Gunfighting 101: The basic Threes!

r-NUMBER-THREE-large570

Recently, I taught a firearms course in Liberty, SC at Foothills Firearms Training Center.  We were discussing gunfighting and the question came up, so what Gunfighting 101 skills do we need?  I believe it all starts with the Basic Threes!

1.  Most gunfights happen a 3 feet or less.

2.  Most gunfights are over in 3 seconds.

3.  Only 3 rounds or less are shot during the actual event.

Ok!  So where does this information come from; The internet, interviews of criminals, actual police shooting or did we just make it up?  Well, I say does it really matter?

In my opinion, the answer is no it does not matter.  We need to start our basic firearms training with some point of reference, so lets start with the Basic Threes.    Here are a few suggestions;

1.  Practice until you can draw and fire your weapon from concealed carry position in less 3 seconds or less.  This will take a little effort but it can be done.

2.  Practice to effectively fire three shots to body or head in 3 seconds or less. 

3.  Now do all of the above, standing, seated, sitting, kneeling or from any other position.  This will certainly be a challenge but it is not impossible. 

Who knows, maybe next week, it will be determined that 5 feet is the distance with 4 rounds and 6 seconds.  If that happens, then we will re-group and start our training from a different reference point.  However, until that does happen, I am going to stick with the Basic Threes! 

As always, I look forward to hearing your comments, opinions and thoughts about training and what you are doing.  Please train safely and effectively.

What is the BEST Home Defense Weapon?

140347_9029-scissors

So what is the BEST Home Defense Weapon?  I can hardly wait to hear all the exciting answers to this loaded question.  So what is my answer!  The one that you have access to in the time of need.  The one that you have trained to deployed effectively.  The one that stops the threat that you are facing.

There are obviously lots of answers.  Here is something to think about.  What if we immediately start developing an Improvised Weapon (IW) mentality.  How do we do this, easy!  Look all around your home and find items that can be used fight off an attacker.  I am sure there are plenty.

Please stop what you are doing right now and look around. Look in every room and find at least one IW.  This is an extremely important exercise to do before you face a deadly force threat, not while you are in the middle of it.

So what is your BEST Home Defense Weapon?  Please send some feedback, I would love to hear from you.

British Combat Association!

Sometimes I forget and I need a friendly reminder.  Today I received two friendly reminders about the same oversight on my part.  I have made 43 post and no where have I mentioned an extremely important influence in my Pistol Combatives  and the Combat Hard Krav Maga and Combatives curriculum.  

That influence is the British Combat Association led by Peter Consterdine and Geoff Thompson.  I have not met Mr. Thompson to date, but I have had the true pleasure of sitting down and talking with Mr. Consterdine.  We met in a hotel lobby in Manchester several years ago and talked for several hours.  He is a true security professional and an incredible martial arts coach.  I even had the experience of holding the striking pad for a light version of his double hip strike. When he hit me, it did not feel light, but I am sure he took it easy on me, because we had not had lunch yet.  LOL!

Here is an excellent overview of the BCA.  BCA-Info-Pack.  And here are some of the products they produce.  All are highly recommended!

BCA photo

I am also participating in World Combat Association (WCA) Combat Coach Diploma Award Program.  One more step and I will have completed the Instructor portion and then I start working the Combat Coach.  

photo

Alright!  So check out the BCA and let me know your thoughts.  They are a great resources and some of the best martial arts coaches in the world.  Thank you, British Combat Association and Peter Consterdine!

 

Training with a Combatives Legend

marcus-header-2011

Today is August 31st and I have the true pleasure of training with a NLP & Combatives Legend,  Marcus Wynne.  If you do not know who this is, please immediately click this link. http://www.marcuswynne.com/.  The things that he has done are off the chart.

When you visit his link, I highly recommend you read one of his novels.  You will get a dose of hardcore combatives, wrapped in a military and law enforcement adventure theme, with lots of mystery and real world violence.

BTW!  This great seminar Marcus Wynne LKN Seminar adobe is at Nick Hughes’s training center in NC. http://nickhughescombatives.com/ .If you are not here, sorry you are really missing out.  Nick is an awesome instructor and combatives expert also.  It is truly going to be an incredible day!

How Simple and Efficient is your Training?

41YGvhEifrL._SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_

After 31 years of fighting and shooting, I have begun to understand that the simplest solution in self-defense is often the best one.  We all love the fancy or sexy stuff, that we see all over You Tube.  Some of these techniques are truly beautiful, indeed.  However, under extreme duress, some of these techniques will often fail due to their complexity or your body’s inability to perform them under stress.

