So you’ve taken a defensive class or two, can draw form the holster quickly, and your mag reloads are pretty solid. Are you good to go? If one compares themselves to other gun owners, they would find themselves “ahead” of the competition. Have you shot while moving, from cover, from awkward positions, while under stress? If not, you will revert to your basic training under stress and not have the skills to rise to the occasion. Shooting from the ground should be in your training repertoire if serious about self defense.
After you learn it, you will see that fighting from the ground is a critical skill if you’ve been knocked to the ground. It also has tactical advantages in some situations by purposely getting down.
Being grounded offers stability and accuracy in shooting. However, it comes at huge cost in mobility. Let’s run through some scenarios from the top down.
Kneeling can be done high or low and on one or two knees. There are teachers that advocate taking a knee for reloads. We do not. We prefer movement, keeping your feet and heading toward cover or advancing your position. Advocates say it makes one a smaller target. True, but it decreases mobility and potentially exposes your femoral artery. Kneeling has advantages if trying to work a doorway by changing elevation. It also is sound if working from behind low cover. If you want to take a very stable shot, you can use your knee as rest. Be sure to keep bones off of bones and instead press muscle against muscle for the most accuracy. As in all of these positions, they are important to master in order to get yourself off the ground and into a standing position!
The seated position is perhaps the worst combination of stability and mobility. However, if you extend your dominant hand with pistol with a locked elbow toward the threat, you can use your off hand and legs to “scoot” away from an attacker to move toward cover while shooting. You can move rather quickly, spider-like, laterally or backward.
Prone is the most stable and least mobile of the positions. Depending on your cover, prone can be a great option as you make yourself a very small target. Shooting from your belly while prone can provide awesome support for a steady shot and offers very little exposure to the threat. Shooting under a car is an example. Curled up in a fetal-like position can provide advantages also. If you bring your knees in close to your body, you can use your knees to provide support to your hands for a steady shot around or under cover. If you find yourself flat on your back with the threat in front of you, a shot from a slight sit up position may be required. Decide during training if you want to shoot between your bent knees or with your legs and feet flat. Much of that decision will be based on your ability to do sit ups.
If you find yourself down, it is imperative not to rush to your feet. It may not be safe. Check your back and scan 540 degrees before changing elevation! It may be prudent to stay down!
Practice these positions at the range if you allowed and have the training. If not, come get the training from Cajun Arms! We introduce many of these techniques in our level one classes. You can also practice dry fire at home. Remember, you already know how to shoot. What you are learning and practicing is taking what you know to the ground and in awkward positions. The bad guy doesn’t always come straight on at a 90 degree angle!
Remember with all of these positions, you are vulnerable to skipped rounds coming from the threat. Know this and the ground you are on. If it’s grass, you’ll be ok. If the surface is pavement or hard pack dirt, not so much.
Jim Benoit's thoughts on guns, gear, & training
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