On any trip, it’s best to know where you’re going, and the new focus I laid out in my last post is no different. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to have no clue how to get there.
Before we get to that, we need to talk about our goals. They determine just how the journey should proceed. It does you no good if your path and goal aren’t in line. The most efficient directions to Dallas don’t do you a whole lot of good if you’re heading to New York, after all.
For me, my goals are simple.
- Protect my family.
- See #1.
Now, to be sure, there are a lot of skills that can benefit that goal under certain circumstances. However, my primary focus is on defending them against the kinds of threats Americans face every day.
As I write this, Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida. Even here in Southwest Georgia, we’re expecting full hurricane-force winds to slam us early tomorrow morning.
While it behooves me to have some supplies on hand, those aren’t the kinds of threats I’m talking about here.
No, I’m talking about things that are far more pedestrian from the outside, but maybe even more terrifying when they happen. Armed robberies, home invasion, rape, all kinds of terrifying things that ordinary men and women deal with each and every day.
The idea is to become as “killproof” as humanly possible.
After that, you can protect your family as well.
While much of my writing has been geared toward men on this blog, those days are over here. The reality is that everyone should become killproof. Men and women. Especially in a society with so many single mothers.
Yet how can someone become killproof?
The reality is no one can be 100 percent impossible to kill. You can’t be completely killproof. A waterproof watch is only waterproof up to a certain point. The same is true for being killproof.
However, you can stack the deck in your favor by using what I call “The Warrior Pyramid”.
Yes, it’s a ridiculous name, but it’s what I came up with. What matters is what the pyramid contains.
Let’s go over it.
At the base, we have the level marked “Strength.” This means strength training. A strong body is important for numerous tasks. As strength coach Mark Rippetoe notes:
Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.
And, in general, they are. Further, people who are strong and look strong are also intimidating. That means strong people often have less to fear from would-be attackers in the first place.
Strength also means that should you encounter an attack that isn’t necessarily intended to be a deadly attack–say, a drunk at a bar taking a swing at you–then you have the physical strength to maximize any techniques you need to know.
You see strength on the bottom because it’s the foundation. It’s the basic, the barest essence of what we’re trying to accomplish. In addition, it takes the longest to build, thus it makes sense to start there.
Next up is “cardio.” This is your motor, your stamina to complete given tasks and to continue the fight. Further, this lets you get to the fight if need be.
Building up a useable base of endurance takes time to build, but not as much time as strength. However, it’s something that has to be maintained constantly.
Next up is “hand-to-hand.” Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. In addition to learning how to throw down in a fist fight, it also involves using weapons like knives, batons, clubs, and so on. Basically, anything you’re likely to encounter.
Finally, at the top, is the way of the gun.
Firearms are the great equalizer. They are the ultimate tool for protecting life and limb. Further, a functional level of proficiency can be obtained relatively quickly, all things considered.
Now, since things are prioritized from bottom to top, why are guns at the top if they can even the playing field?
The reality is that guns are tools, but they’re not really tools for every occasion. There’s a saying: When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.
If all you know how to do is use a gun, then that will become the primary means of problem-solving. You know what that way can lead to? It leads to a prison sentence because you used a gun when your actual life wasn’t legitimately threatened.
Further, there are times when someone eventually threatens life and liberty, but it wouldn’t have gotten to that point if the person being assaulted knew how to deal with the threat better.
I suppose a case could be made that the racial strife in this country today is the result of a then 29-year-old George Zimmerman being unable to fend off a hand-to-hand attack by 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. After all, had Zimmerman had the skills to fend off that assault, would he have found his head pounding against the concrete to the point that he felt like he needed to use his firearm?
That’s why the pyramid is so important, in my mind. It’s an early attempt to plan a journey that will amount to a holistic approach to personal defense. It’s the kind of thing that could prevent the need for a gun but doesn’t take some Utopian idea of the world as gospel fact.
Hollywood loves to present martial artists as generally not needing a gun. A skilled martial artist will invariably disarm any gunman, then unleash the can of whoop-ass on them. While they’re not necessarily bulletproof, they are able to move too quickly for the gunman to get a good shot off, enabling them to eventually prevail.
Because no moving target ever gets hit. It’s not like there are entire shooting sports dedicated to shooting moving targets.
Oh wait, there are. Oops.
Anyway, each and every aspect of this is important in its own way, and I’ve droned on for way too long as it is. However, there’s a lot left to talk about on those specifics in the coming weeks. In particular, just how I envision using this map.
In the meantime, I look forward to your thoughts.