Defending A Loved One (Family Member, Etc.)


OF all the nightmarish scenarios that could happen for which the avid student of self-defense strives to prepare, surely one in which he is not alone but with one or more loved ones, and must defend them as well as himself against the scumbag(s) attacker(s) qualifies as a matter that heads the list.

Many of us are fortunate enough to have one or more persons in our life for whom we would give our life, if that became necessary in order to save and protect them. Thus the thought of being in a situation where not merely oneself, but also someone one loves and cares for, is placed in potentially lethal danger, is horrific. We actually pity anyone whose life is so barren that his only concern, his only focus, his only human value, is himself.

In any case, the matter of defending someone you love when, while with them, the ugly situation arises where you must deal with an unavoidable attack that imperils you both.

This matter is rarely if ever addressed in martial arts courses, and even when it is addressed it is usually glossed over too briefly. We can see why. The situation is none too favorable, even for the black belt expert in a quality combatives system.

This problem differs from the relatively  easily solved one of coming to the aid of a third person in two ways:

First, when coming to the aid of a third person you have the element of surprise in your favor and normally a quite clear opening to neutralize the offender. The attacker’s focus is on his intended victim; you can nail him without his knowing what hit him.

There is no element of surprise (save possibly that of your mere resistance to the attack alone, which very often can enable you to turn the tables —— even on a group of savages —— when undertaken with sound tactics and a killing attitude. But you as well as your loved one are the targets in the type of predicament we are discussing, and you may be the primary target (the savages thinking that once you are out of the way they can easily go after your spouse, etc.)

Second, coming to the aid of a third person is not necessarily as desperate and terrifying to you as is the prospect of a loved one’s victimization. Even when only your loved one is under attack and you can employ coming-to-the-aid-of-a-third-party tactics, there is still the horrific personal factor of knowing WHO IS IN IMMINENT, PERHAPS DEADLY DANGER. It’s always different when the welfare of someone you love hangs in the balance.

Here’s what we recommend when thinking and training for defending a loved one in a street attack or other situation.

1. Have a Plan

With violent, atrocious crime literal rampant in urban America today it is shocking but true that most citizens give little thought to preparing for an encounter —— just in case one ever occurs. Being out with family members or good friends is today being vulnerable. Because of this you should discuss and prepare with your wife, children, parents, etc. what will you do if the worst really does happen? Having a plan provides some peace of mind and at least leaves you and yours with the assurance that you know what you’ll do in case of a catastrophic event.

2. Make the Plan Realistic

Noncombatants can’t offer much help in an attack. First, because they don’t know what to do, and haven’t the skills by which they can be expected to do anything. Second because they are subject to being beaten or murdered as helpless standing targets. This naturally floods your mind with concern for their safety, and thus detracts from your focus on dealing with the scum.

If possible in any confrontation the noncombatants should escape the scene while you attack and do whatever you can to neutralize the aggressor(s). If you know that your loved one is escaping the scene then your mind will be cleared to concentrate on destroying the threat.

If your loved ones are competent in combative skills then the plan should be to attack the single or multiple scumbags with force-to-kill. Ideally, you will all be armed with handguns which you know how to employ; but the reality is that —— at best —— only you will have a sidearm, and often you won’t. If you live in a violent toilet like NY, LA, Chicago, etc. the chances are you will have no firearm.

3. Review and Rehearse Your Plan

In many instances an enthusiast of combat skills will need to go to some lengths to get reluctant family members to do this. We’d say it was worth it trying as hard as possible to break through the barrier of indolence that they may set up.

4. Become Very Familiar With Good, Basic Security Measures

This goes for everyone in your family, even those who have no interest in learning combat skills.

5. Go As Well Armed As Circumstances Permit

If you can legally do so, carry a handgun with which you are competent in combat shooting. But carry something. A walking stick, a knife, etc. Punks and assorted street scum always carry weapons and, like hyena, normally travel and attack in packs. So be prepared, when protecting those you love, to use the most extreme armed violence of which you are capable.

6. Use Common Sense

(We often wonder why it is referred to as “common sense”, since its possession is so uncommon!) Go to extremes to avoid places where scum hangs out or where violence is especially common. Always be extra alert, extra cautious, and extra-ready when with someone who depends upon you for protection.

7. Priorities

Violent scum deserves to be destroyed. Whenever you are compelled to act in defense of a vulnerable loved one, remember that ANYTHING GOES because you cannot possibly predict how much trauma the person you need to protect can withstand. Show no mercy, compassion, forbearance, humanity, decency, or care for the attacker(s). ATTACK with lethal intent. More than you is at stake here, please remember. You have only one, single priority: Make sure that your loved one is uninjured, and if possible yourself, also. That’s it.

Question: “What about employing bodyguard tactics to protect a loved one?”

Answer: Effective bodyguarding almost always requires a team, and —— frankly —— that team is expendable. Its only function is to shield the principle, and effect a successful evacuation of the principle from the scene of the attack. Such “return fire” or other force that one or more team members direct against the attacker(s) is done entirely to facilitate the “cover-and-evacuate” strategy. When you are with a loved one and must act to defend that person you are acting alone, and you ar also acting, secondarily, to protect yourself. The predicament is different. It is very, very personal.

We have worked as a bodyguard and we have trained bodyguards. We do not recommend attempting to use bodyguard tactics in the situation we are addressing here.