I may post more advanced classes, but if you want a 30-state Florida CCW, I can get you the course online – except I – or another instructor have to see you handle a firearm safely.
You may take the course at http://oursafehome.net. Sign up under me. I'm Dr. Tom.
The Color Code of Mental Awareness
This is by far the most important information that we can give you in this course. The reason why it's the most important information is because you can be the most accurate shooter on the range. You can be the fastest out of the holster. You can know all of the high-speed, low-drag tactics that there are to know … but if you're not aware enough of your environment to see the fight coming, a common street punk can have your car keys, your wallet or your life before you even know what's happening.
This information is also the most important information we can share with you because if you adopt this as your own, you're less likely to ever have to use the deadly skills that we're teaching you this weekend because criminals will see that you're aware of your environment and they'll let you walk right on by and attack someone else— who's less aware.
This is also the most important information we can give you because the decision to shoot another human being, even when your life is on the line, is a difficult decision to make. It takes a definite mental “ramping up” to do that. If you don't follow this Color Code System of Awareness and mentally ramp up to press that trigger when you should be pressing it, you may be talking to yourself and saying, “I can't believe this is happening to me.” instead of shooting to save your life or the lives of your loved ones.
The Color Code of Mental Awareness has Five Levels: Condition White; ConditionYellow; Condition Orange; Condition Red; and Condition Black.
Condition White is that level of mental awareness that we'd all like to live in if this were a perfect world. That is: unaware and unprepared. In Condition White you're an easy victim. An easy mark. Criminals look for people in Condition White because they can catch them by surprise. They can overwhelm them.
Examples of people in Condition White:
A person walking down the street, hands in his pockets, head in the clouds, whistling the last song he heard on the radio. Completely oblivious to everything going on around him.
A person sitting on a park bench on a beautiful spring day engrossed in a good novel or immersed in the newspaper, completely oblivious to everything going on around him.
A person driving to work— mentally already at work— completely oblivious to everything going on around him.
We've all been in Condition White. If you're caught in Condition White, you're an easy victim. It doesn't matter who you are. You can be a Four Weapons Combat Master. You can be a 7th Degree Black Belt. You can be a cop who's been on the street for 25 years and won 5 gunfights. If you're caught in Condition White, you're an easy victim. Why? Because you're caught by surprise! And when caught by surprise it is very difficult to react quickly enough to prevent injury or death in a lethal attack.
Here is what I mean by that: How many times have you walked around the corner and somebody that you know— a friend or family member— is going to pull a little joke, a little trick on you by hiding behind the corner to scare you? As you walk around the corner they jump out and yell, “Boo!” Has that happened to any of you? Sure it's happened to all of us. At that moment when they jump out and catch you by surprise, what do you feel? A little shock? A little fear?
How long does it take you to recognize that this is your friend or your family member and then how long does it take for your brain to tell your hand to push them away and then how long does it take for you to say, “Don't ever do that again!” How long does that all take? What do you think? A second, a couple of seconds, a few seconds? That amount of time in a lethal encounter is an eternity. Remember the “average gunfight” we talked about yesterday? Most gunfights are over in 3 seconds.
So it took you a second or two or longer to recover from your initial shock and fearwhen you recognized this person who scared you as a friend. You see, that initial feeling that you felt was a kind of a shrinking, withdraw fear that occurs because you're caught by surprise. You must mentally ramp back up into a higher level of emotion, usually a bit annoyed at this point or even angry. Right? Then and only then are you able to react and tell them, “Hey don't do that again!”
What if it's someone you don't know? What if instead of someone saying, “Boo!” as you step around the corner, it's the knife that's coming down into your chest. Or the hands around your throat as they drive you backwards and try to knock you to the ground?
In that situation, many times the initial feeling of fear, is driven deeper into apathy or surrender. And you've all heard victims of crime say this, “I wanted to scream but … nothing would come out. I wanted to run but … I couldn't move.” Criminals rely on this.They try to catch you by surprise, overwhelm you and drive you down into that emotional band of apathy or surrender where you simply submit and don't fight back.
