The Two Defensive Shooting Positions You’re Probably Not Practicing


Target practice is an essential part of concealed carry, but you need to get out of your comfort zone if you want to really improve. When it comes down to it, target practice and real self-defense are very different situations.

The body positions for defensive shooting are not meant to be comfortable or deliver precision accuracy. They are meant to get the job done. Keep in mind that your main goal is to stay alive, so don’t be afraid to get a little dirty and move around.

These are best practiced at an outdoor range. Be sure that it’s safe to move closer to your target to better simulate a close self-defense encounter.

One and Two Leg Kneeling
To practice firing from the kneeling position, first draw your firearm and place your dominant-side knee down. Hold your head, shoulders, arms, and grip in the same position as you would of standing. Focus on the target with your shoulders aligned and your arms extended.

Before firing, be sure that you are in a position to easily transition to standing or walking forward or backward. Use your support hand to steady yourself as you move. If you’re on two knees, first bring your support-side leg forward, then move your other foot to rise.

When you’ve tried your stances and can move between them easily, begin adding live fire to the process.

Firing While on Your Back
If you’ve somehow fallen or tripped and you end up on your back, you need to be able to fire accurately. First lower yourself to the ground and lay back, bring your head up off of the ground. Be sure to keep your legs spread and your knees bent, otherwise you risk shooting your toes instead of your target.

Square your shoulders and fully extend your arms, using a solid grip. Using as much strength as you have in your stomach muscles, bring your head and shoulders up to sight in as best you can. After you’ve practiced getting into position and then sitting up to rest, incorporate live fire into your practice.

If you find yourself on your back, it’s likely that the situation is life or death. As you practice at the range, try to remain calm, breathe regularly, and use trigger discipline even though the strange position feels uncomfortable.

Things to remember
Firing from defensive positions won’t earn you perfect groups or head-shots. They also can’t be done for more than a few minutes at a time.

Take the time to practice getting into position and then resting. Only then should you begin the process of drawing and reloading. When you feel that you’re able to fire safely, begin adding live fire into your practice.

This article is only meant to be a suggestion for practice to consider. Work with a trained instructor to perfect these positions and fire safely.