Monday, June 17, 2013

Mechanics Of The Draw - Step 2 - Clear

By Dave Dargo

Katie Demonstrating Step 2 - Clear
In the previous posting I described the initial step when drawing from the holster, establishing the grip.

After establishing the grip, most new students want to quickly get the pistol up and out and on target. This urge must be resisted in order to establish a good sight picture as quickly as possible.

I've written previously about the urge to move faster rather than smoother and the draw stroke is one of those places where the urge to move faster rather than precisely and smoothly will cause issues.

Many students at the point shown in this photo will simply "bowl" the pistol out and up (imagine the move a bowlers arm makes as they release the ball forward). There are many problems with this move: it's slower, it's more difficult to get a good sight picture quickly and it exposes the pistol to an adversary in close-quarters situations. "But", some students will say, "I won't expose that pistol if it's a close situation."

Attempting to justify multiple methods of drawing a pistol depending on the closeness of an adversary is merely attempting to justify a lack of a practiced and well-executed draw stroke.  Always draw the pistol the same way.  Lock the mechanics of your draw-stroke into a repeatable and predictable form. The draw-stroke, when properly executed, is a natural and automatic physical action. With enough practice it becomes baked in without having to think about how close an adversary happens to be.

The "clear" step is executed by pulling the pistol straight up out of the holster.  How far you draw it up is determined by your particular body build and flexibility.  The straighter, higher and quicker you clear the pistol the better.  Your elbow should be tucked in as tight as possible avoiding creating a "chicken wing" effect with the elbow pointing out to the side.

In the "clear" step the pistol should be snatched straight up in preparation for the next step, "rotate".

When students first start executing a proper draw-stroke they will feel and appear to be somewhat stilted and mechanical. After hundreds and even thousands of draws, however, the student's draw-stroke will become quite smooth and that's the goal: a smooth stroke, without any hitches or artificial mechanical affectations; a draw stroke that looks like a natural movement.

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