In the light of recent events both at home and overseas I have had a number of enquiries from people wanting to know if we teach gun disarming. The simple answer is yes we do, however this got me thinking about how many other people are teaching it and are they doing it well?
I recently watched a video featuring a young female student, (a beginner by the look of it) executing a gun disarm. It was quite obvious from the video that had the situation been real she would have been killed. Firstly she did not clear the line of fire and secondly the attacker simply let go of the gun.
The most disturbing part of the video was the comments of 'well done' and 'good one' in the back ground. This young woman will go away from that class believing that she can disarm an armed attacker, let's hope she never finds out that she can't.
So if you are going to learn to disarm a gun what do you have to do?
1. Get taught properly
4. - 100 Repeat 2 & 3 If you wish to become proficient at gun disarming you need to put in 100s of hours, 1000s of disarms.
Gun Disarming basics
1. Clear the line of fire, this means moving both the muzzle of the firearm and you so that the gun is not pointing at you so that if a round is discharged it won't hit you. 2. Control the weapon - don't allow the attacker to move it back so that you are in the line of fire 3. Use leverage to disarm. This blog is not a how to disarm tutorial, you need to attend a class to do that. 4. Cover and step back.
In addition to using training weapons to practice with, we also use single shot Nerf guns and safety glasses to practice clearing the line of fire. It is easy to see if you are shot of have cleared the line of fire.
The attacker should never ever just let go of the weapon
We cut away the trigger guards. As we train at high intensity having the trigger guard in place results in finger injury to the person holding the gun.
Gun disarming practice involves pain both to the person holding the gun and the person disarming. This is because the disarm should be practiced at full speed, the pain to both persons comes from the high speed full force impact on the gun during the clearing of the line of fire section and the rapid and forceful disarm. After 10 minutes of practice the hands of both should be red if not you are just playing.
1. First have students practice only the line of fire clearance. If they practice the whole movement they usually focus on the disarm rather than the clearance - fatal mistake. If you start the disarm without clearing the line of fire you get shot. The single shot Nerf gun is good for this as it is to small to disarm and provides instance feedback, you either get hit or you don't.
2. Practice over and over
3. Use different tyres of guns - revolvers, pistols, small and large, shot guns, rifles. ONLY EVER USE TRAINING WEAPONS
Points of argument
I have watched a few videos where it is advised to keep the arms/hands down before the disarm so the attacker won't see it coming. Personally I think that is a crock. It is a basic human reaction if a person sticks a gun in your face you raise your hands, always go with basic reactions, the best part if that it gets your hands closer to the gun.
How far away can you disarm someone? We have done hours of testing to the conclusion that you have to be in hands reach to be effective, Trying to close a gap will always result in you getting shot.
Should you clear the line of fire, then strike the attacker then disarm? This sounds logical however what people who advocate this form of defence forget is the reaction of the person when you strike them. If you clear the line of fire and then punch the attacker in the head, he or she will recoil and flinch, at this point there is a strong possibility that you could lose control of the weapon allowing them to re-aim and shoot you.
This sort of training is what I term 'one sided focus' where the instructor is only focusing on what you are doing and not how your actions effect the reaction of the person holding the gun. This method also adds seconds to the encounter, gun disarms need to be very fast taking less than a second. This sort on 'one sided focused' training is very common especially with instructors who have never had any actual street experience or any experience with weapons via law enforcement or the military. Always assess the shooter, if he or she is holding hang gun with a double handed grip and standing in a shooting stance this person has some training, be very careful. Having said that anyone with police or military training should never let you get close enough to disarm them.
If the person that is holding the gun on you is in a police uniform, unless they have gone nuts, comply and do as you are told.
If you are looking for an instructor to teach you gun disarming find out what experience they have. If you are an instructor who wishes to add gun disarming to your teaching, please get some training yourself if you don't have the experience, YouTube is a good resources for viewing and amusement but not for training.
It amazes me that people who have never held, shot or understand firearms try to teach students to disarm them.