Tactical Tip Of The Week

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Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

In this article I want to expand upon the last article I wrote about the use of flashlights. So, it would be a good idea to review it or read it for the first time before reading this posting.

One of the primary uses for flashlights in a self-defense application is for searching for an adversary/intruder in dark environments. I have already covered the affects of light on our night vision when we turn on our flashlights and look into the lighted area we are scanning. We also discussed how every time you turn your flashlight on you mark your position or, at the minimum, let the intruder(s) know you are nearby.

Let’s examine the use of the flashlight in an environment that we are all in at one time or another – our home when the lights are out or minimum lighting is available. Recall from the last article that we can set our lighting up to provide us with great advantage by destroying the intruder(s) night vision by the way we set up lighting in our house. But let’s look at using the flashlight for searching in our house when using a flashlight with a minimum amount of ambient lighting available.

I must first address the issue of “searching” in your house for an intruder(s). In previous articles I discussed the concept of a “strong point defense”. This is when we determine the most suitable place to set up a position that covers the avenue of approach to where you and your family are located. You can prepare that location and determine the best place to pre-position additional gear and ensure that all family members are accounted for and with you. In essence, we want to make sure that anyone else in the house is an intruder.  

If you are able to occupy your “strong point defense” position, then there isn’t a need to search. The most important and cherished people you have are safe with you. There is nothing else that matters regarding property in your house. Your 911 call is being answered by dispatch but depending where you are, the response times may vary considerably. At this pont, the best use of a flashlight is to simply not use it. Don’t mark your position by turning it on. If you have used lighting in your house correctly, you will have adequate lighting to engage the intruder without any additional lighting.

Note: When you get the opportunity, test out the lighting in your house and determine the best lighting conditions you can create to assist you in having enough lighting to see and identify an intruder from your strong point location without turning on a flashlight.

I have seen “searching techniques” taught in many venues, by numerous trainers and anyone with a computer can tap into dozens of videos produced by many trainers. Some institutions teach clearing as part of their BASIC program. One I attended many years ago built a portion of training around clearing procedures. The course itself was an introductory course that was designed to teach the basics of their system. Where the hell does building and structure clearing procedures fit into the third day of a basic training course? This is the “feel good” training that is often presented to get people thinking that they are getting skill in a particular topic but in reality, they are being lead down a path that could be very costly for them and their families.

Searching when you are alone is a very dangerous endeavor. NOBODY has 360-degree situational awareness. Having participated in dozens of real high-risk searches at night, I an assure you that you cannot see everything in a 360 degree circle around you and that is why you must at a minimum search with another partner. Don’t let ego get in the way of reality. If you turn on your flashlight and mark your position or let the intruder(s) know you are there, they will most likely set up a “hasty ambush” on YOU!! At this point they know you are there and you have no idea where the intruder(s) may be. They have a distinct tactical advantage.

I am a FIRM believer in validating EVERYTHING included in the “doctrine” I follow and teach. The best way to sort these issues out is to actually try to do what you believe to be the best course of action in as real an environment that you can create to validate what you intend to do. Without this process, you are hoping that it will workout the way you envision it. So here is a simple drill to that you can set up to see how searching will actually work for you.

 ******SAFETY NOTE: Secure ALL firearms away from the area(s) you intend to use. No ammunition, or firearms on your person. This rule is for anyone who participates in this drill. Double and triple check everyone. You DO NOT need a firearm to do this drill. You will only need your flashlight.

Searching Drill: Begin in the bedroom where you would normally occupy. This drill is designed to take you from the initial position you would be in when you begin your response to an intruder.

You can use a family member(s) (preferably an adult) to act as a role player(s) to simulate an intruder(s). They can position themselves anywhere they want in the house away from the bedroom.

The next step in the drill is for you to do one of the choices you have – search for the intruder or set up a “strong point defense” and let the intruder come to your pre-positioned location.

Start by attempting to search for the intruder first. Again, only have your flashlight with you and your objective is to locate the intruder. The “role player’s” job is to attempt to avoid detection and evaluate the person searching from the following perspective:

  •  Were you able to detect the person searching for you. This can be done via you hearing them searching for you (noise kills) or from the person searching “marking “their general location when they used their flashlight.
  • If the role player detects the person searching, the role player should set up a “hasty ambush” by stopping their movement and position themselves(s) in a location that offers concealment and use this position to ambush the person searching.
  • When the role player(s) can observe the location of the person searching, simply yell “BANG” as loudly as possible and that’s when the drill ends.

