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"Without hand fighting skills, you are just a walking holster"

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Corpral_Agarn, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    Please do not allow your ego to intervene.

    I was a police firearms instructor AND a police defensive tactics instructor.

    And earned a black belt in Goju Karate as well as training in a few other martial arts.

    I firmly agree with that instructor,against a knife ,gun,or hand to hand ------ your HOLSTERED firearm is useless.

    And possibly not legal to use that level of force.

    Good luck with your training.
     
  2. White Rhino

    White Rhino Member

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    Having some full force martial arts training at an MMA/ boxing/ submission wrestling type gym is a great eye opener. You will gain a realistic idea of who you can and can not beat in a street fight, without permanent injury (usually) or legal repercussions. Such knowledge may allow you to neutralize an unarmed attacker without drawing your gun. You might also feel more comfortable walking away from a threatening idiot if he didn't really frighten you in the first place. Also, there are times when you can not be armed, especially when traveling.
     
  3. DT Guy

    DT Guy Member

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    And I said most happen within 'about 10'; do you really think this is strongly contradictory? If you're considering 9-15' as wildly different from 'about 10 feet' you may have a pedantry problem.

    More importantly, 15' becomes arm's reach in one step, and the blink of an eye; it doesn't do anything to disprove my contention that having hand skills is critical to being able to draw the firearm in some situations, and could be critical to surviving long enough to thrash around for a Plan B.

    As for armed shooters not equaling armed defenders, did you purposely miss my point? I'll try again-if you're within arm's reach of your adversary, you're in danger of being disarmed. People who have set about to kill others have experienced that about 15% of the time; as a defender, how do you expect to do better? Will you make your attackers only come at you from the front, or wait in single file? I'm curious how you'll control this, since I may have wasted decades preparing for a fight that doesn't follow those rules.

    Larry
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  4. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I've heard this before from the self-righteous martial artists who aren't into firearms. It's an elitist attitude that is fairly common.

    While gun retention skills are something that everyone who regularly carries a gun should get quality instruction on and routinely practice, there is an attitude prevalent among some martial arts practitioners toward those who only carry firearms. Almost funny, in my community, some of our defensive tactics instructors look down on those who only instruct firearms.

    Upon further review, any instructor whose sales pitch includes trying to make you feel inadequate probably isn't worth the fees he's charging for his classes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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  5. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    Weapons retention training... should be mandatory for anyone that intends to carry a sidearm, period. That said - I doubt that this kind of training is readily available to most... It's a specific set of skills and responses for any situation where the opening move is an attempt to remove your firearm - either from your hand or your holster... On my department we thought it important enough to make it an annual proposition for everyone.... NOTE... a significant portion of weapons retention is simply maintaining your distance from any possible opponent... Practice it a bit and it becomes second nature... That weapon you carry is a great danger if you're not careful it's all too easy to wind up looking at your own weapon...

    Not something an ordinary armed citizen is likely to face - but we emphasized to our officers that there's a few serious bad guys around who never carry a firearm - since he's planning to take yours.... To reinforce that, our trainers were very skilled at snatching guns from supposedly well secured safety holsters that were supposed to provide a great level of weapons retention. These drills were with in-service officers who were first required to empty their sidearms before the training session started. Our trainers could snatch a weapon face to face, from the rear, and from the side... All of this with experienced officers being the victims... This was the first part of our training session - to provide some motivation for otherwise in-service types that usually yawned through whatever training they were assigned...

    The stat driving all of this is depressingly familiar to most cops... Roughly one third of all officers killed on the job were killed with their own weapons year after year... at least that was so during my era (1973 - 1995) but I doubt much has changed.... Armed citizens aren't required to go hand to hand with intoxicated, mentally deranged, or other types of very serious human threats but the fact that you're armed will always be a threat to your person - if any opponent can gain control of that sidearm you're carrying...
     
