Monday, March 9, 2009

SHTF skills

Blackeagle said...

On the actual subject of this post, you’ve talked here and in other posts about financial and physical preparedness, what about skills it would be useful to learn before TSHTF? Despite wanting to buy every shiny new gun I see, I’ve always tried to discipline myself into prioritizing software over hardware. So far, I’ve managed to spend more on practice ammo and professional training than I have on firearms, and I feel like I should apply that to other areas too. Self defense skills are an obvious asset, but I’d like to diversify my skill set a bit. What would you recommend? Driving skills? Medical? Others?

For self defense I suppose you are set regarding gun fighting since you found me through Gabe’s forum.

I’d do handgun and rifle training, but concentrate mostly on handgun and hand to hand combat.

Its sad to see some excellent shooters that would get their asses kicked by girl scouts.
You probably know it well, but at close range most gunfights will have a lot of hand to hand fighting.
Its not the first time someone pulls a gun, ends up loosing it in the struggle and gets shot with it.
Same for knifes, though guns are much easier to pull away than knives.

Usually, the hand to hand you get in shooting schools isn’t enough, preferably you’ll do box, tai box, and BJJ or judo. That covers, striking ( feet, hands, knees and elbows) and grappling.

This is all what you end up using when you failed at awareness, so situational awareness should me your priority in terms of defense.

Take for example my wife. If I could bottle and sell the level of awareness my little lady has I’d make a fortune.
Yesterday she told me that she was in a pharmacy when a guy walked in. It’s summer here, and the guy was wearing his hood over the head, ( too much for the warm weather we have these days) also had something she couldn’t identify wrapped and carried under the arm. She said he also looked nervous and had something his eyes, like sick or insane.

She was already close to the door ( she stays near the exits in case the place that she’s in gets robbed) and right as she saw him walk in, she decided what to do that same second and walked out.
She didn’t freeze, hesitate or wait. She instantly left as she saw him come in.
If the guy pulled a gun and robbed the place my wife will never know. She was already outside before the guy went all the way in and did whatever he had in mind.
She’s used to doing this. She’s always well aware of her surroundings, and quickly walks away when something doesn’t feel right.

Of course she got to be this way because she’s been robbed and kept hostage at gunpoint at her home and business more times than I can remember.

A good first aid class, specially that teaches how to deal with GSW, hemorrhages and other basics should be on your list as well.

You’ll need to carry some basic first aid gear in your every day carry bag.
(definitely get a practical EDC bag, I carry mine everywhere I go ever since I put a decent one together)

Defensive driving is something that you should do too. I’ve always wanted to take such a class but they are usually too expensive for me.
I can tell you that it is useful since high crime and general poverty requires good reflexes, and knowing a couple tricks behind the wheel is very useful.

I’ve read about it, practiced it and used many of them a number of times in complicated situations. My car is all chewed up by protestors and roadblocks and the suspension needs replacing due to emergency driving over places where a normal car shouldn’t go through at those speeds. The streets and roads here are in pretty bad shape so its not entirely my fault.
Downtown is nicer but the suburbs have some craters were you could burry someone.
Keep in mind that there are lots of dirt roads in the southern suburbs and they get pretty bad, specially after if rains.

You can keep a nice proficiency level in self defense shooting with dry fire. Saves a lot of money and improves trigger control, even practice and run dry fire mock scenarios at home were you are likely to end up defending yourself.
You can reduce the amount of ammo you shoot. Instead of shooting 1000 rounds a month you can shoot 200 and mostly concentrate on dry fire, using the live ammo at the range only to test the improvement.

Mostly, do a lot of reading. I’ve learned lots of things out of necessity. Since I don’t have the money for classes for everything I’d like to learn I read about it and later put it to practice. Woodworking, metal working, finances, computer skills, etc.

Gardening and business development classes have become also popular.
If you have some land and wish to keep an orchard, again, reading a lot or taking a few seminars or classes, that’s very valuable.

Never underestimating the power of money, seminars with money making ideas and business developments, micro businesses as they are called here, those are great alternative ways of making extra money or increasing the profit within your business or profession.
Check the local community center or local college for classes on business development, marketing, sales, or other additions to your profession that may give you an extra edge in the more competitive future that awaits us.



Blackeagle said...

I'm a big believer in dry fire, even if ammo is plentiful and cheap. Achieving unconscious competence, being able to run your gun without thinking about it, is the gateway to becoming a truly effective defensive shooter. Lots of dry fire practice is the best way to achieve that.

Blackeagle said...

Thanks for posting in response to my question!