DSB Scientific Ballistic Radio Transcripts
The following is a transcript of the 06/16/2013 broadcast of Ballistic Radio highlighting guest Craig Douglas.
The podcast for this episode can be heard at http://ballisticradio.com/2013/06/17/podcast-ballistic-radio-episode-15-june-16-2013/
Announcer: The views and opinions expressed on this program do not necessarily reflect those of 55KRC The Talk Station and Clear Channel Worldwide.
Announcer: Welcome to Ballistic Radio, Cincinnati’s only gun talk show. Join Us. We’re going to explore the topic of firearms and your rights as a law abiding citizen. Ballistic Radio, brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown, your source for premium firearms and ammunition. Now here’s your host, John Johnston, on 55KRC The Talk Station.
John Good evening, and welcome to Ballistic Radio brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown, your source for premium firearms and ammunition. I’m your host, John Johnston. As always, check us out on ballisticradio.com and facebook.com/ballisticradio.
Happy Father’s Day to everybody. Your work is appreciated. Thanks, Dad!
Joining me in studio tonight: Mr. Andy Ulrich. Andy, how’s it going?
Andy Good to be here. Happy Father’s Day.
John Hey, thanks. Appreciate it.
Waiting on the line is Mr. Craig Douglas, also known as South Narc if you dig around on the Interwebs at all. I’ve run across that handle before. That’s who that is. He’s going to be talking with us about some of the things that we can do in our everyday life to stay out of trouble. And I know that sounds vague, but we’ll get into it, and sort of just go from there.
It’s kind of interesting that a lot of times, especially, you know, this show, we talk about tactics a lot, or weapon selection or training to do that will make us better shooters and all that, and a lot of the classes are focused on that. You know, how can I be a better shooter? Well, something that we tend to lose sight of is the best fight, the best possible fight that we can get into, is the one that we can avoid entirely. And, you know, a lot of people will say “Situational Awareness, that’s how you avoid things like that.” That’s not true. It helps. It puts us in a better position if we get into a situation where violence is necessary, but just because I notice somebody rolling up on me doesn’t mean I know what to do to make them stop short of gun play or physical violence getting involved.
That’s actually one of the things that Craig teaches. How do we handle people before we’ve, you know, know their intentions? But, I’ll let him talk about that because he’s, you know, smarter than I am.
So, yeah, anyway. Just something to keep in mind is, like I said, we want to avoid the fight. And, that’s - a lot of the times, when you hear people that are not gun people or people that are not, you know, and I’m doing bunny ears here, “tactical” people, you hear them talk about things and the assumption their making is that we’re just bloodthirsty individuals that are out there rearing to go. And, that may be true in some instances, very, very limited circumstances. I’ve not met anyone like that, but I’m sure, you know, for anyone that I can think of, they’re existing somewhere under the sun. But, for the most part: every day people, just like everyone else, we just want to go about our business and get home to our families at the end of the day. Or, our cats if we’re cat people. Or dogs. Whatever. Whatever our lives entail - “Archer” episodes on Netflix. Zing.
Anyway, sorry, I had to.
Just whatever it is that you want to get home to is sort of the goal. So, sometimes that involves getting in a deadly force encounter with someone if that’s the last option. And, other times, that involves avoiding it entirely. So, I could go on and on, and I do like hearing the sound of my own voice, but since he’s already on the line, I’m just going to let Craig talk about everything.
So, Craig, are you there?
Craig Yes, sir.
John Hey, Craig. How’s it going?
Craig Good, man. How are you, John?
John Oh, not too bad. I appreciate you taking your time on your Sunday to come on the show. It’s very much appreciated.
Craig Yeah. That’s no problem. And I appreciate you’re having enough interest in me and what I do to invite me on. So, let’s get to it.
John Yeah, perfect. And, for full disclosure, everyone, I’ve been through not all of Craig’s courses, but did go through the Managing Unkown Contacts module. And, I have to say, I’ve been through a lot of classes. Craig’s is the only one that I use every single day of my life. I cannot stress how useful Craig’s stuff is. So, keep that in mind. He’s going to be in the area end of July, and I’ll talk about that at the end of the show.
But Craig, do you mind going into your background a little bit, just telling everyone sort of about yourself and how this came about?
