I think I understand what you are saying regarding a reaction gap. From that point of view, I would say you are absolutely right. That kind of distance, when combined with that type of exact tactic, is probably going to be pretty problematic. However, here is the totality of my thinking on the topic.
First, let me say again that we are training in terms of principle. By that I mean that we are not looking to do or wanting to say, “When this, then that.” I.E. This is not scenario training. Additionally, I’d like to again point out that an officer that got him/herself in this kind of situation already made a heck of a lot of other mistakes. For example, the lack of a use of backup, not placing the subject in a position of disadvantage when interviewing, not doing a visual search on a person that his primary hand down and back behind him, etc. So, this, for me, makes it clear we are not training in a scenario aimed at developing a specific technique (When A, do B), because no one should want to even be in such a situation (ie. everyone should be training to not get in this kind of situation in the first place.). Additionally, it is much easier to not get in this kind of situation (in terms of action and in terms of learning how not to get in this kind of situation) than it is to get out of this situation (in terms of action and in terms of learning how to get out of this kind of situation.
What are we doing then? In essence, we are working on several strategies and principles that are relevant to a person that is under state an agency policies, and that carries the weapons generally used in law enforcement, and that is expected to perform a duty of law enforcement, AND THAT DOES NOT WANT TO DIE/lose while carrying out this duty. What are these strategies and principles? They are the things I’ve mentioned throughout the thread, but taking one in order to make this point would be: Learning how to use your firearm without raising retention while reducing the number of additional attacks that can be raised by your opponent. In essence, the strategies that work toward this principle involve those things that were listed above – those things that tie what is being demonstrated here to Aikido training. The tactics involved with this principle, and these strategies, involves knowing how to establish distance when you don’t have it.
This is what the 21 foot rule is saying, “You don’t have the distance.” When this was learned, a lot of folks early on just tried to have things happen further out. That is when folks started asking for distances greater than 21 feet and when folks started thinking they can shoot suspects when they are closer than 21 feet. We reject this type of thinking. We say, a person does have room, AS LONG AS A PERSON KNOWS HOW TO CREATE ROOM. So, in the video, we move do the 21 foot rule experiment to show how easy it is to shoot someone running at you from that great a distance. Then, we show that using the same strategies and principles, one can do the same thing from interviewing distance. Then, I go on to show how these things can be carried out from a ground-fighting situation – which is even closer than an interviewing distance. Then I show how this principle can also be applied inversely – as when the person is coming at you but without yang manifested (i.e. the palm heel to the chest technique).
So, as you can see, in the last example, I think I’m thinking what you are thinking – initiate action at the slightest hint of intention from the suspect.
But, here’s the thing, for that last tactic to work, one has to be sensitive enough to sense the time to initiate. And, if a person is that sensitive, one is also able to employ the other tactic (e.g. the one done from the interviewing distance) without it necessarily falling into the category of “reaction.” In other words, if one is sensitive (as one should be), one can initiate a circular/spiral yin pattern, pulling them into the next shot, and the next one and the next one and the next one.
Now that might seem like a very small difference, and from one perspective it is. BUT here’s my thing, what I’m totally against:
(these videos were just picked at random – as almost everything demonstrates what I don’t like any videos would have done: a lack of sensitivity (no capacity for initiative – all reaction), the delusion that folks respond to strikes in the middle of fight immediately and with high probability, the lack of awareness concerning follow up attacks and the presence of additional weapons, etc.)
Well, I’ll stop here – see if we can all chime in on the videos and these points. The short reply to your fine post is this: Yes, reaction – not good, not good at any distance. Initiation always best. But, initiation requires sensitivity, and if one is sensitive, one can initiate even when performing yin tactics.