During your day to day activities, have you paid attention to your various hand positions. How do you plan for this in your training or practice?
When we are working concealed carry we discuss the importance of various hand positions prior to and leading up to your drawstroke. To put things into context, you may not have your hands in the ideal position. In fact, you may be starting from a huge disadvantage or liability. The reality is you may not have the time and space to even attempt a draw when you are in such close proximity to the target. Instead, you will need to consider first strike capabilities.
Relax and Breathe
Hand position in the beginning of your training is not as important. There is so much information coming at you we want you to be relaxed. Being relaxed includes your hand placement. Just let them lie at your side as they would if you were relaxed. This helps start building technique from a hand position that offers little interference. What I like about the relaxed position is it is natural and most new students have no problem adopting this position. Since I spend a good amount of my time demonstrating from this position in classes I have to practice the remaining positions on my own time. It is more important for students to observe the specific details of the task or action from a relaxed position that can get wrapped up in advanced considerations.
At some point we broach the subject of interpersonal conflict. How we manage the unknowns. Much of the strategy has to do with avoidance, but you cannot avoid something if you don’t see it coming so detection is key. From detection we discover we are the subject of a potential criminal act or the precursors to one. If avoidance is no longer on the table then we shift to de-escalation or diffusing the situation. This will occur at close range and be pretty high stress. You have to keep calm, but at the same token be ready for an attack. In preparing for an attack we want to move our hands above our midline to what I call the high line. Keeping them in the high line is one thing, having a reason for them being in them being up is what matters. Using simple gestures can help disguise their true meaning.
The next position has to do with having your hands occupied. You could be holding onto something. We used in the past odd objects, but in today’s world a very common item would be a mobile phone. The question is what do you do with it when you are in the pre-stages of the attack. You have three choices, drop it, fight with it or fight without it. Dropping it if it is a phone is one thing. Dropping something else more precious such as a child makes it more complicated. The other problem is should you be startled by the attack you may not even be able to release the object from your grasp.
There Is Truth In One Hand
Fighting with it means using it as an impact tool or distraction. It takes practice and you need to be committed because you will probably destroy or damage the item. However, it can be a game changer if you can use an otherwise benign object. The next option is to fight without it, but without dropping or discarding. Being able to clear your cover garment with only one hand is an essential skill and it pays off for these situations in spades. It may seem counter intuitive, but it also may be the best course of action. With no deliberation just action.
The last condition is gaining access to your handgun while entangled. You are either in a clinch or something similar. You find the time and space to draw in what will more than likely be contact or near contact shots. The contact position requires a solid understanding of your muzzle direction. When you find yourself entangles you will want to know there is an option. Having these options will go a long way towards staying calm and making good choices. A common mistake is trying to access the gun in an inopportune time. Leading to a negative outcome. Worse case being a gun grab, best case being a fouled drawstroke.
Hand position is important to any type of unarmed combat. You need to practice from these four conditions so you can let the situation dictate.