It’s no secret, I believe strongly that if you are going to carry for any reason, whether it be personally or professionally you need to be well rounded. You have to be good at all the core skills, not great at one or two and so-so at everything else.
Time and room
At this past weekend’s Concealed Carry Combatives class the students did a lot, and I mean a lot, of the drills where they were shooting strong hand only. Well, they were simulating they were shooting strong hand only. The reality is in close quarters you may not have the time, or more importantly the room, to achieve a standard two handed grip. Proximity is the most likely reason; you are too close and could find yourself back in a clinch or gun take away situation. You need to get very comfortable shooting with just your strong hand from all different positions.
Reality sets in
During the live fire portion of these scenarios, the students will do a lot of work firing from close contact, near contact, contact and off-angled shots. These types of drills are designed to safely mimic reality and provide the student with some incredibly valuable information. Aside from it just being weird to shoot from some of these positions, the “look” the students get helps them to 1) see the shoots in a fight and 2) achieve better results after training. A lot of folks don’t even realize they can do the stuff we do until they are given an opportunity to do so. Then once they have had a chance to run a few drills they have a lot more confidence and some really important know-how.
Since we are doing a lot of talking about Strong Hand Only type shooting, I watch so many students practicing flat out wrong. When we run the familiarization for SHO in our regular classes it is just that: a “fam”. We don’t have the time to go as in depth as we do during our full-on stand alone Strong Hand Only class. Even with only a fam, you walk away with a tremendous amount of knowledge and skill. Probably the most important thing you can walk away with is to keep it simple and, here is the big one, keep it the same.
Keep it the same
The more you deviate from your standard stance, mount and grip, the more likely you are to NOT develop the skill. Put it in perspective, you already don’t practice SHO enough. Most folks would rather be off stroking their ego on some silly drill that they watched on YouTube rather than on working their deficiencies. So, when it comes to SHO don’t deviate from the norm. In other words, start out with your standard stance, mount and grip, just as if you were going to use both hands, then drop your weak hand. That’s it! You have learned the super secret to SHO. The more you deviate from what you know, the less likely you are to be successful. Think about it, how much SHO do you do in comparison to your standard shooting? Probably not that much, so keep it the same.
Knowledge bomb going off
About the only things we tell people is leave your weak hand at your side. If you could move it to your chest, then it is not disabled and you could move it to your gun. So, why are you practicing something that would be a total failure in a real gun fight. Remember, you are a product of your training. Probably the most important thing you want to do is exaggerate your strong side elbow pointing down and not out. If you were to have a laser shoot out from your elbow, you want the laser pointing down near your foot, not out to the side. It is simple body mechanics. If your laser elbow is pointing outward, you have disengaged your entire shoulder girdle from your technique. Or in other words, you’ve weakened your technique. I can’t believe there are still people out there who cant the weapon and give me some song and dance about it being better because it is a more natural grip or the myriad of other reasons. The last thing is your strong hand thumb should always apply downward pressure. With two hands downward pressure, with one hand still downward pressure. If you continue to apply downward pressure, your thumb will move closer to your middle finger, which is a good thing.
Practicing a few drills Strong Hand Only is good, but don’t be fooled into thinking you got it down. If it were easy, you’d be doing it all the time.