Getting up; its never administrative.Too many times in training and practice I see shooters recover from a ground position in an administrative fashion; no sense of urgency and often a loss of attention on the “threat.” Of course its just practice; which is why practicing all proper techniques is important. Recovering should be treated the same way every time, which is fast and cautious movement to a crouch and eventually to your feet (or straight to your feet depending on the situation). Once the decision to recover is made, it should be done with the threat and any additional threats in mind. What if you were attacked, pressed to your back and the presentation of your weapon stalled their assault? Can you recover from your back while keeping your weapon on your threat? This is another situation where physical conditioning is important. Core strength is your source of stability, and nothing is potentially more unstable than recovering from the ground.
There are a few methods to recover. The simplest and most stable method is to base out with your support hand while keeping the weapon trained on your threat, your support leg can be pulled underneath you to a knee, allowing you to come to a kneeling position or press straight up to standing.
For those more agile, or if you are using a rifle and have no choice, you can maintain a two handed grip, pivot at the hips and pull both legs underneath you into a two-knees-down kneel. This method is more difficult and sacrifices balance for the sake of having two hands on the weapon.
If you want to make your practice as real as possible; a set of protective head gear and a mouth piece are not a bad investment. Working with a like-minded practice partner and using a blue gun, SIRT pistol or an airsoft pistol can teach you very quickly that you can take a hit; you aren’t made of glass and that being put on the deck isn’t the end of the fight. Just as with martial arts, ground fighting is a crucial part of firearms. It is much more than assuming and recovering from a position administratively, it is a total-package training and practice situation where certain skills can be isolated to practice proficiency but all aspects of ground fighting must be practiced from your feet to your back and then back to standing. You won’t always see your attacker coming and what starts as a simple encounter or argument can escalate quickly into a use of force. Train accordingly.
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."