Don’t Do Stupid Sh*t Just Because “Special Forces XYZ Does It!”


Ok so this is going to be a little bit of a rant.

But it needs to be said because in this day and age — with the internet making practically all the information of the world available at your fingertips — we’re not suffering from a lack of knowledge sources or information to potentially learn from.

No. In modern life, you need to carefully sift through an incredible amount of information and pick out what’s good and bad.


So here’s your warning/rant for today.

Don’t Do Stupid Sh*t Just Because “Special Forces XYZ Does It That Way!

I don’t mean to pick on the Krav Maga experts and their followers, but it seems like it’s always something with these guys.

I wrote an article where I explained how “Israeli Carry” (Condition 3, no round in the chamber) got started. And why it’s obsolete now. (As a followup, you can Watch as Israeli carry nearly gets an Israeli Police Officer stabbed to death when you click here if you insist on carrying that way.)

But this isn’t about Israeli carry …

This IS about not doing stupid sh*t just because “Special Forces XYZ does it!

Here’s a new one to me …

Israeli Krav Maga “Tactical Movement” Shooting Position. Just Don’t.

There’s a Facebook vid that’s making the rounds …

In it, the instructor demonstrates a modified retention/CQB shooting position that goes like this.


Blade the body …

Shield yourself with an elbow out …

And put the pistol on the crook of your elbow there.

Looks like a perfect little place to stick the gun huh? Nice little spot, like it was made to cradle your pistol barrel …

The guy shoots a target and doesn’t shoot himself. It works out for him.

But do me a favor?

Just Don’t.

Just because you see this guy who was in a cool military service (Israeli something or other …) doesn’t mean you should mimic what he’s doing.

There’s a ton of problems with mimicking this …

Probably, what should be most obvious, is that you will eventually shoot a round through your elbow. If you’re really using this in a situation where people are making contact with you — bumping you around, grabbing for your gun, fighting you, etc (as is the justification in the video) — then your shielding arm IS going to get pulled away from you just enough to let the gun muzzle slip down to where it’s pointing into your elbow and you’re going to need a new elbow after you smoke a round through the one you were born with.

Just saying.

If you don’t believe me, clear a pistol for dry-fire or grab an airsoft gun and “war game” this one with a buddy. Basically get in a fight with him trying to grapple with you while you try this.

I’m sure there’s other reasons to not do this, but I just don’t have the energy right now …

If you’re going to shoot from retention, then check out my post where an Ex-Navy SEAL Shows You The Basics of Close Quarters Shooting.

There’s a much better position for compressed shooting. It usually looks something like this:

Former Navy SEAL and professional Firearms trainer Kyle Defoor demonstrating shooting from retention.

Retention shooting/shooting in close quarters usually looks something like this depending on the application. The gun is in a compressed position, so it still can’t be grabbed (easily). The other hand/arm is WAY out of the way because shooting yourself with the gun in retention is a very, VERY possible scenario.  This is pretty basic/proven stuff and it should stay that way.

Just because something is “cool” looking or “new” or taught by “Special Forces” or they (supposedly) do it that way — doesn’t mean you should too.

Oh by the way:

Mini Rant: Stop Saying “Special Forces” Unless You Mean “Special Forces”!

First, don’t do the dumb stuff.

Second, don’t do it and then justify it by saying “Special Forces” does it if you don’t really mean “Special Forces”!

As explained here, “Special Forces” is a specific term for a particular group of soldiers in the US Army (also commonly called the “Green Berets”.)

Because not only do you look dumb for justifying your dumb/not well thought out techniques by saying you’re copying “Special Forces XYZ“, but you look double dumb for mis-using “Special Forces”.

Anyways, Enough Negativity. Don’t Try This One At Home Folks!

I really mean no disrespect to the instructor in the video.

I don’t know who he is, his background, or whether he could kill me in a 1-on-1 fight to the death.

And I’m not linking to his page.

I’m not starting a fight.

I don’t care.

He may be a great guy, and everything else he teaches is solid.

I’m just showing the technique that was demo’d in the video and telling you not to do it.

But the BIGGER lesson here has nothing to do with this particular technique and definitely nothing to do with this particular instructor …

MY KEY POINT: Just because you saw some “Super JSOC Jedi Special Operator Ninja” show a technique on the internet, you shouldn’t try copying it because they do it. Apply critical thinking first.

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Caleb Lee is the #1 best-selling author of "Concealed Carry 101" and founder of He is a civilian (no law enforcement or military experience) who shares information about self-defense and becoming more self-reliant. He's a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo, NRA Certified Basic Pistol & Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor, Concealed Carry Academy Instructor certified & also a graduate of the Rangermaster firearms instructor course. He's also the author of numerous online courses including the course.


  1. even without someone grappling with you, just the recoil as the gun comes back down could come down with it aiming at you other strong arm.

  2. If you were using a revolver you would cause serious injury to yourself with this technique.

  3. Hi Caleb could I leave my rant with you ?It aint about Guns it is Knifes,Being an actual real Soilder of fortune I wanna point out some things that that stupid Magazine has said or Should I say some of the contributing writters.First of the number of Knifes you should carry Mimium should be Four not three as some butt heads claim.One Utility Type pocket knife for starters, A six inch hunting knife for obvious reasons, A large Double Edged Fighting knife 9 to 12 inches in length. and a good Jungle knife of the larger variety like a Kokiri or Bolo. 24 to 36 inches usually is sufficient.They do not need to be name brand hi priced knifes to do the job just well made.

