Reid Henrich of Valor Ridge recently taped a segment with Brian Hill at Fusion MMA in Marietta, Georgia, that reminds us that many defensive gun uses (DGUs) don’t always start out that way. Many DGUs start as physical confrontations first, with striking, grappling, and weapon retention and employment taking place in close quarters, often while touching the person attacking you.

Being focused on bearing arms (ahem) we sometimes tend to focus too much on the shooting side of the equation, with tunnel vision towards guns and holsters and ammo. We focus too much on the things, and when we do focus on the skills, we tend to jump to shooting skills instead of a balance of unarmed and armed combat, and the transitions from one to another.

As Brain and Reid make clear, striking, grappling and weapons retention are all part of a balanced self-defense game.