The best Defense…

don’t be caught dead here.

The best self-“defense” is not a good “offense” but never to be in the game in the first place.                       Don’t be an easy target.

This means that you can train until you are a master at self-defense techniques, you can have the coolest new tactical gear and the best weapons but the question is, why use them if you do not have to?  Maybe you do not have all of those things, yet the question is still remains the same, why put yourself in a situation where you might need self-defense, if you do not have to?

There are places, people and things that you do in everyday life that either put you further away from having an encounter with criminals or crimes or more likely to have a problem with being attacked.  Understanding this makes all the difference in living safely.  You should always be aware of what is around you and where and who your daily routine brings you in contact with and if this routine can be changed to ensure your safety.

Criminals work in a certain way; they do this because they have found that certain techniques work better than others for committing crime.  In effect, criminals are professionals, experts at their “jobs” if you can call it that.  They in their own twisted way have made a profession and developed skills by taking advantage of others.  These skills and techniques include things like: working late at night; in low or no light conditions; in places with few or no people; they pray on those that are weaker or have made themselves vulnerable through isolation; drugs or alcohol; and many more.

Inebriation effects your ability to be aware of your surroundings

Thinking about how criminals act will give you a good idea of places, people and situations to avoid. Now, I know that we are all busy and we can’t change our whole routine just to avoid what might happen.  However, we can be more aware of our surroundings and make a conscious effort to notice potential danger zones and identify places we need to be more careful and more prepared.  And, also to identify the places, people and situations that we absolutely do need to avoid in order to be safe.

Young women have the highest potential of getting attacked and if you think about it this makes since if you consider the all that we have talked about.  Young women tend to stay out late, go to parties with unknown men, some drink alcohol and take drugs; all things that make them a little more vulnerable.  This is not to say that young women can’t have fun but they need to be aware of the risks.  We all do, and the best part about this kind of self-defense is it just takes a little bit of thinking, a few changes and awareness.  No fancy gear, no long days at the range and no expense, just common sense and taking the time to think about your life.

8 things you should think about before carrying a gun.

It often strikes me funny the conversations that I frequently have as a firearms instructor with other people.  My job as a firearms instructor, or at least what I believe to be my job, is to create an environment that will fulfill the needs of all people to be protected.  Whether that protection is from the government, someone you know or the possibility of randomly being a victim.  I, however, find that my efforts to fulfill those needs do not always line up with what most people see as being needed.  What I mean by that is I meet a lot of people who do not think that they need training in order to learn how to defend themselves or they believe that their previous experiences of being around firearms their whole life is a sufficient amount of information and skill to provide them with the ability to defend themselves effectively.  I am here to tell you that I was one of those people, until I started to train to be a firearms instructor and learned that self-defense skills, tactics and shooting is a completely different world.

This does not mean that you have to be an instructor or spend every spare hour you have training and thinking about how to protect yourself but it does mean that if you are one of these people that say, “I don’t need all that or I have been around firearms my whole life and I can protect myself”, then you are in trouble.

It is this false sense of security about our abilities or knowledge about “violence” that get us most in trouble in situations where we need skills not empty words and vibrato to save us.  Enough said.

Thing Number 1 that you need to think about is: ( in the spirit of Dr. Suess I will name these sections, thing 1-8

Learning both armed and unarmed self-defense techniques.  Will you always have your firearm with you?  Will it always be readily accessible in seconds?  The FBI has statistics that let us know the average gun fight is within 3 feet of each participant.  Three feet is arms length distance.  It may very well be that you will have to first know how to get out of an arm grab before you can access your weapon.

Thing 2

Learn the basic laws of your home State.  In our world of lawyers and lawsuits, it is extremely important that you know what the laws are and when it is appropriate according to the law to use self-defense.  Also, knowing the law can help you understand better your right to carry.

Thing 3

Know your enemy.  Take a class on criminal behavior.  Criminals do not have the same moral restrictions that normal people posses.  You need to learn that these nasty people do not have a problem with hurting or killing you.  It does not even cross their mind twice.

