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You have been “bugged in” your city apartment for several weeks. No electricity, no phone, no running water, and lots and lots of crazy people are running around the streets. There is truly no way of knowing what exactly is happening in the world, but it really does not look good for the home team. Even though living conditions have certainly not been up to your preferred standard of living, you and your family have felt secure up until this point. You have plenty of supplies and your vehicle is still operational, but the environment outside filled with crazies, criminals and crusaders is out of control! Life is just not the same as it was. So what do you do? After a thorough threat assessment is conducted by your group, you determine that your security precautions are holding up, but depending upon future threats, they could break down at any moment. The tough decision must be made: re-enforce the homestead or move out. The group decides that moving out is the best option.
When deciding to move out, several questions must be answered. First and foremost: do you have another place to go? The last thing that you want to do is leave a not-so-good situation and move to something that is far worse. Obviously, that makes no sense!
In the excellent book, CONTACT! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival, Max Velocity states that “you should only move if you have a safe place to go to, or your home is untenable.” Max also states that “Getting out for getting outs sake, perhaps with nothing but a camper or a tent and heading to a National Forest like everyone else, will simply leave you out there at a great threat.” I totally agree with him. You should not move unless the situation dictates that you absolutely must move.
When you decide to move, there are a few additional questions that must be answered:
There are certainly more additional questions to answer, and they should all be addressed prior to the disaster as part of your “Prepared Lifestyle” contingencies plans.
As a side note, if you are going to be prepared or live the “Prepared Lifestyle” in earnest, you must plan and train. Here is a simple blue print for the prepared lifestyle: Mindset, Tactics, Skills and Equipment. Mindset requires the understanding of two key concepts: Awareness and Threat Evaluation. Situational awareness is a critical skill that must be instilled in your subconscious mind and you must be continuously evaluating your threats. Always remember that the following are threats to your safety; Crazies, Criminals and Crusaders–the 3 C’s!
You should develop a set of core Tactics to deal with a variety of situations. Study and understand Colonel Boyd’s OODA Loop and make it a habit.
Understand that in living the Prepared Lifestyle, you must also practice Skills that work. This is just a short list of skills that you should be honing: unarmed and armed fighting, use of improvised weapons, first aid, escape and evasion techniques, and driving skills. The list could and should be endless.
Lastly, you must know your Kit, i.e. your Equipment. Please ensure your kit is serviced and in working condition. DO NOT carry kit that you do not know how to use! I believe strongly in keeping things simple, and equipment should be ready and available when needed.
We must consider some of the following things prior to moving out;
It quickly becomes apparent that the question of “Moving Out” is not an easy one. I truly believe that if the option of staying in place is available and you have everything you need for survival, you remain where you are, hunker down and wait for conditions to improve. If you do have an alternative location and prior proper planning has been conducted, then moving out is a viable option. Just make sure you have considered the possibility of things going wrong and have plans in place to deal with as many difficult contingencies as possible.
A variable that is often overlooked is martial law, law enforcement and military interaction–are law enforcement officers and soldiers still operating under the laws that were in place prior to the collapse, or has martial law been declared? Depending on how bad things have deteriorated, Rules of Engagement (ROE) might be the “law” of the land, and you most certainly will not be entitled to the same protection as before, nor do the same rules apply to search and seizure (or other constitutional rights). You must exercise extreme caution.
Are you now prepared to make the critical decision: hunker down and stay put, or move out? It is your choice! For the sake of you and your group, make sure it is the right one.
For my Zombie Fans!
Top 5 weapons for the Zombie Apocalypse (ZA)
In defeating Zombie hordes, as with any other predator, training, mindset, and skill with all weapons is crucial to your survival. In this article, I want to discuss my top five weapons choices and their respective combat ranges for use during the Zombie Apocalypse. Some of these will be familiar to you, and some may become your new favorites.
Long range is the most advantageous fighting range to vanquish a Zombie horde, and an AR-15/M4 carbine is the best tool for the job. It is easy to fire and highly accurate. The only major drawbacks are noise, and ammunition is expensive unless you have reloading supplies or an unlimited ammunition cache. Keep in mind it provides a finite form of protection.
An excerpt from Roger Ma’s awesome book, The Zombie Combat Manual: “Weapons with the melee class are typically between two and three feet long and are used to engage undead attackers at a distance of approximately four feet between opponents.” Melee range is a dangerous close-proximity range. If you are not quick and deadly, you could be infected, or become zombie food. I recommend three weapons for this range: the Kukri, the Tomahawk or Axe, and the Baseball Bat.
