Executive defense provides executives with the tools to escape and survive a kidnap attempt using brutally simple and effective techniques. The goal of executive defense is to escape, not to fight the kidnappers. The best approach to executive defense is to know how kidnap situations develop and to avoid them. If, however, the kidnap situation is unavoidable, then using a few simple physical techniques will give you the edge needed to escape. Proficiency in these techniques enables increased safety by disabling a kidnapper for a few seconds to make an escape to an established safe haven. If it becomes necessary, why wait? A better chance for escape may never come; a plan quickly executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.
If prevention fails, the general logic is if attacked, escape. And if trapped, stay alive. Use only executive defense for self-defense. Attack the eyes, nose groin or throat. Try to memorize details so that the kidnappers can later be brought to justice. Attract help by any means possible.
When walking keep your hands free. Only carry what you need in your pockets. Try to be prepared for all circumstances. Keep a mental note of safe havens such as police stations, fire stations, embassies, hotels and hospitals. This book has trained you to notice the kidnap threat as it develops, maintaining high levels of situational awareness to act immediately to better your chances of not becoming a victim. If you are caught off guard, the kidnappers have all the advantage, and the situation has escalated beyond your control. This is why recognizing early warning signs are of the utmost importance.
Executive defense is the last layered approach for anti-kidnapping; it focuses on maintaining a defense posture to escape from potential unanticipated threats. It's a planned organized resistance to protect against close encounter kidnap threats - immediate self-defense action and readiness. Your first defense priority is your capacity to observe and avoid pre-kidnap threats through pre-kidnap surveillance recognition. Activate your early warning radar, swiftly denying the kidnapper's strategic and operational objectives by maximizing your environmental awareness and control.
Kidnappings are seldom surprises, particularly for executives who have put a great deal of effort into learning how to avoid kidnap situations in the first place. Risks are minimized through awareness, recognition and avoidance. Trust your instincts and your anti-kidnap training; evacuate the area to make a clean getaway from potential trouble you observe. Avoid talking with strangers on the street, and if a driver pulls up alongside of you, run in the opposite direction of the vehicle. If you see someone or something seems suspicious, react immediately. Identify safe havens along your routes to your place of business, hotel or residence. Notify the police if appropriate. Consult a security professional if a kidnap attempt has occurred.
Executive defense is just one more aspect that should go into developing your personal safety and anti-kidnapping plan. It's your commitment to defend yourself against injury and capture. All executives should train to secure themselves while identifying pre-kidnap stages and methods of avoidance. Executive defense provides executives with the understanding, purpose, direction and ability for escape, providing executives with the "tools" necessary to defend themselves when dealing with confrontation or a kidnap attempt. Remember, the only real escape window is during the initial kidnap effort. Avoidance and escape are the main goals, not the use of physical force to defend yourself against abductions.
However, the following defense tactics, techniques and procedures are for emergency use and should be used if a kidnapper has gotten too close. Resisting kidnappers works in creating an opening for an escape. Executive defense response options are a personal protection program based on:
1. Making a quick and clear escape
2. Mitigating as much risk as possible from being captured
3. Rapidly exploiting targets and openings for escape
4. Employing your strengths and exploiting kidnappers' vulnerabilities
5. Countermeasures as "last ditch efforts" only.
Avoid what is strong and strike what is weak. Executives are best suited for hit-and-escape tactics. Good targets are the eyes, nose, throat and groin. Injury to any one of these organs can greatly reduce the effectiveness of a kidnapping attempt. This means utilizing the best defense tools that allow for rapid implementation against kidnap threats, focusing on the most vulnerable targets available and making a safe escape.
The eyes are soft tissue targets. A hard strike or gouge can cause involuntary watering, closing of the eyes, distorted vision or permanent eye damage. Kidnappers will automatically protect their eyes from attack, allowing vital seconds for a quick escape.
The nose is very sensitive, and nasal bones are easily broken. From a hard strike the mucous membrane lining of the nose usually tears, resulting in nosebleed, teary eyes, distorted vision and dizziness.
A hard strike to the trachea can cause shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, closing of the airway and unconsciousness, which can temporarily immobilize the kidnapper and enable someone to make a clean getaway.
