Some Awesome Prizes!! Be sure to follow the directions on how to enter.
Some Awesome Prizes!! Be sure to follow the directions on how to enter.
“Take time to Deliberate, but when the TIME for ACTION has arrived, stop thinking and GO IN.”
Most firearms/combat training today lacks realism; Those “primal elements” that the student needs to experience when they are TRULY fighting for their lives. One of these primal elements that we can replicate with some degree of certainty is STRESS. In the heady days of firearms training (waaaay before I was a glint in my daddy’s eye) when Jeff Cooper was blazing trails with the “Big Bore” 1911 Combat Pistol and the Modern Technique, it was widely thought that organized handgun matches hosted by groups like the IPSC and the IDPA would give students the added realism of stress using COMPETITION & TIME. The only problem with that theory is that Competition and Combat Shooting are not the same animals, hell they are not even the same life forms!!
The “Competition Training” Mentality
Those of you that have been reading this blog for some time, know without me going too deep the very Wide Gulf that exist between “Competition” styled Training and true “Combat” Training, the major division being “square range” versus “360 degree” training. Like anything, behind any system lies the founding and/or “driving” mentality behind it. With Competition Styled Training that mentality (due to tradition more than anything else) resist the notion that fighting is a continuum. There can never be any “dogma” or “system” that answers with complete certainty all of the riddles a person faces when fighting for their lives. If we are to “live to fight another day” we must understand that no stance, grip, caliber of pistol or specific sighting method is the “best”.
Bruce Lee understood the continuum principle when he talks about being “formless” like water. For years, Bruce struggled with the confining traditions of classic martial arts until finally, he developed his own.
Check out this interview from 1971:
So, now that we understand the foundation, let us explore how we can add “STRESSORS” to a Combat Shooting Routine that uses a 360 degree range.
When we are integrating ANYTHING into our training we must always ask ourselves Three Fundamental Questions:
1. Is it Safe?
It goes without saying, if something is not safe, it needs to be thrown out, no matter the degree of realism it may add.
2. Is it Practical to the Student?
If I am teaching CO’s (civilians), I do not need to include stressors or material that a LE SWAT or Tier 1 Spec-Ops Unit would have, this is why some trainers are labeled as “Mall Ninja’s” or “Armchair Rambo’s”..they have no practicality in their methods and are considered a joke in the training industry. These types of trainers (as we will discuss later) can be a terrible liability to the student’s reputation if ever the time arises to question it.
3. Is it “Street-Proven” (Realistic)?
Is this something that has a precedent in the real world? Is this something that has happened in the real world and not just in a controlled environment like a square range?
Once we have answered these three questions in the affirmative, we can start compiling a list of possible stressors. (Note: When compiling your list, always identify what Skill (or Skills) the stressor is enforcing).
You can take any practical firearms drill and make it competitive, but what I like to do is center in on a particular skill and create a competition around it. For example, to work on Speed and Accuracy you can do the “Speed Dot” Drill. Using a pre-made target or a homemade one, where there are 10 numbered “dots”, one person calls out a number while the shooter engages it. You can then mix it up saying “all evens” or “all odds” or go a step further like me and start doing “math dots” where as fast as possible you have to do a math problem, for instance, you would have to shoot the 2, 3 and then the sum (5) as quickly as possible. LE Targets makes some paper and cardboard targets that have different colors and shapes to add challenge and fun.
What can I say about using Time to induce stress that most seasoned shooters don’t already know!? I would add this caveat: Keep it Real! Don’t be that guy that walks around with a shot timer clipped to his belt measuring EVERYTHING he does..reloads, malfunctions, presentation, etc. that is what I call going back to “fairy tale” land, and letting that “Competition” mentality take over. We have to always separate the two worlds..shooting nice little neat groups in bull’s-eyes, while keeping your reloads down to 3 seconds IS NEVER the same as FIGHTING for your life.
This is where the rubber starts meeting the road guys..when we start replicating these things we are definitely “Keepin’ it Real!!”
