The Survival Triad: Mindset, Skill, Action

December 15th, 2008  

Last week I sent you a video of the best example of the Combat Mindset (in action) that I had seen in a long time. Unfortunately, that perfect demonstration of rapid, overwhelming and incapacitating violence against one’s opponent was provided by a criminal and resulted in the death of two, mentally unprepared police officers.

This week I am going to show you another video of a lethal encounter caught by a security camera that left one private citizen dead, another critically injured and demonstrates the importance of what I call The Survival Triad:

What is The Survival Triad?

The Survival Triad is what you must have on your side in order to win a lethal confrontation.

It is composed of three parts:

  1. The Combat Mindset. Best described as the mental willingness to inflict incapacitating damage to your opponent through overwhelming violence with no regard for your opponent’s well being.
  2. Skill. Best described as having the ability to use tools of defense (empty hands, edged or improvised weapons, guns) to inflict immediate and incapacitating damage to your opponent in a lethal encounter.
  3. Action. Best described as moving decisively and immediately to incapacitate your opponent and not stopping until he is vanquished.

Now watch this video of an armed robbery and I will then discuss how The Survival Triad applies to this lethal encounter.

Click here if the video does not load for you. This will open the video on your own computer.

So what went right and what went wrong in this lethal encounter?

What went right is four, unarmed private citizens had the willingness to act immediately against an armed and threatening criminal.

Notice that as I have told you repeatedly through my Gun Training Reports and this Blog,  action always beats reaction. These four  citizens do an excellent job in initially turning the tables on the criminal. The first citizen is the star, who makes a move to deflect and disarm the gun and it appears initially that they have the upper hand on the armed robber.

What went wrong is these four citizen only possessed TWO of the THREE aspects of the Survival Triad.

Although they demonstrated the Combat Mindset with their willingness to fight and they demonstrated Action by taking the fight to their opponent, they lacked the skill to inflict immediate and incapacitation damage to finish the fight.

As a result, the four of them cannot incapacitate an average sized, street punk.? The first private citizen who moves to deflect and disarm the gun is later critically wounded and the fourth citizen who is hitting the armed criminal with the effectiveness of a junior high school girl ends up paying for his lack of skill with his life.

This is so unfortunate, because these four citizens did what was right. They just lacked the skill to use the tools that they had.

Even unarmed, once the gun was deflected and grabbed, had any of the four citizens used a thumb to gouge out an eye of the gunman, or smashed the lateral aspect of the gunman’s knee with a forceful kick, or crushed his windpipe with a directed punch, or any number of empty hand defensive moves that are easily learned in a basic course, the outcome of this lethal encounter would have been completely different.

Again, they simply lacked skill.

Had any of the four citizens been armed with a folding knife and the ability to simply deploy it, I’m sure you can see how much easier it would have been to deliver immediate and incapacitating damage to the gunman.

And had any of the citizens had a concealed weapon, with Front Sight’s training- which gives you the skill to present your weapon from a concealed holster and deliver two, sighted shots to the center of mass within 1.5 seconds from 5 yards away–there would have been a dead gunman instead of dead and critically injured citizens.

Understand as you watch this video again that in a Close Contact Situation (muzzle contact distance instead of 5 yards away) like this, our training will allow you to deliver the first hit in under one second.

Seeing the inherent ability of the first citizen make his move to deflect and disarm the gun, I am sure that had HE been armed and trained by Front Sight, his first hit would have been at about 9/10ths of a second and his second hit about1.2 seconds.? All this would have happened before the dirt bag gunman could recognize what hit him.? Again action always beats reaction.

What is interesting about the Survival Triad is that the more skill you gain, the greater your Combat Mindset naturally becomes, and the more willing you are to act immediately to use the ability that you have.

Of course, this changes your “persona” dramatically as your quiet confidence is sensed, felt and seen by everyone you come in contact with-including criminals-and as a result you are less likely to ever need the deadly skills we teach because criminals will leave you alone and attack someone else

Notice how the gunman, checked out the four citizens and then came back to rob them?

Clearly, as he passed them in the hall, he did not sense, feel or see that these four citizens had the mindset, skill, or willingness to fight.  He was right about their lacking the skill.

Secure ALL THREE aspects of the Survival Triad that we provide at Front Sight and your life will be positively changed forever.

Do what thousands of students each month are doing and take a course at Front Sight. You will not find any better training in America and you will never find a better Gun, Gear and Course Offer in the world than My Greatest Course Offer Ever.


If you act fast you can receive 5 Days of Training and a 30 State Concealed Weapons Permit for pennies-on-the-dollar Plus a New Gun and Tactical Gear at no charge!


I post a different article on this blog each Monday so I look forward to your visit every week.

If you have an interesting photo, story or tip about a relevant topic of interest to gun ownership, firearms training or Second Amendment issues, please feel free to send it to me at:

See you next week.

Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute

Entry Filed under: Dr. Ignatius Piazza,Front Sight,Monday Blog Posts,Newsletter.

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