Many executive protection professionals don’t get to work in teams. Most of the time, they’re on their own. Either fighting off star-crazed fans or keeping their protectees safe in a war-stricken country. Whichever your work assignment, defensive tactics and firearms are necessary to keep you and your executive safe and sane.
Defending yourself in any situation and using firearms isn’t mutually exclusive. You can both be a master of defensive tactics and utilize guns when the need arises. That’s why training yourself to the point of exhaustion sometimes does make sense. Of course, we don’t mean to undermine the value of resting, but you need to invest 120% at times.
That is, if you want to become an affluent CPO or EPA. Actually, let’s see what one of EP Wired’s guest authors has to say about this.
Tactical and firearms training needs to be kept simple and relevant to the circumstances and environments you are working in. Mikhail Kalashnikov said: “Things that are complex are not useful. Things that are useful are simple.”
This is especially applicable to the firearms and tactical world. These days, people try to compensate for training with fancy equipment and uniforms. Still, the only way to become competent with weapons and self-defense is to train, train, and train with techniques and strategies that work in reality and not just in some “expert’s” mind!
Orlando Wilson, Private Investigator, Risks Management Consultant & Writer
Explaining Defensive Tactics and Firearms
Whenever somebody in the EP industry tries to impose a definition, many industry specialists confront him. That happens even when describing roles such as bodyguard, executive protection agent, and other titles.
Well, let’s try to define defensive tactics for a moment. Some law enforcement agencies tend to interpret it as a system of controlled defensive and offensive body movements to respond to aggression. However, probably most EPAs will argue that the best defensive tactic is avoidance.
Although honor does play an essential role in EP, it doesn’t work well when trying to prove your manhood while on the job. So, we recommend you start avoiding conflicts rather than engaging in them. That’s where advance work comes in. And accidentally, we just have the right stuff for you to explore more:
Defining firearms is, however, a lot easier because there is some consensus in the industry. Although with different legal definitions in various countries, here’s one well-accepted description:
A firearm is any gun designed to be immediately used and carried by an individual.
Since we got the boring definition part out of the way, let’s look at a real-deal gun video from Orlando Wilson, one of EP Wired’s guest authors.
Train, Train, Train
When we asked multiple proficient EPAs about their stance on firearms use, what they said can be summarized in a single sentence: Better train yourself on protective advances, emergency medicine, communication techniques, surveillance, and security driving than obtain a gun permit.
Our conclusion is that you will get a lot more out of these trainings than out of a piece under your belt. Because guess what? Unless you spend your whole career in a war-torn country, you will probably never need to touch your holster.
And if you wondered what to look for in firearms and defensive tactics courses, we got you covered. Here is a short list of the critical aspects if you wish to tap into the benefits:
- Shooting while on the move,
- Proper stance, grip, and draw from the gun holster,
- Adequate gear selection and placement,
- Hand-to-hand, knife-to-firearms, hand-to-knife defensive tactics,
- Principal extraction exercises,
- Atypical shooting positions,
- Techniques for carrying a concealed firearm,
- Multiple target engagement,
- Conflict resolution and live-fire training.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list but something to be aware of when you choose your next training. Ask your instructor if he or she has got it all covered. You know, just in case you run into some EP pretenders.
Now seriously, pay particular attention to your instructor’s portfolio and experience. And train, train, train!
Do I Need to Have it All?
The questions that probably popped up in your mind as soon as you read the previous segment are these: Do I need to have it all? Do I really need to possess all these tools in my toolkit? Can I get away with having fewer, and what happens if I have more?
The answer to all these questions isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Actually, some EP professionals have superior driving skills, while others can barely drive. Certain CPOs are very bad at surveillance detection, whereas others are masters in the field.
Also, you don’t have to know jiu-jitsu, aikido, and taekwondo. Some practical hand-to-hand skills will do the trick and even elevate your career.
Whether you’re a proficient EPA, bodyguard, CPO, or you’re just embarking on your career, know that you don’t have to know it all. And by the way, it’s also impossible to be a specialist in every EP sub-field. Ask everyone who tried and failed.
Now that you know countless more things than many rookies starting in the industry, let’s do a recap. Apart from trusting your gut and being superbly trained in all matters executive protection, here are a few pointers for you:
- No matter what, evacuate your client before responding to an attack with your firearm. Please don’t take our word for it. Trust Jerry Par, who probably played a crucial role in the Reagan assassination attempt.
- There’s no shame in using avoidance tactics. You get to live to fight another day. And so does your client.
- Firearms should be your last resort, and the experience of hundreds of EPAs confirms this claim.
To wrap up this piece on defensive tactics and firearms, let’s watch a firearms training in Europe encompassing basic CP drills. Enjoy, fellow EP Wired readers!
Courtesy of Orlando Wilson.
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