Craig Sure. Let’s see. As far as the arms professional background: I had 21 years as a cop. I retired in 2011. And, I was in the Army for four years and I’ve been in and out of martial arts most of my life. So, about nine years ago, now, a buddy of mine - who’s now deceased, unfortunately - Paul Gomez, had been badgering me for quite some time to kind of hang a shingle out. And, finally, it’s kind of a funny story. I was getting married at the time. And, I wasn’t making enough overtime. So, to pay for the wedding, and Paul offered to send up, you know, suppliers and host a couple courses for me. And, the original intention was, “Well, just make enough scratch to, you know, pay for the wedding and get out.” But, after those first two or three classes, I found that I really liked the people that were attending. They were very motivated. Really brought out the best in me as an instructor, and they still do. It’s really one of the drivers of why I continue to do a road show. And, it just went from there. You know. There was no marketing plan or anything like that. It just happened, and that’s really it, man.
So, time as a cop - most of that time as a cop was spent working narcotics - a little more than half. And two years of that was spent strictly in an undercover capacity. Ran a SWAT team also for twelve years. And, I think those are the high points, John.
John Yeah, yeah. And, it is funny how things just sort of tend to happen. So, the thing that I found interesting about, I guess - obviously, when we’re taking a class or when we’re presented with a situation, there’s some sort of overlying problem that we’re trying to solve. And, in the approach that you take in defining the problem that we’re trying to solve was what I was most interested in. We got about a minute and a half before commercial, but just in our day-to-day lives, what are we trying to do as far as what are we trying to identify?
Craig Well, essentially, we’re trying to identify, you know, criminals. And, that’s a lot more difficult than it seems at times because they’re pretty good at what they do. You know, there’s an old adage in law enforcement that we only catch the stupid ones.
Craig So, what I try and do at the beginning of any class that I do is frame the problem at least objectively as I understand it. And, a lot of that came from the period of time that I spent working undercover where unfortunately I was robbed a number of times. And, I had a bunch of other nasty things happen to me. That’s what we do. We start off with what I call the “Criminal Assault Paradigm.” Or, basically, how criminals do business - how they punch a time clock essentially just like regular people -
Craig Punch a time clock.
John And I guess everyone’s got their chosen profession.
John Some are less socially acceptable and useful than others.
John I guess, 30 seconds left or so, just, most training that you’ve found - not very useful when you actually were putting it in place?
Craig That was a realization that I had is that there was no contextual underscoring of the training. It was always sterile. It was always on a range, on a, you know, one dimensional target. It was always on a dojo. You know, it was never on concrete or anything like that. And, it was always sterile. And it was always an equal initiative event which I think we’ll probably discuss after the commercial.
Craig But, it really wasn’t framed well. Motor skills, whatever they were, whether they were weapons based or non-weapons based, were never placed in the context that I was actively operating in as a police officer or an undercover police officer.
John Right. And, we’ll get into that a little bit more. Do have a commercial coming up. When we get back, we’re going to talk with Craig a little bit more about just managing those unknown contacts and things that we can do to avoid conflict. Right now you’re listening to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station.
John Welcome back to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown. Right now on the line we have Mr. Craig Douglas talking with us about all sorts of interesting things. Craig, are you still there?
Craig I am, sir.
John Excellent. So, we were talking about equal initiative. What’s - Can we get into that a little bit more, and explain what you mean by equal initiative especially in a training concept?
Craig Sure. Sure. If you think about any kind of self defense discipline we do typically with partners, ok, whether it’s hand-to-hand stuff or Airsoft or things like that, most of the time it’s trained with equal initiative where both parties, you know, meet up with their gear. It can be a garage training group, a range, a, you know, a shoot-out type facility where they’re whacking each other with Airsoft - that kind of thing.
Craig But, both people know that they’re in play and they agree to begin on the same cue - you know, at the same time. And if we think about, you know, the way bad guys operate, you know, if I could give you a sound bite about most criminals, we could probably say their opportunists. And, they tend to attack when conditions favor them the most and favor you the least.
Andy Makes sense.
Craig They’re not really looking for a contest of skills. The chances of them squaring up with you for a boxing match or playing whack-a-mole around a piece of cover like we see in a lot of force-on-force evolutions - probably not going to happen that way.
