Developing various routines for common tasks is commonplace for most people. For instance, you may start a pot of coffee each morning.
Every morning, you follow the exact same process: You go to the same cupboard, take out the beans, grind them, pour them into a filter, put the filter into the coffee machine, add water and push the “brew” button. Five minutes later, you have coffee to drink.
Think about how your routine is disrupted if someone put the coffee beans in a different cupboard. Or if your coffee maker is broken and you need to use another machine to brew your coffee.
These inconsistencies in your routine get you, “off your game” – you actually need to think about what you’re doing, and it takes you much longer to complete the simple task of making coffee in the morning.
Now, what if you’re suddenly thrust into a performing a task you don’t normally have to do on a regular basis? Such as defending yourself against an attack.
The stress of an attack can cause paralysis of action. You are suddenly, “the deer in the headlights” frozen into inaction. This doesn’t usually end well for the deer – or for you.
Practice and consistency will help ensure you’re able to perform that task effectively to enhance your personal safety and maintain your independence.
For instance, if you are in a threatening situation, you don’t want to have to think about how to properly use the defensive tool. You want your training to come into play, so that you can quickly neutralize the threat.
This means you need to practice – on a regular, consistent basis – with your defensive tool. If you have a handgun, that means going to the gun range at least once each month and practicing shooting drills.
During these sessions, don’t just shoot the gun using a strong-side, two-hand grip. That may not be an option in a defensive situation. One of your hands may be injured, or your arm may be being used to shield someone behind you.
And practice with your holsters as well. If you have a Serpa-style retention holster, your grip/finger placement on the release button must be butter-smooth. Each day when I’m in my precious metals store, before I open the doors, I practice drawing my gun from my IWB (Inside the Waist Band) holster to ensure the clothing I’m wearing will not obstruct my gun.
If you have a pepper spray, that means going in your backyard and practicing so you see how far the particular model of spray you own shoots out the spray, and knowing how many one-second shots you will get out of a container.
Practice with a “Z” or “S” motion, starting with your aim slightly above the head and moving downwards. This ensures the greatest chance of contact with the face of the attacker.
It is vitally important to carry your defensive tool in the exact same place, every single time you leave your home. Put your pepper spray in the same section of your purse every time. Or the same pocket in your pants every time.
If you carry a purse or a briefcase, consider buying a canister holder with a Velcro strap so you can just leave the pepper spray attached at all times (obviously, know the laws about where you can carry it, and if curious children might have access to your spray).
My wife keeps her pepper spray in the exact same outside pocket of her purse. I keep my smaller canister in the exact same pocket in my pants, every single time I leave the house. A larger pepper spray canister is in a Velcro “holster” in the exact same place in every one of our automobile Get Home Bags.
If you have a handgun use the same concealed holster every time. Don’t use a shoulder holster one day, and an inside-the-waistband holster or a small-of-the-back one the next time so that you can “break up the monotony”.
At the very minimum, limit the number of holsters you use. I use two for virtually any public situation. One for when I’m in my precious metals store, and another (an appendix carry) for all other public situations. The appendix holster is very versatile, in that I can use it with pants or shorts, tucked in shirt or floppy, business or casual.
As noted above, practice your draw stroke and re-holstering for a few minutes to ensure you don’t have an unforeseen, “hitch in yer git up”. This is especially true with a “deep concealed” holster such as an appendix set-up. I use a brand called, SmartCarry.
Just like the guy in this video, when I first got it, I figured I had wasted my money. Also like the guy in the video, it is now one of my favorite and most heavily-used holsters.
Unlike the guy in the video, I carry mine with the barrel to the right of my “junk” – in the “12:30 or 1 o’clock” position. I find that I am able to sit, drive for hours and not worry about pinching when it’s placed here.
Practice regularly with your defensive tools. Know where they are at all times so you can access them in a “blink of an eye”. Doing these things will increase the likelihood of you being able to successfully defend yourself.