To Disarm Or Not To Disarm, That Is The Question
I am going to cover how I’ve taught civilians and law enforcement how to disarm someone who is sticking a gun in your face. I’ve done it for over 25 years, and have had the “pleasure” of practicing it against BB guns, wax pellets and Simunitions. Therefore, without the consequence of being shot with a real round, I’ve been shot by alternate rounds which taught me what really works, and what painfully doesn’t.
But as the title of this article states, the first question I always cover in my instruction is, “Should we disarm”? Meaning, should we risk getting shot in order to disarm the attacker in this scenario. Once we answer that, that mechanics of a disarm are quite easy.
I usually reverse this main question by asking, “What would be the scenario where you ‘would’ attempt a disarm? Meaning, every situation would not warrant, or should warrant a disarm attempt. Why? Because it is an attempt, and there is risk involved. Therefore, it is necessary to first determine the risk versus reward.
Some of the top reasons you may want to attempt a disarm is if the assailant has already shot someone else, showing their ability and motivation to do so most likely again. Secondly, if you’ve already given them what they want (i.e. wallet or car keys), and they are continuing to assault you. Finally, especially if the person being attacked is a female, if the attacker wants to move you. In other words, if they want to take you to another location, which could easily lead to a better location for them to rape or even murder you. These reasons and others you may think of must play into the decision to even try a disarm.
As far as the mechanics go, there are four simple steps, but we must mention one more important point: Distance. The “best” disarm performed by the “best” practitioner is useless if the person pointing the gun at you is too far away. In order to pull off a successful disarm, the attacker’s gun must be no further than about an arms reach away from you. If you are any further, and make any kind of movement or attempt, there is too much of a possibility of getting shot.
Now that you have determined you are going to disarm someone, and they are within a reasonable distance, the first step is to “clear” the line of fire away from your body, while also paying attention to the surrounding area. We do that by using the far hand to move the gun and hand which is holding the gun to the side. The second step is to “isolate”, by cupping the gun and their hand which is holding the gun with the other hand, as noted in the picture. From there, the third step is to deliver a quick groin kick, helping to disable the attacker. Lastly, we “manipulate” the weapon by leveraging it out of the opponent’s hand, barrel over wrist.
The best way to do this is to inflict pain at the same time with a groin kick before the disarm, and even using the barrel of the gun to strike them in the face, especially if in close quarters. Once you take the gun away, make sure you clear the weapon of any jams and gain your own distance so you can either control them or escape.
Once again, first determine if the situation calls for an attempt, because the repercussions are so dyer. If you do decide to try a disarm, act with quickness and intensity, because it is all about controlling that firearm, and then gaining enough distance until you are safe.