That is, of course, unless you absolutely drill them into the ground and they becomes like gross motor skills.  Is this possible, absolutely!  Visit the book titled  “The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills” by Daniel Coyle to learn the secrets of efficient and simple practice.  

So let us look at the act of drawing your firearm from a holster.  It is a 4 step process that is easy to master if you practice.

  1. Obtain your “Master grip” while the firearm is in the holster
  2. Lift you dominant side “Elbow up“.  This clears the firearm from the holster.
  3. Drop you dominant side “Elbow Down“.  The weapon is now in a position to be fired
  4. Lock” the firearm into several different positions.  The positions that I teach are Close Quarter or Weapons Retention position, Body Point Position, One Handed Full Extension or Two Handed Full Extension.

In the beginning, I suggest you practice this simple 4 step process daily.  Watch yourself in a mirror, while conducting the practice.  It should be noted that this should only be done with a properly cleared and safe pistol.  There is no need to place any additional vent holes in your roof or in your walls.

Once you have the basics down and you have alleviated all unnecessary motion, pick up the pace by adding a timer into your training session.  There is obviously more to do and train, but this is a great place to start.

There you have it.  Get out there and practice and please let me know how you are doing.

SO WHERE’S PART 2? RIGHT HERE BABY!

REMEMBER, DON’T BREAK INTO JAIL! Part 2

 By Burton J. “Jimi” Brown, JD, PhD

Last time I wrote about the potential problems arising during the aftermath of a citizen involved shooting incident. The type of shooting incident where you, the good guy, shoot and kill, or wound another person, the bad guy. Keep in mind that I’m working off the assumption that you, the citizen shooter, is the good guy and the other guy, the “shootee,” is the bad guy. I’m going to talk about this topic again but before diving in let me provide you with some simple words to remember:

STAY ALIVE!

First and foremost the idea is to stay alive! You must survive the violent encounter! You must live to fight another day if that unfortunate event were to happen again. That said, here’s the rub. In surviving you live to face the results of the police investigation and, if the bad guy is dead, a likely grand jury conducted by your local prosecutor. If you don’t survive, none of this matters. The stressful hassle of the post shooting inquiries won’t be important to you if you’re not around to participate. So, once again, Stay Alive! Failure to do so is both lethal and permanent.

You may be thinking, why should I be so careful about what I say to the investigators at the scene? Why can’t I tell them I’m a black belt in Kick Ass Fu? What exactly do you want me to say? Fair enough, lets get to it.

You: Officer, I’ve had tactical hand gun training and I’m a pretty good shot!

Investigator: Really? That’s great! Who’d you train with?

You: Charley Crux over at The Kill Fu Studio. I’ve taken all the pistol courses and I believe him to be one of the best tactical shooters in the country.

Investigator: Really! Cool! Clearly you’re a great shot. You put 2 in this guys bean under stress from about 7 yards! Most cops couldn’t do that. Hell, I don’t think I could do it. Hey, have you taken any of Crux’s other classes?

You: Oh yeah, I’ve been taking his Kick Ass Fu for five years including the edged weapon defense courses. I’ll soon be a Black Belt!

Investigator: Most impressive! (Pause for dramatic color.) I was wondering why you didn’t use your Kick Ass Take the Knife Away Fu instead of shooting? I’m also wondering why you put two impressive shots in the guys bean when you could have run away screaming like a little girl with her hair on fire?

You: Uhhhhhhhhh! I believe I have the right to stand my ground!

Investigator: OK, whatever you say.

Now think about this. You may have just set let loose the hounds of hell straight from the bowels of Pandora’s Mythical Box. Worse, your lawyer may find it extremely difficult to put the hounds back in the box. The thing about the Hounds of Hell is that they are bigger than the box they came out of. This is one of life’s great mysteries. You’ve provided the gasoline before the fire was even lit. Your first question may be that the investigators are going to find this out on their own. Yes, they probably are but during the timely process of investigation and AFTER you’ve been coordinating your defense with a lawyer. If you provide all this information before the fire there will almost certainly BE a fire. If it is learned during the natural course of investigation it may not.

As I mentioned in the first article, most law enforcement officers are not looking to jail a citizen shooter. This included myself. If it appears to have been a self defense incident then we were OK with the bad guy getting shot. No guarantees of course but you get the point. However, if you put damaged fruit in the basket while it is empty the investigator is now going to have to deal with it because it is, after all, the only thing in the basket other than the bullets fired. As long as the bullets are the only thing in the basket, leave it that way.

The Bottom Line: Do Not Break Into Jail.

