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Why We Train: Fight For Your Life

Many of us prepare and train to protect our lives and those of our families, but fortunately, that training is rarely tested in a true life or death situation. It’s important to make the most of every opportunity to practice as you never know when you’re going to encounter a situation that’s truly “game on.” In addition to range training, I find it helpful to wargame different scenarios and think about what I would do if a situation suddenly became dangerous or confrontational. This is a great habit to be in as a cop, because all too often situations that I’m involved in do get ugly and it’s best to avoid being taken by surprise.

This video of a recent struggle between a Philadelphia police officer and a violent felon who has just committed a robbery is a sobering example of what I’m talking about. Lots of lessons present themselves here, but I will highlight just a few. It’s a sad commentary on the savagery of our modern society when nobody comes to the aid of the officer and the person who shot this video thought that was the best use of the phone instead of calling for help.

The officer practiced good weapon retention techniques in this situation and it helped save his life. A holster with retention is very important when carrying a gun openly in a “duty” status, but I would advise against it for concealed carry (YMMV). When the officer breaks free and goes for his gun to finish the fight, he’s tired. If you’ve never been there, let me assure you that adrenaline alone will not carry you through a fight. It will help get you off to a good start, but personal stamina is a huge factor that cannot be ignored. If you’re not physically prepared, you’re really not prepared at all.

All of us want to go home at the end of the day in the same condition that we started. It’s not a safe or fair world and a lot of things that happen in a life or death situation will be beyond our control. However, we can control our training and we should focus it on our mindset, awareness, proficiency and physical stamina.

One Response to Why We Train: Fight For Your Life

  1. Jess Banda June 8, 2012 at 20:39 #

    Great reminder! Plus, really sad/scary no one attempted to assist the officer.

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