Instructor said not to lock her elbows


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Dr_2_B
July 23, 2008, 08:44 PM
Watching guns & ammo tv or something like it the other night. A lady instructor was teaching another lady to shoot a semiauto and mentioned in passing, "make sure you don't lock your elbows." We all know about different stances; weaver, isosceles, modified isosceles, etc. etc. etc., but I hadn't heard it presented as taboo to lock your elbows. Have I just missed it? Where's she coming from on this?

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Thernlund
July 23, 2008, 08:46 PM
I've never heard that either. Hmph.


-T.

Gas Operated
July 23, 2008, 08:53 PM
I don't lock my elbows.

WVfishguy
July 23, 2008, 08:54 PM
The instructor was Julie Goloski, champion competition shooter, sponsored by Smith & Wesson. She probably shoots better than anyone on this forum, so I'd listen to her...:p

JDGray
July 23, 2008, 09:00 PM
I don't lock mine either. Alot of my practice is holding the gun in close, with a little cant, with my elbows bent at right angles.

weisse52
July 23, 2008, 09:05 PM
I went to a CCW class in Ohio where the instructor wanted everyone to lock elbows. I never thought about it, but then again I never did it.

I just seem to remember being taught never to lock elbows, and it stuck.

9mmepiphany
July 23, 2008, 09:42 PM
it wasn't too long ago that folks were taught to lock their elbows in an attempt to control recoil...you can't. recoil can only be managed..that is allowing the gun to recoil, but allowing it to return to the point of aim for a followup shot.

if you lock your elbows, you're directing the recoil through your elbows and back to your shoulders and to your body. you're just beating yourself up and disrupting your whole shooting platform prior to the follow up shot. competitive shooters have found that unlocked elbows allow faster and more accurate shots

dwave
July 23, 2008, 09:45 PM
I was taught not to lock your elbows by a man who spent 20 years in the military, my Dad. Seems to work well for me.

SaxonPig
July 23, 2008, 10:03 PM
The classic "Weaver Stance" as developed by LAPD pistol champion in the late 1950s Jack Weaver stressed slightly flexed elbows, with the upper body turned slightly towards the target and the supporting hand pulling back as the gun hand pushes forward.

The locked elbow technique is part of the "Isoscoles Stance" where the shooters make a perfect triangle with the arms and upper body.

The Isosceles Stance has been popular with game shooters for years. Old school instructors, such as the late Jeff Cooper, denounced it as lacking the stability of the Weaver. I happen to agree with this notion.

Anyone who seems surprised at being advised to avoid locking the elbows must be fairly young to not recall the Weaver Stance.

If the advice was to form an Isosceles posture in all respects save locking the elbows, then that's a new one on me.

9mmepiphany
July 23, 2008, 10:13 PM
The locked elbow technique is part of the "Isoscoles Stance" where the shooters make a perfect triangle with the arms and upper body.


i think you're refering to the Isoscoles Stance...that Cooper was also refering to...as practiced in PPC target shooting

the modern Isoscoles currently used in competition...i'm thinking Enos was one of the first to use it...and taught by most large LE agencies does indeed teach unlocked elbows

this is Bruce Gray teaching it at a recent class

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/DSC_0385-1.jpg

M2 Carbine
July 23, 2008, 10:20 PM
Instructor said not to lock her elbows
I agree.

VegasOPM
July 23, 2008, 10:31 PM
Again, it is a function of what they are trying to teach. Go to a USPSA Nationals, and NOBODY locks their elbows. Most folks there use the Modern Isosceles, but the Weaver stance doesn't lock elbows either. The bent elbows act as shock absorbers and keep the recoil linear. Go to Camp Perry and everyone locks their elbows. One handed shooting pretty much mandates it.

FieroCDSP
July 23, 2008, 10:52 PM
Is THAT what I've been doing wrong??!!!?!!?! :banghead:

Disaster
July 23, 2008, 10:57 PM
Again, it is a function of what they are trying to teach. Go to a USPSA Nationals, and NOBODY locks their elbows. Most folks there use the Modern Isosceles, but the Weaver stance doesn't lock elbows either. The bent elbows act as shock absorbers and keep the recoil linear. Go to Camp Perry and everyone locks their elbows. One handed shooting pretty much mandates it.

