TARGETING & MINDSET (Gunfighter – Knife Fighter)

TARGETING & MINDSET (Gunfighter – Knife Fighter)

BLUF: When it comes to targeting you need to know the intent and why.

Intent – In a blade system or guns, you need to be crystal clear with the “why” that is tied to the “what” you are training.

First thing first, let’s address why you should even train in a weapons-based system. Simply put, it is to eliminate a deadly threat as quickly as possible. To help put this into context, I’m talking about DEFCON1 for your own personal protection and family’s safety. To be clear deadly force is justifiable here.        

Now stay with me as I lay this down. Next you need to understand how to assess a deadly threat. There is a lot of training to be done in this area. This includes avoiding the altercation altogether.

Staying on point. You need to understand how to use weapons to justifiably eliminate deadly threats as quickly as possible. This is where intent with the blade or gun is critical. 

Now let’s drill down into both intent and targeting. This applies to both the blade and firearms. However let’s say you ran out of ammo. The blade is no different than other weapons when it comes to eliminating threats to you and or your family. You want to strike vital systems of the threat/enemy’s body to cause a physiological shut down as quickly as possible.

Here’s what I mean by physiological targets. I’m talking about vital targets found in the following systems of the human body.

·     Circulatory system

·     Respiratory system

·     Nervous system

·     Muscular system

·     Skeletal system

With that said when using a blade to protect yourself, all points of contact and targets to the body with the blade should be to these systems/vital targets. When targeting these vital systems consider the risk vs. reward in ending the threat. I simplify this by breaking them down into two categories. These are Timers and Switches. All vital targets fall into one or both categories with pros and cons.

Let me break down what I mean by Timers and Switches. A Timer includes vital targets from the respiratory and circulatory systems. (Targets such as major arteries, airways and lungs.) Think of the femoral and carotid arteries. The pro is it’s complete and permanent. The con is that it takes time to take effect.   

Simply put, Timers are targets that can completely and permanently end / kill the threat over a period of time. 

Keep in mind that the pro of striking a timer is to completely and permanently end a threat, the con is that a period of time is required before you see the pro. Meanwhile the time it takes for the Timer to take effect is time that your life and or the lives of your loved ones are still in danger. Be sure to finish the fight.   

Now Switches include vital targets from the nervous system and muscular system, to include connective tissue. Some of the skeletal system can also be considered a Switch. The pro is it’s immediate much like an on / off switch. The con is it does not always completely stop the threat.

The pro to Switches is that they have an immediate effect. That effect could be significant and even permanent, but it is not always complete. For example – if the achilles tendon is severed, a person’s mobility is instantly effected but they can likely still move, using their other, and they still have their hands (which could be holding weapons). Likewise, a person’s effectiveness is also significantly reduced if they lose the use of a hand. 

Now let’s start putting it all together. Here’s why we should use both Timers and Switches.

I’ll quickly touch on why using only Switches is a mistake in case you’re thinking to yourself that’s all you need. And you think it’s a less-lethal option that has the same effectiveness in stopping a threat that’s trying to kill you or family. Sure it may seem possible at first. I mean a Switch does turn something off on the body. So I guess I can see why some would think if we can get really good at turning off the most threatening parts of the human body, that we should be able to stop a threat without having to deal with all the legal aspects or using deadly force. The fact is this is a flawed thought process and dangerous view from both a practical and legal standpoint.  

Let’s be clear on the legal aspects of justifiable use of deadly force vs. less lethal force. I can say confidently that there is no legal advantage to using only Switches in a situation where you are justified in protecting yourself and or family by using deadly force. 

I believe this mindset assumes only one threat. If you are in a situation where there is more than one-person intent on doing you or your family serious harm, attempting to disable each attacker is not smart. Remember, Switches as covered earlier do not always end a threat.

What if multiple attackers are swarming you as a team? A determined enemy can often overcome a Switched off target during this period of time that you are dealing with another attacker/threat. On the other hand, if you access a Timer you are starting a countdown clock for justifiable deadly force. 

