Threat focus may be detrimental to your health

This is a discussion on Threat focus may be detrimental to your health within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I did it again today. Iím working on the problem but apparently Iím not there yet. You may recall a while back when I posted ...

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Thread: Threat focus may be detrimental to your health

  1. #1
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    Threat focus may be detrimental to your health

    I did it again today. Iím working on the problem but apparently Iím not there yet. You may recall a while back when I posted about a run in with three Rotweilers. Well this morning on my walk, as I crested ďthatĒ hill, I heard a manís voice; that was enough to trigger my desire to train every chance I get, so I used this as an opportunity to train. Just about that same time I realized it may not be training but the real thing. Sure enough, this was the guy with the three Rotweilers, and due to the crest of the hill, I could only see him from the waist up. Although I couldnít see them, I could tell from his voice and actions one or more of his dogs were with him. We (Tangle and me) were about 50 yards from the threat and I stopped and watched. I saw him look at me and I stared at him; he and the dogs now have my full attention. I immediately established a tactical plan; it wasnít much, but I believe it would be effective. If the dogs come with in 50 feet, I draw to low ready. Then whatever the situation calls for.

    To make a long story short, the owner collected his dogs, which I never did see, which also meant they didnít see me. He took a glance every now and then in my direction as he crossed the street back to his driveway. I approached their driveway cautiously, using the full width of the street as a buffer and pieing the natural corners. They were gone.

    Thatís when it hit me Ė I was threat focused Ė again! At first glance one might think thatís exactly right, but it isnít. I was so focused on a known and obvious threat that I forgot about being aware of other threats that I was ignoring. I know better than that! For example, suppose one of the dogs had strayed away from the others and wound up flanking or worse, behind me.

    I consider this a blown tactical operation. Yeah, awareness prevented even a confrontation, but I was oblivious to the possibility of another threat(s) in a different direction. We all need to be aware when we identify a potential threat, even if weíre visualizing, that we arenít ignoring other possible threat areas. Naturally a known, visible threat has to be given a lot of attention, but we need to glance around a bit so we wonít be surprised by his buddy coming from a different direction.

    I learned this threat, perhaps we should call it over focus at Gunsite. They set me (well us) up good. It was so obvious what I should have done, but I was too focused on the obvious threat that I didn't see the other threat. You'd think I'd learn.

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  3. #2
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    This Tangle is easily done - and almost hard to avoid. Have done it.

    I think tho my solution was to train self to get into scan mode so that while there is a primary (potential) threat I also hype up perypheral vision and scan with eyes more than head. This does not quite cover the six but a small head turn can achieve that if needed.

    I guess I might call it my ''uncomfortable'' behavior - or maybe it is just condition orange. I am on edge and keyed up somewhat but not in any feeling of extremis. During this time the brain is computing a refresh every millisecond and that takes some concentration - which is I reckon the aspect that can make you forget the rest of the surroundings - thus my attempt to use scanning to good effect.

    Maybe the prime source of concern gets 90% attention but - have to find a means of 10% allocation for the scan.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    It's nice when you can learn a valuable lesson without something bad actually happening. Like P95 said, it's not hard to get "tunnel-vision."

    I also like the "scan" approach when I've detected a potential threat. I've also found that it's helpful if you remember to breath. I know it sounds obvious but it seems that many people unknowingly hold their breath when faced with a stressful, or potentially threatening situation. You still need to focus on the threat because that's where the danger is. Howver, don't forget to be aware of the other stuff in your environment.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

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    Man, are you guys ever right! Clearly you are on to something here with the scan idea. Now if I can just implement it!

    In a FOF simulator at Gunsite, I realized I was holding my breath some of the time. That's strange but a common response to stress. Another tendency we were cautioned about is getting into a crouch, i.e. the knees bent too much and the leg muscles fatigue rapidly, i.e. 5 minutes.

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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    Scan for threats, that is what my instructor hammered in to us when we certified for our CCW, and again when we re-certified for renewall. Easy to do on a open range when there is no actual threat present, but when one is... all you can hope for is that the training kicks in, stress levels and be a real killer... for real.

    BTY did you notice that you were missing a pant leg from the toy poodle that snuck up behind you.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon J
    ...BTY did you notice that you were missing a pant leg from the toy poodle that snuck up behind you.
    Exactly! I was wondering what happened to that pant leg. I can be glad it was a poodle, 'cause if it had been one of the dogs I was worried about, I fear my leg would have been missing along with the pant leg.

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    I consider this a blown tactical operation. Yeah, awareness prevented even a confrontation, but I was oblivious to the possibility of another threat(s) in a different direction.
    Tangle, try scanning before your focus locks on a target. From there you'll slip into "tunnell vision" it's happened to me before too.

    However, It sounds from what you discribed that you were 50 yards away and the owner was in control of the dogs. You weren't in any danger.

    A point I like to ask you about though. You mentioned that you never saw the dogs yet you know there were 3 of them. I think I know how you know this, just wondering if I'm right.

    Mike

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    Actually I don't know that there were three of them; there were three of them a week or two ago when they surrounded my dog and me.

    I looked at the distance again today - it was nowhere near 50 yards. Plus a dog could cover fifty yards in what - under 10 seconds? The reason I was so focused on them is because of the previous run in with them.

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    It could happen to anyone, and happens to everyone at some point. Even the best may forget to check their six in the heat of the moment. You're thinking about it, which is the important thing and 90% of the battle. I bet you don't forget to check next time.
    - Tom
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    To fend off tunnel vision, try taking a few breaths and blink rapidly. It will help you from too much focus on the obvious possible threat.

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    Member Array LPguy's Avatar
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    Tangle,

    I assumed you saw how many leashes he was holding.

    Mike

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    To train effectivley use something that hurts when you screw up.
    Paintballs or simunitions work well. Make the pain work for you...

    When do house clearing drills we are taught to ALWAYS scan and look back occasionally. I cant tell you how many times someone has been so focused on an obvious threat that they let somebody walk right up behind them and paint them.

    Same thing happens when training on traffic stops. You pull a known "felon" over and you are so intent on watching his every move and getting commands just right that often times another vehicle that pulls up behind you is ignored and someone gets out and paints you with simunitions.

    I went to a county fair a few years ago and ran to a major fight by gangbanger wannabees. Most of the deptuys were engaged and had it under control in a few minutes. While one was cuffing a prisoner on the ground, another one walked up to him and stood over him. I noticed him stick his hands in his pocket and ball up his fist. I walked up to him , got his hands out of his pocket ,proned him out and searched him. Turns out the punk had some OC spray and he intended on spraying the cop to get his friend loose. The Deputy that was engaged NEVER had a clue of what happended as he was focused on the task at hand. That could have been a bad scenario.

    It happens to everyone because no matter how good you are or think you are, none of us are perfect. It takes constant training to be aware of "tunnel vision" which is an automatic response when the adrenaline is flowing.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LPguy
    Tangle,

    I assumed you saw how many leashes he was holding.

    Mike
    That's the problem; he doesn't use leashes; the dogs are loose and completely unrestrained except for "voice control".

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