Thing 4

Learn how to avoid these situations through tactics.  Knowing how to shoot someone or kicking them where it hurts is fantastic but why be in that situation if you don’t have to be.  Staying out of those types of situations is as easy as learning a few tactics and maybe making some changes in lifestyle.  But change is good, right?

Thing 5

Take a tactical shooting course. Yes, I know, you have been around firearms your whole life.  But you haven’t been in scary stressful situations with firearm your whole life.  You need to learn how to deal with your firearm when you are losing functionality and thought because you are so scared of what might happen next.

Thing 6

Choose the appropriate firearm.  While I respect the history behind Grandpa’s lever action rifle or the shotgun that has been in the family for years, that doesn’t mean that is the appropriate gun to protect you and your family.  Women be careful with this one because I know a lot of guys who think they are helping by picking out your firearm but do much more harm than good.  A firearm should be chosen by the person using it and should be as close as possible to fulfilling all the needs that that weapon should provide.

Thing 7

Choose a good instructor.  You wouldn’t go sky diving with an instructor who had only been around parachutes their whole life but had never jumped out of a plane, right?  Well let’s hope not.  So make sure that your instructor really knows their stuff and that they are experience in the type of training that they are offering.  This does not mean they have to be law enforcement or military and in fact sometimes that is just a façade to get customer to take their classes.   Do some homework.

Thing 8

Practice.  Once you learn the skills, use them as much as you can.  That way they will become second nature and you won’t have to think in a self-defense situation when someone is running at you with a knife, “know what did my instructor tell me to do?”

 

Your life is the most important thing you own.  It is not crazy or unreasonable to seek out training to make sure that you continue to live.  It is also not a bad investment of your money, either.  We buy life insurance policies to make sure that our family won’t be left with nothing in case we die.  But wouldn’t it be better to put some of that money it to being proactive and making sure that we can stick around to be with our families.  I believe it is.

Life is a Mind Game

The mind is a powerful muscle one that needs to be flexed often through reading, studying and learning.   New tasks allow the mind to work to create new pathways and understanding.  A lot of the training that you will encounter as you learn how to defend yourself, either with a weapon or with your hands will be like this; meaning that you will struggle with it at first.  Do not worry, you are not alone in this, anyone who has attempted learning skills like presenting your weapon to a target or learning how to punch correctly have had the same trouble.  It is hard but it will get better, that is my promise to you.

This article is to let you know, not to give up!!  Hang in there, it truly does get better and if you stick to it, before you know it, you will be doing tactical reloads like you were born to…and if you keep reading these articles you will know what a tactical reload is.

It is normal to struggle as your mind and body work together to learn a new skill.  Just think if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth learning.  Do not buy into the belief that you are not capable of learning these “male” skills.  There is no such thing as a female or male skill. All skills take time and practice to make perfect no matter who is trying to accomplish them.  Anyone is capable of being a proficient firearms handler, martial artist or anything that they want to accomplish; it is not about capability of the body that limits us but the barriers of the mind.  And that is the mind game that you have to win.

“If you always put a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Bruce Lee

Fear about being able to accomplish something is reasonable, what is not reasonable is to let those fears dictate our lives.  I have been recently training to run triathlons, I had never attempted to run one because I had convinced myself, before I ever stepped into a pool, that I was not capable of swimming the distances needed to finish a triathlon.  Finally, I made the decision that I was not going to let fear stop me anymore.

The first three weeks in the pool I thought I was going to drown every single workout.  I spit and spattered, but I was determined not to give up.  After a month I could do a lap or two but was exhausted after each.  I again let my mind control my capability by telling myself that I could never swim a long distance.  Luckily, I had a friend who did not let me linger and act upon those thoughts, he pushed me on.

Today three months in to my training I can swim 11 laps without a problem and am adding distance with every workout.  I convinced myself that I could not, so I did not.  As soon as I told myself I could, I did.  Those first couple of weeks was not a measurement of what I was capable of but was my brain and body trying to figure out how to work together in a new task.  Persisting through the struggling allowed my brain the time to adapt and get it right.  My brain was learning.  Once, I got past the learning stage I could increase my pace and actually started to enjoy swimming, which was not the case for that first month.