The Kukri is a traditional Nepalese or Indian knife, and the battle knife of the famous Gurkha fighting force. It is approximately 17 inches in length, and because of its distinctive forward dropping blade, it allows for a very forceful swing and destructive hit.
The Tomahawk, or Axe, is one of the oldest man-made weapons, and modern versions have steel heads and wooden handles. Both were designed for utilitarian use and as weaponry. The Tomahawk is easier to swing and manipulate, but requires closer proximity to the adversary. The axe has the longer handle; however, if you over-commit and lose control, you could be left defenseless.
The Baseball Bat is chosen for ease of accessibility. It is easy to swing and can cause major brain trauma to a zombie. Aluminum is preferable to wood, but in a zombie attack, I will take whatever I can get. Be mindful that wooden bats can break and aluminum bats can warp.
At this range, you need a knife that is long enough to thrust deeply inside the bottom of the neck and straight up into the brain. I recommend the Mark I World War I Trench Knife. It was also designed to pommel the head and crush the skull: it has a double-edged blade with a hilt incorporating a guard shaped as brass knuckles. This is a last-resort weapon.
Well, there you have it–my top five weapons choices for the Zombie Apocalypse. Whatever your personal preferences, skill and proficiency with those weapons are critical for survival and victory in an encounter with a Zombie. Training is crucial! My blueprint for success is this: follow the Warrior Lifestyle. Develop the proper mindset, study tactics, be fit, sharpen your skills, and train with your equipment. With this preparation, you will be ready for any Zombie encounter!
Here is a great overview of the Combat Hard Handgun Combatives program. A big shout out of “Thanks” to Prepper Jalapeño Gal for writing this great review. All the best!
Many self-defense practitioners and self defense legal experts believe that if the situation is so clear-cut, and one feels certain violence is unavoidable, the defender has a much better chance of surviving by landing the first blow and gaining the immediate upper hand. I totally agree with this. In fact, statistics have shown that a single well-placed strike in such a circumstance has usually been all that is necessary to end the conflict. If we get lucky, we might just knock the attacker out; even if this was not the result, the first strike is usually enough to distract the attacker so that one can either run or follow-up with more effective strikes.
“When it is clear to you that you or anyone dependent upon you for protection is about to suffer physical violence at the hands of extralegal assailants, attack, and keep on attacking until you are safe.” – Professor Bradley J. Steiner
Your Self Defense arsenal should include “preemptive” (offensive) action on your part.
“An attempt to strike another, when sufficiently near
so that there is danger, the person assailed may strike first,
and is not required to wait until he has been struck.”
– 16th Century English Self Defense Law
First, let us consider the situation of what I refer to as an individual’s preemptive self-offense.
Hypothetically speaking, you are face to face with the assailant, and you know you are about to be tackled. What should you do? You might look for an improvised weapon or other tool. But what if these are unavailable? If you plan to hit and kick your way out of the situation, should you be the first one to strike? The answer is yes, you should.
A preemptive attack, i.e., physically hitting someone else before you yourself have suffered actual physical damage, would be justified for an individual if, in an emergency situation, he had a rational (reasonable) expectation that another person was about to assault him.
Lawful “preemptive” self offense is simply the act of landing the first-blow in a situation that has reached a point of no hope for de-escalation or escape. If you are walking alone down a dark street, and you notice a suspicious person approaching you, what should you do? Should you wait until they have their hands on you to start preparing to fight back? No! What you do before the physical attack begins can have a huge impact on the outcome of the attack. If you know an attack is imminent, or you have a strong gut feeling that you might be in danger, it is time to begin mental preparation. If you have a stun gun, pepper spray, or another self defense device, it is also time to make sure it is immediately accessible and not buried in the bottom of your bag. Many people shy away from making the first move for several reasons. One may be a lack of confidence in fighting skills. Another may be fear of legal aftermath—will one get in trouble for initiating the attack?
The short answer is, no. Whether you use a self defense device, or protect yourself using your fists, as long as you can articulate that the attack was indeed imminent, the law allows you to protect yourself physically.
It is often unwise to wait for your attacker to get his hands on you before you put up a defense. In fact, you will often find it very difficult to defend yourself if you wait until you are already in this situation. By allowing the attack to unfold without creating a pre-emptive offense, you lose control, or the upper hand of the situation. It is always best to run away from the situation, if at all possible, but if not, you should still be the one to make the first offensive move. If the attack is truly inevitable, you have no reason to wait.
