View Full Version : Move Out Of The Way! But Which Way?

amazon shooter
June 1, 2011, 02:23 PM
Hi guys,

In another thread, I asked about knife vs gun.

I think it is a fact that if you do not move in a violent confontation, you will be knifed or shot. Lots of people said move, but where?

Let's assume the BGs have their weapons in their right hands.

Yah, I know, find cover fast if you can, but if you can not which way do you move? - 1) to your left, 2) to your left and back, 3) to your right, 4) to your right and back 5) or straight back. I am sure somebody has figured it out - let's hear it.

June 1, 2011, 02:33 PM
Facing a guy with a gun, I'd move away to the strong side of the assailant, rearward, at an angle, if I was armed, too.
Otherwise, I might want to move toward the assailant and try to disarm, since bullets go faster than people can run.
Facing a guy with a knife, I'd just run away.
Lots of other things to consider, of course, like protecting wife and kids, 'etc.

June 1, 2011, 02:47 PM
A quick bio on my teaching experience : I conduct self defense training on a regular basis for our local college, and have run hundreds of workshops for students and staff.

When facing an armed opponent at close quarters it is always safer and easier to move outside of the attacker than inside of their reach - especially when facing a knife or short range weapon.

For a firearm it is easier for an attacker to readjust their aim inside their reach rather than to their outside. So, a similar rule applies.

So, moving to your left when facing an right handed attacker armed with a weapon in their right hand is generally a safer bet. Students with more training have successfully demonstrated the ability to move inside of an attacker with great success, but it takes much more training and experience.

June 1, 2011, 03:29 PM
I generally agree with mikejonestkd, but the problem is there really is no one-size-fits-all answer, and nothing he (or I, or anybody) tells you about it will be any use unless and until you've practiced, with training partners, a whole lot of times.

As a general rule, to the outside is better. Whether to move forward, back, or to the side depends on a lot of variables. Is there more than one person? Do you know what the terrain and obstacles behind you are? What is behind the attacker?

Is the outside always better? Maybe not. It may not be an option, due to obstacles or other bad guys. Also, it depends a lot on the attacker's feet and hips. If he's right handed, but left foot forward, it will generally be easier for him to turn to the right (outside) than the left.

Also, as a general rule, we generate the most power in the area in front of the box formed by hips and shoulders. Striking, stabbing, or slashing, we really want to bring our center to bear on our target - so generally, that's where you do NOT want to be with respect to an attacker. You want your center aimed at him, but you do not want his center aimed at yours.

I'd recommend you find a reputable dojo, dojang, etc in your area and find out first-hand how most people move when using fists, sticks, or knives. You really need to train to muscle memory and reflex, because if you have to take time to think about it, you'll be struck, stabbed, slashed, or shot.

June 1, 2011, 04:51 PM
As with most of these hypotheticals, it's impossible to say unequivocally "do this".

I can agree with what's been said as good basic principles.

Another good CQB basic principle, for the more advanced, is get closer to a gun and farther away from a knife. You can't outrun a bullet, but you can get enough distance between you and an attacker to make knife wounds a relatively low probability.

Another good basic principle is to avoid running in a straight line (if you're going to run). I can hit a clay pigeon traveling at 60 MPH going in a straight line. However, hitting a quail that flies erratically is a lot more difficult.

Other good principles:
1. Do what the attacker would least expect
2. React in three dimensions
3. React with as much force and violence as you can muster and do it IMMEDIATELY (don't hesitate)

June 2, 2011, 09:18 AM
Move to the weapon side of attacker. If it is a gun, more in a erratic pattern, i.e serpentine. If it is a knife or striking weapon, add some rearward motion to the lateral motion.

June 2, 2011, 10:54 AM
I think you'll also find that different styles have different biases with regard to forward vs rearward movement.

TKD and karate guys tend to move backward more. Grapplers tend to advance (including Japanese and Brazilian jujitsu, judo, and aikido) more often. Strikers like to stay at range where kicks are an option. Grapplers like to jam people up.

My background is mostly in aikido, and so my bias tends to be to advance. Aikidoka like to get to the rear quarter, where we can bring all attacks to bear, and the other guy has to come the long way around. Distance is normally used at first, to make the attacker have to take a step or two in order to be able to make the attack reach its target, but as soon as the attacker commits, we usually advance, quickly, but on an angle.