In conclusion, never, ever, ever, ever, give up ever.  Winston Churchill said that and he was right.  Do not let your mind control your capability but use your mind to motivate you to go beyond that which you thought was impossible.  Here’s to training hard and going the extra mile…or two to make you stronger, better and happier.

Living is a choice, we make everyday.

There Are Only Three Kinds of People

Wolves, Sheep and Sheep Dogs

Wh ich one are you?

By Larry and Stacey Mudgett

Years ago I heard a lecture given by retired U.S. Army LTC Dave Grossman, (author of “On Killing),” about wolves, sheep and sheepdogs.   Based on my own experiences as a Combat Solider, a 35 year Police Officer, a SWAT Officer and a “Defensive Firearms Instructor,” and with the help of my wife Stacey, I have taken the liberty of writing our version of this subject which is somewhat different from the lecture I heard years ago.  Our life experiences obviously being different from those of LTC Grossman gave us another perspective that we wish to share with you. The use of the wolf, sheep and sheepdog are excellent metaphors to make our case.  Not perfect but useful and thought provoking.

This article may cause people who live in denial to be angry.  Many will find a way to dismiss the point of this article. They will rationalize and convince themselves that the issues discussed here do not apply to them, applicable perhaps to others but not to them.  They will continue to ignore the truth because it frightens them and they are the sheep.  Reality to sheep is so frightening that some will be afraid to finish reading this article.

Who are the wolves?

The criminals and the terrorists in our world are the wolves.  They prey on the sheep.  The wolves commit nightmarish crimes for reasons which are perfectly justified in their twisted minds.  These wolves do not kill, rape and torture to survive.  They do these things because they are truly evil.

The wolves in our society will commit horrible crimes against the sheep  every single day and night.  We all know this.  If we are not prepared to confront these predators then we are simply plodding through life, hoping that the wolf will select another.  Our citizenry has largely become a flock of sheep who cower when the wolf comes, secretly relieved when some other sheep is selected by the wolf.

We lock our doors and we watch our children because of wolves.  We form neighborhood watch groups and pay taxes to support a police department because we know that wolves are real.  We put up with airport security procedures and police check points because we have seen the carnage caused by wolves.  We support an Army to fight wolves all around the world.  We educate our children regarding the danger of wolves and how to avoid them.  Our lives are affected by the threat of wolves every single day.

The economic cost of incarcerating wolves is staggering.  The wars we are waging against wolves have drained our nation’s blood and treasure.  Wolves are the things of which nightmares are made.  There are such things as monsters.  We see them on the news every evening and some of us will see them up close and having done so, we may never be the same.

Who are the sheep?

Most people are sheep.  They accept no responsibility for the safety and protection of themselves, their families or their flock.  When sheep live their lives hoping that they will not be taken by the wolf and yet knowing that the wolf is going to take someone, the sheep are in effect hoping that the wolf will take their neighbor.  Is hoping that the wolf will take someone else instead of you a strategy?  Is it moral?  Is it Christian?  Is it American?  How did Americans come to this deplorable state of deciding to be sheep?  Sheep foolishly pretend that someone else will always be there to protect them?  Many Americans complain constantly about the “Nanny State,” where the government attempts to provide everything for everyone, while taking our freedoms in the process.  Yet these same people expect the government to provide them with personal protection which is not even physically possible.

Most sheep who are attacked by the wolf, go to their graves or the hospital, wishing for help and thinking, “this is not fair, I do not deserve this.” Deserve has nothing to do with it.  Fairness has nothing to do with it.  Fairness is a childish notion.  If life were fair, babies would not be born with horrible illnesses.   Adults need to get over the idea that life is going to be fair and that the wolf will chose another sheep.  Sheep often believe that they will not be chosen by the wolf because, “I am a good sheep and I will be spared.”  To this type of thinking we can only say, Grow up!  Bad things happen to good people every day.

Who are the Sheepdogs?

