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Close Defensive Fire Positions (With Pics)

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Paul Gomez, Sep 15, 2003.

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  1. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    OK, turns out that my Monday night training crew were a bunch of slugs tonight.;) Since the turnout was so light, we turned it into a photo op.:cool: What follows are pictures of several commonly taught close defensive firing positions. Some are better than others, but most of them are servicable. Which do you favor and why?

    First up is the old Strike and Shoot a la the MikLik drill.
     

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  2. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    Next we have the Hook & Shoot (that's what I call it, I'm not sure of its 'official name'), wherein you hook your hand behind the bad guys neck and pull him forward as you engage.
     

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  3. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    This one is a horizontal axe-hand.
     

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  4. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    Next up, we have a horizontal elbow. This one was popularized by Harry Humphries and other former SEALs turned trainers. It was refined by a fellow who posts as SouthNarc on SDF. S'Narc's refinement of this position, by including physical reference points at the clavicle and sternal notch, really made me rethink this postion.
     

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  5. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    This one is a vertical elbow shield first popularized in the gun world by Greg Hamilton & John Holschen of Insights Training Center, but very familiar to generations of Filipino martial artists. This is one of my personal favorites.
     

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  6. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    And this one is sort of the opposite of the Hook & Shoot. It's a "Face Smash & Drive Forward":D. Again, I don't know its proper name, but it's pretty neat.
     

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  7. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Not sure if you are still posting pics Paul (sorry if I am butting in) but ........ I have this thing about closeness ... in as much as, if the close situation develops then I am all for rapid ... and I mean rapid rearward deployment ..... whether a back roll ....... fall back to crouch or kneel ..... or even a step back ...... I would want to put distance - quick .... so I was at least outa range of any clever-dick swipes or martial arts moves. I would be bringing gun up during this stage.

    Maybe just me .... and I am no expert ..... this is just a sorta instinctual feeling. Maybe I am thinkin all wrong!:)

    Oh and to add .... can't see average BG being quite so ''passive'' as this one!!:D
     
  8. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    My personal favorite is the face smash( which Fairbairn termed the Tiger's claw) and forward drive, since it is both a good defense as well as an intercept. If the BG moves in too fast, then either the axe hand or an elbow jab.
    One point..if shooting is called for Rex Applegate recommended striking with the muzzle (naturally with a semi auto you'd have to retract the muzzle before firing the round) as opposed to shooting from a retention position.
     
  9. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Hey, the elbow is mantis boxing too (Six Harmony has a form of just elbows). Give the Chinese SOME credit.:D

    "Hook and shoot" is also known as "Where did my fingers go?" technique.

    Do I see a book in the making?:cool:
     
  10. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    P95,

    While creating distance is generally preferred, in a close range spontaneous event the likelihood of getting bowled over by the bad guy is pretty severe. He can move forward faster than you can backpedal and he can maintain the offensive while you are attempt to create distance. The advantage of some form of close defensive position, coupled with forward movement (preferably angling past the bad guy) is that you maintain an aggressive profile, you aren't compromised in what tools (both armed and unarmed) that you can bring to bare on the threat.

    Matt,

    I'm familiar with Applegate's preference for the muzzle thrust, in fact when striking with the pistol, I favor the muzzle thrust over the more arcing strikes (like a ridegehand with the top of the slide or a hammerfist with the butt). However, I prefer to keep the pistol anchored to a physical reference point on my body when I'm doing close defensive fires, that way if I need to press out to engage another threat immediately after the CDF or do any other manipulations, I know exactly where the pistol is whereas if I struck with the gun prior to executing a CDF, the gun would wind up being ina different place after each strike and each shot.

    El T,

    Chinese do not have elbows.:neener: It says so right here in my personally autographed copy of "My Kung Fu Is Better Than Your Kung Fu". So there!

    Not Bob (the dummy wearing Rhodesian camo) doesn't pitch forward like normal people and there is no force behind anything in the pics (otherwise they get blurry;)), so take the pics with a grain of salt, but the Hook & Shoot has you basicly grabbing the back of the neck (off of a strike) and driving straight down. As long as your pistola remains in Retention Position and you stay tight on the threat, the separation between your hands is over a foot and the gun is at a downward angle, away from your soft gushy parts.

    I've got to put my AK book to bed before I can even think about another one.:(
     
  11. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Thx for input Paul ... yeah, guess you're right there .... the need to maintain the agressive approach and keep an ''edge''. Of course in such circumstances, things would happen real quick.

    I must give this more consideration now the matter has been raised.
     
  12. Mute

    Mute Member

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    I like the muzzle thrust, but one thing I've notice is you need to take care in using it because the gun can cause enough torque or your wrist to sprain or injure it in a hard strike. Gotta make sure you hit straight on and have your wrist firmly locked in.
     
  13. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Miklik drill is what I use but I brace my gun down on my hip at about a 45 degree angle. The off hand works great for stiff arming to create distance if necessary.
     