  4. As with a LOT of things, if it looks to good to be true, then it probably isn’t true.
    I’m NOT a gunfighter. If you come at me, I’m gonna try to put a hi powered rifle round through you from as far off as I can detect you and your intent. Just one, in as bad a spot as I can place it. Hopefully through a silencer.
    But just LOOKING at this stance, the potential for orthopedic surgery in the very near future is apparent. Exactly as Caleb says, in a grapple, there is a great likeleyhood that the gun is going to get pushed/pulled/ knocked out of the perfect position, and in the heat of battle, BOOM, you’re down a wing. Maybe, just maybe, we’re takin this out of context, and there is something I’m not aware of going on, but I doubt it. And John Doe out there isn’t gonna likely be trained in whatever other tactics that need to be employed with this.
    It honestly looks like the shooter should have a flashlight in his off hand, anfd the arm is being used as a crossbar. Meh. I still don’t like it.
    What is trying to be conveyed here is bigger than this one tactic. And this is to THINK about the what if of ANY move, and honestly evaluate if YOU think YOU can make it work. If not, go for something you CAN make work. Play to YOUR strengths, if you can. There are ALWAYS gonna be extenuating circumstances that FORCE you to alter your plan. That’s what you train for. But DON’T train for something that you obviously don’t expect will work well, just because somebody on the internet told you that this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s YOU and yours that are gonna bleed for it, if it’s not right for YOU.

  5. I’ve taken many firearm classes throughout my lifetime. And I always walk away taking just bits and pieces from each course. I’ve never taken a course that was 100% perfect. Always use common sense. And what works for the instructor may not work for your application.

  6. Interestingly enough, I was just shown what is essentially this technique in a handgun retention class at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference. Rather than being a CQB shooting position, it is a method to prevent being disarmed during a weapon grab. The two handed grip breaks with the dominant hand sliding along the forearm in physical contact until the fist gripping the gun is in the crook of the elbow. The non-dominant hand grips the dominant shoulder and with your body bladed, body weight and leverage are used to break your opponent’s grasp on your handgun. And yes, properly executed, you can shoot from this position. Context is everything! I certainly don’t disagree with your overall premise, but there’s more to this technique and the linked video probably isn’t presenting it correctly.

    • I get what you’re describing — you’re basically using your elbow as a place to “stop” the guy grabbing your gun and then your body is the leverage/force to wrench it from his hands …

      That works.

      I guess context is key but this video presented the entire thing as a shooting stance/position to fight from.

      Seems dumb.

      • Well, mah boy, Caleb, once again you’re on the cutting topic edge, NPI, with this rant It’s one of my rants, too. It seems that I also spend too much time lately these days myself debunking stupid shit in my own tutorials. I’ve been teaching advanced weapons retention/disarmament in CQB training for many years. I know all the Krav Maga techniqes as they were an early study in this area of combatives. And I was one of the consultants who showed a few movie actors how to take a gun away properly back in the days.

        It’s starting to get like the old martial arts bullshit of ‘knowing’ 80 techniques/moves to solve one problem of simply knocking the target OUT. So you waste a lot of unnecessary time and practice that could be better spent.

        Weapon retention is even easier since the attacker’s focus is known immediately as he goes for your gun and therefore you know his hands are occupied and not immediately striking you. This gives you a reverse action v. reaction advantage. In other words, he may have got the ‘action’ jump on you to go for your gun, but now that his hands are occupied you can counter with relative ease while in effect he just stands there and ‘lets’ you smash him to a pulp. You can’t grab and pull or fire a gun from an extended reach with your eyeball instantly imploding in its socket and your throat collapsing in a bloody death gurgle…

        But…you gotta really know how to hit.

        So most of the weapons retention training would probably not work well as demonstrated in a class.
        Especially if the defender was not a skilled ass kicker to begin with in empty hand combat.

        But then if he/she was, they likely would never get into a situation where anyone would even get close to knowing/seeing they had a gun, until the bullet hit them CN (center nose)

        Actually it’s the uniform police with exposed sidearm who really need practiced weapons retention skills. The problem is that instructors who make a living out of teaching need to offer more different tactics to justify their classes. And you’re right, it starts to then degenerate into too much stuff you really don’t need AND can be dangerous as well.

        So I agree. Don’t do this move. You already fucked up big time if you already had your gun out pointing at your assailant and who is coming at you didn’t shoot yet? Unless you are completely surprise ambushed in a blink of an eye. Or a cop whose incident intervention/response abruptly escalates into a physical grab attempt, why would anybody be pointing their gun at anyone WAITING for them to ‘Frog’ and NOT shoot them before they landed, if the gun was already out focused, and trigger ready to rock?

        That’s why this particular technique is full of shit and will likely get you more hurt than the attacker.

        Okay, class dismissed.

  7. KISS. That system ‘may’ work with TONS of muscle memory practice. But I agree with you. You are going to get either muzzle flash burn or with your adrenaline pumping, shoot yourself. Or you will impinge on the slide, and jam your gun. KISS. No reason to re-invent the wheel. 🙂

    • I think you nailed why this bothers me so much lol

      ” KISS. No reason to re-invent the wheel”

      Or when the wheel is reinvented it will quickly prove itself. When shooters start winning USPSA matches using this stance – and everyone uses it as the go to position during force on force grappling with guns classes — I’ll give it some merit lol

  8. Lots of techniques that are “Israeli” seem to me, are shit. All someone has to mention is its Israeli, whether it be technique or weapon and most people cream their pants. I met an IDF guy once in a class. Everyone was enamored with him being IDF. Once we got to the firing line all that changed in an instant, as he couldn’t shoot for shit.

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