Grabbing The Handgun During a Violent Encounter

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Brian R. VanCise, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    If confronted with a handgun during a violent encounter and you have to engage then you want to be offline and gain control. Grabbing the handgun gives you control of the weapon and it also can shut the weapon down by causing a malfunction if the opponent fires it. Of course in IRT we are causing damage to the opponent during the engagement. Following is link to a video from my blog demonstrating how the malfunction happens:

    The Instinctive Edge
     
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  2. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Depending on the ability to cause a malfunction is pretty sketchy, imo. (no offense intended)

    No one likes grappling at the gun. The option to do so requires the bad guy to make several important mistakes that I'm not sure they often make. They might, but I haven't seen much evidence one way or another. The first mistake is that they must be hesitant in shooting. If they're already popping rounds, the defender has lost a significant advantage. The other is that they have to be close enough to be able to engage. Basically Silver's "Time of the Hand." How often do bad guys do this? Not sure. Doesn't look like it's very frequent but it might be. Just no statistics I know of one way or another. But one thing is sure, if they're intending to shoot, they shoot.

    OTOH, it's a far better option than peeing my pants and crying like a little girl. ;)

    If you are close enough to engage the weapon bearing limb, the best option is to treat the weapon as if it were a knife (or a light saber!) with an infinite range. Its danger is greatest linearly extending from the muzzle. Control the weapon/weapon-bearing-limb and don't let the front of it "sweep" your body. Assume that it will discharge multiple times.

    If you are that close, then this is better than just accepting you'll get shot. No doubt.

    If you are a few steps away (outside of quick grab range), then MOVE. Move fast and laterally, seeking cover (or concealment if cover is not available). If neither cover nor concealment is available, still movement is a "better" option. Even experienced handgun shooters have difficulty hitting moving targets and the less experience the harder. Inexperienced right-handed shooters tend to pull shots to their left, so moving left is a very slightly better direction to move.

    On a side note, I've been thinking about a "rant" about the current general perception of "gun grappling." :D

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've looked through what video I can find of guns. It seems stepping close with a gun is reasonably common (within the population of gun robbery captured on YouTube). It's a given that they have to not be focused on shooting - I can't imagine why they'd get that close if their intention is actually to shoot. Even a bad shooter will feel comfortable taking their shot from beyond that range. IME, the less experienced they are, the more likely they are to overestimate their ability to hit a target (even a standing one, much less a moving one) at a distance.
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'd be interested in reading that rant, Kirk.
     
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    I started writing an article about how "Gun Culture 2.0" is combining BJJ and such to try to get "gun grappling" good along with my thoughts. My thoughts are basically that thinking of it as "gun grappling" is both wrong and short sighted. It's just "weapons grappling" because human bodies haven't changed and what you have to do with your body and the way the opponent's body moves and breaks is unchanged also. It's just a weapon. "Pass the point," control the weapon/limb, inflict damage. Nothing particularly special.

    I stopped writing it because, well, it's obvious. If you can find a martial arts manual with "illustrations" that include unarmed vs. armed, it looks pretty much the same, going back for centuries. Pass the point (void/move-out-of-the-way while moving inside the range), control the weapon/limb, inflict damage. Kung fu, Marrozo, FMA, "gun grappling," it's all the same. Boringly so, actually.

    Further, the people who are investing tons of time thinking they are merging BJJ (or whatever) with guns are not going to be swayed or impressed (or may already realize this). Think they're going to be impressed if I tell them, "just go take a year or two of FMA to learn weapons defenses?" They've either already figured that out for themselves or, like Dorothy and those Ruby Slippers, won't believe it anyway. And the 2.0 folks who haven't gotten there yet? They're either still stuck thinking that the gun will solve all the problems and don't want to try adding a "martial artsy" thing in, or they already got there.

    In either case, except for a very small subset, I'm either preaching to the choir or talking to the deaf. Talking to the deaf is just beating my head against a wall, and preaching to the choir is just an exercise in personal egotism so that people who already agree with me can congratulate me on how smart we both are.

    So, when it comes to "gun grappling," well, it's just a weapon. The "rules" <ahem> for grappling against one are pretty similar to the rules for grappling against many of the others. Are there a few differences? Sure. But the differences are actually pretty small when you get down to brass tacks.

    And what's more, at some point, it's not even "weapons grappling." If you boil it down far enough, it's just grappling. The other guy's body still moves and breaks the same whether or not he's holding a weapon.

    At the end of the day, if you want to include any weapon in your self defense training, learn to fight with it and against it (as well as any other common weapons you might face) at all applicable ranges. It's not Rocket Surgery.

    This is where someone quotes Bruce Lee about punching. ;)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  6. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Just thought I'd "...congratulate you on how smart we both are.":D
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    First, as usual, I appreciate your analysis and insights (maybe because I generally agree with you).

    Second, I think this is actually where someone talks about how the philosophy of X is not in line with the core principles of Y. It can be anything. For example, it might be, "We are including gun grappling in BJJ because the principles of FMA are not consistent with the core principles of BJJ." And so, we need to figure out how to do these things the "BJJ" way. :)
     
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  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Reasonable points. Like any weapon, there are some differences in dealing with it (not more than the difference between stick and knife, I think), but the basic principles are the same. Stick you can grab anywhere, knife you can't, gun you mostly can, etc.
     
