We all have heard the saying, “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight“. Well what if you’re in that predicament – that you and a bad guy are in that mano mano, face-to-face situation. Bad guy pulls a knife out, you’re able to pull your pistol out, but due to the close quarter distance – you’re both in a stalemate position. What are some options now for those “in your face” situation.
Enter Jared Wihongi of Black Label Tactical, he is a 16 year Law Enforcement Officer with 13 years as a SWAT operator. Wihongi currently contracts with the U.S. government to teach to Law Enforcement and military personnel in hand to hand combative methods.
Wihongi demonstrates in this video some basic tactics to get an upper hand so you can come out on top, take a look below.
As you can tell Wihongi self defense methodology is pragmatic and combines the best of both world in gun fighting, knife tactics and grappling skills. Just like in shooting where you dry fire to practice your trigger control, you would need to invest some time into these skills to be proficient.
What are some good training that you have come across?
[Jared Wihongi] So, um, This is a concept that I’m quite passionate about, is a combination or integration between guns, knives, and empty hands. So I call it Close-Quarter Force Integration Tactics; and essentially it’s my tactics for gunfighters.
[Cameraman] Knife tactics for gun fighters?
[Cameraman] Uh, can you give us an example of what that curriculum might look like?
[Jared] Yeah! So there’s two ways that this goes. So one is using knife movement and principles– Knife fighting movements and principles, with the gun in the hand, or implimenting the gun. And that’s based on principles of angling, movement, footwork, mobility, controlling distance, so I’m working from a contact distance–clinch ranges. And what I mean by that, is -for example- if I’ve got a– a lot of times when dealing with knife tactics and close ranges, doing those clinch ranges, we’ve got different positions that we try and solve. One of those would be what we call ‘Stalemate’ position. And a stalemate position is, if someone’s presented an edged weapon, and I was able to defend against that somehow, some shape or form, and I’ve got to hold their arm, and now I look to get my weapon presented and get that into the fight, well he wants to survive, too, right? And so a lot of times, you end in these stalemate positions. And now I’ve got a hold of his weapon, he’s got a hold of my weapon, and we’re trying to see who can get free first.
So, immediately, one of the tactics that I would use for this, which comes from knife fighting, is the Duck Under. Down through here, and I move around, and I’m addressing the target from this position. Ok? That’s one example of a knife tactic for gunfighting.
[Cameraman] Got another one?
[Jared] Yeah so, um, another example is, you know, being able to– if I don’t ave my weapon in my hand, and I need to bring it to bear, and maybe we’re somehow tied up in this position, and so now I need to be able to present or free my right hand. I don’t want to release his weapon, also, from this clinch range.
So here I can do what we call an arm-drag motion, and essentially –it’s done quick– but what I’m doing is, he’s got an edged weapon here, so I’m trying to control that, I’m basicaly doing an arm drag. As soon as I’ve done that, my right hand is still tied up, so I do a quick transition to this position here, I continue moving forward, get my weapon out, and address whichever target is available, being careful not to cover my arm, so we use this C motion here.
So again, it’s just another example of close range– extreme close range knife-fighting tactics for gunfighting. Now as you get further out, another example of what we’d do here is in our Kali footwork, we’re constantly using angles. I’m going this direction, I’m going this direction. moving in different directions, because I’m trying to avoid getting hit, and I want to present my weapon, so if I’ve got a weapon in my hand, I might be moving this direction here, Might be moving this direction and cutting here, so as this applies to a little further distance: If I’ve got someone, an aggressor, that’s coming towards me, and he comes up with a knife, then I’m gonna move off-line using my angular footwork and present distance, get my weapon to bear.
If it’s a little closer, for example– that would be a common knife defense movement. If the knife comes in, tap. Ok. So I may use that opportunity, instead of going one-two-three into some kind of a disarm or whatnot, I’ve got a gun. I want to bring that into the fight. So now I’m going to do one-two-three and I move and present my weapon and bring that into the fight. Now, that same motion can be used to one-to-three and push and then bring the weapon and what we call engage-vs-disengage. So I can engage the subject based on the distance that I have. If it’s an open space, disengage, give ’em distance. If he’s got a gun and not a knife, I can’t give him distance. I can’t outrun his bullets. So I have to engage, control his ability to shoot me, and bring my weapon into the fight. Get all these knife tactics presented to a gunfight environment.