Craig And, basically, the way a lot of these criminal assaults happen is what I describe as an unequal initiative event, meaning either the bad guy makes the move on you and didn’t see it coming or you saw him coming before things got really nasty and you made the move on him. The move doesn’t necessarily have to be drawing a gun. But, somebody seizes initiative from the other person, and to a large extent, at least what I’ve seen, that really frames realistically what kind of motor skills you can and cannot pull off. And, it strongly effects reaction time. So, you know, a lot times when we’re under some layer of tasking, when we’re doing something else like - if I’m in a parking garage, and I have the little cheap watch battery that goes out of my car fob, and I know there’s a key, an emergency key down in there, but I’ve never dickered around with it, you know, and I’m focused on that car fob trying to figure out how to get that emergency key out - boom - there’s a good chance that’s when that move is going to get made.
Usually, in circumstances like that at least - when I’ve done this simulated - what I see are things like draw stroke times increasing a lot. Now, all of a sudden, you know, the guy that has a - that’s practiced diligently for a 1.3 or a 1.4, now he’s typically up by about another second. So now we’re looking at a 2.3 or a 2.4 with a significantly higher fumble factor. We see guns coming out in shirts, cover garments not getting cleared, people discharging rounds where rounds don’t need to go before they get on target. So, I think when we frame the problem like that and we train to that possibility, you know, then that’s a real, real important thing for a student to understand and to get a handle on - just how bad it can get.
John And just kind of train for the - instead of the best case scenario, the worst case scenario and hope it falls somewhere better for you, I suppose.
Craig And, I tend to be an outlier, John, you know, as far as that kind of, you know, trainer. I tend to stay in worst case scenarios, you know, entangled, grapple range gunfight stuff, solo structure movement problems, you know, gunfights in cars, that kind of stuff. You know, at least the things that reflect, you know, my experience.
John Right. I mean, and that makes a lot of sense, too, because that’s most of what you had to deal with when you were doing the undercover thing.
Craig Sure. Sure.
John And, actually, good on you for staying in your lane, and not trying to do something else which I’ve seen a lot of, especially recently for some reason. But, I guess the whole concept behind managing unknown contacts, a contact being someone we that run into in our day-to-day life, and obviously the unknown part - we don’t know what their intentions are. Can you get into that a little bit?
Craig Sure. Sure. So, what - when we use that term ’managing unknown contacts,’ that’s a phrase that I came up with and guys just kind of acronym it and will just say MUC. That’s a phrase I came up with to describe my idea of a strategy template, for lack of a better term, for deselecting yourself away from the way a lot of these criminal assaults begin. You know, at least, again, based on my experience. What it does: it starts looking at not letting it get to the point where you’ve got a gun stuck under your chin - giving you some idea of the body language that people exhibit before things go south. And that’s not absolute. And, some simple strategies consisting of what you say, how you move and what you do with your hands so it doesn’t get to, you know, a rolling around in beer and broken glass, horizontal, entangled gunfight.
John And for folks who don’t think that ever happens, and I’m not going to get into the politics behind it or say what I believe is how it happened, but the Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman incident is a perfect example of what can go on in that sort of situation. I know this.
Craig That’s more common -
Craig - then what a lot of people would like to think.
Craig You know, I never had somebody hold me at gun point or rob me, when I was buying drugs, from seven yards away.
Craig It was always a contact range gun hold. I’ve got some hosts and some guys that train with me nationwide, one of whom ran a chain of convenience stores for quite some time. He got robbed several times. And, discussing this with him, same thing. You know, he never had a guy that didn’t stick him with a gun and make some kind of hand attachment: grabbing him, shoving him into a register. You know. And, it’s very simple. You can watch all this stuff on video.
John Oh, yeah. Youtube.
Craig You’ve seen it on Youtube, yeah.
Andy Tons of videos there.
Craig The best research things there is is to go to youtube and watch how these guys are doing their job.
John Yeah, and, it’s - I guess we’ll get into that a little bit. Obviously, the part - before we get to the part where they’re grabbing you and putting a gun up under your chin, there’s generally interview phase of the interaction where they’re trying to close space?
Craig Correct. And, what I like to do is describe, you know, we always give sound bites to words like awareness. And, I ask people, you know, “Hey, are you more or less aware at various times of the day?” And typcially the answer is yes. And when I ask them to describe that process, “How do you become more aware,” I don’t get anything real defined. It’s very notional. And, you know, I think if we think about awareness, you know, it’s not a verb. How do you aware? You know, how do you do that?
