The Guardian Broadcast
"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."
A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
"Unity of Purpose and Action – Most Americans are Defeated Long Before the Fight"
We have all heard the endless talk of balance being the key to happiness, but what needs to be in balance? Pat discusses this critical and scarcely known or mentioned topic in this week's broadcast.
Listen using the audio player above OR read the text transcript of this podcast below.
Note: 100% accuracy on text transcription is not guaranteed.
PART 1: WE MUST IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
This week, I want to discuss ACTION: specifically, how to live in a unified way – in a congruent way so that everything we do has a purpose; or rather, so that everything we do is working toward the goals that we want: in life, for concealed carry, and within deadly combat.
What I talk about today in this broadcast will show us that how we think about a something in life will either assist or cripple our ability to prepare for that thing in life, and then how our preparation either assists or cripples our ability to take action in life in the areas that are important to us.
This affects our ability to be good at our jobs, to be good parents, to be good at practicing our faiths, to be good at saving for retirement, and in general: to be good at conducting life so that you can go to bed every night feeling satisfied with how the day went, and how you conducted yourself within that day. So that you can live your life every day in a way that would make you content if any day was your last day on this earth.
And for my direct purposes here: what I will speak about is the single greatest determining factor for whether we are effectively prepared for and will be able to act within violent combat with our handguns. Every minute of our curriculum is built on this foundation, and I’ve talked about this a lot - but never in the language I’ll use today.
The topic is the relationship in our lives between Philosophy, Strategy, and Tactics.
PART 2: WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?
I want you to be on the same page as me, here, because I’ve come to realize that most educators in this space have no grasp whatsoever on the relationship between strategy and tactics (much less the reality that their Philosophy drives all these things), and therefore many of them and their students never know their weaknesses, what they should be teaching or learning, or why they should be teaching or learning these things.
The result is a strangely compiled training course that randomly changes from one drill to another. The result is an instructor who can’t answer questions. The result is rigid, memory-based, recipe book sequences of gunfighting choreography, where you either do it correctly, or you don’t – along with the hope that you could recall this sequence when you’re attacked. The result is that the student never feels confident or ready, or has a false sense of confidence or readiness – either of which manifests as stress within concealed carry and defeat and death in a four-dimensional gunfight, because the result is a complete and total lock-up when things happen contrary to our rigid expectations developed in rigid, two-dimensional training.
The problem is not only related to concealed carry educators. In high level business strategy and high-level war strategy, I’ve been disappointed to constantly encounter what I see as a wasteland of deep understanding between these three forces of energy. Whether you read Von Clausewitz or Sun Tsu or Lee or Guderian or Grant, or the Wikipedia entries for these terms which is touted to be the sum of all human knowledge, it feels incomplete to me. I’m sure that in the case of these great men, more was forgotten than was ever written down – but that doesn’t help us very much.
So, let’s dismantle this. Let’s work to further what I’ve referred to as your intuitive understanding of violence, by backing way up, and discussing this relationship between Philosophy, Strategy, and Tactics as it relates to life in general.
PART 3: AN APPROPRIATE ORDERING
First, we must understand the hierarchal order of these three concepts and terms: This oversimplifies their interconnectedness, but Philosophy is at the top; Strategy is beneath Philosophy; Tactics are beneath Strategy. Philosophy drives strategy; Strategy drives tactics. So, it is also true that Philosophy also ultimately drives strategy.
Philosophy, Strategy and Tactics each answer, in different ways, the questions of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. While each of them touches on these questions at the micro levels, at the macro levels we can say that Philosophy drives the What and Why; Strategy drives the Where and When and Who; and Tactics drive the How.
For example: Tactics is How your hands touch the doorknob and how hard you plan to push the door open, and how fast you plan to breach the entryway, and how your body position will be upon entering, and how you’ll respond to what you may potentially encounter on the other side – so Tactics are the How; Strategy is what determined why you’re opening That particular door Right Now; Philosophy explains Why you’re doing What you’re doing.
