Criminal predators are generally cowards. Like animals, they wait for high reward targets while expending minimal energy. They like the odds in their favor. Therefore, they often travel and work in groups. Training for multiple attackers is necessary in the development of your defensive skills.
If you’ve taken our classes, even if just a level one class, we start to have you scan after running a drill. If your focus is just on the guy that’s coming with a knife, you will not see his buddy waiting in the shadows ready to launch.
In the above scenario, let presume you see all attackers and they are accounted for. You, as the person in the defensive role, need set a priority as to who is first and most immediately a threat. Is it the guy with the bat 5 five feet away? Or is the guy with the knife 10 feet away more immediate? Or is the one with the pistol 15 feet away? Fact is, any of them can kill you. Determining which takes priority eats up time that you cannot spare.
Instead of over-analyzing which is deadliest, engage the first person you see that poses deadly force then MOVE. Movement causes the attacker to rethink how they will engage you. You can keep contact weapons at bay briefly as well. Position yourself so that a gunman would need to shoot through his buddy to hit you. Think of the bad guy as a meat shield.
Just as in martial arts, try to stack up multiple attackers in a line so they are one behind the other. Your movement can facilitate this. Again, think of using the bad guys as a human shield from their co-workers. Now you can deal with them one at a time. Use walls and barriers to your advantage. Practice with dummy guns and SIRT guns in a controlled setting.
Even if your attackers are not armed, the legal theory of disparity of force may justify your use of your sidearm. This is not legal advice, it’s just something to keep in mind when facing potential life treating odds against you. Your response must reasonable and explainable. If you shoot one bad guy in a gang of thugs attacking you, and the others run away, you do not have justification to shoot the runners in the back. You would go to jail. If an immediate threat of grave bodily injury or death does not exist, you cannot use a gun.
So, getting that out of the way, we have a few more approaches to multiple attackers. One is giving everyone a helping. Boarding house rules. Everyone gets a first shot before anyone gets seconds. The logic here is that even a single shot can slow down, if not stop an attacker completely.
Another approach is multiple shots on the first attacker before moving on. Your sidearm is already on target. It doesn’t take much time to press the trigger one or two more times. Two or three well placed shots is much more likely to actually stop the threat. The downside is that the other threats haven’t been dealt with.
Look for cover. Generally we advocate keeping your cover at a bit of a distance to improve your field of view and to give you more angles to shoot to your advantage. However, if you are being shot at from several different angles you tend to hug cover. Your brain makes you. The good news is that it reduces the likelihood of being flanked. The downside is that you will probably lose sight of some of your attackers. Do not lose sight of your ultimate goal: staying alive. If chance to escape appears, take it!
The takeaway here is to train for multiple attackers. Become secure in the knowledge and presume if there is one bad guy there are others. If there is one weapon, there are two. Never take anything for granted when defensing yourself.
Back to the beginning. This is why we scan after the bad guy is neutralized.
Fight, assess, scan, top-off.
Training for a single attacker is good practice. Practicing for multiple attackers is the next level and puts the odds in your favor. Once proficient and prepared, it would make handling a single bad guy that much “easier”.
See you in class to take your skills to the next level!
You’ve seen it. You may even do it. New or untrained shooters leaning backwards shooting stiff legged. Women seem to have bit more tendency to shoot this way but plenty of men do it also. We teach an equal amount of both men and women in our classes.
Keep in mind that we primarily teach defensive shooting at our school. Stance is the one of the fundamental foundation blocks of good shooting, no matter what your discipline. There are still instructors and schools out there that teach the “Weaver” stance or one of its many variations. The Weaver has you turn your gun side shoulder and hip away from the target and have you stand roughly perpendicular to the target with a bent elbow. Today, most instructors will show you the isosceles stance where the shooter is square to the target with both arms extended.
Both stances work, the isosceles is more versatile. It is more athletic, allows for movement and offer the potential for faster shooting. Good stance utilizes good posture and the relationship of your joints to the gun to minimize recoil.
We encounter several variations of problematic stances in some new shooters.
The most common is leaning back. Its as if the shooter want to keep the gun as far away from them as possible. After the first shot, recoil pushes the shooter back further and their shots on the target inch higher and higher above their intended mark.
So we begin the process of correcting the stance of the shooter. Oftentimes while the student is shooting. Here is the base:
Shoulders square to target.
Feet shoulder width apart. Wider is ok but the important aspect is to be stable and have the ability to move. Your dominant foot can be a bit forward if completely square is uncomfortable.
Knees should be bent and have some flex to them.
Hips should be bent in order to have your head and nose over your toes. An athletic stance!
This forward athletic stance looks aggressive. That’s ok, you need to be aggressive! You are running your gun! I’ve been told by several of our women students that their social conditioning makes them feel awkward or uncomfortable in this stance. We say, “Let's get over that and be aggressive for the duration of this class!” Imagine you are defending yourself or someone you love - get aggressive!
Last part of the equation is to extend your arms with a good grip and locked wrists. Your arms should form an isosceles triangle. This will extend recoil evenly through both arms. Your wrists should not become “soft”. This induces malfunctions in your pistol. Soft wrists also allow for recoil to raise your pistol higher than it should between shots. Elbows should be straight but not necessarily locked.
A solid stance promotes more accurate hits at a faster speed. It allows you to move if needed and minimizes felt recoil from your gun. With a good grip, stance gives you the control over your pistol rather than the other way around.
Keep practicing and we will see you in class!
Jim Benoit's thoughts on guns, gear, & training
CAJUN ARMS & TUSCARORA TACTICAL TRAINING
WEST CHESTER, THOMPSONTOWN, PA