Forty years ago, I was a teenager avidly studying the combative arts for personal growth and self-defense. Never at that time did I realize it was my true passion. And I certainly did not grasp how important that early beginning would be to shaping my future. During that time, some of the biggest threats I had to consider were street confrontations with rival groups..
People – and perhaps more importantly – governments all over the world were now forced to pay closer scrutiny to security everywhere. There was a significant paradigm shift in thinking. No longer was the Arab-Israeli conflict something that we just heard about in the news. Terrorism had a new face, and it had been exported outside those borders to Europe.
Numerous other events including the kidnapping of Patty Hearst in 1974 by homegrown terrorists thrust the United States further into what is now a full-blown war on terrorism. But it’s not just terrorism that concerns us today. We are inundated with active shootings and mass stabbing incidents on an almost daily basis. With so many changes in the geopolitical and social climate, global crime has also increased dramatically.
As private citizens, we have been literally thrust into a vicious cycle of terror, threats and danger that can happen to anyone at any time.
When I was growing up, my mother used to tell me that most people are kind and want to do the right thing. My father, who was and still is an active gun enthusiast, would tell me that we cannot control all the things that could possibly happen to us, but we can control ourselves. What I think he meant by that is: Although we cannot prevent every bad thing that happens to us, we are able to make certain decisions. Decisions that govern how we will act and respond to situations we may find ourselves facing.
Being proactive is no longer a choice if you want to mitigate the potential risk of these evolving threats to yourself and to your loved ones. You must accept the fact that there may come a time when you will not have the luxury of avoiding conflict.
And it is for times like those that understanding unarmed and armed defense will play a huge role in your planning and survival. After you tackle and practice 360 situational awareness, you need to understand the laws governing the use of force and weapons including firearms in your state and region.
Once you get over the moral and ethical dilemmas of defending your right to existence, you will need to figure out a plan that confronts the challenges that surround recognition, avoidance, evasion and defense of your family.
Adapting to a New Lifestyle
For practical purposes these days, any steps you take to improve and enhance your chances of survival in a conflict or emergency are going to be better than not educating and training at all.
Even visualizing dangerous situations and your reactions to them is a start. No matter your background or how much or how little training you have to deal with conflict and dangerous situations and people, I absolutely encourage you to take steps now to prepare for the new era we are living. I call my vision for your preparation the “Tactical Family.”
“The TACTICAL FAMILY is one that can adapt to the current security challenges we all face, rise up to meet them and strike them down in order to survive in the face of evil” —Dr. Jeff
A tactical family is one that is confident and prepared to deal with this new age of violence and crime. They understand and accept that there are bad people who will – given the opportunity – threaten them and harm them. They have also thought through the potential scenarios, reactions and consequences to their actions. Ultimately the tactical family has chosen to be a winner in this fight of good vs. evil.
The 5 Key Elements of a Tactical Family
- The tactical family is trained for readiness and quick reaction. Therefore, the core of their preparedness must first stem from 360-degree situational awareness. They practice the dynamics of recognizing potential threats before they happen, and they hone behaviors that are effective in maintaining situational awareness.
- The next essential element is unarmed skill sets. You will not always have time to get to a weapon and for some who don’t like the idea of employing weapons, learning empty-hand skills and hand-to-hand combat makes great practical sense. The majority of attacks are overwhelmingly up close and personal, and in most instances the victim is caught off guard. And when you are fighting for your life or that of a family member, you had better know how to quickly use your body weapons to incapacitate and neutralize the attacker.
- It would also behoove one to know armed defense. For the purposes of brevity, armed defense comprises of your competence with edged and impact weapons as well as firearms.
- Having a solid understanding of weapons of opportunity and chance is also a fundamental that every tactical family must embrace. Weapons of opportunity exist everywhere, and so it is for the tactical family to identify these potential everyday tools and to learn how to employ them as defensive weapons.
- Quick examples are the meat-tenderizing hammers and knives found in most kitchens. Large coffee mugs can also be a good impact tool in a pinch. And it is equally important that one learn how to fashion everyday items into weapons that may either be concealed or disguised in the event they need it but also to be aware of what criminals are using to convert everyday items into homemade weapons.
- Lastly, there are the specialized areas of particular concern for the tactical family such as home defense, escape-and-evasion tactics, anti-kidnap and hostage survival skills, as well as the art of surveillance and counter-surveillance, weapon countermeasures, being your own bodyguard, vehicle-oriented defense and travel safety that are all strategically and fundamentally critical skill sets to learn and hone in this brave new world that we now call home.
Until next time, stay alert, check your six, put your back against the wall and stay safe!
P.S. If some of you have an interest in seeing me discuss and review practical armed and unarmed tactics and techniques in either text or video format that can enhance your skill sets for personal defense, please write to me.