The Guardian Broadcast

"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."

A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.


"The Windows Concept of Effective Self-Defense"


This week Pat will introduce another pivotal self-defense concept: the Windows Concept of Effective Self-Defense. Join us to learn how properly implement survival strategy if you ever find yourself in need of you self-defense skill set.

The Guardian BroadcastPatrick Kilchermann
00:00 / 01:04

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Hello and welcome to another guardian broadcast. I'm your host and also president and founder of this Concealed Carry University, Patrick Kilchermann.

This week, I've got something interesting for you.

I want to present to you a brand-new way to interpret self-defense situations – both in review, and most importantly, as they are happening. This is sort of like a new operating system for you to plug into your head, and any time you are witnessing or forced to participate in a violent encounter, with the right training and practice in place, this operating system will kick-in and help you to make better decisions faster, and will help you act more decisively and effectively.

I rate this broadcast as one of the most important that I’ve delivered in 2016, probably second in importance only to my Scales Analogy for Effective Self-Defense.

Before I dive in, I just want to say that, like the last several guardian broadcasts, this one relates to some of the highly valuable lessons that I've been deriving from force-on-force training incident analysis which I believe we all need to know, so if you've missed any of those last few, be sure to go back and check them out.

OK, this new concept that I want to give to you, I’m calling “The Windows Concept".

To begin with, let me paint for you the picture of what is happening, strategically and mathematically, during an encounter with somebody who is using force against you, either directly – as in, he's trying to kill you – or indirectly - as in, he's threatening you with force.


This is a three-step explanation, and I’m going to give it to you in reverse, as you’d experience it during an incident:

First, we know that this person wants control. He wants control of the situation. Why does he care about control? - Because he has a plan. He's trying to get you to go from Point A, where you are now, to Point B, which is the end of his plan. Point B is where he needs you, or what he needs you to do. He believes his plan will get you there.

Why does he have a plan? Because: he wants something from you. - OK, so he wants something from you, and to get it he's got to get you from wherever you are to wherever he wants you, and to do that he needs control.

To make this clearer, let me give you a couple of examples. And bear with me. You might already get this, but I’m speaking to thousands of people, and I need all of us to be on the same page. Plus, you may not understand this perfectly yet, so please consider these examples.

You are loading groceries into your SUV. A criminal wants your wallet, and he wants to be able to get away and spend your money on drugs. In order for that to happen, he has to get you to give you your wallet peacefully, without attracting a bunch of attention, and without taking note of which direction he runs to get back to his car. To do this, he needs control. He needs to be able to approach you from behind, to put his hand on your shoulder and tell you that if you make a sound or turn around you are dead, to let him grab your wallet out of your pocket, and for you to keep looking forward or else he will blow your head off. Then, he runs away, disappearing behind cars.

There are those three steps illustrated: goal, plan, and control. His goal is your wallet, a stealth approach is his plan, and a vicious threat is his means of controlling the situation.

You can apply this formula to any self-defense situation that you will ever encounter. For our final example, let’s consider a home invasion.

If the criminal knows where your valuables are and doesn't care what happens to you, if you live rurally and in fact his job will be easier if you are gone, your home may be blitzed and you may be shot at on site. Your valuables are the goal, murder is the plan, and blitz violence is his means of controlling the situation.

Now, if the criminal doesn't know where your valuables are, and he doesn't want murder on his eventual rap sheet, and if he doesn't want to attract a bunch of attention with the noise of gunshots, then you may be looking at yet another prolonged home invasion robbery-at-gunpoint situation that is becoming so common.


In this case, Point A in your attacker’s plan is, you wake up groggy with the vague notion that you heard something, and the sudden realization that somebody with a gun is in your bedroom. Point B in your attacker’s plan is to leave you and your family tied to chairs, incapacitated, while he drives off with a carload of valuables. If he gets to rape anybody in the process, perhaps for him that will be a bonus. If she starts screaming and the only way he can shut her up is by bashing her head into the floor again and again, and if that ends up killing her, well I guess he didn't really think that one through -- but whatever. That may be what's in his head.

