The Criminal Assault Paradigm


In the Shivworks curriculum as developed by Craig Douglas there is an emphasis on a block Craig calls “CAP”. The Criminal Assault Paradigm, or “how bad guys do business”. This is a an interactive Socratic method block about the HOW of the types of crimes committed upon people happen. Through this he lays the foundation of the training methodology out. We must accept the reality of the conditions present before we can prepare for them.

We discuss the elements present in a crime upon a person. Weapons, multiple adversaries, use of distraction and ambush, multiple opponents. We get into how these crimes look, what may be present as precursors, the environment we need to account for.

What it is not is a discussion on the WHY.

It is often that I may share a snippet of some story of say a home invasion or armed robbery and often the discussion is one of speculation on motives. Recently some commentators assured us that the object of one armed home invasion was involved in drug activity. Is that likely? Sure. Is it the point? No, not one bit. Once you have assured yourself that this violence was done to someone other than you or your type are you now more comfortable? I mean your not a drug dealing criminal gangbanger that had it coming right?

But what about the actors? Do you think that a group of people willing to run up into someones home over a couple hundred bucks of drugs will somehow give you pass if you bump into them on the street? Just go ahead and assure them that you are a good guy and I’m sure you’ll be fine..

It’s odd to me that often the gun carrying concealed carry advocate on one hand is ready to hide upon his person a tool capable of taking life, and on the other hand is quickly dismissive of events as happening to other people, or minimizes the consequences of ever having to use that tool. Often the hero of the fantasy, rarely the victim. Triumphant in imagination, and without consideration of the risks and the aftermath.

“Deep in the human consciousness is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.”


The human animal is always looking for causes, always in search of the why. It’s one of our greatest traits. It’s cured diseases, taken us into space, and tamed the elements. But reality doesn’t require your understanding. How could someone walk into a place of worship and kill children? Why would someone rape and torture? What motivates someone to murder their pregnant wife and children and stuff their bodies in a tank?

It’s important for us to accept that these things happen. That people are terrible to one another. It’s primary to what I do to recognize that the human potential for harm is not limited by my repulsion. It does not require my consent. Preparation for reality does not have understanding as a prerequisite, only a stark look at the conditions.

Shawn Lupka





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