[Cameraman] So knife tactics for gunfighters, this sounds like this can be an ongoing thing, this curriculum seems quite deep.
[Jared] It is. It is. We’re just kind of scratching the surface here. It’s really deep, because you can start from distances just outside of arm’s reach, this is all close-quarters stuff, you know most gunfights happen at extreme close-quarters. we’re starting just outside of two arms’ reach, and then we’re progressively moving into clinch distance. That clinch distance sometimes ends on the ground, ground fighting with the guns and the knives, and then we are kind of progressing from there. Various steps in that process. When he’s just getting his weapon out and I’m able to catch it, how do I disrupt that draw stroke, maybe his weapon is coming to bear and it’s not yet pointed at me, is it an edge weapon, is it a firearm, do I know what kind of weapon it is, so there’s all these different ways that I can approach this topic, I can get into a lot of depth with it.
[Cameraman] Well thank you very much, we’re honored by your presence here, and thank you very much for sharing your hours.
[Jared] Thank you guys very much, stay tuned, look forward to a lot of cool things coming up.
In this segment of NRATV, Colin Noir and Travis Haley of Haley Strategic are discussing the subject of “teaching gun fighting“. But, more specifically “can you teach gun fighting, if you’ve never seen a gun fight?”
For those who aren’t familiar with who Haley is, here’s a quick bio taken from his site:
“Travis Haley is a veteran Force Reconnaissance Marine with 15 years of dedicated real world experience including: combat tours in Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. After leaving the military, Mr Haley served as a special operations and security contractor before partnering with Magpul as founder and CEO of their training division, Magpul Dynamics. Mr Haley also served as CEO of the parent company, Magpul Industries, before breaking off to form the endeavor that would become Haley Strategic Partners.”
Colion Noir: Alright folkes, and we’re back, and joining me live is Travis Haley from Arizona, and before we went to break, we started to touch on the aspects of actually teaching people how to shoot. And so I’ll just ask you flat out: What do you think it takes to teach the way you do?
[su_heading size=”30″]Bottom line its the Student Instructor Zen relationship[/su_heading]
Travis Haley: Whooh, um, well I think– First off, as I’ve been saying, understanding people is the number one attribute to a –and I use the word ‘teacher’ or ‘instructor’ very carefully, and uh, kinda like Bruce Lee did, and I just recently started reading and studying him in the last year or two, and I was like ‘wow, there’s a lot of crossover here from his mindset’– Where, -and I agree with what he said, it’s, he finds it almost impossible to actually teach somebody something. And I know that sounds crazy, it’s like, ‘well why would I want to spend my hard-earned money and time to go to your classes if you can’t teach me something’
Colion: Yeah, ‘you tricked me’.
Travis: Right! [Chuckling] And it’s because only you can really follow through on the teaching aspect, right? It’s the student and teacher combination, it’s not just the teacher, coming in and saying ‘Hey man, here’s my resume, this is how many combat tours I got, this is how I’ve been shooting, how many millions of rounds, here’s my program of instruction, now you better keep up!’ and that’s what– I see that. That has to happen in some regard in the military, and law enforcement, because you gotta see who can hang with that stress and mentality, but when I’ve got three days or five days or six days to work with somebody, attrition is not my mission. It’s upholding a higher standard of care for everybody. And so I think that’s where the understanding of people comes into play, so I always use like a GPS analogy. When that GPS tells you to turn right in 900 feet because you’re trying to get from point A to B, is it actually physically attached to the steering wheel? Does it turn the car?