Let me make a short list and we will go down the line:
Not really a big deal until it get’s in your eyes or on your hands and effects your grip on your weapon. No way to really avoid this is except to help your body make less of it under pressure, and the only way to HELP your body do that is to get in decent shape (I will be repeating that ALOT, BTW) BUT, even after that, still, a healthy, in-shape person sweats on hot days or when under stress; it is the body’s way of regulating temp & cooling itself, no way around it. So in essence, the only smart way to deal with this is:
A. Wear menacing looking black Gloves (or the white bedazzled glove like Michael Jackson, your choice) and a American Flag bandanna around your head 24/7 like Willie Nelson (only an option for .03% of my readers I am guessing??)
B. Drill with damp hands and a sweaty forehead and see how you can fight thru it..after all, isn’t it better to discover something in a controlled environment versus the unforgiving real world? The solutions will be different for everyone..some will choose equipment mods like grip tape on their guns, others may just carry a handkerchief…find what works for you and go with it, if it keeps you alive, go for it.
Ahhhh…now we are getting down “Where people live” as an old preacher friend of mine used to say! I want to approach this from two different angles, one is for the guy who knows he is out of shape..listen bro, just be honest with yourself.. if you can’t touch your toes without exhaling loudly because your diaphragm is pressing against that inflated stomach you are toast in a fight, armed or not. Let me dispense with the myth propagated by the “Over 40, Beergut” crowd; just because you pack a pistol does not give you a license to be the poster boy for Lipitor..do yourself (and the ones you love) a favor: Drop the Weight and get in shape! The second is for the guy who is in shape but does not add these stressors to his training..as we stated before, isn’t it smarter to experiment with something in a controlled environment versus the real world?? I always like to throw a couple of guys into a combative pit before a shooting drill just to prove this point, or better yet, make the combative pit the ACTUAL drill by throwing a blue gun in there and watch them claw thru each other to get to it…boy, do they get out of breath quicker than they thought!! Things get real fun then! This is also where force on force can be VERY telling. I think people find out real quick that other people do not stand still when you are trying to cause them harm and when you get tired, you make mistakes!
I have only one thing to say about dealing with rapid heartbeat from what I have seen recently in training; I think people find out real quick what I mean by fighting is a “Continuum” when there heart is pumping 90 to nothing from rolling around doing combatives or being involved in a ECQ encounter and then having to slow waaaay down to make that precise head shot to end the fight. We all just have to find our way to breathe, release the tension in the muscles and make the shot.
One of my all time favorite stressors, because it flies in the face of square range dogma in such a profound way. You would be surprised how few people have really ever truly heard their weapon fired “loud” without hearing protection or how few people do not train (at least in part) without hearing protection. The reason is simple, we have been taught, SCARED might even be the word, since we were little kids about the dangers of hearing loss when shooting firearms. The problem with this “safety dogma” as I see it as a trainer is that it robs the student of the real world “stressor” of a loud gun and the effect that it has on the human body during a gunfight. Now let me be clear so I don’t get a bunch of hate mail from the NRA about promoting “unsafe training practices”. I am not endorsing training WITHOUT hearing protection, but only doing a couple of drills (maybe 10 rounds) without it, so the students can KNOW first, how loud the gun is and secondly, how much it affects his senses during the fight. I am also a big fan of randomly firing a SAFE gun (using a bullet trap) during drills just to knock people off balance…Fights are noisy and loud, not muffled!
Another BIG reason I do this is something I learned from my security days; hearing gunfire (without hearing protection) randomly but on a steady basis subconsciously in grains the unique SOUND of a firearm into your brain..this can come in handy in a variety of situations for the CO: How many times have you heard news stories of survivors involved in an active shooter situation and the first thing they said was “It sounded like a car backfiring, so at first we did not pay it much mind…” Remember: Awareness is your biggest weapon!
Lastly, and this is useful particularly in team drills, is how loud, out of control, wounded or dying screaming people can affect your communications and thought process. This is where hand signals can come in handy.
This is a very overlooked stressor and one that really lends itself to MAKING yourself grow and expand your skill sets. Example 1: You train on uneven, rocky, hard ground versus nice soft dirt which makes you do more ground combatives and shooting from the ground or on your back drills, just because of the higher probability things will go to the ground when your footing is uneven. Example 2: You train around vehicles, which makes you realize the importance of getting behind the engine block for real COVER and not just CONCEALMENT behind the door frame. It also shows you the often overlooked field of fire UNDERNEATH the vehicle where cover is better than over the top of the vehicle, where you are exposed.
