Survival Situation – Action Wins

Usually we take for granted what we see on TV, or other media. You can say “No i am always suspicious and do not believe all this” but most of us are forming our opinions unconsciously. So at the end, over the time we just have some opinions, and we are just sure about some situations and solutions, we believe some things just work like that because we saw it so often. Even if we are not experience that in real life, or even if we are not spending much time thinking about these things.

You see action movie and people just shoot each other no big deal.

As i say before, act of shooting is not so hard, actually it is pretty much easy, but decision to shoot someone is much harder, and great majority of people have problem with that decision in real life.


On one of the local meeting during our hard time people tried to organize some stuff like how to protect homes, set up some kind of neighborhood watch or something like that, most of the guys were armed with guns or any other kind of weapon, on the other side mostly all without previous experience with guns or weapon.

Guy who had a rifle was a taxi driver in normal times, he bought rifle few days before everything started, probably just gets know about basics with gun handling, but he was trying to look dangerous and relaxed in same time. In the middle of some kind of meeting and yelling he somehow gets in argue with another guy, who had a hunting knife on his belt.

Very soon argue was out of control and man took his knife out of the belt and start to approach guy with rifle. It was not something like jump or sudden attack, it was more like slow threatening walk with knife toward the man. Ex taxi driver had enough time to raise his rifle and simply shoot the guy with knife, but he did not, he got finished off, stabbed multiple times.

People just left the area and move on. Guy was left there, I guess relatives picked him up some time later. Body was gone the next day.

It was not about his speed or something like that, i guess he was just stuck with whole situation, he hesitated too much, he was not prepared for that threat, he was not ready, call it as you like. Now when you look in whole situation looks strange that guy did not just raise rifle and fired, but to do that you need first to cross over some things in your mind. That change takes time.

I have seen more situations like this one, sometimes just seconds counts, and your will to do things.

My ex coworker bleed to death because his wife freezed when heavy caliber bullets cut off his arm, even she had some kind of tourniquet and some bandages close to her, she did not use anything, she just screamed while blood was pouring all around him.

It is hard to get your mind in state when you not think too much, instead of just act accordingly, it is hard to do that especially in not normal times. Hard times can learn people to act like that, but it is hard school and lot of people just failed. Great majority of us is same like that taxi driver, only few of us like guy with knife.

This is not about becoming killer, or toughest man. It is about acting. Hopefully your SHTF situation will not be as violent as mine. But remember human act or freeze and freezing can happen to all of us. Prepare people around you to not freeze but act by practicing drills.

Yes there is reason why you do “boring” airplane and ship rescue drills. It teaches you to act and this might make difference between life and death.

61 responses to “Survival Situation – Action Wins”

  1. chris893 says:

    It started out as a meeting to protect the neighborhood and ended with one man killing another…
    Doing training and practicing drills under stress is good advice. I plan on attending a “dynamic handgun” class hosted by Magpul in the spring to do such drills.

    Thank you for sharing your story Selco.

  2. newprepr says:

    Another great article. Taxi guy must have thought argument would stop because they both on the same side. But really there are no sides when you need to take care of number one.

    I know a lot of guys who severed time in prison. Their mindset is different than someone who has never done time. People on the outside think the police and laws will protect them (maybe like taxi guy). prisoners just do what it takes to survive, inside and out of prison.

  3. DocB says:

    This is one of the best yet. For those trained and experienced in taking action during an emergency these things are taken more or less for granted; but for “normal people” it is a huge issue, and one that needs to be addressed long before the decision is made to become armed -or not.

    Know thyself first! I have a friend who is interested in guns in the abstract sense but she would be one of the worst people I can think of to be armed because she does not have the mindset to react quickly and answer violence with lethal force.

    For people like this other skills should be recognized and practiced, such as escape and evade, and non-lethal defense tools such as OC spray and so on.

    Selco, please keep these up, your perspective is priceless.

  4. ASD says:

    A very good wake up call on reality…

    Thank you

  5. Darin says:

    great article, and i can see me being the one who freezes. seems like you have to settle into the mindframe of the situation. iv been able to adapt to different situations but the tough one you speak of would be disturbing. in the case of incidents happening, and unexpected deaths, did folks take the information and log into a legal file? i imagine some did, most didnt, and in the end was there any inquiry to the deaths and other legal mis-haps? another question is did the government expect laws and by-laws to be upheld by the citizens? with no active agency you say there was complete shut down…i quess im asking if there were apperances from time to time of organized government? keep up the good job, i enjoy the subjects. feel free any time to drop me a line…

    • Selco says:

      It was complete breakdown there was no government and no rules. After the war there was little investigations of what happened. Nobody kept records.