You: But like I said, they’re going to find out I trained with Crux and have studied Kick Ass Fu! How’s it going to be different?

Because you’ve trained in pistol combat techniques and martial arts does not mean you were not scared into a maximum, bowel emptying, defecation episode. Even if only in the figurative sense. (By the way, don’t be surprised or ashamed if you actually do so. In point of fact, a good pants loading could work for you, provided it’s naturally occurring.) If you’re running on about it you risk the possibility that you won’t be able to use fear as a defense. Someone might infer that you were out looking for trouble and simply won a gun fight. Do not go there! Remember, you should be asking to be taken to the hospital and not on the scene engaging in idle chit chat with the investigators, the press, or standers by.

You: The press? What do you mean the press?

It’s a shooting of a person involving a gun toting citizen! Damn right the press. If they approach you say nothing. If you get pressed by the press, say nothing except to ask a nearby policeman to get you to the ambulance. You are, after all, not feeling well and need a full check over. Your attorney can coordinate press releases later.

You: A grand jury? Why? That seems unnecessary. I’m going to touch on grand juries in part 3 of this series. For now understand that in some states it might be required by law when a person has been shot and killed. Grand juries are conducted as a type of investigation by the prosecutor of the jurisdiction in question. So for now don’t worry about it. It is another post-shooting possibility and one best worried about by your lawyer.

One final note. In no way do I want to leave you the impression that I don’t recommend taking pistol combative training and other martial arts. Not at all! You SHOULD take these courses, practicing, and getting good. All I saying is shut the hell up about it. Becoming proficient is how you increase the odds of surviving an armed encounter. So, stay alive and stay out of jail. You can do both.

Do you need to learn Combative skills? YES!

Nick-Hughes-sample-of-phase-1-2

Finding the time to learn combative skills is often challenging.  Here is an excellent source of authentic fighting skills that can be learned in the privacy of your own home.

Please visit http://nickhughescombatives.com/.  Nick Hughes is an awesome combatives instructor with many, many years of experience.  He is also an excellent public speaker, so combine this with his deadly combative skills and you have a WIN/WIN situation.

Please visit Nick’s website today and check out some of the free clips.  You will not be disappointed.  All the best.

BW-Headshot_cropped-500

B.E.A.T.!

4

When you are in the middle of a fight for your life, is not the time to decide which vital areas on your adversary to strike.  This decision should be made well in advance.  A great acronym to remember four specific striking areas is B.E.A.T.  B.E.A.T is short for Brain, Eyes, Abdomen and Testicles.  These striking areas should be used to distract your adversary long enough for you to exit the threat zone.  They should not be considered blows that will incapacitate.  They might, but most likely they will create a very short time period in which your adversary is not thinking about you but is thinking about pain.  That is your window of opportunity.  RUN!

I was first introduced the B.E.A.T model in Frank Albert’s great book One-Strike Stopping Power – How to Win Street Confrontations with Speed and Skill.  This book is available at www.paladin-press.com.

BRAIN – Rock the brain and you reboot the computer.  Slapping the side of your adversary’s head will usually get their attention and cause a distraction.  If the distraction works, run.  The best self-defense technique is running away from the threat.  Remember that slapping someone is only a distraction; follow-up strikes are obviously necessary if the distraction does not work and you plan on winning this encounter.  Always have a follow-up plan.  Preprogram Murphy’s Law into the equation.  Plan for the worst and when it does not happen, cool!

EYES – If they can not see, it is very hard to find you.  We all should be able to agree that shoving your fingers into the eyes of someone that is attacking you will most likely upset them.  It will also usually cause them to drop or let go of whatever they are holding and retract their hands back towards their eyes.  Again, this is the golden moment for you to exit the threat zone.  Do not stand around admiring your handy work, RUN!

ABDOMEN – Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you?  A good straight punch or better yet, a knee delivered to the abdominal region should do the trick.  Where do you want to strike?  Well, make it simple, and hit them around the navel region.  Drive your strike through the navel; do not just strike the surface.   Here is something to think about: Melchor Menor, a former two-time Muay Thai world champion was tested on the power of his knee strike.  Menor delivered a knee strike to a monitored test dummy, and the power of his knee strike was equal to the power of a 35 mile per hour car crash.  That would certainly cause some destruction!

TESTICLES – Ok, nobody really wants to talk about this one but grabbing the soft area of the testicles and attempting to rip them off will certainly get the attention of any would-be rapist.  Obviously, this is a little more difficult if he still has his pants on.  You will have to grab through a lot of cloth.  The only problem is that the testicles are well protected by the large leg muscles and getting a direct hit is difficult.  A simple strike or flick of the fingers into or towards the groin region will cause just about any man to take a step backwards, or at least flinch. That certainly does not put him out of the fight; however, do not be discouraged. Aim low and hit hard.  If you do get a direct hit, you will have most likely hit payday.  Stun and RUN!

