Gun Side Knee Down: Introduction to Speed Kneeling!
Learn the basics of speed kneeling!
The foundation of all other PFC shooting positions!
Two methods for assuming the speed kneel position!
And why you should use one method over the other!
Article by Mike Haytack
Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts
About the author
© Mike Haytack PFC Training
Mike Haytack is 20-year United States Air Force veteran with extensive experience as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC).
During his career, he participated in numerous combat deployments in all major theaters of operation alongside conventional and special operations forces.
Mike excelled in small arms, team tactics, and integrating tactical air & ground operations in austere environments.
His final role in the Department of Defense included service with the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).
Mike is currently an Adjunct Instructor with PFC assigned to restricted Tactical Training & Firearms Programs for clients in the U.S. and abroad.
Introduction to Speed Kneeling
Life and the ‘real fight’ can present us with an innumerable combination of combative shooting positions.
We either chose to be in a fighting position or the fight makes the choice for us.
Regardless, we must train the entire spectrum of positions from knowing how to assume, engage from, manipulate in and fight out of all of them.
During Progressive Carbine 2 we teach six primary shooting positions in addition to our fetal series with four variations, and our guard series with seven variations.
This article will introduce you to speed kneeling, which is the foundation of all other PFC shooting positions.
Figure 1 • © PFC Training
Speed Kneeling mechanics
Before we talk about how to assume the speed kneeling position, let’s discuss the specific, yet simple mechanics of this combative fighting position (Figure 1.)
The foundation is a solid 90-degree bend at the front leg and a solid 90-degree bend at the back leg.
When formed, these two points of contact are approximately shoulder width apart.
Notice from the hip joint, the torso looks exactly like the standing position.
Take special notice of the flat instep of the rear foot.
This flat instep is a crucial aspect for three main reasons, especially if working around teammates.
If the shooter maintains an elevated instep where the balance point is on the toe, a teammate could hook their foot underneath the gap effectively tripping them and taking them out of the fight.
Secondly, the shooter can incur a major injury if a teammate steps on the back of the ankle breaking it or rupturing the Achilles tendon.
Finally, balancing on the toe will affect combative marksmanship by generating movement that will manifest to the front sight.
We realize footwear and personal bone structure will dictate how flat you can get the instep, but the flatter you can get the instep the better!
The advantages of this position include: environmental awareness and a huge fan of fire, easy refunctioning with access to additional equipment, and extremely quick recovery or movement.
Progressive F.O.R.C.E Training Range © PFC Training
The two methods for assuming the speed kneel position
There are two methods for assuming the speed kneel position; Forward Assumption and Vertical Assumption.
Forward assumption is a two-step process.
One – step forward. Two – displace the rear leg down.
Vertical assumption is a quicker one-step process.
Simply displace the rear leg down and control the drop with the other leg.
Why use one method over the other?
The biggest determining factors is movement.
If one is already moving forward, it makes sense to continue moving forward into a speed kneeling position.
If there is an obstacle (walls, teammates, etc.), this will dictate a vertical assumption.
In either method, the shooter must bring the gun up simultaneously as the downward assumption begins.
It’s simply not efficient or as effective to assume the speed kneeling position and then mount the gun.
Gun Side Knee Down, Gun Side Knee Down, Gun Side Knee Down!
This technique should be self-evident!
Figure 2 • © PFC Training
Bad guys only see vulnerability and opportunity
To help hammer home the point, compare the two images Figure 2 and 3.
In Figure 2 the shooter is gun side knee UP exposing important body parts that facilitate movement.
It’s safe to say, even before his eyes get around the barricade, his foot, tibia, fibula, knee and portions of his femur are exposed. Not good!
Now look at Figure 3.
The shooter is gun side knee DOWN only exposing what is necessary to engage the threat.
This is not a left handed or right handed technique.
Whatever the side the gun is on, it’s gun side knee down!
Remember, the bad guys only see two things – vulnerability and opportunity.
Figure 3 • © PFC Training
Recovering: Stay engaged, check your surrounds!
Recover by simply standing up.
Be aware that displacing from a low elevation to a high elevation will expose the shooter to different angles and threat possibilities.
Stay engaged, check your surrounds as you begin to rise.
Speed kneeling is the foundation to better understand and effectively implement: Braced Kneeling, Double Kneeling, Squatting, Prone, Urban Kneeling, in addition to our Fetal and Guard series.
Be sure to check our schedule at pfctraining.com and sign up for Progressive Carbine 2 – Fighting Positions which will also detail Principles of Using Barricades.
During this block, we teach working in and around pieces of protection and cover to minimize exposure.
This topic will be discussed further in a forth coming article.
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