Grip angle.....smrip angle!

Grip angle.....smrip angle!

This is a discussion on Grip angle.....smrip angle! within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I shoot Glocks and S&W revolvers 99.9999% of the time. I had a student beg me to shoot his XD's. Not really caring, I just ...

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Thread: Grip angle.....smrip angle!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Grip angle.....smrip angle!

    I shoot Glocks and S&W revolvers 99.9999% of the time. I had a student beg me to shoot his XD's. Not really caring, I just picked it up and began running it through the movement matrix.

    It shot just fine...did everything that I expected it to do. Good example of why I recommend XD's right along with Glocks.

    I did not use the sights once and did not even consider the difference in the grip angle. I just simply picked the gun up and shot it fast and accurately.

    I have zero idea what people are talking about when they talk about being a slave to a grip angle.

    Some of the things that I have accomplished over the years is to get people to look at the common sense of things, to break away from the status quo, and to get people to realize that fluidity is much better than dogma. That has made me some enemies, but has also made me many loyal friends and students.

    Now days I tend to poke fun at things that make no sense to me.

    I've veiwed thousands of gunfight video clips and one thing I see over and over again in reactive gunfights is "line of sight" trained shooters shooting "below line of sight" when their lives are on the line. FOF has shown me the exact same things. There is something about the brain starving for visual input of the entirety of the encounter in a life threatening situation.

    Some may ask what does this have to do with grip angle.

    It is as simple as this. If you do not use your wrist articulations to appropriately index your gun onto the targeted area dependent on the grip angle of the weapon, you will not be able to articualte your wrists when your brain is screaming at you to shoot below line of sight.

    Inability to adapt to a grip angle on a specific weapon means that you have an inability to index onto a targeted area below line of sight or while working inside of the retention concept.

    I knew some people would take offense to the term "being a slave to a grip angle." But it is intentionlly done to make people realize that they are allowing the wrist position to dictate them, instead of being the one that dictates the wrist position. To be a versatile and well rounded shooter we must use our wrists in a "fluid tension" manner. The wrist does not need to be locked into one shooting position.

    Sure, there is the one optimal locked wrist positon at line of sight. But as soon as we drop below line of sight or work any where in the retention concept, that wrist must unlock and adapt to the new positional angle.

    So, grip angle is not just about your choosen weapon system. It is also about the necessary height of the gun (see what you need to see inside of the fight) and the necessary extension of the gun (only extend out far enough to guarantee the hits at the same time protecting the gun and gun hand from an attack).....dictated by the situation.

    The situation is the dictating factor, not your locked wrist angle.

    Do not allow yourself to be a slave to a grip angle. Free your mind and your rear end will follow.

    As soon as you have the skill sets to index your gun right to the desired targeted area, at any height, and at any level of extension, the grip angle on a specifice weapon should mean nothing.

    There is a Wrist in Shooting

    Inside of fast and accurate "shooting to live" we have optimal shooting positions and we have suboptimal shooting positions. Optimal is full extension, at line of sight, inside of a proactive situation with locked wrists/elbows, and hopefully acquiring a perfect hard focus sight picture

    The locked wrist and elbows gives use "structure." This structure allows for the facilitation of excellent "point" characteristics. One of the most obvious of those is the ability to align the gun up with and point with the forearm. Since we are pointing with the forearm there is significant structure behind the gun to manage recoil so the gun cycles correctly.

    "Get behind your gun!" is a phrase that I picked up from a serious guy that goes by Ranger5. It means get some rear end behind the gun (structure) so that it works as it was designed to work. The aligned forearm gives you outstanding structure.

    Too bad most gun fights do not come down under optimal circumstances.....unless you are on the offensive side of an ambush.

    When we look at the reality of the fight "suboptimal" is where we are most likely going to be working from. This is what Suarez International gives its students. We give the optimal, but we also teach you how to excel in the suboptimal.

    There are a few basic guidelines that we need to look at to help all of this come together.

    The higher the gun is to line of sight the more accurate you are going to be, but the less that you will see inside of the entirety of the confrontation.

