Run-Hide-Fight is about Options and not a Prescribed Sequence

Image result for run hide fight

Hi All,

Just a quick post to share that training should always evolve to meet the changing needs of the world.  However, changing training just for the sake of changing training, to create new models with new, catchy acronyms, to create new revenue streams, is a waste of time and potentially distracting to those who need good information.

Please see this clearly well-intentioned article.  It proposes that the Run-Hide-Fight model is flawed.  According to the author:

In the “Run, Hide, Fight” (RHF) model, a potential victim is advised to “run,” and if that’s not possible, to “hide,” and only if all other options have been exhausted, to “fight.” Fighting is clearly treated as a secondary option, compared to the primary “run” or “hide” alternatives, and can only be chosen as a last resort, when nothing else has worked.

The author goes on to say:

Accordingly, the RHF model lacks efficiency. It’s not flexible enough to permit someone to evaluate the problem, and choose the appropriate response from a set of equally viable options. Instead, it requires a time-consuming, inefficient, linear process of elimination – consider “run,” but if it doesn’t work, try “hide,” and if both fail, then – and only then – you can “fight.”

Clearly, the author believes the Run-Hide-Fight model is an options-based platform that is sequence-mandated and thus inflexible.  I have never taught the Run-Hide-Fight model in such a restrictive manner.  I get it, though, that some may be teaching Run-Hide-Fight as a restrictive sequence.  See this picto-graph:

Image result for active shooter options

This above picto-graph depicts an inaccurate and dangerous way of teaching and putting to use the Run-Hide-Fight model  It is wrong!  Fighting, for instance, might indeed be your ONLY option, based on the totality of the circumstances.

So…if your organization is teaching Run-Hide-Fight in some sequenced format, leaving the trainees believing that they should move through them in a clear 1-2-3 format, change your approach!  They are truly not options if you can’t deploy them as needed, when needed, constantly using them, adjusting them, and improvising them, to overcome and prevail.

Note the author’s proposed (in his eyes better) model of Move-Escape-Attack.  There is actually very little difference between it and the Run-Hide-Fight model.  Move = Run.  Escape = Hide.  Attack = Fight.  It’s about how models are taught, and less about the options.

Now…I’m all about creative presentation of training so that you can better deliver training to diverse audiences.  Perhaps that’s the author’s intent.  And his model is very valid!  And yet the argument that the Run-Hide-Fight model is based on a restrictive sequence (i.e., one cannot hide until one has run or one cannot fight until one has hidden) is just untrue.

For all those who teach a Run-Hide-Fight model (or any variation of it of which there are many), it is indeed an options-based platform that is not to be taught as a sequence (e.g., 1, then 2, then 3). Rather, it is truly an options-based platform that provides the user, based on the totality of the circumstances, to put to work whatever is needed at that moment.

So one can put to work any option, as needed, when needed, such as:







Run-Run-Run (sometimes one may need only one, continuing, inspired, hardy use of a single option)

Hide-Hide-Hide (sometimes one may need only one, continuing, inspired, hardy use of a single option)

Fight-Fight-Fight (sometimes one may need only one, continuing, inspired, hardy use of a single option).

Let us not forget to not even be restricted by the fluid use of these three options.  We may (and we know from the After Action Reports that some do) choose to help others to hide instead of first hiding ourselves.  We may choose to play dead, covering a wounded person.  There are innumerable ways to survive violence.

Image result for bruce lee quotes about how to fight

Circumstances determine our response.

Let no model restrict your options.  I encourage you to not even take as gospel what I share here.  Test it yourself.

Don’t allow yourself to be captured by new training fads, trends, or acronyms.

Train well.

Be safe.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s