GORE-TEX Professional

Greyhive Snapshot – Ian Strimbeck

It’s Called a GunFIGHT for a Reason

We all have that one friend, or have encountered that one individual, who lacks the intellectual capacity to understand that pressing the trigger is just one tiny aspect of owning a gun. When it comes to handguns, how often do most of us drive the gun out to extension every time we go to the range? How many of us think about how often we’re in close quarters with multiple individuals on a day to day basis? The length of extension of our pistol correlates directly to the proximity of the threat we’re dealing with. To solidify the idea in our head that we’ll always have enough distance between our pistol and the threat is not only foolish but reckless as well.

Criminals don’t care about how you train or your range safety protocols. All they care about is completing their mission, whether that be taking your wallet or your life for that matter. Most criminal assaults occur after an ambush and the victim ends up “locking up” in a standing entanglement with the assailant. But the victim can just go for his gun now right? Wrong. That would be a recipe for failure. But why? Can’t I just shove the guy with my off hand and pull my gun out like Wyatt Earp? This is what I commonly see being thought of as a quality method for retention based shooting. Usually it’s because of the misinformation out there from social media entertainers. A rubber dummy or cardboard target doesn’t fight back. It doesn’t give pressure back. It doesn’t have limbs that will attempt to strip your gun away. And it definitely doesn’t have a will to continue the fight after you’ve already given up on yourself.

At the end of the day, think realistically as to how to approach the way you train. Steer clear of attempting to copy uncontextualized methods of entangled handgun employment. Get to a quality class that utilizes pressure based training to truly test the skills. It will be anything but easy, but to truly grow your skillset you must constantly put yourself in places of conflict.

strimbeckIan Strimbeck is a United States Marine Corps veteran and founder of Runenation LLC. Runenation is a consulting and education company specializing in the constant growth of the multidisciplinary tactician. Too often in the “gun world,” you see individuals who are drawn to a singular tool in lieu of looking at the bigger picture. It isn’t solely about the gun, blade, grappling, striking, medical, fitness, or verbal acuity. It’s a constantly evolving skillset that you put a varying amount of effort into throughout your life. Like the rings on a tree trunk , it will grow as long as you put in the necessary effort.


Snapshot is a bi-weekly series from Greyhive featuring content written by our Experts. It is our goal to deliver information that prompts you to examine your preparedness from all angles, not just how quickly and accurately you shoot.


5 Responses to “Greyhive Snapshot – Ian Strimbeck”

  1. james says:

    As a Marine veteran myself I always believed that the ” drive your gun to extension is silly and came from Hollywood not real combat. The fastest way to a point is a strait line not two lines at a right angle.

  2. Dellis says:

    I will admit that I was trained in this manner, “Draw weapon, bring to center, extend, front sight, squeeze trigger”

    As I have sought more training and try to create real world scenarios and how I believe I would react in those my above early training is not optimal. If the victim is rushed they will not have time to get into a stance, draw and bring weapon to extension.

    So many people I talk to who have or are getting their LTC and they feel, “It’s all I need. Got my gun now!”

  3. Homer says:

    This piece brings up many terms and concepts pioneered by Craig Douglas of ShivWorks. Is Ian claiming original work here, or perhaps comparable parallel development?

    • IAN says:


      Craig is a dear friend and mentor of mine. Many of the techniques or procedures I teach is comparable or I either straight give credit to Craig and the Shivworks Collective during classes.

      • Homer says:

        Glad to hear it Ian. I’ve worked with Craig a lot (as a student) and keyed in on the terms.