The Israeli Method

In a class recently I was asked if we teach the “Israeli Method” or the “Israeli Draw.”

If you need a refresher or if you have no clue what I’m talking about, here’s a video – complete with a t-shirt that screams I AM AWESOME!!:

Then there’s this guy – complete with a kilt and everything (ok, so it’s not actually a kilt, but it makes the video that much more enjoyable by assuming it is):

It’s worth noting that the way we teach the draw stroke has some fairly significant differences from how Awesome Kilt Guy was doing it.  AKG was doing what we refer to as “bowling,” meaning he came up out of the holster, extended his arms while racking the slide – pointing the gun at the ground near his feet – and then bowled it up until his sights were on target.  That’s a lot of wasted effort and it means that he wasn’t actually ready to fire a shot against a threat until the very last instant where his gun was finally parallel with the ground.

And then there’s this guy:

Actually, I take that back – don’t watch that last video.  It may cause loss of sleep, cranial hemorrhaging, loss of appetite, and slap-to-forehead syndrome.

There’s so many things to talk about in that video I don’t even know where to begin.  So let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist.  Kinda like Obama with the truth.

Actually, more like this (’cause tactical is better!!):


But let’s talk about the Israeli Draw and what it’s all about.

  1.  The roots of the questions I’ve had about this method are good – it’s about a) the “fear” of carrying a holstered handgun in a condition to fire and b) needing the speed to get good shots on target in a hurry.
  2. Some militaries around the world teach this: don’t carry with a round in the chamber.  I don’t agree with this approach – for me personally – but I get it.  And honestly I’m done getting sucked into those debates.  Do whatever you’re comfortable with.
  3. If you decide to carry Condition 3, or some strange Condition 2 variant like the weirdo in the third video above, I’m cool with that.  A close friend of mine does exactly that and who am I to talk him out of it?  So if you’re going that route, speed is an issue.  You have at least one large movement smashed into the middle of your draw stroke that many of us don’t have; so you have to make up that time somewhere.

So here’s the short answer to the question “do you teach your students the Israeli Method of drawing?”  No.

But we also don’t teach carrying in Condition 3, either.  So maybe the question is moot.  So I’ll offer a different question for you: Why are you uncomfortable carrying in Condition 1?

(and yes, I know those are 1911 terms, but I’m rounding the corners on these concepts so bear with me please)

If you’re not comfortable carrying with a round in the chamber, why not?  Is it a safety issue for you?  A time issue?  A training issue?  An old-habits-die-hard-issue?

Is this an issue you’re willing to work through or are you already sold on it?

For me, there is no safer place on Planet Earth for my firearm than inside a good holster attached to my body.  None.  Locked in my safe at home would be a distance 2nd.  As long as your holster is well made and in good working order, there is no more possibility of an “accident” inside the holster than there is if it’s sitting on my kitchen table.  So if the issue isn’t safety while it’s inside the holster, is it that you just don’t trust your own ability to NOT PULL THE TRIGGER?  Because that is a skill that we can work on.

Is the Israeli Method bad?  No.  Do I have any major complaints?  No.  Would I pick it for my own draw method?  No.

But let’s take a step back and look at our goals:

  1. Safety.  Check.
  2. Have a self-defense tool nearby and accessible (or “safety rescue equipment” as Massad Ayoob calls it).  Check.
  3. Concealability.  Check.
  4. Get rounds on target should the need arise.  Maybe.  But regardless of your carry method, you need to practice.  Just because the mind is willing does not mean the body is able.  But that’s also true regardless of how or what you carry.

So get to the range and practice and I’ll absolutely support your decision to go with the Israeli Method.  How about that?

Carry on, Colorado!


One comment on “The Israeli Method

  1. I agree wholeheartedly, sir. The key to success is practice and preparation. I believe that the gunfight is “all about time” and try to shave tenths and hundredths wherever I can, so carrying with a live chamber just makes sense. When I teach, I explain that a weapon in this condition is as safe as one that is not (since we treat them all as if they are loaded, anyway) That being said, there are probably IDF soldiers that could get the drop on me due to the simple fact that they have put in the practice time to negate the time it takes to chamber. If it works, it can’t be wrong, at least not for the guy making it work.

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