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Old June 22, 2016, 04:47 PM   #1
rjinga
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Getting off the X: go left or right?

I don’t know if there’s an official, universally recognized, definition of this term or not. So, for the purpose of this thread, let’s assume that “getting off the X” means that you’re squared-up against an armed assailant, and then you move as you draw and fire one or two quick shots (possibly from the hip).

When I first started practicing moving, my natural tendency was to step to my left (assailant’s right). However, then I had the thought that since the majority of people are right-handed, by moving to my left, I’m moving more of my body through his line of fire [see 1st photo]. Also, I’d have to move farther, and I’d end up with a sharper shooting angle on the assailant [see 2nd photo]. Therefore, I’ve been practicing moving to my right (assailant’s left) [see 3rd photo].

Has anyone received any professional training that has addressed this issue?
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Old June 22, 2016, 10:46 PM   #2
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Moving to the left against a right handed opponent comes from the general tendency for most folks to either shoot straight ahead or swing their gun across their selves when excited and in a hurry - especially when shooting one handed.
Think of all the times someone on this forum has asked why they are shooting low and left if they're right handed.
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Old June 23, 2016, 12:14 AM   #3
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Just move. If there's a good reason to pick one direction over the other in specific circumstances then do what makes sense. In other words, if there's cover in one direction--go that way, or there's something blocking you in one direction--go the opposite way. Otherwise just move. If going left feels better then go left. If right is more natural, go that way.

If either way feels good and you need to pick a way to practice, then it probably makes sense to go to your left. Generally speaking, a shooter will have more difficulty tracking toward their strong side.

Of course, some shooters are left-handed. In that case, you'll be going in a direction that makes it easier for them to track you than if you paid attention to what hand they're favoring and went in that direction. But you'll still be a moving target which is much harder to hit than a stationary one.

So:

1. MOVE. A moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one.
2. Move in a direction that makes sense in the circumstances. Towards cover, away from danger, away from things that might trip or impede you, towards safety.
**You can probably stop here. IMO, the rest is gilding the lily.***
3. Move left if there's no reason to pick a direction.
4. Move towards the shooter's strong hand side if you have the presence of mind and perception to notice and think of such things while being shot at.
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Old June 23, 2016, 06:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Move in a direction that makes sense in the circumstances. Towards cover, away from danger, away from things that might trip or impede you, towards safety.
AND:
  • Think backstop
  • Move to enable shooting without having others behind the target
  • Move to enable shooting without having others move between you and the target

Those things may involve moving in directions other than right or left.
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Old June 23, 2016, 11:25 AM   #5
Tactical Jackalope
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This is just going to be a huge "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" fest.

There is no black and white response for this. It's a little more simple: out of line of fire, control the weapon if possible, and attempt to disarm if possible.
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Old June 23, 2016, 12:08 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
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"...moving to my right..." Most people will move to the right. Believe it's primarily right handed people though. Moving left is unusual.
However, I very much doubt you'll find any "professional" telling you to move one way or the other.
If you’re squared-up against an armed assailant you need to get your carcass to cover poste haste. Not standing around deciding which way to go. Just move. And it doesn't need an "official, universally recognized, definition."
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Old June 23, 2016, 12:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
This is just going to be a huge "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" fest.
How so?

Quote:
There is no black and white response for this.
True.

Quote:
It's a little more simple: out of line of fire, control the weapon if possible, and attempt to disarm if possible.
It's not that simple.
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Old June 23, 2016, 12:19 PM   #8
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I agree there is no set in stone answer.

Drawing on an armed assailant, to me means there is one gun in play, and if close, that is the gun I want. Way too many variables to say what one will, or will not do, or be able to do. In addition to shooting, which is a small aspect of armed confrontations, HtH, disarming and absolute violence of action are things which people should train for, but rarely, if ever, do.

Using airsoft, in one of my courses, I would have a volunteer student hold an airsoft pistol on me and told them someone was going to get shot. Only rule was they could shoot as soon as they saw me move. Every time they would focus on my strong hand thinking I was going to try and outdraw them. Every time I shot them with their pistol. Left hand moved first and turned the pistol into their chest. Sometimes their finger fired the gun, sometimes mine did. The point of that is that knowing what an opponent expects you to do gives you the advantage. That has always been true in team, or man on man sports and it is true in armed conflict.
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Old June 23, 2016, 12:28 PM   #9
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I said it's a little more simple... Guess it came out wrong... lol

Every scenario is different and usually people start with the "ifs" and it doesn't end. The rabbit out of the hat scenarios dominate these threads.
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Old June 23, 2016, 01:10 PM   #10
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In one excellent course I took a while back, the drill involved, after recognizing the threat, turning toward the threat, drawing while moving sideways in the direction of the defender's strong hand, and firing after having stopped.

Good training, and something to practice. But what to do will depend upon the circumstances. That "there is no black and white response" is very true.

On the one occasion in which I erred greatly by walking into a store after having seen what should have been ample indications of a robbery about to take place, what I had to do wasn't that simple--at all. First, I had to decide whether to try to get out or to try to stop the robber.

Usually, the former is the better idea by far, but for reasons completely off topic here, I chose the latter.

Then I had to decide how.

Drawing while just moving sideways would not have worked. I had to get to a position where I could fire, if necessary, without endangering people behind the robber. That included thinking "backstop".

I had to get to a position from which I could fire, if necessary, without hitting someone between me and the robber--including anyone waking into the line of fire.

I had to do that in such a way as to not cause him to shoot me first.

Yes, that involved "getting off the X"--but not by going left or right.