  6. Shawn says:

    Just like buying a guitar and strumming it a few times doesn’t make you a musician…. buying a gun and shooting it at a range a few times doesn’t make you a tactical firearms expert – and to survive a lethal encounter you need to be a tactical firearms expert if you want to guarantee survival. Training with as many components that mimic stress and reality are the only way to prepare properly. SWAT and Military train until it becomes ingrained and you should too.
    High level training doesn’t have to be expensive – seek good training and then replicating that training using “Dry Practice”, (a safely unloaded weapon or a replica) will achieve fantastic results and keep you sharp for the time when you’ll need the skills to defend yourself.

  7. azurevirus says:

    Very good, thanks

  8. JoelE says:

    Many studies have been done on human psychological reactions during stress. The web search engines will identify these for you. In fact, there are new businesses since the 911 WTC event specializing in teaching individuals how to handle the most COMMON HUMAN REACTION to a severe life threatening event: INACTION or “Freezing”. It is actually equally common in other mammals. Witness the “freeze” of a rabbit trying to blend with the environment or the “deer in the headlight”.

    Fortunately it is not too difficult to “train” this reaction into one of action. While “freezing” is infrequently the correct course of action, it usually places your life in peril. It is the most common reaction in plane crashes, and is frequently the cause of many preventable deaths in those situations. Cabin attendants are now trained to YELL AND SCREAM at passengers to, “MOVE! MOVE! MOVE”, and the results of that are very encouraging. Many died in 911 for “freezing at their desks” instead of evacuating the building immediately. Of course, it did not help that the building authorities encouraged that reaction.

    Selco clearly is showing us we MUST include this mental preparation in our plans. Those with military, law enforcement, or trauma medicine training should have an edge on the average person. Do not neglect this.

  9. “It was not about his speed or something like that, i guess he was just stuck with whole situation, he hesitated too much, he was not prepared for that threat, he was not ready, call it as you like. Now when you look in whole situation looks strange that guy did not just raise rifle and fired, but to do that you need first to cross over some things in your mind. That change takes time.”

    The taxi driver failed to properly assess the danger. Obviously, he didn’t think there was a chance he would get stabbed. Would raising the rifle have prevented the attack? Who knows? Better to err on the side of keeping yourself alive.

    This situation begs a question: Why didn’t the other people at the meeting prevent this from happening? This should be highly instructive! Learn from the taxi driver’s mistake.

    • Tommy says:

      Just raising your rifle is NO BETTER than no action at all. Raise your rifle AND SHOOT is the only reaction in this situation. NEVER brandish a firearm to try to intimidate someone. If you need to point your gun at someone, then you need to shoot them.

      There is no such thing as firing a warning shot or shoot them in the leg. Many people have been killed by trying to be the “nice guy” in these events. When in fact it’s “kill or be killed” most times. Sad, but true…

    • Selco says:

      People minded their own business. It would have made no sense to get after the other guy and before it happened we did not know he will really stab the taxi guy. If taxi guy would have shot other guy would be the same reaction from our group.

  10. David says:

    Take the shot. I have often wondered about this myself. I consider myself a gentle and peaceful person. Yet I hunt, spearfish, and have to slaughter farm animals. You can prepare all you like.. in the end you must act.. take the shot.. rather than wait for a better moment.

    I have read that in WW2 the allies found that few soldiers in a group were effective shooters. Only a few.. “acted” effectively. I wonder which group I might be in. After a long time in action.. you might get to learn.. to “harden up”. But early on you might not act, and it might be fatal. I am trying to learn here.. that I may have to go from peaceful to warlike in an instant.. without a learning process. Most of us cannot go to weapons training schools or the like. So I will have to make the decision NOW. If the time comes I WILL ACT… and hope that this mental decision will serve me in the future.

    Funny.. I hate to watch violence on movies ..I refuse to watch most modern movies.

    • Selco says:

      Good that you think so critical about yourself. This is important. It helps to know that this can be a problem. Taxi driver guy was not a weak guy, he was kind of tough too but didn’t act.

