It was George Carlin who coined the phrase “Blood Intelligence Quotient: That's the point at which you decide not to do something that might make you bleed.” Because folks like us take things a bit more seriously, we tend to use terms like situational awareness, approach considerations and maintaining a tactical advantage. But in truth those are all parts of the Blood Intelligence Quotient. You are and always should be thinking about ways to make sure you don't bleed. Remember a couple blog entries back I asked, “What's more important in a gunfight; shooting the bad guy or not getting shot by the bad guy?” I stand by my desire to not get shot. Doing so mean that I can effectively shoot back. Well the same is true for a hands on situation.Here's the scenario: After logical discussion has broken down it becomes clear that it's time to put Billy Beergoggles in the back of a patrol car… the Tazer didn't work because the prongs got stuck in his mullet or something like that and now you are going to have to put your hands on him. Hopefully you saw the signs of a potential escalation beforehand and called for back up and hopefully it arrived. But either way the next decision you need to make is how to approach Billy. Sometimes you don't get a lot of time to make this decision, but you need to give it some thought anyway. Consider the direction of your approach. The direction you expect the subject to go if everything goes right and what your first move is going to be. After that, the situation becomes completely dynamic and even as you move to defend yourself and control the subject, you need to be thinking about where you are and how you might escape if need be.Remember, there is no shame in making a short-term tactical retreat if you need to. The goal is to maintain that tactical advantage ant that means if you need to let go, create some space and go for a different weapon. Do it.Keep thinking tactically. Do it all the time. Then when you have to do it under stress, you'll be able to.