Stance and Movement

Many people get hung up on the shooting stance. They will argue endlessly about which style is better. I believe stance is just something we are in right before we start to move. Our stance should allow us to move suddenly and with aggression. I like the athletic stance used by baseball players or boxers. Legs shoulder width apart, support side leg slightly forward of the strong side leg, knees bent, hips loose, weight distributed evenly and ready to move. I try to look like a baseball shortstop.

I mentioned before that during our home practice we should add in a quick side step during the draw. This is just practicing the first step of many in real life. If the bad guy is close a quick side step does three things. First, it moves us farther away from the bad guy, making it harder for him to strike or wrestle with us. Second, it moves us out of the bad guys vision, almost making us disappear for a second. This gives us time to react as we have trained to do. This occurs because bad guys have tunnel vision as often as good guys. Third, If we decide to shoot while moving then this is just the first step.

A moving target is harder to hit. We can move while we draw and shoot. We can move quickly to cover and concealment and then shoot if necessary. We can move away from the bad guy and never shoot (i.e. tactical retreat/run away). When we shoot during movement depends on the situation. If the bad guy is at 25 yards I might stand still and shoot. If cover is close I might move rapidly to that and then draw the pistol. It just depends on how far the bad guy is, how far cover/concealment is and how fast I can bring the pistol on target. We might also change how we move during the gunfight. If we have a gun stoppage (reload or malfunction) movement can take us away from the bad guy and possibly towards cover and/or concealment while we fix the pistol. It is important to remember that if we are not escaping from the bad guy then the only other way we have to stop them is to use force. If that means a pistol then only our bullets entering the bad guy will help. Often only bullets will end the gunfight. We can run around all we want but if that movement is stopping us from ending the gunfight we should do something else. I like to think about movement when I go over my “What if” scenarios. The reality is that most of our gunfights will be close, fast and aggressive. Do what it takes to end it quickly.

In the last post we talked about shooting at above average distance. The ability to shoot a bad guy at say 50 or 75 yards is good. Due to tunnel vision we may actually be 50 yards away but think that we are at 15 or 20 yards. We should consider how many people are between us and the target or who will move between us while we are staring at that front sight. Why do we need to shoot versus retreating? If we miss, what is down range? Can we assure a hit at that distance with a moving target?

There are no easy answers here. We should think about these ideas during our “What if’ scenarios so that we can move aggressively when the time comes.




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