Thursday, November 01, 2007

TDA Tip: Dont Show Your Stuff

Hide your black belt!

Several fine recent post have highlighted the idea of not revealing that you've got above-average (at least) fighting skills. In that same continuum, you may be carrying a weapon. How obvious is it? Glenn Matthews, a Suarez International Staff Instructor chimes in on concealed carry:

Some states allow for the open carry of a firearm. I have a friend that thinks open carry is a good idea. I DON’T think so! I don’t want the bad guy to blast me from across the street because he sees me as a deterrent to his being able to do his evil deeds!

We’re all familiar with the photojournalist’s vest and the fanny (waist) pack. They provide concealment, as required by law, but they scream “GUN!” to anyone who is halfway knowledgeable.

In today’s environment, we must go beyond “concealment”. There are folks out there who have been trained to look for the people who are obviously carrying a gun. They are taught to shoot them first! With the potential for terrorism looming even larger on the horizon, active shooters running amok in the malls of America, and crazy people, in general, going around taking potshots at the citizenry, the time has come to be “covert”.

By “covert”, I mean that you DO NOT want to telegraph the idea that you are carrying a concealed weapon. You want to look like the average Joe on the street, going about his business in his usual manner.

This means that your 5.11, combat-commando pants, shorts and shirts stay in the closet for the times when you are attending a training course, or going to the range for much needed practice. The same goes for your “gun” shirts and caps. Leave ‘em at home until you want to “brag” about your pet firearms manufacturer or holstersmith in a “safe” venue.

While we are on the subject of tattletale clothing, think about your footwear. Strolling the malls in your “combat” boots isn’t a good idea, either. A solid pair of work boots or running shoes are good fighting platforms, as well. Myself, I like flip-flops in the summer, but they are NOT a good fighting platform.

I am so happy that “Hawaiian” shirts have made it back to the fashion scene. You can conceal just about anything you desire to carry under one of those things! A color-coordinated tee or tank top under a Hawaiian, or “camp”, shirt makes for a low profile, concealed carry set up. If you carry your gun behind the hip, you can sometimes walk around with the top shirt unbuttoned. Just be sure it’s a not a windy day! Remember, the idea is still “concealment”.

In choosing pants to wear for concealed carry, I prefer jeans. I have found that the “relaxed fit” jeans work better than others. You have room to fight in them, if the need arises.

The whole idea is to be low profile. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Be the “gray man”. If the time should come that you happen onto a situation that you can’t possibly avoid, you don’t want to telegraph to the bad guys that you are carrying a gun. Let it be a surprise!

Does Mr. Matthews make a good point? Absolutely! Along the same lines, some bloggers whose opinions I respect have asserted that you should conceal the extent of your fighting abilities. Chris at Martial Development writes,

When the karateka receives his first belt promotion, he rushes out to tell everyone.
After he receives his shodan certificate, he exits discreetly out the back door.

This saying reflects the humility of a mature, well-trained Karate expert. More importantly, it contains practical advice for martial artists of all stripes: let your skills remain secret; revealing them indiscriminately can only bring trouble.

The estimable Charles Goodin posts frequently on humility in attitude, and the principle of using Karate only as a last resort. I think, inherent in both concepts is the idea that you shouldn't "show your stuff." Good advice.


Mad Gringo said...


Another use for Hawaiian shirts.

Love it.

Nathan Teodoro said...

True. And baggy bermuda shorts!