If someone like this tries to attack you, I recommend you shoot him early and often. Of course, there’s no way of knowing how much time you’ll have to ID and respond to a threat – just as there’s no way of knowing what skills an attacker or attackers will bring to your very bad day. The one thing you can be sure of: it ain’t gonna be pretty. Unless you’re a shopkeeper of some sort, you could easily find yourself ambushed, assaulted and then, down on the ground. Where the real ass whoopin’ begins. If you’re Sensei Roy Elghanayan. . .

you should be able to sort yourself out. But maybe not. So you, non-Krav Maga master, are going to need to bring your weapon to bear from the ground. There’s plenty of gun guru advice on how to get back into the fight from the deck.

As you know, I’m a keyboard commando, albeit one who trains in all this stuff. So when I say I prefer the idea of assuming the foetal position ASAP, covering my vital organs and drawing from there (as shown in this video), take that as you will. Accepting the fact that any physical contact will be nasty, brutal and short. You’ll probably be acting on a combination of instinct and adrenalin.

But this much is true: the only way to know if a draw-from-the-ground technique works for you is to practice (with a cleared, safety-checked weapon and a cleared, safety-checked compadre). You may learn that your carry system – IWB, OWB, appendix, etc. – sucks in this highly likely real world situation. Try drawing a pistol from your pocket when you’re on your keyster with someone on top of you.

 

You’ll also learn some important variations and gain insight. Like barrel rolling if you fall on the side of your body where your gun is holstered. And just how hard it is to strike/block, breathe and unholster at the same time when you don’t know which way you’re oriented. If you carry a self-defense knife as a backup, practice extracting a blunt training version as well.

Our man Jonathan Taylor reckons that drawing from concealment is one of the three skills every armed self-defender needs to have a chance at surviving a violent encounter. If you think he means getting to your gun while standing up, facing the bad guy, you’re right. And all the rest of the possibilities: on your ass, moving for cover/concealment, running, etc. Are you ready?

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20 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Practice Shooting from the Deck

  1. Very impressive skills, but he made one mistake, twice. When disarming a perp, do not use his firearm against him. I see this often. It may be jammed, broken or not even loaded.

  2. If you are tackled, both hands should be fighting the fight you are given. The chance of drawing the gun from the holster and shooting while someone is on top if you is slim, and your natural instincts would agree.

    Once you manage to get some distance or flip the attacker, then drawing a handgun would make sense.

    • I agree. Once you’re in an extremely disadvantageous position, it’s that much more difficult to recover parity, let alone overcome and gain dominance. I’m not saying don’t consider it or don’t practice it, but I am saying don’t count on it. Better to avoid to pre-empt the entire encounter to begin with, through awareness, avoidance and de-escalation.

      Still, it can happen. Worked for Zimmerman, as I recall.

  3. There’s much to be said about ground fighting. One thing is for certain, a gun concealed at the 4-5 o’ clock or or 7-8 o’ clock can be difficult to get to if you are on your back. Especially if your holster is so tightly secured on your belt (OWB) or pants (IWB) that it doesn’t readily move to the 3 o’ clock or 9 o’ clock (for lefties and ambi). An attacker on top of you won’t give you much time to figure out your set up. I typically carry at 4-5 o’ clock for better concealment. I move my holster to 3 o’ clock for driving, or if I feel the need for faster access. The knife stays on the weak side of a cross draw or weak hand draw.

    It’s definitely good advice to practice shooting or dry fire while on your back. If your setup is not amenable to doing so, making an adjustment is worthwhile. A lot of street fights wind up on the ground. Like Zimmerman. Knowing how to fall and how to shoot from the ground could very well be a possibility, should you become involved in a DGU. Drawing a knife from the ground can also be useful, provided you can retain it.

    I’ve fought some on the ground, but definitely not as much as these guys.

    • A81:

      What do the guys in your line of work think of Krav Maga?
      Seems pretty practical, and to the point, training wise.

      At the rate the 9th is going on Peruta, I need to start doing something useful,
      besides b1tch and moan for the next 5 years…;)

      • Anything that can win a fight on the street is respected – Krav Maja, BJJ, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, etc.

