If you ever find yourself in a contest of melee or ranged weapons, it's crucial to know a few basic techniques that will help ensure your survival.
Whether you're using knives, swords, or firearms, these tips could help you live to tell the tale.
Knife and sword fights are intimate, and you should be prepared to incur superficial wounds while protecting your vital organs.
At the bare minimum, be sure you are wielding a quality blade you can count on, like a SOG Seal Pup Fixed Blade Knife. Once your opponent realizes the superiority of your weapon, they may feel they have no choice but to flee.
When it comes to blades, it's tempting to think a stabbing motion would be an effective maneuver to attack your opponent. However when handling knives, as with swords, don't be baited into stabbing. The maneuver typically necessitates overextending and exposing your torso to mortal damage from your foe.
Especially with short blades, like Ka-Bar knives, there's a good chance your extremities -- especially your arms -- will to take some damage. It's a tough pill to swallow, but your appendages are among your most valuable defenses. Be prepared for them to suffer gashes.
Unlike a swordfight, don't try to parry your opponent's blade with your own. You should instead be focused on dodging and counter-attacking.
Sometimes it can be useful to find an additional weapon in your environment -- ideally one that offers you more range than your knife. Used properly, a baseball bat, tennis racquet, or even broomstick can inflict damage beyond the reach of your opponent's knife, and ultimately serve to frustrate them to no end. They might even feel outmatched and run.
Sword fights are daunting. Slashing attacks from an expertly-constructed katana can rend organs and result in major blood loss.
Even more so than when fighting with knives, it's important when handling a sword that you maintain good balance. Swords are relatively heavier and more physically taxing to wield than other weapons, so make sure you’ve got a good baseline fitness.
You never want to raise your arms and sword above your head like they do in war movies. Even when you're winning and your confidence is peaking, such a maneuver is foolhardy, and recklessly exposes your most vulnerable regions. Keep your feet flat; take sliding steps; preserve your arm strength by keeping your elbows bent. Again, protect your torso at all costs.
Engagements with ammunition and other flying missiles are a doozy, though they don't feel as raw as blade encounters because you're battling from a distance.
Nevertheless, don't be fooled into thinking you're safer than when you’re in close-quarters combat. In fact, given the rate at which automatic weapons can fire, and the fact that they can shoot with pinpoint accuracy, the prospect of involving yourself in a gunfight is one which you absolutely shouldn't take lightly. One well-placed or even lucky shot, and it's all she wrote.
Survey Your Environment
In gun battles, the theater of combat can cover large swathes of territory. You'll want to take careful stock of your surroundings early on in the fight.
Whether you're attacking or retreating, going at it alone or leading a team, you've got to locate positions of cover if you want to survive.
In particular, as you familiarize yourself with the combat arena, draw out viable routes in your mind between positions of cover. On the flip side, note the places of cover your opponent will likely be utilizing.
Once you have assessed your environment, you will have effectively redrawn a much smaller map that you have to worry about. It'll be easier to focus your attention on the places where it is needed most.
Know Your Equipment
Considering that firefights are all about tactical movement and timing, you'll want to be fully aware of the ins-and-outs of your personal firearm and the rest of your equipment, including what you’re wearing.
Know how many bullets the magazine holds, and how many magazines you have on your person. Practice reloading! Know how long it takes you to reload your particular weapon so you’re not caught off guard on the field.
It's wise to carry a sidearm and outfit your rifle with a sling. A reliable sling will not only help stabilize your shooting position for more accurate shots, it can also be used to seamlessly transition to your sidearm if you don't have time to reload. What's more, it will ensure you never lose your rifle, and assist with carrying it for more fluid movements between cover.
Have a Gameplan
Surviving melee and ranged weapon engagements is all about preparedness, and knowing what you're going to do beforehand. Once you're in it, it's about deliberation and purposefulness in your actions as part of a larger strategy.
You don't necessarily need to destroy your enemy. Sometimes you only have to convince them, as the fact of your superior equipment and weapon's tactics dawn on them, that their efforts are doomed to fail. In such instances their surrender is imminent, and both parties can emerge relatively unscathed.
Published by Jordan Mcdowell