Good at distance does not mean easy up close

Caleb over at Gun Nuts Media (whom I don’t know)  referred to a piece I’d recently written for American Handgunner (see page 46 in the linked issue).  In his piece Caleb mentioned, among many other good pieces of advice, that being competent at mid distances like 7 yards meant that very close distance shooting problems would then be a breeze by comparison…which was the only point I disagreed with.  Here’s my comment to his post:

Caleb – thanks for the reference. Have to say that I agree with almost everything that you said, with one exception. Competence with speed and accuracy at 7 yards doesn’t necessarily translate into an easy day at 3 yards IF YOU MAKE THE EXERCISE REALISTIC, and not just a shooting exercise. At those close distances you have to deal with an attacker who can reach you before your draw is completed, thus you have to integrate empty hands skills with drawing and shooting, which is a much harder thing to do correctly than simply drawing and shooting. I emphasize “correctly” because, as the technique (there’s really one one that works) for dealing with that situation has diffused throughout the training community over the last 10-15 years, it has gotten watered down and feeble, quite often by instructors who don’t really know that they are doing. Of course that makes it easy to teach, and too easy for the unwitting students to perform well.

I’m pretty sure that Caleb knows this (he’s one of the smart guys writing) and that he was writing a short blog post in shorthand, so to speak.  But it is surprising how many gun instructors, and I use the word loosely, really believe it.   I’m also amazed at how many gun people who don’t have, but of course should have, empty-hands training, either fall for this canard, or believe that every empty-hands technique they are  shown in a gun class will work.

Here’s the thing…and it’s a very simple thing.  Put an airsoft gun (for stand-off distances) or a training knife (for contact distances) in the hands of a training partner, and then ask them to attack you with surprise (just like the street) and with full aggression (just like the street).  Do this for any technique you think you can rely on for the street.

In all the years I have been observing the combative arts, it just amazes me that not one in a thousand people do this.



3 thoughts on “Good at distance does not mean easy up close

  1. Thanks, that is a good demo ! I was practicing a similar technique Monday night. I take a class in Karate with self defense included. We were one on one with a partner practicing hand heel strikes to the sternum, then kiai and step back with one foot to increase distance, while doing a change body to a side angle, when somebody tries to grab you ! I can see using a modified version of that with a sidearm ! I’ll start practicing that right away !


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