Weapon Retention Part I


Weapon retention is a big subject for the law enforcement and military. I feel there should be more awareness/training for the private citizen as well. Many gun scenarios are usually at close range and many instances there will be a struggle for the pistol.


We’re going to only address some techniques that we call last ditch techniques. Struggling to maintain your weapon is about survival at the testosterone level. If you don’t understand what I mean do some role playing with your buddy. But, have your buddy and yourself in a frame of mind that you’re both fighting for that weapon to protect your loved ones. The more realistic the better, once you’re both in this state, fight for that handgun for 1 minute. After wards you will feel that surge of adrenaline rush and exhaustion.


To be technical, there is no technique that I will be sharing with you. Just some simple principles that can be applied whether you’re law enforcement or private citizen. We will not address the type of holsters you carry whether its for duty or concealment. Instead we will tackle at the point of contact, and there are two instances when this happens:

  • Weapon holstered
  • Non holstered

Weapon Holstered

This is when you haven’t quite got the weapon out as you’re struggling to pull it from underneath your jacket, but the attacker is on you. At this point the thing to do is to keep it in the holstered and just maintain your position of the weapon. So here is the drill and technique to work on.


  • Cover both hands on weapon and maintain by push/pull/hold into your body and lower your center body by widening your legs for being mobile and balance.
  • While your partner is trying to get the weapon away from you, you maintain your positioning.

This drill will look like you’re both doing the groucho dance. While you’re fighting for the positioning to get that chance to break away to run or get the weapon out is your call. Here are the things that needs to happen to create this chance.


  • Headbutt – an occasional headbutt to the chin, front shoulder
  • Knees – at opportune times drive knees to the groin, thigh (front, side)
  • Bite – bite the ears (yes, for survival)

These strikes will be implemented at your will depending on your ability to outmaneuver the attacker. Strikes are in multiples not a one shot deal and expect them to fall down. Once their grip is broken, you want to get away from them by using your legs to run away and using your momentum break free from their grip.

Key Takeaways

What you will get out of this drill is numerous, such as sometimes the position of the hands. The attacker may already be on your weapon or their hands on top of yours as you fight. Your stances, there isn’t any, just a fight for the position of balance. As you strike, you’ll notice you can’t just do it when you feel like it. There is a timing of while you’re fighting for that positioning before the strike. If you’re off balance trying to knee your attacker, you’ll be on the ground. (this subject is for another article in the future) So basics is be balance before striking.

Strikes Note

If possible, only you can determine this strike in combinations with 2 strikes. Like knee/knee or headbutt/knee. When you headbutt don’t think you always have to hit them on the nose but the side jaw, front shoulder.(if attacker is taller, don’t go for the face)

The more you drill this you’ll get better at doing this. Notice that we didn’t go into any specific JuJitsu/Batman techniques, because they don’t work in the real dynamics of movement. Let this drill be your teacher and experience it.

Last, please watch this video of my long time friend Sgt Don Gulla of King Co. Sheriff Dept in WA demonstrating weapon retention through the perspective of a law enforcement officer. What I’d like for you to get out of this is the dynamics not the technique. You’ll understand there is the fight for positioning, enjoy!

Next time Weapon Retention Part II we’ll cover the point of contact when your weapon is already drawn and you’re both fighting for it.

Please share this with others that you think will benefit from this and leave a comment.

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