Command Presence for Self-Defense

Command Presence for Self-Defense
Download Joseph Terry's full online course, "How to Avoid Gunfights," for a complete lesson on command presence for self-defense.

Handgun skills with Tiger McKee.

Why Command Presence is Important

No one looks forward to a gunfight. The great paradox of avoiding one is that the better your firearms and self-defense training, the less likely you are to engage in a violent altercation. That's due to command presence.

What is Command Presence?

“Command presence” is the dynamic projection of the skill and will sufficient to persuade someone to comply with your verbal orders. In other words, if you tell someone to do something (such as “back off”), and you look capable of effectively using a firearm while you say it, you're more likely to achieve compliance to your verbal commands.

Command presence is key to avoiding violent altercations, and it's explained in great detail in my How to Avoid Gunfights Online Course at Living Ready University. Command presence is something that everybody can learn, but you're not born with it. You learn to do it.

Good Reasons to Understand Command Presence

In the case of a prolonged social disruption, 911 dispatch will only function as long as the diesel in their emergency generators will allow them to function.

If the grid goes down, the average police department has a tank in the back with about two days' worth of diesel in it.

If the trucks can't refill the tank, dispatch goes down. And if dispatch goes down, law enforcement stops.

You're on your own for as long as the disruption exists. And under those circumstances, your ability to demonstrate command presence could be the only thing that keeps your supplies yours.

Learn More About Command Presence

The techniques for establishing command presence require practice. Lots and lots of practice. Start with the How to Avoid Gunfights Online Course from Living Ready University. It explains the must-know information for achieving compliance to your verbal commands in crisis situations. This is critical instruction, don't skip it.


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Joseph Terry is a retired law enforcement firearms instructor. Terry is the author of <i>Gunfighting in Teams</i> and <i><a href="">Prepared and Armed: Team Shooting Tactics for Home Defense</a></i> available at <a href=""></a>. His work with Living Ready also includes the <i><a href="">How to Avoid Gunfights Online Course</a></i> from Living Ready University.


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