The Guardian Broadcast
"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."
A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
"INTENSITY Series – What IS This Incredible Force?"
The human body is remarkably resilient in the short term - it takes an awful lot to shut violence off by attacking capability. So, the question is this: do we want to endure 90+ seconds of criminal will, or is there a way to turn the tables immediately?
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This week, I want to discuss: what is intensity? How do we measure it? And what does intensity do for a fight?
Okay: intensity is the measure of the ENERGY of an attack or counter-attack. So, INTENSITY is an ENERGY. And I like to use a HEAT model for explaining this energy, where I say an attack or counterattack can either be ice-cold, white-hot, or any temperature in between.
So an individual within the few seconds’ long combat scenario is either acting INTENSELY, with a lot of heat and energy, or he is acting with little intensity, with little heat and energy.
I’ll be explaining why, but my conclusion here is big and bold: That self-defense thought and preparation and action are perfected and made whole by the understanding, study, and practice of this fighting principle of INTENSITY.
Again, I’ll get back to why (and indeed, these three points, understanding-study-practice, are the entire goal of 3 SECONDS FROM NOW volume 2). But first, I want to make a very important distinction: LETHALITY and INTENSITY are two different things. They often do overlap, but they are two different things and so they don’t need to overlap at all.
If I’m sitting 400 yards away in the bushes wearing a ghillie suit, and I’ve got a locked and cocked rifle with the safety off and my crosshairs are on your temple, would you say that I’m a LETHAL threat to you? Absolutely. But are you going to turn and run away? Are you going to disengage from what you are doing? No way. Because you’re not even aware of the danger you’re in. The LETHALITY of your threat is off the charts. But the INTENSITY of your threat is so low that you’re not even aware of the danger you’re in. So you don’t run away.
In this example we can begin to see an operational definition for INTENSITY: INTENSITY, or the energy of an attack, is what informs your biology that you are in danger. INTENSITY is what makes your opponent run away – not lethality. Lethality shuts them off, but we know that with handguns and handgun bullets, this takes time. 30, 45, 60 seconds. If it takes us that long to defeat an attacker, there is no survival. You and your attacker and the people you were trying to protect will all die. That’s why INTENSITY is critical, because INTENSITY shuts fights down fast.
Here’s another example from the opposite end of the spectrum: we have threats that are not very lethal at all, but those who are EXTREMELY intense. Let’s say we’ve got a skinny inner-city kid from the other side of the tracks jumping around in front of your face, waving his arms around. He’s yelling so irately and loudly and shrilly that you can barely understand him. He’s everywhere at once. He keeps nearly hitting you in the face. He’s telling you he’s got a gun and to GET OFF HIS TURF. TURN AROUND AND GET OFF MY TURF MAN. JUST GO. GO. GET OUT OF HERE OR YOU’RE DEAD! Now, other intimidating-looking guys are coming out of buildings and turning to look at the commotion. Now he’s got no shirt on and his underwear are rising 4 inches above his waistband – he doesn’t appear to have a gun or knife and probably isn’t capable of killing you. His lethality is low. But: are you going to disregard him and continue walking around him? Or are you going to begin backing away? Are you going to turn and run away while warning other good people to follow you while you call the police?
Probably that last one, right? None of us want to get hurt. None of us want to ruin our clothes over some punk. None of us want to get mixed up with legal trouble or tick off this guy’s buddies to see what they are going to do if we push this kid aside. Realistically, most balanced people will just turn around and leave, and find a different way to get where they want to go.
But: why? Why would we turn away from someone who doesn’t appear to be much of a danger to us? Because, this kid is INTENSE. Because, INTENSITY is what makes us aware of danger. INTENSITY greatly, greatly amplifies any danger we face. This kid’s energy is through the roof. He is burning hot, and you don’t want to get burned. We are humans. We move AWAY from heat. We run out of burning buildings, and we disengage from and run away from people who are burning with intensity, when that intensity is directed toward us.
Do you see what I mean? We don’t run out of houses that are filling up with carbon monoxide, because we aren’t aware of the danger we’re in. We run out of houses when they are on FIRE. Hell, we run out of houses when other people yell “fire”, even if we haven’t seen it.
Well here’s my point: the same is true for criminals. We all share a common human nature, criminals included. And if we want to truly defend ourselves in the most effective way possible, we have to get good at deploying our deadly force in situations where it’s justified with BURNING INTENSITY, because it’s this intensity that will cause the attacker to disengage and run away. It’s this intensity that will cause us to shut down violence before any more bullets are sent in our direction. And that has to be our goal.
We’ve got testimony of cop-killing murderers who say they calmly approached an officer pointing a gun right at them, knowing the cop didn’t have the guts to use it. They pull the gun out of their hands, they turn it around, and use it against them. And we’ve got cop-killing murdering felons who wet their pants as they hug the pavement with tears in their eyes because ‘that cop was crazy! I thought I was dead!’ What’s the difference? INTENSITY. What’s the difference between a Barney Fife and a John Basilone or Cassius Clay? INTENSITY.
INTENSITY is what wins fights and shuts down violence, ladies and gentlemen. And you’ll see as we continue this discussion that not only have VERY few people who carry concealed even been made aware of what intensity is, but they have even been trained to fear it, and to train it out of their reactions and deployment of deadly force. They’ve been tricked into associated an energetic attack with something immoral or illegal or unhinged.
Nothing is further from the truth. The truth is that there is effective self-defense, and then there is the kind of defensive attempt we see on camera, this feet-planted ‘controlled-pair and scan’ mentality that gets good guys killed.
The truth is that deploying with INTENSITY is how fights are won and how lives are saved, and that we will feel very confident and able once we’ve mastered it. Learning to deploy your gun and use it with INTENSITY is shockingly easy. And it’s shockingly effective.
Next week, we’ll continue the discussion.