What is the Strategy for Winning a Gunfight?

The strategy for winning a defensive gunfight is converting disadvantage to advantage.

Let’s clarify what we mean by defensive combative firearms training.

Because you are not the one instigating the confrontation, you will initially be at a disadvantage and in a reactionary and defensive state because you are behind in what John Boyd called the decision making process or the “OODA Loop”.

Conversely, because your adversary is selecting the time, palace, conditions, and weaponry for the confrontation – he will initially start with the initiative as the causal factor in your situation because he has already completed may OODA Loops before you ever even knew of him or his intent.

While starting in a reactive state is an initial disadvantage; proper training can teach you how to convert this initial reactive and disadvantageous situation to your advantage and to the disadvantage of your adversary.

Solid training programs can teach you how to react in a manner that will cause your adversary to react to your actions, and exploiting this initial success can allow you to then wrestle the initiative away from your adversary and then keep him in a reactive state so you can end the with a more favorable outcome for yourself.

The key here is for you to become the causal factor to your adversaries plan for you, and thereby placing him in a disadvantageous reactive state, and the more solid your skills are, the easier it will be for you.

Obviously, converting the initial disadvantage to advantage is key, and this key does have a price, and that price is effort in training.

Since the strategy of winning a gunfight focuses on exchanging the initial disadvantage for advantage then the tactics you use need to focus on will need to help you increase your interaction with your environment (cover/concealment, obstacles, other operators, etc.) while simultaneously isolating and breaking your adversary down so that he is no longer a threat to you or others.

Just as importantly, you will need to know when to bend the rules and shape your techniques to form better tactics.

An example of this would be situating yourself cover closer than you normally may in order to avoid an elevated threat or threats from multiple sides.

As we progress, will provide examples to help you see how the pieces can be fit together to better fit your specific tactical situation, and give you ideas on how you can best facilitate your own training.

I will try to provide simple and flexible concepts, unifying terminology, laying out common reference points, and giving some clarity of the mechanics of fighting that allow you to operate both independently and as a teammate where appropriate.

To supplement your training I encourage you can read what others have written about war, how men perform in war, and those tactics, techniques, and procedures that have been successful in the past. If you are observant you will be able to pick up the patterns of conflict and you will then be able to react more appropriately in different scenarios that may develop in different types of conflicts that may arise in your life.

Next, let’s establish a common language by clarifying some definitions and introducing some additional terminology. Don’t worry about memorizing the definitions, just wrap your mind around the concepts, get a working understanding of them, and remember where to find them when you want to reference them again.

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