    The further out the gun is extended the more accurate you will be, but also the slower you will be and the more open for a retention problem you are going to be.

    When we look at “the perfect balance of speed and accuracy” we must also take in consideration the necessary visual input of the entirety of the confrontation and the necessary extension of the gun inside of the retention concept.

    The reality of these guidelines prove that there are many situations that will require suboptimal positions of the gun. If we accept the retention concept and the physiological desire to get the gun out of our face so that we can take in visual input of the entirety of a reactive encounter, it is plan to see that we will need to learn how to shoot within suboptimal positions. These positions my not allow for pointing with the forearm, your favorite locked wrist position, or locking of the elbows. It is clear that we need to learn how to “get behind the gun” when our structure has been compromised and the wrist and elbows have been broken from their optimal locked positions. It is also clear that we need to develop a “fluid tension” concept when it comes to our wrists and elbows so that we know how to get/stay indexed onto the targeted area of the threat no matter what situation arises. This is where the whole concept of the grip angle must be addressed.

    When we look at “below line of sight” shooting, on the most part the wrists and the elbows need to work in conjunction with each other. When the angle changes at the shoulder (like Gabe Suarez's contact ready) if you want to stay index right on your primary targeted area you must make adjustments at the elbows and/or the wrists to compensate for that angle change at the shoulder. Where you make your angle adjustment may not be the same place that I make my angle adjustment. I tend to articulate both the wrist and the elbows simultaneously. I see the elbow articulation as a gross adjustment and the wrist articulation as a fine adjustment. Basic geometry principles explain the difference between the two. To use my elbows for fine adjustments is just not the way to go in my eyes…..so, in comes the wrists.

    When we look at shooting inside of the retention concept the wrist take on a much larger job that just vertical articulation. This brings in a third basic guideline.

    The more that you are able to keep the gun on your visual centerline the more accurate you are going to be, but the more that you will have to break your wrist and compromise your structure. So it is plain to see that the whole optimal “point the forearm” does not cover the retention concept very well at all.

    When we begin to compress dramatically such as the compressed ready, count three, or half hip the wrist must begin to compensate horizontal angles along with the vertical angle compensations. When we are compressed the shooting side forearm angles toward the centerline to achieve the visual centerline. This dramatic angle must be compensated for in the wrist. So, now we have a sharply bent elbow and a sharply bent wrist. The structure has completely broken down. Yet we still need to “get behind that gun” so that it operates correctly. This is where the whole “Grip and Trigger Continuum” come into play. What we lose in skeletal support we can make up with “fluid tension.” Convulsive grip, tensed wrist, flexed forearm, tensed elbow, flexed upper arm, tensed shoulders, tension across the back, chest, and the lats, and an aggressive forward lean. The near entirety of the body gives you the structure that you will need to work that trigger as fast as you can, keep all of the shots inside of a fist size group, and allow for the gun to cycle correctly.

    I have smallish hands, wrists, and forearms if I can make this work (and I do) with a .40 almost anyone should be able to make it work with a 9mm.

    There is a wrist in self defense shooting. Break away from thinking that there is only one locked wrist position…..that is entry level stuff. Learn the reality of the dynamics of a fight and accept the fact that you may very well need to rely on the suboptimal to win. Learn to index that gun right where you want the bullets to go…..no matter what the situation is. Learn to “get behind the gun” to insure that you have the tools that you need and are both efficient and effective inside of the correct context of the fight.

    Situations dictate……….....
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Bob O's Avatar
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    For defensive shooting this a big +1!

    For target and/or bullseye shooting grip angle can be a biggy!.

    Bobo
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    Member Array wormtown's Avatar
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    fluidity is much better than dogma.
    You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter
    Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

  4. #4
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    Distinguished Member Array Arko's Avatar
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    If I prefer one grip angle over another I will enjoy my training sessions more, and thus be more effective because I will train more than if I dislike it.

    if you like Glocks, that's fine. Not for me though. I don't care to "make do" when I can shoot what I prefer.
    Last edited by Arko; December 28th, 2009 at 09:06 AM.
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    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    I have a hard time buying into the shooting theory put forth here... First, when I am changing the angle of my shot, whether it be lower, higher, left or right, it is my shoulder that move the weapon, not my elbows or wrists generally speaking.

