I have been reading a book by Jeff Cooper, called the Principles of Personal Defense. I don’t know if it would even be called a book as much as a memo. It was a real quick and great read. Here is the biggest problem with the book: It is so short, that it is easy to read through it without giving much thought to each individual Principle. If you read that book, please spend more time than the few hours it takes to read it. You need to imprint these things in your mind, and learn to use them when necessary. We can’t do that if we only spend a few hours reading it.
I wanted to give the Principles quickly and in my own words. So this “personal defense” network book review is more of an explanation of the principles.
There are some extremely important things to consider. When it comes to these principles, there are some gray areas with the law.
Your first thought in these is to preserve your life, and then deal with the consequences. This doesn’t constitute training, these are principles, not skills. Training for skills is extremely important. You can use them to enact all of the principles more effectively.
This isn’t written for cowards, so man up.
These principles also do NOT guarantee that you will have success. You very well may lose, and when that happens, it could be bad. But the odds are in favor of those that follow the principles. There have been people that forgot about the other principles, but followed just a couple and still came out alive and on top. That doesn’t mean you WILL, it just means that you have a better chance of survival than if you didn’t follow them.
I discuss this all the time when I talk about situational awareness. Never go into a situation or location without seeing what you are doing. It is evident that this principle is in play when you use store-front windows to see behind you, you always notice something out of the ordinary on your street or neighborhood, like a unfamiliar parked car, or if you are making intentional “wide turns” around building corners so you can see ahead. At first, it can run your life, but once it becomes second nature, you don’t even think about it too much. You don’t become the isolation-driven conspiracy theorist that people think of when you do this in a normal fashion.
When placed in a situation that cannot be avoided, and yours or someone else’s life is on the line, you need to be decisive. You need to be able to make a decision quickly and firmly. If you can’t be sure of yourself, then you will hesitate, and when you do, you are dead.
When someone comes at you with force, you don’t come back at them with equal force. You come at them with SUPERIOR force. If they want to threaten your life, they just placed you in a position where you no longer consider their pain or life. It is your duty to meet them with aggressiveness, with the likes that they have never seen before. You come at them with this type of defense, many times they will have no clue what to do, because they are used to threatening victims, not aggressors.
Don’t lose your cool. This is important. You will probably misdirect your efforts if you can’t keep a cool head. You do want to be angry, but you must be able to channel that anger. The first thing that people do in any survival situation is to stop, keep cool, inventory, and begin planning.
I already said it. If someone threatens your life, you are now placed in a position to preserve it. He can worry about his own, it is NOT your job to worry about him ANY LONGER. You counter-attack intensely, violently, and aggressively. Stop being a coward and attack with strength. Give it all you got. He must be taught to fear his victims. He must be taught that it is not worth it, and you go however far you have to, to teach this lesson.
We seemingly lose the element of surprise because morals and law tell us that we just don’t attack people because they look conspicuous to us. We have an obligation to be in the dangerous situation before we can counter, but we can still have the element of surprise. One of the biggest advantages for us is the knowledge of the attacker… the fact that victims are afraid and the attacker knows this. He doesn’t expect to be attacked back, and especially quickly, aggressively, and ruthlessly with accuracy. This knocks them off of their game, and gives us the element of surprise again. We have the advantage, if we know this.
It was hard to find a pneumonic for these, so the best that I have is AS CARDS. I know it may be cheesy, just remember, AS CARDS are stacked against you, there is still a way to win.
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