So Barnetmill asked about this on Warriortalk. The concept of Kata is universal. You see it in many martial disciplines (I hate the word "art"). Here is the concept applied in a very simple and basic manner...by US Soldiers... Its a way to codify, memorize, and repeat movement patterns extensively in a memorable and dynamic manner. Doing five kicks, while moving in a kata has more application and is more interesting than simply standing there and doing five kicks. Moving on. As I said in the video...just as dry practice is not an end to itself and is training for live fire, kata are for fighting. The modern understanding of kata by the martial gymnasts is that kata is an end onto itself and exists as a gymnastic demonstration of artistic and athletic prowess. Nope...wrong. The kata as we know them today all originated in Okinawa. Anything originally taught in Okinawa, then to Japan, and then to Korea, has roots in Chinese fighting systems. I studied Kyokushin Karate, and then a couple of other systems...then a non-Taekwondo Korean system...and with... Read more →

We train for gunfighting. In gunfighting the loser generally dies. Simple methods allow deployment under the worst circumstances. Simple methods are high success methods. Thus we seek to simplify as much as possible, everything we do. As an example, consider the gunhandling methods of the others. You have speed loads, loads with retention, type one clearance, type two clearance, and so forth. You need a day itself just to train each possible technical interpretation. They follow the concept of complexity. That concept basically states that more complicated your methods, the cooler you will appear to be to your watchers and students. I am not interested in being seen as cool...but I am interested in being seen as the guy that won the gunfight with simple and boring techniques. This is not for shooting a match on a sunny day or a pre-planned completion of a drill for score. This is for shooting for blood when another man or men are doing their best to kill you and in extremely reduced light, when you are at your worst and when you... Read more →

Its no secret that we are working on a Pistol Kata. The reasons are varied and quite important...but we will get into that sort of thing later. To get my mind right about the work I have been hard at work on my old katas. Usually done on my aerobic days. So it was today. I bundled up like an ISIS suicide bomber and went out for a 3 mile run in the cold. As I looped back to the castle, I dropped the jacket and the fanny pack with the Glock and began the work. I ran through Saifa and Seinechin - then the Kyokushin Basai and Kanku...then a few others. All have an aggressive strategy but also an evasive one. There is not a great deal of crashing, and quite a bit of shifting and evasive foot work...strategies very similar to what we are conveying in gunfighting. Avoid the attack and counter. Sometimes you counter first. More on that later but that is the strategy...the underlying concept. Tactics are those things which express the strategy. The strategy for... Read more →

Some points to state right off the bat. 1). We do not multi-task very well under normal conditions. Under physically stressful conditions even less. That is not say we get stupid, but the more one task demands of you, physically, or with regards to attention, the less likely it is other tasks will be successful. This is not the case in controlled situations, but when there is a loss of control of outcomes, there is great difficulty in dividing up your focus and degree of attention to details not pertinent to the primary situation. In such situations, the simpler and more "caveman" the execution, the better. Thus we default to gross motor skills as much as possible and eliminate the need for analytical solutions dependent on fine motor dexterity as much as possible. 2). Although not as bad the third or fourth times out, the first time at the gunfight is generally quite spectacular. Adrenaline will be flowing and the easiest tasks will be difficult. And understand what I refer to as a "gunfight". I refer to the one that... Read more →

Ever since Glock made its debut into the LE world back in the late 1980s, there has been a quest to "perfect" its trigger. In truth, compared to many of the triggers on police pistols at the time, the Glock trigger was a huge advancement. But boy's being boys, the tinkering began. The quest seemed to take the path of making the triggers as light, and with as minimal take-up, as possible. Then with a good amount of judicious polishing, the officer ended up with a completely unsafe pistol, albeit with a wondrous trigger. And of course, since every Glock owner fancies himself a qualified gunsmith the moment they sign that 4473, the quest caught like chicken pox at a public school. TRIGGER MECHANICS - THE FEEL Now look...you can have a great trigger that is quite safe on a Glock, but you must accept that it will never have a trigger like a tuned 1911 or a single action revolver. But lets define the components parts of the trigger so you understand what is possible with a great Glock... Read more →

