Once a shooter learns proper grip, stance and breathing, it’s time to leave the square range behind. In terms of skills (rather than tactics), it’s time to learn how to draw from concealment, shoot and move, ID cover and concealment and defend yourself from the deck. Do not neglect the latter. Should you be attacked violently, rather than “just” robbed, your opponent or opponents will do everything in his/their power to knock you to the ground. And by “knock” I mean club, stab, slash, punch, kick or shoot you. Given that the bad guy almost always has the first mover advantage, there’s a good chance they’ll succeed. Then what? Then . . .

shoot them—if you’re in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm and imminence is imminent. To do be able to do that effectively, you really ought to practice. The world in general, and your sights in specific, look very different down there. Besides, when was the last time you shot upwards?

In the video above, Hex Tactical started the exercise with the shooters on the ground. Practice getting down to the ground. And transitioning from standing to kneeling to laying on the ground and back. As you can see, some of us are a little more, uh, supple than others. No matter. If you know what to do, when the adrenalin’s flowing you’ll do it. And you won’t feel a thing. Until later.

Keeping in mind that the situation in this video can arise: the bad guy orders you to the ground before you can draw. In that horrific circumstance you need to know how to draw and fire from a prone position. So . . . do that too.

Finding a range where you can do any of this can be difficult—to the point where you have to drive hours to get ‘er done. If so, remember that an hour doing practical tactical exercises is worth more than ANY practice at a square range. That is all.

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29 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Practice Shooting from the Ground

    • Funny – I am flicking one of those knives right now!

      It was the present my wife got me that I didn’t even know I wanted until I opened it…

      Maybe the video is meant to illustrate how to ninja-throw the knife into the attackers and then judo-chop your way out of the terrorists factory where they make Jihad Burgers… wait.

  1. Yet another item to put on my practice list for the next time I go out to a state or national forest.

    Say, and remember that you can practice all of this in your own back yard with AirSoft handguns!

    • If your neighbors can see into your backyard, recommend taking some safety orange (or similar) spray paint and painting your toy practice gun to be extra sure it looks like a toy.

      I, for one, have had the cops called on me a few years back for innocent teenaged airsoft warfare in middle America – out in a local open space, admittedly – and having an overwhelming response including SUVs driving like all hell through relatively untrammeled grasslands and having police not-toy guns shoved in your face plus the time involved for radio background checks and confiscation of said airsoft toys really sucks.

        • One of those moments when you want to hold up the mirror and scream:

          But think of the children!

          Seriously, do criminals openly hang out in broad daylight and just, you know, shoot at each other with snowboarding goggles and t-shirts on?

          Common sense need not apply for the above position.

          The best part was that it was more than a mile from the nearest occupied property, so the caller had to be using damn binoculars from an upstairs window or sneaking around like a mall ninja or some such nonsense.

  2. Jim Cirillo used to teach this very aggressively. You need to learn how to shoot “out of position.”

    One of his favorite positions from the ground was to two-hand the pistol between your knees. Very stable, and your shins provide some cover from incoming attacks. Putting the gun between your knees makes you hard to disarm or for someone to kick the gun away.

  3. The Kershaw Blur is nice, but the ZT 301 is better!

    Although the vids got confused, I now carry a knife in both front pockets just for that reason. If you’re on the ground or physically locked up with your opponent(s), your primary side gun may not be available. I’ve tried ankle carry, and I hated it, so that’s out.

    • Ankle carry gives deep concealment to the pistol and that’s about all it’s good for. And those of us that have a few years on us and aren’t as limber as Tom in Oregon would have a time accessing ankle carry unless we were seated in an easy chair.

  4. Have a Blur and like it. Skyline is a little lighter and easier to carry in the pocket. My niece prefers the Piston to the Blur and wants it for her birthday. Good girl.

  5. I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn how to move on the ground to take some brazilian jui jitsu or other martial arts classes that focus being on the ground. You will learn how be comfortable fighting with someone on top you, or how to move from a bad position to a less bad situation. A lot of the focus is not being flat on your back but creating space to advance your position. Pro tip: creating space to escape also creates space for you to access your firearm, especially if you got your gun hip off the ground.

    • and if you are out of shape, now is the time to push away from the buffet and get a little exercise in as well

      • Amen!

        What if the person trying to hurt you is unarmed and alone?

        One, unarmed, health, adult male vs one, unarmed, health, adult male is typically a no gun situation- what then?

        Being too old to fight, you can probably get away it, but being too over weight to fight, unless you’re 500lbs and on disability from it, probably not so much.

  6. I have to how I’d feel doing that in a line of other OFWGs – I couldn’t tell from the limited video angles when they were changing positions, but I have think that there was a LOT of opportunity to get swept by a muzzle of a for-sure loaded pistol right there! But that would be awesome to be able to do solo.

  7. in addition to practicing fire from a prone position, practice with targets side ways at ground level. I learned last summer in league that i tend to shoot high at a sideways ISPC Silloutte target level with the ground. I think it has to do with my bifocals. It sucks turning into a OFWG. Think outside the box, dont always shoot at targets at the same level or position

  8. Practice shooting up? Uhmm, that would be strictly prohibited at my local range, given the grocery store & apartments beyond the tree line…

    That second image looks like an ER visit about to happen, gunshot wound to the knee or leg…

    Seems like the sort of practice that most of us should try with paintball guns before using our big boy guns.

  9. Never ceases to amaze me the stuff folks can think up to try and separate us from our money…and I’m just talking about the good guys.

  10. Falling over backwards, landing on your back and having to shoot between or over your own toes is a very frightening thing. Do not ask me how I know this, just take my word for it.

  11. Umm, youre not supposed to let them get their hands on you to begin with. Pull the trigger 6 times while youre standing up and keep the Carhartt clean.

    • You run around punching, shooting, or running away from anyone who gets within 21 feet of you? If not, you’re letting people get close enough to be able to put hands on you before you can, identify, decide, draw and engage…

      You might not be able to see it coming, or even have time to do anything about, self defense assumes the other person or people are already offensively attacking you and you’re reacting to act.

      So, unless you can see the future or reminds, don’t assume you’re going to be on your feet in a fight.

  12. I’m big on scenario discussion and then training, but the video is just…well, I could not watch instructors telling students how to lay down and then two handed shooting?…license to fail in the real world.

    First is awareness of the situation. How did you let the bad guy get close enough to knock you down? You failed this first! You will be surprised, hurt and maybe bleeding. You will be scared and shaking like a leaf.

    Try this…run like hell for 100 yards…..that will duplicate how you will feel from an adrenalin rush. Then flat on your stomach. Shoot one handed at 7 yards. Only about 5% can hit the target with the first two shots and then those are trained and folks in good physical condition.

    Again, if you get knocked down with or without your gun drawn, you failed! No matter how good you think you are there will always be someone better, stronger or luckier than you are. If physical contact is made, you have very little chance of survival and I don’t care who you are!

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