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  • Writer's pictureBrad Parker

The Only Fight We Can Win

Updated: May 9, 2023

The only fight we can win is the fight we avoid.
Avoid going stupid places with stupid people doing stupid things.

It's a catch phrase in the defensive tactics community, "The only fight we can win is the one we avoid."

It's a totally valid concept. We need to be trained and conditioned to fight. But we need to do everything possible to avoid the fight. In today's lawless society we run the risk of being overwhelmed with multiple armed opponents.

We have to ask ourselves: Is my ego threatening to put me in positions that my body can't get me out of?

In today's litigious society we also run the risk of being sued into oblivion. Again, is our ego putting us in the position of financial ruin?

The legendary trainer John Farnham puts it this way:

The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.

Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.

“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”
John Farnham

That says it all right here. We want to have superior skills, but we never want to be put in the position where we have to use those skills.

This doesn't mean we aren't going to abandon our efforts to train like our life depends on it.

We must continue to pursue deliberate practice to become better able to overcome the criminal elements more and more people are being subjected to.

Be smart. Be strategic. Be prepared.


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