How should you protect yourself from the knockout game attack?

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Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! (Be honest, now: how many of you are taking advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals to get yourself something at a gun or outdoor store? Thought so!)

Over the last week or so quite a number of people have written to ask me about the “knockout game” which the media is making such a fuss over. The common query is about how to defend against this kind of attack, and could I give some advice?

There’s not a lot of advice I can give that’s different from the advice I usually give!

First, you have to remember that these attacks aren’t as common as the news would have you believe. Because they devote a large amount of time and airspace to talking about them you’d think that they’re an epidemic in the making, but step back and think about how the media overplays school attacks: they’re quite rare, but listening to any of the networks you’d think they happen every week.

This isn’t to downplay the knockout attacks which do happen, but it’s important to have clarity about the risks you face. Only by putting things in proper perspective can you prepare intelligently.

Second, there’s not a whole lot that’s unique or special about these attacks. (The only really unusual thing about the knockout is the motivation: the attacker doesn’t want anything from you except the prestige he or she gets from having laid you on the pavement. In this kind of attack robbery or sexual assault isn’t the motivator, which is often our concern when considering the possibilities of how to reduce our victim profile as part of an overall safety plan. In other words, those things that we do to reduce our appeal as a target for a robbery may not have any impact on being targeted for a knockout.)

While the motivation might be different, the mechanics aren’t. The actual defense against the knockout is pretty much the same as for any unanticipated close quarters attack.

The knockout attack is a classic ambush (one that you don’t have significant foreknowledge of until it happens) within two arm’s reach. Because of this, your training in dealing with the close-in surprise attack is applicable to the knockout. Looked at in this light, what you need to do is what you’ve always needed to do!

In these kinds of attacks, the gun is not necessarily the first thing you should be worrying about; what you need is specific training in close quarters defense. Learning what to do when your threat is within two arm’s reach is very different from what you do when your attacker is beyond that distance, and those skills should be part of your complete defensive preparation.

Let this be your motivation to sign up for a class! Where should you go to get these skills? I recommend three sources:

– Take I.C.E. Training’s Counter Ambush home study course (or at least read the book “Counter Ambush”.) This isn’t a course that tries to teach physical skills, but rather teaches you how ambush attacks occur and how you should structure your training to address them. It’s a groundbreaking course, the only one of it’s kind that I’m aware of, and it’s worth your time no matter where you are in the training world.

From that you’ll need a hands-on course in close quarters combat. I can recommend two:

– The acknowledged expert in this area is Craig Douglas at Shivworks; he’s one of the few teachers who is respected in all quarters of the defensive training world. His ECQC (Extreme Close Quarter Concepts) is the class to take.

– Another good choice is the Extreme Close Quarters Tactics course from Rob Pincus.

Both of these courses are superb and you can’t go wrong with either one. You’ll find both being offered at various places around the country in 2014.

-=[ Grant ]=-


About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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