Taking a Stance

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Thread: Taking a Stance

  1. #1
    Sponsor Array DCJS Instructor's Avatar
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    Taking a Stance

    The Stance is the base for the shooting platform. Not only does a proper stance assist in controlling recoil, it also allows you to move and react quickly and to draw your weapon with minimal movement.

    The proper stance consists of:

    a. Shoulders square to the target.
    b. Feet shoulder width apart.
    c. Weight slightly forward on the balls of the feet.
    d. Head remains high and still with chin pointing at the target.
    e. Ears in front of shoulders, shoulders in front of hips.
    f. Be Comfortable.

    The shooting stance is basically a support or shooting platform. The quality of the stance is a major determining factor in creating conditions for maximum control and accuracy for shooting.

    A high degree of control is necessary to deliver a rapid, accurate shot. Every individual is unique and possess characteristics that are their’s alone. These characteristics include height, weight, muscular and skeletal development, degree of flexibility and more. Therefore, there can be no universal shooting stance that can be utilized by all people.

    Each shooter, under the guidance of the Firearms Instructor, and consistent with safety must find the shooting stance which is best suited to them and provides the greatest degree of stability and accuracy for shooting. The shooter must be able to assume their stance instinctively, as a reflex action with minimal effort or conscious manipulation of their body.

    Remember: "Conflict is inevitable; Combat is an option".

    Stay Safe & Shoot Straight!

    Tom Perroni

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    I'm still learning and refining my skills, so this question will seem remedial to some forum members. Please indulge me and pardon my "rookie-ness". I shoot lots these days, but I don't pretend to be an expert.

    So...my question is this...

    In practicing, I try to emulate what you've outlined here, DC. I'm getting very comfortable in a proper stance, and accuracy has improved greatly as a result. But as I'm improving, I'm wondering when to shift my focus from this proper stance to learning how to minimize the target my stance offers? To elaborate, when to leave that 'squared up' position, and when to begin moving while shooting? I suspect the answer will be 'immediately', but you know the old saying about assuming...
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

  4. #3
    Member Array Mongoose's Avatar
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    Isn't there another stand? Non shooting foot slightly forward and pointing at target?

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    Senior Member Array Matthew Temkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post
    Isn't there another stand? Non shooting foot slightly forward and pointing at target?
    I use Tom Perroni's stance as a starting point in my basic classes.
    I have found it the best one to get beginners up to speed ASAP and it also blends in nicely when point shooting is introduced.
    Once they "get it" I change to where the weak foot is forward with both toes pointed to the target and the back heel slightly raised--which makes rapid movement possible.
    After that I have them shoot with the shooting foot pointing to the target, then have them shoot while moving in.
    To me a stance is merely a training vehicle and the one that began this thread gets my nod as a starting point.

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    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    What is being taught in the .mil and finding its way throughout the training community (over the last 8 years) is what is referred to as the "fighting stance". This stance is a natural stance that your body assumes when its fight or flight response has been triggered. It is also common no matter what weapon you are fighting with: fists, stick, knife, pistol, rifle.

    The key point is that the "strong side" foot is slid back slightly with the toe box in line with the "weak side" heel. This may vary slightly from individual.

    Your shooting stance is very similar to a boxing stance. This stance is essential to maintaining a stable platform from which you will be engaging close range targets. Furthermore it will allow you to manage your recoil and shorten your target acquisition time for follow on shots. Additionally this will help you when you need to engage targets while moving.

    a. Feet: The feet are approximately shoulder width apart with the strong side foot dropped slightly back (4 to 6 inches) and your toes pointed toward the threat.

    b. Legs: Knees slight bent.

    c. Hips: Aligned to the threat.

    d. Back: Straight, leaning slightly forward.

    e. Shoulders: Aligned with the hips.

    f. Head: Erect, both eyes are opened!
    Deputy Director of Training
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    Member Array jackdog's Avatar
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    In a self defense situation you may well find yourself in a strange position , I practice shooting in every different position I could imagine my self in, including sitting a vehicle.
    Jack dog

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    Member Array Mongoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Price View Post
    What is being taught in the .mil and finding its way throughout the training community (over the last 8 years) is what is referred to as the "fighting stance". This stance is a natural stance that your body assumes when its fight or flight response has been triggered. It is also common no matter what weapon you are fighting with: fists, stick, knife, pistol, rifle.

    The key point is that the "strong side" foot is slid back slightly with the toe box in line with the "weak side" heel. This may vary slightly from individual.