So don't get caught in Condition White because there will be a moment in time, no matter who you are, that you will not be able to respond. And it's during that time that your life is in the hands of your opponent. And that's why we say the only reason you'll survive a lethal attack if caught in Condition White is if your opponent was sloppy. Meaning he didn't finish you immediately. He gave you enough time, and it's a lot of time that he has to give you, so you could mentally ramp up, counter and take the fight to him. Don't count on that. Stay out of Condition White.
Condition Yellow is where you want to be. Condition Yellow is best described as relaxed and alert. You're aware of your environment. You are walking down the street with you hands at your sides—your head is up—you're looking around. You're using all of your senses.
This is not a state of paranoia. You are simply relaxed and alert.
You walk by a plate glass window—you see a reflection. You look behind you. There's someone walking about 15 paces behind you. You note their features and their pace.
You see a couple approaching from the opposite side of the street. They're holding hands. You're simply aware of what's going on around you.
You're driving to work. You know that there's a late model Ford truck with two 20-year-old males to the right—a late model sedan with a woman and two children to the left— a sports car is behind you and you're looking 2 or 3 car lengths ahead driving defensively.
You walk out of your home on a Sunday morning to pick up the newspaper. Before you walk out, you take a look out the window. What's happening in my neighborhood today? You walk out of the house. You look up and down the street. Is there anything that's out
of the ordinary? You pick up the newspaper. You carry it into the house before you open it up and you read the newspaper in the security and comfort of your home.
If you're in Condition Yellow, you're less likely to ever be picked to be a victim because criminals don't want to deal with you. You're aware of your surroundings! You see what's going on! They would rather look for everyone else who are in Condition White and are unaware and easy victims.
In Condition Yellow the amount of time it takes for you to mount a response is literally the amount of time it takes you to present your weapon or better yet, evade the problem entirely. Why so quick to act? Because you see the problem coming. You are not caught by surprise.
Here's an example: Let's take a high-powered business executive. The profile on this guy is he's graduated from an Ivy League college at the top of his class, was the captain of the water polo team and the lacrosse team. He gets accepted into a major law school, and graduates at the top of his class. He is picked up by a major law firm. By the 5th year he's offered a partnership. You get the idea? He commands 200 attorneys and a support staff underneath him and everybody does exactly what he says. He is in total control of his destiny … or so he thinks.
As he walks down the street in the financial district…has his Presidential Rolex watch on, and he is holding his $1000 briefcase…he's glancing at the stock report in the Wall Street Journal. Down the street in a dark alley there is a criminal, a drug addict who needs a fix real bad.
This drug addict has a knife and he's waiting for someone to walk by who he can rob.How easy is it for this criminal to slither out of his hole as this businessman walks by with his head in the Journal, and his mind on his stock values? How easy is it for this criminal to slither out of his hole, walk up behind that businessman, cup his mouth to prevent the scream, put a knife to his neck and say in the foulest language with the foulest breath, “Drop that briefcase, give me that watch or I'll cut your f—ing throat.” How easy is it for this criminal to make this high powered business executive fear for his life? Very easy, isn't it?
And what is that high-powered executive, who's been in control of his life do at this moment? What is he going to feel besides that warm liquid running down his leg? Can he resist at this point? Yes, but he will get cut or killed and he knows it. He's going to drop that briefcase. He's going to give up the watch and he's going to beg this criminal—this drug addict, “Just don't hurt me. Take whatever you want. Just don't hurt me.” And that criminal may cut his throat anyway because he despises the wealthy, or he hates attorneys or whatever reason that criminal needs to justify slitting another throat.
Now this same businessman AFTER receiving this lecture is a different person.He's walking down the same street. He's got the Wall Street Journal in the briefcase or rolled up under his arm. He's got the briefcase in his support hand to keep his firing hand free. And as he walks by the corner, he remembers from our tactical lecture “Keep away from corners. Distance is your friend.” He takes a couple of steps to avoid the corner and he just takes a quick look down the alley way as he walks by. And he sees the criminal standing in the shadows. He doesn't stop and confront this criminal, he simply continues on but he's going to take another look over his shoulder and maybe another one after that to make sure that the drug addict stayed put. Is that criminal going to attack him? No way.
