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Defend Thyself Personal Defense

Art of the Quick Draw

by George Wehby   |  July 28th, 2011 3

Almost every tactical school or course I ever attended this principle was expressed: “Smooth is fast, Slow is smooth; therefore, slow is fast.” At first glance this saying seems like a contradiction. It is more of a paradox if you will. The concept is very simple, but very hard to put into practice, especially under stress. This saying can apply to all avenues of life, but we will confine it to the area of pistol shooting for this piece.

Being smooth is being clean, direct and efficient in your movement. This is most often applied to the handgun draw and presentation to the target. (It can be applied to all tactical disciplines) While mastering the draw, most shooters are so focused on being the fastest draw, that they make extraneous movements due to the frantic rush that ends up adding steps and movement to their draw. The idea is to start off slow and methodical, build the movement memory (muscle memory) and be consistent in your repetitions. This will grove out a direct path to the draw and create smoothness in the movement. After some serious conditioning, the movement becomes intuitive and speed can be applied along the trained movement. Just like anything in the life, the more you practice the better you get and therefore can add more speed until the movement starts to break down. At that point you can slow back down, return to smoothness and slowly add more gas. It is an on going process of refinement.

Using the above principle, you can slowly and effectively push the level of your proficiency up in any activity. Since we are dealing with the personal defense aspect of skill development, this type of training could one day save your life, not to mention it is fun improving. Stay Safe!

George Wehby

About George Wehby

Wehby's personal defense experience includes US Marine Corps Infantry, White House NCO, Presidential Marine Sentry, decorated street police officer in Prince Georges County, MD, US Department of Homeland Security, Federal Air Marshall and professional firearms trainer for Triple Canopy specializing in handguns and concealment. His experience also includes more than 25 years in Martial Arts and is currently a Mixed Martial Arts Instructor. He is a Black Belt Instructor of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (under Tony Passos), Black Belt in Nisei Kito Ryu Jiu-jitsu (under Sergio Decasien) and also a Black Belt in Goju Karate (under Bob Roach).

  • Antonio

    I have a question on technique. I've read that as soon as you draw from the holster, you begin to point the muzzle at the target. I've assumed this is so you don't shoot yourself in the foot and to allow you to get a shot off before extending the arms and aligning the sights, therefore giving you an advantage with a first, fast shot.

    1. Is this correct?

    2. If so, shouldn't you practice "shooting from the hip?"

    • WalterWoj

      While the staff here didn't see fit to answer your question I will: No, shooting from the hip involves drawing and firing without ever using your sights, or even intending to. The position you would find yourself in and the end of shooting from the hip would not be conducive to taking a second aimed shot. You shout draw to an aim-able shooting stance so that while you first shot may be fired while you are not totally on target (if that is your school of thought) your second and subsequent shots will be and you will be in a far better tactical situation than holding a gun down by your hip with no hope of taking a very accurate shot.

  • Mike

    I always though of it as more of a "snatch" from the holster… works for me.

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