HANDS vs. GUNS

This is a discussion on HANDS vs. GUNS within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here's a great article by Gabe Suarez as published on USConcealedCarry.com ( http://www.usconcealedcarry.com/public/797.cfm - scroll down to "Hands vs. Guns": HANDS vs. GUNS : One ...

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Thread: HANDS vs. GUNS

  1. #1
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    HANDS vs. GUNS

    Here's a great article by Gabe Suarez as published on USConcealedCarry.com (http://www.usconcealedcarry.com/public/797.cfm - scroll down to "Hands vs. Guns":

    HANDS vs. GUNS : One Perspective
    From Suarez International

    You shiver slightly from the cold evening air as you reach up to retrieve your receipt from the ATM machine. Your stretch your neck around, muscles are still sore from yesterday's workout. It's been a long hard day and you're glad it's almost over. The hunger in your belly reminds you of the next errand on the list. Just one more stop at the all-night grocery store and...

    "Alright Mother------! Give me your f...ing money, and your keys!"

    Startled, you turn around at the sound of the voice, the content of his words not yet registering in your brain. He's a rough looking street person, about 20, unshaven, hairy, dirty, and he smells bad. He looks like he's on drugs. Your eyes survey him and then surprise turns to sudden shock as you see the chrome-plated revolver in his trembling and tattooed hand!

    The situation you just read about has happened many times, both to accomplished martial artists as well as to armed off-duty police officers. Hopeless? Not at all. But this situation carries with it, some dynamics that cannot be answered with a speedy fast-draw nor with a spinning back kick. To win this encounter, and by all means it is very winnable, you must understand several things about the realities of human conflict at close quarters.

    Primarily, you must have your "warrior mind" set correctly. Winning a real fight requires controlled violence. You must be able to call up your "dragon" on demand and become a fierce feral creature instead of the domesticated human you have been raised to be. If you are not emotionally and psychologically prepared to rip your adversary's heart out of his chest and barbecue it in front of his fading eyes, forget about trying anything. Your best bet, if you lack for a killer attitude, is to simply submit, be nice to him and give him what he wants, and hope for the best. I do not believe that giving in is a viable option to consider, and presumably, neither do you. Even if you think that you'll never stand up to the gun, I can paint many scenarios where you might choose to do so. If you agree, then lets have a look at how to solve this problem and win the day.

    First of all, I am not advocating that any secret skills or ancient martial art, nor any new technique can withstand a bullet. Any martial artist that thinks otherwise has been smoking too much rice paper. But if we understand the adversary's motivation, we can find a way to defeat him. Let's look at his motivation.

    If he simply wanted to kill you, the hoodlum in the story would just walk up to you, unannounced, and summarily shoot you without warning. Regardless of how many years of training you have or how many arts you know, nobody will be able to defend against that! If it's your day to die, then there's not much you can do except die with style.

    The hoodlum in the story, as well as most people who will point guns at you (as opposed to simply shooting you), are doing so for reasons of intimidation. Their objective is to place you in a position of tactical disadvantage and "bargain" with you for something they want. The bargain is typically that if you do as they say, they will not kill you. (Your money or your life is the classic line, although females often receive a modified offer). By the very fact of their intent, they provide you with the opening you need to defeat them.

    Lets look at the two men in the story. A simplified view of the events: The hoodlum has the pistol pointed at the hero. The hero is surprised (I know, I know, we are always on alert. Let's just pretend that we are having a bad day and weren't paying attention). The hoodlum makes his demands and then "waits" for the expected compliance and response of the hero. In essence, the hoodlum is "Pause", waiting for the "Return" of the hero. The hero can go either way at this point: comply or fight. If he understands the dynamics of human reaction time, he can come out of this quite well.

    Every conflict, whether between countries or individuals is a cycle whereby each party observes the other, orients himself according to those observations, decides on a course of action, and finally puts that decision into action. This is called the OODA loop. It is the theory of conflict professed by the late Col. John Boyd.

