Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fighting from the Deck Part 2: Sage Dynamics Firearms Training

Know how to crab.

Never get hit or kicked for lack of a better idea.  An attacker armed with any weapon is unlikely to let up the assault once they have you down; be prepared to move.  Bridging at the hips, lifting your body weight onto your shoulders allows you to push with your legs, this movement isn’t fast but it’s better than remaining stationary.  Flexibility at the hips helps greatly in movement.  Working on your flexibility, even if only in practicing these specific movements, wil aid in speed and economy of movement.

Work those abs.

Fitness is as important to self-defense as the firearms fundamentals.  A strong core will allow you more range of motion at the trunk when fighting from the deck and help reduce tension and fatigue when shooting at full extension.  If you need to pop off the ground into a crouching position or explode from a crouch into a standing position, weak abdominals can and will complicate stability.  Good core strength is also important for recovering while controlling the weapon.

Fetal position, fighting from it and out of it.

The fetal position is your body’s natural and sometimes reflexive response to attacks on vital areas when on the ground.  The legs are pulled up to protect the chest and stomach while the forearms protect the face.  An attack by more than one person or an unexpected assault can drive you into this position.  Your first priority if you carry exposed or at the hip/back may be protecting the weapon as it is highly likely to be exposed (if not already so).  Your second priority needs to be regaining mobility.  You are limited in options from fetal, kicks can be delivered with your top leg, however leverage can’t be generated as well on your side to deliver these kicks with a great deal of force when compared to the supine.  If you land on your weapon, or are carrying in the appendix, you will most likely need to roll you your back to access it with the least deal of difficulty.  If the draw is made while in fetal, you can engage from the hip with a clear line of sight, or roll immediately to your back and fight from supine.  Getting to your back is also important to change direction quickly if you are facing multiple attackers.

Appendix Draw Fetal Step 1
Appendix Draw Fetal Step 2
Appendix Draw Fetal Step 3

My advice, never roll to your stomach unless there is no other option.  The prone position severely limits options and mobility.  It may be instinctual to roll to your stomach to come to your feet, as those with weaker core or little experience with martial arts are sometimes do; if this is a habit, practice yourself out of it.

Aaron Cowan is the Lead Instructor for Sage Dynamics, a reality-focused firearms and tactics training company that provides practical instruction from the fundamentals to advanced skills for the civilian, police and military professional.  Aaron served in the US Army as an Infantryman,  as a private security contractor overseas and as a police officer.  In addition to patrol he worked as a a SWAT team member, SWAT deputy team commander, SWAT sniper, sniper section leader and in-service police training officer.  Aaron holds multiple professional certifications including the National Rifle Association Law Enforcement Division’s instructor training program, California POST certified academy instructor, Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Active Shooter Response Instructor and Simunitions Scenario Instructor among others. When he isn't teaching or training, hes writes semi-regular for Recoil (web) and Breach Bang Clear among others."

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