I received a few questions yesterday from people about the concept that I referred to as “Proximity Negates Skill” in the Threats Inside the Wire – The Approach article.  Let me explain the concept in a little more detail:

From the perspective of an attacker, a closer proximity will:

–       Increase the accuracy for the attacker.  For example with if I was going to shoot at you with a pistol, I am a sniper from the 7-yard line and you will go down.  But when I move back to the 25-yard line you should be ok as long as you stand completely still – it will only be a grazing wound.  For me to be more accurate, I have to get within a closer proximity.  It negates the need for me to be skilled and accurate from a distance.

–       Increase the number of options that an attacker has available.  From 1,000 yards away, you are limited to a sniper rifle to engage a target.  At 500 yards, you could use a sniper rifle or an M4/M16.  At 25 yards, you could use a rifle, a grenade, a pistol.  At 5 feet, you could shoot, stab, bite, kick or punch.  By getting closer, an attacker doesn’t need to have the skill to use a sniper rifle, he can find an option that requires less skill.

From the perspective of the defender, an attacker at a closer proximity:

–       Reduces the number of options.  If you were to throw rocks at me from about 20 yards away, as a defender, I could run away to a spot outside of your range, I could run towards you to attack, I could take cover behind a car to protect myself.  If you got to a closer range, the number of options I would have to defend myself would begin to diminish until the only thing I could do is attack or cover up.  I might be very skilled with a rifle, but if the attacker gets too close, that skill becomes negated as that option gets pulled off the table.

–       Reduces reaction time. Same example, you are throwing rocks at me from 20 yards away.  If you throw a rock, I have a couple seconds to go through the OODA loop, realize that a rock is coming towards me and make a decision for how to react.  I should be able to defend myself at that range.  If you were to move within arms distance of me and began throwing quick jabs in my direction, the time that I have to go through that same process disappears.  Even if you have a great deal of martial arts ability, that training and skill becomes meaningless if you don’t have the time to process the information.


Next week, I will post the final three articles to the Threat Inside The Wire – Green On Blue Series, but if there are unanswered questions about any of the concepts, let me know.