Chicago's Gun Violence Part II - Yes, you can learn to defend yourself against a gun.

Protect Yourself Against

Chicago’s Gun Violence

Yesterday, I wrote about the presence of gun violence in Chicago.  Fox News reported that four people were killed and 30 were injured in shootings since Friday night.  Sadly, as the weather gets warmer, I believe there will be more gun violence within the Chicago city limits.  I posed the question, ‘Are you more likely to experience gun violence if you live in Chicago.?’  In all fairness, I should of posed the question relative to other cities.  I didn’t to specifically highlight my personal experience having been raised in downtown Chicago.  I have always been proud of growing up in the city.  And, now I am raising my children in the city.  But I am more afraid of the eminent dangers city living poses.  Although I am not ready to move or become suburb-bound, I have made changes in my own personal safety management to increase my already tactical defensive skill sets.

When I am out a social events, I have never enjoyed speaking at length about tactical defense training and the absolute value of it.  It has always made me feel a little too preachy.  But now when people ask, I am more willing to share because I really want people to learn how to defend themselves and their family.

Here are some of my lessons when teaching gun disarm training classes.  Although I have mentioned several colleagues in my industry that have influenced my own training, we all have out own approaches.  Although I can not speak for them, I know they believe in gun defense and personal safety as a priority.  They also teach in a progressive manner with the student’s safety in mind.

Where do you start with gun-disarms?

Teaching gun defenses does require a foundation first with basic combatives, footwork and an instructor that integrates the following training elements.  On a fundamental level, this is my methodology:

  • teach and reinforce the principles of self-defense
  • know your audience and always cater to them (i.e. their limitations, abilities, ancillary skills, personality)
  • teach good technique always (i.e. the frame of combat, fighting stance, guard, center of balance, what close-quarter actually feels like)
  • introduce various types of physiological stress (i.e. distractions, striking and sprint intervals to threshold)
  • integrate drills that build the skill of surveying the environment (i.e. striking while reading signs flashing in front of you)
  • include explosive movements to develop quick muscle responses ( i.e. advancing footwork drills or plyometric applications, make them appropriate for audience)
  • verbalize constantly the principle- move towards the better position (i.e. acquired once confidence, the technical skills, the ability to survey environment are learned.)
  • teach the science of pre-emption (knowing when to make the first move).


Learning to defend yourself is the most relevant life saving skill!

People can successfully learn how to disarm a gun-man.  This skill, like so many others can be learned at any age.  It is like learning a language.  Without learning grammar and verb conjugation, you will never develop fluent speaking skills.  Learning Krav Maga or even martial arts is a commitment like learning a new language.  You must respect the foundation and the structure to progress.  You must dedicate time to always using the fundamentals because they are the most reliable skills under any form of pressure.

Learning to defend yourself from a wide array of attacks is not a fantasy, it is a reality.  As the imminent threat increases, the right Krav Maga training will give you the skills required to make decisions about your survival.

Learning to defend yourself against a gun attack first from the front where student begin.  Before even touching a gun you should be given the principles first: re-direct, control, attack, take-away, assess as you get-away.  This methodology is not my creation, I have added my twist: R-C-A-T-A-G, only because I still follow the general principles of Krav Maga, no matter what, constantly assess the environment and finish in a safer place.   If you want to learn to defend yourself against a gun attack, you must start training with fundamentals (which requires a lot of mitt work, combative drills, how to move your feet, and how to hit hard).  This is the same as  learning the basic rules of grammar.  The longer you train these fundamentals under stress become like verb conjugations.  As you build more skills, simultaneously improving your fundamentals the principles will become second nature.  In exchange, you will be more capable under stress and have more confidence in taking a decisive action against any violent threat. All this training will lay the foundation for you to be able to improve fine motor skills.  The next progression is adding various stress.  There is no doubt, that gun defense is scary.  But anyone can enlist themselves in beginning the process of learning to defend themselves against a gun threat.

How do I start learning this skill?

If you are a person who wants to acquire these defensive skills, be thorough in choosing the right Krav Maga instructor.  It can not be learned without first building a combative foundation.  It is also critical that your instructor prioritizes your safety on training.  Training smart and safe is better than always training hard.  The development of your skills is at the mercy of your ability to train regularly.  Experiencing a progression of stress and even simple drill repetition is critical to learning.  Be leery of centers that tell you will have these gun disarming skills in 10 classes or 3 months. Unfortunately, learning to fire a gun and the basic interworking of a firearm can be accomplished in less time than it takes to disarm one.  Be honest with yourself and be willing to put the time in from the beginning to learn how to defend yourself – in the end you are dedicating time to learning a life saving skill.

This article is written for informational purposes. It is not advocating attempting disarms against anyone with a gun or weapon.  The decision to defend yourself is a personal one.  Krav Maga students/practitioners who acquire these skills dedicate a substantial amount of time to training.


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