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  6. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Here is my situation: I'm 53 and retired from the military. I trained in several different styles of fighting while I was on active duty and a contractor, as techniques and best practices "evolved" over time. On my team, we sustained our hand to hand skills once a week stateside, and twice a week deployed normally. Since I got out of the "gun clubs", I allowed my physical conditioning to "slide". I found myself in a scrap or 2 since I got out, but I did fairly well. Got winded, but did well. However, in each case, my opponent was untrained and/or impaired. I decided to address all of my issues and revisit martial arts training. I selected MMA as my go-to 2 years ago. 2 of our fighters compete and 1 is on the road to going pro. The owner wants me to do an amateur MMA fight if he can find someone in my weight class/experience level/approximate age group, but I haven't decided if I want to go there. My primary instructor is active duty and has had 16 sanctioned fights, and several of the other students are active duty. The gym owner never served in the mil but is a CCW carrier/gun enthusiast, and wants me to give him some additional live fire training. So most everyone there has gun experience at different levels yet still trains there. I chose MMA because it is a discipline that encompasses stand-up (strikes, kicks, clench fighting). as well as throws, grappling. and ground fighting. Every sphere of hand to hand combat. Also, we train HARD. As in, I have had to run to the side of the mat and puke in the garbage can. And I have gone home after with shiners and bloody lips and nose. What is being accomplished? A whole bunch. It hardens your nerves by making "mixing it up" a new normal. It does wonders for overall physical conditioning and endurance (most of the other students are in their 20's). It enables you to recognize the difference between an injury and a "boo-boo". It teaches you not to judge a book by its cover- I have surprised many larger and younger opponents, and I have been tuned up by others who don't even look like they can take care of themselves. I'm 5'6" and 170, and as I mentioned, 53. I've been called "old-head", "the little old man", etc. at the gym, but never as an insult. Remember that most "street trash" don't train, aren't in great physical shape, and are often impaired by things that make them less effective. Many have few if any skills and mostly rely on posturing and chin music. Martial arts training in conjunction with other exercise pays dividends in these encounters. Spend 1 minute on the mat with someone who has been training hard for a few months who isn't trying to destroy you and wants to give you the full minute and see how you feel. Whatever discipline you choose, and wherever you choose to train, make sure it includes a significant amount of practical application in training (sparring).
     
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  7. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Like so many above, I'm old.
    The glory days of Airborne Ranger was 50 years ago, 20 years a cop stopped in 92. I'm racked with orthopedic, cardiac and vascular issues.
    I carry a 1911, but have skills in spray, blade, and more recently cane. I figure I have about a minute of stamina to grapple so the the end game is gain distance, leave or ventilated the perp.
    Canes are innocuous, socially acceptable tools of self defense. With training they are fight enders.
     
  8. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    No ego, just curious. I intend to show up and learn.

    The way I figure it, the instructors could be arrogant jerks if they want, I am interested in learning what they know
     
  9. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I do not consider "most at less than about 10 feet" to be similar to "90% within 10 and 15 feet", or "5% at less than 9 feet" to describe "most at less than about 10.

    But there are precious few data points, and I wouldn't rely on any data that are known.

    I don't think anyone would argue with that..

    People do train for those specific skills.

    I expect greater success in taking a gun from a person who is trying to kill you than someone who is trying to kill me.

    What does that 15% represent?

    As I said, weapon retention skills cannot defend against a blow to the head from behind, and

    ....stay alert for the accomplice.

    My 57 inch hickory stick seems to have something of a deterrent effect, passively enforcing social distancing and discouraging unpleasant behavior.




    .
     
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  10. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Great post, @FL-NC

    I am going to be checking out brazilian jiujitsu and muay thai on Monday.
     
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  11. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Please let us know how it goes.
     
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  12. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    Corpral_Agarn, I think a lot of us are thinking along the same lines that you are regarding self defense using just our bodies as a weapon. Recently when my wife and I were voting at a community center I notice a sign and number for Karate training. I copied the number down and will want until Covid decreases to a safe point before I place the call. I'm not interested in bare foot training because if I get into a situation I'm sure that I'll be wearing shoes so that is part of the training that I'm interested in.
     
  13. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Re: Leverage.

    Many of the basic principles of the various martial arts, and other combatives training, are conceptually universal.

    Believe it or not, FWIW, during a force-on-force, on the ground, with the late, great Paul Gomez, I kept him from snatching a G17-sized “sim” gun, using principles of leverage, some of which I had learned a couple of decades earlier, learning, and later instructing, Advance Lifesaving* and Water Safety. I had my right hand on the pistol’s grip, he had two hands to try to execute the take-away, but I quickly grabbed the front of the pistol, which allowed me to maintain the advantage of leverage.

    I used to drill in some basic Small-Circle Jiu Jitsu, at the police gym, with a colleague, who had instructor status, during a time when he had an injured back, so we could only do the hand/arm stuff with any force or speed. I did, however, learn more things about leverage, as well as refresh things I had picked up at various points along the way.

    *A panicked swimmer will drown his/her rescuer, and himself or herself. The lifeguard/rescuer has to get control, before the rescue can begin.
     
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  14. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    How many times have you heard, said, or read on a forum just like this one where people exclaim how they feel defenseless if they don't have a gun? Those people are walking holsters, most being self deluded in believing that they are "prepared" because they carry a gun.

