Ken Murray

Natural Conclusion to a Defensive Training Scenario

Ken Murray
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Duration:   8  mins

Ken Murray, author of Training at the Speed of Life, discusses scenario training. A scenario is designed to end a certain way, but in the real world, critical incidents can go many different ways. How do we deal with the conclusion of a training scenario?

Three Possible Conclusions

Ken Murray believes there are only three possible conclusions to a defensive training scenario or any situation where there is a possibility for confrontation, and if you don’t reach one of these, the scenario is not over. First is the walkaway, where everybody makes nice and goes home; second, a fight ending with what law enforcement calls custodial seizure (aka someone is going to jail); or third, a dynamic deadly force encounter. For the last one, in Ken’s world, the scenario doesn’t end until the role player is dead, dying or damaged, and the trainee is in a position of advantage and going through the Four C checklist: communication, condition, cover and combat breathing.


Are you communicating with any support, e.g. are you calling 911 to tell them what they need to know? Are you shouting at bystanders who might be in harm’s way? Are you talking to the person you’re in conflict with, or the person(s) with you?


What’s the condition of the situation and who needs to know? What’s your condition? What’s the bad guy’s condition? What’s the condition of the environment?


Are you in a position of cover? Do you have other people coming to take control of the situation? Are you covering the bad guy?

Combat Breathing

People need to be taught how to breathe in a dangerous situation. Combat breathing is patterned diaphragmatic breathing to the count of four. Ken gives a demonstration. Three cycles of this four-count patterned breathing will change your physiology.

Make sure to watch more of our self-defense videos to learn how to effectively defend yourself, and handle threatening confrontations.

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