The threat against law enforcement and military has never been more prevalent than it is now. Ambush murders of police officers, targeting of military members around the world and a growing radical religious extremism threatens the very fabric of society, as we know it. This serves as a wake up call to a few truths when dealing with a possible threat on the street.
The first truth or understanding of street threats is that the bad guy always has the ambush advantage. The bad guy knows when they are going to attack; they have the advantage of selecting the time to attack and often the place to attack. Focusing on police officers, there are more than 50,000 attacks on law enforcement annually, 80% of these are done without weapons.
Many of these attacks often follow a familiar phase of attack. This phase of attack is: surprise/ambush of the officer, an attempt to overwhelm and attempt to incapacitate the officer by knocking them out or killing them. Over half of the shootings of officers are done with the officer’s own weapon. The close proximity of possible threats limits the ability of the officer to utilize their firearm and intermediate weapons. Realize your comfort zones, be aware of your surroundings and understand if you are within touching range you are within punching range.
The next truth or understanding of street threats is to not fight with the bad guy. Do not go into grappling or a stand up with fight with the bad guy, regardless of your training. This is not a prize-fight, there are no rules on the street and losing could mean your life.
Avoid going into a fight and maintain the distance, if you cannot maintain the distance neutralize the initial threat.
This neutralization is ceasing the attempt by the bad guy to overwhelm you; you must reduce the effectiveness of the attack (most often a flurry of punches) and maintain control of your weapon(s) if armed. Effectively controlling the attempt to overwhelm, protecting your weapon(s) and achieving a position of advantage are the essential steps to surviving any attack.
The final truth or understanding is simple… There is no tap out; this is a fight for your life.
Capt. Shawn Beachley is a Federal Police Officer currently assigned as a Police Special Operations Captain and Police Training Coordinator.
His background is in Mixed Martial Arts studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Gracie), Boxing, Karate/ Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, and Pekiti-Tirsia Kali. Currently certified as a Gracie Survival Tactics Instructor, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Instructor, and a TRX Suspension Training Instructor. Active East Carolina University Alumnus and former standout athlete in Rugby, Football, Lacrosse, Wresting, and Track. Beginner survivalist, avid gun collector/ weapons practitioner, and professional world traveler.
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