sometimes there is nothing you can do

Despair (Photo credit: fakelvis)

I recall reading a post over at Hell in a Handbasket that discussed this disturbing video of a Mexican police Captain, his wife and two innocent bystanders being gunned down in a jewelry store by members of a drug gang. Apparently it was  in retaliation for attempts by the police to clean up the drug problem in the area. The video is graphic and disturbing so be forewarned.

As is natural, such a visceral image causes a person to put themselves in the situation and think..”thank God it wasn’t me”…”thank God its in another country”….”thank God that doesn’t happen here”…various things that may or may not be true, but cross your mind anyway. I think its a natural attempt by a person to make themselves feel secure. A defense mechanism to reassure themselves that being gunned down by AK47 wielding drug gang members is unlikely. Which for the most part is true.

However it also set me to thinking that sometimes there is just nothing you can do once you pass a certain point. If you are standing in a public place with one available exit, trapped in between display cases and a group of men with automatic weapons and a plan are coming to get you, they will get you. The only way this man and his wife could have avoided this is if they knew that they were at risk (which it looks like they should have, another police leader had been gunned down previously) and took protective measures way beforehand. Bodyguards, secure locations, not going out…even then, if the opponent is determined enough and there is not an active counter effort against them, it would just be a matter of time.

When we train, we have to keep in mind what we can realistically accomplish. Being armed, trained and aware is often just “the best we can do”, its is never a guarantee. In some ways it’s simply a pacifier that holds the specter of helplessness at arms length. Any person who says they can train you to save yourself and your loved ones with a pistol and your martial arts moves in a situation like this should be avoided at all costs.



12 thoughts on “sometimes there is nothing you can do”

  1. We have a saying in my small town department, if God wants you, he’ll drop a Chinese satellite on your head if he has to. Whether or not you believe in God, or cosmic order, or whatever, the one, undeniable constant in life is death, and when it’s time, it’s time.

  2. Absolutely. The thing I have always tried to say on numerous MA forums (that is recieved in various ways) is that physical fighting techniques is routinely confused with “self-defense”. As many people put a lot of their identity and self-worth into their MA rank, they misunderstand and misinterpret what I am trying to say. MA is like the brakes on a car…a necessary component but no more or less important than the steering, accelerator, engine….or the decision to take the route you are on.

  3. Knives are not carried on duty belts because of legal reasons. A knife carries a stigma with it that a gun does not, because most people have been cut before they know how it feels. Not everyone has been shot so guns may not be as scary for them. A well rounded individual should have “layered” defense and be able to defend oneself through the force continum with any tool (gun, knife, baton, hands, etc.). Just because many LEOs do not carry them is not scientific evidence that the gun is superior. The knife is a multi directional tool, where a gun only works in one direction. I agree that a gun can be superior, but up close it helps to be able to use both and carry both.

    1. I agree in essence as I stated at the conclusion of my post…its many issues besides (and including) weapon choice that ultimately matter.

      However knives are not “not carried on duty belts for legal reasons” as a matter of fact I have one tucked in under my ammo pouches…most cops carry knives anyway…and have used them. The ability to be evvective up close AND at range is why its on the belt IMO.

      As to “guns not being scary” I have to outright disagree…as a matter of fact most people are overly scared of them. Guns replaced bladed weapons many years ago for various reasons, and have remained the primary choice for when trouble comes a knocking for various reasons. Not that it makes firearms “superior” but from an evolutionary standpoint..if knives were “superior” there wouldnt even be a debate. While in practice, the gunslinger still needs to have unarmed/H2H theory no other invention has done more to “level the field” of size/age/strength/physical ability disparity than the firearm.

      As a delta operator is credited as saying (I paraphrase)…”I use my hands to fight over a knife, a knife to fight for a pistol and my pistol to fight my way to a rifle.”

  4. Yeah I should back track on the guns not being scary, but I live in a rural area and many of the people I know are both gun and knife nuts. THerefore, they do not have the fears that most have, but most have been cut or stabbed by something. THerefore, they know how it feels, and possibly out of ignorance they feel that a gunshot will be alot faster and less painful.
    I see you have a video of Flo doing gun drills. I am a member of CSSD. I am actually good friends with Grandmaster Frank and I have shot DVDs and magazine pictures with Flo before. Our website is just getting started back up, but we have many officers that train with us. I invite you to come to our forums and discuss this more.
    I agree that guns are the most advanced in the personal protection line up, but a good advanced cutting tool goes hand in hand with it as I believe you agree. Many of the officers that train with us have moved their gap from 21 feet to 36 feet. A knife especially one of Bram’s designs can be deployed extremely fast.

    1. 10-4…I hope Im not coming off as argumentative. Im glad you have found my blog and are interested enough to post. My mind is open but I like to discuss my point of view too. I look at is as verbal sparring 🙂

      I believe it was Musashi who said that “being over familiar with a weapon is as bad as being not familiar enough” or something close to that. I refrain from saying that any singular weapon is “better” for all occasions than any other as its the operator that ultimately matters.

      That being said, some weapons just are “better by design”…or we would still be knocking each other upside the head with rocks. But warfare is different from law enforcement which is different from self-defense. Some people cant carry a pistol due to local law..a knife would be FAR better than anything else.

      BTW, an associate and instructor of mine here is Jerome Barber, him and Bram know each other as well. I have an account at CCSD..I should visit more often, I like their stuff.

  5. I dont think you are argumentative at all. From what Bram has told me Dr. Barber seems to be a great man and martial artist. I like to verbally spar as you say, because we as humans naturaly become complacent or we tell our self our carry methods/defense methods/whatever are the best when they may not be. Humans naturally make excuses and that gets worse when an individual is close minded. I ultimately find truth within myself, but I will tweak my system if someone can beat me in “verbal sparring.”

  6. An old Aiki 8th dan told me one time that all martial artist are trying to obtain the same goal, and the different arts are just the paths to get there. That it is the practioner that is better not the art. That being said it all just boils down to who the better practioner is and how fast they can deploy their weapon. As you said many people to not train with their firearm enough to use it in extreme close quarters or to keep it from being taken away.

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