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My name is Robert Farago and I am a keyboard commando. You see the slick way gun guru Jabo Long loads his gun, does a press check, knocks it on the ass and puts the safety on? Long’s precision, deliberation and automation makes my gun handling look like a baby fumbling with an apple. FWIW, this KC has nothing against appendix carry. I personally prefer outside-the-waistband carry and a reversible vasectomy. But I understand the carry method’s practical advantages. That said, I still have a bone to pick (so to speak) with this demo. MOVE! Whenever I practice my draw on a non-square range . .

I move as I defeat my garment and clear Kydex. Even if it’s two one step left (and one step right). I do this every time I draw, unless I’m already behind cover or concealment, where moving and drawing might be a really dumb idea.

The simple truth: movement is more important than your draw.

As anyone who’s taken ye olde Tueller test will tell you, the chances that you’ll have the time to bring your gun to bear on the bad guy(s) from concealment in the midst of an initial attack are low. Not even if you go Long and defeat your garment in less time than it takes to find a good dry cleaner in Austin.

Remember: the bad guy has the first-mover advantage. They’re attacking you, not vice versa. Most times they’re going to have the element of surprise (ambush!). So you need to learn to escape or avoid the initial attack before or better yet AS you bring your gun into action.

That takes practice. Move/draw/shoot. Move/draw/shoot. Try this at home! With an unloaded gun. A lot. Because if you don’t – if you only practice drawing and shooting while standing stock still – that becomes you default option. Getting caught flat-footed by people aiming to do you great harm sucks on an epic scale.

By the same token (only worse), if you never practice your draw and only shoot standing still at square ranges, you’re programming yourself for a potentially fatal firearms failure.

Don’t get me wrong: standing still and shooting is excellent for learning grip, stance, breathing, sight acquisition, trigger control and administrative skills (e.g., combat reloads). But once you’ve got that sussed, there’s no need to continue – other than fun and self-confidence.

Yes, shooting is a fungible skill. But it’s not that fungible. And when it comes to armed self-defense, strategy and tactics should be the central focus. But what do I know? I’m not even a proper keyboard command. I eat greek yogurt, honey and granola when I type; with my gun on my hip, not in my lap.

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  1. First mag is usually just like that. A ritual. Building upon muscle memory. No mistakes. Careful and slow.
    Re-holstering is v e r y s l o w
    I also appendix carry.

    • this. had a navy seal instructor say same. reholster is V E R Y slow. Even the draw had a different pace…fast, slooow, fast. You figure out why….what works for you, in the end, is what you get, if you practice..or you dont.

      Dry fire is your friend.

    • I’ve slowed Qual lines down with my slow re-holstering, and I do 7 qualifications a year now. The sad thing is I only do 3/year for work.

      Anyways, there’s no reason to rush it – doubly so because I’ve got GLOCKs most of the time. Kydex is definitely faster than leather on the way out – at least for me.

  2. “Remember: the bad guy has the first-mover advantage. They’re attacking you, not vice versa. Most times they’re going to have the element of surprise (ambush!).”

    This is why Craig Douglas gives some attention to “equal initiative” vs “unequal initiative” events and training. He argues that too much our training is “equal initiative” and as such, does not model the real world in some really important ways.

    His “Managing Unknown Contacts” module is geared toward keeping distance by noticing threats as they approach, early in the victim selection process.

    Claude Werner speaks of ‘criminal surveillance.’

    William Aprill also talks about deselection and offers ways to notice the victim selection process as it begins, not after it has concluded and an attack begins.

    Bottom line is distance equals time. The sooner these processes are observed, the better.

    All this comes under the catch-all term of “situational awareness,” which is too-often conveniently vague.

    • There are legal problems. You can tell that its coming but if you act first and it is recorded. Well you better have a good attorney.

      • I think you misunderstood. That’s not the training these guys are offering.

        Their “act first,” as you put it, is avoidance.

        Basically, a lot of lip service is given to “situational awareness” without really saying what that means or how to learn it. Yeah, folks say “head on a swivel” and stuff like that.

        These guys (and others, I just picked three I could provide some links for if pressed for them) teach some specific ways to see and notice what needs to be noticed and ways to act on it.

        It is absolutely not, “Hey, that guy 25 yd away from me looks a little iffy, think I’ll draw and ventilate him.”

    • I thought I didn’t know squat about self-defense, yet here I see you parroting back what I have been talking about for three years I have been coming to this site. Who would have thought it? So now I am going to tell you why self-defense trainers never teach surveillance/countersurveillance techniques as part of their “self defense” classes.. It is too costly and too time consuming for them to make money doing it. It is much cheaper to teach you police and military tactics that have little or no use to a private citizen.

