A winding, twisting back road with many delays and detours, best represents a Street Fighter's journey to master combative skills. As we go through our learning process, from time to time we will be confronted with storms and chaos. A Street Fighter's wisdom comes from experience and most of our collective experiences have been at times painful and costly. As Louis L'Amour said, "No man can be judged except against the backdrop of the time and place in which he fought."
The name "Street Fighter" conjures the image of a man engaged in combat. Fortunately those who attempt to undermine certain individual traits as out-of-date have not emasculated the term Street Fighter. A Street Fighter is an anthropos who is called to wager his life to protect others from harm. The Street Fighter yearns for the chance to test himself in virtuous service to his country. Unfortunately in today's political climate that permeates the law enforcement community, the Suits view this type of thinking as anomalistic behavior. Oftentimes what the Suits choose to forget is that a gunfight is a two-way range: kill or be killed.
Mindset Of A Hunter
The Street Fighter must take on the offensive mindset of a hunter instead of the defensive mindset of prey. He must always scan his surrounding areas for threats and intuitively identify risks and quickly determine the appropriate course of action, responding without vacillation to extremely stressful and dangerous circumstances. A good heuristic decision is a result of recognizing what you are looking for, knowing when enough facts are enough and having the absolute confidence to make the best decision possible to quickly eliminate the threat. In other words, don't doze or fret. Treat every street encounter with skepticism until you determine otherwise.
When the Street Fighter is in an undercover role he must blend into his backdrop. However, the Street Fighter cannot portray the appearance of a soft target. Being a Street Fighter is not child's play. It must become part of your lifestyle. If you sense danger, do not hang around waiting to be killed. Remember, retreat is always an option.
Prior to assuming an undercover role the Street Fighter must conduct his threat assessment evaluating all potential threats he might encounter that will jeopardize his safety. He must take into account the relative likelihood of these threats; the risk factor that signaled him to include them on his assessment; the course of action available to abate the threat; and the residual risk he might face after putting his prevention plan in place.
While a Street Fighter is undercover negotiating with a drug dealer he must remain aware of three clusters of behavior display: comfortable, uncomfortable and dominant. A dealer in the comfortable cluster does not perceive a threat and has an absence of a fight or flight response. He will appear relaxed, arms or legs will remain still. He will face directly toward you without concern and will show facial signs indicating he is not in a rip off mode.
The drug dealer who is displaying the uncomfortable cluster will show you that he perceives something is not quite right. His discomfort will manifest by shifting of his feet, blading his torso away from you and swaying from side to side and back and forth.
The final cluster is dominance. When a dealer feels a threat but at the same time has the confidence he can control the negotiations, his body will display dominance. He will try and make himself appear larger by taking up physical space by leaning towards you extending his arms out wide and above his head. However, be alert for the psychopath, for he has learned to mask his dominance and to attack with intense fury.
Collective Mood Environment
Next the undercover Street Fighter must assess what is called the collective mood of the environment in which he finds himself. By quickly observing and listening to everything that is happening, he might pick up on danger signs or clues as to any anomalies that may be present. Are those around you acting in a chaotic manner with hostility or aggression directed toward you?
In predatory violence, the aggressor gets to choose the time and the environs of the blitz attack. The predator will usually launch his attack from ambush.
The Street Fighter's empty hand skills are essential because at the moment of the confrontation he may not have the time to draw his pistol. At the FBI Academy in Quantico, Bob Taubert taught the five Ds: deflect the weapon; dominate the weapon arm; distract by causing real physical pain; disarm; disable.
It is important that the Street Fighter keep in mind during a blitz attack the predator probably will not be alone. Predators want to make sure they win and their feeling of bravado is heightened when they have other gunmen with them. The Street Fighter must be aware of the true predator, a hunter who has developed a lust for the hunt and the kill. The predator thrives on the thrill and the rush of excitement.
The predator will not attack the Street Fighter head-on. There will not be any setting up, no forewarning of intent. The blitz attack will come from your flank or behind. You will not see his weapon before he is on you. If by chance you do observe the predator, initially he will not appear threatening. It will not be a fair fight. The predator will launch his attack with murderous rage, blindingly fast. He will strike and fade away.
The Street Fighter operating undercover must be skilled at being able to make sound tactical decisions instantaneously; decisions that will permit him to prevail in a gunfight. We can hone down the essentials of gun fighting to a critical fundamental concept - time management. Imagine that during your undercover negotiations you have just shown the drug dealer the flash roll and you hear him say, "Give me the damn money or I'll kill you right now." You see him holding a pistol that is aimed right at your chest. How you control the next few seconds will determine who lives and who dies. When we think about a gunfight as a fraction of time we need to determine what conditions help the winner and what conditions are detrimental to the loser.
