you should have employed your left hand to defend yourself.

The next step is to ask, "How could I have better used my left hand?" The answer seems fairly obvious: to defend your vulnerability.

Your whole back was open to subject B and unprotected. Perhaps, instead of pushing past subject A, you could have simply pivoted to your left, as you swept with your left arm.

This would deflect any weapon in subject B's hand and leave you in a position to counterattack. This is especially good if you've trained for infighting, as you do not have to close the distance between you and your assailant. He's right there. Staying in close quarters with your knife would be especially important if subject B had a handgun.

But let's say that close quarters against two adversaries does not appeal to you. In that case, you might choose to push past subject A and either
  1. use your left hand to push subject A into subject B or
  2. use your left arm to trap subject A and use as a shield between you & subject B.
(Note that if you use these options in a case where the subjects have made no overt threats or moves against you, law enforcement personnel & judges will interpret your actions as simple assault.)

Of course, my analysis & solutions are not the only ones, and I'm sure they're not the best. Put yourself in the situation, think about it and come up with solutions of your own.

My barber always contacts me off-blog, so I'd be pleased if he'd email me his own views on the situation.


Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

I'll have to chew on this one for a while. Thank you!

Randall Gerard said...

I liked your second option, where you grab A in a head-lock, and pivot to face B, with A between you. That way, you can always stand down and release A if the situation is not as dire as you at first thought, and no lasting harm is done to either subject. Worst case, you're in a position to fight effectively or flee as you please. Best case, you look like a paranoid fool and have to apologize for your abrupt actions. my two cents.