    Second, the "point shooting" that I do uses the lines my locked arms create, and that my muscle memory has adapted to to get hits on target in high stress shooting situations. moving at the wrist would require an entirely new set of eye/gun muscle memory links that just aren't worth developing based on their questionable utility.

    Third there is only one variable in the angle between where your shoulders, eyes and hands - that is your hands. Your eyes and shoulder (fulcrum for your arms) are always going to be at a similar distance, this creates a databank of muscle memory for positioning your outstretched hand between you and a target down range - moving the way your weapon points at that target seems to be counter intuitive in this case.

    My experience switching between my XDm, SIG p229, 1911's and S&W MP40 is that I can point shoot each fairly accurately and quickly without transition practice - but switching to a Glock I have to really pay attention to where the gun is pointing for the first 2 or 3 drills.

    Thats all I really have to say about that.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    moving at the wrist would require an entirely new set of eye/gun muscle memory links that just aren't worth developing based on their questionable utility.
    The Fallacy of the “Retention Position”

    The retention position is another “Sacred Cow” that simply does not stand up under critical thinking or inside “force on force” (FOF) training. The idea that you have only one position that will take care of the full spectrum of retention problems, that you may come across, is simply ridiculous. If you adopt and train in only one retention position, then you are forcing a suboptimal “niche” technique into a concept driven, continuum based skill set. This “force fitting” of techniques to replace fluid concepts is the undoing of the “technique driven” training of the recent past.

    As in almost anything that we do in regards to self defense, there is a continuum in regards to retention. This continuum is once again based on the distance of the threat and the dynamics of the encounter. The distance aspect of this equation speaks for itself. The main goal is to protect your gun, gun hand, and gun arm by “extending out” only as far as is needed, dictated by the difficulty of the shot. This concept is very cut and dry….at least until we add in the variables of the dynamics of the encounter. It is the “dynamics” that much of the training of the recent past has completely ignored. The context of the fight dictates the amount of extension of the gun that is allowable and necessary. The weapon and the forward drive of adversary are additional factors that must be considered. Your movement response to these factors also must be taken into consideration.

    As we recognize, once again, that this is not a “one size fits all” world and that the situation is the dictating factor it is plain to see that having only one retention position ties our hands is so many ways. Retention is a concept…..not a position. It is a fluid skill set….not a locked in positional technique. The retention positions that I have been taught in the past were geared towards very limited situations. On the most part they were stand and deliver techniques that were only good at “hands on” bad breath distances. Now this may be good for “one foot” but what about one yard, two yards, three yards, four yards, against a knife, against an impact weapon, with dynamic movement, and after you have gone “hands on” and created some distance?

    From my experience with FOF, I feel that we all need to start considering retention at about the four yard mark. The reason for this is simple. Remember the retention main goal;

    “The main goal is to protect your gun, gun hand, and gun arm by “extending out” only as far as is needed, dictated by the difficulty of the shot.”

    Four yards with two men extended towards each other is really only a two yard gap. A two yard gap can be close by a stationary adversary in around .5 of a second. Contact at .5 of a second….and that is without a weapon that extends the adversaries reach. Factor in an adversaries forward drive and the time is considerably less. To come out to full extension on an adversary within four yards is just daring for a gun grab attempt or an attack on the gun hand and arm. By compressing the gun inward you accomplish two very distinct things, you take the gun further out of reach and you let the adversary know that you are not an idiot. Projecting the gun is a fool’s mistake. By compressing the gun you are limiting the adversary’s choices and possibly taking away his best choice.

    If we accept that compressing the gun is a good tactic at four yards, well then it is obvious that compressing it even more so, is a good tactic, as the distance decreases. If all of this sounds familiar, it is because this concept has been around since the 1930’s. Fairbairn and Sykes understood the need for a fluid retention concept. Quarter hip, half hip, and three quarter hip were designed, in part, with the main goal in mind. One thing that we need to keep in mind is that these “hip” positions are just points that you can flow to and through. They are not “set” positions….. they are fluid points that had to be given names so that they could be discussed. Work the concept not the technique!