Intimidation is a crime. The definition of intimidation is this: if someone verbally threatens you, even if they have not yet touched you, they have committed the crime of intimidation, which is considered in most states as unlawful force or coercion. If someone threatens you by shouting, “I’m going to kill you!” they have already committed a crime of intimidation. You should, in fact, you must assume that they mean what they say and immediately take whatever action you feel is appropriate under the circumstances! Do not wait for confirmation when they actually attempt to murder you! I believe that this statement by Professor Steiner truly sums up my thoughts on this topic, “Innocent human beings cannot be expected to wait until they are actually suffering what may be permanent or lethal injuries before undertaking necessary self-protective action.“
There are a lot of martial arts teachers who are divided over the issue of the pre-emptive strike. On the one hand, some traditional training begins with the “assailant” attacking the student. As a result, many students think that they can wait for someone to attack them, at which point the student deftly escapes the attack using their martial arts techniques. Although these strategies work well in practice, will you really be able to escape such a situation by beginning to fight back only after the attack has already begun? You might if you have invested some time in training for the surprise assault and utilizing some form of default position. I would rather position myself for the preemptive attack and let the bad guy play catch-up, not the other way around. Keep this important fact in mind: fighting in a martial arts competition and real fighting on the street are two completely different things, requiring two completely different mindsets and training.
As a self defense instructor, you should encourage the preemptive attack in real self defense situations. In other words, hit them before they hit you and keeping hitting them until they are no longer a threat to you.
Index Positions or Passive Stances
Index positions are prepared stances. They allow you to place your preemptive weapons in range of a target without telegraphing your intention. The four basic index position are the “Jack Benny”, the “Ed Sullivan”, the “Bodyguard” and the “Fence”.
“An index position as is nothing more than a stance you assume in any threatening, face-to-face situation you can’t simply walk away from. Indexing enables you to instantly defend or attack without the appearance of being prepared to do either.
These are natural positions, sometimes called “passive stances” that you might find yourselves in on a daily basis. Miyamoto Musashi said, “Make your fighting stance your everyday stance and make your everyday stance your fighting stance.” We highly recommend you follow this simple principle and to become cognizant of the stances you currently assume habitually. It is impractical to assume a fighting stance all day every day—what a ridiculous thought. The answer to readiness is the index position, which becomes your everyday stance. When assuming an index position, the feet should be placed in a configuration that provides you with a balanced platform. Once the balanced platform is in place, focus should shift to hand and arm positioning. You should position your hands for the most effective preemptive strike. A great concept to remember is Closest Weapon, Closest Target, which is a fighting strategy developed by Tony Blauer. Blauer’s concept, coupled with index positions, is a very effective strategy for situational readiness. An excellent example is the Ed Sullivan index position. It is a very natural set-up for the Ax-Hand strike. The Ax-Hand strike, as you probably know, is a penetrating hand strike that can truly devastate an unexpected opponent. It should be noted, that the more persistent the aggressor is, the more quickly you should move to the “Fence” position. This position allows for a natural barrier between you and your opponent. It also places your hands in position to strike very effectively, if needed.
Distraction Techniques are designed to disrupt the assailant’s mental process and draw focus away from their primary assault, thereby allowing the victim the ability to apply a release and or escape. Bruce Siddle, of PPCT Management Systems, LLC, defines the distraction technique as “the use of control techniques that weaken motor action by changing the thought process”. Most distraction techniques work for about 3 seconds, which is a very short amount of time. Either immediate follow-up or escape is highly recommended. Distraction techniques are often used in situations where another person grabs you or your clothing. They are a simple, yet effective.
As I suggested, if you believe that the situation is so black and white as to feel certainty that violence is unavoidable, you stand a much better chance of surviving by delivering the first blow and gaining the immediate upper hand. By gaining the upper hand you are more likely to WIN in this confrontation! I am all about winning. It is critical to understand that three elements should be in place for you to utilize any type of force. Those three elements are ability, opportunity and jeopardy. As I say, once the “stars are aligned”, hit them and keep hitting them until they are no longer a threat to you or your loved ones. Preemptive striking is an important element that must be considered in regards to your Self Offense arsenal. Ensure that you are training and practicing these strikes often. Remember this great quote: “Martial arts are something you do with someone; combatives you do to someone.” – Kelly McCann
YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST, OR “BEST”, EVIDENCE
By Burton J. “Jimi” Brown, JD, PhD
You’ve heard it all before. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Skipping the rest of Miranda’s famous warnings, these two sentences speak volumes. You have a positive right NOT to speak but if you do, there could be a heavy down side. I call this downside, “shovel potential”, because if you choose to speak you might very well dig yourself a hole you can’t easily climb out of. Remember, you ARE the best evidence against yourself if you say the wrong things. However, you can also be the best evidence FOR yourself. Between these two rather stark choices I recommend the latter.
