The end goal of the multidisciplinary tactician is to be formidable on all fronts. Whether the answer is a gun, blade, grappling, or even simply how to talk to an unknown individual on the street. How often do we allow people within our “safety” bubble throughout our day to day travels? How often do we allow someone we have never met unintentionally get close enough to rub shoulders with? Many people have this falsehood programmed into their head as to how people are? “Oh they look like a good person, I doubt they’d do anything to me.” This is what, as William Aprill of Aprill Risk Consulting termed, exactly what the Violent Criminal Actor (VCA) wants.
The Lawless Archetype
Criminals abide by no code other than taking what they desire from people who inadvertently welcome it, whether they realize it or not. A majority of these deplorables operate on three principles, which can be accredited to Craig Douglas of Shivworks. The first is what we can call unequal initiative. This basically translates to the VCA picking the day and time of the attack, therefore you’re already behind the curve once they decide to strike on their terms (think of the infamous sucker punch). The second is unproportional armament, similar to unequal initiative in the sense that once again the VCA picks what tool they get to choose. Think of an armed robbery, never once would they say “So just to give you a heads up I’m going to rob you, so you can get your gun out if you want. Per Mr. Aprill, “They want the most amount of calories for the least amount of effort.” The final common theme with VCA’s is when working their target (you), they usually work in pairs for a more beneficial outcome. This is to have one individual possibly be the ambusher and the second guy be the one initially making contact. They do this to create a ruse and hopefully talk their way into your safety net or funnel you into their friend that you don't see.
So the question is how do you not become a victim? Carrying a gun? Pepper spray? Knife? Yelling at people? Most will say to have “good situational awareness.” How does one aware? Is it a verb? Adjective? One action or multiple? It’s hard to define, but many use it as part of their self defense spiel. If anything we want to limit what’s called “task fixation,” another term credited to Mr. Douglas. Our view of the world throughout the day is in a constant flux of broadening and narrowing depending on the time of the day, what we’re doing, how tired we are, etc. Whatever the reason, we need to understand it is 100% impossible to be aware 24/7/365. Although, at the minimum we can at least have a broader view of the world by breaking the cone of focus on what we’re doing every now and again. From there we’ll have a better viewpoint of our surroundings, who’s around us and what they’re doing. All this information is free, it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.
With all of that said, we can’t assume every person that approaches on the street is a nefarious and dangerous individual. Some people that approach us may be benign in the sense of being a country kid in the big city or maybe someone that has a mental handicap. Those with a mental disorder usually have no concept of the social norms of accepted personal space. Being able to verbalize effectively and with purpose is something not many self-defense minded folk think about. Verbal agility is a lost art form in today’s society where everyone communicates via text or online. Without these skills, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage for when the lethal tool isn’t the answer. The next article will deal specifically with how/why to position our hands, effective movement, how/what to verbalize to others and pre-assault cues VCA’s utilize to gain the upper hand.