In any case, you can see this three-step formula playing out in any situation: He has a goal, something he wants; He has a plan on how to get it; In order for that to work out, he needs control.

Now, because you enter the picture somewhere between Point A and Point B, we can look at this kind of situation as if your attacker is taking you on a journey. A journey from Point A to Point B. A car ride from hell, in which he’s in the driver’s seat, and he wants to stay there. You are strapped into the back seat, and he wants you to stay there.

Well, on this journey from Point A to Point B, whether that journey takes three seconds or three minutes or three hours – or three days for some unfortunate souls – your attacker is probably not going to do everything 100% correctly. He is probably not going to be able to keep 100% control the entire time on this journey from Point A to Point B.

Well this "Windows Concept" recognizes that every little moment in which the amount of control he is exerting over you drops below 100%, a metaphorical window is opening proportionally.

If a robber hears a noise behind him and glances quickly, he just opened a small window for a fraction of a second. If he bends over to pick up the wallet you just dropped, and his peripheral vision drops below your waistline, he just opened a pretty good sized window for 1 or 1.5 or 2 seconds.

Are you seeing what I mean with this Windows Concept?

Well, this concept also recognizes that as the victims in a self-defense situation, every time one of these windows opens, we are given a chance to act within that window. We are given the chance to do something OTHER THAN simply comply with the will of our attacker on this journey from Point A to Point B.


For example, if his eyes and gun are locked on you, and if you’re standing there in your pajamas knowing that even if you could escape he still has access to your family, then he essentially has 100% control over you. And so it is as if you are taking this journey, to wherever he wants, in a car that has its doors welded shut, and there is a gigantic bulletproof glass partition separating the back of the car where you are, from the front of the car where he is.. At that point, for you, there is no escape from the journey that he has you on. You are going to get to Point B, it is only a matter of time at that point.

However! If you unlock your safe and he bends down to see what's in there or to grab your stash of gold coins, once his eyes are off you and he’s bent over, suddenly it is as if the window next to you in that car just popped open, AND the glass partition separating the two of you just opened.

And within that open window, there exists a possibility for action that simply didn't exist two seconds ago.

What sort of action? Well, you have three choices.

Choice one is to CONTINUE COMPLYING, which you may do either because you’re frozen OR because you believe that compliance makes the most sense - in that it’s the best strategy to get him out of your house without you or your family being injured or brutalized or killed.

Choice two is to ESCAPE. You can try to jump out of the open window in this car metaphor, meaning you can bolt from the room, or even literally jumped out of the window to the room you are in. And if you are alone in your house on the ground floor, that may not be a bad idea.

Choice three is to ATTACK: to jump up toward the driver's seat. To try to gain the initiative. To try to gain the control of the steering wheel. To tear his arms and head off with your teeth and fingernails if that’s what it takes – to shred him apart - and then kick his body parts out the car door.

Those are the three options you’ve got when one of these windows presents itself.


So, do you see what we’ve done with this windows concept? We have essentially outlined fight, flight, or freeze – but not some instinctual ‘autopilot’ response; but instead the 3 rational choices we’re going to HAVE to choose from, when we find ourselves being threatened, and we realize: “oh boy. I’m on my own here.”


“I’m IN the car now. I’m strapped in. I have a good idea of what’s going to happen to me if I do nothing. SO, now what??”


Well, those are your three options.


But now we have to go further, because the windows concept also urges you to recognize that for every window of opportunity your aggressor or attacker gives you, these windows open to different degrees - and also that the length of time that these windows are open for varies from moment to moment. In other words, not all windows are created equal.

For example, a glance over the shoulder by the man holding you at knifepoint is not the same as your attacker bending down to pick up your wallet. Yes, a glance over his shoulder may take his vision completely off you and open the window for escaping or fighting just as much as him bending down. But in that moment, you've got to be able to use your head. You’ve got to have developed the ability to think clearly under stress and tactically within the context of violence. You've got to be able to recognize that it will take him one third of a second to spin his head back around, but while once he is bent down, it will take him a full 1.5 seconds to resume a fighting stance.

