gun defense

Many people look to go to some form of martial arts class to improve their self-defense skills. This could be very formal and stylized in a Traditional setting, more casual and physical in a combat sport environment, or something 'street', wearing regular clothing and featuring brutal 'dirty' fighting (more on dirty fighting in another blog!).

To a certain extent this is a valid path and I'm sure the readership of Black Belt Magazine will all veer towards one form or another of the above examples. However, there are some things that can be done which are ultimately far more effective at self-protection than any physical class can give you. The trouble is they don't 'fit' into what most people think of as self-defense and so they are often ignored or overlooked. The good news is that these are fairly simple concepts to learn and can be done at any time. But they aren't necessarily easy. As with most things worthwhile, they take practice.

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Although only speculation, I believe it is safe to infer that even back in the days of the Asian Dynasties there was someone pointing at the teacher of the Army saying "That won't work in battle".

Martial Artists are known for being critical of techniques not introduced to them by their instructor, created by them personally, or outside of their particular system or style.

The debate continues in regard to "What will work on the streets". Many techniques are taught, and for each technique, you are sure to find practitioners, instructors, masters, and grandmasters who will say "That won't work on the street"? So that leads to the question "What makes one technique more or less valid than another for street application"?

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It's a situation you never want to find yourself in: back against a wall, gun pointed at your face. It's too late to run or hide, and your assailant doesn't want anything from you, or they've already taken everything, or are asking for something you can't give (for example, they're trying to take your child).

Under those circumstances, your options are limited. Your best choice may be a gun disarm, like this one shown by self-defense expert Richard Ryan. Keep in mind that although the movements seem simple, if you ever have to do it in real life it will be in a high-stress situation. Therefore, if you plan on executing the technique, you'll need regular practice.

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Gun defense is a touchy topic for martial artists. This tang soo do stylist field-tested all his theories and tactics before he started teaching them.

After capturing my attention with his blade work, Larry Wick of Split Second Survival moves on to firearms. He takes out a training weapon — in this case, an Airsoft gun — then clears it and hands it to me with the same instructions: “If I move, kill me." Again and again, regardless of the setup position, Wick handily moves through or past me, ending up almost every time with my training gun in his hands. In every instance, he moves forward or at a slight angle. Not once does he step back or retreat.

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Listen up, martial artists! If you practice gun defense in the dojo and don't take into consideration the OODA loop, you could be making a grave mistake.

As you reach out to retrieve your receipt from the ATM, the evening air makes you shiver. It’s been a long, hard day, and you’re glad it’s almost over. Just one more stop at the all-night grocery store. …

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