  11. J says:

    One reason that several world militaires now use a trainer similar to a video game is to help condition a young person to the feeling of pulling the trigger and seeing a realistic reaction, not like a Hollywood movie. When you shoot someone, unless the kill is very quick, then the person will scream, cry, crawl, roll back and forth – it is very unnerving. I read once that in WWI, almost 25 per cent of troop casualties on all sides came when new, young recruits were faced with an enemy and could not bring themselves to squeeze the trigger and take the shot. Plus the adrenaline, the rush of hormones in that instant of kill or be killed. Some things you learn the hard way, and hopefully you live and share what you learned, as Selco does. I know one thing that I learned that no one ever prepared me for, many years ago… in close combat, if you are using a blade, a slashing or drawing cut may be more desirable than a hard thrust simply because if your blade has a very sharp point, and you slam it in very hard, it can quite easily become stuck in bone, or in a joint, and not pull out easily when you need it. And if the fellow who has your knife stuck in his arm or rib, is not incapacitated, he is going to be VERY pissed off at you!

    • Carl says:

      Absolutely correct on the slashing attack. I was fortunate to take a knife defense course a few years back and it sort of turned into a knife fighting course. Always slash, but if you intend to fight with knives, expect to get cut yourself.

  12. chuck says:

    I wrote this on my blog a long time ago because it’s hard in our everyday safe lives to practice immediate reaction to unexpected problems, the post was about something called “the bystander effect”, which explains why no one else stepped in and defused the situation before someone got killed.

    I called it. “The old lady is just a training aid ”

    Anytime you see someone struggling or needing some sort of help. Like. “old lady drops her loaf of bread at the store, or a woman trying to get a stroller through a door..” Simple, non dangerous everyday moments..

    Turn towards the problem.
    Always, always. Take immediate action. Don’t look to see if someone else will help. That someone is you and the time is right now. If it helps imagine R. Lee Ermy *gently* asking you if you are waiting for an invitation to get your ass moving.

    It’s not the act of helping the old lady, it’s the mental commitment to never hesitate. Imagine doing it now, then do it when you have the chance.

    If you do this every time you have a chance you will be surprised how quickly “immediate action” becomes part of your life. It doesn’t hurt that you also are a better person for it but all that goodwill is just a bonus..

    Just like every cat is a lion in their heart, Only you will know that you are really a hard core bad ass practicing immediate action drills for emergency situations.


    The old lady is just a training aid

    • Selco says:

      Smart practice, thanks for sharing.

    • JS says:

      Wow, Chuck. Great advice! Thanks for contributing.

    • DrDug says:

      Great advice chuck. I know I often hesiate when I see somoene who needs help and then before I have a chance to blink again, the situation has changed or passed. If we can condition ourselves for immediate action, hopefully that will carry forward when the SHTF.

    • Sam says:

      Thats perfect. And is almost exactly what my dad taught me many years ago by voice and by action. If you see someone that needs help. “Help immediately, dont hesitate just do.” He ALWAYS did and never watched. Ive tried to be the same. My family has seen me react immediately to a couple issues (car wrecks, people fall etc) and always asked how I react so quickly.

      I really didnt consider it a training aid until now. Its not even a thought I just do.

    • rob says:

      This is a very good idea, thank you. I do not have military experience but when I was young, I was a doorman in a few nightclubs and was in many, many fights. One night, I just froze. I do not know why, nothing special about the situation. The guy threatened me and I froze. He laughed at me. I just stared at him, super scared for some reason. He didn’t know what to do and left. I was lucky. Many years later, I mentioned that night to a friend with years of remarkable CQB experience and he said even the most experienced man can freeze but training can get you through it. Thank you for your great idea of fast action drills. BTW, when I think of those years, I always remember that night the most clearly.

      • Jay says:

        Thanks for sharing your story.

        What Chuck describes is what I call the “just do it mentality”. I started to make this part of my life after I got tired (and angry) that in some situations some people didn’t receive help from anyone. I thought about this and realized that even though I might not be the person next to the person who needs help but I can make a difference.

        I believe thinking too much instead of acting is a bad habit. The average survivor of 9/11 took 6 minutes to start moving towards safety… something to think about…

  13. indio007 says:

    Taxi driver has the problem most people have.
    Being the last person to know they are in a a fight.