In the event, both the robber, who was in a checkout line and concentrating entirely on the office, and the getaway driver outside, saw that I was on to them. and the man in line dropped the soda bottle that he had been holding in his hand as a ruse. The robber took off running to the getaway car. No shots fired--I didn't even have to draw--but I think I aged a year.

How to train?

I strongly recommend getting and watching the entire "Pharmacy Robbery" episode of The Best Defense TV from a few years back. Never mind that you are not a proprietor.

Shows how one can get shot, or shoot an innocent behind the target, or shoot into traffic outside--and how to do better than that. The key is movement.

The range drills show what you really should know how to do.
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Old June 23, 2016, 04:52 PM   #11
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I do not subscribe to the idea that I need to arbitrarily move "off the x" simply for the sake of movement. I may not even be on the X.. the X might be where the badguy wants me to move to. Is there more than one attacker? Is the other one behind that car, around that corner or behind that bush? I will move based on what I consider to the most immediate imperative. It may be a better idea to take a knee, go prone, move backward or forward. It all depends on what is happening and how it is unfolding, that's why I say I will not move arbitrarily.
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Old June 23, 2016, 09:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
I may not even be on the X.
I think the "X" is meant to describe where you happen to be.
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Old June 23, 2016, 09:41 PM   #13
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JohnKSa said
Quote:
Just move.
THIS ^^^^^^
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Old June 24, 2016, 05:57 AM   #14
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Original post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjinga
let’s assume that “getting off the X” means that you’re squared-up against an armed assailant, and then you move as you draw and fire one or two quick shots (possibly from the hip).
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireforged
Is there more than one attacker? Is the other one behind that car, around that corner or behind that bush?
The premise of the original post is that you are facing an armed assailant and things have deteriorated to the point where it's necessary for you to draw your weapon and commence firing.

If at that point your situational awareness has failed you so badly that you need to evaluate if there are additional attackers hiding behind cars, various corners, or bushes, then you won't ever have to worry about drawing your weapon (or anything else) ever again.
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Old June 24, 2016, 06:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
The premise of the original post is that you are facing an armed assailant and things have deteriorated to the point where it's necessary for you to draw your weapon and commence firing.
Not sure what you mean by "things have deteriorated".

If you are suddenly attacked without warning by a violent criminal actor, it may well be necessary to draw and fire.
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Old June 24, 2016, 06:24 AM   #16
Don P
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Quote:
Think backstop
Move to enable shooting without having others behind the target
Move to enable shooting without having others move between you and the target
Just my .02 worth, easier said then done when under the stress of guns drawn, adrenaline pumping and a very good possibility of tunnel vision taking over.
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Old June 24, 2016, 07:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Quote:
Think backstop
Move to enable shooting without having others behind the target
Move to enable shooting without having others move between you and the target
Just my .02 worth, easier said then done when under the stress of guns drawn, adrenaline pumping and a very good possibility of tunnel vision taking over.
Sure it is, but those things are essential, and you have ingrain them into your response process.
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Old June 24, 2016, 11:05 AM   #18
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Just an observation or two:

1. Went to a match, it was not a standard IDPA but a specialized close quarters deal. One stage, you had a wall to your side and three targets to your other side. These were based on real incident.

One guy says: I always move dynamically. So at the beep he run right in front of the three targets. Oh, well.

2. Was in a class. With red guns - the instructor says: Ok, Glenn, you are the bad guy and have me at gun point. Now watch this! I'm left handed. He starts his draw and moves right towards my gun. I 'shoot him'.

You just never know.
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Old June 24, 2016, 11:46 AM   #19
g.willikers
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The stuff that's done in class involves at least some accommodation from your opponent.
And quite a bit of reservation not to really hurt them.
Wonder how realistic those moves are when someone is actually trying to do serious harm.
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Old June 24, 2016, 08:15 PM   #20
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you are moving because of you, not the attacker.

move towards cover, left or right doesn't matter, pick the closest cover.
if cover isn't near by, move to any side, but get off the X.

fwiw, I move to my left because most people are right handed and shoot low left when they snap the rounds off. its a game of odds, really.
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Old June 25, 2016, 03:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
I think the "X" is meant to describe where you happen to be.
The [X] is commonly referred to as the "line of attack".
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Old June 25, 2016, 04:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
The [X] is commonly referred to as the "line of attack".
Well, it's "x marks the spot", but it is usually a very good idea to move off the line of attack.
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Old June 25, 2016, 04:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
you are moving because of you, not the attacker.
What?

Quote:
move towards cover, left or right doesn't matter, pick the closest cover.
if cover isn't near by, move to any side, but get off the X.
I suggest reading post #10.

Several reasons for moving come to mind:
  • To create distance fom an attacker,
  • To access cover,
  • To get to where you can shoot.
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Old June 25, 2016, 08:18 PM   #24
JERRYS.
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Quote:
What?
what did I say that you don't understand?

Quote:
I suggest reading post #10.

Several reasons for moving come to mind:
To create distance fom an attacker,
To access cover,
To get to where you can shoot.
I'm not following you here. did I say something that contradicts this?
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Old June 25, 2016, 09:07 PM   #25
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what did I say that you don't understand?
I have no idea what you are trying to say by asserting "you are moving because of you, not the attacker".

Quote:
I'm not following you here. did I say something that contradicts this [Several reasons for moving come to mind:To create distance fom an attacker, To access cover, To get to where you can shoot.]?
Well,"move towards cover, left or right doesn't matter, pick the closest cover" addresses only part of it.
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