A Cooper Classic: Principles of Personal Defense

With 2015 well underway, and those flimsy New Year’s resolutions underwater, here’s an easy project. Tune up your mindset and increase your awareness. And without breaking a sweat you will increase your personal safety.

A great book to read about this is Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Personal Defense. First published in 1972, and reprinted a couple times since then, it is a self defense classic. In short, he explains seven qualities that you should cultivate:

  • Alertness: Trouble can appear at any time — know what is behind you, and pay attention to anything out of place.
  • Decisiveness: Decide instantly upon a proper course of action to be carried out immediately, without hesitation.
  • Aggressiveness: Whether it is a counter-attack or a pre-emptive attack, give it everything you’ve got.
  • Speed: Be fast, not fair — end it before the loser fully realizes he has bitten off more than he can chew.
  • Coolness: If you know that you can keep your head, that you must keep your head, you probably will keep your head.
  • Ruthlessness: Anyone who willfully and maliciously attacks another without sufficient cause deserves no consideration from you–don’t hold back.
  • Surprise: The criminal does not expect his prey to fight back — surprise him!

Track down a copy and read it. In the meantime, here is an exercise Cooper mentions in the book to increase your awareness:

“Make it a game. Keep a chart. Every time anyone is able to approach you from behind without your knowledge, mark down an X. Every time you see anyone you know before he sees you, mark down an O. Keep the Os ahead of the Xs. A month with no Xs establishes the formation of correct habits.”

Try it for a week or a month and see how you do. Increase your awareness and you never know what you might notice.

Stay safe and we’ll see you in class.


By Alan Hines

20-25% Off Folding Knife Classes

Knife students new and old save on February’s featured classes

Save 25% if you take both Defensive Folding Knife I and Defensive Folding Knife II, February 27-March 1. Previous DFK I students save 20% on DFK II.*

DFK I teaches you how to use a Spyderco-style pocketknife as a superb standalone self defense tool and an excellent companion to firearms, pepper spray, and other defensive tools in your family’s layered personal protection plan. Most small pocketknives can be carried in any State and in most foreign countries. If you can’t have your handgun, have your knife!

Then, in DFK II, learn how to counter multiple attackers, armed opponents, and fights on the ground. This class only comes around every other year. Save 25% if you sign up for both DFK I and DFK II, 2/27-3/1. Students who have already taken DFK I can save 20% on DFK II. Register today at InSightsTraining.com.

*20-25% discount cannot be combined with any other specials or discounts. To register, call 425.827.2552 or 888.958.0884.

And get ready for Close Quarters Confrontations, March 6-8

CQC is another class that we only offer every other year. You will learn a full unarmed combat system and an integrated firearms combat system so that you can respond with the right answer quickly in a close distance situation. This action-packed 3-day class runs March 6-8. The only prerequisite is General Defensive Handgun. Learn more and register at InSightsTraining.com.

Tactical Moment Video Series

Have you been keeping up with our new Tactical Moment video series? Here’s the 5th episode where John shows the value of movement. We’ll be posting the other previous 4 episodes here soon, or you can visit our YouTube channel to catch them. Be sure to share the video on your Facebook page if you like it!

Tactical Moment 5

New Street & Vehicle Tactics Video

Here we are again with another new video! This time it’s for one of our most exciting courses in the catalog, Street & Vehicle Tactics. Click here to read more »

Concealed Carry Identifiers

After reading some of the discussion about having some kind of CCW Identifier (badge, sash, or drop down panel) I have to conclude that this an answer looking for a question.

The theory is that if there was some kind of incident, an armed citizen would display this credential and be less likely to be shot by responding police officers. The bad guys can’t get these? Who says the police are going trust people wearing them? If you are at ground zero of an incident and holding a gun you just have to hope that the police are observing your actions rather than simply seeing you as a “threat target.”

If you are standing there with a gun you are forcing the police to deal with you immediately and I would rather have the police deal with me after they have a handle on the situation. Once the police arrive on scene I want to be holstered and I want to have moved to a location where the police can deal with me on their terms (meeting the police in the parking lot would probably be best), hands up and identification out.