The following guest  article was written and submitted by David B. Monier-Williams.

We welcome a variety of points of view on the subjects of shooting and marksmanship. Test them objectively on the range and let the results fall where they may.

Weaver, Isosceles/Mod Isosceles vs. The Turnipseed Technique, part 3

by David B. Monier-Williams


Part Three: The Turnipseed Technique Video

Correct Stance 2 - Copy

Thank you, sir

I remember attending my first Instructor’s Meeting at my SO…The two Lead Instructors were trying to resolve a certain problem regarding several recruits and seasoned deputies. I listened carefully and knew the answer right-off. I stepped up to plate and said, “Don’t you teach Isosceles?” . The group turned and looked at me and the Rangemaster said, “Indeed not, Weaver is the only way!”. Another old-timer from DOE required everyone to shoot Weaver but let me off a little because I was their top shooter at that location. There’s 3 major reasons why I do not espouse Weaver or similar methods besides it being unnatural:

David: There’s nothing natural about the Isosceles Stance, sticking both arms out in front of a body. There’s not one activity in life that does this.

1st: Situational Awareness…extreme stances block or negate 50% of view of view;

David: There’s nothing extreme about the Turnipseed Technique. In this Technique even at my advanced age, as a right handed shooter, I can still in the T.T. Stance, turn my head, very easily, to the 9:00 to 5:00  with no strain 200 degrees.  This isn’t possible in the Isosceles Stance with hunched shoulders and no constant in the bent arms.

2nd: Does not allow full effective use of the protective vest…if bullets are fired in your direction, you want them to impact on the front of the vest and not enter the armpit area;

David: You presume that the Bad Guy is standing directly in front of you and not shooting at an angle. If you look at the photo in the bottom right hand corner you’ll see that it’s very difficult to hit under the armpit. This objection is minor when taking into consideration that the neck, head, lower body, femur sockets and bladder are unprotected and more easily struck.

3rd: In close-up confrontations, a person will naturally punch-out or push-out toward the adversary and this is a known fact.

David: It’s a known fact because that’s the way you train. Once you’ve learned to shoot from the hip, using the above discussed constants then it’s a far better method and maximizes Retention.

Extending both arms out equally is easily replicated over and over again and I call this “The Bull Dog” meaning, the Bull Dog is extended all the way out on his chain. A blind person, standing square to the Bad Guy can make hits by replicating this natural thrusting out, as an example. Recoil control: Study world class shooters as their arms are stretched out equally as a boat trailer frame…everything is equal-same angles. Upon discharge, the Bull Dog can only go one direction and that is UP and then settles down back on target each time. That’s why trained shooters can fire rapidly and stay on target. Basically, they are doing the least amount of work! YEARS ago, I shot in the Weaver Stance as I was taught by the old-timers and noticed that my Gold Cup .45 had to be directed back on target each time after it fired because my arms were not out-stretched and were at different angles making it impossible to replicate quick double-taps or Hammers (one sight picture-two very rapid
shots or more).I have a student cover a Bad Guy in the perfect Weaver and walk from forward on the left of the shooter. I tell the shooter to indicate when he can actually see me. Add this with people who shoot with one eye closed. It’s BIZARRE because they won’t see me until I’m almost parallel with the Bad Guy. Again: Keep both eyes open-which is very natural-and get square with the Bad Guy. Your field of view will increases to more than 180 degrees.

David: Both the Iso/Weaver Stances cannot compare to the Turnipseed Technique in terms of RECOIL or double taps. With the T.T. (Turnipseed Technique) RECOIL is a non-issue therefore the gun comes naturally back on target. T.T. is taught with both eyes open and participants can usually scan 270+ degrees. Re-check the video and notice the absence of Recoil.

Bad Guys actually move!

David, so do T.T. trained people.

All Hell breaks out with people moving…nothing is static in a gun fight. We should not be programmed by non-moving targets!

David: Didn’t you see in the video people move, shoot and hit targets from the hip?

If the Bad Guy goes left or right, the shooting can easily pivot on the lower lumbar area…swinging like a battleship’s turret and still be in perfect balance.

David: I don’t agree, a battleship has a huge shooting platform unlike a human. A shooter must be in balance to be able to move adjusting to any situation. The Iso/Weaver, starts from behind the curve being out of balance to begin with. The shooter is still very static and has made it easy
for the Bad Guy to hit him.

Hope this is helpful…                                Ted A Sames II, SISS President

Dear Mr David Monier-Williams:
All firearms instructors are aggressive and opinionated as it is their nature. They teach others to defend themselves and it’s serious business. Please forgive me! I am also patient and more humble than most. Every instructor should at least test new techniques before making judgments. AGREE. Case in point: A nationally known instructor, Mr Fairbourne, taught to swing the pistol down in an arc and then index the revolver’s frame on the Bad Guy instead of using the sights. I tested this and it works IF you are using an open break type holster from the 1970s. The revolver is pushed forward–instead of up–and then it starts it’s arc. It is very accurate and pretty fast. Remember though: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Much time is wasted doing this long arc but the tech has merit esp for instinctive type shooting.

