Tue. Dec 10th, 2019

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

You got your gat under your Ed Hardy t-shirt, your tude and your badass Ares Gear Aegis Enhanced Belt. No one is going to mess with you!


Criminals who want to mess with others generally don’t care who their target is while criminals with a less aggressive posture may look for easier targets if a future target is walking confidently, appears fit and is aware of his or her surroundings. Criminals generally seek out the person they feel is the most vulnerable to an assault. They are looking for a person they can intimidate, overpower and then control. They are looking for someone who will not put up any or a lot of resistance. If they know you are carrying it’s very likely they aren’t going to mess with you.

When Reggie lived in the big city there was a small grocery store a few blocks from his apartment. Getting food in these city blocks meant hustling groceries back to his domicile on foot. Driving and parking cars was a pain. Traveling in the day meant most people like Reggie could come and go frequently without being molested but at night-time the scumbags came out. The percentage of having a bad encounter went up!

Not an Ed Hardy shirt but a Spotter Up shirt on our dude from SEAL Team 3!

Reggie grabbed his wallet, wore his shorts, his flip-flops and didn’t bring a backpack. He got his groceries and walked down a quiet street with two bags of food in disposable plastic bags. After punching Reggie in the back of the head and knocking him to the ground his attackers realized he wasn’t going down easily. He then went on to destroy both opponents with his fists and feet.

After finding out they broke his dozen eggs and ruined his carton of milk in the melee he began to smash his canned food on their heads as they lay on the street. He also used their skulls as soccer balls. The arriving police did not press charges and let everyone depart as mutual combatants.

What are the few issues you see here from this short story without me filling in too many details? Like him or not my buddy Reggie made the mistake of waking through his hood at night like all was peaceful. He decided because he was very proficient in combatives that he could handle anything that came his way. And he’d done just that for a very long time. For the guys who knew him he was devastating in a punch up and great for back up.

There’s a gun ban in effect in places like San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Criminals will carry but good guys won’t if they aren’t permitted to. Glad I don’t live there. Reggie was a good fighter yet that night he was oblivious because the quiet city night-walk made him relax his guard. After working all night he just wanted some smokes, a beer and some grub. He told me he was going out for a chill walk and was feeling good.

Something my brother told two knuckleheads at an ATM. They walked away…wise move.

One guy came up (the distracter) and asked him for a smoke while another guy (the hammer) punched him in the back of the head. He fell to the ground. Reggie presumed a local that he knew only by sight and not as a friend would never mess with a 6’5″ muscle-bound ninja. He saw one of the attackers on a daily basis and assumed they were good to go! The second attacker was nearly as big or bigger from what an officer told me.

Footwear. Reggie wore flip-flops. Sliding and grooving in beach wear on the street isn’t the same as wrestling shoes or karate flats on a mat. Blood, oil, gravel, water, you name it and it will change your tactical ballet on the ground. Even Nijinsky and Nureyev wore slippers that let them have form and function. Flips flops simply suck for fighting. He was better off chucking those things at them or walking down Venice beach for the weekend.

His hands weren’t free. He had to drop both plastic bags to the ground in order to break his fall. He didn’t pack a small defensive tool or weapon. A back pack might have been good for carrying a metal bar or hammer. What would you have carried?

What was the bill from the waiter? A sprained ankle, a sore neck, road-rash on the knees, cut toe, bruised hands and $50.00 bucks in groceries but he walked away with a good lesson. Your hommies on the street aren’t your friends. If they bring a knife to a fight you’re likely toast. It’s time to reassess.

1. Your pants. This is not the time for a complete fashion make-over but think about the items in your wardrobe. Today style and tactical are meeting in the middle by forward thinking companies like Triple Aught Designs. Many companies are releasing products that meet the marks for utility, style, price, durability and comfort for the end-user tired of buying gear that doesn’t work for them.  5.11 Straight Defender-Flex Jeans are a good concept. Tactical Denim from Triple Aught Design is also available. Look for gear designed with functionality in mind. Do your board shorts, skinny-jeans, or work pants, whatever it is you’re using, let you move fluidly?

Can you reach your cell-phone or Kubotan in an emergency? I’m not saying that you go and ditch your favorite, cool-looking surfer shorts but be mindful when you walk out the door that you might not return for days. God forbid you get jammed up in your silkies and they don’t have a pocket for your house keys. Dress appropriately and plan well if you are leaving a good distance from home.

I think the tattoos are going to help the guy in the left image do better knee strikes and karate kicks than the guy in the agile, loose-fitting denim and shoes with lugs in the right image.

