A vast number of firearms owners carry a gun for self-defense. Even so, all too many shooters continue to spend their range time firing their gun with both hands when it’s a necessity to work on your weak hand shooting as well. There are countless articles, blog posts, and flat-out rants on this very topic, and for good reason: if you’re attacked your strong hand could be injured, and your weak hand may be the only thing standing between you and imminent death. There are other scenarios where you’re down to one hand or the other, making it important to practice one-handed shooting in general, too. But with all the focus on weak-hand and single-handed shooting – and, yes, the need for such training is absolutely legitimate – it seems people forget there are other equally important skills to master.
There’s no way to predict how an attack will progress, unless you want to predict the rampant unpredictability of it. One thing’s for sure: you’re highly unlikely to get through a fight for your life standing in an isosceles position holding your gun in a classic teacup grip. The odds are high you’ll end up firing from a concealed position (sometime we’ll discuss the difference between shooting from concealment and shooting from behind cover) or firing from a prone, sitting, or kneeling position. And when I say kneeling, I mean kneeling down on both knees or with one or the other knee raised; when I say prone, you should imagine the various positions you could be forced into on the ground. You could end up on your back, on your stomach, on either side, or on your back with your attacker on top of you. There are myriad possibilities, and that means more training time.
Obviously it’s impossible to master everything at once, and it will take a serious investment of time and money – because ammunition isn’t free – to reach a point where you’re at least able to manage at a basic level. The point here is simply that it’s a mistake to focus only on one-handed shooting when you consider ways to train for self-defense. In fact, there are other issues to consider: if you’re unable to chamber a round using the standard two-handed method, can you get the job done fast without stopping to figure out how you’re going to do it? Don’t assume you can rack your slide one-handed; practice.
It’s all too easy to focus on either what’s most commonly discussed or on what looks cool, but if you really want to survive an attack, you need to get down and dirty. Literally. Spend time on the ground, find a range with a ballistic furniture room and learn to effectively fire from cover that isn’t a free-standing wall, and be ready to do whatever it takes to become a proficient self-defense shooter. There’s more, of course, but these suggestions are certainly enough to keep you going for awhile. Practice as though your life depends on it, because someday it just might.
How do you train for self-defense purposes?