The One-Two Combo: Employing a Gun and Knife Combination - ITS Tactical
Shop the ITS Store!

The One-Two Combo: Employing a Gun and Knife Combination

By Jeff Gonzales


Personal protection is a constantly evolving environment, one where old school methodology merges with modern techniques to create what we call the “well-rounded combative.” This is a person who has mastered several different skill-sets.

Playing the Odds

It’s difficult to predict what type of “fight for your life” you may experience, if you experience it at all. For that reason alone, it’s wise to take on a more balanced approach to your training inventory. Instead of spending so much time playing in your uber-expensive multi-camouflage gear, you might want to consider the most likely scenario you’ll find yourself in and go from there.

Yes, it’s possible the zombies will come over the hillside and you should have a good plan for that contingency, but in the meantime focus on your everyday life. Consider the most likely scenario is one that might happen at what we call close quarters, or close enough you can touch the bad guy if he is not already on top of you. At this range, things happen very quickly. So quickly in fact, that you may not have the time to deploy your super blaster. You might just have to fight without it initially.

Exploiting the Windows

In our Close Quarters Combative classes we talk about always seeking “superior weaponry/superior position.” You’re always trying to improve your position, whether through seeking cover, or just getting off the proverbial “X.” If you start with a beer bottle, you work towards your pistol and then hopefully your rifle. This thought process of progressive measures best allows you to react and to let the situation dictate.

As we continue to work through the problem, you also seek “windows” that allow you to exploit either timing, or opportunity to improve your position or weapon. At those moments, you might see a significant shift in the fight as you move from your empty hands to a knife, or from your knife to a pistol.

Why Choose? Use Them Both

One thing we integrate is the combination of knife and gun. The fighting with one first, but working to deploy both. On more than one occasion I’ve felt better with a knife in my hand, in addition to the pistol, because it gives you so many options. This does assume you have good skills at the deployment of both with a single extremity, as well as fighting with a single extremity.

A critical and core skill for the pistol is fighting strong hand only. You have to be able to effectively engage targets at various ranges with various degrees of difficulty without hesitation. In addition, once you’ve deployed an edged weapon, it’s oftentimes just better to keep it out. Trying to secure a folder is reasonable, but trying to secure a fixed blade can pose new problems.

Maximum Damage in a Short Period

As you mix it up at close quarters with both a pistol and knife, it completely changes the game. Understand that we’re not talking about grappling, we’re talking about inflicting maximum damage with both tools in a compressed time frame in order to break contact or prepare for additional threats.

Your understanding of human targeting for both is critical and while there is overlap, it requires additional understanding. The effectiveness for those who have a solid understanding of both, is truly impressive. I’ve had the pleasure of working with folks who truly are amazing within one tool, but both is just plain awesome.

In the end, you cannot predict the type of fight you may find yourself in, but you can control your skill development. Employing a knife and gun combination is not just practical, it’s incredibly effective.

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Jeff Gonzales was a decorated and respected US Navy SEAL, serving as an operator and trainer who participated in numerous combat operations throughout the world. He now uses his modern warfare expertise as President of Trident Concepts, LLC., a battle proven company specializing in weapons, tactics and techniques to meet the evolving threat. Bringing the same high-intensity mindset, operational success and lessons learned from NSW to their training programs, TRICON has been recognized as an industry leader by various federal, state and local units. Organizations interested in training with TRICON can call 928-925-7038 or visit for more information.

Did you get more than 14¢ of value today?

If so, we’d love to have you as a Crew Leader by joining our annual membership! Click the Learn More button below for details.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporting members and occasionally earning money from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate, (when you click our Amazon links) we’ve eliminated annoying ads and content.

At ITS, our goal is to foster a community dedicated to learning methods, ideas and knowledge that could save your life.


Do you have what you need to prevail?

Shop the ITS Store for exclusive merchandise, equipment and hard to find tactical gear.

Do you have what you need to prevail? Tap the button below to see what you’re missing.