Controlling the Distance

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Controlling the Distance

Postby Rick Wilson » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:10 pm

Controlling the Distance

One of the 21 principles listed in my knife defence book, “Watch Out For The Pointy End” is controlling the distance.

Van recently posted a clip of a police officer having to shoot (multiple times) a man attacking him with a knife.

I wanted to re-post it highlighting one very important thing.

First I am totally impressed with the officer’s handling of this deadly encounter. Exceptionally well done.

I want to highlight the officer’s exceptional control of the distance.

It is a short clip something like 38 seconds so keep in mind all decisions made had to be done in the blink of an eye.

The officer arrives clearly called to deal with an agitated man on a street corner.

As he approaches the man pulls a knife.

The officer immediately backs off (first out into the street and then out of traffic).

He took control of the distance which gives him time to react if the man decides to attack and also doesn’t crowd and increase the man’s distress.

Then the man attacks. Take note of where the officer is when this happens.

The officer has to shoot the man but the man keeps coming. The officer is forced to shoot multiple times but the man keeps coming.

The officer begins to back up adding distance that the man's race towards him is taking away.

The officer has to move to the side to keep distance as the man continues to rush him, despite being shot multiple times he is not stopping.

The officer keeps distance between them and finally the man goes down.

Now, remember where the officer was when the attack began and look at where the man finally went down – well passed the officer’s original position. Had the officer not been able to shoot and move to keep that distance between them the man would have got to him and possibly injured or killed him.

The control of the distance is superb and to have the awareness to do it under such circumstances is extraordinary.

The Aggressors will always try to pick the time, place and distance the assault is going to happen at. You have to take command of that distance to employ whatever tactics you have chosen. In the book there are two tactics requiring distancing - escape and deploy a weapon (the one chosen by the officer) and two tactics requiring closing – disable and control.

This is an excellent example of distancing to deploy a weapon and done in a lethal and, what I am sure the officer considers a tragic, situation.

Here is the video:

Here is a link to my book:

Watch Out For The Pointy End
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Rick Wilson
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Re: Controlling the Distance

Postby Van Canna » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:18 pm

Most excellent, Rick, thank you. BTW the police officer was a long time student of Uechi under Bob Campbell...and a superb shooter/sniper on the force.

When we talked after the shooting, he emphasized how important it was to practice the 21 foot rule under stress...with and without defensive weapons.

When we train to 'stand our ground' so we can block and counter...without ingraining evasive stepping concepts...we will end up like a deer in the headlights of a car.
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