The other side to Environment is WEATHER. Here we have to really apply that Practical aspect. If I live in Minnesota, where it snows a lot and the temperature averages around 10 degrees, I probably need to train in cold weather with cold weather apparel. If I live in the deep South, where the Temp in the summer can peak 100 degrees, well I need to tailor my fitness, apparel and training around that. Be smart. Remember as a CO, you are ultimately a partisan..that means you use your environment, ie your home ground (terrain and regional weather) to your advantage!!
No-Shoots, like Competition and Time, are stressors carried over from the Competition training mentality, but just like these, when blended correctly into a combat shooting routine, it can be an invaluable stressor. The skill (and mindset) that No-Shoots bring to the table is one of the most powerful allies the CO has on his side: DISCRETION.
In the overly litigious society that we currently live in, as civilians with legal Concealed Carry Permits (or Open Carry) depending, we must understand that in the event we have to use deadly force to defend ourselves, more often than not, we will have to go to court to defend not only our actions, but our firearms training as well. That being said, I cannot urge my readers enough to be very cautious in the TYPE of firearms training they attend. Like most of you, I have never been the type of person to really care what people think of me, but as history has taught us, if the DA (prosecution) can paint a picture of a person who trains to be a “Uber-Rambo, Survivalist Ninja” who shoots first and ask questions later versus a “Responsible, level-headed Armed Citizen” who does not go around looking for a fight, you will most likely lose your case. Remember this: Every round that you fire in an altercation will have another Lawyer (or group of lawyers) attached to them, looking to take everything you own, including your reputation and most importantly, your freedom.
This all being said, I am not the type of trainer who has a complete workshop on what to do AFTER THE FIGHT is over. Lawsuits, litigation and legal entanglements AFTER the FIGHT is your Lawyer’s job; and the only advice I can give you is get yourself a GOOD Lawyer NOW and talk to him frequently about self-defense and the laws in your state pertaining to it. You would also be smart in purchasing an up to date Criminal and Traffic Law Manual for casual reading.
Lastly, history has taught us, quite succinctly, through multiple Civilian Self-Defense court cases over the years that the Discretionary Mindset HAS to be a FUNDAMENTAL TRAINING PHILOSOPHY for the CO. When the time comes for the DA to put a microscope on you, it makes you look reasonable, sensible and not like a “gun freak”. If your current training regimen does not reflect this, consider changing ASAP. Always remember this: by exercising the “Big 3″, the CO can, by virtue of self-restraint and a little common sense, solve a huge, pain in the ass problem before it begins!
As far as integrating this into your every day drills, you would not be re-missed in practicing Force-on-Force role playing to rehearse using the “Big 3″ on the street. I have found that in the process, it helps sharpen both Combatives and Less-than-Lethal skill sets (like the use of OC). (Sidenote: Do not forget in these drills one your biggest weapons is your VOICE..use it to command authority and draw attention!)
You will also find as you start integrating “No-Shoot” targets randomly into ALL of your drills, that your need for Precision will go up. As time progresses, you will find yourself (out of necessity) having to find that right combination of SPEED & ACCURACY to complete the drill. This is not by accident, it is the Combative Continuum at work.
Stay Dangerous and Train Hard!
Here we have an attempted carjacking FAIL in Venezuela.
Notice the perp car case the victim and slowly roll past at :20, judging from the location, it appears the victim was a business owner, most likely closing up for the day.
What is impressive to me is how fast the proposed “victim” driver get’s his gun into action and fires…pays to be Aware!!
Good Guys 1, Bad Guys, Zip.
**I want to be clear: this is intended as a TRAINING post and not in anyway to degrade or “armchair quarterback” the incident that occurred. I applaud the job that was done by Miami-Dade Law Enforcement and offer my condolences to the family of the wounded officer, Detective John Saavedra. The Detective was shot three times, twice in the stomach (below his body armor) and once in the leg. **
(I also apologize in advance for not using a You Tube vid versus a Link, but Live Leak is the only one that had the best view).
