Caleb Giddings [above] has taken me to task. GunUp gun guru’s annoyed at my less-than-flattering take on Old Fat White Guy training. “Robert, we’ve seen videos of you shooting. Perhaps you could benefit from a little more of the OFWG training.” Point taken. Mr. Giddings is a highly-skilled, competition-proven shooter with a staggeringly comprehensive knowledge of firearms. I am a schlub with a gun. More to the point, you can’t get too much firearms training. Or can you? Caleb has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet—thankfully leaving his rhetorical handgun in its symbolic holster. So I’m here to to paraphrase Ferb. Yes. Yes you can . . .
Caleb and I agree that shooting on the move is an absolutely essential self-defense skill. As the rabbi says, if someone’s coming at you with a knife, which do you want to do first: move or shoot? Yes. You want to move and shoot. Unless you practice this art, you stand a good chance of getting caught flat-footed with your firearm. That’s an ambulance gurney full of not good.
Caleb’s first piece of advice: stay low. Remind me not to enter the ace shooter in a limbo contest; that’s not what I call low. But Caleb’s crouch creates a stable platform for shooting on the move. As we can see from his performance. Props to The Man for crossing his legs as he walks. That crab-walking nonsense really gets my goat.
Double taps all ’round. Keep moving. Stay put. This video is a wonderful demonstration of competition excellence. Can you bet on IDPA? But Caleb’s demo has sweet FA to do with self-defense. As Caleb himself would admit.
In a self-defense situation you don’t need to move as much as you need to RUN. You’re not likely to face eleven closely-grouped bad guys. Truth be told, if you shot them all, you’d have some serious ‘splainin’ to do.
Your “field of fire” is hardly likely to be open. There will be good guys around and no backstops. Perps will be moving towards you. Or away. Or sideways. They may be firing bullets at you. Flanking you. You will probably have unarmed friendlies in tow. The cops will show up, perhaps sooner than you think.
And then there’s the serious lack of a buzzer indicating it’s time to begin. The chances of being fully prepared to draw your weapon and fire accurately at the exact opportune moment are slim.
So, well-trained European extraction dudes exercising your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and their ethnically diverse equals, will you be able to assess a lethal threat properly, think on your feet as the situation evolves and react appropriately?
Maybe. Can you train to do that? That depends on the training. Here’s the kicker: armed self-defense training can program you to do something that will get you and/or innocents killed.
My pet peeve in that regard: training where you ALWAYS draw your gun and fire. Thousands and thousands of times. What if you need to draw your weapon and NOT fire? If you’ve programmed yourself to draw and fire in a single seamless motion, you could end up shooting the wrong person. There could be a more pressing lethal threat nearby.
Besides, threat assessment isn’t a one-two-three-go-OK-now-stop deal. It should begin before you draw your weapon (for sure), continue whilst your drawing, as you’re firing (if you fire) and after you’ve fired.
Most OWFG firearms training has a set start and end point. In the original QOTD video (since removed), the participant completes the drill and ambles back to the firing line. The element of surprise—which creates a concomitant adrenalin rush—is notable only by its absence.
OFWGs and other consumers of self-defense firearms training (including basic range time) don’t stop to think “should I be programming myself to do this?” They surrender to authority figures and perceived wisdom. They favor simple bang-bang training over force-on-force training.
There are three basic components to armed self-defense: gun handling, marksmanship and strategy. If you know how to load, carry and deploy your weapon safely, well done. If you can shoot a fist-sized group at a target whilst moving from combat distances, excellent. But if you’re training doesn’t include real-world strategic thinking, you’re missing THE critical element.
Worse, if you’re programming yourself to do things you shouldn’t do in a gunfight, or neglecting to include drills that create life-saving options, you may be preparing yourself for disaster. I say “may” because the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
Would you prefer a bad self-defense plan executed well, or a good plan executed poorly? How about a good plan executed well? Make sure your training is sound before you make it your own. It’s one sure way to raise your odds of survival. Which is about as good as it gets.