In fact, what normally happens is the criminal is waiting for an easy victim but as the businessman moves by that corner and takes a look, the criminal is going to dive further back into the shadows and hope that he wasn't seen. He's not going to take the chance of further exposing himself. And he may then leave, find another place to hide because the business man may call the police!
So you being in Condition Yellow will actually save a number of people that are in Condition White who follow in your footsteps!
Condition Yellow, is where you want to be. It's not difficult. It's not a state of paranoia. You don't think everyone is out to get you. You're simply aware of what's going on and you're ready to respond at a moment's notice because you see things happen that others do not.
WHEW! Take a break!
The Color Code of Mental Awareness (continued)
is the next level of mental awareness. Condition Orange is best described as a specific, potential threat.
Let's say you are in Condition Yellow and you're aware of what's going on around you and you see something out of the ordinary—you immediately ramp up to Condition Orange.
In Condition Orange, you need to do
: First, you must make some evasive maneuver which forces your opponent to show his hand. Second, you must start formulating that tactical plan in the event that this is a real threat. The evasive maneuver forces your opponent to show whether his actions are just a coincidence OR he's actually after you!
Here's an example: You're driving down the road, a late model Ford pickup truck with two 20-year-old males to the right of you. It slows down and pulls in behind you. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but you look in the rear view mirror and you see those two guys in the truck and they're messing around underneath the dashboard and pointing at you. You think, “Condition Orange. Evasive maneuvers. Formulate a tactical plan in case this is in fact, a real threat.” So you make a right-hand turn at the next light. That's your evasive maneuver—a very simple evasive maneuver. They make a right hand turn too! You make another right hand turn. They also make a right hand turn. How many of you would say, “It's getting a little brighter Orange here?” You make another right hand turn and they're still behind you.
How many of you would say, “Hey I think they're following me.” You make another right hand turn and you're on the same street you were on when they pulled in behind you. They are following you!
Condition Orange is the second safety valve that helps prevent you from ever having to use the deadly skills we teach at Front Sight. Why? Because criminals are not the smartest people in the world but usually they can figure out when you know that they are on to you. So after the third turn one says to the other, “You know that's the third right hand turn this guy has done and he keeps looking in his mirrors at us. I think he knows we're following him. Let's find somebody else.” And off they go. Only the most dedicated criminal will continue his attack if he knows You Know it is coming.
Well let's say they're still behind you after the 4th right turn. Does anybody have any doubt that this is a real threat? No. You forced your opponent to show his hand. What's your tactical plan? Well we would submit to you that sometimes the best tactical plan is more evasion, more escape.
So your plan is, “I'm going to start driving over to the sheriff's station or the police station. I'm going to keep plenty of following distance between me and the car in front. I'm not going to let these guys box me in. If they get out of their vehicles or they bump me, I'll drive up onto the curb and I'll get out of here.” Sure enough you're driving, make a couple of turns, you're heading toward the police station. You come to a stoplight. The car in front of you stops at the light. You leave a little space and these guys bump you. You look in the rear view mirror and what do you see? They're getting out of the vehicles with weapons in their hands. You immediately drive up onto the right hand side of the road, up over the curb and you drive out of there. They are left standing in the street, weapons drawn, and looking around. As they retreat back to their truck they are wondering, “How did that happen?” Color Code of Mental Awareness is how that happened!
That's Condition Orange versus someone in Condition White who's driving along, enjoying the radio, thinking about what they're going to buy at the shopping center or what they have to do at the office. And BOOM they get hit from behind. First they grab their neck from the pain of the sudden jolt and the next thing they hear this “tap, tap, tap” on the glass. When they look out their window they're shocked because what do they see? They see a .25 caliber pocket pistol that looks like a .45 caliber handgun pointing in the window and some guy yelling and screaming, “Get out of the car! Get out of the car!” They want to get out of the car, but they can't move.
(Many times these people get shot, not because they're resisting, but because they're not capable of getting out of the car. They are frozen in fear like a deer caught in your headlights.)
That's the difference between getting caught in Condition White and being in Condition Yellow, then seeing something out of the ordinary, then ramping up mentally to Condition Orange, making that evasive maneuver as your formulate your tactical plan.
