Many times over the years, I’ve heard many a new student’s perspective on self-defense. When it’s not an excuse like “I don’t have time to train” or “I just don’t have the money right now,” I hear the old phrase: “I’ll just grab my gun and shoot them if they try anything.” They’re always surprised then by my next question: “So how often do you train with it?”
Here is what people don’t understand about using any kind of tool or force multiplier for self-defense: If you’re not training with it REGULARLY, you are training to fail!
Regardless of your go-to weapon, training is a necessity if you want to be able to deploy it!
Let me explain. A lot of people choose to use a knife or a firearm for their self-defense needs. I applaud these people for taking the first step to preventing themselves from becoming a victim. But by not following through by investing in good training, their weapon becomes no good in a real altercation. These tools then become nothing more than paperweights if the people who hold them don’t know how to use them. This is especially true of firearms, where untrained people can easily hurt themselves or others – badly— by mistake.
Tactical training with protective gear and plastic/unsharpened knives gives a lively, realistic feel to the drills. This kind of training is necessary for self-defense.
Fights happen fast, and depending on how it goes down you’re not going to be able to “just shoot them.” They might have already closed the distance on you, or knocked you over to the side that your pistol is on making it that much harder to get it online and into the fight. You might be in a crowded area, like a shopping center or parking lot, where using a firearm isn’t an option.
And, at the end of the day, you need to realize that the only thing you will always have with you isn’t a gun or knife – it’s yourself.
This is why I’ve always believed that you need a solid foundation on which to build, and need to improve their abilities in fitness, hand-to-hand combat skills, edged weapons, and firearms. Students must train in all four in order to become that much harder to kill.
Criminals are ambush predators and will not fight fair. Most fights tend to go to ground, and you’re going to need something to buy you those critical seconds to get whatever tool you use into the fight. This is why being able to develop what we call Warrior Mindset is so critical in any kind of altercation.
Instructor William Tresten demonstrating a self-defense maneuver.
You are the weapon, everything else is just a tool to help you get the job done! This is what Warrior Mindset is all about. I don’t care if I get into an altercation and all I have is a freaking spoon; I’m going to fight like hell and stop the threat because I have loved ones that I need to get home to. If you really look at it, self-defense isn’t about how cool your moves look on video or how “deadly” they make you – it’s about the preservation of life. You doing whatever necessary to protect yourself and those you care about most. That’s what a Warrior is: someone willing to stand in the gap when evil people come knocking and are willing to fight for those they love.
I look to what the Bible has to say about bad guys: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
The problem is when the spiritual evil gets manifested into the physical, you need a way to defend yourself. Pray for protection and trust God for the spiritual battle, and learn self-defense for the physical. People ask me all the time what is the best thing I can do from a security standpoint, and I always tell them the same thing: Give your life to Christ and you’ll have all the security you’ll ever need in this life and the one to come. Trust in God for the spiritual, but learn Self-Defense when evil manifests itself in the physical.
Thank you guys for taking time to read, all Glory be to God.
Keep posted - I have another post about self-defense appearing on The Centurion next week! It will be helpful for those of you who teach or want to teach self-defense in your schools!
William Tresten of Tactical Defense Systems.