As you can see, Tactics are nothing more than the manifestation of Philosophy. So when it comes to parenting or combat, life is not a blank slate, and our jobs are not to develop Strategies and Tactics to help make us good at these things. We can do this, but again: we’ll never act or feel congruent, because we’ll end up picking and choosing tactics that happened to work for some people in some situations, but tactics that don’t work when strung together. If we live life this way, we’ll never act as effectively as we could, because there’s no unifying force, or mission-statement if you will, to make sure all our various strategies and tactics are aligned toward our goal. Instead, some strategies and tactics will conflict with others, erasing or minimizing their effect. This is the mistake of most education and training outfits, and even most prestigious education and training institutions. For example, I heard a very wise man say that West Point is where you go to learn how to fight yesterday’s war. It doesn’t have to be this way – it is possible to develop an intuitive understanding so that strategy and tactics flow freely, but we tend to make it this way because of our rigidity.
PART 4: WE MUST BE RIGID IN OUR PHILOSOPHY; DYNAMIC IN STRATEGY AND TACTICS
It is important to understand that PHILOSOPHY is an objective cocktail of ideals and standards and goals and principles that exists outside within our minds. Our Philosophy is made up of things that we believe are true and hold dear – things that, often, nobody ever needs to tell us, we just know. For example, we can know that it’s wrong for someone to kill me to get my American Express card. We can know that the human life that didn’t provoke violence against it deserves to be protected, while the human life who is trying to kill the innocent one deserves to be effectively stopped. We can know that it’s better if our children grow up and want to be around us and want to bring the grandkids over on Sundays than to have them despise us and only come on the Holidays. We know these things, and there’s nothing that can happen outside our heads that will ever change these truths.
But this is not so with Strategy and Tactics, and this is where many trainers and institutions fail.
You see, Strategy is how we’re going to live out or execute our Philosophy: Strategy is our Philosophy made practical – it is the application of our Philosophy against the real and practical world around us. That means that effective strategy requires two things of us: good philosophy (which is a philosophy that’s grounded in Truth, one that isn’t at war against itself), and the ability to objectively recognize and evaluate reality: what resources are and aren’t relevant to living your philosophy, and what relevant resources you have available to you to live out your philosophy.
For example, let me be specific and apply this to a portion of what we do and teach here at Concealed Carry University.
Our philosophy, which we all share, begins with an understanding that human life is special, unique, and fragile. Some of us, myself included, speculate that all human life is equally special, unique, and fragile, but we all at least agree that these little lives each of us are living are special, unique, and fragile. Even though we didn’t ask to be born, here we are. Somehow, deep down we all know that this is it – we only get one. Cavemen drew their straw, ancient Egyptian slaves drew their straw, and we drew ours, and here we are. If we lose it, we’re done. Game over. Somehow, we all know this, and each animal seems to know this too, evident by their struggle for survival to their last breath. Even as the Cheetah’s jaw is locked on their throats, they fight on. So again, the “what” question here results in a philosophical belief that our human lives are special, unique, and fragile. What do we do with special, unique, and fragile things? We want to see them protected. Okay. That’s one part of the foundation of our self-defense Philosophy.
We each also share another important philosophical belief: the belief in universal human free will. We do not believe in fate, because if we carry a gun, we can’t believe in fate. We do not believe that God or anyone else is going to stop us or anyone else from doing something stupid. Sure, God might stop us –most people who believe in God believe God has an absolute power and knowledge over everything that happens; but clearly good people do very dumb things all the time. Clearly good people are destroyed by very bad people all the time. Now, please be patient here: I am not trying to get preachy, but instead I only want to lay out my Philosophy, because without this Philosophy I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t teach self-defense. So the bottom line is, I am a Christian. I recognize and follow Christian tradition beginning with the earliest Christians. None of these people believed in fate. None of them comforted themselves with the hope that any and every bad thing that happened to them was part of some greater, divine plan. Yes, they did believe that God works all things to the good for those who love Him, and the recognition that right and wrong exist certainly demands that every situation has a potentially BEST answer - but that’s where it stopped.
The earliest Christians knew that the very foundation of Christianity and Heaven and Hell depends totally on Free Will, because without it, Justice is impossible. The earliest Christians, and in fact the most prevalent Christian theology that I’m aware of, did and does not believe in fate or predestination. Instead, they believed that every man and woman is free to choose or to reject virtue and goodness and beauty and salvation. They can reject or accept. They can drive safely and live a long life or drive dangerously and die young. Or, they can drive safely, but have the misfortune to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and encounter someone who drives dangerously and get killed anyway. Personally, I don’t and can’t believe that this tragedy was part of a plan. If I believed it was – again – I wouldn’t bother carrying a gun or teaching self-defense. This is also why rational atheists gravitate toward prudent self-defense education, and I’m certainly glad that you’re here if that’s you – in spite of my personal religious choices, I hope you can see that my ‘natural law’ / ‘free will’ approach is perfectly aligned with your skeptical position.