  4. Someone tell me the difference between the video and most cinematic fight scenes?
    To my mind there aren’t any, both highly choregraphed

  5. In the video, our hero’s opponents were unrealistically passive, ill prepared and absurdly inept for their presumed nefarious line of work. It’s probably not going to go down quite like that were you to be confronted with such an unfortunate situation. A truly motivated assailant would not likely show such restraint and timidity. But, you know, ours is a funny little world and strange things do indeed happen; that said, I wouldn’t think that that’s the smart bet. YMMV.

  6. “Unless you’re a shopkeeper of some sort, you could easily find yourself ambushed, assaulted and then, down on the ground.”

    What’s so special about shopkeepers that they can’t be ambushed, assaulted, or knocked down? Are they all hyper-vigilant, indestructible Weebles?

    Self-defense tip: Become a shopkeeper!

    • He’s probably referring to the store counter, which provides some modicum of stand off distance and time to react. There’s also the typical pattern of store robberies, which entail the robber(s) coming straight into the store and directly for the clerk and register. That action provides some distance and time, too, unlike a mugger who attacks from inches away as he pretended to be just another person walking by.

      Shopkeepers actually are adept at situational awareness. It’s that constant scanning of the store’s goings on that keeps many bad guys at bay. Now, we’re mostly talking about shoplifters here, but would-be robbers, too. There may be a lot of “career criminals” out there, but that’s not the same thing as their being professionals. A lot of them are extremely nervous, and being watched can be enough to cause them to abandon the plan.

      Then there are all the criminals who are just plain cowards preying on the weak and unaware, which is probably most of them. These people are put off their game, such as it is, by an alert and active shopkeeper watching them. No guarantees, of course, as anything can happen any time any place; but situational awareness goes a long way toward deterring an attacker who just wants an easy score.

      I actually worked as a clerk for a major convenience store chain, starting at age 15, and continued through high school graduation. I worked for the same company, this time managing a store, for about two years in college. One of the hardest parts was running the register and watching the floor activity, while still keeping an eye on the gas pumps. This was back before the days of pay-at-the-pump, when most customers pulled up, started pumping, then came inside to pay.

      Drive-offs, as gas thieves were called, would show up at a store’s busiest times, pump their gas, then watch from the parking lot for you to be distracted, before driving off. You start believing in a sixth sense if you work that job long enough, because there were plenty of times when I’d feel someone was about to drive off, then I’d suddenly turn and look at them, only to see them halfway in their car, pump nozzle laying on the ground. Upon being caught in the act, they’d reverse everything and come inside and pay. Situational awareness.

  7. I hope I never have to do that s##t. 10.20,30 or 40 years ago no problem. Now in my 60’s with a few physical problems I’d be vulnerable. Don’t screw around with an old guy…he’ll just kill you.

  8. He indeed is a very impressive martial artist. But I have a pet peeve about these kinds of demonstrations. The really fancy techniques he used, the “aerial” moves got him applause, but they are not practical and my guess is they are not moves he would actually use in a real situation. Everyone should know ground fighting, but any move that intentionally takes you to the ground is ill-advised on the street. There are no clean mats to fall on out there, just asphalt and broken glass, and being on the ground makes you more vulnerable to additional attackers. But overall, bravo to him for a great demonstration.

  9. Here’s a tip from 24 years of policing. Situational awareness. Jonathan above is correct. Stay abreast of what is going on around you and in 99.9% of cases, you won’t have to respond to anything. “…shoot him early and often”, umm, lets make sure they really are a threat. No a drunk stumbling around or a homeless guy begging. Next to situational awareness, threat identification is key. Lastly, if you don’t practice, leave the gun, blade or whatever you feel will protect you at home. The real bad guys practice and so should you. Samuel Colt may have “made all men equal”, but that was before IPSC, private ranges, and the internet, where any knob with half a brain, a welfare cheque and some time on his hands can learn how to disarm you and turn the gun/knife around. And because most ranges don’t check to make sure that their clients are all wonderful, above board, law-abiding citizens, the BGs have access to gun ranges. Just check out Youtube…

    Remember, a moron who buys a gun and doesn’t practice is still a moron.

    • indeed, he is a moron with a gun.
      here’s a tip: avoid morons.
      from someone who’s been avoiding our finest since the ’68 democratic convention.

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