Travis: No, you turn the car, right? So all we are is a GPS that– we come in and we give you the information which has a lot of data, a lot of research, a lot of failure, a lot of success, a lot of roads, ‘cuz not everybody wants to take the same road, you know? And that’s what I think other instructors or ‘teachers’ out there need to understand is that, don’t ever try to twist somebody into our own preconceived notions or experiences, even if it unquestionably works for you, it may not work for that person. And so, again, my biggest responsibility as a teacher is to protect people from my own preconceived notions or patterns. Because again, some things work for me, but that’s why I get into the science of what we do, that’s why we study biomechanics, why we study the brain. Because as you know, like you and your partner, we talked about it earlier, are two totally different people. So why would I come into a classroom and say ‘Hey, here’s my two cents, now keep up’. My job is to share information, share our research, share our failures and success, and then spend those days keeping up with the student population. And I think that’s what, a lot of times, people don’t know that when they get into the training community, and they want to be an instructor, because I know some guys that’ve got some phenomenal experience when it comes to shooting and runnin’ and gunnin’ and combat, but they can’t articulate. But they will if they learn. I didn’t, man, I couldn’t speak. If you heard me in my first course, my first company, I was like-
Colion: [Makes ‘bumbling’ noises, chuckles]
Travis: And so I had to go ‘Well ok, well that didn’t work out. Now what do I do about it?’ you know? ‘Now how do I be more resourceful and become a better person?’ and I learned through these years that really paying attention to people, really understanding people, and what motivates them, what’s their belief system, and then how do you help them execute that belief system is critically important.
Colion: I’ve taken my fair share of courses, and, you know, for me the biggest thing is the communication aspect, because like you said, you can have all the abilities in the world, but if you can’t tell me how to– not necessarily how to do it, but how to teach myself how to do it, and how to walk away with information that I understand, you know? Like I was always taught, you’ve got to speak in a way that people can understand whatever complex notions or thoughts that you may have that you’re trying to communicate with someone means nothing if you just talk over people’s heads and they don’t get it. And for me, when it comes to instruction, that’s the biggest thing for me. Which I think is a lot of the time why I speak in analogies. Quite a bit.
Colion: and as kooky as they may come across sometimes, I bet you got what I was trying to put out! You know?
Colion: And that’s the point, when you’re talking about something as fluid and elusive as an emotion from shooting a gun, right?
Travis: Right, and I think something else that people need to keep in mind is, like, you know, you’ll hear it a lot, ‘keep it simple, stupid’, right? The KISS method. Absolutely 100%. If I pck up this device, okay, which everybody knows what that is–
Colion: Shameless Apple plug.
Travis: That is– What’s that? [Laughter] Sorry, we’re Mac guys. So, that is a ‘keep it simple, stupid’ device, but not because I told, or they told me ‘hey keep it simple, stupid’. It’s like the Fighter Pilot where the analogy actually came from, when they’re building a Lockheed Martin S or 71 Blackbird or the U2 spyplane, they said ‘Keep it simple, stupid’, and programmed development as an engineer, as a teacher, as a developer. Not as get up to the Pilot like ‘Hey man, before the cockpit closes, just keep it simple, stupid, alright?!’ Because he’s gonna be like ‘Dude I’m a high-performance– Get out of here! who is that guy?!’ you know? So he needs to have performance, but he does need his machine to work around him, so we don’t have to work around it, which is what was their biggest marketing pitch, right?
Travis: So that’s where we use ‘Keep it Simple, Stupid’. And I see a lot of guys sayin’ ‘Hey man, just Keep it Simple, there’s no way you’re gonna be able to do that under stress’, well, I’ll prove you wrong. Because of science, not just because I was able to do it, but because we know what the human body’s capable of doing. And everybody’s different, so we gotta tweak everybody different again, and that’s where I always come back to, understand the student you’re talking to, not just the group of them. Everybody’s different.
Colion: Gotcha. Now, I wanna get into kind of a more concrete aspect of firearms and shooting, is basically is talk about the guns. And I get a lot of questions from people who are like, I have friends, for instance, when it comes to the AR-15. They typically only have money to put down for a pretty decent AR, but then questions then become– and then they have really no intent on buying multiple ARs. So they kinda wanna get something that kinda can do a bit of everything well. Does that even exist? Is that even possible? Or, in a sense, are you forced to buy multiple ARs to fill certain specific roles, as a civilian? Of course I know when you start talking military applications and things like that, that’s a little bit different.