Worst case scenario would involve a guy who is really good with a knife, makes a lot of quick, small jabs and cuts, and doesn't take large steps or commit his center. Fortunately, there don't seem to be that many people out there who meet those criteria.

June 2, 2011, 04:06 PM
Most of what was said is true. For a gun, you want to be within reach. For a knife, you want to be out of reach. Either way it's best to head towards their strong side.

On the other side of things, it depends on your available defenses.

June 3, 2011, 08:02 AM
Move, move fast, and don't move straight back if you can help it. Don't waste time trying to "serpentine" in a self defense scenario. Hitting a target going straight away is nearly as easy as hitting one standing still.

June 3, 2011, 11:21 AM
As stated, circumstances differ.

Assume the attacker is comming at you from the 12:00 o'clock position.
The line running from 12:00 to 6:00 o'clock is the line of aggression.

You are facing your attacker, as he charges, slide your Lf. foot to the 30:00 o'clock position. Your knees are bent, and should be touching, then pivot on the balls of the feet. This will get you off of the line of aggression, and in a good position to counter attack. This works well when a wrestler wants to tackle you and take you down.

This is a natural and easy move with a little practice.

June 3, 2011, 08:52 PM
Which way you move will depend on lots of variables.

Are you in the open?

Are you in a hallway or other confined space?

Is there furniture or natural obstacles in the way?

No real cut and dry answer.

After training F-O-F with Suarez International, while it may seem counter-intuitive, moving to the attackers 11- or 1-o'clock actually takes the BG longer to track you than to the 5-7 or 3 and 9 areas of the clock.

During this time frame it is quite possible to draw and place multiple rounds in the BG, counter-attack, run out a door or whatever else is prudent.

June 4, 2011, 01:25 AM
No real cut and dry answer.

After training F-O-F with Suarez International, while it may seem counter-intuitive, moving to the attackers 11- or 1-o'clock actually takes the BG longer to track you than to the 5-7 or 3 and 9 areas of the clock.

During this time frame it is quite possible to draw and place multiple rounds in the BG, counter-attack, run out a door or whatever else is prudent.

I agree. And,lateral movement forces the assailant to re-orientate and buys you time.

Figuring out how you're going to move in advance is like asking a martial artist to know in advance how's he's going to counter a move by his apponent.

June 4, 2011, 07:21 AM
Some good answers here but asking a question of this nature online and hoping to get usable results has one fatal (pun intended) flaw - many of the replies suggest that proper training, not just thinking that you know what to do, is the key here. Long time ago, in a land far away ;), my self defense courses were 1. learn what to do 2. practice, practice, practice 3. Repeat 2 many times!

My son, who is a black belt karate guy just finished some unarmed combat courses with the Marines. It was many hours of practicing moves and maneuvers once the basics were learned. He said that all of his karate training was critical to assimilate the practical information he was getting in the unarmed combat courses.

June 4, 2011, 02:46 PM
+1 grumpa 72.

At this point, I've probably practiced thousands of weapon takeaways, ranging from wooden tantos (daggers) and bokken (swords) to baseball bats and hard rubber guns. I'm reasonably good at it.

Even so, against a real attacker with an edged weapon, I assume I'll probably get cut, at least a little, and possibly fatally.

My odds are much better than the odds would be for somebody who hasn't put in the hours of training time, but I'd still be quite happy going through life without actually having to take away a knife from a BG.

And, quite honestly, if I'm carrying and the situation arises, the reaction I've mostly trained to is to pass the BG by me, while I draw and shoot him. Move enough to get off the line, try to get to his rear flank, and tag him while he reorients.

In other words, if I have a weapon, I'm not going with open hands any longer than I absolutely must.

June 5, 2011, 09:25 PM
I'm for extensive training, but most incidents don't happen to the well trained. They happen to ordinary citizens whose skills are minimal. Many people, possessed of almost no skills, have saved their lives because they had a gun--just as those with good skills sometimes lose.

These same people (the unskilled) can benefit greatly from some extra training were simple basics are emphasized.

And lateral movement to get off the line of force and make the assailant take extra time re-orintating to the target is one of those basic skills that can be life saving. Same as moving to cover, developing basic pistol skills, and learning to avoid trouble in the first place. Along with SD tactics in the home.

Cudos to the real, well trained super warriors---but most of us are not.:cool: