Sure luck helps, but skill saves. Here are three underutilized, underdeveloped skills that can serve as a catalyst to disaster.
Telegraphing is showing your hand before you should. Winding up for a punch or grabbing at your gun is telegraphing your intentions. Sticking the muzzle of your weapon around a corner where the opposition could see it before you see them is also an example of telegraphing and many people unintentionally stick their elbows or legs out around a corner before they can even see around the corner. If you’re going to do those things, you need speed, surprise and the right technique. Speed and surprise are vital to winning and telegraphing, of course, is the opposite of surprise.
2. Action vs Reaction
Action is faster than reaction and this principle, by itself, is what puts the good guys (who operate defensively) at a disadvantage. Someone willing to hurt, maim or kill has already made up his mind to do so and, accordingly, knows when he’s going to attack thus giving him the advantage of surprise. The way to get ahead when it comes to mortal combat is to identify a threat rapidly and since we can’t read minds yet, we need to read body language. The Gift of Fear that can be developed or seems innate in some, helps us survive. Trusting your gut helps.
3. Tombstone Courage
Confidence is necessary under tactical situations but overconfidence can be a detriment to one’s health. Pride has a way of eroding your humility (particularly after being badly beaten or if things aren’t going your way) and if survival is in order, humility is a good thing.
There’s no doubt that aggressiveness helps warriors win battles, but there needs to be a place for safety and patience. There’s a time for retreat and egress and waiting for an enemy to make a move or leaving the gunfight all together may be the best tactical option. Thumbing one’s chest in false bravado will inevitably get people hurt. Be wise. Be safe. Stay alive.
Until next time, continue to hone your skills and keep adding to your tactical toolbox.