PRINCIPLES OF PERSONAL DEFENSE
Introduction: Some people prey upon other people. Whether we like it or not, this is one of the facts of life. The peril of physical assault does exist, and that it exists everywhere and at all times.
- Alertness! Two rules are immediately evident: Know what is behind you, and pay particular attention to anything out of place. Don’t let yourself be surprised.
- Decisiveness! Make up your mind now to take an action step. Personal defense is “self generated”. Your life may depend on selecting a correct course of action and carry through without hesitation or deviation. Do it now! You won’t have time to think about it when the moment is upon you. Remember, he who hesitates is indeed lost.
- Aggressiveness! The best personal defense is an explosive counter-attack. Aggressiveness carries with it an incalculable moral edge, in any offensive or defensive. You are no more armed because you are wearing a pistol than you are a musician because you carry a guitar. Be indignant. Be angry. Be aggressive.
- Speed! The stake in personal defense is your life. The perfect defense is a counter-attack that succeeds before the assailant discovers he has bitten off more than he can chew. If you are attacked, retaliate instantly. Speed is your salvation.
- Coolness. You must keep your head. If you lose your cool under deadly attack, you will probably not survive to make excuses. Self control is one thing the sociopath does not usually possess. Use yours to his undoing. Remember that your firearm is only as good as your ability to keep cool and shoot carefully. If you know that you can and must keep your head, you probably will keep your head. Under any sort of attack, keep cool. And if you must shoot, shoot with precision.
- Ruthlessness. Here and now, your first concern is to stay alive! Strike no more after he is incapable of further action, but see that he is stopped. So make sure, and do not be restrained by considerations of forbearance. If you choose to strike, by all means strike hard. If you find yourself under lethal attack, don’t be kind. Be harsh. Be tough. Be ruthless.
- Surprise. The privilege of striking the first blow is a luxury we must usually grant to our attacker. That means a defender can not achieve tactical surprise. By doing what our assailant least expects us to do, we may throw him completely off. At that moment, his victim may be able to turn the tables. An attacker can be totally surprised when his victim does not wilt. Don’t be an unwitting victim. May an attacker never choose you, but if he does, surprise him.
The “Principles of Personal Defense” are quoted from Jeff Cooper’s book of the same title. The book was first written in 1972! It is no less relevant today in 2011 than when it was first put to paper. Col. Jeff Cooper gave us straight talk about an often prickly topic. What is the proper response to a violent encounter? Most of us hope that we will never be faced with this decision in our daily lives. We all hope it won’t happen to us.
The truth is that it happens to people just like you and me every day and in more and more alarming numbers. The difference is that the people who realize the likelihood is very real and even more dangerous than we could ever imagine will be ready for that fateful day when our full measure may be taken.
Will you be ready to defend yourself and your loved ones? Because you have already taken the first steps in your own personal self defense I believe that you will be the survivor.
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