 Note: You can use more than one “role player” since there are many home invasions that have more than one intruder present.

The second way to run the drill is to set up a strong point defense by moving to the pre-established location where you can cover the avenue of approach that an intruder(s) would have to use to get to you and your family. From this position, cover the avenue of approach and when the role player(s) enter it, the drill can be ended by you simply yelling ”Bang” loudly. Let’s discuss the above drills to ensure that there is an understanding of why these drills are so important.

 Here are some key points to consider:

  •  No plan can be completely relied upon until you “test” it. The environment must be as close to real as possible if you are going to plan to defend your home. Test out the plan you have developed and see if it works. If you encounter any problems with the plan, at least you have time to reorganize or make necessary adjustments to make it work better. The last thing you want to have happen is find out that it doesn’t work when you are in contact with a live intruder(s).
  • Many people have attended training classes that include clearing procedures. Trust me, moving through a “kill house” or simulator where there are only paper targets and you anticipate that there are “bad guys” to engage is much different from doing it for real when you anticipate contract with a real person. Paper targets don’t shoot back.
  • You need direct feedback from someone (role player) who can tell you that you gave your location away when you used your flashlight. The “Role player” can tell you if your noise discipline was poor and they heard you coming.
  • You need to feel the surprise and what it does to you physically and mentally when you are confronted by the intruder(s) as you are searching.
  • You have to see for yourself if searching is worth the risk or if it is better to set up a strong point defense and take advantage of the intruder(s) not knowing what they are about to walk into.

So, a final thought is that it is not enough to learn how to coordinate a flashlight with a handgun or long gun. We must physically and mentally work through the application of our training in a realistic environment. We must train frequently enough to really understand the strong and weak points of the methods and their application. We do not want surprises when in a real environment against an intruder(s) that want to harm you or your family.  

Preparation is a gateway to success. Just going to the range is not enough. I want to emphasize again that these drills DO NOT require using a firearm while training. Safety is paramount. There are ways to make these drills more realistic by adding airsoft or simunitions into the drills but this brings an entirely new set of requirements for safety and equipment. The drills outlined above will get you well on your way to fine-tuning your plans.

Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

 Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

In this posting, I want to discuss an issue that is important but often misunderstood. It is the use of artificial illumination by means of flashlights when integrated with our handguns and long guns.

Before going further, there are several uses of artificial lighting – flashlights. Each “mission” assigned to a flashlight has its own considerations. As an example, I spent my law enforcement career working graveyard shift. I had the use my flashlight over the full spectrum of “missions”. There are times when the flashlight will be used in the process of searching both indoors and outdoors. There are times when the flashlight will be used to illuminate the interior of a vehicle when making traffic stops. Its use can be as simple as providing illumination to complete writing citations.

Each of these “missions” requires an understanding of how to use the flashlight tactically and one particular flashlight might be more suited than another for the particular scenario. There is a considerable amount of information and technical data available to sort out the particular types and power levels associated with available flashlights. I will leave that to you to do the homework and determine what suits your particular needs.

I want to spend time in this article specifically discussing a particular “mission” that many of us assign our flashlights – using them in defense of our homes. A primary function of our flashlight when used in a home defense scenario is to positively identify what is downrange from us. Are we dealing with friend or foe? When it comes to a home defense scenario, we CANNOT make a mistake and engage a family member or guest.

Here are a couple of considerations regarding the use of flashlights:

  •  What particular flashlight will be suitable for the “mission”?
  • What methodology will be used to integrate the flashlight with your particular weapon system?
  • What training is required to develop appropriate skills to effectively engage a threat in the environment that you will deploy both flashlight and weapon system?
  • What alternatives are available that can be used to effectively illuminate the area we will be operating in with or without using a flashlight.

I hope you will contemplate the above issues to help you focus on having the appropriate equipment and training to effectively operate in darkness.

I want to end with a couple of thoughts that I consider extremely important. The first is the issue of using lighting within the house that can assist us in operating more efficiently if a home defense scenario develops.

