Fights in the Movies

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy action movies. I’m especially fond of the Marvel movies, at least through phase 3. Phase 4 was like a football team’s rebuilding year and the jury is still out on what’s coming down the pike in phase 5. But I recognize a real danger in watching action movies of all stripes. That is, they’ve got just enough realism in them to make them seem  plausible. Everything else is more of less impossible.

Here’s the real danger though; it’s easy to approach a dangerous situation, even an active shooter situation, with scenes from those movies in our minds. When we do, we set ourselves up for failure. While those fights may look like real-world ones as we watch them; that’s about as far as it goes.

Watching fights in the movies, with the hero taking on a dozen or more bad guys, killing them all with nothing more than a scratch or two makes for good entertainment, but doesn’t line up with reality. Those fight scenes are choreographed and rehearsed, then filmed in a large number of little snippets, spliced together to become what we see. It’s impressive; because it’s made to be that way.

The bad guys never seem to get a break. I mean, have you ever seen an Imperial Stormtrooper hit anything with his BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifle? Luke Skywalker could waltz right into a base housing 1,000 enemy troops, without a worry in the world, knowing that no matter how badly he messed up, they couldn’t hit him anyway.

I don’t personally believe that criminals spend a lot of time on the shooting range, practicing with their guns. They mostly carry those guns to intimate, not because they want to get into a shootout. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t hit anything. A blind squirrel gets lucky every once in a while, and finds a nut; so, what gives anyone the idea that a criminal shooting wildly at anything that moves won’t actually hit their target once in a while? I’d much rather see them miss; but that’s not something I’m going to count on.

The real world is much more dangerous for us, than the movies are for those actors. For that reason we need to forget about those fight scenes, just about as soon as we watch them. Go ahead and enjoy them, just don’t take them along in your baggage.

Real world fighting has to be brought down to the simplest level possible. Don’t expect to execute fancy moves between shots or to hold a bad guy’s gun hand and use his gun to shoot his partner. Even thinking of traying that is crazy, as you don’t know if their gun is in good working order or even loaded. Nor do you know if that bad guy is strong enough to wrestle control away from you and use the gun to shoot you instead.

You and I don’t have a sixth sense, telling us when someone is sneaking up behind us. For that reason, we need to scout out the situation as well as we can, before entering the fray. From what we see, we need to develop a plan of attack, which will allow us to accomplish what we need to, with the minimal possible movement. When we have multiple targets to consider, we need to prioritize them first by how much of a threat they are and secondly by location. We want to make the smallest possible movement from one target to the next, saving ourselves time.

Of course, the best possible course of action is to avoid the fight altogether, if you can. There are no guarantees in any fight and no retakes. You have to do it prefect on the first take, or there might not be another take for anything, as you’ll be the one lying on the floor, instead of the bad guy. That’s not a risk that any of us should take lightly, especially not if we have another option available to us, like running away. Since our goal is self-defense, there’s no shame in running away.

Besides that, we should all get some real tactical training, other than what we see in the movies. While those may be based on real tactics, they’re not used as if they are. Learn what to do, so that you’re not depending on the hero’s moves you saw in the last movie.

Your most valuable defensive tool is the one between your ears. Be sure to fill it with useful information and then to use it. That’s at least as important as keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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