Eric’s Rules to Live By #78

Back a few years ago while taking my first Gunsite class, we had just conducted an engagement, and feeling VERY proud of myself of how well I did things “by the book”,  I then heard a voice in my ear which was coming from Gunsite Instructor, Jay Tuttle, saying “did you scan?” Mr. Tuttle already knew the answer to this, but in my ignorance, my enthusiastic reply was, “oh yes sir! I did”. Of course I shot and I scanned just like I was shown (I was taught right, I just didn’t listen). “I just had to be perfect”, I thought in my head. Then that voice that I can still hear in my head said “well then, what did I have in my hand?” My heart sank. “Umm I didn’t realize there was going to be a test”, I thought. There was a test, and that day I failed it. Mr. Tuttle raised his hand and in it was a 42’ long Bowie Knife. Not really but it might as well have been. Either way I surely did “scan” but in doing so I failed “look” and thus I missed it. Thank goodness it was training. That moment, the class paid for itself. 

Officer Dwight Bushong demonstrates that perfect practice in training makes perfect

     We develop training scars every time we hit the range to practice. Note I said “every time”. We have to do our best to make these opportunities the best. I’ve yet to have taught a class where someone didn’t say “That (a morsel of knowledge) paid for the class.” To me, this is why professional training, which I strive to offer, is so so important if you carry any self-defense tool. Getting yourself the best you can be is important and equally important remember this, “iron sharpeneth iron.” – Proverbs 27:17 kjv. Back on track now. 

     Much talk in the “innerwebs” concerning mindset and these make for a good day indeed. Of course with any talk, the information can be used against you when the time really counts. Asking if “this” is good information or not is a question to bounce off folks that have the right information. (Okay okay, back on track)

For me, when hitting the range in practice, I like to take the last few moments spent to work on the important, self-defense “things”. (assuming I’m out having a little stress-buster time beforehand). Simple things like getting the gun out, moving and shooting, and SCANNING! at the end of the session. Just 5 or 6 (perfect) reps can set one’s mind in a good place upon departure because when you leave your training event you begin the practical application of your training. These little things develop a good mindset when done correctly. 

    So why scan after an engagement? I’ve heard folks answer this question, and in some cases with an ample amount of snark added “what are you looking for?” Well my answer is “something else, of course”. Bad guys tend to run in packs (much like hyenas) and one would do well in looking for the potential of another issue soon to arise. Not all the time, but I’d sure rather be looking for another issue and said issue not be there versus the other way around. 

This photo has Officer Lesher dealing with Goblin #1 and split showing him with Goblin #2

   In this picture Noble, OK. Police Officer Joshua Lesher was investigating an armed robbery report when he ran into two goblins.  One of the miscreants decided that he wasn’t going (or more than likely-back) to jail that day. Officer Lesher agreed and did well in dispatching him so not to return to jail, but unfortunately only sent him to the hospital, but certainly did stop that fight. That will do. 

But wait, there’s more! If you watch the video ( it appears that Officer Lesher picked up the second goblin after the initial triage of the first engagement and was able to stop him too!!!(but no shots were fired and that’s okay) Undoubtedly in my mind the 2nd goblin had every intention of ambushing Officer Lesher same as the first and then making his get-away, but not this day. Why? Officer Lesher scanned, simple as that. Whatever practice, whatever video, coach, mentor, whatever the case may be that Officer Lesher heard, it worked. Officer Lesher paid attention, and to credit Tom Givins saying of “constantly ask “who is around me and what are they doing”, is a good place to be in your life. Also stated, look for other problems. 

Here is how I do it:

1) initial engagement is done. 

2) did my “work” stop the threat?

(don’t linger here)

If so,

3) IMMEDIATELY ask if anyone else needs stopped. 

If not,

4) check your initial engagement again. 

or, if there is another goblin, 

5) deal with THAT threat right now!

Once the 2nd issue is resolved

6) look for more problems. 

Plan the work then work the plan

Then “skiddy Scan Scan Scan” everything. 

At this point it’s much like a hospital triage; who needs what 1st, then 2nd, then 3rd and so on. Work to and from a safe location where these problems can be dealt with from the best vantage point that offers (hopefully) good cover and the ability to keep security up while making contact for more help. 

 Now, thanks to Mr. Tuttle’s help, I do practice and teach this method of scanning as well. In a training session I recommend, when scanning, to actually look AT things. (Crazy thought huh)? Find a license plate behind the line,  determine the color of a vehicle, or is that a coffee cup there? Whatever it is, open up your world. Our brains filter out what it determines to be useless information. (Brains are lazy, if we let them) Make that mushy thing do something more than just look cool. Keep checking the initial problem(s) and get the next problem resolved. Thanks for reading and hope it helps!  #bulwarksstrong! #ericsrulestoliveby #plantheworkworktheplan 


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