In today’s landscape, it is difficult to see good examples of chivalry. Those days may well be behind us, but how it relates to our families and friends is still very much alive.

Close to Danger

The art of self defense is complicated, but without a plan it is chaotic. Since I have been spending a lot time at formal and social events with my loved ones it has provided a unique opportunity. I like to start with the basics and those have to do with “escorting” loved ones around town. When formal events require formal attire it makes it even more challenging, but it is incumbent on those of us who can to set the example. The irony is much of what I will discuss relates to good old fashion gentlemen etiquette when out with a lady. Aside from shielding her from water, we place ourselves closet to the road to help protect from stray vehicles and road hazards. Thinking about how you walk together starts with the gun hand. I like to walk with my lady on my weak-side. A quick step to the forward oblique with my left foot starts to put my body in front of hers. A good first start.

Walking Together

Shielding is a natural instinct, but is it the right one. A lot will depend on the situation, but as a default I ask them to break contact immediately when a gun is drawn. Whether mine or the suspect’s breaking contact is pro-active. This can be anything from seeking cover, to moving to an exit or even flat out running away. Our pre-planned rally point is our vehicle or the last fixed position if not practical. You should also consider a code word use in a more surreptitious manner. Keeping it more low key might draw less attention. In the most extremis of circumstances when breaking contact is not possible, then staying together attached at the hip is the next best option. Literally, family members are instructed to grab hold of my belt, stay low and hold on. This frees up my hands to manage my surroundings and works with both adults and children.

Walking Hand in Hand

The next challenge is public affection and in this case holding hands or interlocking arms. Both of which I have no problem with and am quite fond of as a matter of fact. By default I avoid holding hands with my gun hand. It is not always practical, but I do make the effort. If you are holding hands with your gun hand then consider other force options you have available. You also want to talk that if I release the grip to immediately release hers no questions asked. Now as we roll into more gentlemen acts a lot of it has to do with the tactical advantage. If we are moving to a nice location such as a high end restaurant I am less inclined to consider the entry point. In other situations I take into account how the door opens, is it a push or pull. Is it see through or solid? If it is see through I can assess what is beyond the threshold and will typically hold the door open from the outside. If it is solid, I typically hold the door open from the inside so that I’m the first one through. Again, it is not always practical, but worth considering. There’s more, but that is for a latter time.

I was raised to treat others with respect and to be a gentlemen. I have adapted this chivalrous code to moderns times and suggest you do the same.

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