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  1. #1
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    Default Silly Gun School Things That Can Get You Killed

    Ten (Silly) Gun School Things That Will Get You Killed

    Ten Silly Gun School Things That Will Get You Killed. Now that is a title that will no doubt upset people. Some people I really don’t care about upsetting, but I’ll explain my title for everyone else. Fighting should be very simple. Its goal has to do with winning. There is nothing else. How you accomplish that is secondary to getting it done. Yet there are many who have lost sight of mission one. There are things done in some so-called “modern” training schools which have no use at all in a fight, or at worst may actually contribute to your demise at the hands of your adversary. This situation is obvious to those who look through unfiltered eyes at the naked emperor, yet to many students and instructors, a style or school solution has become almost a religion…and it is hard to convince someone that they follow a false religion.

    Gun school stuff that will get you killed:

    1). Selecting holsters and gear that is suitable for the training environment but useless for the street.

    Rule one of gunfighting is to have a gun. It is a disservice to tell a student that he is wasting his time and not able to defend himself unless he is going to carry a custom school 1911 in a custom molded school holster (with appropriate embossed logo), under the school approved tactical concealment vest. Some people, simply to have a gun on their person, must make compromises in weapon selection and carry that would get them laughed out of a traditional gun school.

    One school claiming to teach realistic material, for example, prohibits the use of Glock pistols in Inside Waistband Holsters in their courses (a very viable street combination). Another school mandates competition-approved strong side hip carry regardless of how you carry on the street. The lack of an instructor’s comprehension about the real world must not hamper a students ability to fight for his life with what he is most likely to have on hand at the moment of truth. Rather than arrogantly dismiss smaller guns or revolvers, or forms of carry other than strong side hip, schools really interested in preparing students to win their fights, rather than push agendas, would allow alternate forms of carry and any street-worthy pistol.

    2). Thinking one gun/caliber combination is the answer for all students and the final solution to personal defense.

    How many times have we heard it? “The 45 ACP will drop a man 19 times out of 20”. “Only a sissy boy would carry a 9mm or a 38”. Rubbish. I have a friend “down south” who has been in close to 50 shootings. There are still places on earth hot enough for such activity. I asked him what caliber and guns he used most of the time. Other than rifles and SMGs, he used a Glock 17 with 9mm ammo. Curious, I asked him what he loaded it with. Military ball. Its all he can get there as any expanding ammo is forbidden. I advised him that back in the USA 9mm ball is thought of as unreliable for anti-personnel use. He shrugged and said his adversaries hadn’t got the news, and that he’d shot them “a bunch in the chest and if that didn’t work shoot them immediately and repeatedly in the head“.

    It’s a good thing his gunfights did not occur in Arizona because apparently certain calibers don’t work there.

    3). Forcing 1911-based, or AR15-based gun handling on all small arms in class.

    The days of an entire class being armed with Colt 1911s are gone. I have nothing against the 1911, but I see many more Glocks, Sigs, XDs, and other systems in class. I am not limited by any policy as to what I can carry. I prefer Glock pistols due to their simplicity, and fit in my hand, but I don‘t sneer at those who may come to class with a 1911, or a double-action semi-auto pistol. Neither do we teach Glock-centric gun handling. In fact, trying to work a Glock or a Beretta 92F as if it was a 1911 is just as silly as trying to work a 1911 like it was a revolver.

    On the subject of long guns, we see a great many more AK-47 type weapons in rifle class these days. The AK is most definitely not an AR-15 and the AR-15 type gun handling methods do not fit the Kalashnikov weapon system.

    Some weapons, notably the Glocks and the AK47s allow some very definitive short cuts in weapon handling over the other systems. Good instructors understand this and accept it. To require students to use less efficient procedures robs them of the advantage of their weapon systems.

    4). Excessive focus on long range shooting and over-sighting close range shots.

    The vast majority of urban pistol confrontations, internationally, occur within the 7 yards interval. While learning the basics fundamentals of shooting is essential, so is learning to apply those fundamentals in dynamic mock gunfights as soon as they are understood. Gunfights tend toward being close range, high intensity confrontations that often occur by surprise and involve more than one adversary. While hitting the adversary(s) is extremely important, it is similarly important to do so fast enough to make a difference, as well as to do so without you yourself being hit. Marksmanship…acceptable marksmanship that is, is part of the package of necessary skills, but most certainly not all of it.

