Your enemies define you

| November 16, 2015 | 4 Comments

When we interviewed James Yeager this year at SHOT Show, we asked if any particular training subject has become more popular than others.


“[People train for] what they perceive will happen to them,” Yeager said.

I’ve survived several episodes of personal violence as an adult. For some time I trained to identity and defend against assault and battery, or armed robbery.

Then 9/11 happened.

In the following years I read about more terrorist attacks around the world. Soon my research expanded to include active murderers, both in the US and elsewhere.

After the terrorist attacks in Lebanon and France last week, more people have contacted me than ever to ask questions about every day carry of a short barrel rifle or PDW.

These people are already firearms owners. I do not know if they have already received formal training.

I believe that training to intercept a terrorist attack is the most complex, difficult thing a civilian can prepare for. An active murderer is second.

Here are the skills I am accumulating in order to deal with an active murderer and/or terrorist attack. This is a growing list and not considered all inclusive or a guarantee of victory:

  • Trauma care
  • 0-5 feet extreme close quarters fighting
  • Typical civilian self defense handgun shooting (3-21 feet)
  • Long range pistol shooting (40-100 yards)
  • Civilian use of a carbine (150 yards or less)
  • Professional training on the use of an AK pattern firearm
  • Shooting the brainstem with a pistol, rifle, and shotgun
  • Shooting, reloading, and clearing malfunctions with one hand. This goes for handguns as well as rifles
  • When to deploy an SBR or PDW from a bag
  • Reloading from a bag and magazine management
  • Dealing with weapon malfunctions, especially weapons that are not yours
  • Use of improvised melee weapons for when you do not have a firearm
  • Understanding the psychology and tactics of a terrorist attack vs an active shooter
  • Moving through structures during an attack
  • The use of cover and concealment
  • Shooting from unusual positions and angles, especially combined with the use of cover and concealment
  • Identifying friends vs foes
  • Dealing with crowds
  • Managing close quarters contact with non combatants
  • Dealing with responding police forces
  • Bomb identification and how bombs are used by suicide attackers vs other terrorists

Only five of these things are usually addressed for “random crime” defense. There are some thingsĀ notĀ only this list that are required for defending against other types of attacks. For example, managing unknown contacts is critical for avoiding random crime, sexual assault, or kidnappings. I enjoy training in vehicles, but this did not make my list, either.

How do your enemies shape you? What are you training for?

If you’re also training for active shooter / terrorist interdiction, what else do you have on your list that I do not?

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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4 Comments on "Your enemies define you"

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  1. Alex says:

    Awesome list!

    I would add low light engagementage to the list and triage could be a very useful skill as well.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Shit, forgot low light!

      By triage do you mean the ability to prioritize the treatment of victims based on their wounds?

      • CR Williams says:

        There’s also a concept that will be pretty hard for some people: Combat Triage. This is where you bypass casualties and don’t stop to help even if you can because the fight is not over. If you stop and are working on somebody and the shooter(s) come up you become one of the statistics without ever really helping. If you can end the fight, those casualties you pass and others can be assisted.

        It is not a clear either/or. It will have to be done on a case-by-case bases. But it’s also not a time when you can let emotions drive your decisions. Some you pass may die before anyone gets to them. But if you stop, you and everyone else you could get in front of could well go down.

        The first rule of combat casualty care is: Address the threat. Until you can do that, the risk is increased for everyone.

        This is not an easy thing to contemplate. But it should be considered if you’re going to look at the threat seriously.

        • van der lin says:

          makes sense. sort of like in first aid step one is to remove hazards from the scene. Maybe that is what they meant.

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