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Old September 10, 2008, 12:14 PM   #10
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,438
Glenn, Keltyke: Stop, you're both right.

Having done some degree of force on force with trained and experienced shooters, both with paint guns and with plain dummy guns, I've a couple observations.

1) If you're out of range for a disarm, it's a bad idea to go for a disarm. Disarm distance is close arm's reach, not three feet away.

2) In some specific circumstances, it's better to "use martial arts" on a drawn gun (disarm the assailant) before you draw your own gun. But see #1.

3) If you are within disarm range when someone begins to draw, you're better off smothering his draw than you are to go for your own gun. That's because ties really suck.

4) Even a girl (okay, an overweight and out of shape middle aged woman) can use the elements of surprise, distraction, leverage, joint locks, and pure unadulterated sneakiness to win against larger and stronger opponents. Even if the opponents are armed. Flip side, if the larger and stronger opponent also uses the same elements, she's hosed. The more highly trained the opponent, the more difficult it becomes to use the skills you have against them.

5) Even when someone knows it's coming, some techniques can't really be countered effectively if both participants are trying to stay realistically within the scenario.

6) A WIN is defined as getting away so decisively that the assailant cannot follow you. Whether that is accomplished by putting bullet holes in him or by breaking his joints or by knocking him into unconsciousness is really immaterial. Corrolary: You haven't 'won' if you simply manage to get him off you once, or even if you hurt him badly enough to drive him to his knees without disabling him. Those are both first steps, not the end of the fight. You have to make it so he cannot follow you when you get away -- or you haven't won. You've only delayed a loss. (Incidentally, that's why "kick him in the nuts and run" is such bad advice ... pain is a poor substitute for really disabling someone, and pain compliance is an uncertain master at best.) The further away safety is, the more thoroughly the attacker needs to be disabled.

7) Humans are tool users, and few environments don't have potential tools that you could use to defend yourself -- if you know the sorts of things to look for and how to use them effectively.

8) Nobody in their right mind is going to go for a disarm unless they think they are going to die anyway whether they go for the disarm or not. If you're going to die anyway, you might as well die on your feet as on your knees. And who knows? You might win.

Finally: unpopular as it is to admit, not all scenarios are survivable. That doesn't mean you give up. If I'm going to die anyway, I'm going to die trying. I'm not going to go out groveling and sniveling and whimpering for my mama -- I'm going to go out cussing and spitting and fighting and doing my damnedest to take the other guy with me or better yet to send him on ahead of me. I want my honor guard in Valhalla. (Or as Tamara said: "I ain't goin' out like that.")

Given that I want that honor guard, it only seemed smart to increase my odds of getting it by learning how to do this stuff. That I can't do everything is no reason at all that I can't learn to do some things.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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