By Mike Smith
27th of October 2016
When it comes to fighting, defending yourself or defending others, there are several myths floating around that might cause you your life. Let us look at some of them that have recently cropped up in comments on this site:
1. “I’ve owned a gun for 30 years; I am a competent shot.”
2. “Never bring a knife to a gunfight.”
3. “Why learn martial arts? Just get a gun!”
4. “I am good at shooting paper targets under normal conditions; I will be a shit hot shooter in distress situations.”
1. Owning a firearm does not make you a competent shooter any more than owning a guitar makes you a competent musician. You can own a guitar for 30 years, but if you just occasionally practice with a guitar you will still not be able to play it. Why should it be any different with a firearm? In fact if you are not properly trained in the usage of a firearm such as a pistol, and if you do not train at least once a week, rather not own one at all, because you might just endanger the lives of others and yourself. It is like someone who is used to driving around town in a Morris Minor for 30 years thinking he is a competent driver simply because he has never had a crash and now believing that when he gets behind the wheel of a F1 car he is going to win the race or worse; be able to out-drive someone in a chase with criminals shooting at his car. It is totally absurd.
2. Denis Tueller proved with the Tueller drill that at a distance of 21 feet (6,4 metres) a knife can be just as lethal as a pistol. Someone with a knife can cover that distance within 1,5 seconds and if you are not able to draw, aim, fire and stop him, you will get seriously hurt and possibly die. Even if you put nine bullets in Centre Mass, he can still reach you and stab you. To see evidence of this 21 foot rule, watch this video where a man stabs four armed cops killing one and seriously injuring three others It was filmed by a television crew in Honduras. The correct way is to put distance and an object between you and the attacker or if that is not possible to knock the blade out of his hands with a weapon or control the knife hand with two hands although there is no guarantee of success. Tueller Drill defence
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The reality of knife attacks the best. You need space and distance. You need a shield of some sorts like a chair or something between you and the attacker. A jacket wrapped around your arm is also a good emergency shield. You need to move your vital organs away from the knife hand. If he is right handed move counter clockwise around him to take his back. You need a weapon to knock the knife from his hand. If this is not possible you need to control that knife hand with both hands and you don’t have multiple chances. It has to succeed on the first attempt. You have to do realistic knife attack drills with multiple scenarios and different opponents, over and over. As realistic as possible until it becomes automatic. You need to learn a realistic martial art like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
4. Shooting at paper targets is just an introduction to basic sight alignment, stances & position, etc. And most people stop their training there. The mistake most people make is to think that they will be able to react the same way under extreme stressful situations as under normal conditions. The Yerkes-Dodson Law proves that when people’s stress levels go up, their performance goes up, but only to a certain optimum point, thereafter the performance drops off rapidly. When the adrenaline is pumping, their heart rates go over 175bpm, their fine motor skills disappear and they cannot even dial a cell phone or change a magazine on their firearm anymore. Let alone in the dark. They cannot multi task, they cannot make complex decisions. Tunnel vision and tunnel hearing sets in. Loss of memory can occur and even loss of bowel and bladder control. People literally shit and piss themselves.
What makes the difference is proper tactical training. Things like Dry Fire Drills , Pistol Drills , proper and realistic Force on Force Training preferably not the paint ball “simunition” type, because in paintball if the guy is hit and sees the paint blot he stops and fakes death. In proper military FoF training you are trained to continue even after you are hit. The way you train is the way you react. Therefore you need realistic and Competent Pistol Drill instructors . Other methods include SDS (Shoot, don’t Shoot) scenarios, simulation training, etc.
Don’t try to be a hero. Don’t try to fight fairly. Try to stay alive, but do not hesitate to be brutal. Have a force multiplier; a weapon of some sorts rather than fight empty handed. Be trained in all weapons (striking, stabbing, cutting and shooting). Empty handed is a last resort when there is no other way or option.
The ultimate fighter is trained to fight at any distance from 0 metres to 500 metres in all weather conditions, all terrains and by day, night, dusk or dawn. In fact one fifth of all training should be done at night, from Jiu Jitsu ground fighting to sniper training. Specialists can learn to fight in the air, in water to a depth of 18 metres or at a distance of over 1000 metres, but the basic soldier should at least be able to handle himself from 0-500 metres.