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The Tueller Drill

Peter notes that Self-defense: things happen so fast! and refers back to police sergeant, Dennis Tueller, who wrote about the problem in the March 1983 edition of SWAT Magazine. He used a 7 yard distance as the attack approach and noted that a typical person of average fitness can cover 7 yards from a standing start, armed with a knife or club, in under 2 seconds. That idea led “to the development of what’s come to be called the ‘Tueller Drill’, where an attacker armed with a training knife runs at a student while they attempt to draw a training gun from their holster to ‘engage’ the onrushing assailant.”

The lesson from this is that personal defense is going to require much more distance in order to allow you time to (1) discern that you are under attack, (2) determine the nature of the defense that is needed, (3) prepare that defense, (4) decide to implement that defense, and (5) actually implement that defense.

Training can help reduce the distance you need but that brings in a benefit versus risk versus cost analysis. It is very unlikely that you can commit to the training regime needed to be able to reactively respond to an attack as Tueller suggests is needed.

What can you do if you’re a ‘normal human’ who isn’t really able to invest a few hours every day in defense training?

Two things come to mind. First is to increase the distance by being aware of your surroundings and avoiding high risk situations. Second is to learn how to survive an attack by evasion or attitude or minimizing the impact of a successful attack. Realize you may well have to depend upon others for assistance and that your defense training and preparation is best suited towards helping others rather than helping yourself.

Peter’s example is a video that he says is NSW (not safe for work) because it is a video of an actual event where “men die, bloodily. It’s not for the faint of heart.”

Stuff happens. Being prepared is not only learning to bend things your way but also in learning what to do if things just don’t go your way not matter what you do.

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