Monday, October 29, 2012

Commentary - Do you “Run Deep?”


I’m on the road this week and watched “Almost Famous” tonight. . . . good movie about a young reporter on a road trip with the band “Stillwater” writing an article for Rolling Stone. It’s a journey of discovery for the reporter, the band and the fans that follow the band. As the credits begin to roll the band is shown on the cover of Rolling Stone with the title “Stillwater Runs Deep”. Throughout the movie the “breadth” and the “width” and the “depth” of the characters was evaluated, revealed and developed. So it got me thinking . . . . do you run deep?

How does this apply to personal defense? Well, all I can offer is my point of view; please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments. It takes “depth” to defend yourself, your family and your friends. On many levels.

It takes “depth” of character to choose to be a “sheepdog” and all that entails. You have laid out a plan, evaluated your weaknesses, and developed training programs to strengthen them. When you look in the mirror you see someone willing to defend another, willing to stand against evil with a strength that allows no space for defeat. Your character has “Depth”.

Physically you have looked at your weaknesses and strengths. There is much more to personal defense than getting the first hit in a sub-2 second time. There is physical strength, endurance, flexibility, stamina. Where are you in these areas? Are you improving/working on them? Have you acknowledged true physical limitations and found “solutions”? Physical “depth” can easily mean the difference between the “quick and the dead” . . . . I would prefer you be quick. Develop physical “depth”.

A warrior is “deep”. I write this at a time when the news (well, Fox) is filled with tales of the ex-seals that gave their lives in defense of Americans in Benghazi. It’s a tale worthy of warriors – surrounded, out manned, brutal, violent, raw – seemingly betrayed by an Administration too weak to act. Yet, they died as a true warrior does – with honor in defense of the defenseless. It was a “good death”. Are you a warrior? Is your soul deep enough to place the welfare of another above yours? I suspect you would surprise yourself. Foster this spirit in yourself. Don’t take easy outs when training. Challenge yourself, endure a wide range of weather, take a wide range of trainings, learn a broad range of weapons. Become dangerous. Become deadly. Develop the depth of a warrior.

Are you emotionally “deep”? Being a “shooter” isn’t being a “bad ass”, it’s being able to BE a bad ass if the situation calls for it. It’s being able to be violent, ruthless, vicious, tender, loving, kind . . . . It’s being able to love people in your life, being able to love people in general and to choose to be a ruthless killer if need be to defend those in your care. For me this seems to be a life long journey – to develop the emotional part of my soul. Become “deep” – it will serve you and those you love well.

Does your skill set run “deep”?  We all have favorite weapons. I have my Glock 17, my Springfield 1911, my Panther Arms AR – and I know them well, I shoot them well and I can maintain them. What if my “battle buddy” has an M&P, a Colt, a Sig, an H&K . . . . I’m working on it. Learn your craft – handguns, long guns, shotguns, knives, hands, knees, teeth . . . you will need to fight with what you have at hand. Fate can hand you terrible odds, slim weapons, horrible environments . . . . yet you CAN win. Develop the depth to make survival the likely outcome.

Can you keep your “head in the game”? Do you have the mental depth to remain focused, intent, functional when the whole world turns to shit? Do you push your limits? Put yourself in situations where your whole being tingles with “what the hell am I doin’????” kinda feeling? We will seldom be able to pick our battle fields or engagement time . . . . mental depth will save your life – period!

Close Quart Combat demands depth. Defensive encounters require a broad range of skills – physical and mental – to be the victor. It is a crucible that is an unflinchingly brutal and violent test of your depth as a warrior. There is no second place – only the living and the dead.

Work on being the one that lives . . . .


  1. Great post Sir, and I think one other thing is the ability to assess a situation real time and react accordingly. What are my options, where is cover, what is the backstop, do I need to protect anyone, can I access my weapon freely, and do all that in those milliseconds one is given. Thankfully, few are ever really put in that situation, and "I" personally believe it is almost impossible to really train to that on a range. You are already 'aware' of what you are there for, and already in the base mindset to shoot. To try to go from totally different mindset to GO mindset is what sets the warrior apart.

  2. Very true! Not sure how you can truly train the average civilian in a reality-based environment. There are good training centers, but the travel, the cost - it truly limits folks. I am putting some force-on-force work together for the spring, we'll see how it goes. As you say, greatfully, most will not be faced with that situation.