Touched for the Very First Time

As of this weekend, I am no longer a virgin. This will come as a surprise to those of you who know me and my wife whom I’ve been married to for 20 years and my 3 kids ages 11, 9, and 8. But Saturday I finished up a two-day martial arts seminar and this time I wasn’t the student! I designed the course, pitched it to the owner of Pride Mixed Martial Arts and then taught the thing by myself. For the most part I felt like a kid who was trying on his dads’ shoes to see if they fit, but I tried not to let on to the students.

Dealing with Line of Fire

The course covered dealing with firearms in the 5″ range.

First we gave the bad guy the gun and practiced moving the gun and our bodies to take the important bits out of the line of fire. Then securing the gun while beating the snot out of the attacker. We did this from a few different attack points, mostly direct confrontation and an attacker jabbing the gun in your ribs from the side. But heck, you can do that in just about any decent martial arts school. So then I took the rubber guns away and instead gave the bad guys green gas KWA AirSoft guns! Nothing like actually testing your theories. And nothing like the negative reinforcement of a welt caused by a point-blank range shot from an AirSoft gun.

Several people asked about taking the gun away from the attacker. My preference though is to concentrate on keeping the gun’s line of fire away from my bits while beating the guy senseless. You’re not going to get the gun out of the iron grip of his hand anyway until after a significant beating, and after the beating you’ll probably have a lot less trouble getting control of the gun.

The point of aim is now in the bad guy's stomach.

Transitioning

So if you’ve just learned how to control the bad guy’s firearm and beat the tar out of them, how wise do you think it is to try to draw your gun while you are physically tied up with someone? Your plan may be to carry a gun and shoot the bad guys, but if you introduce a weapon during a fight within grappling range the fight may quickly become about the weapon. The weapon may not be the equalizer you expected.

So instead you have to work your way out of the grappling range and be able to draw and fire your weapon without interference by the attacker. During the first part of the class my students had to deal with one attacker striking and wrapping them up to get to a safe position and then draw and fire. Everyone was doing OK with this, but enthusiasm was lacking. Enthusiasm gets a significant boost when instead of fists, the bad guy has a knife! So I gave all the bad guys training blades. Now when you get away it had better be far enough away that you can draw and fire before the bad guy can re-close with the knife. Even if you fatally shoot him, momentum or the last ebbs of life may carry him forward to you with that knife leading the way.

The second part of this segment involved two attackers. The goal here is to not take damage while controlling the first attacker and using him as a shield against the second. You do this until you can get to a place to draw and shoot both attackers. As far as that goes, this woman in the class was the star pupil:

Great control of me (in the black hoodie). She used me as a shield and broke free. She couldn’t get to her gun before the second attacker got to her, so she dealt with him and broke free again. She drew her gun and shot us both. It probably makes it twice as sweet that the guy in white hoodie is her husband. In martial arts we call that marriage counseling.

Going Forward

This class was done with students from our school who were already familiar with hand-to-hand fighting and most had some firearms experience. None had ever trained on how to integrate the two. We are looking at  putting together a public seminar, probably a two-day thing, that will teach the fundamentals of hand-to-hand fighting and integrate the firearms work. If that works, maybe I can take it on the road. Traveling around, staying in crummy hotels, eating greasy diner food, and teaching people to protect themselves sounds like a pretty awesome way to spend a weekend.

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