Exit Strategies

Hawke

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Hey All,

Do you ever think about exit strategies before you engage in a fight?

Look for a way out before the confrontation?

Find a way out during the confrontation?

Run after the confrontation is over?

I here more and more people talk about fighting more than one guy. Going to the ground may not necessarily be the best option sometimes.

At a restaurant do you notice the exist signs? Usually there are two ways in and out.

Walking to your car at night do you have a back up plan to get home? Do you even have a plan? Ever thought of parking your car under a light during the afternoon just in case your errands take longer than expected?

Ever thought of finding a way out during a fight that gives you a higher probability to go home? Sometimes our egos get in the way and we want the other person to pay, but he may have friends close by.

What's your exist strategy?
 

Lexo

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Hey All,

Ever thought of finding a way out during a fight that gives you a higher probability to go home? Sometimes our egos get in the way and we want the other person to pay

My home country is infested with crime, and the people who die or get shot are normally the people who resist, insult or challenge the attackers. I've been the victim of 5 or 6 attempted muggings but have never lost any valuable possession or been seriously wounded because I don't back chat, and when I see a gap I run (or hit and run). All my friends have been repeatedly mugged or hijacked, even my grandmother has been assaulted and mugged! And the ones who don't resist but bail when the opportunity presents itself (like my brave grandmother) seem to escape relatively unharmed. Whats the point of dying a hero? Put that ego aside and live to see another day.
 

KenpoTex

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a few thoughts...

  • If there is a way for you and yours to safely escape before the confrontation, you don't need to fight.
    The emphasis here is being able to escape without greater risk. In other words, you don't want the bad guy "snapping at your heels" while you're trying to run away. Many people like the "stun and run" idea. I think this concept has a lot of merit provided that we "stun" them adequately. What I mean is, if you are by yourself, you might not need to buy as much time as you would if you were accompanied by your grandmother, kids, etc.
  • Sometimes the best or only escape route is through the bad guy(s). In other words: instant, overwhelming force to put them down.
    If your adversary has Ability, Opportunity, and Intent, and he/she is between you and the only avenue of escape, you are going to have to deal with them.
  • once the fight is over, make sure the scene is safe, or leave and find a safe location.
    Don't discount the possiblity that there will be multiple threats. The guy you just dropped may have a buddy nearby. Make sure you are safe and then call the police.
The issue of escape/evasion is definately a very important aspect to train. Just like anything else, if we expect to be able to do it in a fight, we have to do it in training. On drill I use is to designate the "escape route" and have people fight only until they have created an opportunity to escape. This is particularly important in multiple attacker scenarios.

Awareness is definately a key here, you don't want to be running blind. This is important not only for self-defense but also for situations like fires. Noticing things like the exits in buildings, gaps in traffic (in case you need to move quickly to avoid a drunk driver or a "road rage" incident), etc. can definately increase your chances of getting away safely.
 

Lexo

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a few thoughts...
The issue of escape/evasion is definately a very important aspect to train. Just like anything else, if we expect to be able to do it in a fight, we have to do it in training. On drill I use is to designate the "escape route" and have people fight only until they have created an opportunity to escape. This is particularly important in multiple attacker scenarios.

Awareness is definately a key here, you don't want to be running blind. This is important not only for self-defense but also for situations like fires. Noticing things like the exits in buildings, gaps in traffic (in case you need to move quickly to avoid a drunk driver or a "road rage" incident), etc. can definately increase your chances of getting away safely.

I don't know how a person can train to escape (other than learning to put their weight behind a punch of course). By this I mean that, in my experience, when the "flight" instinct kicks in, I am a totally different person and I don't think any training can prepare someone for that kind of adrenaline rush. I think a formal training would be counterproductive because the person might try and intellectualize a situation when they should just be giving into instinct completely. Just my thoughts though, I know its a controversial topic. You said "if we expect to do it in a fight, we have to be able to do it in training", I disagree, I've managed to do things in life or death situations that I would never have been able to do in a training hall (e.g. side step attackers and sprint half a kilometer), because that energy that comes with the flight response is just so powerful. However, I do think that if we have trained correctly and can manage to channel that energy into a technique, then training will definitely help.
 

