The Gun as a Blunt Weapon
Krav Maga is based on practicality; its lessons come from actual street experience. Tradition plays no role whatsoever. One of the areas in which Krav Maga is leading the martial arts/reality self defense community is in gun defense.Simply put, we are gaining a great deal of experience in this area.
Gun defense includes
Gun Threats – When an assailant has a gun pointed at you.
Gun Evasion – When someone is already firing at, or near, you.
Gun Retention – If you are carrying a gun and someone is trying to take it away from you.
The Gun as a blunt weapon – How to use your firearm as a blunt weapon.
The Gun as a Blunt Weapon
How, why and when would you use your firearm as a blunt weapon?
"Eli was in his office where he worked as an insurance agent. He heard shots being fired. He looked out his window at King George Street in downtown Jerusalem and saw three armed terrorists opening fire on pedestrians. He grabbed his handgun and flew down the flight of stairs. As he ran into the street he spotted two of the terrorists and opened fire. He killed one on the spot and began to pursue the second. When he was within a safe range he opened fire but his gun jammed. He ran up to the terrorist and, using the hand of his firearm, struck the terrorist in the neck, dropping him to the ground."
The above is a true story. It is very important to keep your gun clean and in a proper working order, but sometimes, it might jam. In such a case you need a backup plan. If you are close enough you can use your firearm as a very effective blunt weapon.
There times when it might be appropriate to use your hand-gun as a blunt weapon, and there as times when it is a mistake.
When to Use the Gun as a Blunt Weapon
If you are in the process of a gun disarm technique and he is resisting, i.e. he is still a real threat, as you remove his gun use it to strike him. This is not a separate move but rather flows directly from the disarming technique. This is the way Itay Gil operates.
If you are a police officer, soldier or legally armed citizen and you have apprehended a suspect and have drawn your weapon. If he tries to disarm you, a struggle may ensue, as part of this struggle it might be advisable, depending on the circumstances, to use the gun as a blunt weapon.
Once you take the gun away, striking the areas on the neck, ribs and back, can cause him to comply and enable you to control him.
When Not to use Your Gun as a Blunt Weapon
Other than the above mentioned instances, it is never advisable to use your gun as a blunt weapon. This is not what it was designed for. In addition there are many dangers associated with using the gun as a blunt weapon.
If your gun is in your holster, keep it there, unless you intend to fire on someone.
Never Pull out your gun with the intention of using it as a blunt weapon.
The following advice comes from my friend Louie Balestrieri, retired NYPD officer and detective, who has seen much real life street action and has been decorated many times for courage and valor in the line of fire.
As a Last Resort
As for using your firearm for blunt trauma is concerned, I am personally not fan of it except as a last resort tactic. Those last resorts would be if I am completely out of ammo or my weapon becomes completely incapable of firing by all means use it to smash your opponent. I have used my weapon (at the time a .38 cal revolver) to hit people and yes it did open up the perps head. More often than not it didn't stop them.
The gun can became a hindrance
One particular incident that I recall was when I chased a drug dealer into a building in Manhattan that was being renovated. As I ran into the building, the perp hid behind a door and swung a 2x4 piece of wood at me. I was able to block the 2x4 because it was so long and struggled to remove it. I smashed him in the face with my gun, and he released the wood as he put his hands up to block his face. His head was busted wide open but he didn't stop fighting. Now I can't shoot him because he is unarmed and trying to continue to run and escape. I only have one hand to grab, block and fight with because I have to protect my gun from being taken away. So in this instance, the gun became a hindrance.
Using the Gun as a Blunt Weapon could cause an accidental shooting
You also have to consider who is around you when you are using the gun. If you are in close quarters on a populated street, you may accidentally discharge a round and kill or injure an innocent bystander or partner. Remember your flinch response...when you swing that gun and you finger is on the trigger, you are going to tighten your hand on impact so the gun doesn't fly out of your hand. This may create the discharge.
Also I would never strike someone using a semi automatic because you may knock the gun out of battery and "stovepipe" or jam a round in the chamber or bend the slide incapacitating your gun. If you a close enough to hit someone with you gun you should be just as easily capable of hitting him with an elbow or knee.
Drawing Weapon Creates Possibility of Having it Taken Away
The laws in New York say I am only allowed to use deadly physical force (force capable of killing someone), when deadly physical force is being used against me or someone else. If deadly physical force isn't being used against you; you CAN'T use your firearm, so why have it out and be exposed to possibly losing it?
You Only Have Two Hands
If you are holding your gun in one hand you will not be able to use both hands to fight with. You will have a very hard time attempting to block strike and use a joint lock with only one hand to use.
Take your finger off the trigger
You must remember to remove your finger off the trigger. You grip will automatically tighten when you strike.
DO NOT USE THE BUTT OF THE GUN OR STRIKE IN ANY FASHION THAT WILL ALLOW THE BARREL TO BE FACING YOU.
What I suggest is to strike with the bottom tip of the barrel which is very strong. You can accomplish this by holding the gun and striking down as if you were doing a hammer fist, but having the firearm being an extension of the hammer fist. This will allow a good grip on the weapon and deliver a good blunt trauma. Just remember to keep the barrel always pointed at the bad gun just in case it discharges.
As pertaining to guns, knives and blunt trauma weapons I feel you must train as realistically as possible and train often. You must remember that no technique can or will work all the time with 100% results.
Sensei Louie Balestrieri
lives in New York and is available for seminars.
The M-16 Rifle as a Blunt Weapon
In the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) all recruits learn to use the M-16 rifle as a blunt weapon as part of their Krav Maga military training. There are two basic reasons for this.
1. Many times a terrorist will try to grab a soldier's rifle and take it away. This will then be used in a terrorist attack.
2. When faced with an assailant up close and personal it is more effective to use the rifle as a blunt weapon.
The basic Krav Maga techniques involve using the rifle as a spear, with the barrel poking the assailant, and using it as a club, swinging it into the assailants face or body.
To Contact Moshe Katz or Sensei Louie Balestrieri