Rob Pincus gives a lesson in understanding the Warrior Expert Theory and how it applies to your firearms training. This theory includes training for recognition of a threat. A Personal Defense Network (PDN) original video.
Warrior Expert Theory Here's another important video from the Personal Defense Network. Understanding the Warrior Expert Theory is an important part of your preparation for conflict. An expert is actually a definable object. It’s not a subjective term that simply means somebody who seems and knows all about something. Experts respond to information differently than a layman. Look at the example of chess. You could be a very smart person who understands the rules of chess and sit down and look at the chess board and go through a couple of different ideas about what you might do. Move this piece here. Your opponent might do that. Move another piece here. What will your opponent do? He could do this or this. And through a long tedious process, you could determine what ultimately would be the best move to make. But if you were a chess expert, you could look at the board and recognize exactly what the best move would be to make based on your previous experience in your exposure to the different places that the pieces could be on the board and how they move and how opponents are likely to respond to a certain moves. Being an expert means recognizing. Before you can recognize something, you have to be aware. If you want aware of a piece of information, you can't recognize it. You might be able to figure out what it means or figure out its place in the world or how it relates to you or what the appropriate response to a new piece of information is. But recognition is an incredibly powerful tool that the brain uses to make decisions intuitively. By recognizing something, we immediately jump to a conclusion. We don’t have to think. We don’t have to figure things out. We don’t have to use a lot of cognitive energy. It’s that moment. It’s that decision making process that you make under stress to defend yourself or someone else that’s critically important. You can’t afford to use any more time trying to decide what to do or even realizing what's going on and absolutely necessary. By becoming more aware than you were. Right before you started preparing or started training for conflict and for resolution of conflict, you become better able to recognize. Think of a dinner party. You're the third person that arrives at the dinner party and the person to your left is someone you’ve never seen before, the person to your right is someone you recognized. You know that his wife just got out of the hospital. He just started a new job. He’s son or daughter maybe starting college sooner or applying for applications, maybe for a new job or for that college career. What's important to understand is that you may be able to have a great conversation with the person to the left. And in fact, they may have just started a new job. Their wife may have just gotten out to hospital. All of the same exact things. But without having to go over there and actually engage in conversation to find those things out, to figure out what's going on, to become aware of those pieces of information. Your conversation is going to be much easier with the person you recognized. Similarly, in a conflict environment if you recognized what's going on, if you’ve trained for the response to someone pulling guns out of their pocket, so many times that you recognized what we call the pre-contact cues. You recognized what's going on when they reach into their pocket and start to blade away from you and go to draw that gun. Your response curve is going to be much faster. By recognizing that thing that alerts you to the fact that you're under attack, that you're being threaten. You can instantly and intuitively respond because of your awareness. Raising awareness is what reality based training is all about. The more realistically you train, of course, the more often you train, the more likely you are to recognize something because you’ve raised your awareness. So going into an environment and shooting at a piece of paper that’s always ten feet away from you and always has the same design, shape on it maybe a silhouette or a bowling pin or a square or a circle or an X or even a photo realistic target that looks like someone trying to hurt you is never going to be as good as going into a force on force environment or an environment that uses three dimensional targets. Reactive targets would also be important because you would want to be able to recognize what it’s like when your target goes away. So if your target is always standing in front of you and you just arbitrarily decide to shoot two rounds every time, you’re training for a pattern. You're not training to become aware of and recognize what needs to happen when you stop shooting. You stop shooting of course, when the threat has stopped. Not necessarily when someone goes down or when you’ve made someone unable to attack you. Maybe they just chose to not attack you anymore. They realized that you presented the ability to defend yourself and that you are an actual threat to them much more or so than they thought. You're not a victim and they are going to stop attacking you. Well, training for that recognition moment, that moment when that pop out target goes away or the reactive target falls down is incredibly important. Raising your awareness about all types of responds to all types of attacks may not be possible. But choosing as many different ways to train that are plausible and realistic is important. We say that you should train most of the time for the things that happen most of the time. if you heard about some anomaly, if you heard that one time five guys tried to steal a car at the mall in the town you live in and they attacked someone with knives or guns or sticks or whatever the environment was as its described to you, but you realized if that’s happened one time in all the years the mall has been opened with all the people that are parked their car in the mall that may not be the best thing to train for. If you’re a police officer operating an area where you know a lot of people carry concealed weapons and there are have been several frequent attacks against police officers in that town. There is something you should train for. You know that someone in close quarters could be more likely to pull a weapon then might have been prior to that trend in crime. And once you identified that trend, you identified that likelihood that someone may have a concealed weapon and be willing to use it against you. That’s what you train for. When we think about home defense, let say that in the area you live, there have been several home invasions and people have been violently attacked inside their own home. We’re not talking about a burglar that gets startled in the middle of the night because he didn’t think you were there. we’re talking about people who are actually breaking into homes that they know are occupied for reasons of violence to attack other people whether it would be physically, sexually, or in order to commit a robbery but with that violence part of it. An important component of your preparation would certainly be to defend yourself in the home and understand that if your context of skills was to keep a firearm lock in a safe and you're down in your kitchen when that person kicks the door and that firearm may not be available to you that you would need to be aware of and recognize the fact that you would have to defend yourself using improvised weapons or possibly change the way you’ve prepared to defend yourself in the home. Understanding the likelihood of a typical attack is an important part of becoming aware of it. It also let's you determine how much of your time you need to spend preparing for that particular attack. Being a warrior expert does not mean being prepared for anything at any time. It means understanding what things are likely becoming more aware of what they look like as they develop and more aware of what your appropriate responses are as soon as you can respond. And then practicing those in as realistic and environment as you can. If we’re talking about unarmed self-defense or improvised weapon self-defense and you're used to working in a wide open gymnasium or your martial arts dojo and you're used to big flourishes and big wide moves and spinning kicks and things like that. That may not be the most practical way to defend yourself in a close quarter’s environment. If someone were to attack you in a hallway, you're spinning jump kick may not work. If all you practice on the other hand were closed quarters, defense is where you were in tight with someone and you were using elbows or knees or claws or rakes using your fingers as weapons. That maybe something you could always rely on because ultimately if someone is trying to hurt you and they are not using a weapon and you don’t have a weapon that conflict is going to become close very fast. We talked about extreme closed quarters, tactics and extreme closed quarters concepts is being anything within two arms reach. Being aware that your skills in that wide open area may not apply to the confine space of realistic combat is part of being a warrior expert. In general, the more aware you are, the better able you will be to recognize what's going on and what you need to do during a conflict. And that’s the Warrior Expert Theory. Check out more videos just like this one at the Personal Defense Network.