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Survive Having A Gun To Your Head

A Last Resort

If you are held at gun point, your first goal should be giving the attacker whatever he wants (within reason). This usually means your wallet, car keys, or any jewelry you have on you. If this is the case, give the guy what he wants and consider yourself lucky. However, we all know that there are some circumstances where an attacker wants something we are not willing to give up.

For example, if you are with a loved one (your wife, child, etc.) and it’s clear that the attacker wants more than your money, you may be forced to act. This self-defense gun disarm technique is specifically designed for these last resort situations.

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Don’t Pull Away

In this scenario it is crucial that the barrel of the handgun be touching your head. I know this may sound counter-intuitive, but if it is touching your head don’t pull away. Instead, put more pressure on it. If you know the gun is close but not touching your head, slowly move so that it is touching your head.

This may seem strange, but having pressure on the gun gives you two distinct advantages:

  1. It lets you know exactly where the gun is.
  2. It allows you to more quickly and efficiently roll your body off the target line and move inside the weapon. Both of these are crucial if you want this disarming technique to work.

Breaking It Down

Now that you are off the target line and have closed the gap between you and your attacker you can go for the disarm. Here are the next steps:

  1. When you roll to the inside of the gunman’s shooting arm you must simultaneously bring your inside arm up and over the attackers arm.
  2. Continue by wrapping your arm under his. His forearm will be locked into your armpit while you drive his elbow joint upward, extending his shoulder joint past its range of motion. At this point you have the attacker in a joint lock, but depending on his strength and size this may or may not cause him to lose control of the weapon.
  3. Finally, use your outside arm to drive the attackers elbow upward. This will damage the shoulder joint, causing even bigger, stronger attackers to drop the weapon.

End The Fight

Your job doesn’t stop there. Once the weapon has been dropped it is best to follow up by maintaining the joint lock and striking the attacker with whatever self-defense tools you’ve got. This includes eye gouges, ridge hands to the throat, a leg sweep, or a strike to any other target that presents itself.

Once you’ve distracted him with a sufficient amount of pain, your goal is to gain control of the weapon and create distance between you so that you are not disarmed by him.

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Additional Considerations

There are a couple of extra factors to consider about this self-defense gun disarm technique.

  1. When disarming a gun there will usually be at least one round discarded from the weapon. This usually happens as you are turning to clear your own body from the target line. It’s your job to make sure an innocent bystander will not be in danger from the stray bullet (this is especially important if you are with loved ones). If necessary you may be able to slowly move in such a way that you position any bystanders off the target line before you attempt the disarm technique.
  2. For this particular self-defense disarm technique to work the attacker must be carrying the weapon with one hand. Keep in mind, there are countless different self-defense scenarios involving being held at gunpoint and what we’ve shown here is simply one example, not a universal solution to weapon disarming.

Learning From Failure

As with most things in life, these live demos don’t always go exactly as planned, but Bob refused to simply do another take and edit those parts out. Instead he used them to show how thinking on your feet, combining different techniques, and rapid use of weapon malfunction drills can salvage a situation even when things don’t go as expected.

About The Instructor

Every gun disarming technique taught by Bob Taylor has been rigorously tested using simunition (including with wax bullets in the early days). He and his training partner Randy Warner ran every gun disarming techniques they could find through their gauntlet of tests. The result is a package containing gun disarm techniques (including the one shown here) that have the highest probability of success.

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118 thoughts on “Survive Having A Gun To Your Head”

  1. You gotta love this guy, Bob Taylor is an expert instructer….great video, thanks for keeping us “Armed” out here.

  2. I LOVE IT!!! Good job~!

    Of all the techniques I’ve learned over the year, the one I felt the most inadequate trying was defense against a firearm.

    When doing demonstrations, I’d make my instructor mad by placing my hand where the pistol was supposed to be, and hold the pistol about 6 inches away. When he turned to deflect the weapon, I’d shoot him1 The crowds loved it, but my Sensei definitely didn’t.