  14. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    Smoke,

    Thanks for the correction on that one. When I looked at the pic, I saw that I had brought the gun high (more like how I typically draw the gun) rather than having it just over the holster, as if I'd used the drawstroke that more often accompanies the MikLik, but I had no one left to take a better pic.:(

    Mute,

    Jacking the wrist is a very real possibility when executing a muzzle thrust. I prefer to do a two-handed muzzle thrust if I've got the option. In the two-hand version, the off-hand wraps around the slide and frame forward of the pistol grip, the gun-hand stays on the pistol grip and you jet forward to thrust. The wrists wind up being locked in the same orientation as if you were thrusting with a riot baton, except they are closer together.

    P95,

    Yep, QUICK, like OH, S@#T!!!! QUICK.:D
    Given how close most fights take place at (inside of five feet), it's difficult, if not impossible, to successfully access tools (gun, knife, OC, whatever) as an initial response to danger. That's why I feel you have to have some basic unarmed skills to initiate with to allow you to access hardware.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2003
  15. Gunfyter

    Gunfyter Member

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    The class that I just completed this past weekend had us rotate the pistol out of the holster, keep it tucked close to your side, tilt it slightly to the right and shoot. The further forward you go with the pistol the greater the chance of having it grabbed. My $.02
     
  16. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    Gunfyter,

    Absolutely agree, the further forward you advance the gun the easier it is for someone else to get their hands on it.

    The reason you see my pistol in the same location in these pics is because that is where the gun goes on every drawstroke before beginning to move forward towards the threat, that way the Retention Position is ingrained in every presentation and every return to the holster. That maximizes the number of repetitions that I get and doesn't require a distinct presentation for a near-distance threat.
     
  17. jdege

    jdege Member

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    It was my impression that studies of response time in survival stress situations that the more different responses a person was trained in, the slower his response time.
     
  18. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    jdege,

    That is correct. It's generally attributed to Hick's Law. This is why there should be as much familiar task transfer as feasible between the components of a defensive system, so that you gain multiple uses from single actions. For instance, if your pistol always moves through a Retention Position as it is presented towards a threat you do not have to learn a separate gun position or presentation to address a near threat versus a far threat; the retention position is incorporated in a larger action (the presentation to point) so all you have to do is stop the larger action rather than develop a separate response.

    An example of familiar task transfer can be seen in my use of the vertical elbow shield in Retention Position which dovetails very nicely between my "gun" response and my "nongun" response. Regardless if I am accessing a tool or utilizing unarmed skills, my default position is essentially the same.

    I'm not advocating the use of all of the positions illustrated for developing a defensive skill set. I'm merely attempting to show some of the variations taught by different people.
     
  19. Mute

    Mute Member

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    Paul,

    That's exactly the muzzle thrust method I use. Of course, this was after running some of the striking drills with Andy in his Dynamic Tactics class. ;)
     
  20. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    Mute,

    Yeah, somebody told me that guy was ripping off my stuff!!!:D
     
  21. Mute

    Mute Member

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    Ha ha. I'll make sure that the next time I see him, I'll tell him to stop doing that.
     
  22. igor

    igor Member

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    These look viable for me... which I'd go for first would depend on the dynamics of the actual situation. I say first because I'd most definitely move and strike until I can get shots off from my ribcage-locked weapon, quite possibly not stopping using that lead hand or foot even then. BTW, I'm looking at this after I commented on Paul's Position Sul thread.

    P95, what Paul said about going backwards - you need to be very good to gain advantage that way. Also, I'd do mostly anything before going much downwards from an upright position on good footing at any rate. Definitely no rolls.
     
  23. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    Thanks for pointing me to the proper thread, Paul.

    A nit to pick concerning the horizontal elbow picture: Don't Harry and friends hook a thumb into the back of the pec (armpit) for reinforcement?

    I always thought that would be a handy way to dislocate a thumb.

    With regard to the creating distance comments, I think we're talking extreme close quarters here. In these cases, I'm driving forward per Fairbairn and Applegate.
     
  24. Paul Gomez

    Paul Gomez Member In Memoriam

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    Thumper,

    I've not been formally trained on how Humpries teaches the position, but Carraci tells you to keep the hand over the ejection port of the weapon. He varies hand position based on the weapon being used (with an M4 it's in one spot, a Benelli another and a Glock another place) and he didn't mention anchoring it at the pec or anywhere else. Disclaimer: The foregoing information comes from reviewing video tapes of Carraci and speaking with guys who have trained with him. I have not trained with Carraci.

    Agreed, driving forward is much more viable than attempting to increase distance in most real-world events.
     
  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Off hand tiger mouth to the throat while driving forward on the off hand side may be as easy as tiger claw to the face. It is more of a gross motor control technique than the tiger claw to the face, it precludes the chance of the head rolling or shifting to the side, and avoids the teeth of the BG. If forcefully executed it may cause some trauma to the air-way while snapping the head back further distracting the BG. This position also angles the body and may further help retain the handgun. If you step down under the BG shoulder while driving forward you have a chance of landing on his foot as well. Since you may uproot him with this technique a trapped foot adds additional distraction as the tendons and ligaments are strained in the fall. Give it a try and let us know if it feels good.
     
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