So, I tend to describe awareness as kind of a visual field - since we use that sense more than any other - that’s in a constant state of broadening and narrowing. And, you know, when we’re really narrowed down, almost like looking through a drinking straw, that’s typically the kind of behavior that draws predatory bad guys. You know, and typically, it’s what makes us vulnerable, you know, in those circumstances.
So, what I like to do is describe that field of awareness and think about the things that tend to narrow our field of awareness: things like, trying to type out a text message on an iPhone, ok, or, you know, sitting in the car balancing your checkbook after a purchase. Things like that, you know, that tend to narrow, whatever, you know, minor chore, whatever minutia that you’ve allowed yourself to get absorbed into. That’s the kind of behavior that narrows that awareness field and allows people to get into that kind of contact range where they can, you know, stick guns under your chin.
Craig So, range is inextricably tied into time. The more range you have, the more time you have. The less range you have, the less time you have: time to draw a gun, time to use some kind of verbal strategy, time to run away.
Craig Time to squirt somebody in the face with pepper. Whatever. But you need range.
John And it seems like too that often, but not always, the further away you are away from someone if it does go to guns, generally that favors the better trained individual.
Craig Absolutely. Absolutely. We want - if we’re going to be in a gunfight, ok, we want to be the guy that shoots first, we want to be the guy that has the gun up in his eye line and we’d like to be looking through the front, you know, or, the rear aperture at the front site. You know, that’s the way I would like my gunfight to begin - at equal light level on top, no doubt.
John Right. And, that’s obviously what we’re trying to work for there is: first, (a) avoiding the gunfight and (b) if it gets to guns, doing it from as far away as possible. Obviously, that doesn’t always happen. So, you said that range equals time, and one of the interesting things you do, at least in that I’ve seen, is pretty much play the hand slap game from a foot away vs two steps away or close to. And, I’m explaining it wrong. But, it was interesting to see the amount of times that someone could successfully defend you just poking them in the chest -
John From just six inches difference.
Craig Yes. And the reason I do that little drill is to show that just a little bit of range has a significant impact on outcome. You know, just that six inches. Typically what I’ll do is I’ll play the hand slap game and try to touch someone in the chest before they touch my hand, and I’ll do that four or five times.
Craig And, I’m tapping them every time. And then I’ll measure from toe to heel and toe to heel. So, I’m going to take a complete step back - literally just my shoe size - and we’ll do the drill again. Typically, we see a 100% increase, you know, as far as their ability to touch me before I touch them. So, it’s a pretty powerful demonstration. People get it immediately. Anybody, regardless of background, understands, “Wow,” you know, a little bit means a whole lot as far as ranges. So, that’s what we’re trying to do with the idea.
One of the main goals in this strategy template is maintain range. And, that’s why we have real defined ways we interact with someone verbally, ways we move and what we’re doing with our hands while all this is going on. Three little simple things, or sounds simple.
John Right. Right. Well, yes, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Forty seconds or so, as far as verbalization goes, difference between having to think while something like this is going on versus having, what, a playlist I think as you refer to it, what we’re going to say. How does that work? Just real quick?
Craig Pretty much we want to avoid getting into dialog. Ok, any time we’re in dialog, anytime we’re answering questions or thinking of responses, you know, that tends to slow reaction down quite a - reaction time down quite a bit. What I like people to think about is what the end state is of verbalizing or engaging someone verbally is. And, that’s to maintain range without creating a problem. It doesn’t mean you yell at everybody that walks up to you and is a stranger.
Craig Ok. That’s not what that means at all. And I give some recommendations, you know. What I like to do with the template is give everybody a baseline to start from. And then let them play with it and experiment with it. You know, make some mistakes, do some things right, come across as looney, you know, and kind of figure out, “hey, ok, what realistically will I say? Won’t I say? You know. What seems to work?” And, I tell people, “Hey, if you have to make an excuse, you know, for somebody not encroaching on you, then make an excuse. If you need to do that.”
John Welcome back to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown. Had our own little “Managing Unknown Commercials” there. I stole it from Tom off facebook. Thanks, Tom.
For folks just tuning in, we are talking to Craig Douglas, a former undercover police officer - International Conflict Avoidance Trainer. I think I just coined that term for him. But, hey, whatever. I like it.