I am going to break the events in this video into “categories” to make it easier to digest. Lastly, I am also going to approach certain aspects of the gunfight from the perspective of the deceased perp shooter, not to glamorize or add credence to him or his profession, but to gain training perspective. As Sun Tzu said “You must know your enemy as you know yourself”.
Time and Distance
The first thing I want the CO to realize about this incident is how long the ACTUAL gunfight took. Keep in mind, although the entire video is 2:22, the actual “gunfight” (where the perp and LEO start firing at each other until the perp is killed) is only 36 seconds, which is actually, when compared to national statistics, a LONG gunfight! Secondly, look at the distance between the perp and LEO’s. Using the people’s height present in frame as a measuring tool, I think the farthest distance (when the perp exits the car at :51 and fires at the officer behind the tree) would be around 10 feet. As the fight escalates, and Detective Saavedra (on far right) scores some hits on the perp (:56) and Perp returns fire at Detective Saavedra (1:00) the Distance closes to around 8 feet. With 21 Feet being the “Gold Standard” of most recorded gunfights,(and consequently the distance taught in most police academies) we see from this incident that to “keep it real” we need to train at more ECQ distances; 8-10 feet being the norm.
In the rush to get the visible suspect in custody (:41), the officers forgot to clear ALL the surrounding vehicles, especially the one with really dark window tint parked in the driveway, where an armed perp was hiding. This awareness mistake was IMO the worst mistake made in the entire incident; only because it gave the perp the advantage of surprise, allowing him to virtually ambush 3 officers who were in the process of subduing another suspect. I want to throw a “what if” at you and let you think about this from another angle: WHAT IF the armed perp at :56 comes out on the PASSENGER side of the vehicle versus the driver side, where his position of cover and fields of fire are superb and instead of a pistol he is armed with a semi-automatic rifle like an AR or AK? I can tell you with some degree of certainty that instead of 1 wounded officer you would be having 3 Police Funerals. Awareness is the Fundamental that can be an absolute game changer guys…if that car would have been cleared, the shootout would had been averted and an officer would not have been shot, period. Stay Aware!!
As soon as a gun was introduced into the scenario (:51), the officers needed to be moving to the nearest cover (behind vehicles) quickly! Notice the perp was wise enough to do it! He quickly found that tree, where he had cover from the officer he was shooting at first (at his 12 o’clock) but not from Detective Saavedra at his 2 o’ clock (his right), who scored some good hits, but was shot three times in return and only started moving to cover after he was hit, (1:02). The old adage “If the enemy is in range, so are you!” holds true in this scenario.
Fire & Maneuver
Here is where we see square range training really take hold. The classic, Police Academy trained Isoceles “Statue” stance taken by Saalveda at :56 is what you will see in 90% of all dashcam police videos because 90% of Police Officers are trained that way. The officer squares up to the threat, offering his ballistic vest as the big target, legs slightly bent, gun “pushed out” to the threat with both hands, his vision is dead centered on the threat and not on a swivel. The officer is not in any way prepared to move, he is set like a statue. In fact, we do not see movement from Detective Saalveda until after he is hit. Ironically, we see the highly promoted training ideology of “squaring up” to the target while wearing a ballistic vest FAIL also; the officer was wounded in the stomach (below the vest) and leg, thankfully the wounds proved to be not fatal.
Bottom line guys, we can never expect to “square off” against an armed perp at >10 ft (body armor or not)and not take some damage. MOVEMENT OFF THE X (toward cover if possible) resets your enemy’s OODA Loop, forcing him to “stutter step” in his plan to kill you, a simple side step may buy you the 3 seconds you need to SURVIVE.
After we have Displaced out of the Kill Zone, we need to train to SHOOT (while MOVING to COVER). I am a big believer in teaching the oblique clock method when moving (which by default forces us to shoot one-handed, ambidextrously, using a “metal on meat” sight picture) but I also teach movement to cover (sort of a combat crouch) while maintaining a two-handed grip on the weapon and a traditional front sight focus.
NEVER GET BOGGED DOWN IN DOGMA, FIGHTING (NO MATTER THE WEAPON) MUST BE APPROACHED AS A CONTINUUM…THE RIGHT TOOL, AND THE RIGHT METHOD, FOR THE PARTICULAR SITUATION.