Condition Red is that level of mental awareness you reach when you know the threat is real. There's no doubt they're after you. In Condition Red you must set a mental trigger. You must draw a line in the sand. If you don't set a mental trigger or draw a line in the sand, at that moment of truth when you should be active, when you should be shooting, when you should be running, whatever it is you should be doing — you may just be talking to yourself. And talking to yourself when you should be shooting will get you killed.
Sequentially it works like this: You say to yourself, “I'm going to do X. If my opponent does Y, I'm doing Z.” End of story. Decision is made. You draw the mental line in the sand, if your opponent steps over it, you know what to do andYou Do It!
Much like the carjacking scenario we just gave you. After four right turns, you know it's a real threat. You formulate your tactical plan. You say to yourself, “I'm going to keep good following distance. That's what I'm going to do. If they bump me or if they get out of their car, I'm going to drive upon the side of the road and get out of here.” You see?I'm doing X. If they do Y, I'm doing Z.
Remember the scenario we told you about yesterday? The police officers who'd received a call that the man was waving a gun at the Shopping Mall? A witness flagged him over and said, “Hey he's around the corner. Be careful, he's got a gun.” So the two officers approached the suspect. What mental condition should they have been in?Red. The officers should have said to themselves, “I'm going to tell him to turn around and show
his hands. If he shows us empty hands, he doesn't get shot and we will take him into custody. If he threatens me with a gun, I'm shooting him.” The decision is made either way.
One of the officers was in Condition Red and when presented with an armed threat, he shot the suspect. His partner, who after the shooting said, “I could not believe the guy pulled a gun.” was no where near Condition Red. He certainly wasn't in Condition White, but he didn't understand the Color Code of Mental Awareness. No one ever taught him how to mentally ramp up in order to make the split-second decision to shoot another human— even to save your own life. He got caught flat-footed when the gun came out. All he could muster at the moment of truth was, “I can't believe he's drawing a gun.”
Understand, this can happen to you even after taking this class. You need to adopt this Color Code of Mental Awareness as your own. You need to live the Color Code of Mental Awareness. If you do not, you too could be caught talking to yourself, when you should be moving or shooting to save your life.
Some schools stop at RED. If I draw a weapon I have already made the decision to shoot. I will not have to draw another mental line in the sand. If the situation does not change by the time I am on-target, or I issue a command which is not followed instantly, I will shoot.
I constantly see police officers draw a firearm and then try to begin a negotiation. They usually end up begging and pleading with the suspect to surrender. That is not taking control of the situation. If you want to debate, fine. When guns come out it's no longer a debate. If you watch any cop show you will ALWAYS see a suspect grab a hostage and have a ten minute discussion with one or more officers. Since everyone expects that is what will happen, it always does. Specifically, the SUSPECT believes that grabbing a hostage automatically signals a time-out so he can have a conversation and try to negotiate an escape….all the while threatening to kill the hostage. The officers will always draw and aim. That's just what the suspect expects them to do. It will not alarm him further because he expects a conversation and some yelling, but nothing else.
In my class I teach the primary officer to exhale slowly and get a steady sight picture. As soon as the suspect starts to talk, his attention will be on talking, not the hostage. The officer needs to shoot him in the mouth at that point. No conversation. The effect will be to sever the suspect's spinal column and he will not spasm and shoot the hostage. OK, this is not taught in the police academy. But I don't teach police academy-level tactics.
Condition Black is that point when your opponent trips your mental trigger and he crosses your mental line in the sand. At the point your opponent trips that mental trigger, at the point where he crosses the line in the sand, you ramp into Condition Black and this is where the Combat Mindset comes into play…
Condition Black is that point when your opponent trips your mental trigger and crosses your mental line in the sand. I'm going to talk about Condition Black in terms of a gunfight, but it can be applied to any type of lethal encounter.
At the point your opponent trips that mental trigger, at the point where he crosses the line in the sand, you ramp into Condition Black and this is where the Combat Mindset comes into play.
Simply stated, The Combat Mindset is the ability to block everything else out and focus on the one thing that's going to get you through that gunfight. Now what is the One Thing that you should be focusing on in a gunfight? The front sight! It's so important we named the school after it!