It is critically important that the Street Fighter optimize the fractions of seconds available. As Street Fighters we must first take into account that we will be battling our way through our initial reaction to the startle effect. This is why we must keenly sharpen our situational awareness and simultaneously identify prefight indicators to help us beat back the startle effect.
The Street Fighter needs to comprehend the infinitesimal amount of time it takes the predator to pull the trigger and he must then determine which of his weapons will best counter the danger. His best choice of weapon will be the weapon he can employ fastest. A disabling finger thrust into the predator's eye may be the best option. Watch the attached film clip.
The Street Fighter must explosively counter the predator with speed, surprise and overwhelming violence. You cannot hypothesize as to the decision the predator may or may not make regarding your life. With the pistol aimed at your chest the predator can probably shoot you in 0.35 seconds. You may have several options. Say your pistol is hidden inside a waistband holster, appendix carry. You have trained yourself to an incredibly fast draw, firing one round center mass, in 1.25 seconds. You are also carrying a fixed blade knife and are capable of stabbing the predator's throat in 0.75 seconds. Also, you have the option of using your hands, which you can devastatingly employ in about the same time it takes the predator to pull his trigger.
The Street Fighter must fully understand the concept of time. By objectively examining the fractions of a second it takes for a life saving response, the Street Fighter can pick the best weapon to prevail in the gunfight.
Carry A Fighting Pistol
A Street Fighter carries a fighting pistol for gunfights are vile and wicked clashes won by shooters who can prevail and dominate and deliver fast accurate shots at their opponent. It may be tempting to sacrifice accuracy and carry a compact gun for convenience. Street Fighters keep in mind that they carry a pistol because they want to feel protected or because they want to be protected. Comfort should not trump power. You dress to conceal your pistol. Do not try to make your pistol fit your choice of apparel.
Float The Dot - Shoot The Shot
Street Fighters understand the alignment of their front sight to rear sight to the relationship of sight picture. Our human eye has the natural ability to center objects; therefore, we quickly float the front sight dot into the rear sight and shoot the shot.
As a Street Fighter your self-esteem is who you believe you are. It prescribes your fortitude as to your capacity to perform certain tasks. How you believe in yourself stems from your self-esteem generating either a positive or negative emotional state.
Your emotional state is how you feel mentally while responding to a critical incident. You must get rid of all negative emotional triggers and instead put together a positive emotional state to be confident that you are in control. Even if you are tense or edgy, do not confuse this with negativity for many Street Fighters perform extraordinarily well when they are tense or nervous. Through training and self-imagery you can convince yourself that you are performing at your peak while you are nervous but still in control of your feelings.
If a Street Fighter has poor self-esteem attributable to previous defeats or to an inability to "fail fast" you must not penalize yourself and demand impossibly high standards of faultlessness. If you do you are setting yourself up for failure. We are all human, mistakes happen, get over it, move forward and develop solutions to your blunders.
Street Fighters must learn to control their emotions. Remember the only person you cannot lie to is yourself. Accept that you may have an occasional relapse as you attempt to work through some of the negatives in your life. Failure motivates all our great successes; therefore, change your self-talk from negative to positive.
Street Fighters must develop mental toughness that is primarily made up of self-confidence. Visualize yourself as always winning by "staying in the fight."
Psychologists have taught us that folks can interpret identical situations differently. Some of us have a poorer ability to cope than others. It is not sufficient to be aware of the need to cope; you must assess your ability to handle the situation. Unless you determine there is some chance for success in coping, no coping behavior will take place. If you don't know what to expect in a violent encounter, you are plainly unprepared to cope. Therefore expectation is the key element. If you cannot cope with a blistering attack you will be overwhelmed by an onerous mental and physical collapse as you desperately attempt to contend with the reality of a blitz attack. Faulty training that fails to prepare us to effectively respond to aggression may cripple our self-confidence and ability to cope.
By strengthening our coping mechanism ahead of time, our nerves will be calm and our responses will be quicker and more decisive. This will build confidence that comes from performing something that will work and is on par with our expectations.
Repetition Results In Perfection
We must practice everything we have learned and repeat it until perfection is achieved. Practice is the key for practice is the only way you will develop confidence. When you see yourself possess real ability time after time, your confidence level is high and long lasting. Skill is only developed through practice and practice must be never ending.
Always remain students, learning never ends. By convincing yourself that you are really good, you will remain stymied in a false comfort zone. Your learning curve will grind to a standstill. Humility engenders learning, for if you are not still learning you are dying.
Objective Based Training vs. Performance Based Training
In Objective Based Training the shooter receives a task that must be completed in a certain time frame. As long as the shooter completes that task he is good to go. If the shooter fails the task, the instructor will usually tell you to keep working at it and eventually you will succeed within the required time span and accuracy. There is a singular standard for pass or fail.
