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Weapon Retention Training

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I hope this won't sound like a silly question, and apologies if I've put this one into a wrong forum group, but the LEO Forum seemed the most sensible posting location to me . . . because LEOs get involved in what I'm about to speak of in their initial Academy training.

I am a civilian CCW licensee lucky enough to reside in Central Florida. I like to consider myself at least reasonably proficient in general firearms usage & handling. (Many years ago, I was NRA-certified as a Basic Pistol Marksmanship Instructor and Home Firearms Safety & Responsibility Instructor). I do have a smattering of hand-to-hand martial arts training but in all honesty cannot claim extremely high proficiency in martial-art disciplines. That is one of my present concerns that I feel is inter-related with CCW carry. Generally I try to take CCW carry very seriously in view of the enormous responsibility entailed, thus the reason for this post, 'cause I feel I've allowed myself to be perhaps a little - or a lot - too remiss.

I am a firm believer that self-improvent and higher training is ALWAYS a good thing. I further recognize that expertise is best taught by and learned from the experts. Unfortunately, currently, due to schedule, time and $ constraints, I am presently unable to enroll in formalized training in the popular gun-handling academies or schools to improve my own ability & skill levels.

I realize that general "awareness and alertness" is crucial and that any CCW licensee should never allow oneself to lapse into a state of "Condition White". However, recognizing that "stuff happens" and can happen at any time, one of my concerns has to do with situations in elbow-to-elbow or very crowded environments where one cannot always keep the observation levels and separation distances at optimum preferences. Especially since most CCW-oriented carry holsters aren't near as secure as the typical high-retention "duty holster", I am very interested in better learning weapon safeguarding, retention and blocking techniques in the event of a hostile gun-grab attempt by a perp BG.

I know I may have just made many a reader go "eyes wide open" at the mere thought of a hostile gun-grab, so let me clarify a bit: I DO know how to effectively carry 100% concealed and keep things that way, but I also am subscribing more than ever to the old "Boy Scout motto" of "Be Prepared" - at least as much as I can be - with whatever greater knowledge I am able to obtain. Even for events that might be highly unlikely to occur, just in case they ever do.

I do KNOW this is best taught & mastered via a "hands-on" instructional basis by qualified experts, but until such time as I am able to enroll in more formalized training, I am wondering if any of you LEO's out there could refer me to any useful publications, books, videos, tips etc. that specifically address weapon retention. I've heard of methodologies such as Lindell's technique, etc. but haven't been able to find too much detailed information about them, and any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance to any forum Readers who may respond with helpful info or tips. As an aside, I'm also hoping that perhaps this thread's responses might aid additional "newbies to the forum" like myself to consider effective weapon retention as an important aspect of responsible CCW. Truth be told, I'm a little self-ashamed that I haven't already obtained better in-depth training in this particular aspect, because I certainly should have.

Let me also take this opportunity to extend sincere thanks & praise to all you LEOs everywhere, for the commendable work you officers do for the greater benefit of many, in what must be an all-too-thankless profession.

May God Bless all of you, and keep you all safe !
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The best weapon retention training is simply self defense / martial arts training. If a BG is close enough to try a gun grab, then you are obviously within contact distance - and you better know how to fight.
 

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shane45-1911 said:
The best weapon retention training is simply self defense / martial arts training. If a BG is close enough to try a gun grab, then you are obviously within contact distance - and you better know how to fight.
+1 to that! Also a good knife is nice to have, very tough for a BG to grab a knife blade in a close in situation. You have use different tactics for different situations. In your case the main one would be BG is on you but doesn't know you are carrying concealed. In this case you need to create some space or distract him to access your pistol. The other case is BG is on you and knows you are carrying concealed. In this one you are in a weapon retention fight, you still have to create space between you and him, but you also have to break his grip (if he is going for your pistol, he will have some sort of grip on it or on you). Both situations will require some sort of "martial arts/fast and dirty" training.

