May 12

Gun Follow-Up


Wow, I got a lot of positive feedback about my “Who is
carrying a gun” blog entry, I’m glad most of you liked it. I got
a couple of responses though inquiring about what is the
purpose of learning martial arts out of Miami, FL at all for self defense
with the existence of handguns?

In today’s gun-happy world, bare-handed self defense still
has a very powerful role. First of all, even with a concealed
weapons permit, most people are simply not going to be
walking around with a gun 24/7. But let’s assume that you
are one of the few always strapped with a gun. How can
bare-handed martial arts training help you?

First of all, training martial arts teaches CONTROL. The
ability to control your emotions and your adrenaline. For
those that train, the first time you grappled live or sparred,
it was probably a wild, out of control, spaz-fest… and you
probably tired extremely fast, and probably didn’t execute
a single technique you learned… and that is NORMAL.

For those of you that have never trained, you will see that
the first time you wrestle or do sparring live, that you will
go through an experience like I just described. I can
spend hours teaching you techniques that you will hit
flawlessly in a calm, classroom scenario – but the second
someone tries to hit you for real, depending on your
experience, you may blank out completely. For this, the
practice of bare-handed combat is priceless.

To an experienced martial artist with plenty of sparring
experience, adrenaline does not overtake the mind – you
can have an aggressive body but a passive mind in the
middle of a flight or fight situation. This can only be
developed by harnessing the emotions that come with
“flight or fight” and the mental conditioning of controlling
adrenaline. Once you learn this, not only is your mind more
clear and aware of what is going on – but you can also
execute any trained techniques with deadly precision.

There are MANY cases of people with guns unloading entire
magazines from almost point blank range and completely
missing their attackers… because of the adrenaline
over-taking their system. At the concealed weapons course I
took, the instructor specified to NOT aim for the legs or
arms of an attacker… that although it is a noble gesture
to try to injure your attacker without killing them, that
you should aim for CENTER OF MASS and although the odds
of killing them are much higher, the simple fact is that even
the best marksman will completely miss if aiming for the
legs and arms during a REAL situation… in other words,
when the adrenaline takes control, most people will spaz
out, firing wildly and without steady aim.

Another important aspect to realize is that even if you are
strapped with a gun, you may not always have access to your
gun… I have one student, who is a police officer, who was
attacked by surprise by a man with a hunting knife. When he
turned, the man was upon him with the knife in the air,
ready to stab him! There was no time to pull for his gun –
he unloaded with a ferocious two punches, jab and cross,
which dropped the attacker… his life was saved by his
martial arts training. This gentlemen is a 135 pound brown
belt under me, I leave his name out because he is shy and
I’m not sure if he wants me to reveal his story to the ten
thousand people on my email list, but his quick reactions
were developed via years of training. He told me himself,
if it wasn’t for his training, he would have froze and
probably just lifted his hands up in front of his face in a
flinching manner, like most people would have reacted, and
would have died. I have sent people to the Ultimate
Fighting Championship (UFC), BodogFight, WEC, EliteXC,
ADCC, and other promotions… and yet my biggest
accomplishment to date was knowing that my brown belt
and close friend was able to come home to his wife and kids
ALIVE while serving us on the streets.

Still not convinced? How about another TRUE story that
happened to one of my best friends, Master Lloyd Irvin.
Master Lloyd is one of the top black belts in the world.
Along with having an impressive resume, he has also
coached world class fighters. He coached one of his athletes
to the Olympics (Rhadi Ferguson) has coached a bunch of
UFC fighters such as Brandon Vera, Phil Davis, and UFC
world champion Dominic Cruz. Lloyd has been training
martial arts for years. As an MMA coach, a lot of fight gyms
poked a lot of fun at him for incorporating gun disarms in his
school curriculum… a lot of his rival instructors were
saying it was a waste of time, it wouldn’t work in a real
situation, you would just freeze up, etc. Well… a few years ago
Master Lloyd was sleeping on his couch in his home. He got
home late and forgot to turn on the alarm. Master Lloyd
owns a gun in his home. While sleeping on his couch, a man
woke him up with a gun in his face and told him to go to the
master bedroom. There, he found his wife, child, Brandon
Vera on the floor with another gunman pointinga gun at them.

Long story made short, these gunmen were pros… and the
situation did not look good for Master Lloyd and his family.
One gunman left the room to investigate the rest of the house,
this was the opportunity Master Lloyd was hoping for. He felt
an opening and reacted… he jumped on the now lone gunman
and utilized one of the gun disarms he has been practicing for
years, and successfully disarmed the man! He then grabbed
the gun, and the gunman, now without a gun, fled. Master Lloyd
didn’t catch them – but he successfully protected his family. I
spoke to him the following day, he told me how he had never
been that terrified in his life, that he truly believed his wife and
child were going to die, and that the fear was overwhelming…
however, he told me he focused on remembering his training
and when the opportunity came, he reacted. He said that when
he utilized the disarm, he remembered thinking, despite all the
craziness, “wow, it worked!” He used a technique that ejected
the magazine from the gun, giving the attacker possibly only
one shot (if there was a bullet in the chamber) and he
proceeded to disarm the weapon with textbook technique. See,
while the gunman was feeling the adrenaline and freezing up,
Master Lloyd was calm and acting out the technique he has
practiced over the years. He had an aggressive body but a
passive mind.

The disarm was so controversial that rival gyms and web
blogs were posting that it was fake – claiming that Master
Lloyd fabricated the story as a publicity stunt. Disgusted
by this, Master Lloyd responded publicly and even posted the
audio 911 call from his wife – you should check this out here:

Now think about this… how much value would you put on all
those years Master Lloyd spent training in the martial arts?
Definitely priceless.

Why else learn bare-handed martial arts? You also have the
scenario of someone literally jumping on you and attacking
you without you seeing them coming – this happens as well.
I can go on and on with examples of the importance of
knowing bare-handed self defense.

Now obviously, if you are very serious about self-defense,
it is my humble opinion that you should own a firearm (that
is why I did get my concealed weapons permit). However, all
that being said, I think that every man, woman, and child
should know how to defend themselves with bare-handed
martial arts. Besides the fitness and mental benefits – I
think I have demonstrated in this email that the
self-defense applications are still priceless in this day
and age. The martial arts gives you a calmness under
pressure that you simply can’t get from shooting a target
over and over with a gun. And if you hate guns – then even
more reason for you to train… so if you aren’t a member of
a martial arts school, get your butt over to a good school
right now 🙂


bjj, brazilan jiu jitsu, mixed martial arts, mma

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