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  #1  
Old 08-29-2003, 11:59 AM
Gabe Suarez Gabe Suarez is offline
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Extremely Close Quarters Shooting




Gents,

For your reading enjoyment. This is from a new book I'm working on. No specific title as of yet (although I have some in mind).


EXTREMELY CLOSE QUARTERS SHOOTING

Back in the early eighties, and up until the nineties, the Speed Rock, and derivatives of it were taught in shooting academies around the world. Much of the close quarters shooting question went largely unanswered. In fact, one “state-of-the-art” academy stopped their training at 3 yards. That’s as close as they trained. Period.

For those of you unfamiliar with this now-obsolete technique, I won’t get too far into it other than it had the shooter quickly “rock” the pistol out of the holster and fire as he rolled his weight backwards onto his heels.

There were other derivatives of this method, but all called for the shooter to almost throw himself back away from the target/adversary as he fired (in apparent frightful desperation). All of them were (are) extremely defensive and ground-giving (as in retreat) in nature.

I was an advocate and practitioner of the Speed Rock. I drilled it so much that I was able to speed rock a target (that is two shots) in less than 1 second! (.83). But only a fool stops learning.

Looking at it from the better-trained and more experienced perspective of today, any technique that places you in an unbalanced position. Or one which is excessively defensive in nature places you in a horrible position in relation to the adversary, giving you little option for follow up. Such methods are only viable against an unmoving, non-aggressive paper target on the square range. When we first began drilling with force on force and integrated combatives, the speed rock proved to be “stone age”.

When I was developing the curriculum for Close Range Gunfighting, I was tempted to come up with a more graphic name. One that was examined and dropped was "In Your Face Gunfighting". A comical name perhaps, but descriptive of the situations that many armed private citizens find themselves in daily. Citizens become involved in gunfights because their adversaries either select them as victims, or because they have lapsed in their attentiveness and walked in on a crime in progress.

We begin this study with the understanding that avoidance strategies have failed. Now is not the time to debate anything, the only option left is to attack. There are several points to consider.

1). Extreme and overwhelming force and violence are the key to winning the fight…or at the very least being able to escape it after it begins. You will not win a fight by hiding or getting shot in the back.

2). You must move. The man who plants his feet, will find the rest of himself planted soon there after. Move. This is not hard. Picture the often seen situation at a range where a neophyte turns with a gun in hand to ask the instructor a question. Everyone moves out of he way of the muzzle. Moving is natural. Standing still is not. Use nature to your advantage and move. If you move first and then shoot, or if you shoot as you move, or whatever, it matters not as long as you do both and practice it often.

3). With #1 in mind, be generous with your ammunition. Remember that the man (men) in front of you is trying to kill you or your important ones. Have no pity for them. Forget about shooting twice; shoot them to the ground.

4). Nobody that I know has ever been robbed or kidnapped, or raped from across the street. These events are often close. Real close. Bad breath distance. Here, you will not use a Weaver, Isosceles, or IPSC stance. Here you will smash your adversary in the face with your fist and shoot the heck out of him with your pistol indexed against your ribcage. Then either run right over him with gunfire and hiking boots and escape, or break contact at a rearward angle while firing and escape. Ugly business, but no one said gunfights were pretty.

5). Be fight focussed not gun focussed. If you run out of ammo, or experience a stoppage, smash him in his mouth or throat with the pistol and finish the fight. If the gun stops, close and strike hard, then break contact. You can drill this on the range with a Slide Locked Gun. On recognizing the stoppage, execute a Muzzle Thrust (making a loud aggressive and warlike sound as you do so), Drop-Back to an angle, fix the problem with the gun and fire several shots.

6). You must know the time to go to guns, and the time to use your fists. Trying to outdraw a drawn gun (while carrying concealed not in a bikini rig with a special gun) will not bring success. Using your hands to foul the adversary’s draw, or make him think about his crushed nose, while you get your own gun out is the formula for success.

Close Range Gunfighting is ugly, close, dangerous, in-your-face, sudden death, business that is best avoided, but if cannot be avoided it must be jumped into with disregard for everything except pure animal violence as expressed through the muzzle of a pistol.

***

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  #2  
Old 08-29-2003, 01:05 PM
telcom911 telcom911 is offline
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Great point and good training

shooting from the 25 is lots of fun and shows great marksmanship, but most real gunfights occur between three and six FEET, not yards (somthing like 50-60% within this range, depending on your source). It is a situation everyone should prepare for.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2003, 02:17 PM
Crikey Crikey is offline
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My wife's preferred weapon is a 4" steel .357 mag with .38 Special +P ammo. She ays that one of the things she likes about it is its "pocking power" - if it is shot empty it will do some damage as a bludgeon (sp?).