Exactly. Two handed quick defensive shooting...don't lock your elbows. One handed target shooting do.

Another example is offhand target rifle shooting. You lean backwards to create a balance...press your elbow to your chest. In defensive rifle shooting you lean forward...elbows out.

C. H. Luke
July 23, 2008, 10:59 PM
"Where's she coming from on this?"

Julie also has an article in 'DPA's "Tactical Journal V-12 # 1" concerning "Freestyle Stance", etc. She specifically mentions using the arm, shoulder & chest muscles to help control recoil and ... not locking the elbows.


"I strongly discourage it because of the stress it places on the elbow joints, and in turn may lead to injury. I have found the isosceles position with my arms (arms form the two sides of an isosceles triangle when extended) to be the best way to be able to control recoil while still maintaining the ability to transition from left to right quickly."

From:


http://www.idpa.com/tj.asp?ID=177

JohnKSa
July 24, 2008, 12:16 AM
The gun's recoil momentum must be absorbed by the gun's motion and the motion of your body/body parts.

If you have very strong wrists then you can lock your elbows and hold your wrists perfectly still and all the pistol's recoil momentum will be transferred through your arms to your body resulting in a negligible impulse. If your wrists are that strong then you probably don't have to worry about your elbows either. ;)

For those of us who aren't superman, locking your elbows just means that your wrists will have to dissipate nearly all the gun's momentum. That will mean a lot of muzzle flip and it will also mean that your wrists will have to drag the gun down out of recoil and reposition it for the next shot. That's fatiguing and it's also hard to do consistently because of the wrist's range and "variety" of motion.

By leaving your elbows unlocked, they can absorb a good bit of the recoil, taking a lot of the pressure off your wrists. There's a lot of strength in your upper arm muscles that can be used to absorb the recoil momentum--much more strength than you have in your wrists.

In addition, your elbows don't have nearly as much variety of motion as your wrists. Elbows bend and unbend, they can't bend in multiple directions like a wrist can, they can't rotate like a wrist can. That means when they bend, they unbend back pretty much to where they started. There's not a lot of twisting and torquing involved which means that the gun will tend to track back onto target better if you keep your elbows unlocked and let them do the work of absorbing the recoil and pushing the gun back onto target.

slustan83
July 24, 2008, 12:22 AM
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say I'd do almost anything Julie Goloski told me to do. ;)

RNB65
July 24, 2008, 12:35 AM
I shoot Isoscoles and don't lock my elbows. I used to lock them year ago, but discovered thru trial and error that I shoot better with slightly flexed elbows.

Eric F
July 24, 2008, 12:49 AM
The instructor was Julie Goloski Well no suprise here. Julie is of the D R Middlebrooks tactical shooting acadmey. D R has developed a form of shooting called fist fire. Look here for more information. www.tacticalshooting.com this form of shooting has the "no locked elbows" technique. ok so the site seems to be down right now but do an internet search for it it is there in Surry va.

TNT.45
July 24, 2008, 12:51 AM
I prefer to lock my Jeep when I have a gun in it...lol

MedWheeler
July 24, 2008, 01:16 AM
I was combat-trained not to lock elbows. Primary shooting stance was the Isoscoles stance, but we did not lock in any other (at least, not with handguns.) I doubt I could shoot very accurately if I tried with elbows locked; would be too "foreign" to me.

Harley Quinn
July 24, 2008, 01:19 AM
Never lock your elbows or your knees, it is a rule/law:what:

XDKingslayer
July 24, 2008, 11:11 AM
The instructor was Julie Goloski, champion competition shooter, sponsored by Smith & Wesson. She probably shoots better than anyone on this forum, so I'd listen to her...

+1

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say I'd do almost anything Julie Goloski told me to do.

+1000

rellascout
July 24, 2008, 11:15 AM
Interesting because you would not know it from these pics.

http://www.womenshooters.com/backissues/BI0307.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b38/kimberfae/pic_ky_state05.jpg

http://www.juliegoloski.com/pic_page/web_pics/pic_l10_nats06.jpg

http://www.shootingusa.com/LATEST_UPDATES/LATEST_UPDATES_GOLOSKI/Julie_Goloski3.gif

Saab1911
July 24, 2008, 11:22 AM
Thank God. I tried locking my elbows, but I cannot tense up the rest of
my arm and be loose with my trigger finger. So, when I lock up my elbows,
my trigger control suffers.

burningsquirrels
July 24, 2008, 11:28 AM
no, her elbows aren't truly locked. locking them beats up the rest of your body. would you jump, and then try to land with your knees locked?

