Once I take out the leader, which is you, I’ll have to contend with one or two enthusiastic wingmen. The last two guys, they always run. – Jack Reacher
Everybody has heard of the term grey man and keeping a non-descript signature as you go about your day. I used to be that guy that had numerous gun industry stickers on the back window of my car, a custom license plate, wore the t-shirts that pretty much said I carry guns and had the coolest pocket clip and lanyard on my folding knife. Yes, all those things are cool, but it can put you at a disadvantage when it comes to the element of surprise.
A year ago I attended a street fighting seminar taught by Jim West and hosted by the Crate Club. Jim West is one of those dudes that you do not want to fuck with. You would never think twice if you passed Jim walking the streets of NYC. He looks like a normal dude, wearing normal clothes and not giving any appearance of his true capabilities. If you think he is a soft target by his outward appearance, you have another thing coming. Be prepared for a painful beatdown.
A large part of being a grey man is not all the fancy low vis clothing, weapons and gear. It’s about your mindset. It’s how you assess your surroundings and plan your responses. Once you have assessed your surroundings you can run through a few quick mental rehearsals of how you would react to threats specific to your area. Being a Grey man requires you to be able to react quickly and turn the tables on the bad guy. During the street fighting seminar, Jim West covered a few key points during the lecture.
- There are no rules
- The outcome of the fight is determined within the first 13 seconds. That means you have 13 seconds to turn your defense into an offense.
- Strike hard and strike fast. In other words, the violence of action.
- Always keep constant forward pressure on the threat. Stay on the balls of your feet and drive forward until the threat is no longer a threat.
- There are no rules
The above key points require no fancy gear or weapons, just the mindset of living to see another day. Now there are tools of the trade that you can carry on your person to give you an edge in a violent situation without overtly looking like a warfighter walking down the street. Those items are a high lumen flashlight, a pen or some type of impact weapon, and a concealed blade. Depending on your area, there may be certain restrictions when it comes to knives. I’m not advocating to do anything illegal, but at the same time, you need to do what you need to do to make it home in one piece.
Part of this concept also involves a certain level of fitness. The stronger you are, the more confident you’ll be and that will go a long way if you find yourself in a confrontation. A great routine to help prepare for a confrontation is the Violent Nomad workout.
Although it pays to be the most dangerous man in the room, sometimes you have to take it outside.
*Photo courtesy of IMDb