Center Axis Relock – How To Shoot Like Sam Fisher


If you’ve had a chance to play Conviction, the newest Splinter Cell game, you’ve probably experienced the very cool Mark & Execute feature. For those that haven’t tried the game, this feature allows Sam to mark multiple targets and pull off a rapid take down. Sam’s shooting style is very unique, and after doing a bit of research I learned that what he’s using is called Center Axis Relock, or CAR for short.

Center Axis Relock is a shooting system designed for close quarters combat and was invented by Paul Castle, a military and law enforcement training instructor in the United Kingdom. Paul trains soldiers and law enforcement through his company Sabre Tactical Group.

Bryn Reynolds, High Position – Center Axis Relock

The system was designed as an alternative to the common weaver shooting stance and provides a host of benefits, including reduced recoil (through a more effective grip of the weapon), and increased combat effectiveness by factoring in average human reactions under stressful combat situations — people tend to draw inwards when being fired upon, as opposed to “reaching out” as is commonly taught with the weaver stance.

The best Center Axis Relock video I’ve found is on the Saber Tactile (CAR) Page.


  1. Aron says

    Truly a revolutionary way of firearm control. It definately makes the weaver stance seem very archaic. I like how it allows the operator to change stance and targets in a much more fluid manner. Another advantage (not noted in this article) is proximity of the handun to the operator’s body. Not only does this allow a much faster target aqusition, but prevents the firearm from being ripped from his hands in close quarters. Go Sam….

  2. says

    Hmmm…browsing around and came across this. That is me in the video, off of my YouTube page (IPDSystems) Glad you found some use for the clip (even though it is by far not my best or fastest example of the C.A.R. System.) My website has more info:
    Bryn Reynolds

    • Chad says

      Hey Bryn,

      Thanks for the message, and if you have some better footage you want me to post up, let me know and I’ll do a follow up post.

      I know it’s not the same, but using C.A.R in Splinter Cell was quite the experience. It’s interesting how, even decades upon decades after firearms were invented, there are still improvements to shooting mechanics.

    • Anonymous says

      Hey Bryn, Thanks for the message, and if you have some better footage you want me to post up, let me know and I’ll do a follow up post.

  3. says

    Fellow C.A.R. Instructor here as well.

    When your in law enforcement and you have “everything” on the line there is simply no reason to be using traditional shooting platforms that allow for a nation wide 18% hit rate within 0-10ft under high stress.

    I’m happy to be apart of a special group of individuals that are carrying out Paul Castles C.A.R. System so that both professional and civilian alike have a chance to use what has been proven to work using the bodies natural focal point, increase weapon retention to 90%+, increase accuracy and round accountability.

    R.I.P. Paul and lets get more C.A.R. instructed students learned in the art of CQC self defense that works under the high stress demands of “life or death” scenarios.

      • says

        Hey Chad,

        Been a while and if you have any questions feel free to email me and I will do my best to answer your questions.

        I’ve been utilizing the system only for as long as I have been qualified to instruct and crazy enough…I’m just passing my first year.

        Fortunately, I’ve been very active with my company (3000+ CCW Students between IA/CO/WI/AZ) and having the chance to teach a select few CAR itself.

        Everyone of my CCW courses I go over a basic demo/review of the CAR System vs Traditional Shooting Platforms (weaver/isosceles) and how that relates to what is commonly known as the Flight/Fight response or Body Alarm Response.

        CAR simply outperforms traditional shooting in so many ways its tough to list them all as you can tell…many of us on here are giving you glimpses.

        Here are some important questions ANY defensive firearm owner should ask themselves.

        1. If the true and natural focal point of the human eye for focusing (ie: reading…aiming) is 10-14inches why do traditional shooting platforms have your pistol at 2-2.5x this distance (front sight)?

        This is of further concern when its PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to close an eye while in this “holy $%@!” response mode thus 99.5% of the population will have Double and/or Blurred Vision!

        Training takes anywhere from several months to years so unless you can roughly estimate when you may be attacked and require excellent aiming using outdated stances you need something that eliminates Double/Blurred Vision entirely….C.A.R.

        2. Does it make sense that with traditional shooting platforms your relying on TWO TINY wrist joints primarily, to stabilize your firearm and manage the recoil?

