Concealed Carry & Home Defense

Emerson Combatives: Armed But Not Dangerous

Ernest Emerson Contributor
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Do you carry a gun? Do you carry it with you all of the time? Are there times when you don’t have it with you because it’s socially unacceptable or restricted by law or legal regulations or perhaps by the way you are dressed? At those times do you feel yourself less prepared, less dangerous, less lethal? Do you feel naked without your gun?

Well first off if you are prepared to carry a gun for self-defense you should have it on you or with you at all times – all times. We all think we know when violence is going to strike so we know when we need to be armed and dangerous. Our worldview is constructed by our life experience and honestly for most of us this has come from TV and movies. Unfortunately that world does not exist, it is make believe. We all know that we shouldn’t go to the worst part of town at 2:00 A.M. on a Saturday night yet that is what most of us are prepared for. Why? Because unless you are a cop or a bad guy you’ll never go there.

You don’t get to pick when violence strikes. The bad guys do that and the bad guys are very good at what they do. They’ve been practicing their craft in real time their whole life. Have you?

The nature of violence is that it strikes when you least expect it and when you are the least prepared.

Do you think that attending a two-day seminar or shooting course is going to give you the skills you need in a time of crisis and danger? Do you think watching some “expert” impress you with his shooting skills and then you trying to do the same in just eight hours or maybe 16 hours is going to get you to that level of skill, a level of skill that you would stake your life or the lives of your loved ones on?

The skills required in shooting are just like the skills required for any sport. I’m not calling tactical training or armed combative shooting a sport. It’s just that the principles of acquiring these skills are the same as for any athletic endeavor.

If you were ever on an athletic team what did you spend the majority of your time doing? That’s right, practicing. When you are preparing for a “contest” against another opponent you spend a vast majority of your time practicing to be prepared for a brief period of activity executed in real time. Everyone knows this. We all do this. Even the professional athletes who are already at the top level of performance in their chosen field do this because this is what is required to maintain their competence against an unwilling opponent.

Then I must ask why do we not see this absolute relationship between practice and skills when it comes to shooting? Attend a weekend seminar once, strap on a gun and expect to be able to use those skills against a savage, determined and violent opponent when you least expect it? I don’t think so. The average guy (and police officer) spends more time practicing free throws than reinforcing the skills that he will depend on to save his life.

Yeah unless you live out in the wilderness I know it’s a hassle to go to the range and yes, it’s also expensive to put rounds down range but there are many alternative training methods you can use, such as dry fire practice, creative visualization, airsoft, and even online training. Yes that’s right, you can learn to be a better shooter via computer keyboard and it’s not a game.

Think about it like this, some of you 30-year-old types. If I had a time machine and transported you back to your high school basketball team would you just be able to jump into a game and play like you did when you were practicing four or five days a week? I don’t think so. Why would you think you could do so with your firearm? There are many ways you can “practice” without having to go to the range that you can use them to maintain your skills should you ever need to call on them in defense of your life.

You just need to be creative and open to breaking the mold of firearms training as only being when you are standing on a firing line punching paper targets. I train every day, most of the time without even having a gun in my hand.

Being good at something is about practice. So practice. A lot.

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Ernest Emerson is the owner of Emerson Knives, Inc. He is a tier one Combatives instructor, Master at Arms, noted author and lecturer, Black Belt Hall of Fame member and a connoisseur of fine whiskey.

Click here to visit Mr. Emerson offers a 10% discount on his knives to Daily Caller readers. Use the discount code – tdc (all lower case). Click here to visit the Emerson Training Center.


Ernest Emerson