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Principles of personal combat


Some principles of personal combat.


Always be alert. "A commander may be forgiven for being wrong, but never for being surprised." Do not be surprised; always know what is behind you and pay attention to anything out of place, such as an unfamiliar car that stays too long or people hanging around with no purpose. Swing wide around corners, use window glass for rear views, and, when you stop walking, have something solid behind you. Eric Hartmann, a great fighter pilot of 1405 missions and 351 confirmed kills, felt he survived because of an "extremely sensitive back to his neck." Eighty percent of his victims never knew he was there.


"To ponder is to perish." You must be able to take quick, decisive action to meet a violent attack at any time. "He who hesitates is lost." When under attack, quickly:
  • Evaluate the situation.
  • Decide on a course of action.
  • Then carry out the action with all the force you can bring to bear without delay.


Napoleon said, "I may lose a battle, but I will never lose a minute." In the Old West, it was said: "Do unto others as they would do unto you but do it first." We cannot attack because we think someone might attack us, but when we know an aggressor intends to attack, then we must attack first, fast, and effectively. The stake in self-defense is your life. The perfect fight is one that is over before the loser realizes what is happening, so, if attacked, retaliate immediately. Be fast, not fair.


"The best defense is a good offense." The best defense is an explosive counterattack. In a defensive environment, you usually cannot initiate violence; the attacker must strike, or attempt to strike, the first blow. The law says you should run from a fight, but, if that is not feasible—you must survive. Aggressiveness carries with it an incalculable mental edge. It is possible for a highly proficient and viciously aggressive person to overcome numerous attackers. 

Cultivate an aggressive response to evil. Build indignation by watching the news. Believe that there are bad people in the world who do not deserve your sympathy and who have no right to harm you. Get angry at evil acts. If attacked, your emotion should be anger, not fear. Be indignant! Be angry! Be aggressive!


  • Keep your head and use controlled anger.
  • Stay calm. If you know you can keep calm and that you must keep calm, then you will keep calm.
  • When using firearms, stay calm and shoot with precision. When a trained police officer misses a shot at close range, it is due to a lack of concentration, not marksmanship. Even the best of hunters can get "buck fever" so train yourself to react with precision.
  • The fear of failure in a sporting event is usually greater than the fear of death. A competitive shooter trains many hours at a shooting range to win a trophy while a police officer must be forced to go to the range to perfect the techniques that may protect his or her life.


  • Anyone who attacks you deserves no consideration. Criminals are savages and act like animals so be prepared for it. You must survive.
  • Do not overreact to an attack; however, it is justifiable to value your life over the life of the attacker.
  • The social background of the attacker, his or her motivations for the crime, or the injuries he or she may incur are things you may consider later, not during an attack. Your concern is to stay alive, let the attacker worry about his or her life. The world is full of decent people; we do not need criminals.
  • Do not continue to attack after the attacker is incapable of further action, but make sure you stop the attacker. You may not take revenge on the attacker, but you may take whatever action is reasonably necessary to stop the attack.

Strike Hard

Some self-defense "experts" say not to resist an attacker. In 1966, seven Chicago nurses did not resist the frail Richard Speck who only had a knife when he bound each one of them as they came home, they trusted him not to harm them. They are all dead. 

It is your social duty to resist and to resist to the utmost of your ability. In 1957, the first man to resist Charles Starkweather in Texas, after his spree of eleven murders, overcame him easily and without injury. If that man had been the first one accosted, eleven people would be alive today.

If deadly force is justified, then killing is usually justified. Do not worry about the criminal’s feelings; you must protect life. Do not get fancy. Go for power strikes to undefended areas.

Criminals must be taught to fear victims. Violent crime is only feasible when victims are cowards. The police chief of Washington D.C. once said, "The greatest real and immediate hazard that the holdup man faces is the possibility that his victim may be armed and might shoot him."

Do not be kind! Be harsh! Be tough! Be ruthless! After a violent fight, you may face legal action, but if you are alive, that is the most important thing.


In a defense situation, the attacker must act first so the surprise element is technically unavailable to you. However, you may use tactical surprise by doing something the attacker least expects. In almost every successful defense against a violent attack, the attacker was surprised when the victim fought back and did not wilt. Criminals are cowards and do not expect their prey to fight back. If a criminal chooses you to attack, then surprise him or her with a vicious counter-attack. 

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