    On the other hand, others at the meeting should have shot the knife wielding murderer dead.
    Those types can not be trusted. They are the first to sell out the group.

    • Selco says:

      The “group” was just few people from the area. Definitely not tight knit group, just meeting out of necessity to clarify this. So we didnt need to trust this guy.

  14. Ian says:

    Chuck….thanks for that great exercise tip. I am going to put that into practice.

  15. Robert says:

    Most of what is being discussed here is referred to as “The Normalcy Bias”. Here is a brief synopsis on it.

    Just like Indio007 said, being the last person to know that they are in a fight is never a good thing.

  16. Carol says:

    To all of you:

    I feel like I’ve come home. Selco and this site’s healthy dose of reality separates “the men (women included) from the boys.”
    Among other things, I teach self-defense. It is most difficult to get students to learn an impetus toward action when faced with danger.
    Even worse are those who have been attacked before in the same way, for instance in practicing strangulation or choking techniques and how to get out of them. I might hear, “I can’t do that! I might hurt them!” I yell back, “But they’re trying to kill you!”

    Congratulations on this new site. I’m looking forward to learning more and reading your comments.


  17. indio007 says:

    I’m curious what happened to people that where in jail or prison when the war broke out? Where they just left there to die?

    I also want to thank yuo for doing this blog. I live in a large city now but have also but I grew up in a more rural area.
    I’ve always been curious as to what the difference might be in a SHTF situation and you have described it well.Thanks for sharing your experience .

    Was there any moment or event that took place that , now looking back, you should have seen what was inevitably going to happen?

    Basically , if it happened again , would you see the signs that would let you get out before hand?

  18. Dean says:

    Was the killer after the rifle. or what happened to the rifle?

    Personal Note: I am learning a lot from the info shared here!!!!!!!!

    • Selco says:

      No it was just argument, nothing to do with rifle. We all left after it happened so no idea what happened with body or his rifle.

  19. warner says:

    This discussion is RICH.

    First, Rifle Guy could have at least hit Knife Guy with his rifle, butt-stroke or as a jab, like the “bo” or staff in martial arts. But, you have to have practiced that. The length of the rifle its self, as a stick, you can do some real damage. Oops I mean stopping the threat.

    Second, all y’all, look up a book titled “On Killing”, forget the author but just look that up, humans don’t instintively like to kill, it has to be taught. US Army methods taught the “first person shooter” mindset when the personal computer was an IMSAI 8080. If the book is $20, $30 it is cheap at the price.

    You will do what you know. As I read somewhere, “A tennis pro can probably defend himself capably with a tennis racket”.

    And, “when in doubt, charge!” isn’t as suicidal as it sounds.

    Lastly, I once saved an airplane from crashing. I had a vested interest, as my own skinny self was on it. I NEVER EVER EVER thought I’d be the one to save the day, er, plane. I thought of myself as the person who’d freeze up. Instead, it was my friend, the actual pilot. Yeah I saved the thing, and with a few hundred feet to spare. Once my friend stopped babbling about “buying the farm” I turned the controls over to him to land the thing. I actually had a couple of flashbacks later that day/night so I know about those, they are REAL. The point of all this blather is, you never know what kind of person you are until TSHTF. Some of you will be the kind who saves being scared for later.

    • Wills says:

      The author is Col. Dave Grossman and his work can be found at;

      You can read an excerpt from “On Combat” by him at;
      there is a major take-home-message here about the sheepdog mindset.

      All of the replys here show that most are aware of the need to build “muscle memory”
      to aid during crisis situations.
      Train hard, fight easy, is the military way or to put it another way, the more you sweat during training,
      the less you bleed during combat.
      Nearly everyone “freezes” to some extent the first time they are faced with a lethal threat
      but you can overcome this if you have trained well. Even highly trained, experienced
      people go on auto pilot and react instinctively during engagement. If you have practiced
      a particular drill over and over, then that is what you will do when lead is whizzing all
      around you. Likewise if someone is coming at you with a knife in their hand, if you have practiced
      aiming at his center mass and firing, you will drop him before he drops you.

      • Wills says:

        If you have practiced
        a particular drill over and over, then that is what you will do when lead is whizzing all
        around you.

