VI – Self-Defense

Self-Defense Tactical Driving Tips

Image of two hands on a car steering wheelSince the early 1960s the phrase “Drive Defensively” has been taught in driver education courses across America. It means the skill to drive a vehicle safely despite any conditions you encounter and the actions of others. In a typical defensive driving course, students learn crucial crash prevention techniques that include:

  • Scanning the roadway ahead and adapting accordingly to your surroundings
  • Expecting the unexpected
  • Being alert and distraction free
  • Employing the two-second rule for following distances
  • Knowing your vehicle’s stopping distance
  • Being aware of reaction distance
  • Looking through a turn to know what you’ll encounter
  • Preparing for environment hazards and vehicle emergencies
  • Driving with the commitment to be the safest driver on the road

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Simple Chart for Situational Awareness ]

Self-defense tactical driving takes the concept further, putting a motor behind the everyday proficiency of situational awareness. As always, distance is your self-defense friend. The greater the distance from a threat, the more time you have to avoid or prepare for it. Here are a few practical ways to defend yourself in your vehicle:

Ammo Price Trends: Cost Per Round Chart

Chart of ammunition prices per round by month
Source: Visualizing Ammo Cost Trends Across Nine Popular Calibers on The Firearm Blog.

Ammunition Search Engines:

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Checklist: Matters to Consider When Deciding on a Handgun ]



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Why 21 Feet Is Not a ‘Safe’ Distance

An article published on Police1.com reports research that confirms 21 feet is not necessarily the magic distance to successfully ward off every deadly threat and that more distance could be more apparently required. While this article contains useful information, it unfortunately includes mischaracterizations that need clarification.

First, it erroneously begins: The 21-foot rule has been a topic of conversation in law enforcement since the 1980s when Salt Lake City Police Department Lieutenant Dennis Tueller developed a training drill for his fellow officers. But it is NOT a “rule” and should never be considered a “rule.” It is a training drill intended to be used as a general standard in practice to hone defensive skills.

Second, it states: In this drill, an officer played the role of a suspect with an edged weapon who would charge another officer who was standing about 21 feet away with a holstered weapon. Properly understood, The Tueller Drill does NOT restrict the threat to only an edged weapon.

Appearing in the March 1983 issue of SWAT magazine, How Close Is Too Close? by Dennis Tueller is the original article credited with first establishing the importance of maintaining a “reactionary gap” in defensive force incidents. It begins with the very clear threat scenario description: The “good guy” with the gun against the “bad guy” with the knife (or machete, axe, club, tire-iron, etc.). You’ll notice police trainer Lt. Tueller did NOT limit the threat to only knives or other edged weapons; he included ANY striking weapon (“club, tire-iron, etc.”) used in a person’s hand that is capable of causing death or great bodily harm. The original article illustration itself shows the threat using a club, not a knife.

[ Read SemperVerus articles A Simple Chart for Situational Awareness ]

Despite the above errors, the current research concludes with helpful information for every defensive situation, whether police action or responsible civilian concealed carrier:

  • On average 21 feet is not a safe enough distance to be able to successfully draw and fire a gun at a charging suspect.
  • There is no officially standardized safe distance when encountering a threat. Use acute situational awareness to give yourself as much time as possible to properly react defensively.
  • Defensive movement decreases the chance of being struck by hand-held edged or impact weapons. It is important to train to create muscle memory for “getting off the X.”
  • When training with movement tactics, also work to increase shooting accuracy.

Also see, Drejka Analysis: When the Tueller Drill’s Corrupted by attorney Andrew Branca.



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Quiz: Test Your Firearms Knowledge

According to Daniel O’Kelly, director of the International Firearm Specialist Academy (IFSA), there are 393 million guns in private hands in the USA. In an article on Police1, he recommends that professionals should be able to accurately identify and classify firearms to ensure, among other matters, safety in handling them. He offers the following quiz. See how well you do.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The 4 Basic Rules of Gun Safety ]

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Directory of Firearm Podcasts & Video Channels ]

The IFSA is the first and only company to offer a simplified step-by-step online educational program that takes you from whatever your present firearms knowledge-level to become a safe, accurate, and competent specialist. Specialists are those who devote themselves to the pursuit of excellence and seek to be the best in handling firearms.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Self-Defense Training Directory ]



Invite SemperVerus® to present its 5 life-changing success-generating components—prepare, aware, be, know, do—to your organization to inspire and motivate your members.

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