Third Party Protection - Part 2

The objective for the second part of this article relating to Third Part Protection is to introduce the Combatives trainee to the principle of Intervention. This relates to entering an escalating verbal or physical confrontation in order to prevent an aggressive subject from harming someone you wish to protect. This principle takes advantage of using the element of surprise by attacking unannounced from a rear or flanked position. This could be to protect a significant other from an already escalating assault, or intervening to help someone you simply see in trouble.

Of course, the latter comes at some risk and must be a personal choice; the truth is you don't know who you may be dealing with, or the possible consequences of what may happen when you do. One example comes from personal experience as a young man on the street when I intervened to help a woman getting beaten by her boyfriend. Her response was to start hitting me with her shoe the second I pulled him off her; you never know! With that said, I had a similar incident during my door days where I was met with a very different and relieved response.

In this example I witness a very aggressive man pushing and shoving a man cowering in the corner...

Deciding to act I run in and Thai kick the man in the thigh from a flanked position, being sure to kick HARD off the momentum created by running in.

My follow up comes from vigorously grabbing his head/face (notice in this example the option to use the wall to maximise my effect) from here I simply control the head and take the subject down to the ground controlling his descent as I do so. This creates an option to control him on the ground with my knee and/or follow up as appropriate.

The objective now is to extract both of us from the situation and escape.

As mentioned in part one, the mindset required for me to protect me is simple enough; this is the instinct of Self-Preservation. But the mentality required for me to deal with an aggressive individual who actively seeks to hurt someone else who I decide to protect carries a very different potential consequence and therefore objective. With that said, to my mind it is simply a very natural choice to make if that person is someone significant in my life, such as a family member or my partner for example.

OK, the tactic is simple once the decision to act is made. Pre-empt with maximum commitment attacking out of surprise from a flanked or rear position. Tool choice is also simple - either run in and Thai kick the leg, or run in and blast the thigh out with a knee strike (low-line targets offer a good low level of force option, hence their use within Security and Law Enforcement).

Alternatively, just index the head explosively and take the subject back and down under control quickly and clinically. The head control is always the follow-up option regardless of the strike entry. Then pin to control the subject, or drop the knee hard enough to disrupt consciousness, then get gone!

Here we see the same situation with a change in role players; UC Instructor Jerome enters in this example with a hard double slap/grab my head which is incredibly disruptive and pattern interrupting...

Taking maximum advantage of the initiative created he takes my head back past the line of my shoulders, taking me off my feet and down to ground...

A solid knee drop sustains the disruption to my consciousness and allows Jerome to extract both of them from the situation.

As with all of our training, we put intervention into simulation - adding elements of role play, theme, dialogue and stress. For intervention, the situation may start as a verbal argument and progress to a physical assault where the person you are protecting is shoved into the wall or corner and forced cover up from a continuous punching assault (use boxing gloves & gum shield). Now you are forced to intervene during the 'fight dynamic', which of course is a more alive and moving struggle. Get your role-players to wear some thigh protection and maybe some light head gear for this.

In this final example, UC Instructor Jeff enters from a slight distance with a heavy knee strike to the outside of the subject's thigh...

Then he goes straight for the head index and takedown. Notice at NO point would you allow the subject's head to impact the ground - control the descent, then control his position on the ground; following up as appropriate according to the force to threat parallel. From here make your exit.

A good way to add stress to this is to make the outcome unpredictable. You could have the person you're protecting simply run to the exit without any help from you, or freeze up on the spot in shock so that you have to actively turn them and escort them out. Or you could simulate that the person is hurt or unconscious, and now you have to break mental state and attend to them whilst making a decision on what course of action to take.

One of my favourites is to have the person you've just protected suddenly go 'ape-shit' and attack the subject that you've just put on the ground. Now you have to control them and prevent their assault before getting you both to an exit. So there you have it - some training simulation ideas married to simple principles relating to Third Part Protection.

Remember a little pre-planning and mental rehearsal will play great dividends as a supplement to this kind of training and indeed to all other elements of your Self-Protection training...