Jiu-Jitsu is the Answer. What was the Question?

The question was, “What lessons should civilian gun carriers take from George Zimmerman?”

This is a question I have been asking gun trainers recently, including those attending Rob Pincus’s Combat Focus Shooting Instructor Conference in September.

I have received many different and interesting responses, including a very succinct one from one of the Combat Focus Shooting instructors: Jiu-Jitsu.

Being able to fight with less than lethal means, including open-handed, is becoming more of a thing among armed citizens, as are various forms of “entangled” fighting. So we see the emergence of trainers like Craig Douglas, Paul Sharp, Larry Lindenman, and Chris Fry into the consciousness of the gun training community.

Integrated solutions or multidisciplinary techniques are phrases often used to describe this style of training which relativizes the centrality of the gun. If the only solution a defender has is a gun, then every problem is going to be addressed with a gun. To invoke the cliche, this is about expanding the number of tools in the self-defense tool kit.

None of this is to say that any of this is new. Close quarters combat (CQC) or close quarters battle (CQB) has a long history in military fighting (and perhaps law enforcement also, I simply don’t know).

But the emphasis for private citizens who are fighting is different than military and police rules of engagement. It seems obvious that armed citizens would be well-served to know how to escape, evade, defend, and fight before resorting to the gun.

Hence the answer to my initial question, Jiu-Jitsu.


  1. Glad to see Burch is focusing on the right part of the equation. “The focus is on NOT getting entangled and having to get into a physical fight, but rather to use the pistol the way it is intended to be used – at a distance.”

    While understanding grappling is necessary to know how to evade, defend, and break holds and takedowns, deliberately choosing to roll with an aggressor of unknown skill is a good way to end up stabbed or beaten. If he has a friend, stomped.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. There is indeed increased focus on combatives among shooters but unfortunately it is limited to our small group of dedicated enthusiasts. Unfortunatley, the average person with a CCW remains clueless as to how to deploy their gun even under the best of cercomstances. Hopefully the skill continues to take hold.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hand combat training according to open source reading I’ve done increased after 9/11 with troops being deployed sometimes in close quarters with potential enemies.


  4. This reminds me of something I thought of after I saw AWR use statistics saying that guns aren’t anymore effective than other defensive weapons, and stats that say your more likely to get hurt in an altercation if you use a gun. One of them went into detail about how a lot of defensive scenarios go down. It made me think, why not incorporate martial arts into defensive gun training. Now I was thinking of something like karate or taekwondo. Use a sidekick or something to get separation and then draw your gun. Corollary to the statistics, just because on average your more likely to have this or that happen to you when someone sneaks up on you and you’re carrying a gun doesn’t mean that we should be discouraged from carrying guns. It means we should get out and train a lot more to better our odds should something bad happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m no expert, but in general high kicks, most kicks, are not recommended for fighting outside controlled conditions. Uncertain footing, often bad lighting, “normal” clothes and impediments being worn/carried. My training in the Marines, and what little I’ve had or read of since, has been to use your feet to move and maintain a solid base for balance (and any hand work) so you don’t go down.


      • Happy birthday, Marine! And I agree about high kicks and also include spinning kicks in the moves that don’t work so well in real life. They may work in the movies or occasionally against clueless opponents, but even a semi skilled martial artist will get you off balance in the former and quickly move in and trap your leg and throw you to the ground in the latter. Keep your kicks at waist level or below, unless you are much taller than your opponent.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. […] Although I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to observe Mike Seeklander’s instructor development course in New Mexico in November, a silver lining was that I got to spend a few days in Phoenix visiting with some of the amazing gun culture people/businesses there, like Wilderness Tactical Products, Haley Strategic Partners, and Cecil Burch of Immediate Action Combatives. […]


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