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The Temple Index – Real World vs the Range

By Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics

Controversy and gun handling techniques go hand in hand. Any time there is a new technique introduced or an unorthodox technique gets widespread exposure (no matter how long it has been in use), there will be all manner of instructors, shooters and spectators chiming in on the usefulness or stupidity of the technique. Recently, the technique that has found itself in the cross hairs is the technique that has been popularly referred to as “temple index.”
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As with any controversy, context is often ignored and speculation is based on third party explanations, personal opinions or photographs without details. Perhaps the worst culprit of all when it comes to these industry-driven debates and arguments is the rattling of the range mentality mindset and how it hurts far more than it helps. None more so than in the case of a real-world applicable technique that is demonized or dismissed because it somehow doesn’t apply to this-or-that training methodology as it is viewed through the lens of use on the range.

We train on the range, we practice on the range. We are not training to fight on the range.
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The history of the Temple Index position is a long and storied one; though its exposure to the contemporary training world is recent. When I first learned it, the technique was introduced to me as High Vertical Ready and it was for use maneuvering inside a vehicle for Personal Security Detail purposes. It was used to safely pivot in a seat without muzzling other passengers to engage a threat inside or outside of the cabin. As anyone who has worked PSD knows, sometimes there are possible threats inside the vehicle with your client and everyone outside the car is a possible threat. Being able to maneuver in a seat with weapon drawn, be it with your family, fellow officers, soldiers, detail members or general passengers is tricky business with few physical techniques.

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