    Students solely trained in classic marksmanship methods do not do well in dynamic close range confrontations. The first time such a student goes through a properly designed force on force event, the glaring holes in his fighting system are brought to light clearly and dynamically. I’ve pointed out the importance of progressive force on force training before, and will refer the reader to those prior articles.

    5). Excessive focus on scary gun handling.

    There is a story about a Texas lawman in the old days. He carried a 1911 with a bright clean piece of tape holding down the grip safety of the pistol. One day a lady asked him about the tape and pointed out that such a practice was dangerous. The old lawman replied, “Yes mam”.

    No body wants to have a mishap with a firearm, but let’s not forget why we carry them. If we want to be completely safe from any danger involving firearms, I suggest we leave them in the gun store and go take up golf. Some instructors are so pedantic about this that they eliminate any combat utility. These “safety rules” were never meant to become a religious doctrine. Even Jeff Cooper, the man who coined the four rules, said there are four so that even if you break one you will still be fine.

    An example is Rule Two - Don’t let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Very interesting until you stop to think that you cover your leg every single time you draw and holster. Some will object that its not true. Bravo-sierra! Check it out for yourself.

    Recently at a force on force class, an instructor from a nationally recognized institute got flustered because we were pointing Airsoft guns at one another. He nearly got into a physical confrontation with a role player because his slung M-4 Airsoft was covering his feet. Safety is fine….reasonable safety. Scary gun handing will make you truly unsafe by making you ineffective. Rather the rule should state - Don’t be careless with your gun muzzle.

    Part Two In Next Post
    Gabe Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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    6). Over reliance on sighted shooting or on point shooting.

    A modern technique trainer will say that you must use a perfect sight picture always and everywhere, regardless of the dynamics of the event or proximity of problem. They follow the modern technique mantra “Front Sight - Press, Front Sight - Press”, as they fire carefully precise pairs at the cardboard target. He always hits and never misses…no mater how long it takes.

    A trainer from the point shooting systems will say that gunfighting was figured out back before WW2, and that he never ever uses his sights. He always uses one hand to shoot (just like grandpa Fairbairn did), and scoffs at other systems as he launches a burst toward the intended target. Most of the time he hits it….somewhere.

    I think this is very similar to the fighter who would say, “I never worry about ground fighting because I can always keep the other guy back away from me so I can kick him in the head”. Or of the fighter who would say, “I don’t need to learn how to punch or kick because I’ll wrestle the guy to the ground and choke him out there”. We would look at these two hypothetical fighters and think they are being stupid. We would say that you should have skills in both areas and everywhere else in between because you cannot plan for every event in a fight. Exactly. So the next time someone says “Sights all he time”, or “Just point like with your finger all the time”, you will know they are similarly silly.

    7). The use of elaborate target systems in lieu of human training partners.

    One trainer has designed a charging target system that runs right at you on a pulley system. He has even trademarked this contraption. It requires that you stand on a spot as a Patented Knife Attacker Target is run directly toward you. Your job? Draw and shoot him before he gets to you.

    “No problem”, you say. “ I’ll just move offline and keep moving as I shoot“. Sorry, you are not allowed to do that. You must stand your ground and try to solve the problem with a fast draw. When questioned about the sense of doing this against a real knife atacker, the trainer usually responds with something like, “On the street you might move, but here I want you to stand your ground so you do not shoot my ultra-expensive target system”.

    So such “mover” target systems train you for failure by preventing you from doing what would be the most natural thing against an actual knife attacker. If you think training like this seems stupid, I’d say you were correct.

    Another system calls for mounting a mannequin on a spring, affixing a weapon to his immobile hand and giving t a spin. “This way we can shot against a bobbing, weaving target”. What this is going to develop in the shooter escapes me. Look, no target system, cleverly designed as it may be, will ever duplicate the dynamics of how a human being actually moves, acts, or covers ground. I look at these “systems” as no more than “tactical inflatable dolls”. If you want to learn to play games, its no big deal. If you want to learn to fight, you need to look elsewhere.

    8). Teaching inappropriate tactics or watered down tactics as the answer to civilian problems.

    Some schools have a habit of teaching great police-only classes, and such stupid watered down material to civilian students that it borders on dishonesty. Students attend classes of this nature solely because of the "background" of the trainer thinking they will be getting trained like a SEAL or a SWAT cop, when in truth they will be taught material that could be gleaned from reading the NRA magazine.