    I like this technique much better than the ones I learned. It would be most satisfying to destroy his shoulder, pop out an eyeball, or do whatelse seems good to send him a messagethat he should have taken the whole day off instead trying to kill me.

  3. This technique looks much more likely to end the fight, than what I was taught.

    I should think that breaking his arm, his elbow, or gouging him in the eyes would send him a message he couldn’t get another way.

    Too nad…..for him.

    David Moseley

  4. Some people will just shoot you. They just don’t care.

    What if you get in a car and are ambushed by someone hiding in the backseat?
    This happened to my son.

    The guy jumped up and had him in a choke hold so hard he could hardly breathe and the gun stuck in the back of his head so hard it left bruises.

    I feel he did exactly the right thing by remaining as calm as possible and just gave up his wallet, phone, etc. His friend ended up shot for no apparent reason even though he was cooperating.

    1. Ellie,
      There is no general answer for what anyone should do when a gun is placed to their head. Each person has to decide from themselves what the criminal wants and if they intend to let you live etc. This technique simply provides you with the best possible way to attempt a disarm if you feel the attacker wants more than your wallet. One point I can say confidently is that in most circumstances a person who wants to simply kill you will never get close enough for you to touch the gun. When the gun is put against a person it is being used as a tool for fear and cooperation. In most situations I recommend cooperating, most criminals simply want your wallet or car etc. but you just never know when you may have to use extreme measures.

      As for your initial question: “what to do if someone is hiding in your backseat?” Because you cannot move freely a disarm would be foolish. I can only say that you should always lock your car doors and be aware of who is around when you enter your vehicle. Awareness is key but you cannot prevent every circumstance.

  5. This technique is good EXCEPT for when the attacker is holding the weapon in his LEFT hand. Attempting this technique in that situation will probably get you a round to the gut.

  6. Great , Great , Moves guys ! A gun to the head is serious stuff, taking this type of attacker out is critical….. Keep up the great – videos !!!!

  7. Unless I’m mistaken it’s been proven statistically that it only gets worse for the victim at a secondary location. In other words, if he’s trying to take you somewhere else it’s to a place where there’s fewer witnesses. At that moment the crime is evolving from an armed robbery to something more serious, and if you’re going to do something about it to save yourself, that’s the time to do it.

    You might also try and gain a little time by appearing to cooperate. If he tells you to put your hands up, he’s expecting motion from you. That’s when you make your move. If you can get him to think about something else by asking him a question or somehow misdirecting his attention, that will add fractions of seconds to his response time.

    Also be advised that bad guys have their finger on the trigger. The gun will go off. If action is faster than re-action then you want him to be re-acting to you.

  8. Dude,
    I disagree stringently with one of your first statements – You said that “Your first goal should be to give the attacker what he wants”; this is NOT something to bet your life on – that giving the scumbag “what he wants” will keep you alive. In the past, that was a smart move – NOT in the last 10-15 years. NOW they do NOT care if you live or die – getting you to give them your loot just makes their job easier.
    If some “A-hole” has a gun to my head – you MUST assume his first and ONLY intent is to kill you…and take appropriate action.
    Really good first tip about letting the barrel touch your head – in fact, it is wise for a reason you did not mention – a small backward pressure on the muzzle will remove slightly the pressure of the perp’s finger pressure on the trigger. However minutely this happens, it DOES leave a small window of opportunity in which to finish the action.

  9. I believe that three things are essential before employing the technique which looks really great. If there is a gun to the back of your head, you may not know which hand is holding it. The following can inform you of which hand is holding the gun and ensure that the gun is held in only one hand when you go into action.
    So, assuming that you have decided that it is necessary to take the criminal out and you do not know which hand is holding the gun:
    1. Appear to cooperate by giving your wallet or cell phone. (If it’s not immediately requested, volunteer money or wallet.)
    2. Then, with your head pressed against the gun as instructed in the video, present your donation out to your left side with your left hand, palm down, but not too close to your side, and not at all behind you. As long as the gun is pressed against your head, you should be able to discern by peripheral vision that the gun is in his right hand. The idea is to trick him into accepting your wallet or phone with his left hand. hand. Any unusual movement by him or request to present the donation in another way will either assure you that you need more information, or that the gun is in his left hand.
    3. The time to act will be the moment that your wallet is in his hand. You will have already determined which hand holds the gun, and that he is indeed holding the gun with only one hand.