Finally, there are the sheepdogs.  They guard the flock.  They are the protectors of our society.  They are the soldiers, the police officers and the armed citizens who have accepted the responsibility for protecting themselves and others by the use of deadly force if necessary.

The sheep are not always comfortable with the sheepdog because the sheepdog looks a lot like the wolf.  The sheepdog is armed.  He has fangs (guns).  This frightens the sheep.  The sheepdogs run toward danger.  The sheep find this confusing because they only run away from danger.  Often the sheep do not like the sheepdog until the wolf comes.  Then the sheep try to hide behind the sheepdog, begging for his protection.

Sheepdogs do not live life hoping that the wolf will select someone else.  Sheepdogs are prepared to confront the wolf and have accepted their responsibility for confronting evil in our society.  If the wolf attacks the sheepdog then there will likely be one less wolf.  On occasion the best prepared sheepdog will lose, but he will go down fighting, killed on the spot doing his duty.  He will not be drug off and tortured to death.  There are worse things than death and those who surrender to the wolf often learn what those things are.

When the sheepdog learns of yet another horrible crime committed by the wolf he does feel relief because the wolf chose another for his victim.  He does not hide his head  and try to pretend that such a fate could never befall his family.  Instead he is reminded to remain alert and reevaluate his own preparations to contend with such an occurrence.

One difference between real sheep and human sheep is the fact that real sheep are born sheep.  Human sheep have decided to be sheep and can change into sheepdogs if they elect to do so.  Sheep can change from cowering victims to sheepdogs by being armed, well trained and mentally prepared to use force in defense of life.  Sheepdogs can make their families expectation of protection a reality.  Sheepdogs are living up to the ideals of being an American.

Do not assume that you are a sheepdog because you own a gun.  Owning a firearm that you could not reach in the first two to three seconds of a crime does not qualify you as a sheepdog.  Owning a firearm with which you have had little or no relevant defensive training does not make you a sheepdog.  A sheep who has not cultivated the  Combat Mindset required to react properly and quickly when facing the wolf is not a sheepdog.  A true sheepdog is armed and has the skill and the combat mindset to fend off a wolf attack, the outcome of which will  normally be decided in the first few seconds.

Duty to Family

Allow us to explain something that you may not have considered.  Self defense is not simply a right, it is a responsibility.  We do not have a right to protect members of our family, we have a duty.  Our families believe that we can keep them safe from evil events.  In most cases this is nothing more than a fairy tale.  A false promise.

If armed home invasion robbers force their way into your home today or tonight what will you do?  What could you do?  Resistance without the means, the mental preparation and the skill is courageous but the end result is likely to be the same.  The wolf wins.

“That could never happen to my family.”  And why is that?  Why your neighbor and not you?  It is my opinion that the Doctor in Connecticut  who lost his entire family to home invasion robbers when his wife, 17 and 11 year old daughters were tortured, raped, dosed in gasoline and then burned alive, never imagined that such a thing could ever happen to them.  Can we even comprehend having to relive that nightmare every moment for the rest of your life.  Can we possibly imagine the last memories on this earth of those young girls and their mother.  We are aware of countless horrible crimes where a sheepdog could have stopped the carnage but all those present had chosen to be sheep.

Duty to Community and Country

When a sheep fails to stop a wolf from torturing, robbing and assaulting  him because he has no means to stop the wolf, the sheep bears some responsibility for the wolfs next victim.  Had the sheep been a sheepdog prepared to stop the wolf, all of the future victims of that wolf would have been spared. The wolf is the culprit but every victim has the potential opportunity and the duty to save the next victim by defending himself.

Defending ourselves is a duty that we have to our society as well as our loved ones.  When we fail to stop a criminal from victimizing us because we have not assumed the responsibility for protecting ourselves, our families, our community and our nation we have failed to live up to the ideals of being an American.  Real Americans do not expect others to do all of their fighting for them.  Living our lives knowing that wolves will attack someone every single day and hoping that the wolf will not attack us, is in a sense, to hope that the wolf will attack someone else because we know that he is a wolf and that is what he does.