      You can hire a class room instructor like my buddy Fred (not his real name), a recently retired CIA case officer, who was a by name request from the Secret Service to do the advanced surveillance work for Presidential and Vice Presidential trips, for $1000/day. If it were just classroom work with 10 students it would simple increase the cose by $100. However, classroom work is nice but you have to go into field to actually learn to use these surveillance techiniques. That means you need a Fred, Tony and me for each student at a cost of $3000 per student/day. That is not affordable outside of the federal government. That is why providers of professional security services hire exclusively ex-special forces and agency personnel. They have already been trained.

      Just remember the basic advice for a citizen to protect himself from harm. “Don’t get noticed, run away if you do and only get involved in a gun fight as an absolute last resort.” And if you an official of the US Government and are caught doing somehting you shouldn’t in Russia it’s ruki vysoko”

      If you have to draw your gun you have failed and if you have to pull the trigger it is an epic fail.

      • “I thought I didn’t know squat about self-defense,”

        Don’t think I ever said that. Closest I recall saying, recently anyway, is that you say some ridiculous things and that I choose to ignore your “advice” when you do. {shrug}

        Not sure the above diatribe disproves my point or not, quite honestly. We are not talking about folks in the PP industry or “operators” in government service. We are talking about mere regular Joes just trying to get through the day.

        Telling me “have good situational awareness” is fine and dandy, but it does not really help in specifics. The three folks I mentioned above are among pro trainers that are trying to get past that.

        “self-defense trainers never teach surveillance/countersurveillance techniques”

        Not sure what you mean by “never,” but I mentioned three trainers above that do teach methodologies and mindset beyond the mere mention of “get good situational awareness.”

        We are not talking about Surveillance / Counter-surveillance. That’s is something very, very different. Of course they don’t teach that; I’m not a spy – I’m just a guy.

        One of the dudes I mentioned has a background in Military Intelligence circles and he says “surveillance / countersurveillance” is not the mission of the regular guy. When he uses the term “criminal surveillance,” he means very specific things having to do with implementing situational awareness in our everyday lives….not being “operator as heck.”

      • The techniques are basically the same. You are looking for someone who is looking for you except our potential bad guys are lot easier spot then the FSB guys. It is a know what is normal in your environment and what is an anomaly. Easy to say but not easy to do.

  3. The problem? Do it at the range. We need cheap places where we can shoot ourselves and not put the place out of business. And it would be great with pop up targets…and…and….. see there are thousands of things to practice. Not many places that approve.

    • “We need cheap places where we can shoot ourselves and not put the place out of business.”


      Either my parser is not working very well this evening, or something. Don’t know what you are saying there. your point – or what I think it is.

      LOTS of ranges have/offer some brand of action shooting. Don’t know where you are, but Cowboys, IDPA, Zombies, USPSA, IPSC, 3-Gun, NRA-Action Pistol to name some of the big ones have clubs and events all over the country.

      They are something of an improvement over standing still on a square range punching cardboard.

      So, I confess I don’t get your point.

      • Not a lot of ranges. The only range in 50 miles of my parents is a stand still and shoot paper range. The only indoor range near me is the same, plus 2-sec between trigger pulls.

        • Agreed – only one public range I’ve been to around here allows firing from the draw, rapid shots, etc. There are a couple of ranges further away from (45+ minutes drive) that I haven’t been to yet. And I don’t have access to private land to shoot without making arrangements that require lead time.

          Time for more dry firing practice at home. And I think I need to start doing some of the pistol action competitions around here, just to get some “better” practice.

        • Guys, 50 miles or 45 minutes is not far to go shoot…at least in my opinion and experience. Used to live in a big city where that was pretty much the average drive to get anywhere.

          One of those “your mileage may vary” things though. We each set our own priorities.

      • I agree about action shooting, but you need to go into it fully understanding they are sports competitions with rules that do not truly reflect real world situations. I shoot IDPA, ok but not real well. My last match, on one stage, I got two penalties for breaking cover. On one, I was moving too fast to the end of a barricade, did not stop until I was past it. I engaged one target & shot again as I was backing up to cover. The penalties did not bother me, I’m doing this to have fun. I also realized that if this had been an actual gunfight, I would have done exactly what I did.

  4. Speed will come of you have the discipline to practice technique over and over.

    “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”

    He didn’t look like that the first time he was on a range. No one does. Practice doesn’t make perfect, PERFECT practice makes perfect. Otherwise, you are just ingraining bad habits.

    I’m not a huge fan of appendix, but I’ve seen video of professionals using it and it can be scary fast even without a holster. Not crazy about muzzling my junk, but whatever works for ya.

  5. When I was CC’ing, it was appendix carry. I could carry a Glock 30 wearing shorts and a T- shirt and not print. No one knew I was carrying unless I told them.

      • Always wondered about that. I remember packing toy guns in my waistband playing as a kid and having the same problem.

  6. There’s music playing, nuns, all kinds of stuff.

    I guess he’s been watching Sister Act? Maybe he’s a closet Whoopi Goldberg fan?

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