You can call us at 749-5500 if you’re local, or 1-800-823-TALK T-A-L-K, 8255. We’ll try and take your calls at the end of the evening if we’re able. I’m going to try and make time for everyone to ask Craig questions.
Anyway, Craig, are you still there?
Craig I am. And the acronym for International Conflict Avoidance Trainer would be iCAT. That’s pretty hot.
John Nice. You should do that. You should.
Craig I should. I should.
John I want credit, though, on the business card.
Craig You’ll get it. You’ll get it. You’ll get it.
John Ok. So, for those who were not listening in the beginning, Craig teaches all sorts of awesome stuff to all sorts of awesome people. But, mainly the point is to not have to shoot someone, to not get shot, stabbed, bludgeoned with a heavy lead object, what have you.
Andy Sucker punched.
John Yeah. That doesn’t - there was that guy that died at Dickmann’s Sport Cafe, I think it was.
Andy Yeah. Just recently. Yeah.
John Got hit, fell on the curbstop, died - one punch.
Anyway, back to the guy that we want to listen to. So, we were talking about verbalization and end states. Do you think - just getting back to that a little bit - do you think people lose sight of the goal in the middle of the conversation and just don’t tailor the words for getting people away from them?
Craig Yeah. And even in what you just said - conversation.
Craig If you really think about it, it’s not a conversation.
Craig Ok. And I like to explicitly think about this as a monologue not dialogue. You’re talking at someone not with someone. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get into a conversation. Ok? But, I’m not going to get into a conversation with a stranger if I’m in a place that supports a crime while that person is continually bearing down on me until they’re in that average, you know, within arm’s reach interpersonal communication range.
Craig It’s common. That’s where people talk, you know. And, that’s what we’re trying to avoid, you know. So, you know, thinking about the end state. And, the end state is: with your verbalization, pausing encroachment. Now, you know, if I get some guy that I see, you know, from a good distance away and he’s walking towards me and I begin verbalizing with him and let’s say dude stops. And maybe he just wants, you know, a pair of jumper cables. I may let myself get into a conversation after I do a couple other things. But, while this guy is trying to get closer to me, you know, I’’m not going to do that. I’m not going to let myself get into a conversation. I’m going to stick to my play list and I’m going to remember the end state of, “Hey, the whole reason I’m saying anything to begin with is to get him to stop.” Not to - I’m not being interrogatory. This is not a conversation. This is not dialog. It’s none of those things.
John Yeah. And just - I think that a lot of folks are - and I’ve had this conversation with other people - but I think a lot of folks are so afraid of being rude to someone that they allow bad things to happen to them that do not need to happen.
Craig I see that all the time. People are just not - and if you think about it, you know, it’s probably most regular, well adapted people were, you know, had that kind of thing socialized out of them by their parents.
Craig So, yeah. You know, worrying about starting problems. And here’s the thing. You know I get all kinds of people in class. And I can’t teach someone verbal agility. That’s - I can certainly enhance it with good exercise. So, starting with this basic template, you know, it’s where we start. And where we go from there and allowing people to personalize it, but always keeping that end state in mind, that, “Hey, you’re not getting in conversations with strangers in dark parking garages at 11 pm at night, while they’re trying to get closer to you.” That’s just not a good practice, and very well may end up with you getting a gun stuck under your chin.
Craig There you go.
John I guess some people do that for fun. I don’t know. I’ve never been one of them. And luckily, I’ve been rude my entire life, so the whole keeping people away from me thing works almost like magic.
Craig It doesn’t bother you at all.
John No, not at all.
Craig There you go. Good.
John I just actually had something like that happen at work and I got - well, it’s someone I’m acquainted with. I kinda posted the details of the conversation, and he asked me at the end of it, he’s like, “Hey, I wasn’t there but was profanity needed?” I’m like, “Well, I wanted them to leave and they hadn’t left yet. And that was what got them to leave. So, yeah, I’d say so.”
And you kind of talk about that a little bit. As far as - when we’re trying to get people to halt their actions, when we’re trying to get them to stay away from us and they haven’t listened to the first thing you’ve said - now obviously without using profanity on the radio since the FCC will charge me more money than I make in a year - can you talk about that a little bit?
