Gun Defense Techniques

Gun threats are extremely dangerous, and if the attacker simply wants your money or valuables, the safest option is generally to give the attacker what he wants. The only way you should ever consider attempting a physical defense against a gun threat is when your life is in danger, if the attacker is about to kill you, or if he tells you to go with him to another location. In order to successfully use a gun defense or disarm, you also must be close enough to your attacker to do the defense before he is able to react and shoot you.

Most gun defenses I've seen are also likely to fail. Even the best of them often have holes that are difficult to see, holes that can end up with you getting shot even if you do them correctly. There are several problems with most gun defenses:

  • They don't work if the opponent grips the gun tightly.
  • They don't work if the opponent quickly pulls back.
  • They don't work if the opponent attempts to strike you with his other hand during your defense, or if he uses his other hand to block your attack.
  • They don't work if the opponent attempts to re-grab the gun after you take it away.
  • They don't work if the barrel of the gun is not long enough.

Any gun defense you use must assume that the attacker will grip the gun tightly. He may not. But you won't know if he will or not, so you need to be prepared in case he does. Any gun defense you use must also assume that the attacker will be uncooperative, resist your techniques, and actively fight you. The attacker will likely try to pull the gun away, strike you, and re-grab the gun if you are able to take it from him. Again, he may not, but assuming that he will grip the gun softly, let you take it, and not fight back, is not a risk worth taking!

The video below demonstrates why one of the most common gun disarms is likely to fail, along with two very functional defenses:

In the following images you can see a close up of the disarm used in the second technique in the video:

Gun Defense 5 Gun Defense 6

Gray shirt then steps in front of white shirt, using his underarm to drive white shirt down, pressuring just above white shirt's elbow with his underarm and pulling upward on white shirt's wrist with his hands. Doing this action quickly and forcefully will break white shirt's elbow. Notice that gray shirt uses his bent forward leg to pin white shirt's arm. The pressure on white shirt's arm makes it nearly impossible for him to escape.

Gun Defense 7 Gun Defense 8

White shirt then slides his hand up to gray shirt's hand, bending his wrist (and breaking it if desired), stripping and controling the gun.

Please keep in mind that any defense can be countered, and any defense can fail. When you're up against a gun threat your life is literally on the line. So again, I would only recommend attempting a gun defense if you have no other option.

Note: For much more on gun defenses, see The Ultimate Guide to Weapon Use and Defense.

- See more weapon techniques and training methods on my weapons page.


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