Forty plus years ago I was a teenager avidly studying the combative arts for personal growth and self-defense. Never at that time did I realize that it was my true passion. And certainly did I 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 the upheavals of race riots and street confrontations with rival groups.
The Vietnam War was coming to an end, but the 70’s had given rise to a new era of terrorism, one that the public no longer recognized as a distant threat. Perhaps the single greatest event that perpetuated that change was the summer Olympics in Munich Germany where 11 Israeli’s were brutally slaughtered by members of the Palestinian terrorist group, Black September.
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 home grown terrorists thrust the United States further into what is now a full grown war on terrorism. But its not just terrorism that is a current day concern. 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 anytime.
Growing up my mother use to say that most people are kind and want to do the right thing. My father whom 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 this is that though we cannot prevent every bad thing from happening, we are able to make certain decisions. Decisions that govern how we will act and respond to situations we may find ourselves facing.
So what if it is true that “most” people are kind. There are still many out there that are not. And it is for those that are not and wish to do our families and us harm that we must now take an active role in our personal safety.
Being proactive is no longer a choice if you want to mitigate the potential risk of these evolving threats to your family and loved ones. We will not always have the luxury as many believe, in avoiding conflict. There will be times when Murphy’s Law kicks us in the shin and wakes us up to the fact that avoiding violence will not be realistic.
It is for those times that understanding unarmed and armed defense will play a huge role in your planning and survival. After you tackle and practice 360-degree situational awareness, you need to understand the laws governing the use of force and weapons including firearms in your locale, state and region.
Once you get over the moral and ethical dilemma’s of defending your right to existence, you will need to figure out a plan that confronts the challenges surrounding recognition, avoidance, evasion and defending your family. Many of those challenges require you and your family members to gain a greater depth and breadth of knowledge in the security arena…one of the reasons I developed the Defense Coach Certification.
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, and thus you will be that much more prepared than average Joe or Jane.
Even visualizing dangerous situations and your reactions to them is a start. No matter your background or how much or 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
What is a “Tactical Family?”
A ‘Tactical Family’ is one that is confident and prepared to deal with this new age of violence and crime. Everyday people as well as law enforcement are now exposed to an onslaught of random and targeted acts of violence directed against all that we believe is true. It tears at the moral fabric that we have so carefully stitched together for our families and leaves many exposed to the elements naked and without survival skills, but there is a ray of hope for The Tactical Family.
This is a family that understands and accepts that there are bad people who will threaten us and want to do harm and have chosen to prepare for this. To prepare not to be a victim! 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 over evil.
What are the 5 key elements of a ‘Tactical Family?’
- The tactical family is training for readiness and quick reaction and thus the nucleus or core of this preparedness must first stem from 360-degree situational awareness. They practice the dynamics of recognizing potential threats before they happen and 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 that 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. In most, the person is caught off guard and thus surprise plays a major role in your ability to respond quickly. And when you are fighting for your life or that of a family member, you had better know how to use your body weapons to incapacitate and neutralize the attacker.
- In preparing to survive it would also behoove one to know armed defense. For the purposes of brevity, armed defense is comprised 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 every day tools and to learn how to employ them as defensive weapons. Quick examples are the meat-tenderizing hammers and kitchen 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 crucial to such as home defense, escape & evasion tactics, anti-kidnap & hostage survival skills, as well as the art of surveillance & counter-surveillance, weapon countermeasures, principles of protection, and travel security that are all strategically and fundamentally critical security skills sets to learn and hone in this brave new world that we now call home.