The most important element in any fight is all too often ignored when it comes to gun fights.
The first thing that any martial art or self defense instructor will teach, notwithstanding his system’s origin is to get out of the way of the incoming attack.Circular attacks are not our concern here. It does not matter whether a school will prefer a diagonal side step or a perpendicular side step: they all insist on sidestepping. Initially the student will learn to sidestep, block or parry, and strike; once this is acquired, he will progress to dodge and strike. Getting out of the way of the attack is fundamental; when the time comes to practice at speed, students can measure for themselves how bad is the idea of staying in the way of the incoming attack. The great Mohamed Ali himself placed “Float like a butterfly” before “Sting like a bee!”
The same principle applies whether the attack is a fist coming straight at your face or a knife menacingly taking the direction of your gut. It is only more imperative if someone is shooting at you; getting out of the way is the single most effective way to live another day. Every gun instructor knows this and does his best to impart this essential principle to every single student. Unfortunately only a minority invest in the process of training with their guns under the guidance of a gun instructor. For most armed law abiding citizens, there is a great obstacle to practicing sidestepping: most gun ranges, for very valid safety reasons, have partitioned their range so that each shooter has his own space from where he can practice with absolute immobility. Sidestepping is simply impossible, and often absolutely prohibited, in many gun ranges. We all know that we fight the way we train, and it is a very sad fact that most people practice shooting, with self defense in mind, from an absolutely still position. This could have disastrous consequences when the target is no longer a piece of paper but an armed and dangerous felon, committed not to return to jail.
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