Although disarm techniques can be intimidating due to the fact that they require a person to place themselves in close proximity to an active threat, in fact, they are the best way to protect oneself.
When disarming an individual, is important to approach from the side. In a past training video, our Reflex Defense Trainer, Alain Burrese mentions that in an active threat situation, it is important to stay out of the Fatal Funnel.
That same concept applies in this situation as well. By placing yourself in an area outside of the "fatal funnel," you are staying out of the attacker's initial scope of vision. Additionally, along with protection, this adds an element of surprise.
If you place yourself in an area where a gunman least expects you, it makes a disarm that much more effective.
Another reason to disarm from the side is because of the protection it gives you. If you try to disarm a gunman straight on, it is not effective and places you in a situation in which you become an easy target. Therefore, if you approach an active threat from the side, this provides the most important elements to keep you safe: it keeps you out of the fatal funnel, provides protection, and adds the additional element of surprise.
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The "fatal funnel" is a term used for an area within the opening of a point of entry where most fatalities occur during an active threat situation. Understanding the importance of this area is extremely crucial in the event of an active shooter.
How familiar are you with barricading techniques? Unfortunately, the most common response in an active threat situation is to hide. Whether this is under a table, in a bathroom stall, or in a closet, it is not an effective response to an active threat.
In fact, taking an active stance, although it can be more daunting, is a far better option in an active threat situation.