Craig Sure. The first thing I like to - and the way I frame this first verbal component of managing an unknown contacts is to start off with a simple request to not come any closer. It’s clear in a level tone of voice. It’s something like, “Hey, can you just hold up?” “Hey, would you mind just staying over there?” You know, something that is a request. You are asking someone not to come any closer to you.
Now, provided they hear it, you know, and it registers, a number of other things, you know, that may be enough. You know, then maybe after you do a couple of other things, you can get into a conversation with someone. If they continue - if they continue to get closer, encroach, they talk over you, they didn’t hear you, they don’t speak English, they’re developmentally disabled - there could be a number of reasons that a benign person would continue to encroach after you asked them not to. What I recommend that people do is definitively escalate from a request to a command that’s articulable: “Hey, Ladies and Gentleman, I asked you not to come any closer.” That didn’t seem to have any effect, so I told him not to come any closer. And I really recommend bumping the volume up significantly. If you think about, you know, your volume on a one through ten scale, normally your conversational volume is at a two, I recommend that you bump that to a ten immediately.
Craig And when I have LEOs in class, I like to get them to think - Law Enforcement Officers -
Craig I like to get them to think about this kind of like a bang without a flash. It needs to be jarring and startling.
Craig If that doesn’t work, we discuss the merits of, or lack of merits of, profanity. And, you know, usually I’ll ask the question because I tend to be somewhat Socratic when I teach, and a variety of responses. “No, you should never use profanity.” Well, you know, maybe that’s the only thing that’ll work. And what I tell people is that just from my time as a street cop, you know, I can tell you that profanity is part of every day criminal speech and lexicon. They use it. They understand it. And I give people two guidelines. The choice to use profanity is theirs, ok. But, I give them guidelines on using it.
Number one: If you don’t normally use profanity, now is not the time to start, because it’s going to be read as fake probably by anyone in street culture.
Craig Secondly, if you’re going to drop an f-bomb, if you’re going to use profanity, try not and be insulting with it. And the example I give is, “Hey is there a difference between ’Back the - you known, blank - up’ and ’Back up, mother, you know.’”?
Craig Mother blanker. In one, you know, you’ve dropped an f-bomb to accentuate that message to stay away and in the other you’ve called this guy a bad name and possibly created an affair of honor, a fist fight or whatever else. That’s idea: to think about this verbal component of the strategy template as, you know, something that’s escalating, deescalating, up and down with that constant end state of maintaining range, not allowing yourself to lapse into a conversation. And, I do like to think about this as a play list. And, if it’s going to be thought of as a play list, that means probably it needs to be physically rehearsed. Because, we don’t want to be thinking of the magic phrase or the magic language to stop this guy when it happens for real. So, I provide, and make the guys role play and physically rehearse all this stuff.
John Yeah. And, it’s just useful to have that. It’s kind of like a verbal force - use of force continuum almost as far as stepping up -
John - from one level to the next.
We’re going to talk with you a little bit more about that. It’s commercial time yet again.
If folks want to call in, no on the line right now. 749-5500 or 1-800-823-8255. I will try and take your call as soon as we cover one more thing that I want to talk about. If no one’s on the line, well, we’ll see what happens.
Anyway, right now you’re listening to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station.
John Welcome back to Ballistic Radio on 55KRC The Talk Station brought to you by Kyle’s Gun Shop in Finneytown. On the line, we have Mr. Craig Douglas talking with us about all sorts of ways that we can avoid getting into trouble. Co hosting with me, like I said at the beginning of the show, Andy Ulrich, who always loves the bumper music coming out the commercials.
Andy I’m a country guy. Come on.
John He’s a little bit country; I’m a little bit rock n roll. Something like that?
Anyway, if you want to call in: 749-5500 or 1-800-823-TALK T-A-L-K. Craig, are you still there?
Craig Yes, sir.
John So, I want to talk a little bit more about the verbalization and all that. And, some of the other things that you teach, but just to make sure that we don’t run out of time before I bring it up: you’re going to be teaching a class up in Cleveland at the end of July?
John 26th through 28th. And I actually just talked to the gentleman that is hosting the class, Brad. Apparently, you’ve got ten slots left, so if anyone wants to go up there, they can see the schedule on your web site? Or?
