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Which stance?

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by btaylor, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. btaylor


    Nov 8, 2012
    Central Texas
    I'm getting conflicting training regarding stance. The last defensive handgun course I attended taught a stance with shoulders square to the threat and arms locked out. Previously I had been taught Weaver stance with 30 degree shoulder and body rotation toward strong side. I can shoot well using either but want to do the best I can. Can you give your advice and experience in real world encounters? Should I go to the trouble to adapt to whatever course I am taking at the time or stick with one all the time?

    Thanks for all you do for this forum and the great books and articles you've written over the years.
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    I don't see it as either/or. For decades, I've taught Isosceles AND classic Weaver, with Ray Chapman's modification of the Weaver stance (gun arm locked, support arm bent and pulling back, shoulders somewhat forward) in between.

    The reason is, we have to be able to respond to unpredictable angles of attack, which are highly likely to come unexpectedly from a flank. Classic Weaver with both elbows bent gives you much more rotation range of the gun toward your non-dominant side than Isosceles, and Isosceles in turn gives you more range toward your dominant side than Weaver. You may be butt-down, caught in a narrow space between a couple of vehicles as in a parking lot, on ice or staircase or whatever, and be unable to step into your preferred stance.

    What you're wearing may have an effect, too. Very heavy winter clothing or tight suits can restrict you from extending into Isosceles, but Weaver will work in that situation. Classic Weaver blades the armpit and side vulnerably toward your opponent if you're wearing body armor, but Isosceles squares up the armor between your torso and the identified threat you're facing, maimizing your protection. There are also issues of eye dominance, arm injury, ranges of movement, etc. to consider.

    Space is limited here, but you'll find more discussion on this in a couple of my books, "StressFire" and "Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery, Volume 6," both available from Amazon last I knew.


  3. btaylor


    Nov 8, 2012
    Central Texas
    Thanks. Time for some more reading.