Well, if WE can choose to do good or evil, and if we can turn on a dime, then so can the other guy. Right? So where does that leave us with our Philosophy:
We believe our lives are special and unique and fragile, AND we believe our lives should be protected, AND we believe that WE are responsible for doing the protecting.
Okay, that’s our philosophy as it relates to self-defense. Again, that’s WHAT we want to protect and WHY we want to protect it.
What about Strategy? Simple – remember that Strategy is Philosophy combined with Resources. The macro resource questions are Where?, When?, and Who?
Our Philosophy says our lives should be protected and that we are ultimately responsible for their safety. Reality, or Practicality demands that we answer: WHERE should our lives be protected? Well… everywhere! WHEN should our lives be protected? Well… all the time! And while we know that we are responsible for our lives, we also know that we can outsource personal protection while still remaining responsible and accountable for our lives, but when we ask WHO should protect our lives ALL THE TIME and EVERYWHERE, the wise person realizes that police can’t be everywhere all the time… personal security can’t be everywhere all the time… who is the only person present with our lives ALL THE TIME and EVERYWHERE we go? Obviously, the rhetorical answer here is ‘US’ – ‘WE are.’
Evaluating strategic resources against reality and the demand for personal protection has us ask ourselves many other questions: what tools do we have available to us all the time? Not rifles, not shotguns, but handguns. What about when carrying handguns is not an option? Well, then we need to continue down this strategic path and make sure we cover all our bases: we need to be able to defend our lives all the time and wherever we go, which means we need to be effective at defending ourselves with our hands and feet as well. And when we’re on the ground, or sitting, and on and on. You can see the value of this exercise. That’s Strategy – or at least it’s part of it, because I could go on with these questions for hours, as we iron out our perfect self-defense strategy as it relates to our shared Philosophy.
What about tactics?
Tactics are how we’ll live out or execute or employ our Philosophy: Tactics is our Strategy made tangible – it is the specific, granular, tactile and hands-on actions we take to enforce and inflict our Philosophy onto and into the world. Remember, it answers the question, How. So, if our strategy has us carrying a handgun 80% of the time, a knife 15% of the time, and nothing 5% of the time, then our tactics would be devoted to understanding HOW to employ these resources effectively and dynamically, in real-time, 4-dimensional space and time. And that brings me to the two lessons that I want you to come away from this Broadcast with:
First, while we MUST have rigid Philosophies from which we will never waver, we CANNOT have rigid strategies or tactics. The reason is, as we talked about, Philosophy depends only on Truth, which is objective, unchanging, and freely available to all those who seek it. Strategy, however, depends on the resources that we have available to us. And Tactics, of course, depend completely on the 4-dimentional situation and timeframe in which we are facing an actual threat.
So, we can’t know what Tactics are the best until we’re in a violent fight; we can only hope to be well-versed enough in Tactical understanding and a Tactical utilization of the resources we have available to us at a strategic level so that we have the mental and physical ability to bear those resources effectively within an effective timeframe. Conversely, if we ever find ourselves becoming rigid in our tactics or training, we must fight to break out of those bonds and get dynamic. Insist on training that first teaches you to masterfully operate your handgun without any conscious thought, and second, training that makes you think and act dynamically with that handgun in your hand.
The biggest lesson here is that we must recognize these relationships between Philosophy, Strategy, and Tactics. We can’t blindly go through life hoping that the random tactics we’ve chosen land us at the Philosophical goals we have. We can’t want good kids, but then beat them senseless every time they make a mistake. We must first form our Philosophies (I want good kids!), and then look to reality to discover what it takes to produce good kids.
Applied to self-defense, you must do what we’ve always done here at Concealed Carry University, but that which we’re especially doing in a very positive and dramatically unique way through our 3 SECONDS FROM NOW series: helping you to develop an intuitive understanding of how strategic resources and people act and react to real, 4-dimentional violence.
Once you have this, I am positive that you will find real liberation from feelings of both inadequacy and overconfidence, and I’m positive you’ll be in the best position of your life to become truly effective with your handgun.