Craig Yes, at shivworks.com. It’s on the web site at shivworks.com. July 26th through 28th. It’s a 20 hour class. It’s pretty much the main class I do which is the Extreme Close Quarters Concepts class, ECQC.
Craig And, I bill that as an overview of functional handgun skills at zero to five feet.
John Right. And that’s shivworks, for those who are not familiar with what a shiv is, you spell that s-h-i-v works w-o-r-k-s dot com. So, and the nice thing about ECQC, that’s actually got - the first part of that class is the Managing Unknown Contacts that we’ve been doing, talking about tonight, right?
Craig Correct. Yeah, I pretty much try, with the exception of one course, I pretty much try and lead that in as the very first thing I teach regardless of whether its ECQC, whether its a knife course or whether its an empty hand course. I always start with framing the problem of the criminal assault paradigm and then beginning with managing unknown contacts. I really think that’s the most important thing I teach. Typically in, you know, these conference formats, I’ll usually teach that, you know, because they’re two hour modules and I’ll go into that, mainly because I think people benefit the most from that. You know, because we don’t - I’d much rather someone deselect themselves away from a robbery than have to use any kind of motor skill: draw a gun, a knife or punch somebody in the face.
Andy It’s a lot cheaper, isn’t it?
Craig Yes, it is.
John Yeah. Just keep in mind - and I know the cliche, “There’s a lawyer attached to every bullet;” well, yeah, that is a cliche, but gunfights are going to be expensive for you whether or not you are in the right in 99.9% of all of them. Every once in a while you get lucky, but -
Going back to - and I really can’t stress enough, because like I said, I took the Managing Unknown Contacts, I’ve used it everyday since I took it. I’ve actually used it to stay out of trouble, I think. Obviously, you don’t have a crystal ball, so you can’t tell exactly what is going to happen if you let something progress, but I certainly have used it to keep people away from me. Which it works great for that if it -
John - goes well.
So, assuming that we verbally cannot keep someone off of us - they are coming in hot and we can’t say anything to them to make that stop, what are the two assumptions that we are going to make as far as what’s happening right there?
Craig We’re going to assume, okay, if we determine that this person is hostile, or we believe this person - we could be wrong.
Craig You believe this person’s hostile. There are two things to probably assume:
Number One: They’re armed.
Number Two: There’s more than one of them.
So, that goes into the other two prongs of the strategy template of Managing Unknown Contacts, which is how we move and what we do with our hands. And, we’re obviously trying to maintain range when we initially recognize an encroachment problem from a stranger.
Craig But, when we move, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to arc in such a way that we can maintain a visual focus with the person that we know is encroaching. But, move in such a way where we can pull what was behind us into our peripheral vision without opening up a window of opportunity for the known problem. And, the analogy I give people to - the way to think about this visually - if this is the face of a clock and he’s at 12 and I’m at 9, or excuse me, I’m at 6, I want to think about trying to arc up to either 3 or 9. What that will do: by kind of, you know, pinioning around on that arc is hopefully allow me to maintain visual contact with someone, but pull what was behind me into my peripheral vision without opening up a window of opportunity for a guy to drop, you know, a sucker punch on me or draw a gun or anything like that.
John Right. And it’s -
Craig That would be the second component. The third component would be trying to keep our hands relatively close to our head while we are talking to someone.
John That’s so you - well, I’ll do two things here. It is so counterintuitive to try and arc away from someone. I -
Craig It is.
John I, you know, even with you standing there telling me not to do it, that was the first thing that I tried to do. It takes a lot of practice. It’s why going to one of these classes is kind of a nice thing, because you get to try it over and over again, but also see people - have people watching you so if you make mistakes, you get called on it. It -
Can you explain why we want to keep our hands up toward our head?
Craig Absolutely. If we think about - if we frame a criminal assault as an unequal initiative event where either he can make the first move on me or I can make the first move on him, either way, usually when the move is made, the other person’s not expecting it. If I’m the guy who’s initiated a upon, especially at close range, there’s two things I have to achieve. I have two immediate goals. They are to stay conscious and stay on my feet. And before I can draw a gun, a knife or execute some kind of cool martial arts, if my problem begins with slipping, mobility, ok, “I can’t escape,” or begins with me semi- or unconscious, the initiative deficit that I’m already in is significantly deeper.