Before diving any deeper into this subject let’s define what we mean by evidence. Legally it is anything asserted (meaning submitted to the court) to prove a material issue or fact in a case. By proof we mean that the item of evidence asserted will tend to make something either more or less likely than it would be without it. This could be a photograph, a security tape, a blood analysis, a witness statement, a police report, or your own words. Keep in mind that this is a double edged sword and works both ways. The item of evidence asserted might just as likely tend to show your innocence or your guilt. Once your case arrives at trial there are other issues that will need to be resolved. Among those are relevance of the evidence, the reliability of the evidence, and the possible grounds for excluding the evidence. If you are ever in this situation discuss these to YOUR satisfaction with your lawyer. I will cover these issues in later articles and I am develpoing a curiculuum module for addition to the Combad Hard Education system. You do NOT need to be an expert but you should at least be familiar with these concepts and how they might play out for (or against) you. Hopefully, you wont ever be in this position.
If you are involved in a personal defense shooting you are already standing in the midst of a veritable sea of evidence before 911 has even been dialed. The assailant’s physical body, his clothing, his blood, his position, his weapon and so on are all evidence and will be treated as such. This also pertains to your own body, clothing, weapon, spent shell casings, and etc. We haven’t even gotten to other witnesses if present, closed circuit camera records, cell phone images ready for Youtube, phone tapes to law enforcement agencies and on it goes. Keep in mind all of this EVIDENCE is just lying there awainting collection and interpretation and you haven’t spoken a single word to anyone. Oh, but there’s more. What if the assailant is alive? If he is, he is not likely to be singing epic songs about your many virtues. Being the guy on the scene with the bullet hole he may get the first chance to speak and therefore influence any and all listeners including medical and law enforcement first responders. Remember, the bleeding guy will automatically draw at least some early attention even if he’s a scum bag.
I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, but it was a clean shoot! This guy attacked me with a knife. I was scared to death! I thought I was about to die!” Ok, but the clarity in your own mind may not be equally reflected in your shooting scene. If it is, you may very well be in good shape. But if it doesn’t, not so much. So do not assume anything. But most of all do not think you are so clever as to safely run off at the mouth without encountering the aforementioned “shovel potential.”
In the Handgun Combatives Program you’re trained to say certain things. These are solid and should be memorized well. If you say just these things both on the phone to 911 and after law enforcement arrives you won’t be hurting yourself too much if at all. There is a potential downside risk and I’ll write more about that below. However, know these phrases and if the moment comes that you need them you should, even under stress, be able to say them properly. By way of a refresher here are the kinds of phrasaes I’m referring to.
1) I was attacked
2) I was forced to defend myself
3) Identify yourself and give your location
4) Please send an ambulance
5) I need my lawyer before saying anythng else
Another item to remember is that law enforcement dispatchers are trained to keep you on the line. You are NOT required to do so. Remember, the line is taped and anything you say or anything that is overheard becomes evidence. Hey, didn’t you mention a downside to using the program phrases? What did you mean? If there’s a problem, then why learn them?
Keeping in mind that you should not assume your shooting represents the poster case for a clean shoot you may not want to appear so mechanical as to cause a law enforcement officer to become suspicious of you. Ok, how do I overcome that? While staying close to the script, be cooperative. Take your time, stick to the essence of the script, be thankful for the presence of the officers, and without running off at the mouth, be cooperative. I myself was a cop, deputy sheriff actually, for two decades and neither myself nor anyone I worked with was ever eager to jail someone for cleanly taking down a bad guy. But that’s one more thing not to assume. Having called an ambulance you should, as quickly as you can, be on the way to the hospital to have yourself checked out. Quite frankly, you’ll probably need it and it will serve to get you away from a scene full of inquisitive investigators. Do not under estimate the effects that shooting someone, even a bad guy, will have on you.
At the beginning I mentioned shovel potential. There is however, at least one thing worse than “shovel potential” and I call that “breaking in to jail.” Running off at the mouth could lead to that result. Personally, I consider out of jail better than in jail. So don’t go breaking into one.
One final point to deal with. Exactly what kinds of things would be bad to say? This is by no means an exhaustive list but these and other similar, “evidence creators”, are what I mean. Do NOT extoll the virtues of your training in handgun use or handgun combatives. There may be place for this later and it can be made to work FOR you but you will need your lawyer to choreograph that if at all. Do NOT mention a martial arts background. Do NOT sing the praises of your Dojo or your instructors. Do NOT run on about your choice of handgun and why you believe it to be a superior choice. Do NOT sing the praises of your state’s CCW law and how happy your are to be partaking in its freedoms. Do NOT wax prolific on your opinions concerning the second amendment. You get the idea. Appear cooperative but remain close to the script.