Why the front sight? Because that's where the bullet is going! The best cover in a gunfight is behind the two bullets traveling down range — right at your opponent. The best cover in the world is behind a controlled pair of center-of-mass hits.
Focus on that front sight. That's where the bullet is going.
If you can focus on two things in a gunfight, then first focus to see that front sight and the second is to tell yourself to prreessssss that trigger. Prrreessss the trigger. Don't yank it. Don't mash it. Prreesssss it for a surprise trigger break.
If you put that front sight on your opponent's chest, then you've got 90% of the battle won right there. If you can tell yourself to prreesssss the trigger and you get a surprise break, then where your sights are is exactly where the bullets are going to hit!
I will tell you that in a gunfight you may be a little excited. You may press that trigger a little harder than you do in training. Remember, you are going to be about HALF as good in a real gunfight as you are on your best day on the range, simply from the stress of a lethal encounter. Your trigger control may suffer a bit. What's going to happen to the point of impact of a bullet if you are a little heavy on the trigger? It's going to hit alittle lower at conversational distances — gun fighting distances; still a good hit. And of course you're going to be firing two rounds. That's the standard response, so you've got twice the chance of getting a good chest cavity hit.
But if you don't see the front sight, where is that bullet going to go? Where is it going to go? You have no idea! None. Zero. That is the importance of seeing the front sight. A flash sight picture guarantees that the bullet is going to be somewhere in the chest area — if you don't see the front sight, then all bets are off.
How is it that people miss at these conversational distances? It happens all the time. All the time! When they put cameras in the patrol cars — the highway patrol cars — so many amazing things were seen across the hoods of these cars. Officer and bad guy engaged in a gunfight, firing back and forth. Emptying guns, nobody is getting hit or the hits are just peripheral. How can that happen?
How can somebody be shot by four different people in the confines of a hotel room with nearly fifty rounds fired, and less than 20% of the shots fired hit, and most of the hits are non-vital area hits? How can that happen?
It happens because they're not looking at their front sights!
The natural tendency is to look at your opponent or to look at his gun with both eyes open (eyes as big as saucers) and yank that trigger as fast as you can. That's the natural thing to do. And when that occurs, guess where those rounds go? Low and Left, or Low and Right, depending on the shooter's dominant hand. So people unload guns at each other and don't get hit.
What's the national hit ratio for law enforcement shootings?
Very, very low. It's less than 20%.
Depending on the sources it ranges from 12 to 17%. That's the national law enforcement hit ratio. That means out of 100 rounds fired, only 12 to 17 actually hit!That's not 12 to 17 center hits. No. That's a hit anywhere. And most of those are down below the waist or peripheral hits in the legs and arms.
Why? Because most officers have NOT adopted as their own the information we are sharing with you today.
Don't think for a second that you'll be any better unless you adopt this Color Code of Mental Awareness and the Combat Mindset as your own and practice it every day.
The good news is that if you do practice, you will fall in with those special officers and private citizens that collectively have 85-90% hit ratios. What is the difference? They have adopted the Color Code of Mental Awareness and Combat Mindset as their own and they practice it regularly.
So how do you practice the Color Code of Mental Awareness and the Combat Mindset?
Well, the first thing you must do is be able to visualize it. You must be able to see it in your mind's eye. If you can't see it in your mind's eye and can't visualize it, don't expect your body to do it. Visualize the different scenarios that you could be in. If you're in law enforcement, then there are thousands of them. If you are a business owner, then there are hundreds of them. Homeowners, college students, vacationers, you name it, there are hundreds of potential life-threatening scenarios that you can visualize.
Create a scenario. What can happen to you? Pick up the scenario in your mind's eye while in Condition Yellow. Mentally ramp up to Orange. Allow the Scenario to be a real threat and move mentally into Condition Red. Set the mental trigger, draw a mental line in the sand. In the visualization allow your opponent to trip the mental trigger you set, and then move into Condition Black. Then see in your mind's eye picking up that front sight, focusing on it and telling yourself “Prreesssss the trigger.”
