Considering Strategy and the creation of such a thing

Considering Strategy and the creation of such a thing

This is a discussion on Considering Strategy and the creation of such a thing within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A brief, rambling thought to start with, which may or may not be expanded on later (which is the way my mind works sometimes, sorry): ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CR Williams's Avatar
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    Considering Strategy and the creation of such a thing

    A brief, rambling thought to start with, which may or may not be expanded on later (which is the way my mind works sometimes, sorry):

    We acknowledge that a fight cannot be predicted in detail, which doesn't keep us from not only working up strategies about it but also from having the need to work up strategies about it.

    Same thing with assumptions. It would be best if we could all free-form our way through, given that we don't know exactly how things will develop in detail in any individual fight. I don't think we can, though. I don't think humans are built to be able to free-form that way. We can't help but make some assumptions about how anything, fight or other event or interaction, will take place.

    Given the nature of our need for assuming things, the best it seems we can do is to 1) limit assumptions in number and scope as much as we can and 2) try to insert or have at hand ways to deal with assumptions that are not correct at the time.

    Using reported averages or common characteristics of events in our strategizing can be useful and make the process more efficient and potentially effective in application as long as we understand and account for the fact that averages are just that and something that happens commonly will not happen every single time even in very similar circumstances. A bit of worst-case thinking, then, seems recommended.

    We don't explicitly develop decision trees and if/then charts and matrixes and the like when we think about this. Well, I suppose some actually do but most of us don't. It may help to understand that whatever we're doing consciously when thinking about strategy (and tactics, for that matter) we're subconsciously building a bunch of if/then decision trees that will be acted on. Which also means that you don't have to make it an explicit exercise. It may help to understand that this is what we're doing, though.

    The last thought also applies to the 'it depends' answer. Those that are most flexible have 1) a larger number of decision trees they can go through and 2) the ability, experience, and training to process their way through those trees far more quickly than someone at a lower level of development.

    Final thought: Training, practice, mental preparation, thinking like we go through on this and other forums are all ways to increase your ability to make lots of decision trees and to go through them so fast that somebody else thinks you're really free-forming your way through the event.

    I will let this run around some in the back of my brain now. (Thinking this will end up in a book chapter down the road--always try to throw in a bit of intellectual-looking stuff in each one. Makes me look smarter, you know?) Ya'll go ahead and ignore it, digest it, build on it, or take it apart as you will.
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    Senior Member Array Dave909's Avatar
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    Here's what I think about strategy and plans, have them. Go through a "what if" in your head and prepare for it. You'll never be prepared for everything no matter what you plan out, stock up on, etc. However, the weak spot of people is not lack of preparation so much as it is lack of situational awareness. Nobody pays attention to their surroundings anymore it seems. I don't care if you've got an AK pistol under your coat and an M60 in a truck filled with fire starters, first aid kits and enough food to last you a month. If you don't see the 3 guys stalking and coming up behind you in the parking lot because you had your face in your smartphone, you're probably not winning the encounter.
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    VIP Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    I find myself using decision "bushes" more than decision trees.

    It gives me a lot more options. The caveat is that it is totally confusing most of the time.

    Seriously, I use the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop for most things that I encounter. Sometimes it works well and other times not so much, but it seems to be the best method for me.

    However, as they say "Experience is the best teacher."
    AzQkr, OldChap and Dave909 like this.
    "Life is tough but it's really tough if you are stupid"

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    OODA and if/then are pretty much the determinants of how I live my life, be it in a parking lot, a training session with my dog, or in dealing with a deranged family member.
    Dave909, AzQkr, Hodad and 1 others like this.
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    Strategy is trained and used in team work, I see no difference in one man/woman strategizing [ sp ] and training for various potential scnearios.

    A strategy could be just mental preparation and formulating contingency plans based on known variables.
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    Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones. - Donald Rumsfeld
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    Distinguished Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimaCharlie View Post
    Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones. - Donald Rumsfeld
    I worked for a general that put it more succinctly:

    "It's not the things we "know" or "don't know" that get us killed, it's the things we "know" that prove to be wrong".

    Chuck
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    VIP Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    unknown, unknowns. Hmmmmmm

    Wasn't that the major concept behind Obama Care?
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    Distinguished Member Array Gaius's Avatar
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    I have a slightly different take on this. I go by the following: the situation determines the strategy, the strategy determines the tactics, the tactics determine the technique, and the technique determines nothing. I have seen other instructors stress only techniques, as if they can force the situation into fitting the technique. I am much happier talking about more general strategies to use in various potential situations than a constant and relentless emphasis on techniques. Don't get me wrong. Techniques are of course important. just see where they fit in the grand scheme of the engagement.
    Best way to win a gun fight? "That's easy, don't show up." --Wyatt Earp

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Too much thinking and dithering going on. Decision trees, graphics and catchy terms like OODA are just meant to be guides, not analyzed or dithered over.
    Hell, just get to the place you have confidence in your ability, know your limitations and do something when it's go time, or have enough sense to know when it's not.
    " Blessed is that man, who when facing death, thinks only of his front sight"
    -Jeff Cooper

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    Senior Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    My favorite philosopher is Tuco, the character played by actor Eli Wallach in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." When faced with such a dilemma in the bath tub, he said,

    "If you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."

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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I'm one who watches averages, and likely things that might harm me. but you have to be open to that guy that for no reason known to you is just killing old white guys! DR

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    VIP Member Array JDavisArk's Avatar
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    I've always considered not overthinking things to be my best strategy. I also rely on instincts more than the decision making process. Processes are time killers, shortcuts save time. I also like surprises and work well under pressure. My situational awareness is so top notch that sometimes it freaks other people out. I can hear a field mouse eating bird seed 50 feet way. The USMC instilled in me the will to kill. That never goes away. While it might be good mind exercise to mull over scenarios or walk through fire drills, I'd much rather spend time working the trigger, tightening shot groups, and movement and engagement. Maybe I'm more for the simple thought process and more physical action wins the game. Granted one has to have both, but plenty of times the thought process involves delays and confusion. If the tree is going to fall on me, I won't even be thinking about branches.
    That's just me though.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Mindset
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    In that order...
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    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    VIP Member Array Fizban's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave909 View Post
    Here's what I think about strategy and plans, have them. Go through a "what if" in your head and prepare for it. You'll never be prepared for everything no matter what you plan out, stock up on, etc. However, the weak spot of people is not lack of preparation so much as it is lack of situational awareness. Nobody pays attention to their surroundings anymore it seems. I don't care if you've got an AK pistol under your coat and an M60 in a truck filled with fire starters, first aid kits and enough food to last you a month. If you don't see the 3 guys stalking and coming up behind you in the parking lot because you had your face in your smartphone, you're probably not winning the encounter.

    Brother.. you may think you have a handle on what is going on in your "situation" but unless you have the luxury half a dozen people helping you assess what is going on from many different vantage points... you don't have a snowballs chance at achieving situational awareness. You can pay attention and if you are lucky you may have a grasp on what is going on at 90 feet @ 180 degrees and at eye level but that is not hardly your "situation". Situational Awareness is one of the most over used and misused terms.. second only to "tactical".

    Most of us will pay attention and hope that it will be enough. That's my plan.
    glockman10mm likes this.
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