My wise old martial arts instrucor always says: "Have yet to meet man with strong eyeball."

Just remember there are a lot of "trainers" out there who will take your money and teach something useless. Talk to your local cops (several of them) and see who they recommend. For me, any techniques have to be "3S":
1. Make SENSE
2. Be SIMPLE to use
3. Be STREET PROVEN. I am NOT going to be someone's test case for their "new and improved" technique.

Be safe.
 

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The biggest mistake that most officers make when simulated gun-grab drills are conducted, is that they tend to instinctively move AWAY from the assailant when they feel a grab attempt. That fatal mistake inevitably leads to bad things for the officer, as it now gives the BG more room to manoeuvre and bring the pistol to bear.

The correct thing to do is move towards the BG - or more specifically, the pistol - effectively shutting down any room for manipulation of the pistol by the BG. It is so important that this non-instinctive technique of moving towards the BG be practiced over and over and over and over, as it is simply counter-intuitive to how most officers will react when faced with a gun takeaway scenario. Most officers will recoil and pull back against the force of the pistol being pulled from their hip or hand - and what really needs to happen is that you must move with and towards that force so there is no room for the pistol to go anywhere.

It's not perfect, and you may still get shot in the leg. But it beats getting shot in the head or heart with your own pistol. DO NOT GIVE THE BG ANY ROOM TO MANOEUVRE THE PISTOL - EVER.
 

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jsbcody said:
Also a good knife is nice to have
While that is true, I do not recommend anyone reach for a secondary weapon if someone already has a hand on your primary one.

USE BOTH HANDS to try and secure your weapon. I do not recommend reaching for your knife, as your primary concern should be your pistol. If time and distance permits, a blade if a good alternative. Unfortunately, you usually have neither time nor distance when someone is trying to gain control of your weapon - and your life.
 

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Don't forget that ALL BETS ARE OFF. He's going for your weapon to KILL you; TO MAKE ORPHANS OF YOUR CHILDREN, AND TURN YOUR WIFE INTO A WIDOW. Keep moving! I'm a firm believer in multiple knee-strikes to the groin... then, if you an reach your ASP, follow up with a closed strike to the head.

As a civilian carrying concealed, your weapon should be kept secret. That's your first defense. Nobody should know about it.

Its a little different for cops:
If it looks like your defense may not stop him, hit the magazine release so if he does get your weapon, he's only got one shot. Hopefully your vest will stop your duty rounds. Then, once there is distance, draw the BUG and KILL HIM.

Attempting to disarm a police officer in my state is a third degree felony.
 

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shane45-1911 said:
While that is true, I do not recommend anyone reach for a secondary weapon if someone already has a hand on your primary one.

USE BOTH HANDS to try and secure your weapon. I do not recommend reaching for your knife, as your primary concern should be your pistol. If time and distance permits, a blade if a good alternative. Unfortunately, you usually have neither time nor distance when someone is trying to gain control of your weapon - and your life.
If you can use both hands to try to secure the weapon, then you end up in a wrestling match and who ever is stronger and/or outlasts the other guy, wins. Also this is not a good strategy for 2 or more assilants. If I can secure the weapon with one hand, then I will attack with the other (eye gouge, throat strikes, knee strikes, elbow or backfist strikes to his temple, grabbing my pen out of my shirt pocket and stabbing, are all options). As far as turning into a BG, yes for SOME techniques and situations that will work, but there are quite a few where it won't, example if Good Guy is small and BG is huge, then you end up wrapped up by BG and playing to BG's strength. In general any type of spin move is good, as long as YOU can secure YOUR pistol. There ARE no 100% techniques for every situation. Which underscores the importance of training and skill development, along with realizing/recognizing your strengths and limitations on a daily basis (what I could do yesterday, I might not be able to do today:) ). Also recognize that without constant on-going training, when the stress situation happens and the 10 gallons of adrenline hit your system, you will revert back to whatever you did when you were five years old and got into a fight in the old sandbox. If you are a puncher, you will punch; if you are a wrestler, you will grab; if you were a biter, you will bite. :)

Factors affecting weapon retention (along with any other type of fight)
:
Good Guy: his/her size, physical condition, experience (the ability and the will to survive, and the will to do violence to another), training/skills.