KenpoTex

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When I mentioned training to escape, I was referring to being able to recognize openings to safely disengage and leave. I think a lot of people spend so much time practicing fighting that they forget that they should only fight long enough to create that window. This is especially true if multiple attackers or weapons (or both) are involved.

Lexo said:
I do think that if we have trained correctly and can manage to channel that energy into a technique, then training will definitely help.
Can you give an example of the type of training you're referring to here?
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I think this type of skill set is essential. In IRT I choose to call it finding the right path or in other words evation/disengagement/escape. In any confrontation we need to remember our overall goal of survival. That is and has to be top on the list so if a moment presents itself before, during or immediately after to get away and survive that is absolutely what you should do. Of course you need to notify the police of what happened and what you did or did not do. This is to legally help to protect yourself if you are in the right. (which if you have acted reasonable then you should be)

In the end finding the right path out of a confrontation is an essential skill set that everyone needs to practice. Evation, escape, disengagement all can greatly help you to survive in the moment! In the end it is all about getting home to your loved ones.
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Rich Parsons

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Hey All,

Do you ever think about exit strategies before you engage in a fight?

Doesn't everyone? I know they do not, most are oblivious to their environment.

Look for a way out before the confrontation?

Always. If I can talk or persuade my way out or just plain leave it would be great.

Find a way out during the confrontation?

Always looking to survive.

Run after the confrontation is over?

Yes, if the only viable exit is behind the bad guy(s), engagement might be required to be able to get by them and to an exit.

I here more and more people talk about fighting more than one guy. Going to the ground may not necessarily be the best option sometimes.

Going to ground even if it just you and the other guy is not a good thing either. I have seen others not involved get into the mob mentality and start to kick or punch people while they are down.

At a restaurant do you notice the exist signs?

Yes I do.

Usually there are two ways in and out.

There are fire exits and almost always en exit out the kitchen. Ok deliveries and staff entrance but I know I could use it as an exit. Chairs through windows.

Walking to your car at night do you have a back up plan to get home?

I have a plan to get to my vehicle. I have a phone.

Do you even have a plan?

Yes, and it changes as the situation changes.

Ever thought of parking your car under a light during the afternoon just in case your errands take longer than expected?

Yes, and also in direct line of a camera on the parking lot.



Ever thought of finding a way out during a fight that gives you a higher probability to go home?

All the time. Always looking to survive.


Sometimes our egos get in the way and we want the other person to pay, but he may have friends close by.

I have more problems with others being abused than I do about my own ego. But once they are clear I like to leave as soon as possible.

What's your exist strategy?

My exit strategy changes on conditions available weapons and such.


Do you know how many rows to the nearest exit on a plane for you?

Do you see who is in what seat between you and the exit? (* i.e. large guys that will not compress as you climb over them to clear the exit if there is a problem. *)

Do you have an exit strategy from your car while on the expressway?

While underwater?

While in traffic?

While surrounded by people and not objects?

Tall buildings?
 
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Hawke

Hawke

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When driving I leave enough room so I can move out if I have to, but this leaves openings for others to come in front of me, which sometimes bother the car behind me. I prefer never to tailgate.

Lexo you must live in a dangerous area. Glad no one you know got hurt. Gavin De Becker mentions in his book the Gift of Fear that only you have the information to decide how to act in that particular situation.

Kenpotex's idea of creating a window of opportunity to escape gave me some other ideas like creating a distraction before or during the confrontation. Always looking for a way out.

I like Brian's term "finding the right path." Both from a physical, mental, and spiritual stand point your path determines where you go.
 

Lexo

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Can you give an example of the type of training you're referring to here?

I just mean that if you've trained properly, your techniques should be able to come second nature, and if you can execute a technique while being in that adrenaline filled state, the technique becomes many times more powerful (in my experience).