At one time most Americans were sheep Dogs.  Now, unfortunately, most Americans have decided to be sheep. If more sheep would again become sheepdogs we could all sleep more safely in our beds.  A small percentage of our society are wolves, responsible for the attacks on the sheep.  If more wolves were stopped by more sheepdogs, the frequency of attacks would soon diminish.  Attacking the sheep would be so dangerous for the wolf that such attacks would  become far less frequent.  We would each have more peace of mind knowing that we were no longer at the mercy of the wolf who has no mercy.

If Not You Then Who?

The Police will keep us safe, right?  Did you know that courts have ruled that the police have no duty to protect anyone?  Did you ever consider that the police protect you after the crime by trying to apprehend the wolves who tortured and murdered you and your family?  Do you understand that the only person who can protect you during the crime is you?  Do you not watch the news and see that evil occurs everywhere, in every neighborhood to all age groups, all economic groups, and both genders?

The wolf is afraid of the sheepdog and well he should be.  Who among us will now elect to continue through life as a sheep, cowering from the wolf and hoping that the wolf will take someone else.   Who will chose instead to become a sheepdog, who can and will protect himself and his flock?

Those who expect the government to protect them during a crime are thinking like a child.  During my 35 years in law enforcement I can recall every single time I stopped a rape, attempted murder or violent robbery during the crime because to do so was very rare.  The LAPD, like most police departments, tries to prevent crime by their presence but more often than not investigates crimes after they have occurred.

The sheep need to accept the fact that no one can protect them or their flock except the sheepdogs. The sheep must stop hoping that the wolf will continue to attack others. The sheep must choose to become sheepdogs and assume the responsibility for the protection of their families.  The sheep must stop wishing for reality to change and become some fictitious ideal which has never and will never exist, for there will always be evil.

A brilliant man once said that evil is the absence of God.  If that is true our increasingly secular society is likely to get a lot more evil in the future, not less.  The wolves may well run rampant in the streets.  If this comes about, a great many sheepdogs will be required to save the flock.

We are each responsible for our own protection and the protection of our families.  This has always been true and it always will be true.  The sheep need to start living in the real world, not the one they wish existed but the one that does exist.  The sheep need to accept their responsibilities as fathers, mothers, husbands and wives.  They need to act like Americans and fulfill their obligations.  They need to decide to stop being sheep and start being sheepdogs.

The odds that the wolf will select any one of us may not be great.  There are a lot more sheep than there are wolves.  The statistical probability that a woman who lives her entire 85 years in California will be raped is 100 per cent.  Depending on how we interpret statics, about 75 percent of Americans will be the victims of a violent crime in their lifetime.  In reality we know that some people will be victimize more than once and others will escape the statistics.  Therefore, for the sake of this article we can adjust that number down to perhaps 50 percent and we can even cut that in half if we live in a relatively low crime area.

Perhaps one in four of us will be the victims of a violent crime in our lifetimes.  We must balance these odds against the consequences of being assaulted, beaten, tortured, raped, maimed or murdered.  What should concern us is not the statistical probability of being victimized but the consequences that we or our loved ones will suffer if we are the one in four chosen by the wolf and we are not prepared.

The fact that statistically there is a fair chance we might live our lives never becoming the victim of a violent crime will be no consolation to us should we suffer the horror of a such an attack.  For those who do survive a violent attack the physical and emotional scars will be with them as long as they live.  Even worse, how will we cope if a family member is victimized and we are unable to help, all the time knowing that we could have prevented the attack if we had been prepared.

What could possibly be more important than the safety of your family?   Ask yourself, what have I chosen to be?  Have I allowed a left leaning pacifist society to mold me into a sheep?  Is that my heritage as an American, to expect someone from the government to protect my family?  Am I so gullible that I believe it is even possible for someone else to protect us during a crime.

The wolf is out there looking for his next victim. Somewhere right now a wolf is preparing to meet you and defeat you.  What are you going to do about it?  When the wolves roam the streets it will be too late to prepare.  When opportunity (necessity) coincides with preparation, success occurs.  Will success be yours or theirs?  Do not wait too long to decide, lest the wolf decide for you.


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