And so in these instances, the windows concept says: if you try to jump up front and grab control of the car when your attacker glances in the other direction, that window will not be open long enough for you to launch an effective attack. Before you’re even halfway out of your seat, that glass partition is going to zip shut full force, probably cutting you in half with it.


Do you see what I mean? If you choose the wrong window in which to go for your gun, you will die. If you choose to continue complying, you may die anyway once you reach Point B in his journey. So effective self-defense depends on being able to FORSEE that your attacker is about to cause a window to be opened, to RECOGNIZE these windows as they open, and to act quickly and decisively the moment they are open – either in fighting or escaping or continuing to comply; whichever is the most advantageous for you at that exact moment.

Most people who carry guns have never thought in these terms. And trust me: if you are not looking for and evaluating windows as they appear, you just might do something that gets yourself killed like this.

But if you are evaluating the windows as they appear, and if you have become educated and practiced enough TO evaluate these windows as they appear, then you may be wise enough to avoid making a tactical mistake in combat the way most people do.

And in a situation like that, you may say to yourself: "Easy boy. He heard the same clatter that I did, but I don't see anything over his shoulder, and so his head is going to be right back – yep, there he is looking at me again. Good thing I didn’t try to draw then. That's OK, I lowered my hands 6 inches while he was looking away and he doesn't know it. Boy, he does not seem in his right mind, I don’t like the way he’s waving that gun around or the way he’s eyeing my wife; “Hey Mr., here's my wallet" - toss - "okay he's bending down, I do not think he's gonna let me out of here alive now that I've seen his face," draw, top of the head, bam bam bam bam BAM!

This is the beauty of the windows concept. I know exactly what happens to people who aren’t aware of this concept, because I see it all the time in post-incident reviews and analysis and soon, through the Concealed Carry University, so will you. People who don't understand this Windows Concept make disastrous tactical mistakes, they exhibit poor judgment, they react slowly to situations unfolding before their eyes, and they are often injured or killed because of these horrible blunders.

Conversely, people who have educated themselves in this windows concept and who have practiced it - which any of us can do, I promise – are at a massive advantage.

- They exhibit superb reaction times even in old age, and they waste less time making critical decisions within a combat situation that need to be made in order to survive and win.
- The quality of the decisions they do make is far better, leaves them far more able to survive, and these decisions are far more justifiable later on in court
- These people do not hesitate once they know they've arrived at the correct decision, and they take fast, decisive action.

-In short, they succeed, they survive, and they win.

Plus, as with many things related to the concealed carry discipline, studying and practicing this Windows Concept is phenomenal mental exercise that keeps our brains healthy and sharp, and gives us big boosts in confidence – not only as gunfighters and survivors, but in life in general. Because to boost your ability to make quality decisions amps up your effectiveness and productivity in every other realm. Think: sports, business, driving, conversations, anything.

So how do you go further with this Windows Concept – how do you practice these awareness, observation, and decision-making skills? Well, this really is the question of the century for people like me who are trying to figure out a way to allow my students, from whatever walk of life they come from to become stellar and successful survivalists and gunfighters.

Now, I thought the most brilliant answer to passing on this knowledge was going to be force-on-force training. But the more I dive into it, the more I see that force on force training really is only a way to confirm the combat skill that you already have – it is simply too fast paced in order for you to learn any meaningful lessons within a situation.

Well, I have been working toward and pondering this for years, and now I believe I have come up with the answer. And this is something I’ve never seen anywhere else. But to hear that answer, you’ll have to wait for my big, big announcement that's going to come to you on January 10. Only to you at first, my faithful listeners of this Guardian Broadcast.

Until then, please continue to mull over this Windows Concept, what it means for self-defense situational survival, and what it can mean for you in your life.

Thank you so much. Good luck.