Tactical

De-Escalate a Fight to Avoid Jail or Worse

So, you just left your local gun shop and picked up your ninth Glock. You own about 50-plus pistols, 100 rifles, 80 knives and more holsters and ammo than you know what to do with. But hey, you’re a badass because you carry a firearm and other weapons, right? I mean, you watch all the John Wick movies, you study YouTube and Instagram firearm tactics, so you know what you’re doing right?

Did I just hurt your feelings? Well…do something about it and get better. Go train as if your life, and your loved ones’ lives, depend upon it. But wait for a second, what if the scenario does not call for using a deadly force? What if it’s someone just yelling at you because they’re having a bad day, or they are drunk? What happens if someone just punches you in the face for no reason?

Does this call for the use of deadly force? Some of the questions are obviously rhetorical, but I hope this gets you thinking, and that you are honest with yourself that simply carrying a gun doesn’t make you a badass.

(Photo by iStock)

De-Escalation 101

Verbal Jiu-Jitsu is the art of knowing how to talk to someone during a disagreement. Depending on the situation, it can involve being charismatic, social or aggressive. If someone is drunk and bothering you, maybe you can sweet-talk the person with some humor to get them to stop bothering you. Or maybe you need to distract them with a story while you are getting to where you need to be.

If someone cuts you off on the parkway, do you really need to say f#$k you? Do you really need to engage or cut off the person to show them that you are the boss? Well I’m guilty as charged and have done that a handful of times, but that was situation dependent. The point I’m trying to make here is to read the situation. Sometimes, some kind or simple words said in a firm tone will de-escalate a situation that’s heading sideways.

Ground Fighting Skills

But what if verbal Jiu-Jitsu does not help? What if the situation is heated to the point that the person wants to fight? Do you automatically go to your gun? Wait…what about using your $300 folding knife? Does a fistfight warrant the use of deadly force? Well… the real answer is “it depends,” but for this article’s sake, I’m going to say no. While I have seen many people train in knife and gun fighting (for defensive purposes of course), they have never been punched in the face or been in a street fight in their entire life.

Most of these people do not realize how hard it is to get a weapon into the fight when they have been punched, and the person closes the distance on them and is grabbing their primary weapon hand. So, my response to this is pretty simple. Go train Jiu-Jitsu or another art that will allow you to throw hands strategically. Personally, I recommend Jiu-Jitsu because most fights end up on the ground anyway. Everyone thinks that Jiu-Jitsu is pulling the person on top of you, but it’s not. It involves a lot of wrestling-style takedowns for control as well.

Jiu-Jitsu builds defensive skills.
iStock photo

Gaining The Edge

Training in this art will allow you to think more clearly and help train your brain and body to react intelligently if someone closes a distance on you from behind with a sneak attack or approaches you aggressively head-on. Most bad guys do not train in martial arts. They use bully tactics, such as loud voices, their size and possibly a bullshit striking tool. If you spend enough time on the mats, you will see that being in a fight is no big deal considering you are doing it while you are training. This will help prepare you for that God-forbidden situation.

And, of course, what if you are in a bad situation and can’t use verbal or hands-on tactics? What if this situation requires the use of deadly force? This is a situation that, as a family man and a good human being, you need to be ready for. Using a firearm for defense is a lot more in-depth than just dry-fire drills, shooting at paper targets at your local range and watching action flicks.

You need to take a class in defensive firearm tactics. I’m referring to a class led by a teacher that has real-world experience and can articulate and teach you skills. Most defensive tactic classes will teach you how to handle one or more threats, how to negotiate different malfunctions, how to draw a pistol from a concealed holster and shoot a pistol while moving. However, a really good class should teach you to dial 911 and use your words first if possible.

Training in Jiu-Jitsu for self-defense.
iStock photo

Build A Better You

Finding time to train and what you should focus on is simple. Start with Jiu-Jitsu; this is good for you physically and mentally. Also, there is a higher chance you will get into a scuffle with someone than having to shoot someone. The first time you step foot on the mats, you will get an eye-opener on how important it is to train and stay physical.

You will learn that strength is great but not the answer to everything. Whether you can train three days a week or just one, something is better than nothing. As far as firearm training goes, if you can afford to take a few day trips and go to SIG Sauer Academy or Thunder Ranch once a year, that would be amazing. From there, you can you practice what you learned at the range. I would recommend going at least once or twice a month because firearm proficiency is a perishable skill. 

Then, when it comes down to communicating with people, this one is a bit of a doozy. If you are the type of person that constantly argues with people, you need to give yourself a reality check and ask yourself “why am I constantly arguing with people?” From there, you can try a different approach when communicating with someone to help get the reaction you want. Be smart, train hard and stay safe, because your life depends on it.

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