Extreme Close-Quarter Training with 3D Targets

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Duration: 3:27

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You’ll find a lot of misinformation about self-defense and defensive shooting by watching videos on the internet. In this PDN video, Rob Pincus tackles one problematic scenario often seen in internet videos, explains what’s wrong with the depiction, and highlights how we should actually be training.

Rob is at extreme close quarters with a man-sized 3D target, in this case a rubber mannequin. He puts two shots into the torso, backs up and takes one head shot. It looks cool, but would he ever do this in an actual defensive encounter? Rob explains why the answer is no.

Training with 3D Targets

When you have man-sized 3D targets and are going to train at extreme close quarters (ECQ), it’s important to ask, what are you simulating? It is essential not to ignore the hands and arms of the mannequin target, because if you are at ECQ with an attacker, their hands and arms are not going to be motionless. They may be striking you with their fists or with a weapon such as a knife.

Unarmed Skills

You may very well need to employ unarmed self-defense skills (and we hope you have some of those!) such as CCC — Clear, Control, and Counter — to prevent being stabbed by the knife. Throwing an elbow strike, a knee strike, or making another unarmed move will probably be necessary. Having the time to draw your gun from the holster won’t be possible until you have controlled the threat’s arms.

When Should You Draw the Gun?

Only when that is accomplished should you reach for your gun, having created the space for what PDN Contributor Craig Douglas calls “in-fight weapons access.” Then you can draw and orient the gun into a contact shooting position and take the shot into the target’s torso. Next, reholster the gun and evaluate what the angle of your shot did to the target.

Your handgun training and practice resources, to include time, money and effort, are limited. Don’t waste them training impractical skills you will never use.

If you have the chance to train with 3D mannequins, take advantage of that by doing realistic training evolutions. Develop your skills in a way that makes sense, not in a way that just looks flashy.