        Your typical two handed grip was designed to eliminate the “arc” that occurs when shooting single handed but I don’t know of anyone expertly trained or otherwise that can manage the recoil of a 9mm,40 or 45acp without muzzle flip.

        Would it not make sense to use a system that uses an entire skeletal structure of the upper torso and arms that can manage 90% in Extended and 95% of the recoil while in High position?

        If your answer is yes…C.A.R. is how it can be done.

        Did I forget to mention that CAR assists with the “tremors” or involuntary shaking from the chemicals released from the brain into the body which over stimulates the nerves causing one to shake/tremble (not ideal when aiming is essential) while shooting in unsupported isos/weaver positions.

        3. If you happen to be apart of the 33% of the population that is a Cross Dominate Shooter (Right Hand Left Eye or vice versa) how will you compensate appropriately using traditional shooting platforms?

        Its tough…you either shift the firearm uncomfortably to the dominate eye which feels awkward, you can become opposite handed in order to have same hand/eye alignment or you can continue to shoot like $%#!.

        CAR is a cross dominate shooting position in itself and whether left or right hand usage is completely mirrored.

        When you learn CAR you understand why you MUST train with both hands (in case you lose the use of your preferred hand) and how Cross Dominate or not…you get amazing benefits!

        4. Does it make sense that based on my feet position I am more likely to run in the direction of the bullets being firearm upon me if I am using weaver/isosceles?

        How about the fact that traditional stances in GENERAL make sure your a PERFECT TARGET!!!

        Seriously. Who the heck thought it was still smart to offer 97-100% of your entire torso to an attacker providing a beautiful silhouette and EVERY organ to shoot at?

        Its not about playing fair and ensuring that you and the bad guy exchange rounds to see who is the toughest IF you actually manage to get on target in the first place. *3-9% Non-Pro and 18% Professional Hit Rate under active shooter responses within 15-20ft Nation Wide*

        Wouldn’t a BLADED stance offering less than half of you to shoot at of which almost NO organ is available to hit without actually having to go through your arm (not to mention the bone of said arm) first and oh…hey, your feet are magically pointed in the direction in which it makes it easier for you to move OUT of the sight alignment of your attacker.

        Your left with GROSS motor skills so the brain is not going to be functioning optimally to begin with and when it comes down to it…your left with your DEFAULT training in flight/fight response scenarios.

        No professional ever “rises to the occasion”…with proper training the simply resort to the default of their training. Unfortunately many are dying because of poor training as practice does NOT make perfect.

        Perfect practice…makes perfect.

        I could go on and on but in a nutshell videos are not likely to help anyone truly grasp the concept, ideology nor the physical skill sets of CAR potential.

        You have to learn by way of practical use to truly understand and appreciate how unique, simple and EASY to learn it is!

        If anyone in Iowa or wants to visit Iowa for training get in touch. I do have some courses in Colorado that will be set up and taught either by me or my affiliated CAR instructors in CO.

        Learning how to shoot at “typical” ranges using typical training stances is great for the recreational or competitive shooter…but trophies, lanes, fast draw holsters, scopes and lasers are of NO USE in real world combatives when your within 0-6ft (or if your really lucky 10-15ft) of someone trying to kill you!

        There is no such thing as: breath control, trigger control or even sight alignment as you can’t control breathing when your heart is 220bpm+, you have tremors and your corneas flatten out causing depth perception issues and the fact that with BOTH eyes open…you get double and/or blurred vision while you pretend to aim using your front sight.

        I’m going to be producing some CAR videos for review and basic training principles in the upcoming months and I have both a short video and long video (long includes the CAR review/demo) available for purchase in the mean time.

        If you want CAR training you MUST seek an actual CERTIFIED CAR Instructor otherwise your working with someone without the proper training/experience and manual.

        …don’t rely on videos or sloppy demo’s from unqualified or uncertified CAR wannabe trainers.

        There are not many of us out there and spending the money on professional training is well worth it….your life may depend on it.


        • Chad says

          Hey James,

          Wow… wow… the wealth of information you’ve provided is absolutely amazing. Thank you very much, and let’s discuss this further via email.