On the other hand, Performance Based Training breaks the task down into these three segments: Task, Conditions and Standards. By analyzing the individual segments the instructor can explain why the shooter could not complete the task. The shooter works to master each segment until success is achieved.
Sig Sauer 2 By 4 Reload
For example, the 2 by 4 reload is fired from 5 yards. The task is draw from the holster, fire 2 rounds inside an eight-inch circle, perform a slide lock reload and re-engage the target with 4 rounds. The task must be completed within 6.25 seconds. If there are hits outside the circle, the task is considered a 'No Go' in Objective Based Training.
On the other hand, the Sig Sauer Academy Performance Based Training sets a par time in individual areas. The draw must be completed within 2 seconds. The splits must be completed within .35 seconds. The reload is completed in 3.0 seconds or less. The goal for the second set of splits is .35 seconds.
With the Sig Sauer Academy method, the instructor can benchmark the shooter through each of the steps. Therefore, if a shooter does not successfully meet the standards, the instructor can determine incrementally if the shooter failed because the draw stroke was too slow or the reload took too long. The shooter can now work on improving that specific task and remain on track with everything else.
Another challenging drill from the Sig Sauer Academy tests gun-fighting skills. Three targets are set at 7 yards, 1 yard apart. Turn 180 degrees, engage Target One with 2 shots to an eight-inch chest target; Target Two with 1 shot to a four-inch face target; and Target Three with 2 shots to an eight-inch chest target with rifle. Transition to pistol and repeat sequence. Time 9 seconds.
Stand For Others
It is necessary that Street Fighters stand for other people. Life is not always about us for it is our responsibility to protect and defend those who cannot protect and defend themselves. This is foundational to becoming a Street Fighter. We train arduously so we can better serve. How good does a Street Fighter have to be? You can never be good enough.
You must educate yourself, but before you jump in, you need to be aware that some of your academy training might be intrinsically flawed and must be re-evaluated. By making inquiries and exhaustive sifting through curriculums, you choose trainers you trust. Trainers like Mike Pannone, former Delta shooter and instructors from the Sig Sauer Academy are solid choices. These instructors set the bar high for excellence and are among the greatest modern wise men of combat dynamics. I highly recommend reading Rattenkrieg written by former FBI Agent Bob Taubert. The book is an excellent overview on the covert science of close quarter battle pistol. Expert resources such as these can be trusted to put you on the correct path to success showing you what and how to practice.
Prevailing in a gunfight comes down to a couple of commonplace pieces. The Street Fighter must undertake expedient defensive measures and must manage fear, heart-pounding horror. You must believe firmly that you will win. If the Street Fighter cannot control his fear it will eventually get him killed. You must subdue your fear or else it will master you.
Anger is an emotional response that can override feelings of stark terror. Anger is not an unrestrained, rabid frenzy but instead an appropriate dose of controlled anger that can prod you into taking legally defensible steps that will keep you alive.
As Street Fighters, are you prepared to defend yourself in court after a gunfight? There are three distinct and equally important elements that you have to be able to win: the fight before the gunshots; the fight itself; and the legal proceedings after the gunshots. If you prevail in the first two elements, but lose the courtroom fight, you have the potential of losing everything.
While Police Officers have the Fraternal Order of Police supporting them, armed civilians do not. In court, the only thing that matters is the jury's perception of your guilt or innocence. Even if you did everything by the book, the jury needs to believe that in fact you did. It is of paramount importance that you retain qualified legal counsel knowledgeable of the many facets of armed self-defense.
In a non-law enforcement setting, you are allowed to protect yourself with force equal to that of your attacker. Remember lethal force may only be used against lethal force. If you are the one who escalates the level of force, you will be judged the aggressor. The one who uses physical force first will be viewed as the aggressor and the victim will be the one who was physically assaulted.
If you are struggling with a person who attacks you with a weapon and it is determined that his action was not reasonable, he is responsible for the escalation and becomes the aggressor.
Always keep in mind if your attacker retreats the fight is over. If you choose to re-engage and attack your opponent, you have instigated a second separate fight. Then, you will be judged the assailant.
You must first evaluate the level of danger you are facing before you determine your response. Your response must be appropriate to the perceived level of threat. Overreact and you might end up in prison; under-react and you might be killed.
Legal Issue: Shooting An Unarmed Suspect
On November 5, 2015 a Pennsylvania jury acquitted Hummelstown police officer Lisa Mearkle of third degree murder as well as voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges in the shooting death of an unarmed white man. The officer had attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle with an expired inspection sticker. The driver drove off. Later he pulled into his sister's driveway. He got out of his car and attempted to run away. The officer fired her stun gun at him and he fell face first into the snow. She deployed her stun gun one more time before firing two bullets into his back.