Changing Gears, Shooting Around Cover & the Mozambique Drill
Notice the position of the perp behind the tree, after he has been wounded at around 1:07. He kind of lingers back and forth, breaking cover and then getting back behind the tree. Now in order to make this type of shot, ACCURACY takes Precedence; so we have to “gear down” and get back to our “Marksmanship Fundamentals”. Remembering that gun training is a continuum, we have to recall our grip, trigger control, breathing and sight fundamentals. One minute you are 8 feet from this guy blasting away, your adrenalin pumping out of the top of your head, not really seeing a sight picture, maybe seeing a blurry, hazy figure, with the frame of your gun super imposed on it; now, nothing but this guy’s head is popping back and forth from behind a tree and it is the only shot you have to end this ordeal. You must be accurate to end this. The Final Killshot comes at 1:27; the perp presents his head as a target, with no hesitation the shot is made.
I want you to see how quickly the types of skills you have to draw upon in a gunfight change; and they may change several times in a firefight, depending on the longevity of the fight and number of shooters you are facing. We must always train with this “Continuum Mindset” to stay prepared for this. Also, training to shoot from behind, (and around) cover is paramount, in particular, “small window, small target” scenarios. The dual profile Hostage Target’s from LE Targets, where there is a color contrast between the perp’s head and the no-shoot works well for this; as always, just ensure to add some type of stressor to add realism (More on Training Stressors coming soon).
Lastly, integrating the tried and true “Mozambique”,”Failure to Stop” or the “2 and 1″ (2 shots center mass, one to the head) Drill in our training can never hurt..if there was ever a drill from Jeff Cooper that made us change our proverbial “gears” in a gunfight, this is it!! Also with the advent of more and more people owning body armor, this is the contingency drill that just might be the game changer in a firefight.
Speaking of cover, from the perps perspective, when you get behind cover, stay behind cover. Use the old infantry adage: Find Mother Earth and bury into her! Exposing your cranium repeatedly like a prarie dog on a Kansas plain can only have one desired effect…a hole in it.
Stay Dangerous and Train Hard!
Listen folks, if all of us want to stay around and see a few more birthday cakes, we have to come to the ultimate conclusion that TERRORIST, (whether domestic or foreign) just like carjackers, kidnappers, muggers and rapist, are a real threat we have to prepare for in today’s world. I know alot of you like me, came to this conclusion after 9/11, but there are some sheeple out there who have been wooed into a state of complacency because of the supposed “inactivity” of terrorist acts in the United States since 9/11; but then something like Boston happens and whammo, it is like a slap in the face; “That could have been my leg getting blown off!!” you say to yourself. It is the same situation when a person gets mugged or assaulted; after the incident people say to themselves: “Never Again will I allow that to happen to me”.
I am a big believer in studying History to prepare for the future, and when it comes to a role model for how a citizen (and a country) should train and behave in response to the constant threat of terrorism, Israel tops the list. Granted, the overall mentality in Israel (both by civilian and LE alike)concerning Counter-Terrorism might be deemed by some as “Heavy Handed”, but then again,when you have only been a state since 1947 and every muslim within 10,000 square miles wants to wipe you off the face of the map, your tactics tend to be a bit “militant” if you want to survive. Also, Israel approaches the problem as a NATIONAL one, not just as a random incident. They know they are stronger if they put up a UNITED front.
I won’t go too deep into all of Israel’s Civilian Defense Programs, (some of them would make the obama lib-tards cringe, like civilians who live in what we would call in the States “Rough neighborhoods” where Terrorist activity is high, are allowed to “Rent” Fully Automatic, Govt. Uzi’s for home protection!! Can’t you just see obama signing off on that!!?? NOT) but for the sake of plugging WHY the 2nd Amendment and Concealed Carry Licenses WORK and why the rights of Concealed Carry License Holders need to be expanded into Schools and Universities, I do want to highlight Israel’s “Armed Citizens Guards” program. Formed in the 1970′s after the horrible Ma’alot massacre , the program enlist plain clothes, armed, VOLUNTEER parents, who are trained by Israel’s Home Guard and IDF to patrol and watch over schools. The track record for this program speaks for itself; since it’s inception, no child has died in an Israeli School from a terrorist act. I think this gives credo and credibility to programs being enacted right now in Texas and a handful of other states where Teachers (after extensive training) are allowed to be armed while on school property. In this authors most humble opinion, the pure deterrence factor alone for these programs make it well worth the cost!
