“Secrets” of the Filipino Fighting Arts
Words from a Modern-Day Warrior

Practical Gun Defense

I am not a fan of a lot of “gun defense” techniques I’ve seen many martial artists teach their students. However, they are a necessary evil and it’s better to learn something than nothing at all. I would like to offer my opinions of what would make a good, practical gun technique–if there ever was one.

My strategy is to look at gun vs empty hand the same way you would look at an enemy who is faster, stronger, and/or has greater reach than you do. Keep this in mind as you read my opinion.

To begin with, I teach techniques with a loaded water gun. The water gun will tell you if you have been able to beat the opponent to the trigger-pull with your technique. No, it’s not faster than a bullet, but if you can’t outmaneuver a water gun, you can forget it with a real gun. Also, the guy with the gun should wear protective gear–namely, something with a face cage. The techniques should be practiced with explosiveness and it is very helpful to get an idea of the reaction you get once your strike your opponent. (Note: they don’t always drop the weapon)

I will summarize my techniques in bullet format:

  1. Stay away from the centerline once you begin moving. It is the most natural place to aim, and most fighters have their best accuracy dead on center. Always flank an armed opponent.
  2. When grappling with your opponent, push the weapon up or down, away from you towards him. Especially when there are other people around, pushing the weapon up with do three things–nullify his strength (we have little strength with the arm up and it’s difficult to force your arm down), avoid hitting bystanders (who will most likely have hit the ground), and prevent ricocheting (concrete and tile) which can bounce off and hit you. Pushing the weapon close to him will give you an opportunity to control the weapon and if anyone will get hit it will be him. Pulling the weapon towards yourself will increase the possibility that you will have the muzzle pointed at some part of your body.
  3. Attack the opponent’s wrist, eyes, throat, groin and face. The wrist controls the weapon and can be manipulated to disarm or redirect. The eyes are very vulnerable and sensitive. Having interrupted vision will rob most opponents of the will to fight and even a head-butt to the eye socket will debilitate most opponents. The throat is difficult to hit, especially when you have (you should) both hands on his weapon hand. The groin is an easy target to attack while you are grappling for the weapon. You don’t need your hands to knee him in the groin. And finally, the face is a very sensitive target and while you are wrestling for control of the weapon, you will be in close vicinity to the face and can bang him into unconsciousness with your forehead.
  4. Attack him. Verbally. When a man has a gun, he feels like Superman. But imagine a punk with a gun being told by his “victim”, “Boy, you don’t know who you’re fucking with! Once I get that gun away from you I am going to unload the entire clip in your ass and then keep you alive long enough for me to carve your balls off, your face and your tongue for fucking with me!” Something about a threat from a man you don’t expect it from; it hurts his will to fight. You need every edge you can get. Flip the script on him, and tell him the gun don’t scare you–and when you get done with him he’ll wish you’d killed him. That should even the playing ground a little.

Not exactly the kind of “gun defense” the ninja guys put in their Black Belt Magazine articles, but I think this kind of advice will give you a practical edge to what you’ve been taught.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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