The weekend before Valentine’s Day, The Complete Combatant hosts a class for couples that focus on teamwork and communication. I often joke with my wife that we are fire team Hill, but there really is some truth to this statement. If you are attacked, the chances that your loved one will be with you and in danger also, are a real concerns for many of us.
A common statement from spouses that are not as committed to the self defense lifestyle is “My significant other carriers so I don’t have to be prepared, they will protect me.” I know all of us want to be protectors, but what if your protector is injured, unconscious, or worse? There are many responsibilities in a violent encounter, moving to safety, first aid, getting help, and watching for other potential threats. They all have one thing in common, the need to communicate with each other in manner which is both efficient and effective. Couples face a greater challenge because their communication is intimate, convening not only information, but also emotion. As I like to say, words have meanings, but not always the same meaning to everyone.
High stress situations require streamline communication, which is simple and direct. During a movement exercise we were doing in class, one partner told the other to go to the door, well I have 6 doors in my gym, so they headed toward different doors. Right and left, front and back, are relative to the direction you are facing, so non-specific words can work poorly in team communication. Everyone in class quickly learned to use hand signals, words that they could understood clearly, and to ask for clarification if they did not understand what the other person was saying. Verbal skills, movement, defensive skills and weapon use need to be practice together. One of drills requires taking down a bad guy together, using high and low, or arms and legs, as areas of responsibilities they quickly began to dominate their opponent, disarm them, and pin them. One person would tell someone to call 911 or get help and the other would give clear commands to the bad guy. The act of taking charge, giving directions, breaks the freeze in individuals and groups.
Developing a plan in advance and learning how to communicate simply and effectively will benefit all of us in any situation. Get training in all areas of self defense, and be prepared to work together to survive any encounter.