Ponder the Unthinkable (pt40) Street Fighting

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Thread: Ponder the Unthinkable (pt40) Street Fighting

  1. #1

    Ponder the Unthinkable (pt40) Street Fighting

    It's been over two years since I posted an installment from this series. If this kind of material interests you, search "ponder the unthinkable" in the Non-Fiction section.
    Most of what I posted will never apply to the reader, but it may some day. Regardless, as writers we shouldn't be lazy in our setting depictions and descriptions. Knowledge is a good thing.

    And, of course... TRIGGER WARNING! Some violent subject matter follows.

    In previous installments, I've covered the importance of having the proper mental attitude in survival situations. With a nod to Maslow, there is a hierarchy to survival, but most people invert the pyramid.

    The average person pursuing a survivalist / prepper path will start with physical items and needs. Some even stop with that. Having some food, or a "bug-out bag" is necessary, and highly recommended. But that in itself is inadequate. Things don't save you, they just prolong your slouch toward probable death. The next logical step is to learn how to do things. Knowing how to make fire, fish and navigate terrain are all vital skills. And also, knowledge does not ensure individual survival. Making a small-game snare is easy, but it takes years of practice to make one that actually works well.

    Quite frankly, no thing ensures survival. And that is the key. You can't rely on your stash of food and bullets to make you safe. Even your bushcraft may not be enough. Knowing, and accepting these facts is your first step toward surviving any situation you find yourself in.

    More than anything else, you must know yourself. Know your innate abilities, and limitations. Specifically, you must know not only what you are able to do, but what you are willing to do. This takes a few steps into Creepy Land, but if you wanna live, you'd better think about these things now, rather later when your life is on the line. There will come a time when you are fighting the elements, wild animals, and yes... people.

    Newbies that take their first tentative steps into "prepping" focus on weapons as their crutch for fighting. Overall, it is always better to be armed than not. Also, it is always better to be better armed than an opponent. For example, if you must defend yourself against a grizzly attack, having a 9mm pistol is better than nothing, but may not even stop the bear. Having a 30.06 rifle would be better.

    Those that rely on knowledge would tout the effectiveness of bear spray, or learning to "play dead" when attacked. Both of those tactics are inarguably effective.

    Me? I'm avoiding the bear. The best way to survive a grizzly attack is to not be in one. Common sense, right? But many people, even "preppers" spoil for a fight, and look for a way to win battles that shouldn't be fought.

    Whether you're batting in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, or dealing with an active shooter at work, the best fight is one you don't engage in. This is Street Fighting 101: Whenever possible, YOU pick the terms of engagement. Sometimes conflict is inevitable, but sometimes it is avoidable. As famous panzer general Irwin Rommel admonished, "Do not start a fight if there is nothing to gain from it."

    But sometimes, the fight finds you. Maybe you see it coming, or perhaps it drops on you from nowhere. Regardless, you may not have all the resources you need. Like a rifle, knife or even bear spray. You may even forget hand-to hand tactics you learned. But, once you commit to a fight, you are in it. Without things to fall back on, what are you going to do?

    You will fight, or you will die. You will fight dirty. You will not hold back, one iota. There is no moral "grey area" worrying about the damage you do to an opponent. At some point, they may cry "uncle" as you pummel them. But, you probably won't hear them with your blood coursing through your ears. You go until the threat is eliminated, or you can't fight any longer. There are no half-measures, or proportionality. This is THE mindset. Without it, you lose. And probably die. As another legendary tactician admonished years ago, "Do not tickle, smash!"

    That's a lot to unpack. Sorry for the bluntness. In today's civil society, violence has become alien and unfamiliar. You don't have to enjoy violence, but you must be willing to embrace it. It's easy to shoot at a paper target, or leg sweep an opponent at the dojo. But, can you swing a 2 X 4 at someone's unprotected head? After impact, will the nauseating sound of crushing bone stop you? Will you be distracted by the gushing blood? If you have committed to this, your opponent will respond in kind. Swing again. Rib cage, knees... If he has a chance to respond, he will. This is not a negotiation.

    I could cover all the vitals and "weak spots" on the human body, but that is a class in and of itself. My question to you is: "Will you exploit them?" Some lie to themselves and think they will. Others are unsure. My advice is simple: If you are unable or unwilling to initiate and resolve a conflict to it's logical end, avoid it at all costs, if at all possible.

    I just had a training at work covering how to respond to an "active shooter" situation. The mantra is "Run, Hide, Fight". If you can leave the danger area, do so immediately. If you can hide from the assailant, do that. But, if they corner you, you need to fight. It is my humble opinion that most folks not only don't know how to fight, but don't have the stomach for it. This is a real problem if a guy with a rifle kicks in your door, and you are unarmed, and paralyzed with fear.