    Col. Boyd was responsible for creating many of the aerial combat tactics now employed throughout the Free World. His findings were the result of projects and studies he conducted about the success American Pilots had over their North Korean adversaries in the Asian unpleasantness of the fifties. Boyd theorized that although the North Korean pilots had certain technical advantages with their airplanes, American pilots could generally see their adversaries first due to the cockpit design of their own airplanes. They could immediately recognize them as "enemies" and decide what to do quicker because of their recognition training as well as their flight training. And the controls on the American airplanes allowed them to put those decisions into play faster than the North Koreans. This allowed them to operate a decision-action cycle that was much faster than their adversaries. Boyd theorized that, in any conflict (whether between nations or between individuals), the party that was able to go through this Observation Orientation Decision Action loop the fastest, had a remarkable advantage over the competition.

    We can take this aerial combat concept and apply it very neatly to the realm of personal combat. Studies at Suarez International have determined that, even for a prepared individual, each phase of the OODA cycle takes at least 1/25th of a second. That means that you may have up to one full second to act before the other fellow even realizes what you're doing. Even then he has to select a viable response to your actions and then employ it.

    We tried this concept out with "marking cartridge" firearms. We placed two operators of comparable skill level facing each other at arm's length. Operator Number One (Aggressor) was told to "Command" his opponent to "Put his hands up", as the thug in the story might do. Operator Number Two (Defender) was instructed that as soon as he thought he could do it, to quickly move into the first portion of a weapon disarm. The Aggressor was told that when he saw the other man move, he should fire. The Aggressor had every advantage. He had the pistol already pointed at the Defender, his finger on the trigger and the hammer was cocked (less than 3 pounds of pressure required to fire). Furthermore, he was familiar with the techniques the Defender would do, as well as the fact that he knew the Defender would not be complying! Talk about bad odds for the defender!! To make it interesting, we added the stress of the loser buying dinner!

    The results were very revealing, and supported Boyd's concepts. Out of ten tries, the Defender was able to deflect the muzzle of the pistol and trap it in a single move before the Aggressor was even able to fire. Lesson learned - All things being equal, action will always beat reaction.

    If we understand how to take advantage of the dynamics of human reaction time, we can implement our responses and countermeasures before the adversary has even realized what we are doing. This doesn't require being particularly fast, or even technically proficient. All that is needed is a tactically-correct, pre-conditioned move that is simple to put to use, violent in nature, and technically correct for the situation.

    With this in mind, our story could end thus.

    You realize he's holding a chrome-plated revolver in his hand.

    "Hey A.. H...! I said give me your f...ing money!"

    "Alright Sir, Please don't shoot me, I'll give you everything I have", you reply.

    Expecting you to hand him a wad of C-notes fresh from the ATM, the hoodlum's smirk turns into an expression horror as your left hand sweeps his pistol aside as your other hand smashes wetly into his nose...once...twice...three times! He doesn't even realize, in his watery eyed, stupor that you've taken his stolen handgun out of his hands and followed up with a strike to his temple. His final thoughts are unprintable as he sinks into eternal blackness.

    Gabriel Suarez is an internationally recognized trainer and lecturer in the field of civilian personal defense. He has written over a dozen books and taught courses in several countries. He is also a regular columnist for Concealed Carry Magazine!
    Ben

    Cogito, ergo armatum sum.
    I think, therefore I am armed.


    (Don Mann, The Modern Day Gunslinger; the ultimate handgun training manual)

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    At a recent force-on-force class Gabe ran us thru this ATM scenareo.

    He had a "bad guy" leaning against the wall about ten feet from the ATM. He prefaced the drill with a statement that if you see a guy in such a position, your best bet is to find another ATM.

    The purpose of the drill was to see how fast things can go to hell.

    Every single good guy who went for the gun instead of trying to jam the bad guy got cut when he attacked. EVERY SINGLE ONE!

    And we knew the bad guy was going to attack. In real life you don't

    I also agree with something else I heard Gabe say and that was that being human beings, we make mistakes, we get distracted. It would be extremely difficult to maintain condition yellow 100% of the time.

    I strive to do so, but haven't been able to eliminate the occassional "condition brown". (This is what Gabe calls having your head up your . . . .OK. . . .you get the picture).

    His method is to train for situations where things went wrong and you are faced with a bad guy at bad breath distance.

    This is why I am working hard to get into shape and get additional training. Using the gun as my defense may not be a viable option without some hand to hand skills.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Gabe Suarez' preaching is great, for those who are able. Hands require great skill. They're only really in the realm of options for a percentage of folks choosing to manage their own security. Any number of people are unable to perform at a physical level sufficient to withstand an attack ... any attack (with or without deadly weapons being used by the BG).