    Your shooting stance is very similar to a boxing stance. This stance is essential to maintaining a stable platform from which you will be engaging close range targets. Furthermore it will allow you to manage your recoil and shorten your target acquisition time for follow on shots. Additionally this will help you when you need to engage targets while moving.

    a. Feet: The feet are approximately shoulder width apart with the strong side foot dropped slightly back (4 to 6 inches) and your toes pointed toward the threat.

    b. Legs: Knees slight bent.

    c. Hips: Aligned to the threat.

    d. Back: Straight, leaning slightly forward.

    e. Shoulders: Aligned with the hips.

    f. Head: Erect, both eyes are opened!

    Yes, this is the stance that I am refering to. A combat-type shooting stance which allows for movement. The idea is to always go into the same stance either in a fist, knife or gun fight. Less to remember! LOL

    But I also agree in the stance that was mention in the very first post. I can't think what we called it, but I also used that stance for years before going over to the other.

    The book 'Tactical Pistol Shooting' by Erik Lawrence is really good.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackdog View Post
    In a self defense situation you may well find yourself in a strange position , I practice shooting in every different position I could imagine my self in, including sitting a vehicle.
    Exactly, you never know the hand that you will be given in a self defense situation. Let your shooting partner dream up different scenerios for you and tell you just before you engage a target and you do the same for them. After the first week, it can get interesting. It's more realistic that you don't know what you'll be doing until the last few seconds.
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    VIP Member Array Ridgeline's Avatar
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    DCJS certainly knows his business and I have the highest regard for Tom and his entire team even tho I've never been to his school, I know it is a top notch, quality enviroment, and time well spent.

    However, there are other stances and the one I prefer and have always used is the "modified Weaver". Find someone who uses it and try it for yourself. Good luck, and live in Yellow.
    "Eternity is Too Long to be Wrong"

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    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    that stance was designed for folks who wear body armor - I don't

    part of this stance was developed so that you square up your armor to the BG, so that when you take hits they go into the armor and not your armpit /side, when I first learned to shoot, we turned our right side to BG in hopes of being smaller target as well as putting more flesh between the heart and the BG

    this stance is great for absorbing recoil and it does a great job of putting a shooter in a strong Isosceles for natural pointing and sighting at the target

    I may start in a very similar position but if the situation continues for more than a few seconds I am moving to cover as quickly as I can

    practice shooting and reloading from a lot of different positions, also practice from barricade, seated, kneeling on back (supine) prone etc...

    also train for one handed shooting and reloading... I can do this fairly well with a wheel gun and a 1911 - but I haven't worked on this with my Sig yet...

    my limited experience tells me that you just don't know where and when bad stuff will happen

    "How you train is how you fight"

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    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Although I agree somewhat with the idea I find more people have a NPA of slighly blading their body away from the target. This is also practiced not only for NPA, but also for handgun retention. I've seen somepeople teach 60/40 stances, weavers, etc...

    Saying one way is proper I believe as a misnormer. What works for some may not work for all.

    No what is described above is good for Handgun games like IPSC or even IDPA etc..., or like one poster said wearing armor. However, a civilian who is reacting to a sitituion vs. acting a standard fighting stance probably is not the best option. Action beats reaction all the time every time. Most people have no concept of shooting from the hip or reactive shooting. Therefore most people probably are going to be moving very quickly to get out of dodge.

    Tueller shows us under 21, if you stand in a standard fighting stance and try to repeal an attack without at least moving, or thinking outside the box, your going to probably loose.
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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  13. #12
    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR D View Post
    that stance was designed for folks who wear body armor - I don't

    part of this stance was developed so that you square up your armor to the BG, so that when you take hits they go into the armor and not your armpit /side, when I first learned to shoot, we turned our right side to BG in hopes of being smaller target as well as putting more flesh between the heart and the BG

    this stance is great for absorbing recoil and it does a great job of putting a shooter in a strong Isosceles for natural pointing and sighting at the target

    I may start in a very similar position but if the situation continues for more than a few seconds I am moving to cover as quickly as I can

    practice shooting and reloading from a lot of different positions, also practice from barricade, seated, kneeling on back (supine) prone etc...

    also train for one handed shooting and reloading... I can do this fairly well with a wheel gun and a 1911 - but I haven't worked on this with my Sig yet...

    my limited experience tells me that you just don't know where and when bad stuff will happen

    "How you train is how you fight"
    This stance wasn't designed by people wearing armor. The people wearing armor adapted it.

    The "fighting stace" actually evolved from people whose line of thought was "get your gun out and shoot". It is also supported by many other styles of fighting. The fighting stance is simply an extension of an individual standing comfortably and then having their "fight or flight" response triggered.

    As for "putting more flesh between the heart and the BG"; this is a fallicy disproved by science. Modern handgun cartridges penetrate anywhere from 6 to 21 inches, including going through bone. Getting shot in one lung sucks a lot less than getting shot in both, and getting shot in the heart is a show stopper no matter how you look at it.

    When you blade your body you are actually concentrating the area in which a single hit can cause catastrophic damage.

