Since itís birth in 1968, the FBI UNIFORM CRIME REPORT has indicated that handgun encounters usually take place at short ranges. Most self-defense shooters believe that range to be approximately 7 yards. Well, the truth is, its more like 7 to 10 FEET! Regardless of whose statistics you look at, almost all of them agree the 7-10 feet is the normal engagement range Ė and that is close.
An average male from 7 yards can move from a standing start to within effective striking distance in 1.5 seconds. Thatís right, 1.5 seconds - Jim and I have proven it in training classes. If your adversary is 7 yards away, that means you have 1.5 seconds to identify the threat and react to it. Imagine if they are only 7-10 feet away!
Whether you prescribe to the 7-10 ft. or 7 yards, the fact is, you donít have much time to identify and react to the threat. Even if you do draw, and place a perfect shot, there might not be enough distance to avoid having your opponent ending up in your face because of his forward momentum - he might be stumbling from your hit, but he can still fire a gun, swing a club or slash with a knife. You must be prepared to step aside or backwards until he collapses fully.
After you fire, you need to know the results of your shots and you cannot tell that with the gun in front of your face. Thatís why Chuck Taylor advises us on how important it is to drop your gun to the low ready so you can observe and ask yourself four questions:
1) Is he hit
2) Is he down
3) Is he out
4) Does he have friends?
So, practice close range engagement, move to the side or back and donít forget the four questions.
Hey, donít take my word for it Ė try it!
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