Although you may have never considered it, the use of the defensive handgun is a martial art. Martial arts are the codified systems and traditions of combat practices. The term is derived from Latin and means “arts of Mars,” the Roman god of war. The handgun evolved into a true fighting tool about the time of the American Civil War, but it would be another hundred years before anyone truly elevated its application to true martial art status. That man was Jeff Cooper.
Jeff Cooper was a Stanford graduate and a Marine Corps officer who served in WWII and in the Korean War. Between 1957 and 1976, Cooper began writing for Guns & Ammo magazine and started handgun competitions at Big Bear Lake in California. An intellectual and studious man, Cooper began to study the methods of shooting a handgun. He eventually codified its combat application in what is known as the Modern Technique of the Pistol.