I just think that the human being has these fight or flight instincts and that they should be trusted and surrendered to in dangerous situations. If martial techniques don't prohibit the fight or flight response then good, that is a good training. I just think that people shouldn't try and intellectualize a situation if their life is in danger because there is a time and place for instinctual reactions (which have proved effective for me). That being said, I'm no master and haven't trained in any of the new reality based self-defense systems so maybe I'm wrong.
 

Zero

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I agree that this is essential; mental awareness and understanding/perception of surroundings - including both the environment and those peopling that environment is as, if not more, important than the actual 'fight' techniques we are learning.

When I was young I spent a lot of time with my grandfather who had been a soldier and fought in WWII in Europe. One of the things he told me was that whenever he went into a room/building, particularly a new environment, he would scan the area for exits (windows/doors/ladders etc) and danger (dead-end) spots and see who/how many were gathered and where. I have always taken this with me and have built on this from when I started practicing seriously in the martial arts - including gauging distances, locating potential weapons etc.

I have also, as covered elsewhere on this site, been in a few real life conflicts and life and death situations but up until the point where you absolutely have to fight or act without leaving the area and particularly if you are with others (family) more vulnerable than yourself you should always be assessing your flight options and advantages you can obtain from the surroundings. I hear from those who say when adrenaline kicks in it's just all go - but up until that stage you should be fully aware of situations evolving around you and have a vibe for those around you with potentially bad intentions - of course anyone can be 'blind sided' though.

Personally, although I have been shaken after I have had to fight and left the scene I have felt quite calm through the confrontations and dangerous situations I have been in and am not sure I agree with Lexo in that when the crunch comes you necessarily have to give into the adrenaline rush or that you will even feel one (if that's what you're saying?); you can still harness your strength and remain aware of the situation when you are in a fight - ie there are now two more of the guy's friends who you are grappling with closing in on you and now may be the time to hit and run. Maybe this is different as per each individual or maybe your background may have a lot to do with it. As well as military training I was a fire fighter before going back to university and was involved in some pretty horrific situations which needed a clear head to save both others and keep yourself safe. I don't know if this kind of thing impacts on you or not, so far it seems to have for myself.

Furthermore, a degree of formal training in particular escape and confrontation aspects can be highly valuable and increase your survivial chances. I take this again from military training, ie escaping from vehicles and parachutes while in the water and also my fireservice training - exiting/entering vehicles and buildings in dangerous conditions. I also believe the way I have acted in apprehending shoplifters, the moves I applied, are directly linked to my martial arts training - I acted decisively and effectively at the time I needed/wanted to. You'd be surprised (or not!) how many people before they take up martial arts (and even those sadly that only focus on the sports side of an art) are not aware of their environment - even awareness training is therefore of beneift to them.
 

MJS

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Hey All,

Do you ever think about exit strategies before you engage in a fight?

Look for a way out before the confrontation?

Find a way out during the confrontation?

Run after the confrontation is over?

I would say yes to all of the above. :) I'm all about saving myself from headaches. But on the other hand, finding that 'out' may not always be an option.

I here more and more people talk about fighting more than one guy. Going to the ground may not necessarily be the best option sometimes.

Agreed, although I've seen many that disagree. Those are usually the ones that are living in the fantasy land that get wrapped up with the mentality that what they're doing is the best, and that the system is the best. If thats what they want to believe thats fine. :)

At a restaurant do you notice the exist signs? Usually there are two ways in and out.

Yes.

Walking to your car at night do you have a back up plan to get home? Do you even have a plan? Ever thought of parking your car under a light during the afternoon just in case your errands take longer than expected?

Yes and yes. As for parking under the light...certainly a very good idea.

Ever thought of finding a way out during a fight that gives you a higher probability to go home? Sometimes our egos get in the way and we want the other person to pay, but he may have friends close by.

Sure, if you can get out of there, why not take advantage of it. :)

What's your exist strategy?