        And this is exactly why your training has to be realistic.
        Do not just shoot at targets, vary the distance, the position you are shooting from,
        the light conditions.the speed you give yourself to reload, train with what you will carry,
        practice strong hand/weak hand shooting and reloading.

        The police and military 30 years ago taught trainees to keep their spent brass off the ground
        so most people just unloaded and put it in their pocket.
        I knew a police officer who died while putting his spent brass in his pocket during a real shootout.

        Some trainers even teach dropping your empty mags on the ground. I don’t recommend this
        because you may get the chance to reload them. If you are shooting and moving you don’t want to leave them behind.

        The point is train the way you will fight. Train hard fight easy.

  20. Conrad says:

    Selco, great article and I know exactly what you’re saying.

    I am a US Army veteran and was well trained as a infantryman and the one thing that was drummed into our young minds was to kill the enemy in a time of war. Kill him before he kills you.
    Send his corpse home to his loved ones. Live to fight and kill again and again. It’s kill or be killed. When you meet the enemy on the battlefield do not hesitate, hesitation will get you killed, kill him or he will send your corpse home to your family. There is nothing personal about it….It’s war. You were in a shtf zone and the same applied. Do not shoot to wound, shoot to kill or he may kill you in the end. If tshtf here I will remember this training because it is embedded in my mind and will never be forgotten. I will kill anyone who tries to kill or hurt me or my family, no remorse. I have never had to kill anyone in war but the knife guy would have been dead before he took two steps.

    • JS says:

      Just a quick note…Thanks for serving, Conrad. Many of us appreciate the sacrifice. This is to all military here on the board.

      Selco, another big thanks for passing on such important information to us. It is appreciated and beyond helpful. Please keep the posts coming.

  21. brad says:

    Most of us agree that taxi man coulda, shoulda, woulda, shot knife boy. Circumstances were such that no one would have said a word. But what if those circumstance happened the day before that? or a week or month before that. When is it ok? Once you put the bullet in knife boy there are no take backs.

    Which brings up another question:

    I would bet most of us are fine with domestic terrorists shooting LEO’s… as long as it was at Lexington & Concord a few hundred years ago. When is it the same and who says go? When do you plumb the depths of the phrase “Give me liberty or give me death”?

    I have no answers and don’t really expect any. Either way I’m old enough that I’ll be dead before any of it is resolved.

    • Wills says:

      Brad, this a very good question. Its all situational isn’t it? And, who can say what hindsight will show?
      I read a very good article that poses this same question and it may shed some light?

      Remember; history is always written by the winner of a conflict.

    • DEF says:

      Interesting comment you make about WHEN citizens should take action; when do we make the choice between liberty and death. I think for the purposes of this site there are two answers.

      1. When the SHTF, the structure of society crumbles and you need to protect yourself / provide for yourself or those under your care. That’s the obvious answer.

      2. That wasn’t the case in the mid 1700s, though. In that instance it wasn’t left to each individual to determine when or if there was to be revolt against the English crown. There were governments established and elected by the colonies that sent their grievances to the English monarchy and demonstrated against political oppression. Finally the governments of the colonies agreed, for the most part, to rebel against the Crown. They sent a formal declaration of their intentions to be free of British rule and prepared to fight for the right to govern themselves. The American Revolution, although fought by the ‘citizen soldier’ wasn’t declared by the individual citizen. The analogy today would be States that decide that they can no longer support the actions of a Federal government and move to separate themselves from being subject to regulations imposed by the Federal government.

      I think that is where you were headed in your post.


  22. Kevin says:

    Fantastic discussion. The insight that is being shared by like minded people is encouraging to see.It truely does warm the cockles of my heart I hate beating a dead horse but being mentally prepared is more important food and water as far as I’m concernd. Thank you Selco for putting this out there.

  23. When the time comes that you need to shoot, you probably won’t have time to think. You will have to react. Taking time to decide whether this threat is real will get you killed. Practicing with your weapon is important, because when the time comes to use it, that part should be automatic. “Situational awareness” becomes critical. You need to identify potential threats ahead of time. When the threat becomes real, it’s too late to wonder if “this is it.” By that time you need to be reacting, and you need to have enough skill with your weapon that you don’t have to think about using it properly.

  24. Ordinary Joe says:

    The issue is not freezing. Do you actually freeze? It is indecision that keeps you from taking action. Should I shoot, should I run? Which should I do? What is the best for me? These are the questions that are filling your mind and it keeps you from acting.