2. Your shoes. Flip flops are cool. We’ve all seen the latest offerings from Combat Flip Flops but are they going to help you continue to be that agile operator when two drunk guys are harassing your wife? We can’t plan for every event in life. If you need to get your pack of smokes and don’t want to be inconvenienced by lacing up your Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boots then consider getting some sidewalk surfer shoes or mid-cut moccasins that you can slip-on and off quickly. Shoes with some kind of outsole traction are better than shoes without. Your shoe choices should look cool and offer support, shield your feet, give you traction, and let you pivot to foot-sock the guy in the mouth like Billy Jack did when he schooled Posner in the movie Billy Jack.

[Billy Jack is surrounded by Posner’s thugs]

Mr. Posner: You really think those Green Beret Karate tricks are gonna help you against all these boys?

Billy Jack: Well, it doesn’t look to me like I really have any choice now, does it?

Mr. Posner: [laughing] That’s right, you don’t.

Billy Jack: You know what I think I’m gonna do then? Just for the hell of it?

Mr. Posner: Tell me.

Billy Jack: I’m gonna take this right foot, and I’m gonna whop you on that side of your face…

[points to Posner’s right cheek]

Billy Jack: …and you wanna know something? There’s not a damn thing you’re gonna be able to do about it.

Mr. Posner: Really?

Billy Jack: Really.

[kicks Posner’s right cheek, sending him to the ground]

3. Your bag. I’m not saying you need to go out and buy a tactical man-purse like those offered by Maxpedition, 5.11, or Man Pack. Hey, if you like JanSport then make it work for you. If you are going to make a grocery run just ensure your walk to the store and back to your home can be done while allowing you to be tactically sound. Can you shift the bag from the front of your torso to the rear of your back in order to handle a group of oncoming ASBOs? When I walked around Sweden, France and Belgium I had to make trips to get bread, vegetables and more. Having a good bag makes it easier to be agile. A double shoulder strap bag without a quick release might be your demise. We can’t plan for everything but consider for a moment if you need something different from your current bag and make that change. Take a good look at the Hill People. They make incredible bags for running, EDC and more…just sayin.

Boy they screwed up a good book with this movie. Nice jacket and bag!

4. Your holster. What are you using? Did you buy the el Cheapo at the gun show?  It’s time for me to get a new holster too. I have two soft models that get me by and a nice hard-shell from First Spear but it’s time to get something much better. There are a lot of great items to choose from. I’m looking at a few of the offerings from Guncraft. Can your gun go into your holster and into your pants without trouble? Can you withdraw your gun without trouble? Can you remove it from beneath your Ed Hardy shirt and your skinny jeans? Just sayin…

5. Your hand. Can you shoot you firearm reasonably well with your non-dominant hand? Can you punch or deflect blows reasonably well with your non-dominant hand? The dominant hand is typically stronger not only in grip strength but in overall arm strength. One of the main reasons for training with your non-dominant hands is insurance in case you injure your dominant hand.

If you’ve broken or sprained your hand and need to access your firearm then conditioning and training your body to respond without hesitation is prudent in my opinion. I once broke my right thumb. I recall hitting the ground from a tumble off my mountain bike. I stood up and looked at my abnormally pointed thumb and thought, “this is not a good day.” I snapped it back into place and got medical attention. I also broke my clavicle on a bike ride and my left arm was out of commission for 4 months.

Be more like this guy

Getting involved in a lethal encounter will complicate matters if your dominant hand is out of commission. Access to your sidearm can get complicated if your sidearm is not ambidextrous or if your holster needs to be re-seated somewhere else on your body. Be careful re-holstering a loaded firearm. There are many good drills to be found online if you are looking for non-dominant training drills. I am not stating that you need to be equally proficient with both hands. I am stating that you need to be familiar with how to handle a firearm without hesitation in case your dominant hand is injured. When you go through any law-enforcement academy you will practice shooting drills with your ‘other’ hand.

When practicing Wing Chun we practiced many chain punching drills. Imagine my surprise when I knocked a man out one day that was harassing my friend. The man continued to escalate the situation. I surmise that my blows from my left and right fists were equally effective (speed, strength) on top of the fact that he walked into my strikes that I didn’t need to do anything else.

Gymnastics training is another form of sport that can help you with balance, strength, and flexibility. I recall my muscle proportions were out of balance before I started doing Olympic Lifting. After a year of focused lifting my proportions were perfect, my posture better and my weak areas were stronger. I recommend doing sport such a yoga to help with imbalances.

Consider using a grip-strength exerciser to further build the muscles of your less-dominant hand. There are grip masters, exercise balls and finger and wrist exercises that can further strengthen your less-dominant hand. Consider opening doors, turning book pages, and doing a lot of other tasks with your less-dominant hand to make it become dextrous. Try punching a boxing bag, or even wiping your bottom with your left hand; think I’m kidding?

I’ve presented my own thoughts on the over-used term called ‘tactical’. Everything we do should be to provide security for our family and ourselves. We should carefully plan in order to gain a specific strategic end over those who want to do us harm. Good luck and God bless.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.