Wake Up Call!

It struck me right after the terrorist attack on the Ramblas in Barcelona some 4months ago. This one was different for me. Sure, there had been attacks in London, Madrid, New York and many others through the years.

Even politicians tell us nowadays that we should accept frequent terrorist attacks on home soil as a new ‘part of life’ .

But a friend of mine relayed me ´somewhat´ live mobile phone video footage of the Barcelona Attack Aftermath. Carnage all over the place, bodies ripped open, blood, people in shock and bystanders totally oblivious about what to do. The first responders were not even on the scene. The victims and bystanders were the first responders (as always). And there was some guy filming apparently…….

In the Special Forces, and probably in other Armed Forces as well, we have been trained in the ´Art of Relativation´. It was not a formal training, but we picked it up quickly.

When you were deployed in Afghanistan and there was a large offensive, the reply would typically be ´Yeah, but that´s all the way in Mazar I Sharif, and we are over here in Kabul´.

Multiple Vbieds (vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices) in Kabul? ´Yes, but Kabul is a large city. My team was not even in the city when it happened. ´

Mortar attack on the compound? ´Well, only the tents of these other guys were hit. That is all the way on the other side of the compound´

I guess it´s a way to keep yourself (and the folks at home) sane.


But these Barcelona videos ´hit home´ with me. 

It was the same realization I had when training (read: getting my ass kicked) with a skilled ground fighter: ‘F*ck, I’m not ready for this shit at all!’

The day after that humbling experience, I started to take my pocket knife with me again. A week later I was ´rolling´  (read tapping out 3 times per minute) regularly with a Luta Libre guy. My ground game has improved significantly, but my standpoint is still: don´t go to the ground in a fight. 

(But unfortunately that is not always up to you. The vast majority of street fights start standing up and end up on the ground. It´s the reality. But I digress.)

Back to the Barcelona Attack:

What If………?

What if these people had been only just slightly more aware of their surroundings (Nice article on Situational Awareness by the way)? What difference would it have made?

What good would a trained person with the right equipment have done in the aftermath. Triage, stop excessive bleeding, save lives. All I saw in the video was people who had no fucking clue on what to do. Running around themselves in blind panic. 

We all remember the importance of preparation, right? Remember ‘ Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance’? Hell, it has been the basis of all our training. You don´t run into a building for a HR (Hostage Rescue) scenario and not take your weapon, right? Just saying.


How prepared would you be for an attack like the one in Barcelona? My personal conclusion: Not as much as I should be and can be with relatively little effort.

Work to be done. This is where my journey started and i´ll keep you updated on progress made.

‘Be Prepared? Chill Man, We Are Not In Israel!’ 

I know there are people who will say: ´The chances of being involved in an attack are smaller than getting into a car crash.´ 

And that is true. For now. 

How ready are you when you and your loved ones are the victims of a car crash? 

Accidents happen. How would you feel if you had not prepared even the slightest bit for your next traumatic event? No medic kit in your car? No Flashlight in the dark? No knife to cut your little one’s seatbelt?

Robbery? Burglary? Terrorist attack?

True: We do not live in Israel. You might not consider your backyard as a ‘semi-permissive’ or a ‘hostile’ environment. 

But surely there is a way between being in a constant state of war and completely ignoring that the Shit can Hit the Fan (SHTF) and Shit can Happen.

Can you run? Can you fight if needed? Can you attend to the wounded? Or will you stand empty-handed and have no idea what to do and how to do it. Will you be an asset or a liability?

Can you (still) ´Keep blood in good guys and out of bad guys´ as Tim Kennedy (Former Green Beret, UFC fighter) of the Sheepdog Foundation subtly puts it.

Will You Join Me?

I am on a journey to prepare myself and my family better. Will you join me?

Ready to move on? Find out your BIG WHY!

Let me know in the comments. I´d love to hear your thoughts on this. Make sure to subscribe on this website to get the latest updates on Arminius Thoughts and Events. You can unsubscribe at any time. 

Other ways to stay ´on the Tip of the Spear´?

Subscribe to Arminius on Youtube.

There is also a FB community

More into Instagram nowadays? No problem!

Written by Robin C, Former Dutch SF officer, Operator, 12 years into adapting to civilian life ?

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*Thank you for reading, subscribe and stay up to date! This article is shared with the consent of the original author. It was originally published on Arminiustribe.com by Mark van Riele. IG  and FB

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.


By Mark van Riele

Mark served in the Dutch Army Special Forces unit “Korps Commando Troepen”, And he served in different units ranging from Diplomatic close protection to contractor work. He has his own blog called @arminius_tribe on Instagram

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