David: I remember this well, I used to have a great holster for it’s day a Berns-Martin. You call it instinctive type Shooting, some call it Point Shooting. Both good in their day but they are passé now. At 0 to 6 ft. you pistol would be taken away and you’d be dead. This was demonstrated in the SCARS classes (combat hand to hand) in AZ. All participants were disarmed, except the T.T. student, who only had 60 hr. of T.T. training as opposed to the Instructors years. Additionally, when using the Berns -Martin, you can’t use the non-shooting hand and you’re in the squat an out of balance Stance.

I reviewed the video to completion. The drills and demos demonstrated the problem or perceived problem with recoil. Most novices are very concerned with recoil with some thinking that the recoil may knock them down. The form is very poor though and accuracy is not addressed at all.

David: Show me your video of hitting 1/4 in. lath at 12 feet ON edge, with sights covered, a second day T.T. student accomplishment. Add to that your video of engaging five one gallon milk bottles while traversing from left to right AND on the run. Finally, a video of you moving and hitting at touching distances 3/8th in. rope right to left and left to right.

The idea is to make one as stable as a shooting platform as possible.

David: Agree and IN BALANCE.

2 things: Lower your center of gravity and take very small steps.

David: The torso is not any smaller by lowering the body and impedes quick movement, else every boxer and Martial Artist would use it and it’s difficult to go up or down stairs this way. You’re correct, in using small steps, only because you’re using the Isosceles Stance out of balance Stance.

What is demo’ed is exactly what I teach against.

David: That’s because you don’t know how to do the T.T. Stance. It is the reason we’re able to shoot pistol, rifle and shotgun on one leg, slugs sitting in a chair with both feet off the ground as in the video.

What goes with this is the natural instinct to get small and to get low when the bullets come your way. This is not shown. It would take either a very brave person or one who is ill-trained to advance standing up going toward the enemy.

David: Getting small and low using the Isosceles is reminiscent of the FBI Squat, to be even further out of balance. Advancing toward five non-aligned separated targets was a Drill to make sure you’re able to successfully move and shoot.

It is very hard to index the pistol on one’s side and shoot accurately. Indexing from the sternum is MUCH better.

David: I agree with you not knowing the T.T. makes it very difficult. I have to disagree with you as I attended T.T.’s Advanced Class and ALL the students could do this easily.

Remember the instructor that showed me this?

David: Who was it, I’m interested?

Any distance other than CONTACT this tech. should not be used. Yet, the sternum index makes one ready to “punch-out” if the Bad Guy is around 3 yards or further.

David: Remember, this a Static response, whereas the T.T. quickshoot is good for 12ft/4 yd. and moving, especially true if there is more than one target.

Your tech. does not address the fact that Bad Guys move! You would have to pivot the pistol left and right to make changes when the Bad Guy moves. The sternum index tech. addresses this by keeping the pistol stationary while the whole body pivots at the waist. Both hands are on the weapon giving more stability and RETENTION. In stressful conditions, one should use only major muscle groups instead of relaying on complex or fine motor control.

David: You’re coming from a Static position again. As demoed in the video we are on the move and engage by moving the Whole body still in balance.

At the H & K MP-5 Operator’s Course we were initially given a MP-5 and a 30
round mag to fire on a bank of humanoid targets at 25 yards. We were untaught in firing automatic weapons. We “sprayed and prayed”…those 20 students firing 20 X 30 =3D 600 rounds! Only one 9mm bullet hit the target and one bullet hit the wooden frame. Again, recoil was not the issue…the issue is weapon control and accuracy during recoil.

David: Weapon control what due you really think that was all about? Controlling the weapon with you muscles…right. The most inefficient method. I take you back to the opening scenes of the video with the out of condition female, Weapon Controlling a sub-machinegun No perceptible muzzle rise!!! Using the T.T. that’s Weapon Control!!!! By the way this was the first time this out of shape female had ever fired a fully automatic weapon.

We were totally amazed. One has to be TAUGHT how to shoot a submachine gun! I observed a well trained SWAT member fire the AK-47 and grouping his shots like that of a MP-5 using PROPER TECHNIQUES/STANCES.

David: Would love to see the video, if available. Then have that person do it with a FAL-7.62 on full auto even in the Rice Paddy Squat as shown at the end of the video.

Techniques should always be tested on moving targets.

David: Sure, are you volunteering…LOL! Those moving Robots are still a little too expensive.

Permission is given to publish this letter.

More later,                                         Ted A Sames II, SISS President

I hope this exchange has shed some little on the differences between the techniques for you. All techniques evolve over time. However, the Turnipseed Technique is a REVOLUTION. It is not based on just a comfortable stable shooting platform but one that is based on the body in it’s correct bio-mechanical position and what happens when and how it moves, maintaining Skeletal Alignment at all times. Unfortunately, revolutions beget strong responses because they challenge the status quo, the strongly held belief systems and it negates everything the gurus believe and teach.

Ted, you might like to pick up a copy of Alan Egusa’s book, “The Martial Art of the Gun.”

I invite you to come and stay with me at my house in Scottsdale in the Fall and for you to attend the Kent Turnipseed’s two day weekend workshop on Sept. 10th and 11th.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Photo at top of article taken from the book, “The Martial Art of the Gun” by Alan Egusa.