View Full Version : Conundrum

April 20, 2011, 06:46 PM
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April 20, 2011

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Dear Friends,

I have recently read a thread in a forum that has sparked my interest, and this typed opinion.

Most gun owners will not seek training beyond that required to obtain their firearm of choice. In short, training becomes that which must be completed in order to reach a desired goal. For some of us, we seek training to reach a goal beyond mere possession of a firearm, as we realize that mere possession of a handgun does not a shooter make.

This gives rise to various disciplines and it’s disciples. Let me say up front that I believe all disciplines are no more than theory until that user puts them to real life usage in combat. Resisting a mugger is combat, and may very well cost one their life, or the mugger’s life. I am of the theory, “Better 100 dead muggers than one dead innocent.

Each tactic and method will have a time for usage. There is no “One size fits all” in the modern world. There are systems, platforms, and tactics that are more likely to allow one to persevere and be victorious than others, but nothing replaces what one does in a real encounter, and we won’t know what that is until we have that encounter.

Studies and laboratory results give a good indicator, but are by no means the definitive answer. The best we can do is say, “If such and such happens, so and so may react like so.” This makes me ask, “What if someone reacts like we didn’t expect? What do we do now?” I’ve reacted as expected, and reacted not as expected on various occasions. One never knows for sure, as I said before.

This prompts the observation that proponents of various methodology can, if they are not careful, become too mired in a technique that gives rise to dogma and when things don’t go as planned they don’t know how to react. I’m not saying that one should attempt to obtain the equivelant of a Black Belt in every discipline, but it strikes me as common sense that one should have a modicum of understanding of various disciplines. We will naturally gravitate to things that we are good at, that’s understandable. The thing is, how good are we at understanding and using techniques and methods not to our liking?

I will admit up front, I hate hand to hand combat. Getting hit, or stuck with a shank, scares me more than getting shot. I don’t say that because I think I’m bullet proof. I know I have a glass jaw, and have been knocked unconscious enough times to confirm it, and have seen the lethality of a simple homemade prison weapon. If I’m unconscious I can’t maintain control of things like keys, weapons, or my own destination. Thus I find it not something to like.

So now we arrive at the core of my typing. Each discipline has it’s proponents, but is one really better than the other? I would say that each discipline has it’s time for usage. On the other side of that coin is that the more options one has, the longer it takes to make a decision. Gee, that’s quite a conundrum isn’t it?



April 20, 2011, 06:58 PM
The answer is........ Bruce Lee. :)

Follow his philosophy, and you really cant go wrong. It applies to everything in life too, not just martial arts.

Not over thinking things to much helps too. Not that debating things here is good for that. :)

April 21, 2011, 06:38 AM
AK, please share, what was his philosophy?

April 21, 2011, 06:55 AM
"Resisting a mugger is combat"

That's a real stretch. Even if I were to give you the benefit of the doubt on that statement, which I do not, it still doesn't make one combat proven. I am aware that you didn't claim it would.

April 21, 2011, 07:04 AM

If it's not a form of combat what is it then?

It certainly isn't tea and crumpets. Fighting a violent attack has to be something, and I contend that it is a form of combat.


April 21, 2011, 07:16 AM
Now you've modified your statement to 'a form of combat'.

April 21, 2011, 07:33 AM
I never was much of a fighter. My confrontations were short and spur of the moment kind of things with little time for "tactics" and I either came out the clear winner or got clocked out immediately. These were all in my teens before I came into better control of my temper. I had a great concern about being able to stop after having gained the upper hand as I became older and learned to walk away from a confrontation.
Being afflicted with arthritis early in life, I have carried a concealed weapon for many years compounding my effort to avoid a face to face conflict which might end with a shooting. I've been fortunate in not having ever fully drawn my firearm during a personal situation but have been presented with at least two that came very close. Attitude, demeanor, and confidence in the face of a conflict have solved many problems w/o presenting a firearm but an instant reponse to immediate personal danger within striking range is the only option. A stand up punching match or out running the bad guy is mostly not an option for me so deflecting the assault, gaining space, and drawing is my strategy. A lifetime of firearms use gives me the experience to "go to the gun" w/o much thought but I do practice when I feel like it.

April 21, 2011, 07:36 AM
Now you've modified your statement to 'a form of combat'.

OK, at first I thought you were just needing to clarify something, but I see that is not the case.

We will have to disagree on what combat is.


April 21, 2011, 07:52 AM
BikerRN, Bruce Lee's approach was to study many arts, but only take from them those techniques and philosophies he found personally useful. He wanted to streamline things, eliminate unnecessary effort and steps, and then test whether his ideas worked by going up against other artists.

So I guess you would say the philosophy was simplification, then proof through application.

April 21, 2011, 08:08 AM

I know what REAL combat is.


