The Science of Walking or Driving the Principal – Time and Distance

man driving a car with his hands on the steering wheel

An attack on the principal is a time, distance relationship. Moving the principal, driving, or walking is managing time and distance. If there is an attack on the principal (AOP), driving or walking, any delay in the decision-making process will equate to less time and distance. No matter what skill level the practitioner possesses, if there is not enough time and distance to use the skill, bad things will happen.

Understanding the basic principles of managing time and distance can be lifesaving knowledge.

Driving the Principal

While driving, our frame of reference for measuring time and distance is attached to a speedometer, which supplies information in units of miles and hours – MPH. Whether you are driving (or walking), you do not have an hour or a mile to make decisions; in a vehicle emergency (accident or ambush), Miles Per Hour is an irrelevant unit of measurement.

As mentioned above, any delay in the decision-making process adds exponentially to the difficulty level needed to survive the AOP. In a vehicle, delays are not measured in seconds but in tenths of seconds. For example, at 40 mph (58.8 Feet Per Second), in .2 seconds, the driver travels 11.76 feet; at 60 MPH (88.2 Feet Per Second), in .2 seconds, the driver would travel 17.6 feet.

Why two-tenths of a second? Because that is how much time it takes to blink your eyes.

When you are driving 60 mph, literally in a blink of an eye, you are 17.6 feet closer to the problem; in half a second, you would be 44 feet closer, and in a second, 88 feet closer to the problem.

Any training that can speed up the decision-making process – by as little as a blink of an eye dramatically increase the chances of surviving the emergency.

bodyguard walking

Walking with the principal

Also, this concept of time and distance applies to all types of movements, including walking with the principal or standing in close proximity to the principal.

Consider that the “average” leisure walking speed is 3.1 MPH, and walking faster would increase the speed to 5.6 MPH. Using these walking speeds, walking at 3.1 MPH is equivalent to walking 4.6 Feet Per Second, and walking at 5.6 MPH is equivalent to walking 8.2 Feet Per Second.

Unlike moving the principal in a vehicle where the speeds are high and decision time is measured in tenths of seconds, when walking with the principal, the speed is low and time is measured in seconds; as an example, using the 3.1 MPH walking speed, a delay in the perception of the problem of one second would mean the threat is 4.6 feet closer to the principal. In two seconds (count to two slowly), given the 3.1-mile example, if there is a delay in perception, the threat is approximately 9 feet closer to the principal.

Whatever the attack scenario, moving in a vehicle or walking, there is a time and a distance that will mitigate the problem.

Consider the concept of time and distance in the context of training. While training, if the provider allows 5 seconds to solve a problem that needs to be mitigated in 2 seconds, they create a false sense of security that can be exploited by those who wish to do you and your principal harm.