So, by having our hands relatively high, relatively close to our head - I use the term that I borrowed from Geoff Thompson - it’s a UK Combatives thing called a fence, and the idea is that your hands are somewhat of a barrier. Not in a fighting stance or anything like that. It’s not like your hands are up in boxing. But, they are kind of high; maybe your palms are outward. I tend to work with my fingers kind of steepled together. It’s a non-confrontational hand pose -
Craig - for lack of a better term. Your hands are up and relatively close to your head. So, if someone does throw something towards your head, then you’ve reduced the amount of travel that your hands have to undergo to cover your head thus giving yourself some time. Because we’re already in a time deficit to begin with.
Craig Usually, because we’re verbally tasked.
John Yeah. And the other thing, too, that I’ve - Do you think that there’s kind of a predisposition to give away the fact that we’re carrying a gun? Have you noticed that?
Craig Yeah, absolutely. And it’s very common with gun guys, and I see it and I call it picking. You know, it’s like when your Mom told when you go to Bo Bo, don’t pick it. I see gun guys all the time, when they start getting nervous. Especially when we start, you know, getting very experiential with the training, we begin the training exercise with an encroachment problem. And, they don’t know if the person is benign or hostile. They’re not quite sure. There’s, you know, some verbal back and forth going on. And, we see gun guys, typically guys that carry concealed, will telegraph the fact that they’re armed.
Craig Ok. By picking and touching that gun with their elbow.
Andy Blading their hip away.
Craig Blading their hip away. Adjusting, you know, a cover garment constantly, touching it, that kind of thing.
John Something like that.
Craig It’s very observable if you know what to look for.
John Yeah. We got two and a half minutes left. We actually got several callers on the line, but I’m not going to be able to get to all of you folks. I’m sorry. We’ve got Brenda. Craig, do you mind taking a call real quick?
Craig Nope. Sure.
John Brenda on the line. She’s got a question about conflict situations. Brenda, are you there?
John Ok. Real fast.
Brenda I’ve been in a couple confrontational situations where I’ve had people that were stealing from my store. And, in one instance, the woman tried to - I told her to, you know, stay where she was, that I had called security. And, she actually touched me - reached out and tried to push me - and I immediately just did this blood curddling scream and said “Get away from me! Sit down!” Now, is that really - like, should you just let them go? I mean, it’s so personal, you know, when it’s your business. And this time it worked out. But, you know, I didn’t know if she had a weapon or no weapon. Another guy came in and very openly took, like, two fifty dollar sweatshirts and he started out my door. And he kind of just gave me this look that said, “And what are you going to do about it?”
Brenda And, I immediately yelled, “Thief!” and the guy at The Netherland whistled and got a mounted policeman. And, I chased him. It scared me after I did it.
John Yeah. Craig, me or you?
Craig Well, you know, Brenda, I think you answered your own question. You sound like a little common sense gal, you know, and you look at what you did and by your own words, you were kind of scared after the fact. And, I think, you know, challenging someone when you’re relatively close - you said she reached out to shove you. It sounds like you’d already gotten pretty close to her, probably to see what she was stealing, you know, when that happened.
I think maybe, challenge - if you’re going to challenge her doing it from further away. Also, you hit the heart of it right there. Is it honestly worth you addressing or should you just call the police and be a good witness? And, I’m not - and I totally understand it being personal when it’s your business and things like that. People say there’s no property worth killing or dying over, but, you know, we work hard our entire lives to pay for property: houses, cars and stuff like that. So, it’s easy to get wrapped up into that. So.
Craig I think probably maintain more range if you’re going to do it, but if you can not do it and be a good witness and let people with body armor and, you know, less lethal stuff handle stuff like that, then that would probably be the way to go.
John Yeah. Brenda, thanks for calling in. I appreciate it.
John Yeah. Craig, I appreciate you coming on the show. Thank-you very much for your time.
Craig Thank-you, John.
So, next week, we’re going to be talking about what happens when we can’t have a firearm on us. I mean, sometimes, you just can’t. So, we’re going to have Cecil Burch on from Immediate Action JiuJitsu talking about just some of the things we can do to be better prepared for a physical, non-gun confrontation.
Check out our web site, ballisticradio.com, and like our facebook page at facebook.com/ballisticradio. Thanks for listening, everyone. As always, be safe and see you next Sunday at 7 pm right here on 55KRC The Talk Station.
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