In the liveleak.com video above, a knife-wielding Palestinian woman gets an up-close-and-personal lesson in terminal wound ballistics. Eventually. There’s plenty to learn here. What really caught my eye (obviously): the soldier accidentally ejecting her mag. Oops! And pointing her rifle at her comrades. Oops! If force-on-force training has taught me one thing . . .

it’s that things never go as well under severe stress as they do in “regular” training. Your skills degrade at least 50 percent. (A good reason to develop skills 50 percent above what might be needed.) And the thing is, you never know what’s going to go wrong. But something usually does.

When I was taking the SIG SAUER Active Shooter Instructor Training Course, I performed a drill with my SCAR mag improperly seated. Tap, rack, bang. Sure, but – I had to keep up with my colleagues who were advancing on the target (lest they get ahead of me with my rifle pointed downrange). So it was shuffle, tap, stumble, rack, check my position, bang. And no one was shooting at me.

I’ve said it before: you need to think in a defensive gun use. But if you can’t think well, or your hands or feet can’t get with the program, there’s one thought that must override them all: keep going. I know that sounds obvious, but I’ve seen countless students in self-defense classes who come across a problem, stop what they’re doing and look at their instructor plaintively.

Not to coin a phrase, ain’t nobody got time for that.

One of my favorite instructors had an instruction he repeated on a regular basis, that stuck with me even in FoF training. “You’ve got a problem. Fix it!” The trick here: accept the fact that you will have problems in a defensive gun use. Hell, a defensive gun use IS a problem. Keep going.

In this case, the Israeli soldier was a bit tentative. But she did retrieve her mag and insert it. And she didn’t die. Or shoot her colleagues. Or prevent them from shooting to stop the threat. It wasn’t a pretty win – most aren’t – but it does count. And it gives her something to practice. [h/t CC]

58 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Expect to Screw-Up [VIDEO NSFW]

  1. It looks like two different people dropped their magazines on the ground. The rear group pointing their rifles at the front group is inexcusable. I think it was safer with the two people to the rear dropping their magazines on the ground than being locked and loaded. Additionally, they have everyone yelling commands at the woman with the knife. One person needs to take charge of the situation and everyone else needs to shut up. They need training, badly.

    • That’s probably the biggest confusion maker in every use of force encounter I’ve ever been in. More than one person shouting a command.
      It’s difficult to train out of people.

  2. Witness many times on a obstacle range. Mag drop after the first round and then wonderment why gun won’t shoot for ten seconds.

    Bigger question is why all the panic when a knife is wielded. Just shoot the perp, be done with it. Why be interested in who or why? Lawful Self Defense, aim, squeeze and shoot. Done.

      • ROE is nothing more than a mind F for legislators and cover for the ones doing the killing. Hamas, Iran, ISIS has no ROE other than to indiscriminately kill Jews or Christians. While the article is to show presence of mind with ones armament. I see something quite different. No less than 6 weapons aimed and no one immediately ending that person’s life who is threathening others.

        • And following your line of reasoning gives the Palestinians a propaganda victory. You know, those Nazi-like Israelis gun down innocent woman. It IA all about optics.

        • No my line of reasoning is eliminate the threat immediately. The only optic Palestinians need to understand, and they do, is threaten Israel and you die. That’s why Palestinian leadership send women and teens to do a man’s work.

        • What optic do you think the Palestinians want? It isn’t for them. It is for the opinion of others.

        • It is possible that the knife wielding was a defensive response. At one meter there isn’t time to consider that. At five meters (and with one’s carbine raised) there is time. The first shooter was actually in the deep foreground. He ran around both the second and first line to shoot the woman, as if to say “you’re all duds. Shoot her before she draws a bigger crowd.”

          This was apparently a policing action, not a combat operation….and dealing with a knife, not an AKM or suspected bomb. It’s definitely a tough neighborhood.

  3. Yep. I’ve been on scene in some MCI’s with multiple car wrecks with multiple injured and dead and it can get kind of chaotic.

    If the the good guys and girls didn’t hurt or injure the wrong people, inspite of the mistakes, it’s all good.

    But more training is always better.

  4. My son asked me why i carried two spare mags edc.
    I said…if you ever drop a mag in combat you’ll understand damn fast!

  5. People send their handguns to be repaired because of a couple of feeding or ejecting failures. They should be practicing malfunction clearing. Every semi-auto will crap out on you at some point. Be prepared.

      • Wheel guns can malfunction. But they generally won’t. I have had poorly crimped magnum handloads jump the crimp and jam the cylinder. That is the only time out of 1000s of rounds I have had a malfunction with my wheelguns. Semi-autos have a ton of moving parts, and people can trip them up. Poorly seated magazines. Bumping the slide lock or magazine release. Dragging the slide with a finger. Worn out magazine or recoil springs, etc etc.