    This concept of retention is so far superior to a retention position. It takes in the reality of a violent encounter…..which is all based on distance. The fluid use of kicks, punches, strikes, the use of a knife, a sword, etc, etc are all based on distance. To have only two shooting positions make as much sense as having only two ways to strike.

    As we look to the dynamic movement skill set, it is very important to consider retention as we work the oblique angles or parallel tracking. At certain distances, with certain movement we actually close the distance. This fact must be kept in mind. Do not project the gun and open yourself to an attack on the gun, the gun hand, or the gun arm.

    If we look at retention from an open minded point of view, it becomes very apparent that any retention training that does not incorporate quality, fluid, combat proven point shooting skill sets is simply training to be ineffectual.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

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    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    if you like Glocks, that's fine. Not for me though. I don't care to "make do" when I can shoot what I prefer.
    This is not about which gun you shoot. It is about the bizzare misconception that you can only shoot one grip angle.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

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    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweatnbullets View Post
    The retention position is another “Sacred Cow” that simply does not stand up under critical thinking or inside “force on force” (FOF) training. The idea that you have only one position that will take care of the full spectrum of retention problems, that you may come across, is simply ridiculous. If you adopt and train in only one retention position, then you are forcing a suboptimal “niche” technique into a concept driven, continuum based skill set. This “force fitting” of techniques to replace fluid concepts is the undoing of the “technique driven” training of the recent past.
    So once we get past all the fancy words there again seems to be little true utility. As I under stand it the proposition is that in between the full draw/guard position and the weapons retention shooting position there needs to be a whole series of fluid shooting "mini positions" based on being able to manipulate the gun with the wrists - based on the threat being able to close distance rapidly. My answer to that is that if they are armed and within 20 feet (much further than the 4 feet put forth earlier) they are getting shot until they stop, if they are unarmed and closing in either A) i feel that they are NOT a threat to my life and that other means can be employed or B) they ARE a threat to my life and they get shot.

    I feel I can shoot well enough from the maligned "retention position" to get some one who is close enough to grab my weapon, otherwise why sacrifice accuracy and control to do some fancy "Benicio Del Toro" shooting?
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    So I went to the website and watched the video. I see what you mean, and have had roughly the right idea about what you were refering too. My opinion is that you may have taken (I am assuming that it is you in the video?) the "fluid" idea a step to far. I agree with the idea of being able to shoot from different angles, running away/towards etc. However I noticed several times in the video where the shooter was firing with one hand when two would have been just as easy, and would have given far better control of the gun, both from a retention and recoil manangement standpoint. I like the obvious "stitching" firing technique, and the movement - and I find this to be generally in line with the shooting we are teaching at our academy.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

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    Member Array LethalStang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweatnbullets View Post
    This is not about which gun you shoot. It is about the bizzare misconception that you can only shoot one grip angle.
    This is also a misconception. I can shoot many different grip angles with practice, but i prefer to be proficient with one certain style and buy guns accordingly. Anybody can get it down after practicing and making adjustments. Grip angle DOES have a lot to do with things.
    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    If you are living your life worried about being a victim all the time and not enjoying life to the fullest, you are already a victim...
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    Distinguished Member Array Arko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweatnbullets View Post
    This is not about which gun you shoot. It is about the bizzare misconception that you can only shoot one grip angle.
    Not saying I CAN'T shoot a Glock, or any other platform. Just that I prefer not to give up a preference, as it aids in automatic muscle memory to not have to force good technique.
    I don't believe that CZ, 1911's or any platform have the only "right" grip, but I also believe the is little reason not to find a natural fit either.
    "Don't Tread on Me"

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc3169 View Post
    So once we get past all the fancy words there again seems to be little true utility. As I under stand it the proposition is that in between the full draw/guard position and the weapons retention shooting position there needs to be a whole series of fluid shooting "mini positions" based on being able to manipulate the gun with the wrists - based on the threat being able to close distance rapidly. My answer to that is that if they are armed and within 20 feet (much further than the 4 feet put forth earlier) they are getting shot until they stop, if they are unarmed and closing in either A) i feel that they are NOT a threat to my life and that other means can be employed or B) they ARE a threat to my life and they get shot.

