Airsoft Guns: A Practical Self Defense Training Tool

Are airsoft guns just toys? Some think so. I’ve had experienced instructors tell me if they see a shooting program that uses airsoft they know they are not a serious program. I disagree 100%. Airsoft has so many uses but, the most profound is the ability for the gun fighter to deal with a resisting opponent!

Dry land swimming is not the best options if your goal is to survive when you have to swim for your life. The same applies to hand to hand combat. While form are beneficial, they don’t allow you to develop all the attributes you will need for a fist fight. But, how many self defense hand-gunners do nothing but, dry land swimming, aka punching holes in targets?

Dealing with resistance is what makes us grow! If you’re not improving then you are backsliding. There’s no in between. We have to continue to challenge ourselves to stay prepared for unexpected criminal violence. The best way to do that with a firearm, is well run force on force exercises and scenario training.

Another great benefit of airsoft is you can use it safely in environments were live fire could not be done safely. It allows for training in a 360 degree environments, low light environments, places were noise is an issue or you don’t have much space. Below are a few videos with some ideas on how airsoft guns can be used. Get creative with your training and let me know what drills you come up with. Above all, train safe.


In this video we use an airsoft gun to work an immediate action drills while being thrown around in a clinch. That little bit of movement and stress make a big difference. Give it a try at home and see if you don’t mess it up the first few times, even if you have trained the one hand IA drill before static.


In this video we use an airsoft revolver to work a reload after soaking our hands in ice water to duplicate, to a degree, the loss of fine motor skills we may have in our hands during a stressful encounter.  Notice also the homemade plate rack made on a 3 to 1 scale. So 1 foot = 1 yard.


This is our first attempt at a poor man’s version of Bill Rogers pneumatic target system. I’d like to try two target holders at different ranges with smaller targets. Of course there are limitations with airsoft but, how else could you do this type of training safely, without an elaborate target system? Try it out. It’s a lot of fun.


This was surprisingly challenging. It is hard to find moving targets for live fire. Yet another benefit of airsoft.

Airsoft is a great way to train realistic shooting skills safely. Here we work in a 360 degree environment and mix striking and defending strikes into our firearms training.

So there’s a few ideas. Be safe in your training and make sure you have no live firearms in the area when training that could lead to deadly mistake. Be safe and have fun.

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