By targeting timers, you start putting bad guys on the clock and they eventually run out of time and check out. This allows you to completely remove those individual threats from the equation. The first threat runs out of time while you deal with the second and third, who make up the remainder of the overall threat. 

FYSA, here are Timers that are also Switches. These targets are both complete and instantaneous. I’m talking about the brain, brain stem and parts of the spine. 

Now that you understand the body is comprised of Timers and Switches, we will start to drill down into mindset.

Remember a Switch is usually mobility focused. If you destroy a Switch you are talking about the use of a hand, arm, legs, etc. This reduces their ability to maneuver on you or flank you.

Here is why you want to go after Switches or set a Timer. These are deadly force situations. A timer is basically anything that causes the person to bleed out or suffocate.   

This means if you put rounds/bullets on vital targets or a deep cut or stab wound into those areas you are killing the person.  Keep in mind, this is an abnormal person and you cannot treat an abnormal person like a normal person.  To me an abnormal person is anyone that is trying to kill you or a love one.  This is not the type of guy that is going to teach your children how to tie their shoes, ride a bike, or help pay for their college tuition.  This is a person who does not value life. Please do not make the mistake of thinking you share the same morals or value system.     

For those gunfighters out there and or if your primary EDC is a gun; this is for you. I want you to starting targeting the pelvic girdle as much as you do center mass.  If you can get good affective fire into the pelvic region of the body you can drop him and now you can get to other regions of the body because he is likely stationary.  Now if he is moving on you, advancing on you and that means he could flank you or suppress you to keep you behind your cover and concealment.  Sadly there are several examples of law enforcement being pinned down by suppressive fire and killed.  A perfect example is the 1986 FBI Miami shootout.  These FBI agents were pinned down by suppressive fire, and ultimately five FBI agents were wounded and two FBI agents were killed.  This was a gunfight between eight FBI agents and two aggressors/criminals.  One of the shooters/criminals was shot 12 times and remained in the gunfight before eventually bleeding out. *(This is a perfect example of a timer and how someone can overcome till their time runs out.)  It just goes to show you never know whom you will be going up against.  This is why you can’t mess around in an altercation.  If we talk about our level of violence and intensity on a scale of 1-10, the answer is you always bring a 10!  If the guy attacks you or your loved one at a 3 you bring a 10. If multiple guys attack you at a level 5 you bring a 10. If some thug brings an 8 to the fight you bring all your violence of action, speed and intensity at a 10. Finally if an attacker brings a 10 and you bring a 10, at least you’re on a level playing field.  Remember don’t fight unless you have to, but once you are in go hard! You want to destroy whatever target you hit. You aim for Switches and Timers. 

Lessons learned from the 1986 Miami shootout, is that center mass did not stop these guys.  This also brings in the question of ballistics and how LEO’s train.  This is also why shooting round bulls eye targets is a flawed method of training.  These two guys had an aggressive mindset and brought a 10 to the gunfight with the FBI agents.  They were able to kill two FBI agents and wound five other agents before they finally bleed out from multiple gunshot wounds.  This is why you need to be training to shoot the head and pelvic girdle.  We have to hit switches and timers.  The pelvic girdle is both a timer and a switch.  The reality is center mass may not stop the threat or solve the problem. You need to engage the shooters to put them on the ground and finish them with a head-shot if need be.  The head/brain is a on and off switch.  One moment he’s on and the next he’s off.  Or shut their mobility down and create distance that gives you time.  You don’t want to be getting advanced on by both sides or flanked.  The take a way here is, you can’t screw around.  Make no mistake your life is on the line and or your family members. Your mindset has to be, that you will be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill. Develop the will to fight.  Whatever you have to do just find an excuse to win.  Finish the fight.

The best defense against evil men, are good men skilled at violence.

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.” -Seneca

PREPARE – PROTECT – PREVAIL

By:  Travis N. – Director of Operations at Bellevue Gun Club

Travis N. – LinkedIn

If you, your family or organization is interested in private or group training please contact us.

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