Those of you that have read my blog for some time, know that I am not a “doom and gloomer” by any stretch, but I personally believe since witnessing everything that has happened in just the past year, the next big act of Terrorism is not going to be a suitcase nuke or a chemical/biological attack, but a Beslan style assault on a school or college, where mass casualties of innocent children/young adults occur (The Beslan massacre in Russia was committed by Chechnyan jihadist, the same group of folks the Boston Bomber brothers were fans of and most likely trained with). If you think this is far-fetched, take Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook and multiply the number of dead by a factor of 15. If you think Sandy Hook effected this country, imagine the psychological impact something like this atrocity would have. Remember: Spreading terror and fear is what the aim of “terrorism” is… The more sinister and dastardly the deed, the more terror and mayhem it causes. 300-400 murdered kids would destroy and strike fear into the soul of this country more than any random bombing could ever do.
To add to the stark realism of this scenario, imagine a trained team of professional terrorist versus a single, lone shooter with a pistol; each one-armed to the teeth with automatic rifles and explosives. We are not talking about some lone nut job with a grudge, but trained, expert killers; people who take pleasure out of killing innocent civilians and more to the point, would like nothing better than to die in a hail of gunfire while in the process of doing it. They have most likely planned this assault for months, maybe years, they know the in’s and out’s of the building, in fact they have studied the structural and architectural blueprints…the know the response times of the police and how to counter SWAT tactics. They have rigged explosive booby traps at every conceivable entrance or exit. They are not interested in money from ransom demands nor do they have any political request, all they want is blood.
What you have just read sounds like to the average American parent the ultimate. most terrifying uber-nightmare scenario conceivable.. But, actually, to the common Israeli Citizen (I emphasize the word CITIZEN, not Law Enforcement or Military) this scenario reads like a harlequin romance novel. This is something that train for day in, day out. They have accepted something like this CAN happen, and the most integral thing they can do is to be prepared to STOP it with solid, realistic training and preparation.
The bottom line folks is obviously the United States is NOT Israel, and we could wait until hell freezes over until this Government did anything remotely productive in the realm of ENPOWERING citizens to defend themselves or their families against the very real threat of terrorism, especially when it comes to protecting our children at school. It is up to us, as citizens and parents to prepare ourselves for this eventuality and train our children accordingly.
Support laws and programs that arm teachers and put more security/LE in and around schools. Volunteer for patrol at your local schools, even if they do not allow weapons on campus. Remember: Presence=Deterrence.
Teach your kids to be aware for anything out of the ordinary, not just people, but things like abandoned bags or backpacks. Give them a simple checklist to go through:
Not just for yourself and your family, but open up the lines of communication with your school officials. Ask questions, get involved. Let them know your willingness to volunteer, to chaperone, etc. Talk to your kids friends when you have the chance, nothing scary or uber-Rambo, just practical, sensible security.
In closing, the sooner Americans stop denying that Terrorism is HERE, and pointing fingers at politicians for inviting the blowback, the sooner we can start defeating the enemy; whether we wanted it or not, it is here at our doorstep and it’s only interest is death and destruction.
Stay Dangerous and Aware!
I have noticed a sort of trend in my training classes lately…guys “Over-Thinking” situations and by default of that mentality, putting forth energy toward the WRONG training goals and Under-Training. Let me give you an example. At a recent “Active Shooter” class, the topic came up of shooting from behind cover..granted, a valid training topic and one that should be covered, but being this is an ACTIVE SHOOTER class, there are many more pertinent subjects to cover. Long story short, a couple of the students got waaaaay too involved in an active conversation in all of the various situations that could come up while firing from behind cover, including: shooting thru barriers, ricochet’s, the way FMJ and HP rounds behave thru various materials, etc…needless to say, we got way off topic really fast and it cost the class valuable training time. Let me blunt and clear guys: NEVER get bogged down with “WHAT IF’S” when you are training to win a fight…I am not saying they cannot be “theoretically” discussed, but speaking from experience, opining about “what MIGHT” happen in a gunfight is about as useless as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest. The small stuff will always work itself out, what the CO needs to focus on during training (and conversely to get the best value out of his precious training dollar) is the FUNDAMENTALS, because 9 times out of 10, that is what is going to carry him home…instead of arguing ballistic tables or round penetration test, do some Combatives training or Force on Force.