    If the interview stance works for you - go with it.

    Personally I think that whatever helps an individual person react faster fight harder, and shoot better is the technique to go with.

    I also believe that learning to fight from "disadvantaged" positions should be a part of everyone's training regimen. And for training single handed? ABSOLUTELY. Strong and weak side single handed manipulations is a necessity for the person who wants to learn to fight to their fullest potential and capabilities. Also, learning to fight while moving is a good skill to have.
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    Member Array 1911 guy's Avatar
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    Square, bladed and body armor.

    As has been stated, the squared stance wasn't invented for armor users, it was adopted for an entierly different reaon and that was added as a selling point. The stance was adopted as the "correct" way because many officers and agents found themselves naturally squaring up when taken off guard. Designing/refining a shooting stance was a natural outgrowth.

    There's only one problem with that. Not everyone has minimal training or trains with a handgun exclusively. Now that I do use a handgun exclusively I've gone to the squared stance (partly because I was tired of instructors telling me I was wrong). When needing to transition between weapons, a stance bladed to NPOA is often best. When startled, I still fall into the "bladed" or NPOA stance. Very useful for trainstions between handgun and longarm. Not nearly as critical with handgun only.

  15. #14
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    The "fighting stace" actually evolved from people whose line of thought was "get your gun out and shoot".

    Actually, I believe Fairbairn and Sykes [ F/S ] developed the" square to the threat" in the 30's in China after observing how defenders responded naturally to an imminent threat, not being developed because their thought was get your gun out and shoot but what people did naturally when they did so naturally in that era. It's a reactive stance they saw, did not ignore, but developed their program around that natural response to a threat.

    What many don't know is that the FBI adopted that very stance, training their personnel in the same reactive stance and firing from well below eye level with the 1/2 hip and 3/4 hip position as far back as the late 1930's with great effect on the streets [ coincidentally, F/S was training the Shanghai police this very method of response with a firearm around the same time ].

    I have a privately made video of agents [ made by one of the agents there that day ] using the 1/2 hip and 3/4 hip positions while training in several venues in the late 30's.

    Another fairly extensive privately made training video [ by another agent there that day] demonstrates these exact same skills being practiced near Wash, DC in 1947 [ believed to be made somewhere in the Va. countryside away from the publics prying eyes ].

    The feds trained it as a "crouch", squared to the threat. Jelly Bryce used this stance very successfully throughout his long career with various state and local agencies and then while he was a federal agent. They wanted the weight forward, and Bruce is known to have stated at least once, that another advantage he saw in this form of "stance" was that if you were hit, you would not be prone to being knocked off balance and could stay up on your feet more effectively and continue to fight.

    The Weaver stance wasn't developed until just prior to 1959, by Jack Weaver. See the link on the history of the MT style of shooting and how it came to be adopted by the feds in the 60's.

    History of the "Modern Technique" - Threat Focused Forums

    There should be NO stance in a gunfight. To train to acquire, and use that MT style of shooting [ Weaver ], has produced many an officer who has been shot/injured/killed trying to get to his sights and into a weaver-esque shooting positions as he was trained.

    Weavers style was adopted by the feds as it was a superior platform at the distances the 1/2 and 3/4 hip shooting was being utilized/adopted by Cooper in his Southwest Combat Pistol League (SWCPL) in Big Bear, California in the 1960's shoots which was 30 feet. Weaver kicked the 1/2 shooters butts from 30 feet, as well he should have as that distance is not conducive to utilizing threat focused skills with the firearm well below line of sight.

    Weavers "stance" and shooting style and it's subsequent adoption by most LE agencies after the feds adopted it only moved further away from a mans natural startle response reaction to imminent potential incoming or incoming which has for the most part been determined in a vast majority of gunfights to be squaring to the threat.

    The Modern Technique is 50+ years old this year. When one speaks of this technique, it doesn't necessarily have to mean modern in the true sense of the word. The modern technique [ MT ] using Jack Weavers adaptation was born of competition, not combat. Funny how that piece of history seems to be either forgotten or ignored by the people in charge of training others to stay alive on the streets with firearms isn't it?

    Fairbairn/Sykes/Applegate has it right as far back as the 30's. Their training produced over 600 gunfight WINS in Shanghai after that training was complete. The feds followed suit in their training based on actual street results in well documented Shanghai gunfights and subsequent during ww2 results using F/S/A skills , and didn't changed to Weavers shooting stance because the F/S/A skills didn't work in real battles but only because someone making their paycheck on the taxpayers nickel decided that Weaver was a better fighting platform. Fate turned true real world training into something adopted out of competition, not proven on the streets as the skills they had been trained in prior.

    The rest is history if one cares to actually research how "stances" entered into the gunfight training business, sometimes to the detriment of the officers so trained.

    Brownie
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    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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