    I, for example, have nerve damage in one leg that precludes running or harsh physical exertion for very long (on that leg). As such, there is simply no way I can physically withstand a determined attack for long. I have this absurd determination to prevail, so the techniques I use are exceedingly quick and damaging ... however, I don't delude myself into the false belief that unarmed physical combat will work very often nor well against a coordinated assault, for me.

    So. Firearm, knife and my brain it is. YMMV.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; April 22nd, 2007 at 12:45 PM. Reason: clarification
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Yup-it takes a combination of options

    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Gabe Suarez' preaching is great, for those who are able. Hands require great skill. They're only really in the realm of options for a percentage of folks choosing to manage their own security. Any number of people are unable to perform at a physical level sufficient to withstand an attack ... any attack (with or without deadly weapons being used by the BG).

    I, for example, have nerve damage in one leg that precludes running or harsh physical exertion for very long (on that leg). As such, there is simply no way I can physically withstand a determined attack for long. I have this absurd determination to prevail, so the techniques I use are exceedingly quick and damaging ... however, I don't delude myself into the false belief that unarmed physical combat will work very often nor well against a coordinated assault, for me.

    So. Firearm, knife and my brain it is. YMMV.
    Yes, totally agree. I realized immediately after earning my license that protecting myself involved more--and so, I enrolled in a martial arts class. Unfortunately, as you point out, these techniques work, when they do work, only after years of practice. And, they are not especially suited for folks who have physical limitations. In my case, though I'm healthy, I am also elderly, blind in one eye, and lacking in physical strength.

    It boils down to acquiring a combination of skills and having the brains and judgment to decide in a microsecond, which skill to apply.

    Fortunately, most of us will never be tested.

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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting...Gabe's stuff is always worth reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Unfortunately, as you point out, these techniques work, when they do work, only after years of practice. And, they are not especially suited for folks who have physical limitations. In my case, though I'm healthy, I am also elderly, blind in one eye, and lacking in physical strength.
    I would submit that if you're being taught techniques that will require years of practice to achieve the level of proficiency necessary to use them, you need to find a new instructor or new techniques. With good (simple, aggressive, and relying on gross-motor skills) material, you can reach competancy in a very short time.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    I would submit that if you're being taught techniques that will require years of practice to achieve the level of proficiency necessary to use them, you need to find a new instructor or new techniques. With good (simple, aggressive, and relying on gross-motor skills) material, you can reach competancy in a very short time.
    Agreed! WWII Combatives is one very good place to start.

    As they say "combatives is not something that you do with someone, it is something that you do to someone."

    Simple, effective, and absolutely ruthless!

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    Good stuff. No matter what you carry or don't carry, your brain is the first tool to use. And the more you train, the better and quicker your response, whatever it may be.
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

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    Member Array FIREARMZ's Avatar
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    PRACTICAL unarmed combat. Martial arts is a ART. Take a SouthNarc Class. Combined with a weapon and understanding their use together as a tool will get you much farther.

    www.shivworks.com or if your in the Atlanta region www.firearmz.net for his classes.
    Ken Forbus Owner of FIREARMZ
    FIREARMZ FORUM

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    Senior Member Array TonyW's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff. I'd like to get some training on this, not sure if I am able to do this or not and the risks of loosing are pretty high. (But when aren't they in things like this.)
    <a target="_top" href="http://www.cybernations.net/default.asp?Referrer=TonyW"><img src="http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd188/18932471/imgad2-1.png" border="0"></a>

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    KempoTex and Sweatnbullets +1. Agreed 100%. Any quality teacher can teach you at least a couple of effective techniques within an hour or so. Once you recognize the proper distance and learn to get your body "off-line"(out of the weapons path), there are multitudes of opportunities available.

    You do not need to be a "Black Belt" or any such non-sense to be able to defend yourself, you simply need to "Practice" and be prepared to become "Ruthless" and determined. Any such encounter should only last a matter of seconds (1 to 3) once you've made the decision. Action will always beat reaction time and practice is where you build the confidence and knowledge to trust your techniques.
    Good Luck
    A Wise Man Changes His Mind, but a Fool Never Does

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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    For those that may be interested

    WWI Combatives book "Kill or Get Killed" can be found here in its complete form by pdf.

    Warning, this is around a 460 page book.

    http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin...ad.php?t=18914

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