Now I know what some of you are thinking..”A man can only train on the fundamentals for so long before he needs to move on to ADVANCED stuff.” I would answer that by saying simply the “Advanced” things you are most likely talking about, the “high-speed, low drag” type stuff, is simply the FUNDAMENTALS, sped up a notch…taking the old adage “Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast”; when you have refined your skills to the point of being butter smooth, speed will come.
So to be clear, and this may sound really SIMPLE to most of you out there who have been combat training for some time, here is the short list of GUN FIGHT FUNDAMENTALS you need to routinely cover, REGARDLESS Of the “scenario” or type of weapon (pistol/rifle/shotgun).
Let’s be real guys: In this backwards economy, most of us are not Rockefeller’s and every penny counts..those of you that budget for training the same as for weapons need to get every ounce of knowledge out of that instructor while you are there, and the Instructor needs to be ensuring that happens..#11 above needs to be a rough checklist for all CO’s out there…if the training you are currently receiving does not line up with these 3 very simple things …you are wasting your time and money and all the while, training yourself to fail when your life or the life of your loved ones may depend on it!!
Stay Dangerous and Stay Real!!!
In yet another sad addition to the catalog of violent attacks on school campuses, yesterday at Lone Star College near Houston, Texas a deranged individual went on a slashing spree with an exacto knife, wounding fourteen innocent people, two seriously. Thankfully, there were no fatalities.
I will not get on a soapbox rant why I think this episode underscores and SCREAMS to legislators why college students should have the right to carry a concealed weapon on their person while in class..(not just in their vehicles or dorm rooms). I will leave that for a later date.
What I will discuss is the need for all CO’s out there to have under their belt some type of REALISTIC counter-knife training. Lets be real guys, the proposition of facing a crazed nut job chasing people down while wildly swinging an exacto knife unarmed without a gun is not what I would call ideal, but it is not impossible either. After all, it was unarmed, but very aware students who took it upon themselves to take this idiot down and hold him until the cops arrived.
In most all police academies, there is a drill shown to the cadets to prove the fallacy that just because you have a gun, you are safe from a knife attack. It is called the “Tueller Drill”. In this drill, the instructor shows the cadets how fast a determined attacker could charge and stick a blade into you from 21 feet (7 yards) away. The cadets must draw a holstered handgun and make several “good hits” on target before the attacker reaches them. In most every scenario, the cadet get wounded or killed, most of the time, getting no hits onboard the attacker. Although a bit dated, the drill is still relevant in teaching movement of the X and making a clean presentation of your weapon.
The area that is often forgotten or neglected with knife attacks is close quarters situations. Where by no fault of the CO, the would be attacker is in close proximity when the attack begins. I want to take a moment here and say something about the so called “reactionary gap”. Most all of us have heard or been trained to always keep a minimum of “21 feet” distance between us and the bad guy. This type of thinking may be relevant on a battlefield, but when we are talking about everyday life, ie, the hum drum existence of most CO’s reading this, the distance (not the ideal) is ludicrous. Think about it, at your job, in the classroom, in the grocery store, at the bank, we are close to people all the time, it is just how the world is. Having said that, this in no way means the CO has to let their guard down.
I have always maintained that keeping a good “arms length” space (2-3 feet, depending on your wing span) between people is a realistic distance. If you combine this with solid situational awareness, and probally your biggest (and under-used) weapon, your voice, you are way ahead of the curve. If somebody gets too close or breaks your “personal space”, call them out on it.. begin politely and then escalate in tone and language as needed.
When you approach how best to neutralize a knife attack (not disarm), you need to approach it from the combative perspective; in other words, no matter if I had a gun, knife, stick or empty hand, I will approach the problem the same way, this creates a simplistic training approach and not a multi-tiered “system” as some trainers promote. Remember, when under severe stress, simplicity and violence of action rules the day!
Contact HCS today for our training schedule.. our Civilian Operator 101, 102 and 103 courses offer SUPERIOR edged weapons defense training!