Don’t Be That Guy

For the past couple years, I’ve taught a self defense class at a summer camp at a local university.  It’s one of those academic camps that could be considered “summer school for smart kids.”

As I was getting ready for class last week, one of the other instructors (I believe he was teaching iPhone photography) was sitting in a chair outside his classroom waiting for the door to be unlocked.  He casually asked me “so, does that stuff work as well as a gun at a distance?”  (as he makes “chop socky” moves with his hands)  I returned admitting that I have yet to figure out how to throw a rock at 1200fps.  We ended up talking about the prices of ammo, and lamenting that the days of truly cheap .22 are behind us.  I was kind of hoping that that would be the end of it.

Sadly, this week, he continued to make comments about it.  At one point, he basically straight up stated that he didn’t need to know anything, because he had a gun.  I asked him how confident he was in deploying the gun if the bad guy was already a foot or two away, or if the bad guy had already grabbed him.  He didn’t really have a good answer for that.  I also pointed out that we were currently on a college campus in TN, where carrying a gun is a felony.  Again, no good answer.

I’ve run into this attitude before, and it always annoys the heck out of me.  Just as there are anti-gunners that treat guns as a magical talisman of death, there are gun owners out there that treat their carry piece as a magical talisman of protection.  Sorry, but it’s just a tool.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a rather good tool, but it should be one among many in your tool bag.

If you carry a gun for protection, I would recommend adding some form of open hand defense to your training.  There are martial arts that don’t require you to be in excellent shape.  In fact, the ones that are probably the most immediately practical for self defense typically don’t involve a lot of running/jumping/etc.  And if you don’t, that’s your option, but don’t scoff at those of us that do.  Honestly, it’s up there with those that scoff at you for being paranoid and wanting to carry a gun.

That reminds me… it’s been too long since I’ve been to a gun class.

8 comments to Don’t Be That Guy

  • That reminds me, I need to pick your brain and get some advice from you about what I should do if someone grabs me and prevents me from drawing my pistol.

    • Stab them.

      You should stab them.

      • Uncoincidentally, I have a Ka-Bar TDI for just such an occasion.

        • oddball

          Stabbing them is always a good option. The only concern I have is that if you can’t draw your gun, then you may not be able to reliably draw the knife, either.

          There are some dead simple escape techniques, unfortunately, I kind of have to be there to show you how to perform them. It’s not uncommon for martial arts studios to run day-long or weekend-long self defense classes, and I’d highly recommend finding one. Ideally, I’d recommend enrolling in something like a Hapkido class, but I know your finances.

  • oddball

    Absolutely! You just may need to remind me.

  • I took a self defense class back in college, but it’s definitely one of those things that you’ll forget if you don’t practice or keep taking classes. I swear the only thing I remember is a pressure point near the collar bone. Oh and to go for someones eyes if they’re attacking you.

    A martial arts class sounds like a great idea though. Thanks.

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