    Many people feel it is stupid or silly to play the what if game. Let me tell you from experience if you are not asking yourself to make decisions to potential harmful situations, you will never be able to react. If you ever say,”That will never happen or happen to me” then your are lost. It can and will happen to you. You had best be prepared to react.

    • Wills says:

      Yes, in this case taxi man did actually “freeze” . Someone removed his body and after he was put in a morgue or in the ground he spent the winter literally “freezing”
      The use of this term on a multicultural board is perfectly acceptable to facilitate understanding as an analogy to describe the “paralysis” that often occurs in mammals when faced with a deadly threat. The Normalacy Bias is very strong in us and as you correctly point out, must be overcome by forethought, planning and training. Was he also paralyzed at the same time he was freezing? Figuratively, yes.
      Did he have a “stroke”, maybe?
      Too bad taxi man didn’t “feel” it coming and employ his “pink mist syndrome” tool.
      He probably wouldn’t be chilling now.

  25. MedicD says:

    well said Wills.

  26. usa woman says:

    To me, this shows that we cannot rely on ourselves only. Relying on God to help us make the right decisions at the right time is the only solution. Acting too quickly or too slowly is always a danger. My life has changed for the better ever since I have asked God to get me through life. He is coming to my aid in peaceful times, and I know He will help me if all hell brakes loose. I am prepared in all physical aspects and the rest will be His Will.

  27. cruft says:

    This idea to always rush to help is really poor. Personal survival should trump such actions. We don’t live is a mono cultural world like Kansas in 1900. Highly charged situations like domestic disputes, mob situations, gang rapes, etc. you can never accurately access and rushing in is the worst of all actions. When even the cops don’t “protect & defend” unless it’s a family member keep you self out of it. I doubt actuaries would give you much chance of a long, happy life. Space best guarantees this. An old lady dropping a loaf of bread? Please!

  28. Greybeard says:

    I recently read an article that said that the sport of hunting actually helps prepare you for such incidents. If you’ve never taken the life of an animal, if you’ve never shed blood, iif you’ve never stalked something with the intent to kill it, the first time is a big hill to climb. Lt. Col. David Grossman says that the use of violent video games is very effective in training kids to “blow away” opponents (including cops); it inoculates them to the horror, since they’ve practiced “killing” so many times…hence, we are seeing such a huge increase teen violence. Still, it is effective. Grossman also talks about developing the “sheepdog” mentality that lives in “code yellow,” turns towards the “wolf”, not away, protects the “sheep,” and lives with the mantra “not on my watch.” It’s a warrior mentality that can be adopted and lived, if chosen. Instead of “OMG, looks what’s happening!”, its “I knew this would happen.”
    Another thought; since we always “shoot to stop,” not to kill, the repulsive terminal intention doesn’t get in the way. Sometimes you have to fool your mind to get it release that action that is necessary.

    • Earnán says:

      Actually, we’re NOT seeing a “huge increase in teen violence.”

      Teen violence, and non-teen violence for that matter, is declining. At its lowest rate in decades.

    • UnReconstructed says:

      I do not agree. Unless your are training to be a serial killer, stalking an animal will teach you nothing about the dynamics of combat. That deer is no real threat to you, his kin will not surround your house and burn you out. They will not rape and torture your wife and children. They will not lay in wait for you and try to put a bullet through your brain.
      Until you have had a bullet whiz by your face, until you have pulled a trigger and heard someone scream as your own bullets hit home, until you get that sick feeling and the shakes after it is all over, you will not know what it is like, no matter how many defenseless you slaughter.

  29. Da says:

    The ex taxi drivers problem was the fact he was living in the old way, he was running through things in his head about what was acceptable to his old way of thinking. A man comes at him with a knife, no problem he probably doesnt mean to kill me. Or possibly ‘i cant kill this guy, there will be problems afterwards’, he paid for that with his life. I can imagine people watching got a lot of knowledge from this mans death.