Bad Guy: his/her size, physical condition, experience (he will probably be much more experienced in doing violence to his fellow man than average citizen or cop), training/skills.

Constant (good/realistic) training is the only way to develop and maintain the skills needed for Police work and carrying concealed.
 

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jsbcody said:
If I can secure the weapon with one hand, then I will attack with the other
That's a big "if".

I want 100% of my attention and focus to be on the securement of my weapon - and the only way to do that is to use as much strength as you can by using two hands. I don't want my other hand (and the part of the brain that controls it) to be distracted by thinking I need to be reaching for a knife, BUG or baton - or that I should be gouging eyes or striking throats. Yes, knees are good, but I prefer to teach that ALL upper body activity is dedicated to the task at hand. That task of course, is keeping my pistol out of the BG's hands. All immediate focus needs to be on that priority. It is your gun that is going to kill you or save you - that's where both your hands should be in an effort to retain it and use it.

Of course, I agree there are no absolutes in the rules of engagement. Do what you need to do to come home at the end of the shift.
 

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shane45-1911 said:
That's a big "if".

I want 100% of my attention and focus to be on the securement of my weapon - and the only way to do that is to use as much strength as you can by using two hands. I don't want my other hand (and the part of the brain that controls it) to be distracted by thinking I need to be reaching for a knife, BUG or baton - or that I should be gouging eyes or striking throats. Yes, knees are good, but I prefer to teach that ALL upper body activity is dedicated to the task at hand. That task of course, is keeping my pistol out of the BG's hands. All immediate focus needs to be on that priority.

Of course, I agree there are no absolutes in the rules of engagement. Do what you need to do to come home at the end of the shift.
The "big if" then is if you are stronger or can outlast the BG. If you are that focused on one thing, I guess you could miss that he has pulled a knife or gun, or is going to keep your hands occupied by holding onto your pistol with one hand and beating you to death with the other. Most martial arts training teaches you to use all your limbs as a weapon or defense, sometimes an arm will block while a leg kicks or one hand will grab and the other will strike. Your brain and body (muscle memory) learns to do two things at once.

Prior training, experience, and/or visualization ("what would I do if" scenarios) will almost help you once you are in a situation.

Just a reminder, knee strikes are good but for that moment your foot is off the ground, you are not balanced and can be easily taken to the ground. Another good quick technique is a stomp to BG's foot or fast kick to his shin.

It depends on the situation and what your philosphy and training, but I prefer to be active and determine my own fate as opposed to being defensive letting the BG determine my fate. Do Unto Others, Before They Do Unto You.
 

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jsbcody said:
If you are that focused on one thing, I guess you could miss that he has pulled a knife or gun
Again, I'm not necessarily arguing with you - but the IMMEDIATE threat is the BG getting your weapon. This is not the time to worry about what he might do next (pull a knife, gun) - the only thing you need to worry about NOW is control of your pistol that he is fighting you for.

"what would I do if" scenarios
...are a waste of time. There are no hard and fast rules to anything in a struggle for weapon retention. Why would you try to remember rules of engagement for imaginary scenarios, when there are no rules?
 

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Just my 2 cents...start with a quality belt slide holster with a thumb break. Always conceal...the way we are taught in the northeast, if someone gets a hand on a holstered weapon, clamp down over the bg's hand on the weapon, violently jerk back and forth (he should break free) and then create distance...Like someone said a few posts ago, all bets are off..this is a life and death situation, do WHATEVER u have to do to walk away unscathed.
 

