There is nothing in between.  There are no “grey” areas.  You either avoid the fight if possible (and it is not always) or you take the initiative and dominate it.  The guys that want to find half measures, or have a tentative manner are usually the ones we read about, now with a memorial page somewhere and a GoFundMe page for his survivors.  In simple terms…fight hard, or do not fight, there are no grey areas.
Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsTrain like you fight. Fight like you train. — jtl, 419
by Gabe Suarez at Suarez International

CQBDOORIn a previous life I was hard at work in the study of CQB, and was an Assaulter in my department’s special weapons team.  During that time I trained with a senior SWAT sergeant at LA County’s SEB named Gary Rovarino*.  Gary was not only gifted in his craft, but also a student of karate which gave us a common language and made us instant friends.  At a regional school he was teaching, Gary defined tactics brilliantly –

“Tactics is the art of maneuvering against an opponent, and toward a specific objective”.

To add to this, tactics is the physical and dynamic embodiment of strategy.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewStrategy is a thought process and involves thinking and looking forward to objectives.  Tactics are physical and involve taking action to cause things to happen.  To put it in practical terms, strategies are conceived at the Pentagon, and tactics are developed by the Marines.  To examine tactics we first need to establish strategies.  And in the context of our discussions, strategies for the lone operator, CCW-equipped, regular guy.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1) The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)Presented with a potential for danger or threat, we have two possible strategies: Disengage or Dominate.

There is nothing in between.  There are no “grey” areas.  You either avoid the fight if possible (and it is not always) or you take the initiative and dominate it.  The guys that want to find half measures, or have a tentative manner are usually the ones we read about, now with a memorial page somewhere and a GoFundMe page for his survivors.  In simple terms…fight hard, or do not fight, there are no grey areas.

To disengage, all we need is a suspicion.  Something is strange or out of place…something makes us feel uncomfortable.  And you may not be able to explain exactly what that is, but the “something” should not be ignored if the strategy is to leave.  To do this well we need that relaxed awareness of our world and all that occupy it that the samurai called “zanshin”.  Different from the active, searching, attitude of the American “mind-set”, this is more casual and not divided up into segments or colors.  It is simply there.  Watchful but not tense, aware of everything to a degree and accepting the information without initial judgement.  It is based on the bane of the “progressive”, profiling.  We profile people, locations, events, and times of day.   To those whom this makes feel uncomfortable, we offer no apologies.  As has been said recently, reality doesn’t care about your feelings.

To disengage before the fight or threat, this is all that is necessary.  Awareness of peril and the conviction to act upon what you see, hear, smell or sense.

The other strategy involves dominating the fight.  Duties as a professional, as a parent, and truly as a man worth the name, dictate that disengaging, even if sometimes possible, is not always desirable.  We hear of armed off duty police breaking windows to escape an active shooter.  We hear of grown armed and ostensibly trained men hunkering down safely while a mad man carries out a mass murder.  Am I judging them?  Damn right I am.  Barring outside factors such as ambiguity of situation, family present, etc., Having the skills, equipment and ability to intervene in such an event and not doing so is a shameful thing.

In our flowchart we have a question we ask – Is escape or deescalation possible and moral?

Breaking a window to escape and leaving defenseless women and children behind may be possible for any strong man, but it is an immoral act of cowardice.   So there are times when you elect to stay and fight the fight.  The end game of that fight is to neutralize the adversary.  Incidentally, the adversary that may or may not know you have self selected to engage him.  If you do elect to stay and fight, the strategy must be to dominate the fight, not to control it.  You cannot control an aggressive armed opponent by any other means than gunfire, so think about what you are willing to do to dominate the fight.

Here is a research project for you – take the last five gunfight/active shooter events that you are aware of.  Pass the information through the flowchart I posted the last article, and solidify your understanding of your strategies.  In the next segment, I will discuss the tactics that allow you to prosecute your selected strategies.  No secrets.



Tactics is proactive and preemptive.  Tactics is not reactive.

We have a set of skills for the reactive event that help prevent you from getting shot when you didn’t expect the fight.  Combat proven and street tested skills that have kept us and other alive when by all rights we should have died by gunfire.  As essential as those are, they are not tactics.  Those skills are habituated responses established by extensive repetitions when a stimulus is presented.  This is just like the martial arts people have done for centuries.  As our respected staff member states, gun-fighting is karate at 1200 feet per second.

But karate is not tactics either.

Tactics come before the shots are fired.

But tactics are not for leaving the fight.  As we said, all you need for that is a suspicion and the willingness to act upon it by leaving.

Tactics are created and justified by an understanding of both the dynamics of the fight as well as what is justified by an understanding of the flowchart.  All usable tactics can be justified, but that is a matter for the art of language.  There is nothing “defensive” about tactics.  Tactics are for when you decide you are going to the fight, justified by your moral duty and by the nature of the depredations of the opponent on the innocent – on purpose – with a specific objective.

Tactics allow you do the following –

  • Work for the best shot on the bad guy by avoiding potential collateral damage issues
  • Work for the best shot on the bad guy(s) by gaining access to him while denying him access to you
  • Work for the best shot on the bad guy(s) by interjecting yourself between them and their objectives
  • Locate the bad guy(s) and conclude the event unannounced, without them ever realizing you have done so.
  • Complete legal and administrative justification vis-a-vis moral, duty, and tactical preclusion.

The gentleman from the SAS in Kenya recently used such tactics.

Elements of proper tactics –

  • The outcome is already decided before you begin.
  • Controlled and deliberate movement toward an objective – not rushed but not tentative.
  • Every step gains an advantage or seeks to place your muzzle on the enemy.
  • A hasty back up plan must be devised while the initial plan is executed.
  • The eyes, mind and muzzle move in unison with no delay in your ability to shoot accurately.
  • Unless that is your mission while in uniform, you are not there to capture or negotiate.

As far as the physical execution of such tactics, that depends on the nature of the ground you are fighting on.

Next Time – The Secrets: The Aftermath, by those who have actually done it

If you liked this article, here is a coupon code for the store for 10% off – “SUAREZ-BLOG”


* I wish more in the gun world gave credit to their teachers and influencers rather than simply plagiarize them, as is all too common.


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About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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  1. Reblogged this on Land & Livestock International, Inc. and commented:

    Train like you fight. Fight like you train. — jtl, 419


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