    The same goes for thinking that SWAT tactics will work for a soldier, or that the way a Special Forces team operates in Fallujah, Iraq has any bearing on urban gunfights in Memphis, TN. Being attacked when you are by yourself and not accompanied by 12 steroid-abusing freaks of nature armed with machineguns calls for different tactics.

    9). Ignoring combatives.

    Gun guys generally hate combatives. They hate getting pushed around or hit or having their shirts ripped. They are however very concerned about the 0-6 foot distance where many confrontations happen. Yet in order to handle one problem, one needs to train in combatives. Quite a dilemma. Most gun schools simply ignore the problem and concentrate on what will leave everyone smiling and happy with chests puffed due to their shooting ability at long range.

    One vaunted high dollar school teaches head shots at 3 yards as the sum total of their close range material! No weapon retention training, no disarms, no maneuvering, no nothing. Knowing what we know today, to tell a student that they are ready for a confrontation because they can fire a tight group on a piece of paper is like telling a martial arts student he is ready to take on a street gang empty handed because he has become good at hitting the heavy bag. It is the height of dishonesty.

    So why does this happen? Most gun-focused trainers could not fight their way out of a sierra club tea party in Berkeley without their precious custom bar-be-que gun, are in no shape to do so, and have absolutely no knowledge in how to fight with their hands for real. Understand this - the fight will be what it is, and will not change so you can use your favorite techniques.

    10). Excessive concerns about the aftermath.

    In today's world, nobody wants to get into a confrontation. Not only are they dangerous and you might get killed, but they are also potentially very expensive. Yet, when avoidance strategies fail, you must be ready to transition to attack mode. There has been such brow beating (specially from trainers with police-backgrounds who get brow-beaten at work) on getting sued, and getting prosecuted that when the time comes people are frozen in place, more afraid of Judge Judy that of the criminal about to rape or rob them.

    Might you get sued? Sure, so protect your assets. Don't die because you are afraid getting sued. Might a politically-motivated prosecutor try to make a case against you? Sure, so have a criminal attorney on your "friends list" to call in such cases. But remember that being broke and in jail is a temporary thing, being dead is not. Even worse is having loved one dead because you hesitated to act. Like my Spanish Legion friends say, "Better that you bring me tobbacco in prison than flowers to the cemetery".

    Conclusion

    Friends, you need to be honest with yourself about what your intent and focus in training is. If you wish to play games or collect certificates, then don’t worry about anything, and just go and have fun. If on the other hand, your goal is to be able to fight well, to possess the ability to defend yourself and your family, and to truly understand how to control the civilian defense battlefield, then leave the games to others and step into the light.

    Warrior News August 2005
    To read more of the articles, click here
    http://suarezinternational.com/mwsub...what=subscribe
    Gabe Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  3. #3
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    1). In other words, both men believed in the merits of point and aimed fire.

    Great! Just like us today! Do we know a few things that they didn't today?? I think emphatically that we do.

    2). For the record, two handed aimed fire is not some modern invention and was well known before Col Cooper and others started promoting it.

    Quite right again, and NO ONE said anything to the contrary. In fact, I don't think I mentioned Cooper once....wait, let me do a search...(elevator music playing during search)......................................

    Yes I did...in the context of safety and not on sighting/non-sighting. Actually much of what Cooper promoted was in fact invented by others and he readily gave them credit for it.

    The concept of two-hands on the gun was written about as I recall by Fitzgerald way back in 1935 (long before WW2 ;) )
    For the record, Jeff Cooper is my friend and I think his modern technique followers have convoluted much of what the man has tried to teach.

    Again from Jeff Cooper on Handguns Guns & Ammo Copyright 1979.

    Sights & Sighting
    Page 58, Paragraph 2. -

    "A proper draw to a solid stance should produce, with practice, nearly perfect short-range alignment. The sights are there to tell the shooter how his practice is progressing, which is far better than just shooting and observing the strike."

    Body aligns gun - sights are used for verification if necessary.
    Interesting, and quite different from what many MT trainers are pushing.

    The issue I wrote about was - Over reliance on sighted shooting or on point shooting. If a modern technique guy cannot shoot without his proper weaver and perfect sight picture, he is just as lop-sided a fighter as the point shooter that cannot take a surgical shot at any distance within the capability of his weapon.

