Take The Curve

Written by Steve Tarani
Posted in #Skills
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Take The Curve

May 25th, 2019

3 minute read

When it comes to personal protection against an active threat, having a defensive action plan is not a luxury but a necessity. The advantage of such a plan is:

  • You’re not waiting around to be caught in the middle of an attack
  • You are not forced to come up with a solution on the fly
  • You have a widened scope of awareness prior to an attack

Your intent should always be to predict or prevent your involvement in any violent physical threat. However, if you have no choice but to engage a threat, you must consider your response options based on realistic expectations.

React Fact

Most people, without ever having attended any formal training, think “Well, I’ll just shoot him.”

The fact is, should you even consider going to guns (to “shoot yourself out of a bad situation”) in self-defense, means that you’ve been pushed back on your heels reacting to that situation.

Being reactive means you’re already behind the action-reaction power curve and are forced to take immediate physical action to regain the initiative.

Who Takes Control Wins

The bad guy(s) will always hold the initiative at the onset of an active threat. They are the ones who decide, when, where, and how the attack will go down. They also determine what weapons will be used, and who will be their victims. Because the bad guys set these battle parameters, they have complete control of the action-reaction power curve.

When challenged with an active threat, your objective is to take back that curve. To do this, you need to accomplish only one task – make them react to you. There is a very simple three-step formula you can follow to take the curve:

  • Bad guy has control
  • Good guy makes bad guy react
  • Good guy takes control

Simple But Not Easy

Although a simple objective, it is not an easy one. You’re starting at a tactical disadvantage. Engaging a threat reactively means that you didn’t see it, hear it, or smell it coming and have been taken off guard. You’re starting at the bottom of the hill and you must scramble to the top to take control as quickly as possible.

What are some vetted climbing tools you can use to take the curve?

Identify The Source

First and foremost is to acquire a clear picture of exactly what’s going on around you. Snap your attention from wherever it was (perhaps buried deeply into your text messages?), to your immediate environment. Instantly scan your surroundings using visual and audio sensory input for threat indicators – such as gunfire, explosions, screeching tires, etc. – and determine the source of the threat. Once you’ve identified the source, your very best tactical option is to create space – as distance from any threat is always your friend.

Don’t Be An Easy Target

One of the most effective methods to help you take the curve is to make yourself a more difficult target. If you can’t change your distance, you can certainly change your physical position relative to your threat – such as movement behind cover or to higher ground. To change your distance or position and to make yourself a more difficult target, stay mobile. A moving target is always more difficult to hit than a stationary target.

Force A Reaction

Becoming a more difficult target by changing your physical position and staying mobile forces your opponent(s) to react. Your actions have pressed them to ask two critical questions: “1 – Is this difficult target really worth it?” and “2 – Are there softer targets?”  It may very well be the case that you ARE NOT worth their continued efforts. If so, they will hunt for lower hanging fruit (softer targets).

Bottom line is that by your decisive actions, you’ve changed the game. You’ve caused them to react. The split second you cause them to react is that exact moment in time that you take control of the action-reaction power curve. And that’s always the best place to be.

Did you enjoy this article?
Steve Tarani

Steve Tarani

Steve is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail. He is also the lead instructor for the NRA’s new Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) and others.

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

© 2019 Springfield Armory. All rights reserved.

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