The Plan

Do you have a self defense plan?  If you’re walking with your spouse/significant other and you’re accosted, do you have a plan for what to do?  If you don’t, I’ll share my plan with you.  It’s pretty simple, and easily adapted to multiple situations.  One caveat is that this particular plan assumes I’m with my wife and not out by myself.

  • Option 1: we both run away like little girls and call 911 from a safe place.

This is my favorite option.  “You always win the fight that never happens”.  But what if running away isn’t an option?  What if there are multiple attackers and one of them is blocking your retreat?

  • Option 2: Disable the guy that’s blocking our retreat, then run away like little girls and call 911 from a safe place.

Any time the situation turns to violence, we’ve reached “undesireable options”.  However, sometimes violence is inescapable, so it’s best to have a plan on when and how you plan on resorting to force.  Of course, sometimes you can’t retreat at all, which leaves us to option 3.

  • Option 3: My wife runs, I buy time.

Needless to say, that’s probably our least favorite option, because it doesn’t leave a whole lot of positive opportunities.

The point of all of this though isn’t so much to talk about my plan though, as it is to help people realize that “having a plan” doesn’t necessarily mean having a detailed, written out “I’ll do X, Y, and Z in the event of a deadly assault’.  In fact, I personally prefer to keep my plan a bit more fluid specifically because a dynamic threat is just that – dynamic.  Just as no two assaults are the same, your plan needs to be flexible enough to adapt to a situation that may not be exactly what you thought would happen.

If you’re even in a situation where you need to use your concealed firearm, your day has taken a pretty statistically unlikely turn – better to have some kind of a plan than nothing.


  1. I thought about this after coming dangerously close to trouble when my then-girlfriend and I were accosted by a Hummer full of dudes. The solution at the time was to just keep walking and politely decline their “offers” to have her ride with them, but that’s not always going to work. We were oblivious at the time, but we were walking down regular street in New Orleans after Katrina had hit and there were no open stores for about a block in either direction, and given that they had a car running wasn’t a real option.

    What I finally decided was that bluffing/toughing it out was the best option, but if I wanted her to run it might be good to have a code word. My solution was that if we’re, say, mugged, then if I say “okay, okay” she should stay where she is and if I say “fine, fine” she should run. Not a perfect solution, but that’s my two cents.

  2. My wife and I have small children, so we have had to adapt our action plans to that. Our basic plan is very similar to Caleb’s, with the understanding that the small children don’t run very fast. I trust her to know when to take cover with them and when to flee, based on what’s happening at the moment.

    In a situation where there’s a specific threat but things haven’t gotten violent, we use a few phrases to communicate intent. “Go on, I’ll catch up,” or even just “Go!” tells her that she should take the children and leave while I delay or otherwise deal with the threat. “Hold up,” means that she should stay close or stay where she is. We also have a couple of code words that we use that mean basically, “Condition Red” and “Condition Black”.

  3. Before you go out, take a look at her footwear. CAN she run in it? Can she kick? I look at what women wear outside the house, and just shake my head. So many wear clothing and shoes that severely inhibit movement and moving fast. Especially flip-flops. Those have to be the stupidest thing I ever see a female wearing.
    I wonder if BG’s look at shoes as part of their assessment of potential victims.

  4. +1 Will I had a HUGE post up this summer about that fucked up trend of people deciding to wander around an urban environment in flip-flops

    I gotta say overall I see it as most defensive scenarios with Asthmatic me, and my wife who is also not an athlete will be essentially “Hey let’s get out of here it looks hairy” because once I’m in a spot to call 911, I suspect my attackers will be MUCH faster runners than the pair of us, which essentially means I just turned my back on a known threat.

    We should talk about her getting behind me and having her keep an eye on my back lest thugsley’s buddy attempts to flank us.

  5. I prefer a casual trot while shooting over my left shoulder, sideways. With my Glock.

    Gets their heads-down, and earns much respec for style.

    (Bystanders don’t like it so much, but eh.)

  6. Years back, when our children were young, we decided that one of our options was that my husband could run away with a toddler tucked under each arm while I covered our family retreat — because he could run as fast *with* the kids in tow as I could run *without* the kids in tow, and because I was the better shot anyway.

    I don’t know many men who have enough confidence in their own manhood to rationally consider such an option, but I’m glad I’m married to one of them. 🙂

  7. This is what I like about having a wife who trains in martial arts with me. I almost pitty the lone attacker who confronted us sans kids. We do have a plan and it doesn’t end well for the bad guy; his statement to the police will probably start with “I was talkin with this dude and out of nowhere some girl kicked my ass.”

    Seriously fight or flight isn’t a complete plan. How will you run? How will you disable or delay your attacker? How will you regroup with your wife if she runs and you stay? Answering those questions will be the start of a plan.

    1. If forced to use deadly force, my plan is pretty simple: shoot the guy until he stops working or my gun stops working. I’ll worry about everything else after that.

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