This Use of Force Flow Chart illustrates the decision-making process that happens in our brain within a split second.  but since it is a complicated process, we want to further expand on the diagram for you. O 

Recently, one of my colleagues who is in the Canadian Armed Forces mentioned that this Use of Force Flow Chart seems too convoluted and suggested that we simplify it. It is true that, in Krav Maga, we want to simplify everything. However, this chart is perfect.


Why this chart is perfect

How did I come to this conclusion?

This is a perfect representation of the decision making process in the brain with regards to use of force. Think of all the questions you must ask yourself during a violent situation. It is exceptionally complicated. Is there a weapon? How many threats are there? How hard is someone resisting? How much resistance do I need to use? What tools are available to me and which ones can I use? What’s my environment like? Do I have any friends around me? Do I need to call for backup? Is my skill good enough to deal with this conflict?

In reality, this this internal calculation of all the factors in a bad situation happens in a split second. On top of that, you are also simultaneously trying to manage the internal physical changes in your body, such as your natural fight or flight response and peaking hormone levels, so that you control your external responses and don’t panic or blank out.

Use of force is complicated

The only thing you can do to assure that you will apply appropriate use of force in any situation is… Surprise! PROPER TRAINING AND PRACTICE. You should also maintain and upgrade your skills as needed, of course. If you don’t understand use of force, or you are untrained, all you can do is know that we are all humans and that the process of deciding what to do in a physical conflict under psychological strain (with probably a whole buttload of emotional responses) is extremely difficult.

The implications of this is that the general public, who have no training, often don’t realize how complicated it really is to apply use of force. Maybe the next time you see a viral video or a clip on TV about police brutality, think critically of the situation and use your newfound knowledge about use of force to decide for yourself whether or not it was “police brutality.” Most of the time, it really is not, and the reason is simple — use of force is complicated and if a person resists, the person or officer must react with equal and opposite force. This means if a person is using their maximum force then there is only one option as a response.

Use of force is complicated

Remember that it requires extensive training to know what is an appropriate response, and even professionals rarely receive training in appropriate use of force. It is very easy for anyone, trained or not, to make a mistake through even slightly misreading the situation and information around them. Subsequently, it is even easier to let your nervous system get the better of you, and even more mistakes can be made that way.

Thus, make sure you study this chart and know it well. Under stress, no matter how much we want to do things right, the correct decision is not so simple.