Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Firearms – An Internal Martial Art

“The opponent’s reaction to an offensive, or defensive, move cannot be taken for granted. His reaction must be recognized, evaluated, and appropriately dealt with – all within a split second.”

The quote above applies perfectly to fighting with firearms, but is actually from Herman Kauz’s “Tai Chi Handbook.” Tai Chi Chuan, loosely translated as “grand ultimate boxing,” is a soft martial art as opposed to hard/external arts such as Karate, which has violent punches, blocks and kicks. Fighting with firearms is an internal martial art; with firearms balance, sensitivity, stability, and awareness are critical to defeating your threat(s).

The origin of Tai Chi Chuan is debatable. In one version a man watches a snake avoid the strikes from an attacking crane by moving its body and remaining flexible. Others believe it was a modification of a boxing style. Regardless of the origin the key to Tai Chi Chuan is to sense the direction of the threat’s attack, present them with a difficult target, and at the same time strike to throw them off balance. It’s not about power or force.

The same is true of fighting with firearms. The advantage of firearms is that when faced with a threat we can move, create distance and use cover while at the same time shooting if necessary. With firearms we can strike or hit the treat without having to be within arms reach.

To shoot accurately we must use the sights, to the degree needed, and smoothly press the trigger, then reset the trigger in preparation of firing again. When the weapon is empty we reload, but it won’t work well if you try to force or jam the magazine in the weapon.

We smoothly index the mag with the magwell using feeling, our tactile sense, and then seat it with force. Moving and shooting requires stepping with the feet and legs while the upper body maintains stability, especially with rifles. None of these skills have anything to do with brute force or strength.

This isn’t to say you don’t need to learn how to give a good punch, kick, or work an arm bar. The fight may start out as a physical altercation. But as soon as possible we should go to guns, create distance, use cover if it’s available, and shoot if necessary.

In combat, like all things in life, we must achieve a balance between the hard and soft, fast and slow, force and flexibility. This is true of the body, and even more so of the mind. A mind with anxiety, fear, or isn’t flexible won’t serve us well in a fight.

In Tai Chi Tuan the movements are practiced slow and smooth, using the least amount of force, which conserves energy for both mind and body. With firearms it’s the same.

Practice should be performed smoothly, concentrating on executing your skills properly, not fast. Fast leads to mistakes. Proper technique wins fights.


July 7, 2011 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset

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