There is something called "a fighter's understanding". The many variables, tempos, intervals of time and distance, and nuances of the fight can take a lifetime to understand fully. Those who have been involved in combative disciplines for a lifetime know all about these. But as a teacher, I have to spend time putting these understandings and these nuances into words so to pass along the knowledge. And as I was working with the Junior Staff on his epee work recently I found myself having to verbalize these, as Sir Richard Burton called them, "sentiments of the sword". The fencing school we attend has not come to terms with the differences of classical execution, and fighting, or in this case, competitive applications. The footwork is different, the parries are different and many of the methods of setting up the attack are different as well. I have seen it all before, in Karate, and in the world of the gun. To see this dynamic again, in a totally different world, makes me think that there is some sort of developmental gap that... Read more →

Access and Concealment work against each other. The more access 9or speed of access) you want, the less concealment you must settle for. Conversely the more concealment you want the more you compromise access. And access doesn't mean some IPSC speed draw...it simply means getting the weapon in hand, quickly under duress and possibly while moving. Concealment is relative. You don't need an undercover operative overseas' concealment for every day life in normal America. I go about my life in AZ with either a Glock 17 or 19 under anything between a simple T-shirt to a polartec hoodie. I have no issues hiding a big pistol like this. Sure it requires some clothing choices, but like I have said for the last twenty years...the gun comes first...the clothing comes second. Do that and you will see what you can carry. Sadly, most people do the opposite and buy the pistol they can hide in their skinny jeans and justin Beaver t-shirt. That said, there are times when you compromise. Sometimes the social requirements might preclude large pistol carry but concealment... Read more →

Continuing with the discussions on marksmanship, an important pair of aspects are the issues of breathing and coordinating it with trigger press. One is strictly skill related, the other is skill and gear related. Breathing is a muscular action, whether voluntary or involuntary. The muscular action of breathing, or of holding the breath creates movement, which is the bane of a stable shooting platform. Not an issue in run-and-gun CQB, but a crucial consideration for accurate shooting anytime that a crucial shot is needed. In sniper school we teach the natural respiratory pause. And we find that method works admirably when shooting a pistol as well. We breathe normally...maybe taking a deep breath or two, and then allowing the air to expel naturally from the lungs without forcing it. At the point that the lungs feel "empty", you will have between 6 to 10 seconds of oxygenated blood flowing before the breathing must resume. Its during that period of time where, maintaining the visual focus on the sights or red dot, you begin pressing the trigger. That is the timing.... Read more →

Time for a perspective check. Every so often, the temptation returns to us all. It could be the Youtube video with the cool guy doing something really fast. It could be the competitive shooter running a stage. But the bug nibbles on your earlobe. "Gooooooo fassssssterrrrr". I have my opinions on this. I have read all the old time killers. Askins was the quintessential killer. I read everything about him. I think we would have been the best of friends actually. I have read Jordan. He is reported to have done some killing but nothing of record that I can find. And Bryce...he was quite the killer. And I worked with a great many killers in the old days. What all the killers shared as of the utmost importance was not speed. What the killers shared was not blinding speed. It was the ability to make a deliberate decision to kill that man standing there in front of them, diregarding whether that man be in the process of deciding what to do, drawing a weapon, or already have begun shooting.... Read more →

By Eric Tull In the firearms world, it’s supposedly common knowledge that an ankle gun is ideal for gun fights that go to the ground. Some quotes from popular instructors: “When you are down on your back, with a bad guy on top of you, your body weight is no longer pressing down on the legs, and your balance is no longer dependent on having two feet solidly on the ground. Your back is bearing your weight, and now it’s a piece of cake to snap your foot toward your hand and your hand toward your ankle, making for an extremely fast ankle holster draw.” “If you are on the ground when you go for the gun, the ankle rig can be handy.” “When you’re getting your a** kicked and you’re on the ground getting your a** handed to you, even at my age with all my busted up sh** I’ll carry an ankle gun because if they’re on top of me I’ll get the freaking gun out…” However, is it actually the case that an ankle gun is even... Read more →