Two Techniques That Can Save Your Life After an Attack Has Begun

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

An explosion automatic weapons fire a vehicle mowing down civilians Regardless of the type of attack, let’s talk about what to do now that you have found yourself right in the middle of it.

As I’ve said many times before, the first thing you need to do is MOVE. Do not freeze in place or drop to the ground — get to cover IMMEDIATELY.

Remember, there’s a difference between cover and concealment:

  • Cover not only hides you but it protects you from bullets, shrapnel, etc.
  • Concealment only hides you and won’t stop bullets from penetrating.

Basically, think of cover as a concrete wall and concealment as hiding behind a blanket.

OK, Now What?

Although heightened stress levels are a natural reaction to emergency situations, it is very important to manage these levels. If they elevate too rapidly, your body will quickly go from a ready-to-respond mode to a worthless state called “lockup.” The first technique I’m going to share with you today will help you avoid this paralysis.

Once you are out of the “kill zone” — and if you have the time — you can use this simple technique to help manage your stress level. In the SEAL teams, I often used it to maintain relative calm and keep my brain and body operating in any of the high-stress environments I found myself in.

It’s called COMBAT BREATHING. Here’s how it works: It’s simply a four-second inhalation followed by a four-second exhalation.

Breathe in, breathe out — and repeat.

This simple technique increases the oxygen levels in your brain, which…

  1. Allows you to think more clearly and have a greater sense of awareness
  1. Supplies your body with the much-needed fuel to react at peak performance.

This brings us to the second lifesaving technique, which I call THE RULE OF THREE.

I will never forget one of the first and best pieces of advice I got from Warrant Officer R. when I was in training. As he was yelling in my face, he drove home this very important point: “The worst decision is no decision. Now make a call!” This is absolutely true and essential in many life-threatening situations.

So again, once you have cleared the “kill zone” then — and only then — use the “rule of three” decision-making process to help you figure out what to do next.

Here’s what you do: Come up with exactly three possible options or courses of action. Look at the pros and cons of each option. Honestly weigh factors like…

  1. Risk (moving toward or away from the threat).
  1. Ability to accomplish (consider injuries incurred).
  1. Whether your plan is realistic.

This practice will help you give structure to your thinking process in extreme circumstances.

Then without debating or rethinking each of your options, make a call. Choose the one your gut tells you is the best. When life or death comes down to seconds, second-guessing yourself will be your death knell.

Instead, and most importantly, be confident in your decision and proceed. You can change or adjust later, but this survival decision is now your MISSION. You will accomplish it!

Be a survivor… not a statistic,

Cade Courtley

Cade Courtley

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