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This video illustrates an important indeed life-or-death point we’ve made in this series numerous times: moving is your first priority in a self-defense situation. If you don’t “get off the X” (as the gun gurus like to say), X marks the spot. The place where you, the target, can be taken out. Stay on the X and the bad guys will thank you – in their own special way – for not forcing them to have to work so damn hard to kill you dead.  To move instinctively – which is the fastest way to do anything – you have to overcome . . .

the natural urge to stand still.

That’s because the common adrenaline-fueled reaction to life-threatening danger is a not “fight or flight” response. It’s “fight flight or freeze.” Freezing is a strategy for hiding in plain sight and calming predators. Predators look for movement. Predators attack movement. Sometimes freezing works. Sometimes it doesn’t. The depends on the predator, the environment and blind luck. Which is a matter of prayer, not self-defense.

Anyway, most people freeze. But not you. You empty your gun of ammo and practice drawing your gun from concealment and moving two or three steps a lot. Every day? Maybe. But a lot. You also make sure you train at a range where you can move and shoot. Every week? Maybe not. But every chance you can. Because training yourself to move gives you the best chance of survival.

If you really want to understand the need to move when facing danger, take some – even just ONE – force-on-force class. You will appreciate the importance of this need to GTFO on the deepest possible level. Which is exactly where the instinct to move needs to live. So that you can. No guarantees, mind you. But to paraphrase John Lennon, the singer gunned down on the streets of New York City, life is what happens when you’re moving away from death. [h/t RA]

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  1. Damn, this is getting confusing. As a duck hunter, I’m always trying to be “on the X”. Now you’re telling me to get off it?


  2. Hmmm, I wouldn’t have thought you’d need special training to get out of the way of a speeding SUV.

    • You need special training to stay in the way of a speeding SUV, and he is so well trained, he automatically props his wrists on a car door and tries to shoot his way out of any situation. They teach it as taking cover, but a car door isn’t cover from even a .22LR. The only good it does is possibly steady your aim.

      If he was thinking, instead of acting in trained ‘instinctual’ response, the very last place he’d want to be in a car crash is between an open door and the car body.

  3. Jesus, he could have just moved. I hate to sound like a pussified hippie, but there was plenty of time to sidestep this. No reason to shoot, at ALL!!!!

    • 6,000 pounds of speeding steel is a very deadly weapon, did he need to shoot? Maybe not. Again officers are trained to react to force with greater force.

        • Not dead, and her mug shot looks rough. Type the title into youtube and there was this clip and a longer one. The woman jumped out her sun roof screaming something stupid and this officer and another climbed in and usec a tazer on her. The police chief made some comments to justify the situation, but the whole thing was on camera.

        • Maybe a weird take, but it almost seems like the poor officer was going through a minimum ‘escalation of force’ (EOF) procedure. Like, ‘i gotta shout, show, shove, shoot, but it’s an ~SUV, but my training Sergeant says he/investigators better hear you yell “STOP” at least twice on your body cam before you pull the trigger…’
          Like he slmost got killed by his checklist.

    • Flying debris from impact can and has killed bystanders. Someone who is willing to ram head first into a cop will probably not stop for little old ladies crossing the street. A reasonable person could conclude she posed a deadly threat to the public at large.

    • Lets say he moved to his left. All the suv would have to do is turn right and the officer would be out in the open taking the impact full force on his body. Much better to have the suv impact the car first. Personally I dont see the point of the officer getting out in the first place. Did he think that him showing himself would make the person stop because of his authority.

  4. OK, maybe I would have frozen in place without thinking. But if I was able to think enough to be shouting “Stop!” I expect I would be thinking about getting out of the way, not shooting.

    • First reaction in most emergencies is disbelief. I believe that is why folks tend to freeze–this can’t really be happening to me. In this case, it would be disbelief that the woman would actually hit him with the SUV. He may have been assuming she would swerve because she couldn’t possibly try to drive right into him… disbelief.

  5. Yelling, “Stop!” and shooting obviously were pointless. She couldn’t hear him, wasn’t going to stop anyway, and bullets from a handgun are insufficient to stop a speeding SUV. Maybe an RPG would have done the job. In his defense, he was in a poor tactical position when she appeared and didn’t have time to move someplace safe. He is lucky she hit his cruiser head on. Sideswiping it to take off the door would have killed him.

  6. Can anyone tell us what happened beyond that 14 second video? What happened to the policeman? The woman driving the SUV?

    • The video would not play in my browser, so I typed the title into my phones youtube ap. The officer survived and tazered the high woman after climbing through her sun roof to arrest her.

      • She was lucky he chose to use the Taser. I don’t think a grand jury would have objected to deadly force.

  7. This officer had about 3 seconds to move after he stepped out of his car. He was going to lay down a stop-strip to puncture the tires, but she was right there and came right at him. Backwards might have been the best, safest direction to move, but 3 seconds is not a lot of time to get your body weight in a position to change direction rapidly, then be able move it.

    • He had 3 seconds to get out of the way of an SUV but had less than of .2 of a second to get out of the way of a speeding bullet at the same distance. If you are “on the X” when a threat a presents itself with that kind of reaction time you have to move and shoot at the same time. If your attacker is half way competent, he will drop you before you get two steps if you don’t something to throw him off. Standing still is the worst tactical position of find yourself in. If you are already moving you can easily move some more but if you are stationary then you have to break inertia in order to get moving. That is why muggers usually approach you with “got a light” or “got the time.” They want you stationary because it makes escape much more difficult. Children are taught to stop, look and listen for safety but to protect yourself you need to look and listen before you stop.

  8. Shooting at the SUV 5 yards in front of his vehicle is somehow supposed to prevent him from getting hurt? A bullet will slow down a 4,800 lb vehicle? Shooting at the car was an idiotic move. Granted, hindsight is 20/20. If he did try to move, let’s say he jumped out to the middle of the road 1.5 seconds or so before impact, she could have easily swerved into him hitting him directly, certainly killing him. Thinking about it a bit more, I’d say the safest place would have been to stay inside his car (and buckled in), or well behind the car at a safe distance. But in a split second like this, I’m not sure what my instinct would have been so I can’t fault the guy too much.

  9. He couldn’t tun car was blocking motion to cover motion into street would have been a lot more fatal I think…. letting car vs car reduce momentum was probably his best choice…… too late to go elsewhere

  10. Usually getting out of the way of vehicles is much better than shooting at them. In some cases it’s better to shoot- like if the person is trying to hit you and any movement you make will be away from cover.

  11. It’s a tough call, especially with a 4000 pound chunk of steel barreling down on you. If he runs off to the left and the driver manages to hit him he’s toast, if he runs back behind the car in an attempt to go to the right, his police car could get pushed by the SUV on top of him and kills him, if he stands and shoots he may at least make the driver veer off one way or the other, or the car gets pushed back into him and he gets killed. I wonder if the safest option may have been jumping back in his car and hoping the airbags save him. It’s a tough spot to be in, with only a second or so to decide on action under that amount of stress is not an enviable position.

  12. Move two or three steps you say, for a man of my age, that’s a whole days workout!
    If I lean forward, my back hurts, If I move sideways, my side hurts, If I move backwards, I’ll probably fall over, if I jump, my legs hurt, and on, and on!
    How about I just stand there and blast the hell out of who ever has got the gun!

    • “Get your first shot off fast – this disconcerts your opponent and gives you time to make your second shot count.” Lazarus Long/Robert A. Heinlein

      It may also give you a small breathing space to move off the “X”.

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