2 Men, 1 Car

I have been thinking back on yesterday’s real life combat post, wherein two men get out of their car to save a woman who is being abducted. It seems to me that an important concept is that the car is both a weapon and a tool. If you think about it, we have cars precisely because a person can do so much more with a car than without one.

Of course, a car can be used as a weapon. Maybe you remember me writing that the only time in my life I ever came close to real combat, I ran over a purse snatcher who was on a bike. But a car also amplifies a person’s capabilities, providing protection and mobility.

Suppose the two brothers, who should be praised for their courage, had a baseball bat. Would it make sense to lodge the bat in the gate or to seal a door to try to block the attacker’s escape? I think we can see that the best use of the bat would be for one of the brothers to maintain control of it. I argue that the same is true for the car.

As I thought through scenarios, it always seems to make sense for at least one brother to stay in the car.

  • Suppose one brother gets out and the assailant draws a gun and shoots him. The driver can ram the gunman, or worst case, flee for his life.

  • If the woman is seriously injured, one brother is already in the car and can easily pick her up to take her to the hospital.

  • If the attacker tries to drive off, the brother in the car can either ram him or follow.

  • If the attacker takes off on foot, the driver can follow.

  • Even better is a scenario in which the brothers have a weapon or weapons in the car. One gets out with the weapon, while the second one is “armed” with a car. If they followed Amo Guro Blackgrave’s advice, the brother in the car would also be armed, both with a readily accessible knife a tire thumper club, and possibly a pistol.


6 Responses to “2 Men, 1 Car”

  1. I think that you are thinking about this in the wrong way and the right way:

    Wrong: you are thinking of all the things the brothers could have done but the reality is that they did what they did with very little thinking time; they say a woman in danger and reacted. They were not martial artists but just everyday Joes.

    Right: you are using modern day real assults and trying to think of all the things you could do now because you too know that you will only have split-second thinking to work with when the time comes for you to react. Just remember that every situation will be different than the the ones you read about…for 1. it is you involved, and 2. it is a different attacker, different time, different season, different weapon, different area, etc.

    Now think if it’s the same assult but there is only you in the car? Now what? Can’t ram the guy who is holding the woman. The what if game is never ending, but having a mind that will use any object as a weapon is solid gold. Try this, come up with a few situations and ask your friends what they would do but make no comment about them using weapons, see how many mention using objects around them as weapons, I’m betting that it will be very few.

  2. […] 2 Men, 1 Car « Big Stick Combat Blog […]

  3. James,

    I try to give credit to the two heroes for intervening. Admittedly, it’s easy for me to be an armchair quarterback and to second guess their moves. But that’s why I study real life confrontations, so that I have an idea ahead of time what to do, rather than try to make it up on the spot under stress, as you mentioned.

    Gun and self-defense writer Mas Ayoob tells how he has explained to his wife what he will do and what she should do in the event that he is carrying a concealed gun and walks into an armed robbery. He has already decided ahead of time when he will go along and let the robbery proceed, and when he will draw his gun.

    Similarly,. I know I will not get into someone’s car. I have told my daughter the same. The idea is to decide ahead of time, so you don’t have to make a decision under stress.

    I’m hoping my readers can benefit from thinking through these scenarios ahead of time.

    I think your point, and I agree, is the value of strategic and tactical thinking, the ability to see the best option in a time of crisis.

  4. I think that playing the “what if game” in your mind is a valuable training tool. Admittedly, we can never know the exact circumstances of how a situation will go down, but thinking through scenarios has a lot of merit. Bruce Lee talked about doing this. The idea is to always be thinking, scanning, and evaluating. Having some sort of game plan first response makes sense. “No plan survives contact with the enemy but nobody survives contact without a plan.” Personally, for me, it comes down to a lot of alertness in the pre-conflict phase: detection, avoidance, de-escalation, etc. If it does come down to the need to use hard skills, I really only have a small handful of techniques that I employ in an overall strategy. Finally, I have decided ahead of time what I will do immediately following the actual physical encounter. The details may dictate that I shift on the fly, but my overall strategy will remain essentially unchanged. This strategy will differ from person to person depending on numerous factors but each of us should develop our own game plan ahead of time so that when the fight or flight response takes over we can execute effectively on what essentially amounts to auto-pilot mode.

  5. […] option, mentioned by Mas Ayoob, is to ram the attacker with your car. Anyone who targets you in your car with a gun is fair game, as the number of cops […]

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