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Israeli Defense Force: How to Survive a Shooting

Israeli Defense Force Urban Combat Tips
by Teanis Tillman, owner of Street Defense Research Institute (SDRI).
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Shouts. Threats. Suddenly you're caught in a firefight on a downtown street as an active shooting unfolds.
You've got a concealed weapon, plenty of time with an instructor; now are you ready to use your weapon to protect yourself or the lives of others being threatened? This article is a brief over view on how to survive a shooting. In other words, today's article will introduce you to the basics (more tips to come soon in second and third articles on this topic).


The truth is, from what we have seen, heard, or read about shootings, not much information can be found about what to do from a private citizen's point of view. We hope to change that.

First: Don't be a Victim

In order not to become a victim of a shooting, we must at least know the basics of what to do. Many questions have arisen as a result of past public shootings, and with these incidents, questions.

Is there active shooter education for civilians that is equal to that of law enforcement? After all, a shooting can happen anywhere at any time. Why are places such as schools, libraries, banks, and restaurants now beginning to educate their employees?

This article does not contain every method or measure one might use to respond to an active situation. Why?

The truth is that in my experience as a police officer and armed security officer with hundreds of hours in fire arms training and being involved in two officers shooting in my career, while working in high crime neighborhood, one thing is for sure what you know and what you do are two different things.

Israeli Defense Force (IDF)

The SDR (Street Defense Research) studies elite groups of military, police, and special service tactics. This month we have chosen the IDF or (Israeli Defense Force). This elite group studies, trains, and prepares for situations such as active shooters for urban situations.

What can we learn from the IDF? Many things, particularly those proponents which can save lives in situations that involve threat encounters with fire arms. Here are some basic tips, that if put into practice, can protect you in a real threat situation.

Tip #1: Know the Attitude of an Attacker

Having a survivalist mindset, to include learning the attitude of the "attacker" in an active situation, increases your chance of survival, by learning to decrease and control your fear. Staying calm in any threat situation, allows for mental recall of training and preparedness.

Tip #2: There is No Better Defense than TrainingQuick planned escape routes, spotting easy hiding places, turning pieces of equipment, or anything you have on hand into a tool or weapon, increases your level of survival. Survival training can decrease panic, anxiety, and confusion in a real situation when the threat level has escalated.

Tip #3: Immediate Priority: Get Out of the Line of Fire

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Safety, not heroism, is the number one element in avoiding a live situation, when rounds of bullets are flying in all directions. The truth is, there is nothing better than getting out of the line of fire, and quickly.

Tip #4: Firearms Training Prepares You for Safe and Effective Use of a Weapon

... But engaging in a shooting is very risky business for any person.

Even the most skilled and proficient law enforcement officers or snipers, would prefer never have to engage in a real threat situation. The best way to increase survival is to be in a shooting, not a shootout. If you engage an active shooter let it be as a defender. Your ultimate goal is to stop the offender threat as soon as possible.

Tip #5: Protect Yourself and Others Nearby

Protection of yourself and others close around you are key elements in surviving an active shooter situation. Active shooters are aggressors looking for human targets. Survive with an attitude of fortitude. Take cover in an area making oneself a smaller target and look for a "window of opportunity" to shoot. It is not how many bullets you put out, but how many you can preserve.

Additional Tips for Surviving a Shooting / Active Shooter

Tip# 1. Ammo. It seems pretty simple but, in my experience ammo helps wins gun fights. I have worked with armed security officers who have carried the wrong ammo. If they were to have gotten into a shoot out, there would be casualties other than the bad guy. Also, I have seen in a shooting of law enforcement who have shot at windows. Bad idea! I was personally standing next to one. Ammo is a key to winning gun fights.

Tip# 2. Never chase and shoot at a suspect. The tactical move to gain cover and make yourself as small as a target and let your fire arm do the talking. Alignment of sights, target identification, and acquirement of timing to shoot. The element of surprise is to be in a shooting, not a shoot out.

# 3. Patterning. This tactic is used by snipers. The idea is to watch the suspect long enough until he repeats his movements over and over. This tactic can be used by gaining insight into the behaviors and body language. Timing is a factor in shooting and to become a good shot one must pay attention to certain patters. This is a shooting tactic among Israeli snipers and U.S. Forces. Here are idea's'. Where is his hands? Watch his body language in looking for weaker targets. Look for confidence.

True story: I worked in a very bad inner city housing project and I was approached by a 200 pound Rottweiler. This dog saw me, came charging, and jumped the fence and was met with my 9mm right in his face. I timed his stare, charge, and jump. The dog turned its jump from me and stood at a distance. Dogs are mammals that read human fears and if the mammal is faced with a threat certain level; it will fight or flee. This tactic (threatening gaze, fearless poise) works great when it is a part of training to prepare for a real life shooting situation.

Types of Direct Tactics Used by the IDF

* Direct aggression. This neutralizes the target from any further increase of threat levels. This is, i.e. fire arms, combat, etc.

* Surprise to the enemy. To deal with a direct attack, the element of surprise catches the enemy off guard and makes it difficult to respond.

* Constant Movement. To be at the tactical edge, shooting and moving is effective. Simply do not let your target see the last place you pointed a weapon at him.


This article introduces readers to the BASICS.

Elite teams in the IDF go through very, very tough training. The tactics, strategies, techniques, and tools are given to the most dedicated persons for these elite groups. In saying this, the truth is the good, the bad, and the ugly of our world reads information to better themselves in training for what ever reason(s).

In our articles, we give basic tips and tactics for readers to get an idea on what can be done to enhance personal safety. We at SDR is very serious about our research because, it takes so much time to gather information and sift out the chaff and find the wheat in any training information. SDR will not reveal any tactical information it finds valuable to military spec ops groups.

Finally, SDR supports, personal safety, self defense, and weapons and tactics for civilian safety. All of our articles are basic, to the point, and effective. The secret to survival is information and its this information that saves lives. SDR- Teanis Tillmon

Article written by Teanis Tillmon of Street Defense Research Institute (SDRI). For more information on similar articles, visit our website at

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