If you do this enough, you'll begin to dream about it from time to time. There's nothing wrong with that. If in your dreams you see the front sight and you tell yourself “prreessss that trigger”, you're there! You've driven this training into your subconscious to the point where when the chips are down, it will all come back to you.
So once this is ingrained, then you have to practice it physically. You have to fine tune those muscles and those nerves to where they'll quickly perform everything your brain is telling them to do. How do you do that?
Dry practice with your weapon. It's cheap. You can do it in your home. It's doesn't cost you a dime. Fifteen to twenty minutes every day. Fifteen to twenty minutes every other day. Fifteen to twenty minutes every third day. Whatever it is, you'll be amazed at the improvement in your skill with nothing more than dry practicing the gun handling and marksmanship techniques you learned here this weekend.
(Have you ordered your dry practice manual yet? If not, for your last chance at free shipping, click on: Dry Practice Manual)
The lens in your eye that allows you to focus on the front sight is shaped and moved by muscles and those muscles are controlled by nerves from the brain. You must exercise those muscles and ingrain the neurological pathways.
Pressing that trigger smoothly to the rear without disrupting the sight alignment is a coordinated effort between the muscles, nerves and brain. You must practice to ingrain these neuromuscular pathways as well.
The more you dry practice the better you get. And conversely, what you don't use you lose, so you need to practice regularly.
You also need to put yourself under some stress to test yourself. How do you do that?Well this is a commercial for our Advanced Tactical Handgun Course and Tactical Scenarios Course. We'll put you under stress. We'll put you in tactical scenarios – live-fire scenarios. And when you get up into our highest level courses, you'll actually go up against our instructors and other students with real guns that shoot a paint bullet.
There are some very interesting things that happen in those simulators. But one thing for sure, you'll find out how important it is that you see that front sight. Because by the end of the course, you will be winning those simulated gun fights when you see your front sight and losing those simulated guns fights when you don't focus on the front sight.
Another way to put yourself under some stress is to participate in shooting competitions. We recommend the type of shooting competition that we provide in our Four Day Defensive Handgun Course. It is very simple, but most effective. You simply stand next to another shooter on the firing line. You each have an identical situation to deal with. Usually a hostage taker at about 7 yards that requires a precision head shot and a couple of bad guy steel targets at 15 and 25 yards. At the sound of the whistle, the race is to see who is the fastest at presenting their weapon from the holster, picking up the front sight, focusing on it, and pressing the trigger straight to the rear without disrupting the sight alignment to place a precision head shot on the hostage taker and drop the two other steel targets.
Isn't that what occurs in a gun fight? Isn't that the bottom line? He who HITS first and most in a gunfight wins (emphasis on HITS).
Quite often the winner of the shoot-off is not the fastest out of the holster. Quite often it is not the most accurate shooter in the class. Quite often it is not the police officer or soldier. It is quite often the person who can control his mind to focus on that front sight and tell himself “prreessss that trigger” when shots are being fired around him and time is of the essence!
It is the person with the Combat Mindset who wins.
So it's really up to you. Where do you want to be should you be forced to use your weapon to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones? Do you want to be in the 12 to 17% hit ratio group? Or the 85 to 90% hit ratio group? The choice is yours. It is totally in your control.
Visualize the Color Code of Mental Awareness and Combat Mindset and adopt it as your own. Then dry practice regularly and you too will be in that 85-90% hit ratio should you ever be in a situation where you have no other choice but to defend your life or the lives of your loved ones.
There's one other thing I need to tell you about
The Combat Mindset.
The Combat Mindset also states that you must be willing to show absolutely no regard for your opponent's well being. And that's difficult for us to do. It's difficult for us to do because we're not internally wired to hurt people. It takes a definite mental effort to do it. And I'll prove this to you.
How many of you would feel some physical discomfort, meaning your stomach would churn to think about biting your opponent's nose clean off his face? Biting right through it and spitting it out! If you really think about it, if you put yourself in that scenario, it turns your stomach a little bit.
How about this— driving your thumb through your opponent's eye socket as deep as you can to try to shut him down?
How about breaking an opponent's finger, then another and then another, because that's all you've got to hold on to and that's all you can do?