      • says

        I wanted to emphasize that it would take several months to years using “traditional” shooting stances/techniques to overcome the Double/Blurred Vision.

        With CAR…its immediate the brief minutes you take to get used to the pistol position!

        Managing recoil is also in part by the RELOCK position of the wrist in part with the Extended Position of the arms etc. creating a combo of torso/arms/wrist locking to ensure 90% recoil management.

        95% in High Position because it is placed in the CENTER AXIS of the human body.

        Another part I forgot to mention is CAR implements MENTAL CONFUSION as part of the training where as typical “military” scenarios or LE based training only focuses on physical “challenges”.

        The addition of exercises like pushups etc. are great to stimulate physical challenges of fatigue etc. but the MENTAL CONFUSION is most important because your BRAIN will be working with limited capacity.

        In the flight/fight response your logical brain shuts off (finite motor skills and thinking) leaving you with the reflexive/gross motor skill side that sticks around to help your ass out.

        However you train is how you will fight…if you train on a typical range with a lane pretending your bowling, learn to shoot with one eye closed most of the time, remain stationary while shooting and present a full silhouette to the targets you shoot at…that is exactly what you will do when $%#! hits the fan.

        Even competitive shooters that implement movement drills usually STOP, just as they line up the shot and then move and that is NOT a true movement shooting drill.

        If you have to stop your dead…moving and shooting is paramount to ensuring you hit your target while your target does not hit you!

        The best way to not get shot is to NOT BE THERE in the first place when the bullet arrives!

        Although the reality of a shoot out is that both parties will exchange fire with little chance of being hit based on $%#@@! training…if the opponents 3-9% hit rate percentage CONNECTS sooner than yours, well we know the result of that.

        CAR is to gun fighting as SELF DEFENSE is to street fighting.

        Traditional martial arts has belts, katas, uniforms, philosophy and respect, competitive martial arts still has rules, refs and of course “tapping out” all of which hold no place in self defense when someone wants to curb stomp your face…into said curb.

        Learning 100 ways to defend or disarm a knife attack is BS…there is NO TIME to comprehend which one of the 100 ways someone is going to use it when its not in a controlled environment like a dojo where you know your buddy has their turn coming up next.

        Stomp the feet, chin jab, throat chop tear the ears, claw the eyes and bite if you have too!

        Its about getting the job of LIVING done.

        The groin is also optimal for unarmed or armed defense to stop a threat.

        I don’t know many people that when shot in the groin (or if you miss and hit the pubic bone) that will still be standing much less able to walk towards you and continue to do you harm.

        If you were not alert enough to see something coming or where taken by surprise FLEEING is the first option, talking is next followed by stopping the threat.

        All of which may be done within a brief second as again TIME is not on your side.

        Especially when the bad guy knows something is going to happen (instigator) and your just finding out and reacting to their action.

        It takes twice as long to react then act and why you need to learn basic skill sets armed/unarmed to stop a threat immediately and as quickly as possible.

        I would rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6!


  4. says

    Hi Chad – here is a link to a playlist on YouTube that has introductory lecutres and demos on CAR stuff that we did –

    Almost all of them feature Jeff Johnsgaard – I help with training schedules and such.

    We’ve trained several civilians, as well as Law Enforcement and military.


  5. says

    The CAR system is a dynamic, fluid & flexible system (not stance) that does NOT fight against the body’s automatic response (fight or flight). It allows the shooter to shoot with either hand regardless of eye dominance. The learning curve is low compared to training required to shoot with both eyes open &/or using the non-dominant eye. The positions are ‘high’, ‘extended’ & ‘apogee’ that address short, medium & long distances. The high position is used from 0 to about 12 feet; extended can be used from 0 to 25 feet & apogee for 25+ distances. This does NOT mean a position is not effective past these distances – for example here is a video where I use the extended position to engage a target at distances from 20 – 100 feet…

    The CAR system does a lot of things & is a great tool to put in your tactical tool box. One thing that most ppl don’t realize is the speed in which one can engage targets & conduct reloads. In this video I show how with a little practice how one can shoot & reload pretty fast…

    My best time for shooting 2 rounds, conduct a reload, shoot 2 rounds, conduct a second reload & shoot 2 more rounds was 3.24 seconds. I was not able to do this using the isosceles &/or weaver stances. Yes you can train hundreds & thousands of hours & get these times with isosceles & weaver but why do that when you can get the same results in a fraction of the time & still be combat effective?

