Over the New Years holiday, I performed am executive protection job in Paris, France. While walking with my client, two street thugs saw the expensive watch on my client and the expensive purse his girlfriend was carrying. I watched as they made up their minds to rob the client, without having noticed my presence. They followed my client and his girlfriend for approximately 400 yards, then began to make their move. They had no idea I was only two steps behind them. As soon as the first thug took his hands out of his pockets, I stepped to his right, pinned his arm to his side, and transferred all my kinetic energy into a shove. This lifted him off the ground, threw him into his comrade, and against a parked car in the street. They spoke to each other in French, and ran off. My client never heard it, nor was he aware anything had taken place, despite being only 10′ away.

One thing I have found to be true about combat, whether fighting in war or defending yourself on the street, is that you don’t get to opt out. When a criminal (in this case) appears in front of you demanding your money at gunpoint, you don’t get to say, “I’m just not into it today!” You ARE into it, whether you like it or not. Accepting the situation for what it is, is the first step toward a solid and acceptable solution, responding appropriately is the second key to success in a tense situation like this.

Many times, in business or in life, people make very stupid decisions because they have failed to apply rule number one; realize that you don’t get to opt out, they either don’t realize the situation for what it is, or they think they can get out of it without getting their hair messed up. The truth is, sometimes things are going to be confrontational, uncomfortable, or just plain bad. The first thing you must do is see the situation for what it is and accept that you are in it.

Accept it. See the situation for what it is. This allows you to more accurately assess your options, and thereby make a smarter and appropriate decision.   There is a myriad of methods people use to get out of things, such as; talking themselves out of reality, negotiating with themselves that “this can’t really be happening”, denying that it is happening, not believing someone would do this to me, and on and on.

A threat to your physical security may be an extreme case to demonstrate this rule, but it is certainly a good one. Many situations will be far more obscure in character. Nevertheless, it is critical you see it for what it is.

Tim Burke

Founder and CEO of The Tactical Games

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