By Mark James
Rule #1 in gun fighting: It is more important not to get shot than it is to shoot; shooting is extra credit. A gun fight is nothing more than a fight that involves a gun. In a hand-to-hand encounter (fist fight), whether you have combative skills are not, moving to not get hit is typically instinctive. Then you look until you hit your adversary as hard as you can as often as you can until you neutralize the threat. The strategy in a gun fight is the same, whether moving to 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 o’clock to avoid getting hit. These encounters are dynamic and rarely predictable. Effective fighters learn to go with the flow and let the situation dictate their response. Very rarely, if at all, do you stand in place, you move to get off the line of attack as you simultaneously or nearly simultaneously launch your counterattack. Remember many of these encounters happen inside of 10 feet and most at bad breath distance.
“When a crisis occurs, we very rarely rise to meet the occasion in truth; we merely default to our training!” In a prior life, I often heard many amateur athletes say, ‘I am a better game day player than I am a practice player.’ Truth is if you don’t practice exploding in practice, you can’t explode in a game, as your quick twitch muscles are not conditioned to respond that way. Shooting while moving is a learned skill, and if you don’t practice it, you won’t be able to call upon it in a tactical encounter. Therefore, it is imperative we incorporate dynamic training into our practice.
Stat•ic – adjective
1. Pertaining to or characterized by a fixed position
2. Showing little or no change
3. Lacking movement, development or vitality
Static training is typically helpful in assisting your building fundamental firearm skills. This is the type of training most people do at most indoor and outdoor ranges. While it helps build basic skills, it rarely simulates the environment most people face in personal protection situations (moving, getting off line, working from cover, working from concealment, presentation/the draw etc.), as most ranges restrict or severely limit that type of training for safety reasons.
Dy•nam•ic – adjective
1. Pertaining to or characterized by energy, or effective action; vigorously active or forceful; energetic
a. of or pertaining to force or power
b. of or pertaining to force related to motion
Dynamic training is designed to help you advance your firearm skills and better simulate the type of environment you might actually experience in a firearm encounter. When you point your gun at someone or someone points their gun at you typically one or more of the below four things are going to happen:
• We or they comply (either actual or faux compliance) with the commands of the person holding the gun or the one who got their gun in the fight first
• We or they attempt to move (trying to move to cover or execute a tactical escape)
• We or they attempt to return fire while moving or drawing from concealment
• Someone or both gets seriously injured or dies (I don’t like the idea of trading rounds)
So unlike the static training we do at most ranges, the adversary will probably be moving and we will probably be moving or some combination of the above. So limiting your training to static range training will typically give you a false sense of your abilities. As an EP Agent, in addition to learning to shoot on the move, it is equally important to learn to draw from concealment, as that is how you work everyday. Going to the range and practicing from exposed carry is not how you go to work everyday. Remember amateurs practice until they get it right, professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong. Professional criminals practice drawing from concealment everyday, don’t let them out work you. Stay aware, stay focused and stay safe!
Mark “Six” James
Panther Protection Services
For firearms training contact email@example.com