    After spending a LOT of time with firearms in the military, in law enforcement & as a firearms instructor I found CAR & took the plunge & I’m glad I did. I eventually became a CAR instructor & really look forward to teaching it in the future. Whatever you do, do NOT ignore CAR – try it & see why it works.

    • Chad says

      You know, I think I should have asked you to write the original article. Thanks for all the awesome information. Perhaps it’s time I do a follow-up!

      • Steve says

        Thanks for the compliment – just glad I would add my 2 cents & share what I found with CAR. Keep up the good work. :)

  6. David R. Hernandez says

    I just wanted to say WOW!!! I’ve been shooting for about 25 years and just started the C.A.R. system. I was not impressed with what I saw in the videos. Them I went through my first class with my wife… I was very impressed and my accuracy increased substantually. It was hard to adjust from my WEAVER stance but when the tranformation was complete I was totally Impressed. I have since gon through my second class and I will be getting my Certification eventuall but August. The Guys at Civilian Arms Training are the best. Thank you.

  7. Sam Fisher says

    Hey, I’m new to the CAR myself, I practice it every now and then. But a few questions and please respond to me via email :)?

    1:Pistol Placement for quick draw? I’ve seen some troops and they have their weapon on their chest for quick draw? Where is best?

    2: Mag placment? Where should extra mags go for quicker reload? Chest rig set up?

    3: Any extra tip? I practice the Marine technique of shuffling the feet while moving left right.

    4: Other tips and tricks?

    Thanks guys!

  8. says

    I did like some of Jeff’s Videos…if I’m not mistaken he was Paul’s “right hand” and does some amazing instructing back in my home country of Canada.

    Again…the videos as amazing they are, do not do justice to watch and learn in person, especially from someone as proficient and experienced as Jeff.

    To see in real time, real life and then to get the practical application and execution while in the watchful eye of an instructor…simply no replacement!

    Best of luck to those searching and to those that do…train to fight so you fight how you trained!

  9. says

    We get many students wanting to learn CAR that travel to us in Iowa and we now offer a combo course for those with little to know experience in an even safer manner.

    Half the course is taught indoors at our ADAT Combat Center where we use simulation weapons with lasers or airsoft to work on fundamentals and gain confidence.

    Once the indoor training is complete we get to the range to confirm and add additional drills that will have the addition of “mental confusion” which is apart of the CAR philosophy when training.

    Love to have you come out some time Chad to get a course in so that you can perhaps have another PART DEUX with some additional video footage!

    In the mean time…if your game Chad, how about we give away FREE ONLINE Conceal Carry Certifications with a special link on here sometime?

    The course has a value of $120 and it includes brief demos and explanation of CAR along with comparison of CAR vs Traditional shooting techniques in regards to the flight/fight response!

    We only ask for a $20 certificate processing/shipping fee and the student can watch the course content repeatedly for greater retention of the information.

    …maybe we could also give a way a Center Axis Relock course to join you (chad) when you come out…

    Let me know.


    • Chad says

      Sounds good to me, and perhaps you could provide us with some new footage to use as well. The current video is a bit low resolution.

  10. says

    FYI…I checked out the relock game update and that is by far…not a CAR pistol grip or stance.

    I’m not sure I actually got any indication it was supposed to be based on the actual CAR System.

    Little disappointing but at least it keeps this topic going!


  11. Jesse says

    Used this method extensively when I was in Fallujah back in 2004. You can utilize it on both pistols and long guns. Once you grow accustom to it, moving becomes natural and more fluid when traversing though enclosed areas. In my opinion it provides a smaller silhouette, allows for easier transitions between hands, especially when “pieing” corners of a building. It also allows for better weapons retention in the event of a grab.

  12. Jesse says

    Sorry for the late reply. To answer your question, it didn’t take me long at all. I have to admit when I was trained on it, I was like a clean slate. I took to it easily because it was one first things I learned during CQB/MOUT training. I would have to add that CAR isn’t the “end all, be all” of weapons handling, but should be part of one’s repertoire of skills used in situations that necessitate it.

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