Keeping your Warrior’s Edge sharp


Long before I thought about joining the ranks of the Law Enforcement profession, I’ve always viewed our nation’s Peace Officers as our protector/warriors for our communities. I knew then that they were the front lines for the home front in America, while our service members in our military were our ‘Away Team’, keeping our enemies abroad in check.
With my experience over the years, my views haven’t changed; it just got more refined. Law Enforcement is a very difficult job to do and a lot is expected of the Officers that have to carry out their sworn duties. Officers in today’s world wear many different hats and are expected to be law enforcers, social workers, mental health experts, and the list goes on and on with being warriors near, if not the bottom of that list. Don’t get me wrong, I’m speaking of the Warrior Spirit, because we aren’t at War with anyone or group. That’s the difference in duties between Law Enforcement and that of our Military. Our main function and job is to protect citizens from anyone who would try to harm them. Without the Warrior Spirit, it would be difficult to have the ability to overcome a criminal with murderous intent.
Complacency and public opinion has had it’s toll on how we do our jobs. The world is changing and unfortunately, it’s no longer popular to have that kind of mindset. Looking aggressive is frowned upon, because it might or does offend certain members of society. A lot of Officers get complacent over the years and some forget that part of their job is to be a warrior.
I myself call it my Warrior’s Edge; what it means to me is having the right mindset and physical ability to perform the most important part of the job: protecting life, whether it be a citizens or your own.
Having the right mindset is probably the most important factor in an Officer’s survival. I’ve written about it in the past. I’m not a SWAT Team member or part of any high speed details in my department, I’m simply a regular guy. In this line of work, it doesn’t matter where you’re assigned, you need to know how to react and deal with whatever comes your way. Some assignments are more risky than others due to their nature. For the most part, you do not choose when and where something is about to go down, rarely do you have that opportunity, for the most part things will happen when you least expect it to.
This is where complacency kills. Since we’re reactionary in nature, the criminals already have the advantage over us because they know what they’re planning on doing while we don’t. Any further delay in your reaction will hinder your chances of success in overcoming that incident.
Instead of having the mindset of, nothing’s ever going to happen; replace it with if (fill in blank) happens then I will do (fill in blank). It’s called scenario training, it’s thinking outside the box, mental preparations for the worse case scenario so that when something does happen, you won’t be surprised.
Now that you’ve got the right mindset, you will have to be able to apply that mental knowledge with your body. Just because you want something to happen doesn’t mean that it will if you haven’t trained your body. It has been said before: “You will not rise to the occasion, you will fall back on to your training.”
I will be honest, the firearms training I received in the academy was top notch and I learned a lot of fundamentals, fired thousands of rounds but it was just basic skills and in my opinion, it’s not nearly enough time training. I understand how expensive and difficult it is for departments to put their Officers through training, therefore I’ve seeked further training with highly experienced instructors on my own time. I do all of this to keep my Warrior’s Edge sharp. Most Officers go their entire careers without ever having to fire a shot at anyone, I hope that I may never have to, but we must always be ready to do so with accuracy because we are accountable for every round we fire. Shooting at a stationary paper target from a stationary position isn’t realistic at all. When you attend classes, you will be put through drills that reflect more realistic engagements with your firearm.
A lost art is hands free fighting skills. I’ve practiced martial arts over the years and having the ability and physical knowledge of fighting with your body can save your life.
So it’s time for a reality check. You have to ask yourself, what have you been doing to keep your Warriors Edge sharp?
Remember the number one goal in this line of work is to go home safe at the end of the shift.

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