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Quote:
"what would I do if" scenarios


...are a waste of time. There are no hard and fast rules to anything in a struggle for weapon retention. Why would you try to remember rules of engagement for imaginary scenarios, when there are no rules?
Really? Wow, I guess you better let the Street Survival Seminar folks know about that. Visualization/Mental Preparedness and doing "what if" or "what will I do if" drills are a key component of officer survival as they teach it. Knowing before hand what tactics, techniques and skills are available to you and rehearsing them physically and mentally (thinking about your tactics as you respond to a call, and how you will handle it if it turns violent) seems like a good idea to me. No one said anything about "rules of engagement", as far as I am concerned, the only rule is to survive and win the confrontation. Depending on situation that could mean using any one of many options that I have prepared for before the SHTF.

Real incident: Domestic violence call involving a 48 year old, out of shape corporate attorney and two officers who were in good physical shape. When the officers went to lock the attorney up, he fought them and in the process ripped both (level 2) holsters off the officers belts and got a hold of one of the pistols (we later found the other pistol and holster under a sofa). One officer was fighting attorney for control of the pistol, the other was hitting him (but not in the eyes, throat, or head....reverted back to what he did when he was five years old in the sandbox). I arrived at that point, hit the the jack off in his throat and screwed the barrel of my pistol about an inch deep in his ear. The attorney let go of the pistol, grabbed his throat and fight was over. Moral of story: sometimes even if you have good weapon retention skills, your equipment (holster or belt) may fail you.
 

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jsbcody said:
...in the process ripped both (level 2) holsters off the officers belts and got a hold of one of the pistols (we later found the other pistol and holster under a sofa).
Wow! Out of curiousity, what type of holsters were they? I have a Safariland. I can imagine one coming off the belt if it was old and worn, but two would seem to require a miracle!

Troy
 

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If at all possible, and its hard to find:

Take the Randy Cain/Steve Tarani CQT (Close Quarters Tactics) class.

You spend three days learning how to fight at contact distances, react to gun grubs, do gun grabs, and in general fight with all the tools at in your face distances.

The class is intense, fun, and frankly gets rid of a lot of ideas that make sense when talking about the topic but not the application of the topic.

Good luck!

Brent
 

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jsbcody said:
Really? Wow, I guess you better let the Street Survival Seminar folks know about that.
I already have.

Officer survival and life on the mean streets is not a choreographed dance routine. It is not as simple as remembering a few basic steps. It is pointless to train for most "what if" scenarios, simply because they are endless and infinite. The odds are that the "what if" scenario you have trained for, is NOT going to be the situation that ends up happening when SHTF. Then you have nothing.

Again, physical fitness and martial arts training is the best defense you have when things get physical. I don't suggest flipping through the "what-if rulebook" in your brain, hoping you can find the right page in time - because chances are, you won't.
 

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I am not LEO but..

I'm 40 years old and started martial arts training when I was about 13 or 14.
I quit training about 5 years ago due to disability.


When I was in the USMC I lifted weights everyday, ran 20 miles per week, and weighed about 165. Best shape of my life,.. while I was on leave a very large (6'6" 250lbs) man tried to stab me. I grabbed the hand with the knife.
He was drunk, and probably on drugs. When I grabbed his hand to disarm him, he went nuts, grabbed me, started throwing me around like a rag doll. I could not use any move to make him let go, I tried to twist his hand off his arm.
I did not let go of the hand with the knife, I moved CLOSER to him, wrapped up his legs, and tripped him to the ground. I landed with left knee in his groin, and the other knee near the hand, I had to break his arm over my right knee, to get the knife, my knee got cut, but I got the knife, and kept my life.

In a fight, the only substitue for training is the will to live.
 

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special-ed said:
In a fight, the only substitue for training is the will to live.
Absolutely. If you are fighting for control of your weapon, things have already gone horribly wrong, and you have already blown your "what if" scenarios.

Now it's time to fight. Simple. Dirty. Instinctive. Primitive. No rules. No "what ifs". How badly do you want to live? Is your body up to the challenge? Don't count on your mind now - it is your physical condition and physical training that will let you walk away from this - not your mind.
 