    Some people are more innately geared toward fighting. Young men, in particular. Maybe not everyone needs to fight, but someone must. A couple of someones would be better. The response to a threat need not be the largest person in the room, but it should be the one with the largest fighting spirit. No slap-fighting or throwing books. There must be a willingness to use crushing blunt force, punctures and any physical assault that will disable and disarm the assailant. Others may assist afterward (ie tying up the perpetrator), but the initial response must be quick, violent and decisive.

    I realize how uncomfortable this is for most reading this. I also realize that human nature doesn't change. Evil people will continue on their destructive path until stopped. In most recent shootings, it takes an average of ten minutes for police to respond. Ten minutes is a lifetime, for some.

    I'll never forget the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando. A large group of people took refuge in a restroom, and the shooter found them. People were huddled in corners, in stalls, and waited as the shooter went from person to person, killing each. Almost rhythmically. I am not blaming the victims for the act of an insane, evil person. But let their loss be our lesson.

    Fighting back involves risk. You will likely be injured. You may be killed. But doing nothing means not only will you die, everyone will die. This is not about being a "hero", it's about using logic and controlling fear. Neither one is particularly easy, and for many it does not come natural. But that is why you need to think about it ahead of time. Not obsess, but consider what you could do. And what you are likely to do.

    If you are 5'5" and 140 pounds, you will probably not be applying a flying tackle on a man that is 6' and 225. That would be asinine. BUT, a leg sweep to knock the creep to the floor might make sense. In boot camp, we called that "The Marine Corps Playground", 'cause once someone is on the ground, well... you can better dictate the rules of the game. Especially with uneven numbers.

    There are too many scenarios to cover, and you shouldn't fixate too much on specifics. Simply have the correct mindset. It isn't bloodlust, or being aggressive. It's about surviving. Men with guns are not invincible. They are as vulnerable as you or me. If someone attacks, defend. And often the best defense is a violent, smash-mouth offense. Get in close, and unleash everything you have. Like your life depends on it.

    Because it does.

    "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!"

  2. #2
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Probably on a boat in Puget Sound
    Blog Entries
    Winston, you raise a lot of good points in this that I think about a lot. I venture into the woods of the Pacific Northwest on the regular and every time I do I realise how ignorant I am of how to survive in this terrain. I grew up in farm country in the northeast, I knew how to find food and shelter, and there was usually some dry wood to be had. But this is entirely different country.

    Though "temperate rainforest" sounds lovely, and it is, the conifer-laden terrain between the cascades and the ocean are not calorie dense. Frankly, I know very little about the edible flora here except that ferns, which are abundant, may keep you alive for a couple days. And everyone who's watched survivorman knows about pine needle tea.

    Fallen wood gets rained on for MONTHS at a time. So much you can't strip off the outer wet wood and find a dry core. If I got lost out there at this time of the year, when the rain has soaked through everything, I'm not sure I could start a fire even with the various forms of fire-starting I regularly carry.

    And violence. This is something we shy away from in civil society, as you say, but it is an innate part of our psyche and it's a part of our evolution. We've all seen the post-apocalyptic shows and movies that have been popular for a while and while there is a lot of silliness in them one thing I think is accurate- those willing to be violent will be the ones who last. If society collapses tomorrow, I'd guess most people will be dead within a month...well, that's maybe a little cynical but two months for sure. After that, of the small portion that make it, those willing to embrace their animal nature and truly fight for survival will be the ones to populate the new world, just like they were the ones who built the old.
    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  3. #3
    And violence... We've all seen the post-apocalyptic shows and movies..
    Thanks for the read, and the comment.
    Well, another shot and miss I suppose. I really wanted to wrap the concept of everyday survival with "doomsday" preparedness. I began with the prepper scenarios to lead to the more likely "active shooter" event. If what you got out of this was more Doomsday Prepper related, I failed at my goal of broadening the perspective.

    Our work training showed still images of two office workers "fighting back". A man was struggling to hold a fire extinguisher at shoulder level in anticipation of smacking an intruding assailant. The woman was deftly holding a potted plant over her head... The plant was in a plastic pot.
    My point with this piece was to illustrate the idiocy and futility of fighting if you're not "in it to win it". If you can barely lift a weapon, you can't swing it with enough force to cause damage. Conversely, a 1 pound potted plant will not injure an assailant, no matter how hard you throw it. Fighting > Not Fighting, but for God's sake, use your brain!
    Of course, these principles hold true whether fighting gunmen or mutant biker gangs. Neither give any quarter.

    I don't condone a bloodthirsty "Take No Prisoners" attitude. But sometimes, folks don't give you a choice. The strategic vision of a post-modern world rebuild is moot if you get bludgeoned or shot on Day 2. Same goes in the office.
    Thanks again.

    "Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!"


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