Because the groin does not have the protection of muscles and bones, it's easier to be struck, hit or kicked. A hard strike can produce severe pain, bruising, swelling or blood flow from the injury, causing the kidnapper to double over. Kidnappers will automatically protect their groin from attack, permitting critical seconds for an escape.
There are many personal weapons an executive can utilize during a close encounter with a kidnapper (elbows, kicks, etc.). However, executive defense concentrates only on fist strikes and eye gouges. Kicking techniques can deteriorate an executive's stance, causing loss of balance and a fall to the ground. Being in a prone position decreases the executive's chances for escape. Your stance during a confrontation should enable you to move instantly in any direction, making you capable of launching the most effective strike to meet the existing situation for escape purposes only.
The Goal of Executive Defense
Just strike the kidnapper closest to you as hard as possible, and get away as fast as possible to gain vital seconds that translate into added safety. Attain speed, power and accuracy from practice in the gym and through executive conflict avoidance training. Acquire open targets for multi-strike capability and to maximize the distance from the kidnap attempt location.
These are defensive techniques used to support quick escape capability to seize the initiative. These few seconds assist you in managing an escape, getting you down the road away from danger to a safe haven and avoiding capture. Executive defense takes a firm commitment to improving escape capabilities during "unexpected" kidnap attempts, should it become necessary. The immediate purpose is to create conditions and regain the initiative for escape only - to achieve a position of advantage with respect to safety essential to overcome the kidnapper's ability to capture you.
When practicing executive defensive techniques, always have the mindset to apply maximum force at the decisive time to create the conditions for an effective escape. These weapons are to be used when you are in imminent danger. They are not "pretty" or "nice" and are only to be used when confronted with situations where the stakes could mean "life or death." Don't second-guess yourself, and don't hesitate - escape.
To make a proper fist, the fingers should be curled tightly into the palm. The thumbs should lay tightly on top of the fingers, and the fist should remain tight. Attack vital areas of the kidnapper's body with the weight of your body behind the blow. Your aim should be to temporarily immobilize the kidnapper with one or two quick strikes and make an escape.
2. Hammer Fist
The hand is made into a proper fist. With the bottom of the fist as if holding a hammer, strike the kidnapper on the bridge of the nose in a downward motion with the weight of your body behind it. This should stun the kidnapper momentarily for you to evade attack and run away.
3. Palm Heel
The palm faces forward and the hand is bent with the fingers curled under. The strike utilizes the heel of the palm in an upward motion aimed up and under the nose of the kidnapper. This should daze the kidnapper for a second, which is enough time to get away.
4. Eye Gouge
The thumbs of both hands are brought up in a rapid motion from outside the kidnapper's field of vision. Place both palms on the side of the kidnapper's face with your thumbs directly over his eyes. Press in, penetrating the corneas. The structure of the face and eyes is well suited for this type of defensive technique; however, the element of surprise is necessary. This should cause blurred vision and bleeding from the eyes and eyelids, creating an opportunity to escape from a dangerous position.
Your executive defense arsenal should include biting, which can inflict considerable damage when targeting soft tissue (Arms and hands are good targets). Vary the angle and pressure of the bite to create maximum pain and a quick escape.
6. Groin Strikes
The groin area is a soft tissue location and is not covered by natural protection. Groin shots, such as a knee to the groin, can produce severe pain, causing the kidnapper to panic and double over. Once the kidnapper is momentarily stunned, incapacitated or immobilized, this can generate an escape opportunity.
Beat Kidnappers at Their Own Game
Executive defense techniques are simple, effective and proven to work in kidnap attempt situations because they are modeled around two critical areas - surprise and escape. You now have the tools to beat kidnappers at their own game. However, you must practice with the understanding that the bottom line of executive defense is to protect yourself and make a rapid escape. A safe escape from the scene of a kidnapping is the most frequently ignored part of an executive defense plan. Always have an exit strategy worked out in advance. Run as fast as you can to a safe haven, and seek police assistance immediately. The next chapter discusses executive escape strategies in detail. Keep safe out there and God Speed.