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When you train, aren't you already preparing yourself for "what if" situations, including weapon retention? When you do shooting drills, aren't you giving yourself the basic tools for surviving a gun fight? Mindless responses usually don't work. Yes doing mean nasty dirty fighting will work, but if you haven't trained in mean nasty dirty fighting, you are NOT going to do it. In a stress situation, with no training, you WILL revert back to what you did in sandbox when you were five. Training, including visualization, helps you overcome that response.

If you have trained in the martial arts, remember the very first time you did a kata in front of everyone or the very first time you sparred? I bet you forgot to breathe. Remember that first bad fight on the street, I bet you forgot to breathe there too. That coupled with the 10 gallons of adrenline racing thru your system, you probably felt like you ran an Ironman marathon (I know I did after that first fight on duty, it lasted about 25 seconds). Now your training and experience have helped you overcome that response.

You are right there are an infinite and endless number of situations on the street BUT you train to have the basic tools to survive, you prepare yourself and your will to survive. I would also point out there are only a number of ways (not infinite) that someone will try to or grab your pistol. Training for those grabs and then re-visualization of that training (pre loading the responses) so you have them ready if the SHTF. When the BG ACTS by going for your pistol or holster, you REACT by going to your weapon retention skills. Now if you just keep two hands on the pistol/holster, you allow the BG to initiate all the actions and you have to keep reacting. I am saying once you are (somewhat) confident you have some control of your pistol or holster, then you need to act and make BG start reacting to you.

Also just an FYI: a few months ago, a couple of radio "dejays" for KTHUG (not its real name, but it is a rapper station in St Louis Missouri) had a 2 hour discussion with callers on the air on how to "take out a cop." This was 5 days after a sergeant on patrol was ambushed and killed. The deejays came up with the suggestion that when fighting a cop, the first thing you do is rip the radio off his belt or disable his radio so the officer can't call for help. Then the idea was keep the officer from drawing his pistol and beat the crap out of him. Within several days the deejays were fired. Moral of story: THEY are already prepared and have actions planned out. THEY know what THEY are going to do, can we do no less?

As for the holsters that were ripped off the belts a couple posts above, sorry I don't remember what brand. Right after this we changed brands. There is an interesting holster "quality control" video out there where an instructor talks about various weapon retention drills and then asks the officers, "what would you do if I ripped the holster off your belts?" The instructor then demostrates the holster rip on several different officers and brands of holster. Needless to say there were some very surprised officers. Unfortunely, my department watched the video AFTER the incident I posted above.
 

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jsbcody said:
As for the holsters that were ripped off the belts a couple posts above, sorry I don't remember what brand. Right after this we changed brands. There is an interesting holster "quality control" video out there where an instructor talks about various weapon retention drills and then asks the officers, "what would you do if I ripped the holster off your belts?" The instructor then demostrates the holster rip on several different officers and brands of holster. Needless to say there were some very surprised officers. Unfortunely, my department watched the video AFTER the incident I posted above.
Ever see a holster withstand the stress and the brand new belt rip in half?? I have. So can you www.tdlabs.com
IMO the most durable duty holster made (I have zero interest in the company, just have compared it to everythin else and nothing made today comes close) maybe someday they'll make them for guns other than Glocks
 

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Jsbcody, we're on the same side here. :)

I am just giving another option to the commonly held belief that simulated "what ifs" drills are the answer when things get physical. "What ifs" are good when you still have negotiating and bargaining power and can talk you way out of situtions.

If someone has a hand on your weapon, you are way past the "let's talk this out" stage, and you better start going Neanderthal on this punk NOW. No thinking, no reasoning, no what-ifs, nothing but 100% pure, immediate violence.

Many trainers are too caught up in the what-if mindset and scenarios, and many students often (falsely) feel they now know how to handle any given situation because they have "practiced" it.

All I am trying to say is that there is a time for thinking, and there is a completely separate and distinct time for fighting. Pick whichever one you want, when someone is trying to disarm you.
 
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