So, there is the B.E.A.T. model.  Train it, practice it and prepare yourself for battle.

“SWAMP!”

Knife1981

I was reading an old Combat Hard Blog post that referenced an article by the Combatives Legend Bob Kasper, entitled “Swamp: How to Make The First Strike Your Last.”  In the article, Bob talked about power in combatives, and the idea that when you strike, you sure as heck better make it count in order to lessen a perpetrator’s commitment to the attack.  Being an average size person, I have always been extremely interested in generating as much force as possible with the my God given body.  SWAMP is a simple acronym for Bob’s five principles of power.  Apply these principles to make all your strikes count and effective break in your opponent’s OODA loop and force him to go on the defense.  Remember you should be driving the bus.

S: Stay relaxed.  You slow yourself down if your muscles are tense.  Try throwing a punch with all the muscles of your arm contracted.  Not very efficient, is it?  Now throw a punch with your arm more relaxed.  Think about how you clench the fist right before impact, but stay loose at every micro-step before that moment.  Explode on impact.  Not easy, and it takes practice.

W: Weapon first.  Kasper says, “Let him feel the technique before he sees it.”  In other words, avoid telegraphing your movement.  This is also takes practice.

A: Acceleration.  Speed is critical.  Slow and steady, like the tortoise, is not going to win this particular race.  Be the hare, and beat him to the punch.

M: Move in the direction of the strike.  For instance, sometimes students will shuffle forward and leave a foot planted instead of bringing it along with them and moving the whole body into a strike.  The body is essentially divided in the effort.  Moving all the mass together as a cohesive unit is a beautiful thing, and makes all the difference in the efficacy of your effort!

P: Plunge.  We talk a lot in class about putting your a** into your strikes.  Not only do you have to move in the direction of the strike, but you have to utilize your bodyweight correctly behind the strike.  I’ve seen 220 pound guys punch with just their arms.  A lot of them are still powerful, but again, they are using just their arms.  Now, what if a 165 pound guy can put every ounce of his weight into his strikes, and strike as fast and decisively as a cobra, who do you think has the advantage?  How powerful do you think the 220 pounders could be with efficient body mechanics?

Use these principles with any technique.  As soon as you perceive the threat, explode.  Force him to change his mind, or diminish him to the point when he is no longer a threat.  As I often say, “This guy brought you to this dance.  Okay, buddy.  Now, we’re going to dance.”  Just make sure you are leading!

Practice Deploying your Firearm!

PullConceal3SmPullConcealShirt2Sm

I have had the wonderful privilege of training with some of the best firearms instructors in the world.  I have learned so many things about gun fighting and pray that I never have to use any of these skills.  I have fired thousands and thousands of rounds on every type of civilian, military and law enforcement ranges but the one skill that I have practiced without shooting an actual bullet or worked with one of these professional instructors is the actual deployment of my firearm.  Yes, drawing the firearm out of the holster.

All the training in the world amounts to nothing if you can’t get your weapon out of the holster and able to engage your threat.  The practicing of deploying your primary and backup firearm should be done from open carry, concealed carry, standing, kneeling (one or two knees), seated, prone (on your back, on your stomach, or on either side), in your vehicle, in your bed, and just about any other place you can think of. You should also practice while you are defending yourself from an adversary attack. All this training can all be done without firing any rounds and it cost absolutely nothing, except your time.

My good friend and instructor, Hock Hockheim has taught many students to practice drawing your firearm from the Stop 6 positions.  These are the six common stopping or sticking points/collisions in a fight.

Stop 1 – The Stand-off/Showdown/Interview

Stop 2 – Hands on Hands/Fingers in Fingers

Stop 3 – The Forearm Crash Collision

Stop 4 – The Biceps/Neck Line Collision

Stop 5 – The Bear Hug “Clinch”

Stop 6 – The Ground Stop

Once you have worked through the Stop 6 positions, the next step is conducting a few “Pressure” drills or what Tony Blauer calls Ballistic Micro-Fightsä.  These realistic scenarios & drills are conducted with all participants wearing some type of protective equipment and problem solving is learned in a controlled but physically demanding environment.  The end goal of the training is the justified deployment of the firearm to resolve a deadly force situation.

Stay tune for some future clips on exactly what I am talking about in this Blog post.  Until then, train smart, train safe and train each and everyday!