I don't doubt that if a bad guy kicked down the door and was still standing after 6 bullets she would club him to death either. She makes no bones about what rights a robber/rapist/whatever forfeits by entering the house.

I guess a big part of the equation is mindset. If it comes time to stop talking and start *fighting* - are you willing to do *whatever* it takes to survive? Make the choice now so if the time should come you are ready to fight - all go, no quit until it's done. No holds barred in a gunfight, gentlemen.

Cheers,
Mike.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2003, 02:40 PM
jason10mm jason10mm is offline
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I was trained to throw up the support arm into the attackers face/upper chest while drawing the pistol and shooting into the abdomen, then adjusting accordingly if he fell or stayed upright. Very exciting to do it at the range, I might add. I've also done a lot of work with distracting hand attacks (fast hits to the eyes or nose) to buy you time to move and draw. It is amazing how much distance you can create by a fast step backwards and to the side, plenty of space to shoot from a retention position. This would be an excellent book subject, better have lots of pics!
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2003, 09:30 PM
elsworth elsworth is offline
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Gabe, you scare me dude

Elsworth
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2003, 10:19 PM
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Brass Balls Brass Balls is offline
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I think this type of training dovetails well with the reality of what the armed citizen will likely be up against if they have to go to guns. Before lethal force is justified we must be presented with a life threatening situation in which the assailent has the means to kill us. This puts us a step behind right from the get go. Of course if our senses are working for us and we recognize a bad situation developing and plan our defense it will help tremendously but even then we must react with lethal force only when acted upon in an effort to play catch up.

While bad guys aren't known for their brains they are predators and to perpetrate their crime they need to get in close. Sure it would be nice if they stood 30 feet or more away when they pulled their weapon and yelled "I'm going to kill you!", but I think that we all can agree that it is about as likely as a Polar Bear attack.

For anyone considering weapons training I highly recommend Gabe's courses. I learned a tremendous amount of real-world practical strategy from his Combative Pistol II class that I took earlier this year and I'm looking forward to training with him again in 2004 in his Close Range Gunfighting class.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2003, 11:33 PM
DMF DMF is offline
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Mr. Suarez, we may disagree a little on that other topic, but on this one I wholeheartedly agree.

"Be fight focussed not gun focussed," I like that. And I especially like the concept in point 6. Too many people default to their gun and that may mean they'll lose the fight while trying to clear leather.
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2003, 05:39 AM
LAK LAK is offline
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I think the emphasis on a balanced loadbearing stance is very important. You adversary might try and run right over you while you are shooting them. Your "six" or however many rounds you can get into them might not have any immediate effect at all.

Likewise the concentration focus being fight rather than solely on the gun and shooting. The gun/shoot portion should ideally (at the point the decision to shoot is made) spontaneous, well-directed and fast. It reminds me of what Col. Cooper said about the old fighter pilots who did not have to think about flying in a dogfight.
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Old 09-02-2003, 06:58 PM
rrmckinley rrmckinley is offline
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Gabe,

I agree with you on most points, but you almost make it sound like retreat is a bad word. Retreat may be the best tactical option in some cases. However, if one must retreat, then I think it is important to retreat with a relentless ferocity. It is possible to mount an aggressive retreat. I think that is the point you are trying to make. If one must retreat, it should never be in a way that would put us in a tactical disadvantage. I would also agree that if the fight is already "in your face", then we must attack with unmitigated and unrestrained violence. No mercy. No quarter.

With any luck, I'll find the time to make it to your school.

Ray
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Old 09-02-2003, 08:55 PM
DMF DMF is offline
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Well the reason I agree with Mr. Suarez about this isssue comes from my experience boxing, kickboxing, etc. Fighting while backing up is a losing proposition. The person backing up is constantly unbalanced. If giving ground is necessary doing it in the manner Mr. Suarez suggests is the way it's done, moving at a rearward angle. But again more than one or two steps moving back and off line, and you're going to become unbalanced.

To the fight focus vs. gun focused issue: I agree that when the decision to shoot is made it must be smooth, fast and deliberate, but one must be careful not to make it a completely programmed reaction for two reasons. 1- You may be still clearing leather while your attacker is killing you with his weapons, whether it's a gun, knife, fists, etc. Tueller (sp?) drills anyone? 2- preprogrammed spontaneous draw and shoot training may result in someone shooting when all the elements justifying the use of deadly force are not present. It must always be a conscious choice if you are going to use deadly force.

Just my 2 cents. YMMV.
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Old 09-03-2003, 12:47 AM
Gabe Suarez Gabe Suarez is offline
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DMF,

Good points. That is exactly the issue. Until you know what its like to be forced to back up, you don't know how cumbersome it really is. BTW, check GT for some info on your post.

