Let’s revisit our parking deck scenario from our previous post on the 3 things bad guys want.
You’ve finished your last minute Christmas shopping (or after Christmas Sales shopping – you know who you are). You’re walking to your car carrying your shopping bags when you notice someone is following you. You get a bad feeling. Your intuition is saying that there is very real danger. You hope that all he wants is your property, but you can’t be certain. So you shift psychological gears and start motivating yourself for a fight in case he wants more than just your property. How can you “convince” the bad guy to cease his attack?
The first thing to understand is that the bad guy controls the fight. He determines the when and where of the attack. He chooses the duration and intensity of the fight. We’ll go into more depth on this in another post.
The next thing to understand is that while there are 3 things the bad guy wants: your property, body, and/or life, there are also 3 things the bad guy doesn’t want.
3 Things the Bad Guy Doesn’t Want
The bad guy doesn’t want:
- to get caught: getting caught means potential jail time and possible failure of achieving his objective (the 3 things bad guys want). This also means that he, at least in the short term, can’t continue his crimes. There are also possible social consequences for getting caught – loss of a job/status, loss of family, loss of trust in his professional/personal relationships, loss of property, etc.
- to get hurt: no one attacks you thinking that you’ll successfully defend yourself. In addition, no one likes being injured. And most people, good or bad, don’t like pain. It’s behaviorally hardwired.
- the attack to take too long: resistance in an attack increases the amount of time required for the attack to be successful. The longer the attack takes, the more chances that the bad guy will get caught and/or hurt.
The Risk/Reward Ratio
The bad guy always takes a risk when he attacks. He risks the 3 things above. He’s weighed the risks of attacking you against the possible rewards if he is successful. When you resist, when you fight, you increase his risk factor. As that risk elevates, it may surpass the value of the reward he thinks he’ll receive. Unless you end up knocking the bad guy out on the first move, the choice falls back to him on when to give up the attack. Remember, the bad guy controls the duration and intensity of the fight. He has to ask himself, “Is this attack worth all this trouble?”
The Exception to the Rules
The 3 things bad guys don’t want are general.
That being said, some people are out of their fucking minds!
Whether it’s because of mental illness, drugs/alcohol, or whatever, some people don’t care if they are caught, hurt, or how long their attack takes. This is the general profile of most active shooters once the attack has started (the 3 Don’t Wants probably apply prior to the attack). Think about it.
The good news is that this profile is much less common than the average bad guy. Muggings, rapes, and murders happen much more often than active shooter incidents.
Always Give Yourself Permission to Defend Yourself
For an odd twist, I would argue that not worrying about getting caught, hurt, or how long it takes is exactly the mindset you need when defending yourself.
Regardless of whether the bad guy is your common criminal or a homicidal/suicidal active shooter, your default mindset is the same. If you can detect the attack developing and avoid it altogether, that is the most desirable outcome. If you can’t avoid it, try to de-fuse the situation if possible with no violence. But always…always be ready and willing to defend yourself with violence if necessary – your default mindset.
Your training is your response-ability: your ability to respond!
Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Professional credit: The concept of the 3 things bad guys don’t want originated with Coach Tony Blauer.