Threat Identification and Conflict Avoidance


Training to defend oneself against death or bodily harm from someone who would do such, is a responsibility that must not be taken lightly. It requires a sense of self-dedication that is often misunderstood by most, but nonetheless, is very important in our struggle for survival. As humans we are hardwired with the instinct to survive and refusing to explore the means by which to do so, can be a form of delayed suicide. After all, we are responsible for our own actions and often times the lack thereof.

Two areas of training that are often overlooked when we train for self-defense are, Threat Identification and Conflict Avoidance. It seems that most people today have this preconceived notion of guaranteed success in a fight, just because they have had the basic defensive pistol course; or maybe they have attended a four-hour defensive tactics seminar. And let’s not forget about a few less than adequately trained firearms owners, who receive their freshly printed CCW Permit and proudly holsters up with a renewed sense of confidence, and a “Go ahead, Make my day” attitude. I’m not saying there’s any law-abiding citizen that is less deserving of the right to carry than the next. What I am saying is, if you feel you’re responsible enough to carry a firearm for defense, then you are obligated to be responsible enough to seek proper training. Don’t be fooled into thinking that growing up hunting, being an avid recreational target shooter, or military service 20 years ago, means you’re ready. Firearms defense, marksmanship and survival tactics are perishable skills that require dedication in order to keep those skills at their peak levels. And training in all disciplines of self-defense, goes beyond a static range. In fact, it never ends. Training takes place everywhere we go and is part of everything we do.

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Photo credit to

The reality is, that most people are not prepared when danger comes knocking. They are all too often, targeted due to some display of vulnerability, which the assailant was able to pick up on. Maybe they were at the red light, checking their Facebook messages when the carjacker demanded their car. Maybe she was digging for her keys in her purse as she was walking to her car, when the person who was intent on harming her, decided to snatch her. Or maybe, the couple didn’t scan the parking lot before going to their car after leaving the restaurant after a night out for dinner, and failed to see the group of thugs waiting near their car. In essence, if the threat gets within “harms” distance, you weren’t at the level of situational preparedness that was necessary to call yourself prepared. Having a firearm on your side, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re prepared. It just means you are armed.

Whatever the reason, we have all had our moments when were less than ready to react to a threat. And more often than not, people put themselves at risk by not staying ahead of the curve by dedicating themselves to train for what we all hope will never come. Let’s look further into what I am saying when, I say training in regards to Threat Identification and Conflict Avoidance.

The definition of threat is; a person or thing that is likely to cause damage or danger. The definition of conflict is; a disagreement through which a party, or parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests, or concerns.

By staying in a constant heightened state of situational awareness, we enable ourselves to recognize a threat and how it conflicts with our needs to be free of danger. It goes without saying, that a group of men gathered around your car late at night, wearing clothing that makes it hard to identify them and being suspicious in their behavior, could be a possible threat. And a situation like this definitely holds the potential to become a conflict.

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Photo credit

So what do we do? We identify the threat and avoid the conflict. Go back into where you came from and call police and report what you’ve observed. Waiting for police to arrive or the group to disperse is a far better option than wandering into, or diving head first into a situation that could end in your life being taken in a violent manner or the life of a family member or friend being lost over something that could have been avoided. We can all imagine in our minds any situation in which we would feel threatened and we can equally imagine the worst case scenario for an outcome. Train your mind and body as much as your trigger finger and lessen your chances at becoming a victim. Commit yourself to maintaining awareness of your surroundings and looking for and acknowledging threats as they exist. Avoid them at all cost. As long as you can accept that training goes beyond the range, you have already begun taking a step in the right direction. In the event you have no means of egress, then stand your ground and keep the ball in your court by utilizing the skills you’ve trained so hard to develop. Go home alive!

BIO: As Owner and Director of Medical and Defensive training at Rogue Defensive Strategies, it is my responsibility to oversee and determine the feasibility of defensive firearms training for Civilians.  As a company it is our goal to provide our customers with the most current medical and defensive solutions to problems encountered in a Civilian self-defense. As a writer, it is my responsibility and goal to keep you informed.

– Cooper Allen


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