Do you consider yourself to be a Combative person?

First we need to understand the true meaning of Combative.

From the Webster Dictionary


: having or showing a willingness to fight or argue


At first I would not consider myself as being combative but after having a long conversation with a friend, I realized that I am indeed a combative person. As a church security officer I have made a commitment to the church, members and visitors that I would make our place of worship a safe environment. To accomplish this goal the members of my team and I must be willing to stand up for what is right and holy. Often this is simply directing a visitor to the correct location or getting a medic to the kid’s area. In the most desperate of events it may mean getting physically involved in the event to prevent harm to those we have sworn to protect.

If you have properly trained, simple verbal skills may diffuse the situation and prevent it from becoming physical. In the case of a violent assault of a member or guest, we may need to go hands on to prevent severe injury to our charge. In the ultimate violent encounter, the active killer, we must be willing to meet the challenge head on by taking direct action against the shooter. This may be disarming the criminal, tackling them to the ground or using deadly force to stop the killing. To be successful you must have a combative mindset and have trained to meet this challenge. Training is the key. In the world of law enforcement and military, we have come to understand that people respond as they have trained. We know that it is better to bleed in training rather than in an incident.

The recent incident at the Washington Naval Yard tells all of us that we must take responsibility for the safety of our churches. Despite being a major military base, despite being close to the center of government, despite being a home to NCIC offices and despite having perimeter security it took almost seven minutes for an armed response to react and push the situation to a barricaded event. During the Clinton Presidency, weapons were removed from the hands of military officers when stationed in the United States.  This was also true during the Fort Hood assault. These soldiers were forced to place their defense in others when a critical incident occurred. The result was not good.

What do we do?

We have the ability to take responsibility for the safety of our churches but to do so we must adopt a willingness to have a combative mentality. Then we must train to have the knowledge of what to do in a critical incident and when to act. To this end I have several questions for you:

Have you trained in the Basics of Church Security?

  • Do you understand your duties and procedures?

Have you trained in Verbal Communications for the Church Security Officer?

  • Do you know what words work to relax a situation and what words will turn the encounter violent?

Have you trained in Weapons Disarms and Retention?

  • How to perform a weapon strip from the front, side, and rear.
  • How to control the weapon with your body versus your wrist.
  • How to pull the weapon into center.
  • How to forcefully peel a gun away from an attempted strip.
  • How to attack during a weapon strip.
  • How to effortlessly retain your firearm while the bad guy does all the work.
  • How to keep the weapon inside your holster while defeating the subject’s ability to pull the gun out of the holster.

Have you trained in Physical Incident Training for Church Security?

  • Having the Proper Mindset
  • Dealing with the Public
  • Escort Positions
  • Using Pressure Points
  • Tactical Breathing
  • Reporting the Use of Force
  • Dealing with Resistance
  • Take Down tactics
  • Handcuff Positions
  • Transitioning a suspect to a Face Down Position
  • Handcuffing Techniques
  • Handcuff Maintenance
  • Searching for Weapons
  • Ground Fighting Tactics
  • Hand to Hand Tactics
  • Physical Strikes
  • Baton Tactics – Deploying and Striking
  • Mindset


Training in person is the best option but for those of you who do not have access to a local trainer, please review the links above to see what resources that Church Security Alliance can provide for your church team. Proper training means the difference between success and failure.

We must all take responsibility for the safety of our churches so I hope that all of you will join Glen and me in being a Combative Person.



Jack Justice


Church Security Alliance.


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