Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mosby: Tradecraft

My post below is NOT a commentary on Mosby's piece.  It is related only in passing, as part of the same topic - sidearms.  Here's Mosby's piece.


Most Americans will have, at best, a sidearm when confronted with violence unexpectedly. 

If you have been paying attention to folks like Mosby & Cooper, you already know your sidearm is primarily a last-ditch defensive weapon, designed to keep you alive long enough to reach your rifle.  In some circumstances, the sidearm is transformed to the role of offensive weapon.  It is a versatile, powerful tool.  Just be sure you know its limitations, and yours.

In my CQB classes I often find people who may not have ever had any formal training in fighting at the buckle-to-buckle range, but they have outstanding instincts.  For instance, when you see a guy or gal pull that sidearm and keep it tucked in close to the body, that should inform you that you are probably dealing with someone who has a bit of training, or at the least has damned good instincts.  The enemy who hangs a handgun out there at the end of an extended arm - he's a gift.

Our host in Alabama is a natural fighter.  His instincts are to keep his arms in tight to the body when in an unarmed confrontation.  He moves in small steps.  He keeps his head low and ready to move out of the way.  His punches are close and powerful.  This is the same sort of fighter in an unarmed scenario you have to be wary of engaging.  Like the gunfighter keeping his pistol close to the body, the unarmed fighter keeping his head (not getting excited in a fight), keeping his body tight, you are facing someone with experience, or good instincts.  A few others in Alabama and elsewhere instinctively "spin" during certain CQB techniques (I call them "Spinners" - it's a technical term, don't try this at home ;) - this trait often doesn't reveal itself until you are actually in a fight - but the moment you see it, you must adjust.

I demonstrate to every class the limitations of carrying only on your strong side.  I advise them to carry on the off-side as well, and like Josey Wales whenever possible.  Respect what your sidearm can do, and what it can't do.  Respect what you can and cannot do.  Learn to use your sidearms as emergency defensive weapons, and as limited offensive weapons.  But never rely on that handgun over your own brain.

Most importantly - train now while the training is not on-the-job.  Seek out pistol fighters and riflemen and medics and others who have the skills you will need.  Learn now. 



  1. "Most Americans will have, at best, a sidearm when confronted with violence unexpectedly."

    I've always figured that if it comes down to a sidearm, then I must've already been confronted with violence unexpectedly, and made some mistake. Of course, that's why backup is always a good idea in all things.

    And then, at best, I'd have been smart enough to carry a tomahawk too.

    1. Exactly correct - if you let someone inside of that deadly 30' circle around your body, you've already failed on either the situational awareness front - OR - on that deadly "Nice Guy" front. Bad guys often close the gap by seeking help, and the average "Good Person" is hesitant to be socially improper and command the person in need to stay at a safe distance.

      Keep the bad guys - and anyone who looks hinky - outside that 30' range. Better to be rude than to be dinner for a predator.


  2. Kerodin,
    For a person like me who can barely walk, what kind of training would you recommend? I can shoot, but not quickly or easily from a standing position. I walk with a cane, and have excellent upper body strength and flexibility.

    1. Peggy: If your mobility is a weak spot, you'll rely on that sidearm pretty heavily for self defense. Hopefully you live in a place where you can carry openly without being a LEO target.

      Since you have upper body strength, I assume you have no problem shooting 9mm or larger. I'd definitely recommend hi-cap mags and the biggest caliber you can handle. That said, if big calibers ever become too much to shoot a .22lr pistol will help defend you just as well as a hand cannon, if you use it properly.

      When shooting, just remember there are only 3 places to shoot an enemy that ensure an immediate stop: Brain, spine and femur.

      Scramble his brain or spine, everything shuts down. Bust his femur into 2 or more pieces and you break the mechanical ability to proceed. (Follow up any femur shot with a head or spine shot)

      As to CQB: There are many techniques for self defense that translate to the seated position, if you are in a car seat, recliner or wheel chair. Probably the most important are the techniques that allow you to defeat a person who grabs you by the wrist/arms/shoulders etc., or someone attempting to choke you. You must be able to save yourself from a choke and get a hand free to deploy that sidearm.

      If you are walking and suddenly confronted (and can't shoot quickly or easily while standing) you begin the confrontation at a severe disadvantage, obviously. Personally, I would not hesitate, were I in that position, to throw myself to the ground and pull a sidearm if I felt threatened. Screw political correctness. Screw "being nice". You can always apologize if you happen to be wrong.

      The hand escapes I teach are mostly Aiki-based. If there is an Aiki (Aikido or Aikijutsu) dojo anywhere near you, drop in and tell them what you want to learn and they will help you out. If not, drop into one of my CQB classes if I ever get close to your AO, and I'll teach you. (No need to pay, just drop in. Most of the class will be beyond your ability, but I can teach you to get your hands free quickly and the basics of protecting yourself from the seated position)

      Stay safe.


  3. Sam,
    As one of the "spinners" from your last class, I wish I would have picked your brain more thoroughly about it while you were here. What are the pros / cons of being a spinner and are there things we should be doing differently to try to address it, or should we just go with it?

    1. Hi Scott, it was great meeting you and Brian.

      It is all "pro" from your perspective. It is an instinctive defensive trait - and fascinating to me that father & son share the trait. It will manifest in other ways if you train routinely. For instance, you'll be much harder to submit (beat) in a grappling struggle.

      It's a good thing.



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