      • I believe wheelguns have less that can go wrong, but I don’t believe they are immune. When a wheelgun is out, it can be out, for good. That reload better be New York style. Or GTFO.

        Know your weapon, because stress can make you do funny things.

      • Wheel guns have all sorts of problems. And if your wheel gun goes down it typically is out for the fight. The reason nobody really notices is people just have not ran wheel guns like they do semis for decades now. Seal Team 6 is the last group of people who ran revolvers in austere conditions and they switched over due to semis surpassing revolvers in terms of reliability in the end.

        • Yep. And it makes me laugh when people claim a revolver has many fewer parts. That simply tells me that they’ve never seen what’s inside the handle of their “simple” piece.

      • True, the manual of arms for a wheel gun is slightly different, when a primer locks up the cylinder I believe the failure drill for that goes something like “coat revolver liberally in Vaseline so that it hurts less when the attacker jams it up your a$$.

        • In 100 dgu’s where a revolver is used and shots actually fired how many have a failure or malfunction or jam etc. as compared to the same number with a semi?

          I wonder what the real world stats are on that?

      • I’m a big believer in the simplicity and reliability of wheel guns, especially for folks who want to have something they can use RIGHT NOW and don’t intend to do a lot of operationally operating training. That said–I have myself suffered a failure with a revolver, a piece of the lockwork broke while I was dry-firing it. Granted, it was the most complicated revolver ever built (the Nagant 1895), and (obviously) old as the hills to boot. But it does serve to remind me that no gun design is 100% infallible, even the wheel gun.

        • the simplicity and reliability of wheel guns, especially for folks who want to have something they can use RIGHT NOW and don’t intend to do a lot of operationally operating training. Get a BFR and carry it in your pocket.

  6. I’m not sure that was a good shoot. She had her hands out in front of her and definitely wasn’t advancing on anyone.

    • Ditto.

      They had time, she was surrounded and she was basically just standing there slightly waving her knife around. The only people who seemed excited were the enforcers. And why is that necessary when you have 6 or 10 of them pointing guns at her. At the first sign of an advance any one of them could have shot her dead (and I know the Tueler drill, they could have kept some distance).

      So in this case, they could be trained to have less than lethal options available. And use them first and see if they work. My money is one shot with a rubber shotgun slug would have instantly incapacitated her.

      Can they not train for this? Would that not be civilized?

      There seems to be a lust to ‘shoot first’ non-gun toting perps with some TTAG commenters IMO, this post being an example. This lust doesn’t make us look good to the anti’s and just gives them ammo to persuade more morons to vote for “gun control.”

      Summary death penalty for standing still waving a knife around? Does that punishment fit the crime?

      I did say it was OK to shoot with real bullets if she advances.

        • I could be wrong, but I believe the IDF had their 10/22 bit pulled years ago, because it turned out not to be ‘less lethal.’

      • I’m all for shooting a knife-wielding suspect but when you have that many armed police\soldiers I would hope you can back just a bit (after all, the point of guns is to be useful over distance while knives… not so much) and pause. It reminds me a bit of several police interactions here where the officers advanced on a knife-wielding suspect and then shot him when he came towards them. Yes, it’s justified in a legal sense but we have to figure out a better way to deal with the situation… particularly with the propaganda it produces in this instance.

  7. The main problem here is too many defenders in too small a space, creating a state of utter confusion where the rear rank of good guys is muzzling the front. This vid clearly illustrates that more is not necessarily better. Two defenders would have done a much better job. ‘Memba the old saying that “too many cooks spoil the broth?” Yeah, it’s true.

    More people, more stuff, more complexity = more screwups. ‘Memba the old saying “keep it simple, stupid?” Yeah, that’s also true.

    And one other thing. In the unlikely event of a confrontation with one of the Aloha Snackbar crowd, try to shoot them during the first syllable.

    • The group to the rear probably should have been doing crowd control. There were quite a few extra people milling about. Sort of like a cordon and search. Inner ring deals with the threat, and the outer ring deals with people trying to get into the ring. Everyone was target fixated and nobody was watching for other threats.

      • Crowd control? I see this happen in lots of videos where the good guys are confronting bad guys and both sides are armed and a dozen or more people gather around to watch. Why do they gather to watch? I see folks with guns drawn, and I’m immediately running for cover or an exit. Standing around 15 feet from a potential shoot-out seems way too much like playing stupid games and winning stupid prizes.

        • Same reason you get an accident on one side of the highway and then rubberneckers slow down on your side and cause another one.

    • Shows you how incredibly poorly these people are trained. It looks like no training at all for this kind of situation.

