So, you want to carry a firearm for self defense? OK. Let’s say you did your research and took a firearm safety course. You purchased the firearm, ammunition, and holster appropriate for your purposes. You went to the range and practiced your shooting skills. Lets say you even went so far as to work on and practice some tactical shooting skills. Now you’re totally prepared to defend yourself, right?….Wellllllll…. probably not.
When faced with the threat of deadly force, a firearm is a great self defense tool. However, too many people who carry, consider their firearm more than adequate for any situation they encounter. There is no doubt a firearm is a great equalizer in a defensive situation. However, it is only one tool in the self defense tool box. There’s a saying, “To the man with a hammer everything looks like a nail.” If we were to put that in a self defense context we could say it this way, “To the man with a gun, every deadly force encounter can be solved by drawing it.”
If your attacker affords you the necessary time and distance ( we call this “reactionary gap” kids) drawing your firearm and engaging the threat is indeed a viable solution.What about a deadly force encounter at close quarters? Are you going to have the time and distance necessary to draw your firearm and engage with it?…. again….probably not.
So you didn’t think to prepare yourself for close quarters engagement. At most maybe you practiced some rudimentary palm strike clearing drill on the range, before drawing your pistol and shooting. So Now what? Well, the reality is, your attacker is going to be on you like white on rice in a snow storm; And while you’re fumbling with your concealment garment to draw your firearm, your feet are going to freeze. This will give your attacker greater ability to keep you in his killbox while he stabs you 27 times…. ouch. Or worse, your attacker takes your firearm from you because you didn’t even think about the importance of weapons retention and weapon system isolation let alone that you should train for it.
Self defense in a deadly force encounter is a complex problem that requires a tool box with more than one option. Simply relying on a firearm to solve all your self defense woes is neither prudent nor effective. There is another saying; “Use the right tool for the job”. The right tool/tools for a critical dynamic incident at close quarters are combatives techniques. Even basic combatives proficiency gives the user multiple options, not to mention a some serious advantages.
- A short reaction time and rapid deployment
- Help to isolate and retain your firearm
- Create the time and distance needed to deploy and engage threats with your firearm. (reactionary gap, remember?)
With a high enough degree of proficiency combatives can be used in place of a firearm. Additionally, Serious and regular practice of real world combatives techniques in an established program with qualified instructors is a key factor in developing your survival mindset. Gun or no gun the will to survive is arguably your greatest asset in a life or death situation.
So.. maybe you need to augument your firearms training? No worries. Or maybe you haven’t started your training yet? Even better. CDI”s Defensive pistol Course and Civilian Combatives class are specifically designed to teach our students the skills and mindset necessary to survive a close quarters encounter. Checkout our course offerrings and sign up today! https://www.trainingatcdi.com/courses/
Self Defense with a firearm at close quarters is far more than having proficient shooting skills. You might need to defend yourself faster than you can draw your firearm. You will definitely need to protect and retain your firearm once it’s drawn. And you will most certainly need to create the necessary time and distance to deploy your firearm.
At CDI we sum it up by saying…. “You gotta fight to get to your gun!”