Knowledge, Skill, Judgment : Armed Decision Making
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Knowledge, Skill, Judgment

by DA Caravella on 06/25/19


To possess ability in any field, including the use of lethal force in defense, these are the three key elements.

KNOWLEDGE of rules and laws provide the basis for legal and appropriate action. Knowledge of yourself, your limitations, strengths, physical capability at any given time and circumstance guide your actions. And a knowledge of human behavior can help you predict outcomes.

SKILL in the use of any defensive tool is required for success. Spend time becoming intimately familiar with the operation of your firearm. Practice until competent at a firearms range.

JUDGMENT is not instinctual. It must be taught. And at its foundation is knowledge and skill. Judgment can be defined as an analysis of options followed by an action. Virtual reality is probably the best method of teaching judgment, also known as decision making. Competence in decision making replaces the panic response with a learned response.

Thus we have a person with ability. In the case of self defense with a firearm available, it is the ability to survive that is paramount, not necessarily the employment of lethal force.

The next post will introduce the process of decision making, including a closer look at the definition.

Comments (4)

1. Sara said on 6/25/19 - 06:52PM
Looking forward to the series!
2. Bob R. said on 6/25/19 - 07:02PM
Just got the email and had to click. In less than a minute I see that my time at the range is not all I need--it's just one piece. Thanks! Can't wait to get the whole picture.
3. Johnny said on 6/26/19 - 05:34PM
My trainer said that I have to react quickly to live thru an attack. Here you're saying that I have to think thru the situation?
4. DA Caravella (ADM) said on 6/26/19 - 06:07PM
Your instructor is correct. And you read this post correctly. Like any new skill one is learning, your decision making at first is slow, tedious, and often incorrect. Through instructional exposure you become fast and accurate. Many instructors are stuck in skill-based instruction without being exposed to decision-making training. This has been the case in many other industries. Error rates drop drastically for those who employ decision-making skills. And fewer errors mean better survival chances and better outcomes if later challenged (a jury has the luxury of time).

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These and future posts will explore:

relationship of knowledge, skill, judgment;
the judgment process;
the three subject areas;
the five hazardous attitudes;
elements of the poor judgment chain;
the two mental processes in decision making;
the six action ways;
the I'M-SAFE personal assessment;
the benefits and risks of stress;
stand-your-ground and protected perimeter;
role of verbal command;
learning defined;
the four levels of learning;
building-block method of instruction;
role of student and instructor;
lesson planning;
definition of instructional knowledge.
Judgment Training Institute
Vero Beach, Florida
Using your firearm in defense is 20% skill
and 80% emergency decision-making.

You build skill at a live-fire range.
You experience emergency decision-making here.
Using your firearm in defense is 20% skill
and 80% emergency decision-making.

You build skill at a live-fire range.
You experience emergency decision-making here.