  10. The “gun to the head” video assumes you know in which hand the attacker is holding the gun. If he had the gun in the opposite hand the technique would not work.
    Can you show what technique is required in that situation.

  11. Thanks I will give my Volunteer CSI crew this imformation at next training session I am still 10/7 due to open heart surgery.

  12. In response to the question about the armed assailant in the backseat; situational awareness first, and if the guy does get the better of the driver, you are in control of really only one thing: the vehicle. Stomp the gas and SLAM THE BRAKES. The driver has airbag protection, the passenger in the back does not. Obviously this is a last ditch attempt to survive. I know a guy who did this, and the perp went to the hospital. Thank you very much for these videos! Noelle

  13. I like the simplicity and clarity of this presentation.

    Years ago, when I was studying Preying Mantis gung fu, my sifu (one of the most advanced martial artists I’ve ever seen) asked the class how we would handle a particular situation which he described. He evaluated our various responses.

    Then he said he was constantly thinking of what to do (in that and a zillion other situations). In a heartbeat, I got it. The difference between us was he never stopped preparing and when it got too difficult, I did. Once he gets an idea, he practices until perfect, no matter how much pain, time and effort it takes.

    It’s all about how much commitment we’re willing to make.

  14. Thank you so much, Mr. Taylor! Another great tip that might allow you to live another day. We thank you guys for these life saving tips for both men and women.
    Sunny

  15. What if the man with the pistol was holding the pistol with his left hand? , also how are you to tell which hand he has it in?

  16. Thank you Mr. Taylor. Sending to a bunch of
    men who work at night. We so appreciate you and FightFast for these free life saving tips.
    Sunny

  17. Thanks Mr.Taylor in times like these you never know when a global crisis will happen I’m doing tons of re search on self defense. I want to be able to protect my family if shit gets real. Thx for your vid!

  18. Great demo one never knows when danger will be present so it pays to be ready for any confrontation great job guys

  19. HEY BIG BOB,
    THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING.
    IT HAS HELPED ALLOT AND IS MUCH MORE THAN HANDY.
    HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF SOME OF YOUR GOOD DEALS. PLAN TO ACCESS MORE IN THE FUTURE.
    KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK & KEEP U, COMIN.
    MAY GOD BLESS YOU,
    Wynn

  20. Great demonstration. I would like to know how you determine if the perpetrator is left or right handed or if he is holding the weapon with both hands.If with both hands how do you defend?

  21. That’s very risky, without controlling the wrist, he can still turn the weapon at you before you make him drop it.

  22. Thinking about your lessons I’m a 62 year old man, but in good shape, I’ve lived on the street as a homeless person, and had my share of troubles.

  23. This is good I’ve thought this one before to my students.I would love to see how your instructor would handle taking a gun from some one holding it tight to their waist as if pulled from a cc holster

  24. how can i find this and similar fast fight stuff,from the former spetzns, special forcess,bar fight,the ost viious and quick technique, i have recieved maman fast fight,but looking forthe most or ultimate martial arts

  25. That’s an awesome move. Wanted to know how much pressure do you need to press against the pistol when the attacker puts it to your head.

  26. I have personally used this exact technique to disarm an individual thirty years ago. Thinking it was a pistol pressed to the base of my skull I did exactly as you describe in the technique, disarming the individual who had placed a pool cue there while making a threat. He never knew what hit him when he suddenly found himself on the ground looking up at a very large very angry man holding the very weapon he had been grasping only a second before. This method worked. PS I don’t know how but I did not hurt him anymore, chalking it up to a guy with beer muscles getting out of hand.

  27. What can I say that I didn’t say before you guys are truly the best these videos are priceless thanks joe Liguori

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