Need to do a bit of marketing if you don’t mind.

I write books some of you might be interested in:

Gunfighting, and Other Thoughts about Doing Violence

This is a series. The link is for a combination book containing Volumes 1, 2 and 3 in it. 1 and 2 cover a number of subjects under the umbrella of the counter-offensive fight. Vol. 3 focuses exclusively on the use of the rifle in the counter-offensive fight.

Facing the Active Shooter is more a booklet than a book. The core of this one is an outline-format series of suggestions for the armed citizen in the event they are where an active shooter or shooters is. I think this is a different approach to this subject than most others take.

All of these are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats now. Vol. 1 has gone through one update so far.

In addition I will be publishing Bare-Bones Gunfighting by or before mid-November 2015. Following that will be the fourth volume of the Gunfighting… series which will probably come out sometime in the second quarter of 2016.

For those of you who might be interested in fiction I also have two books out now, one stand-alone technothriller and the first part of a science-fantasy series. A second book of the series will be released shortly. Other fiction will follow in-between the factual work.

I also teach classes. Check the Training page for course descriptions and the Calendar page for dates. Contact me at crwilliams@inshadowinlight.com if you want to work up a class at a range in your area.

KISSing Too Much Could Get You Into Trouble

There’s a kind of dichotomy to the KISS principle when you think about it. Because when you break it down as far as it can go, open carry is simpler than concealed carry, and the simplest way to respond to an attack is to stand there and shoot back. Doing either of those would be applying the KISS principle…right?

But there are, ironically enough, complications to doing either of those for most of us. In the first case, open carry might limit our options for carry (probably will in most areas) and could draw fear or resentment or even snatch attempts or first shots from others. In the second case, standing still isn’t usually a) what our body wants to do under threat of death and b) what is recommended as part of the counteroffensive response.

So it is possible to KISS something too much. But we do want to KISS things enough to help us fight. I don’t want to have to do detailed diagnostics on a gun malfunction during a fight, for example. I want simplest, quickest, surest method of getting it fixed. I want KISS on something like that. In fact, I want to KISS everything to the most practical extent I can, because I believe what Clauswitz says about the simplest things becoming difficult in war. So there has to be some balance here about this.

What to do?

Roger Phillips has what I think is the best idea for a principle: Keep It As Simple As It Needs To Be. How simple that is will vary with the technique or tactic or mechanism we’re dealing with and likely also varies from person to person. It will take some thought to work out the right amount. But that thought, I believe, will be well worth the effort. Because you can over-simplify things.

KIASAINTB is a pretty crappy acronym, but I think it’s a very good idea when applied to the fight for life.

Mechanics

It puzzles me the way that others in the gunfighting-study-world  look askance at the way that I and others look at anything from American football to Renaissance and Medieval swordfighting to Indonesian martial arts (and many things in between) for things that can and will help us at the least survive uninjured and preferably win decisively. There’s a sense I get from some of them that they unconsciously think that the human body suddenly gets to move a different way if there’s a gun in their hands instead of some other weapon. Or they think that they don’t have to move, to ‘get physical’ because they are fighting with a gun instead of a knife or club or bare hands. Or they think that you can’t seriously believe that you can dodge a bullet like you could a sword or knife, so why try and learn how?

The fact is, you can’t dodge a bullet. What you need to understand beyond that, though, is that you can’t dodge that knife or that sword, either–once it’s fully under way, that is.

That’s NOT what we’re training to do, though. And it’s not what we’re looking at these other arts to show us.

You may need to think about this for a little while, but here’s the idea: You are not seeking to dodge the bullet when you move evasively, you are seeking to dodge the shot. Just like with a sword or knife you’re not trying to evade the point, you’re trying to evade the thrust.

There is a difference. In that difference is the key. And that key is why we look outside the realm of gunfighting for things we need to know.

Everything in It’s Place

If this seems familiar it’s because it is. I’m in the process of building a new website that will include this blog and will be transferring the blog entries over here as I do that. This is the very first one I made when I started this in August of 2014:

A long time ago I was trying a bear-hug release technique that I had just learned out. Hard to describe it briefly, so I’ll just say it was something new to my then-current experience and leave it at that. The guy that was doing the hugging was much bigger and much taller than I was. His size allowed him to envelope me much like a bean-bag chair does when you sit in it.

So he does the hug, I do this new-learned technique, and I don’t go dropping out of the hug like I’m supposed to. A rather bummerish development in my view. So without much if any thought that I can remember I move to the alternate plan, which plan being to slide my hands around behind me and grab him by the balls.

Arms open, I’m out. And appreciative of my freedom I am, I’ll tell you that.

Morrow of the story: Wherever and whenever you can, have some kind of backup in mind. This is a good reason to do what-ifs regularly. Thinking through as many situations and variants as possible ahead of time makes it easier to come up with alternate responses to sudden and surprise situations when you need to.

The other thing I get from that and leave you with is this: Plan A, your best-considered and best-practiced response, can be (to a point) elegant and have some subtlety in it. (You still want to keep it pretty simple if you can, though.) I don’t see that as a problem if you’re smart about it. After that, though, I think the backups need to get simpler and more direct and more brutal as they go.

It’s the opposite of the way I work in my IT job. I have a problem in IT, I look at the known most obvious first and work my way through a list of less and less obvious and more and more subtle causes. In a fight, I might (probably not, but maybe) try some feints or misdirection or some kind of combination technique (or combination of techniques) if I can first. But if that doesn’t get me what I want–victory or escape or an opening to either of those that I can exploit–the thing I can do quickest and with the least conscious thought (which could get in the way of me surviving this) is going to be something more simple and direct. And the more letter-plans I go through, the simpler and more direct (and vicious and brutal, probably) they’re going to be.

Because when other things fail, sometimes the best thing to do is just to grab them by the balls.