I’d Tap That…Twice!

 The Double Tap Parry (DTP) from DT4EMS


RELATED: Stances and Assessment L

We have had a lot of people who have never attended one of our classes ask about our shirt and the “I’d Tap That…Twice” saying.

I love the looks I get in airports across the country as I am sporting one. Your should have heard the gasps at our wedding when the preacher revealed his! —–>

The shirts have also allowed me to strike up a conversation regarding the epidemic scope of violence in medicine. See for yourself.

I will use this little article to explain the shirts and their catchy saying. The Double Tap Parry (DTP) is the root of the physical skills taught in a DT4EMS EVE class.

The DTP is Step #4 (image below left) on our Six Steps of Self-Defense Six_stepsIt is the sole technique that will blend into nearly every self-defense technique. Regardless of any self-defense “system” you have learned in the past, the DTP will blend seamlessly. The DTP has within it several of the most important self-defense principles; Parry, Elbow Control and Distraction.

The parry (below right)  is what will protect you from receiving the initial part of a frontal attack (straight punch, push, slap, grab attempt etc). The second part of the DTP is simply Mullen_6a touch.

The second tap ( touch) can either “jam” the attacker, or tell your body “where to go” for the escape. The reason we believe the DTP is so important is it can “buy you a moment in time” to recognize the difference between a true medical patient and an attacker.

The DTP works best for self-defense because it places you in a non-threatening, non-aggressive stance. See Stances


Q. Who is the attacker in this picture? ————>

A. That is what a witness will see too!

Practice to appear non-threatening. You want any images, video and or audio captured of you to appear as a “provider” not a “fighter”. Because our new reality is our use of force captured on film.  Get your hands up and open. Knees bent slightly, which will help you move if needed, and begin your dialogue to diffuse the situation.

If the attacker still decides to reach for you, push                         (The first “tap” is the Parry)
or even punch at you:DTP_Parry
simply parry it as shown in the picture ————>
(You won’t be any good without some practice, so that is why you come to a DT4EMS EVE class so we can prove to YOU that YOU CAN do this just like the thousands we have trained already.)

The parry is not a hard block. It is a simple re-direction of the strike, which is why we call it a “tap” and not a block. Coupled with moving the target (your body part) the attacker was attempting to hit (we call that the side-step) provides an even greater chance of the provider not being struck with the full force of a blow.

The second part of the DTP is to obtain momentary elbow control. Again, this should be thought of and practiced as a “tap”. It is not pushing their elbow away from you,  rather it is  a “jam” so they can’t close the gap. Simply think of it (the second tap) as a guide, a reference point if you will.  The second beat (tap) of the DTP will tell you (through your practice) you if the attacker still wants to hurt you and it can show you the “space to escape” or it will let you know the                 (The second “tap” is elbow control)
person was in fact a confused medical patient.DTP_2ndbeat


Remember no attacker is going to just leave an arm out there for you so be prepared to follow it down.



The Double Tap Parry (DTP) is actually a series of principle based movements (Parry, Elbow Control, Distraction) put into a drill format. Using drills to train provides a person numerous repetitions of a skill in a short amount of training time.

Training in simple drills like the DTP will speed a person’s reaction time. This can help prevent the initial strike, punch, punch, kick etc from making contact with its intended target (the defending provider’s anatomy).normal_DT4EMS-013~0
*No tool, tactic or technique is 100% effective. This is why we really need to recognize the difference between self-defense and fighting on the job.


The DTP is truly a self-defense technique. We are all the way down into Step #4 of the Six Steps if resorting to the DTP. The provider (defender) does not, cannot use it unless it is defensive in nature. Therefore, under stress, the provider is less likely to use a technique that may be viewed as punitive in nature in a use-of-force situation.

Much more provider and patient safety information on our BLOG.

Before you go, watch this video lesson on Culture Change-SYWYSO.