I think that way too many people who carry a firearm treat it like a magic talisman or lucky rabbit’s foot, that it’ll protect them from whatever comes their way. This video shows why we constantly beat the drum at Active Self Protection for empty-handed skills and understanding the need to be able to earn your draw. That knowledge could save your life.
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video of the attack: https://get-asp.com/upca (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)
Why are empty-handed skills so important for firearms users?
- Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it.
- Even in a gunfight, empty-handed skills are important because many gunfights close to “extreme close quarters” or “bad breath distances.” Knowing how to protect your firearm from being taken, and how to win the fight that you’re actually in rather than the fight you want to be in, is crucial.
- If you don’t have a force multiplier in the fight but the attacker does, to defend yourself you must know how to close the distance to get your hands into the fight (and that means empty-handed skills). A firearm has significant distance advantage, and a smart attacker will keep it out of range from your hands. If you do choose to fight back, you MUST close the distance to get the gun out of the fight before he can use it against you. That usually will involve feigned compliance and redirection as well as waiting for the right opportunity to move. In this instance it was a stick or bat that the first bad guy had out and in the fight. You must use your empty-handed skills to deal with that first attack before your tool becomes usable!
- Against multiple attackers every self-defender must know and train and practice that it’s death to focus on one too much. When every attacker is an equal threat, we practice the “Boarding House Rules” that everyone gets firsts before anyone gets seconds. If possible, stack the attackers one behind the other rather than getting between them, because if you get between them then one will have your back. It’s better if possible to work to the outside of the group and keep one between you and the others. If your gun is already in the fight, then use it effectively. If it’s not, though, you have to use your empty-handed skills to buy you the time to get it into the fight. Because this victim didn’t, he was overwhelmed and badly beaten.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.