If you’ve been studying defensive gun use for any amount of time, then you’ve likely heard of the Tueller Drill and the 21 Foot Rule. If you’re not familiar with these concepts, the rule and the drill have to do with being aware of whether you can draw your firearm if someone is charging you in an attack.
The drill is typically in reference to a knife attack, but the principle is the same regardless of whether the attacker is armed or not because the knife isn’t the issue in this concept. The concept is to be aware of your options in light of the situation that you are in.
The problem with the 21 Foot Rule and the Tueller Drill which uses that drill is that the 21 Foot Rule isn’t really a rule, and, therefore, the drill needs to be used in a way that takes into consideration the context that the drill is intended to simulate.
To clarify this information, here is a video from self-protection expert Tim Larkin which also shows interview footage with Dennis Tueller himself.
Tueller’s comments in this video are worth watching again especially considering how ingrained the 21 Foot Rule is in so many people’s thinking.
It’s a very human thing to take what we hear as truth when it comes from a “trainer” or “instructor,” and I think that most trainers seek to give quality information. However, that doesn’t mean that the trainer has had the time or taken the time to fully consider the information which they received.
When you receive instruction, you need to consider when what you are being taught applies and how you can apply it in the real world. The Tueller Drill was intended to train for a real-world situation: a knife attack, but it you just take the specifics of the training situation as taught and assume that your situation will be the same, then you are endangering yourself.
Take the principle, think about the foundations for the principle, and apply those foundations to your situation. Then, train with that in mind. That’s how you make training effective for you.