April 21, 2011, 05:07 PM
So I guess you would say the philosophy was simplification, then proof through application.
Yup, that sums it up nicely.

There is no one "true way", as much as most schools will tell you otherwise. Not saying anyone is wrong, but they probably arent right either. I think the closest "school" gun wise that follows the tenet, would probably be Gabe Suarez.

If you want to simplify things to the basic level, its pretty easy. Cheat as much as you can, as often as you can, do everything youve always been told is wrong to do to people, and do it first and as hard as you can go, and above all, win at all costs. You fight till they are dead or you go until you are. If youre dead, it wont matter, you wont know it. :)

April 21, 2011, 11:41 PM
Now you've modified your statement to 'a form of combat'.If something is "a form of combat" then it is, by definition, combat. If something is combat then it is also "a form of combat".I know what REAL combat is.Good. It's fortunate for the rest of us that there are dictionaries.

1. to fight or contend against; oppose vigorously.
2. to battle; contend.
3. Military . active, armed fighting with enemy forces.
4. a fight, struggle, or controversy, as between two persons, teams, or ideas.

1: a fight or contest between individuals or groups
2: conflict, controversy
3: active fighting in a war

A fight or struggle between two persons/individuals (e.g. between a mugger and his victim) is well within the definition of "combat".

April 22, 2011, 12:30 AM
Thank you Mr. John.

Not often, but sometimes I wish there was an "Ignore" feature.

You handled that matter much more civilly than I would've. I saw the post soon after it was posted, but had to still my hands.

I posted the first post because I see many people stuck in dogma, and I've learned the hard way that fights don't go as you plan them. They will be what they will be. I had hoped that people would read it and reflect upon it, not comment on the validity of combat.

I guess it was my poor attempt at being philosophical.


April 22, 2011, 02:03 AM
My experience mirrors exactly an old saying regarding military tactics and planning: "The best composed plans and order of battle go right to **** when the first round is fired."

April 22, 2011, 02:39 AM
I would say that each discipline has it’s time for usage. On the other side of that coin is that the more options one has, the longer it takes to make a decision. Gee, that’s quite a conundrum isn’t it?

I don't see it as too much of a predicament. As others have noted: simplify. Use what works for you. Generally a few well mastered techniques beats out numerous " I sort of know its".

One can have a very modest amount of "training" in the martial arts or years/decades; however, it very often comes down to:

reading people
"who wants 'it' more"
and what are you really willing to do/give to get "it"

Work on these three and you will be prepared to win most of your conflicts.

Also, train to actively avoid the conflict entirely; that is a won fight every time.

(Note: this is purely talking self-defense related.)

April 22, 2011, 05:00 AM
Kelly McCann had an article in a recent Black Belt magazine discussing exactly that last point, AZAK. When people get into actual, potentially lethal hand to hand, a small assortment of simple, highly-practiced techniques usually beat a broader repertoire of techniques that aren't as well ingrained.

So, in addition to simplicity, add high repetition counts.

Or, as a coach of mine from high school used to put it, "Once you've shot a double-leg takedown a thousand times, you'll just begin to get it."

April 22, 2011, 05:25 AM
I always think of an instructor I once knew, when I think of Bruce Lee's philosophy. He always said the man that only knows three moves is more deadly than the man that knows a thousand if he practices them with diligence.

Learn, try, test, simplify, practice, repeat

The fight will always be what it wants to be. So, Bruce's other philosophy works very well. Be like the water.

April 22, 2011, 08:01 AM
JohnKSa... It's comforting to know you're so accomplished with a keyboard and dictionary.

April 22, 2011, 09:07 AM
Water-Man, it's kind of early in the morning to make so many friends, isn't it?

April 22, 2011, 09:40 PM
JohnKSa... It's comforting to know you're so accomplished with a keyboard and dictionary.Perhaps my response was a bit less pleasant than it could have been, however, if you're going to try to finely dissect the specific wording of a commentary you should be prepared for a response in kind.

The fact that a person has been in combat means that he understands aspects of combat that those who have never been in combat will find difficult or impossible to fully comprehend. It does NOT, however, entitle such a person to redefine the word "combat" to suit his personal definition.

The bottom line is that the OP did not misuse the word "combat" in his post and your protestation to the contrary is baseless.

May 4, 2011, 03:23 PM
BikerRN, I've been looking and learning and generally seeking the best ways to put lead on targets as fast as possible for nearly 2 decades now. I got tied up in the conundrum you speak of. Choosing those skills to develop that I thought were best but never really being able to cover all conceivable options imaginable much less those possible. Then I stumbled upon system that covered more option here on TFL. Its called the Fluid Situational Response. For a basic description its a system that allows your response to be based on the events immediately unfolding before you. Your actions or reactions are based on your position in the reactionary curve. The reactionary curve positions are ahead, even, or behind. Ahead equals your gun out and ready bad guy is producing a firearm but not yet ready to fire. Even obviously equals both pulling and raising guns simultaniously. Behind, the worst possible position, equals you at gun point your firearm not yet produced.