    I feel I can shoot well enough from the maligned "retention position" to get some one who is close enough to grab my weapon, otherwise why sacrifice accuracy and control to do some fancy "Benicio Del Toro" shooting?
    There are no mini-positions....there is only one fluid concepts.

    It you are only capable of two shooting positions that is cool.

    My students and I are a capable of making the hits at any distance, from any position, from any angle, through our completely versatile drawstroke, one handed and two, with whatever movement is necessary.

    To say that the human body is only capable of two shooting positions is a huge fallacy. That would be akin to only being able to throw two types of punches. Why is it that as soon as we put a gun in our hand we feel that we need to dumb everything down?

    In every aspect of the fight, that I have been taught, the tactics and techniques were dictated by distance....and of course, distance = time. When I look back on the very first and most basic self defense that I was taught as a child.....distance was always at the fore front.

    Let's take a look at one single component of the most basic of fights.

    Throwing the right hand punch.

    My father taught me to box when I was around eight years old. I was not a very big kid and I had that "little dog" chip on my shoulder. I had a good right hand and he taught me how to land with power.....no matter the distance. He started with the "straight right" and showed me how I could land fast and hard with next to zero telegraphing. This straight right would be considered a solid "mid-range" punch. He then taught me how to throw the "overhand" right hand in a long looping manner. This punch had even more power but it was not nearly as quick. It was the long range "sucker punch" from a position of deception (the old John Wayne turn to walk away trick.) He then taught me the "right cross." The "cross" was just inside of the mid-range. Nice punch! and personally my "go to" punch when I needed the quick stop (you know us compact guys that like that leverage from the floor.) He then taught me the hook that was geared towards the "six inch up close and personal" shot.

    What's the point?

    I was just a child and I could seamlessly integrate these four basic right handed punches, into one fluid concept, within the correct context of the fight, relative to every punching distance, angle and targeted area.

    It is my opinion that only learning the full extension and a retention position is like only learning the "over hand right" and the "hook." It simply does not cover what needs to be covered.

    This is what is wrong with being technique focused instaed of concept focus.

    When we look at the right hand punch of a mere child, I could throw 50 different right hands, all different due to distance, angle, and targeted area. It is not 50 different "mini positions" it is one fluid concept.

    Are you really sure that you are only capable of two positons of shooting? That would seem to be a huge lack of confidence in the amazing human machine. Even as an eight year old I could handle 50 different right hands. But of course I saw it as one simple fluid concept.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LethalStang View Post
    This is also a misconception. I can shoot many different grip angles with practice, but i prefer to be proficient with one certain style and buy guns accordingly. Anybody can get it down after practicing and making adjustments. Grip angle DOES have a lot to do with things.
    Not if you understand two things.

    "When you are rocking and rolling, the gun looks a certain way and it feels a certain way."

    If you can not seamlesly move from one grip angle to another you are not using your eyes. Eye/hand coordination requires actually seeing. If you try to index the gun and you shoot and miss, then you are not seeing your lack of index.
    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

    http://fightfocusedconcepts.wordpress.com/

    Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques.....techniques should not dictate anything.

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    Member Array LethalStang's Avatar
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    I agree with the fluidity (is that a word?) of movement when it comes to self-defense (i took Hapkido for awhile), but rigid Kata's are also important for reflexive movements without having to think much of what you're doing. The same holds true to guns, the more you practice with a certain movement the more it becomes instincual especially in a SHTF situation. Shooting handguns is not a fluid movement, however diversion and bodily movements should be.
    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    If you are living your life worried about being a victim all the time and not enjoying life to the fullest, you are already a victim...
    -You don't know what you don't see-

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