    Im no rambo, im not even anyone but this to me is a valuable lesson. One that i will act on? I hope so…

  30. Francesca says:

    I call it “Buck Fever”. That is a term we hunters use to describe how a person reacts when they encounter their first deer. When I encountered my first one, I got Buck Fever real bad! I froze and the deer ran right at me. I couldn’t decide whether to shoot or get the hell out of the way. And so I just stood there. The deer finally saw me standing there and turned. But I could’ve gotten hurt. Deer can box the hell out of you! My advice is to hunt. If you want to learn how to react in a “nervous” or “excited” state of mind, hunting can teach you to act when you still have the chance. What I wouldn’t give to go back and shoot that deer! But at least I’m still alive to try. In a SHTF situation, I would be dead already. Also, hunting is a valuable skill to learn anyway. If TSHTF, you’ll need to know how to hunt your food because there will be no more grocery store for you. One important thing people should be doing now is being self-reliant. Don’t just learn how to, but actually live that way. Most people in America stopped teaching their kids how to live on their own a long time ago. Our whole generation and the few before us have forgotten how to survive on our own. I don’t know many people who could live without electricity, grocery stores, TVs, computers, etc. I’m apparently the most redneck hillbilly in my group. But that’s a very good thing in my opinion.

  31. Municipal governments have been conducting Disaster Survival Skills training in the Washington, DC area since 9/11/01. The target audience is Citizen Corps groups and municipal employees. The .ppt presentation is in the public domain and may be downloaded at
    The program is a bit over 3 MB and has embedded speaker notes and links for most of the pages which provide ample handouts, etc. :


    Why teach “survival” in the city?
    Catastrophes vs. disasters
    This is about your family SURVIVAL, not volunteering
    Priorities for human survival – what our military teaches
    Break-out sessions:
    Shelter construction
    Fire making
    Equipment and supplies
    Social implications of disasters
    Personal security concerns
    Concealed carry permit process
    Sources for further information

  32. Will_in_SA says:

    Thank you for sharing your experinces, Selco. After being frustrated by the ” lack of perspective” on various sites and groups, I have started to create my own. Your site will be a ” spotlight feature” for our members to read and comment.

    Again, Thank you

  33. Jason in TX says:

    I agree with the hunting comment. Buck fever is real and affects every hunter, especially the first time they look through the scope with the intent of killing something decent size, like a deer. Your body does an adrenaline dump, your heart races, your thinking becomes muddled, and your body starts to shake. As time goes by and you kill more deer, the effects of buck fever do indeed lessen. I bow hunt as well as gun hunt. I practice with my bow in my backyard. It is a 20 yard shot. In order to get my body and mind used to acting under stress I practice by shooting three arrows, then run to the target and pull them out, then run back to my shooting position. I do this at least twelve times per practice session. It is my way of preparing to act in a stressful situation, and it costs me nothing.

  34. David says:

    Yes, I have read on other sites from soldiers who have actually been in action, that all the plans go out the window and chaos reigns. You can it theory train for it.. but that is really not possible for most of us, and there are so many other things that you have to prepare for if SHTF. I think as Selco recommends.. get out of Dodge. Be in a remote small, rural location when the gunfights start. And maybe have a plan to run and hide in a wilderness forest area if you have to. It is the populated urban areas where the real problems will be .. with gangs and desperate people.
    You may still have to fight some time.. but let it be in an area where you know the ground. I have a plan to have small caches of camping equipment, food, water, and maybe even an old rifle, stashed in the “hills” .. so that if I am surprised I can just ” head for the hills” knowing that I can set up a primitive camp , survive, and even strike back ..when I can assess the situation. You need to have backups for your backup..when there is no one to rely on but yourself.

  35. Mike says:

    This is not meant to be gross.

    It may be helpful to Google videos of actual killings and beheadings and then study one’s mental, emotional and physical reactions to observing death in motion. While this is not first hand experience it does call up responses that the individual can use to further know him or her self and how he or she may react to a real event. It would be better than flying blind into unknown territory.

    Knowledge of one’s self is a powerful tool for survival.

    • J says:

      I agree. is a good starting place. It’s a sick website. But it can serve a real purpose.

      You will find your soul being twisted into knots as you see your first pictures of real human death and destruction.

      And it will reveal a lot about you.

      The vast majority of people in today’s 1st world countries have never seen anyone die, even from natural causes. This “fear of death” is what will result in the masses becoming sheep to the slaughter lead by the sociopaths among us.

      Yes, the sociopaths will be the initial leaders. The lucky few “normal” people who escape death by hiding will soon become familiar with the new normal, and then hopefully survive.

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