Lately, it seems like every week, there is another horrific mass shooting or school shooting. The recent killing spree in Santa Monica is the latest to be in the news. These events inevitably cause us to wonder, “what if it happened in my school, my office, my theater? What kind of defense does my school have?” They inevitably spark debate over issues such as firearm legislation, arming teachers, mental health funding, violent video games…the list goes on. While the voters and lobbyists, and politicians argue over the cause and where to place blame for mass shootings and school shootings, in the meantime, citizens must deal with these types of threats as best we can. If someone is truly willing to trade his life for another’s, it can be incredibly difficult to stop him, especially when the victim or victims are chosen at random, but what can make a huge difference to the scope of the tragedy is to have a plan, to prepare and practice for possible situations as best as we can so that in an emergency we react in ways that save as many lives as possible. This is true not just for mass shootings or school shootings, but for many other types of emergencies as well. There is no substitute for preparation and training.
The importance of not only having a plan for a mass shooting or school shootings but also practicing that plan is beginning to resonate with school districts, and many workplaces are also taking measures to deal with threats such as terrorist attacks and active-shooters. Schools across the nation are taking a proactive approach in preparing for an active-shooter situation; locally, in the Daily Breeze newspaper (serving the Los Angeles South Bay– Torrance, Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo) this weekend there was an article about what our schools are doing. In addition to earthquake and fire drills, teachers, staff, and eventually students will be involved in drills that deal with the possibility of an “intruder on campus.” Parents and communities are bound to have mixed feelings on these school shooting drills, but having a plan and practicing the execution of that plan is critical to success in any survival situation. While Elite Training Center’s Krav Maga advanced level program instructs students in gun disarms and knife disarms, and Master’s Path students begin to learn disarms of long weapons such as assault rifles and shotguns, an actual disarm of an intruder should only be a part of a self defense plan for an active-shooter. Many other variables remain: Which people attempt the disarm if that’s the plan? Are any personnel armed? Who moves the students, or do they go into a lockdown mode? Where do they go, and by what route (and what are the backup routes)? What if there are two shooters? These are only some of the necessary considerations. Through planning and practice more and more of these considerations will be accounted for.
The good news is that while mass shootings and school shootings are highly publicized, your chances of being involved in one are extremely rare. However, the time you spend preparing for this type of shooting situation is not wasted, as the practice for evacuation, keeping calm and orderly, having assigned responsibilities, routes, safe places, a buddy system, or whatever system you implement, will be useful in other emergencies such as earthquakes, fire, lockdowns, etc. At Elite we believe strongly in preparedness and practice, training techniques under different circumstances, under stress, with cumbersome equipment or street clothes, and with the occasional unexpected “wrench” being thrown in the gears. It’s our philosophy, especially with regards to our Krav Maga program, that martial arts training under different conditions better prepares you for real life self-defense situations, where the unexpected is inevitable. Having a plan, and (just as importantly) practicing that plan is a vital component to yours and your loved ones’ safety, whether it be on a personal level or on a larger scale, such as at a school (for a school shooting) or workplace.
Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277