Alertness & Assertive Disengagement

By John Farnam

Mental Health Hooded Robber
Alertness & Assertive Disengagement
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( Another success story, due to a constant state of personal alertness:

“We arrived at the Tesla Charger just before 9:00pm. It was in a downtown, underground parking garage. While the car charged, we walked to a local café for a burger. They closed at 9:00pm, so we just made it.

We noticed a group of noisy vagrants in the park across the street. No police presence.

When we returned to our vehicle, a vagrant appeared and started pounding on a glass barrier to our left, while screaming incoherently. This person was obviously agitated, aggressive, and violent.

Suddenly, this person starts walking toward us!

The person was wearing a gray hoodie sweatshirt, with the hood up. It looked like an elderly woman, but difficult to tell, because the sweatshirt hood covered her hair.

I stood next to my car, interview stance, and spoke loudly:

‘Stop now! Do not come any closer’

She stopped, almost falling over forward.

I then ordered:

‘Turn around and go away.’

I could now see if was a female, cigarette in her right hand and bag in her left.

She slowly turned around and walked off. Never said another word.

We got in our car and departed without further delay. Never saw her again. Police were never called, nor involved.

My training paid off!

I was ready and calm, and I knew what to do and say. I was able to speak clearly, because I had practiced my ‘tape-loops’ so many times! My pistol was never brandished, and no shots were fired.”


This is yet another example of a “happy ending.” But for good training and quick thinking, it could have easily deteriorated into a toxic physical confrontation, even a lethal-force event.

This incident will never reflect on any statistic, but this kind of assertive disengagement happens, and is successful, many times every day. We all need to be ready and prepared, for the moment when it is our turn!

  • Exit and enter vehicles quickly, attentively, while minimizing distraction. Don’t dawdle at this stage. You can find what you’re looking for after you’re inside locked doors!
  • When you enter your car, lock all doors immediately and then get the vehicle in motion without delay. Don’t sit in a motionless vehicle any longer than you have to. Day or night makes no difference!
  • When a threat catches your attention, remember he/she is probably not alone. Those walking toward you aggressively likely have a collaborator(s) walking towards you from another direction.

Rats travel in packs!”

“It was clear that a Great American Fleet had been concentrated in Pearl Harbor, and we supposed (incorrectly) that the state of alert would be very high.” ~ Hideki Tojo


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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James Bailey

The article was interesting, and for the 85% of folks out there very effective analysis and tactics. However, for the other 15% of us who are cripples, otherwise known in PC terms as physically impaired, it takes us forever to get anywhere sometimes, because of pain. Sometimes, once we get to our vehicles, it takes us a moment or two to catch our breath and recover from whatever pain is currently assaulting us. When we are finally in our vehicles, sometimes that actually takes the wind out of our sails, and we actually have to sit there for 2 to… Read more »


Please quit feeding the trolls!!

Jim Macklin

The “woman” you saw got your attention by banging on the glass and shouting. Then she approached and you concentrated on her and verbally warned her away. She could have been a decoy and the real danger could have come from behind you with her friends. When alarmed, don’t fixate, look around. “We noticed a group of noisy vagrants in the park across the street. No police presence. When we returned to our vehicle, a vagrant appeared …” A call to 911 might have resulted in the vagrants being checked out and would have established a trail of evidence for… Read more »


Wow you fended off some elderly person without shooting her(?) dead! You should be presented with a bravery medal!


VPC troll


You must be a freaking mind reader. Either that or you are a flipping moron. I believe the latter is the case.

Wild Bill

Apparently, there are individuals that believe elderly persons can not be dangerous; that female persons can not be dangerous; or vagrants can not be dangerous. It is true, all old ladies are kind and trustworthy, no matter what their prior history. Old men, children, in fact everybody on the planet are gentle, kind, and principled. That means that the entire staff down at the Violence Policy Center offices should spend all of their spare time working in homeless shelters rubbing elbows with the nice genteel sane homeless persons.


Ignore the maroon.


Ignore the maroon. Prolly a harmless vay grunt…. but these days, with the escalating “factions” making war on other “factions” its best to play safe. Playing sorry can cost a lot.


Why? The author supposed she could have legally shot the old woman dead but is a hero for not doing so?


Not a bravery medal, but maybe one for realizing fools like you sit on juries.

Robert Thomas

Shut up azz hole

Roy D.

It is easy to spot someone like that. A little bit harder with those who pretend to be offering “help.” Ten days ago I had to be “rude” to a person offering “help.” The thing is, his mannerisms and voice did not match what he was purporting to do. Also there is no mistaking the “lock on” in his eyes. He thought I was prey. I disabused him of that notion and he and his road dog got into their vehicle and drove away after chuckling about my response. This was in broad daylight in front of a strip mall.… Read more »