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                        Active Shooter/Workplace Violence - Our Natural Instincts - Are They Helpful or Hurtful?

                        When it comes to violent encounters, the timeliness and effectiveness of reaction is the key to success. In most cases, you literally have only fractions of a second to make sense of what is going on, deciding what to do about it and then actually putting your plan into action. Think about that! Fractions of a Second! And think about the sources of information that you will have to process to make a good decision! And remember, you can’t make a bad decision in such an incident because people who have no understanding, because they weren’t there, will "monday morning quarterback" and criticize your decisions and actions if the outcome is not favorable.

                        Think about this:

                        If you are convicted of a crime due to a well-meaning yet not-so-good decision, how is it possible to achieve a "jury of your peers"? To make sense of whether what someone did under a stressful, possibly life or death situation, would you not have to understand it yourself? And can you possibly understand if you weren’t there or have never experienced a sudden, life or death situation? How many people have?

                        Scary! It tells you that the outcome of a trail can be completely erratic.

                        Anyway, that was digression! The bottom line, if you find yourself in a sudden, violent, potentially life or death encounter, coming to an educated, calm and quick decision on what you are going to do to save your life is absolutely imperative!

                        So, this being the case, you need as many, experiences behind you as you can possibly have. Yes you need experience! You need to be calm. You need to be able to think clearly and quickly. You need to be "more ready" and "more prepared" than your attacker.

                        Luckily, we have some natural gifts to get us started:

                        Fear, Intuition, Will-to-Power

                        But are these all good? They are all good to one extent or another and depending on not only your awareness of them, but how well you heed their warnings.

                        Lets take a look at a few of these natural gifts:


                        Consider the results of fear:

                        Sweatiness, Tunnel Vision, rapid heart rate, shakiness, dizziness, anxiety, helplessness, numbness, tightness of the chest, breathlessness, weakness.

                        Are any of these good things at a time when you need to be operating at peak levels?


                        What is Intuition?

                        The act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational process; a sense of something not evident or deductible. “A gut feeling”, “a hunch” or “a sixth sense”

                        Intuition is not a conscious process and it is not a step-by-step procedure using logic, reasoning and/or common sense

                        So for intuition to be of any value at all, we need to first be able to recognize it and, ultimately, heed its warning! This may sound extremely fundamental and obvious yet, how many after learning of a bad incident say things like "I knew there was something wrong with that guy", or "he looked very out-of-place", or "He told me he was going to do this but I didn’t think he was serious", or "that group of young men makes me nervous" (followed by a decision to continue your path towards them because you feel that you are over-reacting?

                        Will to Power

                        Every living being has a basic instinct to survive and ultimately live. Will-to-Power goes beyond this basic instinct. Will-to-Power is your drive to win! Its your will to desire an outcome more than your opponent desires his/hers and your willingness to do whatever is necessary to achieve your desired outcome.

                        The bottom line:

                        Its your will to NEVER GIVE UP!

                        So Whats the Bottom Line of All This?

                        The bottom line is that you must train to enhance the things that are helpful and eliminate the things that are "less-than-helpful".

                        Is this possible given that these are natural defense mechanisms? Absolutely. The general key is recognizing these things and understanding them, in detail. We cannot survive on natural defense mechanisms alone. This is why we have the ability to learn. Learning brings understanding and understanding brings tremendous defensive advantage!

                        Let me give you an example:

                        Every healthy human being has an ability to throw a ball. Yet only a very select few have honed this skill enough to be able to successfully pitch in Major League Baseball.

                        These major league pitchers have, over a lifetime, focused on learning and practicing the most accepted and tested techniques to allow them to throw a ball more accurately, faster, continuously over a long period of time.

                        And this "honing" of natural ability happens in every walk of life. Most strive to become the best at anything that they can in life. And while its not possible to be "the best" at everything, we all wish that we could be, right? So we do whatever we can to, at minimum, be as good as we possibly can.

                        Yet, in the areas of self defense, and honing the skills necessary to potentially keep us alive, few spend much time learning even the most basic of skills. Why?

                        Because we are content! Content to believe that victims of crime are always someone else. This horrible stuff just doesn’t happen in small towns does it! Look around and read the news! It happens everywhere!

                        Think about the importance of this. In an Active Shooter/Workplace Violence incident, training is critical! We teach you more than Run, Hide or Fight! These are natural instincts that, while learning about them can be helpful, it is not nearly enough. Just train your companies most valuable assets, your people, with as many skills to survive as possible.

                        Published May 28, 2014

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