We do not normally think such terrible things, do we? It's not something that we would do unless we absolutely, positively had no other choice. Well, it is something that you need to think about. Why? Because the people who are out there preying on good folks like you have no problem doing these things. And when we catch them and we put then in jails, they do this stuff to each other, don't they? Ask anybody who works in a prison. You'll hear some of the most hideous stories. Things that will turn your stomach. Things that criminals do to each other.
When they are released from prison, they are the same person (or worse) that assaulted, raped, or murdered before, but now they are out on the street coming in contact with you and your family.
For the first time in America's history, one out of every 32 adults is either in prison, jail, on parole or probation. One out of every 32 adults!
It is not a question of IF you and your family will come into contact with them, it is a question of WHEN. That's who is out there. And when it comes time to deal with criminals like this, you have to be willing to show absolutely no regard for their well being, because they're not going to show any regard for yours. If you cut them any slack, if you give them any rope, they will turn it around and hang you with it.
How many of you have seen the movie Outlaw Josie Wales? If you haven't seen it you should rent it. It's a great western. The reason it's a great western for you to watch is because it is full of the Combat Mindset. Lots of great one-liners and scenes that bring the Combat Mindset home for you when you watch it.
There's one scene in Outlaw Josie Wales that I always share with the group at this point in the lecture. Realize that Josie Wales, played by
Eastwood, is really not an outlaw. He's a good man (who is great with a gun) that is being chased by some unethical men under very bad circumstances. Along the way, he saves a number decent folks from all sorts of predicaments, usually employing his skills with firearms against numerous opponents. As a result, the people he saves cling to him out of thanks and their own need to survive. At one point, Josie Wales and his eclectic band of greenhorns — they are not warriors by any means — end up in a cabin preparing to be attacked by the Indians. They're fortifying the cabin doors and windows and he's showing the women folk how to load the rifles, where to stand, and what places to protect from entry. There is a fire in the fireplace with an iron poker glowing red.
These decent folks are scared — really scared. So Josie stops them in their preparations and he says to them, “When the fightin' starts, and things look bad, and it looks like you're not going to make it, you gotta get mean. I mean plum mad dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up, then you'll neither win nor live. That's just the way it is…”
What's he saying there? He's telling them about the Combat Mindset. He's telling them that no matter what happens, you have to take the fight to your opponent with absolutely no regard for his or her well-being. You gotta get plum mad dog mean. And he says one other thing. He says, “If anyone gets hit, sing out and we'll slap a hot iron to it…” What's he telling them there?
He's telling them, they're going to get hit! That doesn't mean you lose, it just means the fight started. Slap a hot iron to it (to cauterize the wound) and get back into the fight.And we'll tell you the same thing. Don't think for one second that if you're involved in a gunfight, that you're not going to get hit. Chances are you're going to get hit! That doesn't mean you lose, it doesn't mean you die. It just means the fight started.
People get hit in gunfights all the time and do not die. The question is, did they win?
How do you explain a person that takes a major caliber hit in a vital area, yet finishes the fight and wins? When the ambulance arrives, he goes into cardiac arrest but the paramedics revive him! When placed on the operating table, he again goes into cardiac arrest but the doctors revive him! He recovers to live and fight another day.
How do you explain when another person takes a sub caliber hit in a non-vital area, goes into shock, then dies and cannot be revived. How do you explain the difference? Some say it is the will to live, the survival instinct or any number of similar names. We say it is the Combat Mindset!
Remember, we said on the first day that you need to be able to look in the mirror and say to yourself and believe it, “Today could be the day I use this weapon to defend my life and the lives of my loved ones.” And we also said, “If you can't say it and believe, it you're fooling yourselves.”
Well we would suggest you take it one step further, as do many of our instructors — who carry guns for a living day in and day out. They say, “Today could be the day that I use this weapon to defend my life and the lives of loved ones. And today could be the day I take a round in doing so, but I will WIN!” If you're that person, you have the Combat Mindset; you are the very dedicated opponent. You are your opponent's worst nightmare. You're somebody who's trained, who's ready, who's willing, and who's able to win!
I live in Orange. I don't have a choice, I just do. When I go out, my back is against a wall and I could see both doors.