Law enforcement officers are trained in various flashlight tactics and techniques, but ordinary people are not. Luckily, if you want to start using a tactical flashlight as a self-defense tool or for any other reason, you don’t need to be a trained law enforcement officer to do so. In this article we are going to discuss several important tactics and techniques that are used by law enforcement officers, as well as many other trained professionals, to ensure you get the most out of your flashlight.
Gun and Light
Flashlights and guns kind of go hand in hand because the chance of you having to use your gun for self-defense during the day is lower; you are more likely going to need your gun in low light situations. How you hold your gun and light are important for both your safety and those around you.
One technique is a two-handed approach, where you hold your light and gun with both hands near each other, where your light goes your gun follows. This technique is similar to what you see displayed on TV dramas. The drawback to this is that you are pointing your gun directly at what your light is pointing at. This can be dangerous if you are accessing the situation, especially in an area with bystanders.
The other technique used is a one-handed approach; you hold your gun in your dominant hand and your light in the other. You hold your light up by your face, such as neck, cheek, or eye level. Your gun should be held out in front of you with your elbow slightly bent or in a low ready position that way you can react appropriately once you have accessed the situation.
Painting the light
When trying to access a situation to determine if there is a threat or not you want to use your flashlight to hopefully disorient the potential attacker. There are many techniques that you can use to do this, including shining the light directly in their face. But, what happens if you are not sure where they are at or whether or not they are armed. You want to be able to access the situation without giving away your location, which is where painting with the light can come in handy.
With this technique you are not going to simply point your light in a single direction, think of painting a wall, but with a flashlight instead of a brush. This technique doesn’t require the use of exaggerated movements, but you do want to move your light quickly and in various directions. Doing this will give you maximum light exposure to thoroughly access the situation, plus it will confuse the potential attacker. Quickly shining your light in various directions will make it extremely difficult for a potential attacker to know how far away you are, as well as determining where you are and where you might be going next.
This is probably the most useful technique that you will run across when it comes to using a tactical flashlight or any flashlight for self-defense. When purchasing a light you want to make sure you find one that is powerful enough to temporarily blind potential threats, so the brighter the light the better. When accessing a situation you want to first shine the light on the attacker’s hands to see if they are holding anything, but do so quickly. Once that is done quickly shine the light directly into the potential attackers face, shining directly into the eyes as much as possible. While they are disoriented by the blinding light you can either flee the scene or launch a quick attack to enable your get away.
Sometimes things are going to progress to a point where blinding the potential attacker is simply not a valid option. In cases like that, which are usually where the attacker is within your personal space, you are going to have to use a different tactic to fend them off. In these cases, your flashlight can be turned into a weapon for striking. From a ‘ready” stance you are going to use what we call a hammering motion to strike, think of how you would wield a hammer when striking a nail. Your flashlight is now the hammer while the attacker is the nail. Your “free” hand should be used to help weld off any blows from the attacker, as well as striking the attacker as you hammer with the light.