While some may believe that a warning regarding posts on social network sites it a bit paranoid, professionals in our field know it is a problem. Now don't get me wrong. Sites like Facebook have great potential to help us network and get the word out about training and even problems. The problem rests with those who are generally less professional and thoughtful about what they are posting. I have seen shocking posts from police officers, military personnel and private contractors. These posts range from obsenity riddled tirades to absolute violations of operational security.
From My Desk Archive - 2010
I never ceased to be amazed at the reaction we get from people that take our courses. It can be summarized in what they tell us they get from the class. It is a change in how they see their training. Many people in our realm simply "practice" their individual skills in a manner that allows them to get it done and check it off the list. This is true in many disciplines but most obvious in shooting skills and open hand combatives. When you simply "practice" there is very little psychological or emotional engagement involved in the act.
Keep That Rifle Running
It is simply inevitable that you will at some time have a weapon malfunction. The key to getting through that malfunction is based on three things. 1. Know your weapon and how to clear any and all malfunctions. 2. Minimize the physical motions needed to make the clearance happen. 3. Keep your mind in the fight (see above:)! In this month's edition I want to talk about running your carbine. You can be the greatest shooter in the world, but if you can not clear a malfunction then you are screwed. I will save actual clearance techniques for a future edition and focus on where the rifle should be in the event it goes down. Now, I feel it is important that I share one of my philosophies in regards to rifle malfunction clearances. If you are within 25 meters of your target, then I teach transition to your handgun. Until such time that you can either eliminate the threat, or gain sufficient cover to bring your rifle back into the fight.
There have been so many articles written on the difference between practicing and training that I hesitated to even breach the subject. However, I feel that it is such an important topic that I should explore it here. I have a very firm training philosophy when it comes to everything I teach. From firearms to open hand combatives the theme is the same. Train as you would fight. Simple enough to understand yet difficult to implement. This is as true for instructors as it is trainees, A common example can be found on the range. Many times people simply stand on the line and do drills.
I have just returned from an extended training period in Missouri. We ran a variety of courses and I was very pleased with the overall success of the event. I am not 22 years old any longer (no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise) so the extended training schedule was a bit fatiguing to say the least. It was a great reminder of why I train physically along side my combatives and firearms training. Maintaining solid physical fitness is at the core of anyone who considers themselves a warrior.
I have recently had an in-depth conversation with a person who has been designated as the director of security for a large church. While it is almost unbelievable that such a position should be needed, it has become a very harsh reality. Security in churches is not a brand new idea and many large churches have had security staff for years. What is new is that it is no longer an exception but becoming the norm.
One of the greatest dangers and officer or gun owner faces is to have their weapon taken. Weapon retention skills are a must for any person that carries a gun. While there are literally hundreds of retention techniques, we will present one. In this example we focus on several major points. First is to not to get into a tug of war over the weapon. You must first "weld" the gun into your holster. Second is to turn off the line of attack. As the assailant now follows the turn because of a hand locked onto the weapon, begin to turn back into the assailant.
Our training year is up and running. We have had several classes already in 2010 and the next few months will be full to say the least. I have been flattered by several emails and calls essentially asking..."How" do we do it. It comes down to my philosophy regarding training people. I understand that in this business, a vast majority of participants drive their own training. What I mean by that is most people plan their training and personally budget for it. While there are many instances when agencies cover the training, most participants pay for training themselves.
Getting your weapon into the fight is job one when the flag goes up. In the same breath I will say that properly getting your weapon into the fight is equally as important. The tip this month will deal with drawing your pistol. To keep this section under ten million words we will set the situation as follows. You have already defeated any retention device you have and or cleared a concealment garment. The weapon is hot and ready to come out. You have indexed the weapon and begin to draw.
This is the point where we can make your draw better. Many people begin to roll the weapon forward right after it clears the holster. Avoid this. This is called bowling and does not allow you to bring your muzzle to bear quickly enough.
As you draw your gun, bring it up as high towards your arm pit as you can. We call this a high count three. By bringing the weapon this high it is easier now to drive it into your sight plane and you now lead the barrel towards the target. This positioning also creates a good base to fire from in a close contact situation. Try it and see how it helps you effectively get into the target more quickly!
Well a new year is upon us and it provides a moment for reflection and for looking ahead. I use this time to re-sharpen my focus and set my goals for the year, for my company, and for my life. Review the lessons of the year gone by and commit to being better in all things. This is the ultimate challenge we face. Complacency. I have been doing what I do for a very long time. Long enough to know that if I do not continue to train, that my skills will diminish. The skill set that we possess is perishable. We must constantly work to keep our edge.