By Bruce Alexander
Richard Nance’s article From the Mat to the Street: Realistic takedown defense at Officer.com and started thinking about how to apply Rich’s points from the Executive Protection perspective. It’s pretty clear that being on the ground is not where you want to be but you need to accept the fact that you are most likely to end of there at some point in time. However, Rich’s article got me to thinking about whether there was a time when you want to go to the ground despite the inherent dangers. I came to the conclusion that there’s at least two times I can think of in Executive Protection when going to the ground makes sense.
The first instance I can think of when going to the ground is the right response is when you are responding to an Attack on Principal (AOP) and you are arm’s reach from the threat. Quick (and simplified) review here.It the most basic form, the proper response to an AOP is sound off, cover and evacuate. However, let’s assume for the purposes of this explanation that you are arm’s reach to the threat as one of the agents in the protective formation. In this case, you’ve got to engage the threat. Since action is faster than reaction, at this point you are already behind the power curve so what to do? In a situation like this, your options start to narrow very quickly. Therefore since time is of the essence, you move to a situation of neutralizing by containing which can best be accomplished by taking the subject to the ground without any further delay. Taking the subject to the ground at this point reduces his/her ability to present a threat. It doesn’t eliminate the threat entirely but for the very same reasons we don’t want to be on the ground, it places the adversary in a situation of limited mobility, limited options and distracts from their initial intent. Simply put, your objective is two-fold. You want to neutralize the threat while creating sufficient time to evacuate the principal. Taking the subject to the ground answers both of these requirements.