Home     │     Information     │     Register     │     Instruction     │     FAQ   │     Contact




Unarmed Defense against Firearms


John M. Landry, Ph.D., FIMAS


 Firearms defense, disarming weapons, Hojutsu



 The topic of firearms defense by an unarmed victim is something that has always existed since firearms have existed and always will be an issue of concern in the world of martial arts. To defend against a firearm and possibly disarm the assailant is of utmost importance to survive the encounter. Using a realistic, but non-deadly and non-injurious firearm training tool or simulator, can increase the effectiveness of the firearms defense training. Furthermore, with advances in technology, training aids such as the NextLevel training SIRT pistol allows for very realistic firearm defense training.


 The various martial arts contain many possible solutions for an attacker holding a firearm and pointing it towards the victim. If the attacker if firing then the defender can only run, hide, seek concealment or hopefully seek cover (which stops or slows the bullet projectile).

 There are various methods and techniques for defending against firearms; however, the various techniques and training aids available can be quantified.

 Martial Arts Systems for Firearm Defenses:

Traditional Martial Arts Example:


The author studied Judo as a young boy and has great respect for its ability to be a useful and effective self-defense martial arts besides being an Olympic sport. “The Kodokan Goshin Jutsu was created in 1956 by a Kodokan working group to update the older kata with more modern forms of self-defense. It also shows the influence of Kenji Tomiki, one of Professor Kano's students, who also studied Aikido under the founder of Aikido.”

 “It consists of 21 techniques against an unarmed, as well as armed, attacker. It is divided into two unarmed sets (toshu no bu) and three sets with weapons (buki no bu). The first seven techniques are against an attack close in. The next five are against attacks from strikes and kicks. Then there are three attacks with a knife, three with a stick and three with a gun. The techniques here cannot be used in free exercise practice or in competition, but only in kata. Never-the-less, as one practices this kata, the attack speed increases and one's reflexes and reactions sharpen to meet the attack. Eventually, this kata can be practiced with real weapons.”

 “The intent in this kata is different than with normal Judo practice, in that this is a self-defense kata; the intent on the part of both participants is to hurt the other. While the actions are controlled, so that the attacker is not hurt, the defender's actions can easily be modified to disable the attacker. It is important to realize that all of the techniques in this kata are consistent with the principles of "Judo," the way of gentleness or yielding.”

 Armed Attack - Gun

Shomen zuke - pistol held to abdomen


Shomen zuke

 “Attacker steps forward with his right foot and holds gun against abdomen, says teo age (or hands up), and searches for wallet with other hand. Defender raises hands slowly, watching attacker's eyes, and at the key moment, turns to the right stepping forward with the left foot. Defender grabs the gun with his left hand, thumb on top, and his wrist with the right hand from the top, forcing it to the side and up into attacker's armpit and a release of the weapon. Defender then strikes attacker with weapon.”

 Koshi gamae - pistol at side

Koshi gamae

“Attacker approaches with his left foot. Pistol is held away from defender towards the side aimed at the stomach and the defender raises his hands after the command of teo age (or hands up). As attacker reaches for wallet, defender turns, grabs the gun from the top with the right hand, forces it to point away, and with the aid of the other hand, forces gun up and pulls it away to the right. Attacker's finger is locked into the trigger guard and is broken off. Defender ends the attack with an upward strike to the chin of the attacker with the gun. “

 Haimen zuke – pistol against the back

Haimen zuke


“Attacker steps forward with the right foot. As gun is placed against the back as the attacker says teo age (or hands up). The defender glances to see what arm is raised. As attacker reaches for wallet, defender turns to the right, drops the right hand under the gun hand, raising it up to lock the gun arm against his chest. He then grabs the gun with other hand disarming attacker and striking him with it or applying kite gash to throw him.”


“Kodokan Goshin Jutsu or Kodokan Goshin Jutsu, Kodokan skills of self-defense) is a set of prearranged self-defense forms in Judo. It is the most recent kata of Judo, having been created in 1956. It incorporates techniques from aikido through the influence of Kenji Tomiki. It consists of several techniques to defend oneself from: unarmed attack, attack with a dagger, with a stick, and with a gun.”
Pistol Defense Judo Techniques:

Shomen-zuke (Pistol at the Abdomen)

Doshi-gamae (Pistol Held at the Side)

Haimen-zuke (Pistol against the Back


 Non-Traditional Martial Art System Example:


Southard Combat Karate System

Shinja Buke Ryu Kenpo

These offer real world and contemporary gun and other weapon defenses. These systems

offer video training as well as seminar training covering their techniques. The author is

 ranked in both systems and highly recommends them for reality based self-defense.


