L3 – 9.4 Basics in Defensive Tactics

Basics in Defensive Tactics

Brute force vs. brute force generally goes in favor to the stronger person. With a size and weight advantage, you may be able to overcome an attack. If you are smaller than the aggressor, you should try to disrupt the balance of the aggressor. You can use the aggressor’s size against them through the proper use of movement.

You can deliver force in a way to stun the aggressor by knowing where to target. This can leave the aggressor temporarily unable to continue hostile acts. In the worst-case situation, you may decide to focus your force against a single limb or joint to counter incoming aggressive acts.


A. Interview Stance

You should use the interview stance whenever speaking with someone. This stance allows you to move to a combat-ready stance quickly, should you believe that an attack is imminent. Positioning for the interview stance (Figure 9.1) is as follows:

  • Stand at approximately a 45° angle, slightly off center of the person to whom you are speaking.
  • Keep your hands in front of you and above the waistline; do not interlace your fingers.
  • Place your feet comfortably, keeping them approximately shoulder-width apart.
  • Set your strong foot back slightly to protect your firearm.

Maintain a minimum distance of approximately 6.5 feet from the person to whom you are speaking. This distance will provide you with enough time to react to defend yourself, if necessary. For the purpose of this course, this distance will be referred to as the reactionary gap.

Remember that your body language sends a message. This stance is not aggressive, closed off, or unapproachable. It is simply used to allow you the best chance to respond quickly to protect yourself and others.

b.   Combat Ready Stance

Note: The combat-ready stance is also referred to as the defensive stance.

Once you detect aggression, immediately move into the combat-ready stance. The combat-ready stance allows you to counter any attack that you may encounter. Positioning for the combat-ready stance is as follows:

  • With your strong foot, take a small step to the rear and lower your center of gravity.
  • Put your arms out in front of you, just below eye level, with the elbows bent slightly.
  • Your hands should be open, with the palms facing downward and the fingers and thumb not spread out.
  • Your support hand should be slightly ahead of your strong hand.
  • Your feet should still be at least shoulder width apart, with your toes pointed toward the perceived threat.

c.    Tactical Movement

Once you assume the combat-ready stance, you may be required to move safely while maintaining it. Footwork and movement will provide angles that increase the probability for success of an officer. The point where an officer is standing has an imaginary X on it that an assailant is moving toward.

If movement is required, get off the X by following one of the legs of the X. Your movement should be in “diagonal” steps forward or back. This allows you to immediately move off the “subject’s attack line”. The angles taken create a change in the subject’s intent by adjusting to your new position. This creates a window for you to control the flow of the encounter.

When utilized properly, stances offer a security officer protection against an attacker. Always use the interview stance when speaking with someone. This enables you to move into a combat-ready stance, which allows you to counter attacks more readily. It also provides distance which gives you more time to react. Tactical movement can then be used to move forward, backward, and laterally.