What Will Be Your Response To a Violent Attack? The Lift/Shoot/Fight Event

by David Heon | May 11, 2022

practising pistol work

The recent Lift/Shoot/Fight event helped me tremendously with the answer to this question. So, what is your response to a violent attack? Probably something you have not really considered. Most likely something for which you have never planned. Maybe something you will not even see coming.

Consider this scenario: you are walking out of the grocery store headed to your car, texting on your cell phone, completely unaware of your surroundings, like 90% of the population, and someone attacks you. What does that look like? Did they point a gun at you? A knife? Did they shove you and threaten you? What do you do now? I’m a big guy, somewhat intimidating, at 6’1”, 270 lbs. I strength train, and I am bigger and stronger than most. That should keep me safe, right? No. Does a 5-foot-tall woman provide an easier target than me? Maybe, but in the above scenario, I have set myself up as a victim by forgetting – or worse, not even knowing – some very important steps.

The Mission

Are you equipped to defend yourself? “Equipped” is an interesting word here. Think about this rationally while sitting in your home, safe and sound. In the above scenario you have already eliminated the most important steps of self defense, situational awareness and avoidance – you are way behind the proverbial eight ball here. But it is even worse than that, my friends: before you even went to the grocery store, did you consider what your mission was? This is Step One.

For example, let’s say my mission is to make it home safely every night and to protect myself and my loved ones from harm. What does that look like in a given scenario? If that is truly your mission statement, it will then dictate where, why, and how you walk through life. Where are you going? Is there a better option than getting gas at this barred-up poorly lighted, run down, filthy gas station in the middle of the night with a collection of unsavory people just hanging out? Why are you going there? Is this the only place you can get fuel? Have you planned so poorly that you now have to deal with the consequences?

And are you prepared? Does that mean you are carrying a gun, a knife, a can of mace? What do you carry with you? Do you know how to use it? Should you use it? Do you have the mental and psychological capacity to defend yourself, and what does that even entail? Can you fight? Have you ever been in a real fight? Are you adequately trained to use these things that you are carrying? What are the legal ramifications of this decision even if you survive? What will the police and ultimately the legal system have to say about what you could or should have done?

The Lift/Shoot/Fight event showed me that I was completely unprepared to answer even the most basic of these questions. As I mentioned, I’m bigger and stronger than most. I’ve also extensively trained in Japanese combat Jiu Jitsu, and am fairly familiar with firearms. That background, although better than that of the average person, is a very flimsy foundation – it's just enough training to give me a false sense of security.

The Event

This two day event was very well organized and packed with information, strategies and techniques for the best three disciplines that make you harder to kill. Any one of these disciplines will make you harder to kill, for sure, but imagine having a high level of training and confidence in all three of these disciplines. Very few people can boast that level of competence and preparedness. Even within the attendees, most had a high level of training in at least one of the disciplines, some had that level in two. None had a high level of training in all three of these disciplines.

The event started off with a discussion about how to develop strength in the most efficient manner according to the Starting Strength model. These lessons, while just a brief overview followed by actual coaching of the lifts, was a great review for those in the group who were experienced lifters, and eye-opening for those with minimal experience. The shooting lessons exposed those with minimal experience with firearms. Dry-fire exercises and laser pistols were an excellent teaching tool, and for me personally they corrected a bunch of sloppy technique and exposed a large amount of firearms handling strategies that I was either doing wrong or ineffectively. Firearm safety during the shooting program was primary, and was consistently drilled into the attendees.

A full day of lifting and shooting lessons and drills ended with a pizza party. Nice touch. What better way for all the attendees to get to know each other. Day two was just as full. We began with a visit to a shooting range and a review of the gun safety strategies. For four hours, we drilled dry-fire exercises, and then began practicing very structured and extremely helpful holster drills and target shooting techniques. I shot better then I had ever previously shot, although much to my surprise, somewhat less accurate than my wife for whom this was her first experience. Beginners luck, I’m sure, but there were remarkable results for just about everyone once the technique was corrected and optimized.

After lunch we headed to the Jiu-Jitsu dojo for self-defense drills and lessons. Simple strategies to help us all learn about how to build a strong foundation in self-defense, culminating in techniques and strategies for fighting with a firearm as well as other weapons. This was something I was poorly prepared for and hadn’t factored into my self-defense priorities. And what event in Wichita Falls would be complete without the Question and Answer session with Mark Rippetoe? I have to hand it to the teaching staff – they really packed quite a bit of learning into two days.

We take a whole lot of things for granted in our daily lives. Should we take our safety and that of our families for granted as well? We do so at our potential peril. We read about it every day, but we never believe it will happen to us.

This two-day event was vital in showing me the holes in how I have prepared for these things, and gave me an incredible amount of information on how to go about plugging those holes. Society's rules of engagement, what type of gear, how well we have trained, and our willingness to employ these things must be married to our mission. It will not be the last of these events that I attend as I continue to strive to make myself harder to kill.

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