One of the most popular questions I’m asked when I teach hand to hand combat to people who are armed is, “why do I need to learn this stuff, I have a gun?”
Although there are many answers to that question, I’ve decided to summarize them into 5 simple reasons that I believe should convince any gun owner that the knowledge in unarmed combat should in fact go hand in hand with his shooting practice.
1-‘Too close to shoot’: As part of living in a society, people deal with one another from a very close distance in many of our basic daily routines; in the shopping center, in an elevator, or at the parking lot. Being at a close distance to other people is a part of life. If anyone would decide to suddenly attack, using a knife for example, it would be from an extremely close distance. In most cases, people don’t even realize they’re under attack until the attacker is already all over them. In a case like that, there’s no way that anyone, even someone who is highly trained in the use of firearms, could reach for his weapon from such close proximity, without having to physically divert the attacker first. If anyone thinks he can, is because they were never in that sort of situation.
2- Weapon malfunction: Out of all the kinds of battlefields, the streets, are the toughest. You have no idea who your enemy is, and it’s always going to be close combat. If the weapon stops shooting, for any reason, you usually won’t have the privilege of jumping behind a big rock and fixing the problem. Unlike other battlefields, in the street the bad guy is already on top of you. In such close range, your only option would be to charge towards the enemy with pure aggression.
3- Preventing unnecessary violence: No person in the right frame of mind would enjoy hurting someone if he can avoid it. However, in many cases, since people are poorly trained, a rather simple situation, such as control and restrain for example, can quickly turn into a violent mess. Countless times, a gun is used due to the lack of knowledge in unarmed combat techniques and principles.
4- Your gun is not with you: Reality changes in a second, and in many cases, your gun may not be on you. There’s no way of knowing where an attack might take place. Furthermore, some places, such as campuses for example are “gun free” zones, and it’s forbidden by law to carry weapons in the area. Because of that, of course the only people who have guns on campus are the bad guys coming to shoot people. The knowledge in unarmed combat will help protect, and minimize the damage to you and the people around you.
5- Be the complete warrior: A warrior should be able to fight in any situation, under any condition, and in any kind of battlefield. With no excuse. Over the years, I’ve seen too many “toy soldiers” who hide behind their guns. Take the gun away from them, and they become afraid as a mouse running from a cat. A gun is just a tool to use in battle, nothing more. The real weapon should be the personality behind whoever is holding the gun.
ICCS Head Instructor.