Cheers
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Old 09-03-2003, 04:03 AM
nickcarr nickcarr is offline
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Hi Gabe,

One suggestion: wouldn't it be more accurate to change your title or sub-heading to "Extremely Close Quarters Defense" -- since you refer to hand-hand combat?

If you have 'shooting' in the title, then hand-hand combat defeats the content of your points..? (Or just drop point #6...)


-Nick
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2003, 09:40 AM
kublai9876 kublai9876 is offline
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Gabe, why use a handgun at the distances you're discussing? It seems the handgun would basically be used as a contact weapon. Why wouldn't a knife be better?
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  #14  
Old 09-03-2003, 10:08 AM
Gabe Suarez Gabe Suarez is offline
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kublai9876,

It depends on what you have, and what you can get to. I believe the knife is a parallel weapon, not a lesser weapon to the pistol (it is simply used in more limited areas). This whole issue of knife use is important, but few really have a grasp on the dynamics at play.

Nick,

Yes, I suppose it may be a more correct description, but the pistol generally IS the primary weapon, and thus the focus of what we seek to fight to. Even in situations where shooting is not indicated, we are always aware that the gun is there.
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  #15  
Old 09-03-2003, 10:11 AM
Gabe Suarez Gabe Suarez is offline
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rmckinley,

Retreat is not necessarily bad, but when the fight is right tehre in your face, cowering up won't yield good results. At least not as good as an aggressive and violent counter.

What I have the most problem with are shooting methods that have the shoter almost falling back from a target as if touching it would give the shooter cooties or something.

Retreat? yes - when called for. Cowering while shooting? Never a good idea.
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  #16  
Old 09-03-2003, 11:37 PM
DMF DMF is offline
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Yes, a pistol and knife are both implements of lethal force. But a knife is much more difficult to deploy and use, and easier to defend against. Also, a knife limits you to very close range. If the range opens up, or the threat presents itself just outside knife range you will have need to use the pistol. If the elements requiring deadly force are present use the most versatile and quickly deployed weapon available, which for most will be the pistol. However as I've said before, and Mr. Suarez said in his point #6 sometimes it is necessary to address the threat empty handed until an opportunity is available to go to your weapon.

Just my 2 cents. YMMV.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2003, 08:07 PM
El Viejo El Viejo is offline
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Would someone please discuss this as it pertains to the legal obligation (in my state) to "retreat to the wall", prior to using deadly force? This is not required in cases where one is trying to prevent a forcible felony, or where retreating might endanger you even more.

We were taught to retreat first, if at all possible, while shouting something to the effect of "stay back" (for the benefit of the later court testimony from bystanders).
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Old 09-04-2003, 10:30 PM
rrmckinley rrmckinley is offline
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El Viejo,

I am in agreement with Gabe's philosophy, and I think it can still be applied within the context of your state law. If retreat is an option, and it will not increase your chances of getting hurt or killed, then by all means retreat. This assumes that you have sufficient time and distance from your attacker. If your attacker has closed to near or within striking range with the intent to do you harm, then your options are limited. In this case you must aggressively attack first with whatever means available and without mercy, or you will very likely die. The only thing you should be thinking about at this moment is doing whatever it takes to survive. Worry about the court implications later.

I can tell you from personal experience that the person delivering the first blow (or shot) has a tremendous tactical advantage. It immediately, even if momentarily, stuns the receiver and backs them up. This allows the attacker to continue to deliver additional blows or shots. If you've ever been sucker punched, then you know what I mean, and you'll likely not let it happen again (if you survive). Or, watch a Hockey fight, and you get the same picture. He who strikes first and continues to strike usually wins. The same thing applies to a life and death struggle except you must remember that your opponent will not die easily, and he will not stop trying to kill you until one of you are dead. You must have the will and instinct to kill your attacker in order to survive. It's an ugly thought, but it is reality.

Ray
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Last edited by rrmckinley; 09-05-2003 at 07:43 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-05-2003, 12:19 AM
LAK LAK is offline
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Others issues around "fighting while retreating" etc include the possibility of winding up "against the ropes". This could be a wall, a corner, parked cars, or any other number of obstacles/barriers. This is not a desirable position to be in an any fight.
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  #20  
Old 09-05-2003, 12:23 AM
Mus Mus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by LAK
Others issues around "fighting while retreating" etc include the possibility of winding up "against the ropes". This could be a wall, a corner, parked cars, or any other number of obstacles/barriers. This is not a desirable position to be in an any fight.
Or just flat out tripping over something and falling down.
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