We know how to walk in a heel to toe motion. If you step backwards you automatically move in a toe to heel motion. We’ve done it for years. We know how to sneak up on someone. We did it often as children. We would bend our knees and tip toe up to them and try to scare them.
Combining the two makes for smooth movement that will not disturb your sight alignment on target. Bend your knees, walk heel to toe while pointing your pistol at the target. The pistol sight will move around a lot at first. As with anything new start slow and speed up as you perfect the skill. So walk slow and shoot slow. Over time you will be walking and shooting faster.
One common mistake is to walk with the same amount of tension in your upper body as in the lower body. This will lead you to walking like a robot. Practice keeping the pistol on target with a firm grip while keeping the legs and hips relaxed. It’s harder than it looks. Practice.
Many ranges will not let you move around and shoot for obvious reasons. You can practice movement in your own home or backyard. CAUTION: running around with a pistol outdoors often brings the police who point guns, handcuff you and then realize that you were just training. When practicing outside use something simple such as the plunger end of a pen or a big fat thumb. I hang my Wal-Mart target up and place the pen on target with a two-handed grip. Heck you can even do this in the local park. When people ask you what you are doing just tell them you are doing research on a bio mechanical project.
While you practice, think about the angles you might have to shoot from. Usually you will be close to the threat and be moving away from them. If you’ve practiced the sidestep you can use that as the first step. After walking only a couple of steps it is very difficult to keep your body facing the target without turning yourself into a pretzel. I think it is a good idea to cant or point the toe of the foot closest to the threat slightly towards that threat. This will open your hip up and allow you to continue to move away from the target while shooting with both hands.
After a few more steps you will notice that even canting the foot out does not work. You have a choice at this point, shoot one-handed and/or shift so that you are walking backwards while continuing to shoot with two hands. For new students, I do this myself as a default movement, I prefer to pivot off the canted foot and begin walking backwards while continuing to shoot the threat with a two-handed grip. This gives you quick lateral movement away from the threat and then continues to increase your distance while shooting them with a two-handed grip.
Remember, if you are shooting your pistol at someone, you have decided only bullets will save you from death or serious injury. Practice the movement but only move as fast as you can put bullets in the bad guy. With practice you will be moving quickly and shooting quickly. At first you might be shooting slow and moving slow. Don’t compromise accuracy for unpracticed movement. That’s called spraying and praying. You must mentally control your movement and speed of shooting.
In some instances you may decide to just move without shooting. There is no right or wrong here. Only you can decide what tactic you will do. But remember if they are shooting at you usually only bullets will stop the problem.