    • Agree with Ralph. I normally would be slow to open up on a woman with a knife at a distance, but with the Aloha Snackbar crowd wearing loose clothing there is the possibility of a bomb.

  8. I’m confused. Why was she shot? What is wrong with possessing knives? Why was she shot when 8 different people are giving her 8 different instructions?

    • The past week or two, there’s been waves palestinian knife attacks against Israelis. At this point, they’re just assuming you have a knife to stab a jew, if you have a knife.

        • Turning her life around was just heading to culinary school when her life was ended by police discrimination and gun violence.

          President Obama’s comment.

  9. Too many shooters closing in, too many muzzles all over the place…one thing differs in Israeli scenarios, the BG, or in this case, BW. They know she has a knife, but what else? Bomb belt, or even a smaller explosive device? Backup shooter? The threat (BW) knows this is the end even before she left her house today, that makes for a tough call on all counts.

    • The senior person in the police/IDF group did not suspect a bomb. Apparently none of them did, as most of them closed to within “it’ll blow you up” distance.

      I have to say the behavior of the soldiers (?) strikes me as bizarre. They seem to be pissing themselves over a non-advancing woman with a knife.

      The main lesson in the video is this: Having to constantly field a new group of young soldiers means experience will be lacking. There aren’t enough older NCOs to go around.

      • even the israelis get pumped-up on adrenaline, just like our cops. whoever was in charge of the response team did not show much leadership. maybe he/she got focused on taking-on the threat, forgetting there was a team and that the team leader is supposed to control and coordinate the situation. gotta admit, however, there was pretty good trigger discipline. if it had been our cops responding, likely there would have been about 100rds fired in all directions, with significant collateral damage.

        • …and there’s training. I’ve seen videos of European cops deal with much more aggressive knife wielders without using lethal force. Gee, maybe they were trained to try it that way first.

  10. Nick, interesting points. When I was doing tactical pistol training I had three full size mags for my SR9c and the one 10-round mag. When I did a combat mag swap during a round of firing I grabbed the shortie mag, jammed it in the slot, and seriously crimped a big chunk of skin on my pinkie finger between the mag base and the pistol grip. I stopped what I was doing to drop the mag and re-insert. My instructor yelled at me, “What the f*** are you doing?” So I explained that I had caught my finger. His response was, “Does it hurt more than getting shot?”

    Lesson learned.

  11. So… was this actually Senor Farago writing, or was it Senor Foghorn? While I’d like to imagine Farago has a stache of 500+ guns in a secret underground garage, I don’t recall him having a SCAR.

    • I’m guessing that, given the respect with which fundamentalist Islam treats women, the female martyrs get the pleasure of servicing the deceased males, martyr or otherwise.

  12. I’ve been a trainer, and I’ve been in combat. It is all good and macho and tough guy to tell people in a pressurized scenario to “fix it yourself”. But that is where training and learning stops. Whatever lessons you had planned for downstream are compromised because the trainee doesn’t know what to do, is focused on the current snafu/fubar and never catches-up to learn the next thing. There is a time to let trainees fumble around and try to solve things themselves, but not in a fluid situation. Think about how the Navy trains crews to do damage control. The crews are trained on procedures and processes, relentlessly. Then they go into the simulator and deal with one foul ball after the other. If, at any time the instructors see that the situation is hopeless, or that one person is no longer contributing anything, the drill is stopped. Review and correction is performed, then back in the tank until the crew can do everything successfully. Now, something as minor as dropping and picking-up a mag might not bring the show to a halt, but the “press-on, even if you are wrong, remain wrong and can never be right” is satisfying for the instructors who need to prove something; useless for the trainee…and as a result, someone could die needlessly.

  13. Wow – I have a completely different “manual of arms” when confronted by a woman with a knife. I do not even unsnap my holster and just take the knife away from her. Or just ignore her for a few minutes and let her calm down.

    The sad fact is had this gang of heroes been confronted by a serious threat some of them would have been killed while trying to find their dropped mags and shrieking orders at each other.

    • The mental defect is the woman not dropping the knife. Holding that knife was her Alamo. Whatever was between her ears was what leveraged the moment that ended her life.

      As for the comment TTAG commenters wanting to kill, I say bullshit. I would give one chance to a US criminal, no quarter for a Arab wielding a knife in Israel. Know your enemy and deal with them accordingly.

  14. Math note: If your unstressed skill level can be expected to degrade 50% under stress, you will need an unstressed skill level 100% greater than the required stressed skill level. Let’s say you need 40 shooting ability points to survive a force on force encounter. 80 unstressed shooting ability points times 50% = 40. 40 increased by 100% is 80.

  15. The only reason lots of folks think the IDF (or other israeli agencies) are squared away is…

    they only fight Arabs, in their backyard.

    It’s easy to be the champ when you fight tomatoe cans.

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