 Here is an example of a technique from these systems:


Photo Courtesy of Grandmaster Tony Southard of the Southard Combat System


Attacker places gun on forehead of defender and threatens him.

Photo Courtesy of Grandmaster Tony southward of the Southard Combat System


Defender grabs slide of pistol and turns gun inward toward the attacker while

 simultaneously slapping the pressure points located on the inner wrist/lower forearm area

 and then performs a dis-arm taking the firearm from the attacker.

The next topic necessary to the effective practice of firearm defenses is the topic of training aids.


 Training Aids:

 Rubber Guns

 Blue Guns

 SIRT NextLevel Training Pistols

 There are many different possibilities for training aids available but the one that the

author recommends the most is the SIRT Training Pistol. The author has tested an

evaluated these training pistols and is in the process of conducting a research study and

writing a white paper on the effectiveness of the visual cues provided by training with the


SIRT Pistol.

 NextLevel Training SIRT Pistols:

 SIRT Pistols are shooting simulators that can be used anywhere, just as pilots have flight simulators; automobile drivers have driving simulators, and golfers have golf simulators.

NextLevel Training produces and distributes SIRT pistols which display a red laser dot when trigger slack is taken up and then once the trigger is fully pressed, a red or green (depending on model) laser dot appears indicating the exact trajectory of a fired projectile. The trigger automatically resets so no slide manipulation is required. On the downside the slide does not actually move and cannot be cycled for any type of malfunction drills. That being said, the magazines do eject and are changeable so malfunction drills can be simulated.

In terms of neurological and psychological learning methodology, the visual cues displayed are a huge benefit for those attempting to learn or preserve the psychomotor skill of martial arts firearm defenses. The majority of people are predominantly visual learners. Police and military may tend to be secondarily kinesthetic and tactile learners. SIRT pistols, and the rifle bolt kits, offer both visual cues as well as the kinesthetic and tactile stimulation that allows incredible learning to take place.

 Finally, I have found a training aid that allows kinesthetic repetitive practice with inherent self-correcting capabilities; I have found and successfully utilized the SIRT pistols and rifle adapter kits.

 Martial artists who practice firearm disarming techniques need visual reinforcement that they are not being shot while attempting their particular techniques; the SIRT pistols offer this and more!

Martial Arts Skills Developed using SIRT Training Pistols:

Pistol Defenses

Firearms Dis-arms

Testing of accuracy and effectiveness of techniques

 *Per the Next Level Training Website

“Built tough with sturdy steel construction, the SIRT (Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger) Training Pistol looks and feels like the real thing by matching the size, weight, and center of gravity of the officer’s live fire pistol. In addition, the SIRT Training Pistol even offers a host of customizable features including magazine cartridge changes and replaceable sights.”

·    Train Safely

“The SIRT Training Pistol does not fire any sort of projectile, and the lasers are not harmful. However, the brightly lit red front portion protruding longitudinally forward from the grip and slide module along with the sharp razor cuts aids observers to identify that the SIRT is not a real firearm.”

·    Low Impact – Shock Absorbing Magazine

Magazine can be dropped on many types of flooring surfaces without damage.

The SIRT Training Pistol comes with an adjustable weighted magazine to simulate the weight and center of gravity of 10 rounds of 124 grain 9mm ammunition, a fully loaded 15 round .40 caliber magazine with 180 grain bullets.

 I am also in the process of writing a scholarly white paper report to document the results of my testing and evaluation of the SIRT pistols and rifle bolt kits so look for that in the near future.

So for those martial artists, and especially martial arts instructors who wish to teach a real-world self-defense skill, then the firearm defense and dis-arming techniques must not be forgotten. There are many options with types of techniques and defensive strategies from traditional to non-traditional. Furthermore, with the advent of the SIRT Training Pistol the martial artist or martial arts instructor can now finally perfect their skills or their students’ skills using technology to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of any given firearm defense technique.











Home | Information | Register | Instruction | FAQ | Contact | Site Map

Copyright. (c) American Federation of Jujitsu. 2006. All rights reserved.