The Perfect Stance: Does it matter in Self Defense?

The Perfect Stance: Does it matter in Self Defense?

This is a discussion on The Perfect Stance: Does it matter in Self Defense? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This would be more of a question for people who have actually had to shoot in self defense or a similar situation as, thankfully, I ...

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  1. #1
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    The Perfect Stance: Does it matter in Self Defense?

    This would be more of a question for people who have actually had to shoot in self defense or a similar situation as, thankfully, I have not had to do so yet.

    However, while at the range a week or so ago I told JD that I felt I should be able to make accurate shots no matter how my feet are placed so that, in the event I am not able to achieve a shooter's stance I can at least be assured I can hit my target.

    While doing force-on-force (FOF) I discovered I needed to take shots in very unique positions. Just yesterday I read an article in a magazine that showed a woman taking a defensive shot, her back pressed up against a car with her left leg held straight out, keeping her knife-wielding attacker at bay. I've seen numerous dash-cams and police videos where officers are forced to shoot from the ground, while falling, or worse. And that's not even considering the stories I've read on Armed Citizen where guns are pulled in a wide variety of configurations; seated in cars, seated in booths, standing behind counters, running, just jumping out of bed, turned sideways, peeking around doorways, etc.

    But having worked in a range and listening to people talk about their shooting I have often hear, "Well, I think my stance was a bit off and that's why I couldn't hit anything."

    Now, don't get me wrong. I do believe that a shooter's stance is vital and should be instilled in a new shooter. It should be built upon and trained with. If you have the opportunity to achieve a shooter's stance than you should as it is well established that there is no better way to get the most accurate shots than when you are well grounded in a solid stance. I will not refute that or say that stance does not matter at all... that's just silly.

    BUT.. wouldn't practice sans a shooter's stance also be vital?

    If the only way you can make accurate shots is in a shooter's stance shouldn't more practice be implemented so that you can make decent shots outside of a shooters stance should that be necessary?

    What are your thoughts on the matter?


  2. #2
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    Its not going to matter in a real situation. Self defense shooting is not like golf, where you get all the time in the world to adjust your grip, your foot position and wiggle your butt before you swing.
    You will running, falling, dodging, sitting or whatever during a real shooting incident. Learning a proper shooting stance is fine and needed to learn; however, once one has progressed into combat shooting, it is foolish to think that proper stance is going to be achieved prior to firing.

    But, I do think that the whole proper stance thing is a carryover from military and police style training. Stance does have a lot of merit in some situations. It does stabilize the shooter, and it does make it easier to deliver accurate shots. That tends to be a little different situation than a self defense shooting.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    I have often thought about the whole stance thing. I think a stance is taught to new shooters so they can get into the habit of standing in a stable way to manage recoil. It won't nessesarily make them shoot any better.

    With me I try to practice in an upright stance and down on a knee.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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    I've got a whole lot less training than most people on this board, but I totally agree that out-of-stance practice should be implemented. It's hard to imagine being able to think about doing everything properly in the split second that you have to get a shot off. Sure it would be great for a perfect stance, grip, sight picture, and warning to be natural but we'll never know until it happens. You maybe on your back, on stairs, crouching, getting in or out of car, carrying someone or something. Alas, we don't need people acting out the Matrix and kung-fu theater at the range, so be sensible and safe.

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    JD
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    However, while at the range a week or so ago I told JD that I felt I should be able to make accurate shots no matter how my feet are placed so that, in the event I am not able to achieve a shooter's stance I can at least be assured I can hit my target.
    Couldn't agree more.

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    cj
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    I felt that the Crimson Trace free DVD tried to point this out as well in terms of the odd positions you can end up in in such a situation.

    As for real life experience, not exactly self-defense (thank God), but my years of paintball truly showed that body position was the least of your concerns while making accurate shots. One example I recall was panicking while being flanked around a tree, lying completely flat on my back and still managing to hit the parallel-running player multiple times...nothing close to anything I'd ever practiced...but I believe it shows that your body will do its part if a true threat ever comes.

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    I have fired in every stance imaginable. I fired up,down,underneath vehicles, over vehicles, in the car, laying down looking up, through culverts,while running,walking, crawling and a few other postitions that I wont mention here.

    I have come to the conclusion that in a shootout situation if you are thinking about the proper stance, you are taking too much time.
    BUT.. wouldn't practice sans a shooter's stance also be vital?
    I think so. It would need to be structured so that a relatively new shooter could understand it and do it without endangering themselves or others.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    While I can't offer advice from an actual incident, I think acting from a place of balance would definately be prefferable. In all of the post CPL training I have done, foot placement and smooth fluid motion (while getting off the X, etc)has all been emphasized.

    As you point out, conditions may never allow that to happen, so yes I agree that practicing from odd positions or at a minimum just being uncomfortable would help train the body to adjust and allow for some decent combat accuracy. I wish I had more opportunity to train like this, but I don't even have a local range that will allow drawing from a holster.

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    I think it helps you establish good consistent shooting technique and aids in trigger control. Builds confidence and a good foundation. But it's not going to be anything like real life.

    I joined the action shooting club at the range to gain experience with alot of the other factors that we might run into in real life situations (pressure, speed, balance, different positions, cover, moving, reloading, etc). Just another step in the training process for me. And it's fun and been really helpful. Trigger control on the move is nothing like trigger control from a perfect stance :-/
    Fortune favors the bold.

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    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

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    Quote Originally Posted by joker1 View Post
    Alas, we don't need people acting out the Matrix and kung-fu theater at the range, so be sensible and safe.
    This is very true!!! I agree that one shouldn't be trying to spin around and stand on their head at the range.

    It's just that if your groups open up or change significantly just because your left foot is back a little further than usual or because your right foot is cocked in rather than out, I think you MIGHT need to practice some more.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Couldn't agree more.
    Ditto.

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    Aww come on Janq...

    I know you've got more than that...

    Spit it out!
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I have fired in every stance imaginable. I fired up,down,underneath vehicles, over vehicles, in the car, laying down looking up, through culverts,while running,walking, crawling and a few other postitions that I wont mention here.

    I have come to the conclusion that in a shootout situation if you are thinking about the proper stance, you are taking too much time.


    I think so. It would need to be structured so that a relatively new shooter could understand it and do it without endangering themselves or others.
    Me too. So many ways its hard to mention all the positions you can get into and still shoot a gun. I think a good point has been brought up here. Proper stance looks good, but when SHTF you shouldnt be thinking about the stance. My only advise, is to practice and be safe while doing so, but dont forget to have some fun with it.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Aww come on Janq...

    I know you've got more than that...

    Spit it out!
    Never known Janq to be at a loss for words...

    Only his count. And not getting hit...so movement is important in that regard. Practice shooting on the move(dry fire first), work on your footwork to get that down. You might try some airsoft guns for practice.
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    I think it helps you establish good consistent shooting technique and aids in trigger control. Builds confidence and a good foundation. But it's not going to be anything like real life.

    I joined the action shooting club at the range to gain experience with alot of the other factors that we might run into in real life situations (pressure, speed, balance, different positions, cover, moving, reloading, etc). Just another step in the training process for me. And it's fun and been really helpful. Trigger control on the move is nothing like trigger control from a perfect stance :-/
    Exactly. It's a great, and much needed starting point but it's just that... a starting point.

    Moving on to things like action shooting, FOF, or some other kind of action practice should be a natural step for the defensive carrier.

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