    As I said - "I think this is very similar to the fighter who would say, “I never worry about ground fighting because I can always keep the other guy back away from me so I can kick him in the head”. Or of the fighter who would say, “I don’t need to learn how to punch or kick because I’ll wrestle the guy to the ground and choke him out there”. We would look at these two hypothetical fighters and think they are being stupid. We would say that you should have skills in both areas and everywhere else in between because you cannot plan for every event in a fight. Exactly. So the next time someone says “Sights all he time”, or “Just point like with your finger all the time”, you will know they are similarly silly.

    :D
    Last edited by Gabriel Suarez; 08-16-2005 at 04:39 PM.
    Gabe Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  4. #4
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    Very Very good Gabe, Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Default Silly Gun School Stuff

    Gabe, I heartily concur with your comments. I have attended a few courses with the focus as you stated. The certain trainers have their sandbox and do not appreciated others playing in it. I train not to survive, but to win. Now, I am much more selective about who I spend money to train with and learn from. Thank you for your forthright honesty.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe Suarez
    5). Excessive focus on scary gun handling.

    There is a story about a Texas lawman in the old days. He carried a 1911 with a bright clean piece of tape holding down the grip safety of the pistol. One day a lady asked him about the tape and pointed out that such a practice was dangerous. The old lawman replied, “Yes mam”.

    No body wants to have a mishap with a firearm, but let’s not forget why we carry them. If we want to be completely safe from any danger involving firearms, I suggest we leave them in the gun store and go take up golf. Some instructors are so pedantic about this that they eliminate any combat utility. These “safety rules” were never meant to become a religious doctrine. Even Jeff Cooper, the man who coined the four rules, said there are four so that even if you break one you will still be fine.

    An example is Rule Two - Don’t let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. Very interesting until you stop to think that you cover your leg every single time you draw and holster. Some will object that its not true. Bravo-sierra! Check it out for yourself.

    Recently at a force on force class, an instructor from a nationally recognized institute got flustered because we were pointing Airsoft guns at one another. He nearly got into a physical confrontation with a role player because his slung M-4 Airsoft was covering his feet. Safety is fine….reasonable safety. Scary gun handing will make you truly unsafe by making you ineffective. Rather the rule should state - Don’t be careless with your gun muzzle.

    Part Two In Next Post
    Gabe,
    IMHO, this thread has been your best upto now. - NO, I'm not a "puxa saco".
    This part above reminds me of an incident in Crossmaglen, back in 1980.
    A lanky black Marine from my troop, was confronted by a woman.
    She:
    "You have your finger on the trigger !"
    He:
    "Yes." ( His safety was on with his thumb on top. - FAL.)
    She:
    "Isn't that dangerous ?"
    He:
    "I certainly hope so. - But only if I squeeze the trigger madam." - "Now F***off." :p
    BTW: - She was the mother of a known terrorist.

    Excellent thread once again.
    And thanks for quoting and putting Jeff Cooper back in the picture.
    Regards,
    Anthony.
    Last edited by Anthony; 08-16-2005 at 09:28 PM.
    If you have to fight, do not fear death.
    We will all die one day, so fight skillfully and bravely!
    And if it is to be that you die, then at least go to God proudly.
    Meet him as the proud warrior that you once were, and not as a sniveling coward.
    Nobody lives forever.

  7. #7
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    All very valid points.

    The one that hits me the most is the "watered down training." I just hate that us vs. them crap that is so often found between the police/military/avg Joe.

  8. #8
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    Gabe,
    When I was in the academy, a retired Texas DPS trooper taught us traffic law and he told us a similar story however the lawman in question used a rawhide strap to disabled the grip safety and had it stuffed in the front of pants (Appendix position) without a holster. The lady pointed towards the gun and asked him isn't that dangerous. The old lawman replied, “Yes mam” if it wasn't dangerous I wouldn't be carrying it .
    Last edited by 7677; 08-16-2005 at 08:23 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifting Fate
    All very valid points.

    The one that hits me the most is the "watered down training." I just hate that us vs. them crap that is so often found between the police/military/avg Joe.
    I agree with you about the watering down of material however there is a difference in the missions of each group and what needs to be taught to the avg Joe/police/military. I'm not saying that one is better just different and each classes should focus on and providing the necessary skills to each group in order for them to survive a deadly force incident. A good instructor will see his students (avg joe/military/police) as "us" and "them" as the criminals/enemy that his students may face one day.

  10. #10
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    A lot of cogent points there Gabe.

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