    If you feel defenseless without a gun, then you already have a victim mentality. For some, that may just be the reality of their lives, being older or otherwise disabled. Others, however, are simply in denial.

    A gun should not be your only defense.
     
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  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Amen.
     
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  16. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Double Amen!
    That is why I mentioned cane training.
    My instructor started me with the basic bayonet drill -thrust to the chest, -parry to the jaw, - slash to the clavicle - basic but devastating.
    Already having the muscle memory from the Army and cop baton training, sensei was pleased with how quick I progressed to more advanced techniques
    Even more pleased when I told him abou a year later, some goblin tried to hurt me at a convenience store/ gas station, and the cops had to take him to hospital before going to jail.
     
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  17. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    Find out if they will let you sit in on a couple classes. Just to see if its a good match. I refuse to train with someone rude or full of themselves.
     
  18. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    The operative word in the terms gunfight, knife fight, fistfight, etc is ... '"fight". You're in some sort of suddenly dynamic confrontation.

    Age and physical condition (disabilities, infirmities, etc) will always be a consideration, for all of us, as well as being on the receiving end of any force that causes us new injury. Learn and know yourself and your limitations. (Talk to your doctor.)

    While I'm closing in on having seen my 5th decade as a martial artist (reached next year), I've also had an interest in firearms since my dad first introduced them to me as a youngster, and then I received some various specific training during the 26 years I served as a LE firearms instructor.

    All of that has helped me to come to realize that for everything I've come to know, there's always much more I don't know. In the long run, though, coming to know yourself (and your limits) is more useful than trying to keep up with every single advance in gear and hardware ... because you're still going to be the gear user, or someone else may be using that gear against you.

    It wasn't until I'd been serving as a firearms instructor for about 5 years that I started to think more seriously about merging more of my martial arts background (about 25 years, by that point) with my personal firearms training. (As an agency instructor, especially if you're just a junior instructor in a training unit, you're constrained by policy to teach what's approved and mandated, as those training methods and records are available to subpoena and detailed explanation in court. You use the sheet music you're given.)

    That just happened to be a point in my martial arts pursuit where I was building up to a surprising epiphany in seeing more deeply into the arts I'd thought I already "knew" somewhat well. In my case, it was having taken on a private student who ended up triggering the circumstances that involved my epiphany. It made my 25 years of involvement in some arts seem as though I'd been treading water. Suddenly, everything began to gel in new ways, and reveal connections I'd either not previously seen, or hadn't seen into deeply enough. This included adapting more of my arts into my firearms training (movement, balance, postural shifts, fluidity, awareness, etc). It's still (unsurprisingly) ongoing to today. ;)

    Among many of the recorded quotes of Miyamoto Musashi are some that keep anchoring and grounding us:

    You can only fight the way you practice.

    A bullet from a gun does not make a distinction between practice and combat. You are training to be one and the same in your life.


    If you learn indoor techniques, you will think narrowly and forget the true Way. Thus you will have difficulty in actual encounters.

    They speak of "This Dojo" and "That Dojo". They are looking for profit.

    One of my favorites:
    You should not have a favorite weapon. To become over-familiar with one weapon is as much a fault as not knowing it sufficiently well.

    Even if you don't own (or want to own) a copy of The Book of Five Rings, there are many online sources where you can find a variety of his quotes. One of many is this one: https://www.idlehearts.com/authors/miyamoto-musashi-quotes

    If you're going to get involved with a martial art/discipline, keep in mind that injuries are counter-productive to training ... and especially as you enter middle age, and then senior age, etc. If your training partner or instructor is still enjoying the invincibility and hubris of youthful vigor, be cautious to avoid finding yourself on the receiving end of any enthusiastically applied force that's done out of ignorance, or even the sheer exuberance of youth, unfettered by concern for potential injury. ;)

    Nowadays, one of the goals of my continued physical training is to not only try and stave off the inevitable ravages of normal aging, but to complete training sessions without experiencing new injury, or an exacerbation of an old injury. :) Ditto during my shooting sessions, when I can schedule some time at my old agency's private range. Granted, now that I've hung up my instructor's hat and belt, I'm no longer working a few sessions each month - more like a few sessions each year - but that doesn't mean the quality of the sessions has to suffer. If anything, nowadays I expect more out of each and every range session, because I'm no longer having to spread my time and attention among all of the other shooters. Quality over quantity can have merit.
     
  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I am seldom without a firearm. pepper gel, and a stick.

    I am no longer able to engage in strenuous physical activity.

    If I were, I would look for trainers who integrate hand and knife training with the lawful use of other weapons in self defense.