Thernlund
July 24, 2008, 12:18 PM
Interesting because you would not know it from these pics.no, her elbows aren't truly locked. locking them beats up the rest of your body.

Ah. I guess I didn't know what "they" meant by locking. I suppose I don't lock mine, although my arms are pretty straight.

But I've still never heard anyone say that.


-T.

boalex207
July 24, 2008, 12:23 PM
Isoceles with elbows slightly flexed to help manage recoil. I tell new students to stop at about 95% lockout.

DawgFvr
July 24, 2008, 12:56 PM
Shooting is 99% mental...physical techniques are just that...techniques.

Take all with a grain of salt.

This works for me...what works for you?

Ten years from now...there will be new/old/different techniques...bet on it.

rcellis
July 24, 2008, 01:00 PM
I've recently worked through this issue - changed to iso. and at first I fought to get my elbows 'straight', which ended up being 'locked'; whatever you call it, it was wrong. When I relaxed a bit and found a comfortable 'not locked but almost straight' position, everything fell into place and my accuracy went up dramatically. I suspect that everyone will have a slightly different 'best' position.

Yosemite**Sam
July 24, 2008, 01:15 PM
The classic "Weaver Stance" as developed by LAPD pistol champion in the late 1950s Jack Weaver stressed slightly flexed elbows, with the upper body turned slightly towards the target and the supporting hand pulling back as the gun hand pushes forward.

Jack was indeed a champion. However he worked as a Deputy for the LASD not the LAPD.

3KillerBs
July 24, 2008, 01:45 PM
In my recent classes I was taught to not lock my elbows as the instructors favored an agressive, action-pistol stance. But locking elbows was suggested as a possible aid for a woman (or anyone, but women are more likely to lack upper body strength), who lacked arm strength and had limp-wristing issues.

SlamFire1
July 24, 2008, 02:48 PM
I tried shooting Bullseye style, one handed and with a light load. My 45 would not cycle properly if I limp wristed the thing, or had a kink in the elbow.

One bud of mine, shot so much bullseye 45ACP that his elbow hurts.

HoosierQ
July 24, 2008, 03:29 PM
+1 with Saab911. The whole structure of the arm is connected like a pulley from the tip of one's finger up to the upper arm. Locking the elbows will put tension on the that "pulley" and will have an impact on the entire system. FWIW I am aware of this from other, non-shooting sports but human physiology is the same for all physical motions from riding a bike, swinging a golf club, shooting a free throw, or controling ones upper body well enough to make precision shots.

It is all about putting the wrong kind of pressure on the system as a whole to which the trigger finger is attached.

Regarding the appearance of her elbows being locked, I doubt they are...as with many females, I'll bet she's double jointed and thus what you see is her arms exteded fully and not locked.

Saab1911
July 24, 2008, 04:31 PM
+1 with Saab911. The whole structure of the arm is connected like a pulley from the tip of one's finger up to the upper arm. Locking the elbows will put tension on the that "pulley" and will have an impact on the entire system. FWIW I am aware of this from other, non-shooting sports but human physiology is the same for all physical motions from riding a bike, swinging a golf club, shooting a free throw, or controling ones upper body well enough to make precision shots.

It is all about putting the wrong kind of pressure on the system as a whole to which the trigger finger is attached.

Regarding the appearance of her elbows being locked, I doubt they are...as with many females, I'll bet she's double jointed and thus what you see is her arms exteded fully and not locked.


Alright!!! I was going to try that tense-up-everything-on-your-arm-except-for-the-trigger-finger
thing once more, but now that I have some basis for my natural preference
I'll go back to shooting relaxed and shooting one ragged whole in the
middle of the bullseye from 25 yards out.

And I think that I'll give IDPA another try. Last time I did IDPA I was
locking my elbows and my trigger control was shot to heck :cuss:

Cheers,

Jae

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