IMHO, I think alot of it just comes down to common sense. Muggings, sexual assault, carjackings...these are all things that happen all the time, so its nothing new. Being aware is probably the most important thing you can do. Scan the area before exiting your car, scan the area when you're walking to and from your car. Have your keys out and if possible unlock the door as you're approaching so you don't have to fumble to find the lock. I do my best to park as close to the bldg. I'm going to, as possible. Not always an option, but its worth a shot. :) Lock your car doors when you get into the car. I like the idea, as you said above, of keeping space between you and the car in front of you. May not always be an option, but its worth trying.
 

MJS

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I just mean that if you've trained properly, your techniques should be able to come second nature, and if you can execute a technique while being in that adrenaline filled state, the technique becomes many times more powerful (in my experience).

I agree. Being able to react without having to think about what you're going to do is the goal we, as martial artists, should be trying to reach. But, we also need to keep that adrenal rush under control. It could work against you. :)
 

jks9199

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a few thoughts...

  • If there is a way for you and yours to safely escape before the confrontation, you don't need to fight.
    The emphasis here is being able to escape without greater risk. In other words, you don't want the bad guy "snapping at your heels" while you're trying to run away. Many people like the "stun and run" idea. I think this concept has a lot of merit provided that we "stun" them adequately. What I mean is, if you are by yourself, you might not need to buy as much time as you would if you were accompanied by your grandmother, kids, etc.
  • Sometimes the best or only escape route is through the bad guy(s). In other words: instant, overwhelming force to put them down.
    If your adversary has Ability, Opportunity, and Intent, and he/she is between you and the only avenue of escape, you are going to have to deal with them.
  • once the fight is over, make sure the scene is safe, or leave and find a safe location.
    Don't discount the possiblity that there will be multiple threats. The guy you just dropped may have a buddy nearby. Make sure you are safe and then call the police.
The issue of escape/evasion is definately a very important aspect to train. Just like anything else, if we expect to be able to do it in a fight, we have to do it in training. On drill I use is to designate the "escape route" and have people fight only until they have created an opportunity to escape. This is particularly important in multiple attacker scenarios.

Awareness is definately a key here, you don't want to be running blind. This is important not only for self-defense but also for situations like fires. Noticing things like the exits in buildings, gaps in traffic (in case you need to move quickly to avoid a drunk driver or a "road rage" incident), etc. can definately increase your chances of getting away safely.
Teaching self defense is different from teaching fighting. When I teach self defense, I assess the purpose and goals of the audience; teaching LEOs to protect themselves must include how to contain and hold an assailant, while teaching the general public should focus on escape. When I teach generic self defense, the focus is simple: recognize potentional threats/dangers and avoid them, then respond to the initial assault when avoidance failed, and do sufficient harm to prevent the assailant from pursuing while escaping. Flight or escape is not cowardice; in fact, sometimes, it's the only way to survive. And survival is the ultimate goal of self defense, not victory. Lots of people get hurt sticking around in a situation that they should run from because they don't understand that.
 

Deaf Smith

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Hawke,

Have you ever heard of SouthNarc?

He teaches at shiveworks (and has a very interesting bio).

His ECQC (Extreem Close Quarters Concepts) class has alot about indicators. That is tip offs something is not right. It also has much information on how to address a confrontation and not be blindsided by either the principle attacker or a second one while enguaging in conversation. The class as a good 4 hours on FOF (Force on Force) where one uses simulation guns and were protective gear (you get to elbow and punch those who confront you and press an attack on you.)

It's two days well spent.

Deaf
 
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Hawke

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Deaf,

Their DVD Practical Unarmed Combat looks very interesting.

I would very much like to train with them. I like there no nonsense approach.

Thank you for the resource.
 

wrc619

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I always look for an exit. We practice escape, control, destroy. We have a technique called the runaway back kick, that should be able to stun your opponent as you run the other way.
 

still learning

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Hello, Thank-you for sharing this....exit strategies.

We will now start to be more aware of exit signs in restauants,business,homes and other areas, that we visit....never know when fire or a gunman enters any place including banks.

WE ALL SHOULD LEARN THIS EVERYWHERE WE GO...BE LOOKING FOR "EXIT'S"...

Thank-you for making us more aware of these simple rules....for awareness!

Aloha
 

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