At trial she testified that his left hand had been out of view and he had not complied with her command to stop moving. She felt she had no other option telling the court "I didn't want to have to shoot him, but he made me."
The prosecutor said in his opening statement "Even if she believed she was in danger, that belief was unreasonable in light of the circumstances."
On the police video she panicked, yelling at the driver to get on the ground at least eleven times while the driver was clearly lying on the ground. Her radio transmissions and her verbal commands were unintelligible. She was not in control of either her emotions or the situation.
She told the jury "I'm a good officer, this should not have happened to me." Lisa Mearkle resigned two months after her acquittal and was paid $120,000 severance.
She was unable to change her tactics and quickly implement another plan when her initial tactic failed to work. Tactical instructors must train officers with alternate force options so that they don't default into making a terrible decision.
Legal Issue: Proportional Use Of Force
Defensive force may not be excessive, meaning that the amount of force used in defense must be proportional to the force threatened. In determining whether a defensive use of force violates the principle of proportionality, the courts will examine both duration and intensity.
Excessive duration of force refers to whether the defensive force stopped at the point the threatened force was neutralized or continued beyond that point. Any use of defensive force may well be lawfully justified so long as the threat remains. Once the threat has ceased, however, any continued use of force cannot be justified.
In Brown v. United States, 256 U.S. 335 (1921) "detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife." In most cases the time lapse between the end of the threat and the continued use of force must be considerable in order to qualify as excessive.
Whether a use of defensive force was excessive in intensity depends on whether the attacking and defensive forces used were non-deadly or deadly in nature.
In general, deadly force in self-defense may only be used to counter a deadly force threat that is an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. If the threatened force cannot reasonably be expected to cause death or grave bodily harm, then deadly force may not be used to counter the threat.
The use of disproportionate defensive force will strip you entirely of the right to justify that use of force as self-defense.
Legal Issue: Fourteenth Amendment
If you are being questioned in a criminal investigation, request that your Miranda Rights be read. At that point your attorney should direct you to decline giving a statement. If being questioned for administrative reasons only, you want to be compelled to respond. Immediately ask, "If I refuse to answer your questions will I face discipline that could result in my termination?" If the answer is "yes" then in the presence of your attorney go ahead and answer the questions. If being questioned by an outside agency, obtain an order from your department compelling your cooperation.
In GARRITY V. NEW JERSEY, 385 U.S. 493 (1967), before being questioned, Officer Garrity was told that anything he said might be used against him in any state criminal proceeding; that he had the privilege to refuse to answer if disclosure would tend to incriminate him; and, if he refused to answer he would be subject to removal.
Officer Garrity was convicted. His case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court that ruled: The protection of the individual under the fourteenth amendment against coerced statements prohibits use in subsequent proceedings of statements obtained under threat of removal. The threat of removal from public office rendered the resulting statements involuntary and therefore inadmissible in criminal proceedings.
Tenacity: The Quality Of Holding Fast; Persistence
Some of us can read well thought out catchwords all day long and have absolutely no concept of how we will achieve a goal. Just because you want some 'thingumajig' will not guarantee your success. Trying to be someone you do not have the capacity to become will not get you anyplace. Hoping for someone to jumpstart your engine will not get you anyplace. Most wannabe Street Fighters stop trying because it is easier to remain safe in their comfort zone, unable to persevere, unable to act.
Street Fighter Part Six was designed to inspire you to raise your standards of personal worth and achievement, going beyond what you already know and think, beyond what you may have been previously taught. Mediocrity will carry over throughout your entire life. Whatever you are doing, make sure you are totally committed.
You will only become an unstoppable Street Fighter if you don't place any preconceived limits on yourself. To become a tenacious Street Fighter means demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever require of you. You know in your gut that every time you come to a voluntary halt, you still have plenty more gas in your tank. Being a Street Fighter is not for dreamers who shift the blame onto everyone else for their shortcomings. Street Fighters own up to the truth and don't allow excuses to interfere with their goals. Street Fighters stare down their evil spirits and do not hide behind a smiley facemask.
Tenacious Street Fighters are able to achieve the nigh impossible. Banish from your mind the idea that you will just try to be a Street Fighter. If you are just trying, you are losing. A Street Fighter's goal is to always be the best.
When all hell breaks loose, the Street Fighter pays no heed, remaining calm and pissing ice water, knowing full well he has "made ready" and can beat any calamity he might face. While those around the Street Fighter panic and choke, the Street Fighter's retort is 'No Problem.' Street Fighters successfully finish the melee. https://www.youtube.com/embed/2zyhOW-8Zcc