Tactical Decision Making (Part I)

What’s more important; keeping your leg or chasing someone and trying to get them to “do the right thing?” Intervention, especially on behalf of a commercial establishment, is rarely the way to set yourself up for success.

Customer says he lost a leg trying to stop thief at NC grocery store. Now he’s suing[sic]


You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

-– Inigo Montoya

My main presentation at Paul-E-Palooza 2 was entitled Tactical Decision Exercises. I wanted to do it because I have come to feel we in the training community concentrate on teaching marksmanship and manipulation skills at the expense of tactics and decision-making skills. As strange as it sounds, coming from someone of my background, I think that’s a problem. When I look at incidents that have had negative outcomes for the Citizen, it’s rarely because of a failure of mechanical skills. Most of the time, the failure is due to a bad decision, poor tactics, or a combination of both.

Trainers often refer to the Holy Grail of achieving ‘unconscious competence.’ However, good decision-making is usually a thoughtful conscious process. Consequently, I’m not sure that focusing our training methodologies on an…

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One response

  1. One thing I talk to my students about is “Is this your fight to get into?”

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