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  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think the valid part of that view is that there's a way of dealing with a gun (or knife, or stick, or punch, etc.) that's more easily learned from a BJJ foundation than other ways. It's more a matter of choosing techniques that will feel more familiar than of creating something new.
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I think if you are at a point where you are competent in Kali or Eskrima, and also competent in BJJ, synthesizing the two would be easier than if you were competent in BJJ and making a BJJ-centric gun solution.
     
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  11. wab25

    wab25 Green Belt

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    I just wanted to share a training experience I had years ago. We got a bunch of martial arts guys, brown belt and up, who had trained gun take aways in our art and we got a bunch of experienced shooters together. We had a police handgun instructor, teaching the class. (he also had rank in our system.) We paired the martial arts guys with the gun guys and trained our take aways. We learned a bunch of things. People who shoot guns a lot, do not let go of the gun. After a bit, we switched to using loaded air soft guns, to see if it really worked.

    Towards the end of the class, someone brought up the statistic that when someone pulls a gun, if you run you will have a 90% or greater chance of surviving. Its hard to hit a moving target, the more distance you make, the harder the shot will be and you have to hit something vital, not just get hit. So, we decided to run our own test. We had the police handgun instructor pull a gun on one of the guys. That guy had to run and we marked out a distance of 10 yards to get to, thinking that would be a safe distance, where you should find cover or at least make the shot much harder. The shooter would wait until the other guy made the first move, before he opened fire. The the that ran, got hit about ten times, before he cleared the 10 yard line... We tried again, having the guy run side to side, random lateral movement. He got hit even more times, because it took longer to get passed the line. So, then, we said, most shooters won't have the same experience as this guy. We got one of the martial artists, who had only ever used a fake gun in his martial arts classes. This was the first time he ever held a real gun in his hand. (part of the earlier instruction) We made him the shooter. He missed once or twice, but was able to hit the running guy with at least 80% of the shots, one each trial. He was only hitting him 3 or 4 times before the guy crossed the line... on the first trial, he kept shooting the guy well after he crossed the line, because he was excited.

    To sum up. We tried having the guy run, and the runner got shot quite a few times before he got 10 yards away. This happened with both a very experienced shooter and a very inexperienced shooter. Running straight away, or side to side did not make much difference in our tests.

    We figure, it has to do with how the statistics are gathered. If a guy goes into a movie theater with 250 people and shoots 20 of them dead, while everyone runs... that says 90% of the time, running will save you, if the shooter is not trying to shoot you. If you go to a mall or school, with even more people... again, you get a pretty good survival rate, from running... as long as the shooter is not trying to shoot you.

    I don't know if we did our testing right. But, I do think I got enough to know that when the gun comes out, if the guy wants to shoot you, whatever you do, is going to have a low percentage of success. There is not a simple answer. The worst thing you can do is freeze or be indecisive. But, is running better than trying a take away? Its hard to say.

    Note: I am not arguing with the suggestion to move. I am just trying to share what we learned when we tried it. What we found was that running was not a "Get of Jail Free" card.
     
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  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    That's pretty easy to agree with.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    If you guys would just agree with me at the beginning, we'd all save a lot of time. :D
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good write-up. How far from the shooter was the "shootee" when he started running? Did any of them try Hollywood moves (diving rolls, etc.)? I could see this being a bit confounded by the fact that the shooter knows what's coming. He's not watching for other stuff going on, or trying to intimidate with the gun's motion, etc. And there would be some aim loss due to stress/adrenaline. All that said, I'd expect the numbers to have been quite different, so those notes (the kind of observations usually found from almost any study) don't mean the results aren't significant. It would be interesting to see what the numbers were if running was only one option, and the shooters hadn't been told it was an option.
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah, but how would I keep my post count up??
     
  16. wab25

    wab25 Green Belt

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    We started from the same position we did for the gun take aways. We did expect that the first shot or two would hit, but the shots kept hitting out to and beyond the 10 yard range. We did not expect that.

    We did not try rolls, or dives, since we were only using eye protection and did not want to risk a air soft pellet up the nose or mouth. My gut says, it would not make much difference.

    You bring up excellent points about faults in our test, especially where the shooter knows what is going to happen. If I get the opportunity, I would love to try some more variations. And like you said, it was a small sample size. But, it was not what we expected. And I still think, even with the small sample size, that running and movement is not the "Get Out of Jail Free" card. It is an option. It does have a lot of risk, especially if you are targeted. I do not have enough info to say, which is better.
     
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  17. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Same game as standing restraints.
     
  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    At the very least, the results seem to reinforce the idea that controlling the gun is the best resistance approach if the gun is in range for grappling.
     
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  19. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    Next experiment I'd like to see: what if the gun is not in range for grappling? If you see the shooter approaching at distance, what is the minimum range at which running and evading gives you a greater than 50% chance of escaping without getting hit? That would make a cool experiment.

    Possible confounding factor - how does the accuracy of airsoft weapons compare with that of real guns? Any opinions from the firearms experts in the crowd?
     
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  20. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    Makes me think about my old jujutsu instructor. When he was teaching us mutodori (facing a swordsman when you are unarmed) he said that if you were unarmed and facing a decent swordsman, you would die. However, If it was a decent swordsman and he was that close, you would die if you tried to run away also. Since it was considered preferable to die attacking rather than trying to run away, we would learn mutodori. :)
     
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