In one of my Firearms classes, my instructors mentioned OODA loop Observe-Orient-Decide-Act loop. I will explain how my instructor Steve told us( I am sure I may not do it justice). I understand that threats always have the upper hand, meaning we are at a disadvantage. Threat pulls a knife or pistols. Even if we have our situation awesomeness on level 10, we still react second to the threat (I hope that makes sense). That is the time ODDA Becomes active. Setting the tempo the threat needs to react, and we can take back the advantage.

From the article


NATO’s joint publication on operational planning defines tempo as “the rate or rhythm of activity relative to the adversary’s.”[11] In this definition, tempo is a function of two elements: the rate of activity, or speed, and the rhythm of activity, or timing.

In fact, there is another, more useful definition which implicitly blends both speed and timing, and that is Bruce Lee’s definition of tempo as “that little fragment of time which is the most suitable to accomplish effective actions.”[12] In this definition, successful combatants regulate their speed so their actions coincide with those of their opponent’s, with the goal being to be able to act at “the exact psychological and physical moment of weakness in an opponent.”[13] This specific rhythm in which movements are executed could be called cadence, and to apply this concept, it helps to look at combat through the idea of beats.


Thanks for posting.
There are a lot of good articles and books written on Col. Boyd and the OODA loop. It was incorporated into the design and planning around the F-16, the idea being that the pilot who could cycle through the OODA loop the fastest would have the advantage, because his adversary will get stuck responding to situations that have already changed.


In regards to timing. In Ernest Emersons book 'The 7 Strategies of Hand-To-Hand Combat, he talks about the element of surprise and getting from reacting to the attacker to making the attacker react to you as quickly as possible. It’s a big part of gaining tactical advantage.


Much to what @Mike164 notes as to get the bad guy back on their heels so that they are reacting to you. That is most effectively accomplished with violence of action. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it violently and decisively especially if the threat is at bad breath distance. Elbows, knees, foot stomp, bum rush, karate kid wax on wax off move anything to disrupt the attack and put the surprise in your favor and press the attack. Criminals in general are not into a fight. If you are up against a pro you have bigger problems on your hands. A bar altercation where you are standing off, again bigger problems but a robbery or similar attack where they want “something” and to go … light them up, kick them when they are down clear any weapon and break contact when it is safe.

Close contact is NOT the time to draw a weapon as it becomes a liability and refocuses your attention from the threat. You CAN let them go but be a good witness.




The more I train, the more I like to understand the behavior side of threats and how stress will affect my mindset. I find it more powerful to have outstanding observation abilities to calculate the next move (no matter your training with your hands or Skill with a firearm)- Do I draw now? DO I let the threat close the gap a little more before I act? Do I use my hand skills? Who is around me? Is now an excellent time to Run? the threat is drawing something from his pocket? is the danger real? All types of conversations are happing in our heads.

Mental training, in my opinion, is high on my list- one thing I learn is my friends thinks Situational awareness: and observation is similar or the same thing- you need to train both-

Situational awareness: is being aware of what is happening around you.

Observation: the action or process of observing something or someone carefully or in order to gain information.