Travis: Right, no, absolutely. Obviously, look at the world out there, of rifles today. I mean, there’s some phenomenal manufacturers out there, there’s some that aren’t doing the best that they could do, there is always the time or the money aspect, the research that these companies either can or cannot put into their product development, so that’s the big part, and I only advocate companies that– and I think for that customer, that you’re specifically talking about, and this is where the whole ‘Milspec’ thing gets out of hand and stuff, but it does mean something, and if you could go into some of these manufacturers like Bravo Company or Daniel Defense or some of these other great– I can’t even name ’em all, so I apologise to all those guys out there– but they’re doing the work, man. They’re doing the research, they’re doing the testing, they’re scoping stuff out, everything’s micro-Viewed (?), That simple platform, that ‘Keep It Simple’ gun, gets out to the market at a really good price, and it works all-around, for the most part, you know? So I think that you don’t need to go crazy and spend thousands of dollars, just go with a reputable brand that you know is proven, you know. And that’s, that’s again, a full-time job.
Colion: Yeah pretty much. [Laughter]
Travis: And uh, you don’t need to go Whiz-bang on everything, you know? You build up in steps, just like you go out and buy –a lot of people like to go out and buy jeeps. They’ll go out and they’ll go buy a baseline Jeep and then what can you do to– you can built it, build it, build it, build it; specific to how you’re going to go out and drive it. You may never take it off-road, ‘but I just want it to look cool!’
Colion: Yeah I have a friend like that, he literally could drive through Hell, and he literally doesn’t drive anywhere except his parking garage.
Travis: Yeah, and there’s a guy that has the same vehicle that takes it offroad, and I think a lot of that comes back to our industry, it’s like ‘well you don’t need all that crap!’ or ‘Oh you need all that crap, but you’re never gonna use it’, it’s like ‘Well, wait, I can do whatever I want because; it’s my right, number one, and I enjoy it.’ It’s a lifestyle, it’s a hobby, and I think that’s where a lot of the risks and stuff start to happen, but it’s like ‘well, what works for you?’
Colion: Hell, I had the biggest Poser gun on the planet: I have an SBR HK MR556, made in every shape and fashion to look like a 416, for what? I have things on there I’ll probably never use!
Travis: Because you shot a real 416.
Colion: Exactly. That was– that was actually pretty fun. That was pretty fun. And I just, only wish I had that switch that went all the way around so that I could make mine do that, then I’d be all good, I wouldn’t even need another rifle!
Travis: Right. And a lot of people say ‘What d’you need that for?’ [shrug] ‘Cuz I want it.
Colion: I could come up with some reasons! When people ask me questions like that, I’m like ‘do you know who you’re talking to?’ I could come up with some reasons. I sat on the phone for thirty minutes one time, and he’s like, ‘I want you to come up with a reason for every rifle that you own’. Thirty minutes in he’s like ‘Alright! I get it! I get it! I get it!’ So, if you force me, I can come up with a reason.
Travis: you’re about to get a lot of Emails. [laughter]
Colion: I’m pretty sure I am. [laughter] But I really appreciate it, it’s always a pleasure talking to you, and I always learn so much from talking to you and having our conversations going back and forth, I hope this isn’t the last time you join us, I don’t know if it’s one of these kinda like ‘one time’ things, where you’re like ‘I’m not never going back on that show again’, but um, it’s open-door policy here for you, so, just so you know.
Travis: Thanks man, just like with you, I’m gonna text you the day before, and I’ll be there. I’ll text three weeks before.
Colion: [Laughter] Don’t text three weeks before, ‘cuz trust me, I’m gonna come up with some issues, but I really appreciate you Travis, and thank you for joining us on CN Live, and you have a good one.
Travis: Thanks for having me guys.
Colion: Absolutely. And that was another wonderful episode of CN Live, this is Colion Noir, and I’m out.