    I am concerned that training in traditional hand and feet fighting games, where the strategies, rules, and objectives are not the same as in realistic self defense encounters, could teach the wrong skills and ignore some of the right ones.
     
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  20. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    From what I’m hearing here; the instructor is saying what is essentially true.
    If you don’t know how to handle your own body, and to defend against an attacker who is trying to harm you, or disarm you (if they are even aware of it), then yeah, you’re just a walking holster.
    I don’t even see it as arrogant or insulting!

    he has to run under the assumption that you want to train; therefore, what he said would likely be exactly in line with what most prospective customers would need or want to hear. Just my opinion, so flame away. My feelings aren’t delicate
     
  21. shafter

    shafter Member

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    I think the fact that you were on the phone with him shows that to some degree you already know he is right. A criminal's favorite tactic is to ambush someone when their guard is down and we all know that most gunfights occur at very close range. Without the skills to keep your firearm you could potentially find yourself an "empty holster". One of the first things you learn in a police academy is that there are people out there who train specifically on how to disarm you.

    But I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. Go check out the gym. Jiujitsu guys are usually more realistic than a lot of the other types of martial arts out there.
     
  22. shafter

    shafter Member

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    What happens when he's threatening you with a big fist instead?
     
  23. DT Guy

    DT Guy Member

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    (Bold added)
    Only if you fail to acknowledge the limitations of the training. Studying Judo as a child (11 YOA) I quickly realized what would and wouldn't work in the 'real world'. I also realized quickly I needed a striking art (the first was Kenpo) to round out my standing range fighting.

    Anything you learn has limitations and strengths. It's ALWAYS up to you to apply the training, find the things that work for you, and integrate it into your other skills. Your MA instructor won't teach you how to transition to a firearm, and your shooting instructor probably won't teach you how to sweep an opponent to the ground; that's on you.

    Larry
     
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  24. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    That's probably a bit extreme. For one thing, if the gun is concealed, no one's going to be grabbing for it until the person carrying it goes for it first.

    However, it's important to remember that if you get into a scuffle with someone, you may THINK that the gun is your gun, but the guy you're scuffling with gets a vote too. If you go for it and he's faster/stronger/better trained than you are then it's his gun, not yours. If he notices it in the scuffle and goes for it and is faster/better/stronger than you are, then it's his gun, not yours.

    Here's my take on the situation. It's pretty much the same as my take on all self-defense.

    1. Learn enough about real-world self-defense encounters so that you can form a realistic picture of the things that can happen.
    2. Learn about the things a person can do to deal with the various things that happen in real-world encounters.
    3. Think through plans for the various things you might have to deal with. Don't just think about one plan or the absolute best plan for each situation--you may not be able to implement the ideal approach. By the way, I don't mean just daydream through this. I mean use what you've learned in steps 1 & 2 to see how specific real world threats can be countered.
    4. Decide which plans are within your capability. Think about your physical limitations. Think about the time you have to train. Think about the cost in materials and training expenses.
    5. Think about which plans you are willing to put into place and actually would put into place. To use a common example, there's no point in buying exercise equipment if you know you won't use it.
    6. Implement the plans you choose that you believe are reasonable for you.
    7. Don't pretend that you are more prepared than you really are. Understand the limits that your planning and preparation set and remember what Dirty Harry says: "A man's GOT to know his limitations."

    You may not be able to/willing to become an expert in hand-to-hand fighting, but you still need a plan for what to do if someone grabs for your gun. Maybe it's a really simple plan that's not great. Something like grabbing the gun with both hands, screaming, biting and kicking is better than not doing anything at all. But learning some basic retention skills might be easier than you think. Maybe you choose to bolster a miminal active retention scheme with risk reduction and passive retention. So conceal instead of carrying openly. Carry with a retention holster. Carry a gun with an unusual operating technique like a squeeze cocker. Carry a gun with a magazine safety and train to drop the mag if the gun is being taken and you can't stop it.

    The point is that doing nothing at all and just assuming that you've got the bases covered is not a plan--it's not preparation. It's a prayer for luck, and sadly, luck favors the prepared.

    I see people making two common mistakes when it comes to self-defense:

    1. Thinking that because they're more prepared than the average person, or the guy down the street, or the guy from work, that they're prepared enough.
    2. Thinking that because the ultimate level of preparation in one area is difficult or impossible to attain, they can just forget about that aspect of preparation entirely and it won't hurt them.
     
  25. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The owner where I train gives the first week away free so the potential student can determine if he/she is a good fit. We have ju-jitsu, MMA, and kickboxing.
     
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