If ahead you can stand and deliver or advance on your adversary. If even you run off the X while delivering accurate fire. If behind you run off the X and deliver accurate fire the moment your firearm is available.This means running in any direction while delivering accurate fire. Sounds hard but it really isn't.

This fluid reasponse, especially when even or behind in the curve, allows our body to give in to the natural desire to flee mortal danger yet respond appropriately.

Now I am happy with my training. I feel that it covers a super wide swath of possibilities. It gets me moving, which makes for a much harder target to hit, allows me to seek cover, and allows my body to give in to the desire to flee. Just a great concept.

I still work on the basic necessary skills like reloading, jam clearing, gun retention, weak hand shooting, ETC.

review some of Sweatnbullets posts for better details.

May 4, 2011, 09:38 PM
I am forced to conclude that Threeguns tactical analysis is basically accurate. If a mugger is foolish enough to be facing you and you are armed, then a decisive action is probably your best bet. Assuming the mugger is no fool and is behind you, then Threegun makes an especially good point about moving and reacting quickly. If you are confronted with a situation like a mugging and fighting back is your best option, then distancing yourself from the threat is paramount. A person who is running and doing so in an erratic way is a much more difficult target. Second seek cover and third return fire if needed and possible. The tactics he describes compare well with those that I learned in the military both in AIT and when training for armed base security. The need to deliver accurate fire while avoiding the enemy's fire may sound obvious, but it does require intense training for such reactions to become instinct. IMO In most mugging situations, you have already become the victim by walking into the situation in the first place and it is probably not the wisest thing to resist. A wallet is replaced a life is not, but sometimes you have no choice. Biker it sounds like combat to me, no there probably won't be any automatic weapons and certainly no heavy weapons, but dead is dead.

May 5, 2011, 01:38 AM
Intresting discussion. There are no answers, only questions. Been involved in this sort of thing for over 40 years.

The trainning has evolved from one hand point shooting to using two hands, weaver to isosceles, and so on. Each school claimming to have the best truth. Some go from school to school trying to figure out what is best. They seem to get confused. I have no military or LEO experience, but it seems that one must have the Warrior mindset.

You simply can't plan for every type of attack that may occur. What if you can't have your gun? Using the gun one should know and have wired in all styles of shooting. Point, aimmed, one hand, two hands ect. One should avoid if possible beind suprised. The mindset to take it all the way with a knife, stick, car, or hands and feet. Be confident in what you can do, and do it to the very best of your ability, and don't worry what school, gun, caliber is best. Make informed decisions and let the chips fall where they may.

When all is said and done the Warrior mindset will prevail.

May 5, 2011, 03:37 PM
"Once you've shot a double-leg takedown a thousand times, you'll just begin to get it."

A grond ponder? Honest coach I got it dont make me run the stairs again....

My son doesnt like wrestling, he dont like hurting another.

As far as sd goes, KISS is my method. Simplify everything. In a heated moment you just dont need complex.

May 5, 2011, 04:26 PM
If you are confronted with a situation like a mugging and fighting back is your best option, then distancing yourself from the threat is paramount.

If you are ahead in the curve it is quite possible that standing and delivering or even advancing would be more benefitial. Once the bad guy is gun out then its off the X asap and while shooting.

A person who is running and doing so in an erratic way is a much more difficult target.

Agreed however erratic movement is more likely to cause a fall. Movement in general, even straight line movement, combined with immediate (while moving) accurate fire, makes for a very difficult target to hit. IMO its the combination of the two that makes it so effective.

Second seek cover and third return fire if needed

I don't agree here at all. Return fire should begin asap. If the firearm is ready before cover is attained, start shooting.

I don't like giving the bad guy my back either. If I need to flee my upper body should be pivoted facing the target while my firearm is working. The only exception is when behind in the reactionary curve and compliance is not possible. Here gaining distance is very helpful while you are producing your firearm.

May 5, 2011, 09:34 PM
That makes sense to me. I did not mean it as necessarily sequential, but rather in order of priorities. But I think we basically agree here; accept perhaps in when to resist, but that must be decided by the individual facing the threat. Of course if he is facing you and you are armed, then an immediate frontal assualt is probably best; as I pointed out in my first post:

"If a mugger is foolish enough to be facing you and you are armed, then a decisive action is probably your best bet"

May 6, 2011, 06:37 AM
Hopefully our Situational Awareness allows us to sniff out and avoid everything. Then if that fails hopefully it gave us enough time to formulate a response.

If you are behind in the reactionary curve you should only resist if you believe that death will result if you do nothing. Being held at gunpoint produces some very low odds of survival if you resist. So only resist if death was coming anyway. Anyway thats my take on it.