By examining your particular house and the avenue of approach an intruder must move through in order to get to your location, you can create a situation that requires them to move from a well-lighted area into a dark area. This can give you a decisive advantage. The reason? Eyes have to be able to adjust to the existing lighting in order to allow vision to work effectively. Bright lights destroy night vision. If an intruder walks into a dark area when your night vision is degraded due to coming from a bright, well-lighted area, the intruder is at a decided disadvantage because their eyes are improperly adjusted to the lack of lighting. This will cause them to have difficulty locating you or have difficulty navigating through the area. Also, if the intruder has bright lighting to their rear, this will present a silhouette of their body as viewed from your location from within the darkness. This is called “backlighting” and is highly effective.

What I have described above is the tactical use of lighting to give us a decided advantage. You are, in essence, degrading the intruder’s vision. In night fighting, this can be a decisive advantage. So, something you can do to use this tactic is experiment with various lighting intensities within your home to determine the best use of this tactic.

Another important consideration when using a flashlight is that when you are in a darkened environment and then introduce a bright light from a high intensity flashlight, your eyes will be affected just like the intruder’s eyes. YOUR night vision will suffer anytime you look into the lighting provided by your flashlight. Once you illuminate an area with bright lighting and then turn that lighting off, your eyes will need time to readjust to recover your night vision. The problem is that you may not have adequate time to recover and every time you turn your flashlight on, your eyes will be continually affected and the readjustment period simply may not happen.

Another consideration is that anytime you turn your flashlight on, you are marking your position. Just because you turn your flashlight on DOES NOT mean that you will find and/or identify the threat. This means that the threat may be in a different location from where your flashlight beam is directed. So now you have turned your flashlight on, affected your night vision and still haven’t located the threat BUT if the threat is present in another nearby location, you have revealed YOUR location. This can be a very serious problem for you because you are very vulnerable if the intruder elects to engage you and you haven’t located the intruder yet.

This article has not been written to teach the “how to” of using your flashlight in a tactical environment. . It is, however, written to bring up the points of how your lighting can affect your vision, mark your position and how existing lighting can be used to your advantage. I hope this stimulated thought about this issue since it is an important consideration in our planning for home defense.

 Train hard and be safe.

 Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

 

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

I have two topics that I want to discuss in this “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. The first is firearms related and deals with our gun rights. I live in an unfriendly state when it comes to gun rights (an other issues). During this week it came to my attention that there is a Bill in our State Senate that would make POSSESSION of ANY magazine over 10 rounds a crime. This is even if they were in possession prior to the law that made it illegal to purchase magazines in excess of 10 rounds. The initial law “grandfathered” the magazines already in our possession but restricted any further purchases in the state. So, the bottom line is they are telling us we would be criminals if we were in mere possession of personal property that was legal to initially purchase AND possess. I could go on writing about this for pages but I will simply say that EVERYONE, regardless of where you live, should take notice because it could happen to you too. There is no logic to what politicians who take an oath to support and defend the Constitution will do but our vigilance is necessary to protect our rights.

Now to the training related issue. There are a variety of triggers that are on the vast number of semi-automatic handgun choices in the marketplace. Here are some choices:

  • Double Action Auto (hammer is not cocked, long and much heavier first shot and the hammer is automatically cocked for subsequent rounds with a much shorter and lighter trigger)
  • Double Action Only (hammer is not cocked, long trigger pull for each shot. This is similar to a revolver trigger)
  • Single action (1911 designed handguns – hammer is cocked and short and lighter trigger than double action/double action only triggers for each shot)
  • “Safe Action” as seen in Glocks and other striker fired handguns (short and lighter trigger than double action/ double action only triggers)

These are the main types of triggers found on modern semi-automatic handguns. Each of these choices bring a specific training issue that must be addressed in order to safely and efficiently operate each particular handgun that is selected to use for self-defense or sporting purposes.

Rather than make this a debate over what type of trigger is better than another, I want to discuss the issue from this standpoint – the end user selects whatever handgun and trigger type suits their needs and preferences. Once the selection is made, what can be done in training to maximize the user’s ability to achieve their best performance with their selection.

There are two drills that I will introduce in this article that I have used for years in my personal training as well as in my training programs. As with all the articles and concepts I teach and write about, the methodology professed is for use in combat shootings not target shooting. This means that we are training to operate in a combative environment. This environment is highlighted by the event being spontaneous in nature and generally started by our adversary. Our response must be rapid and our rate of fire in a close-quarters combat shooting is very rapid.

No matter what particular handgun or trigger mechanism you select, one extremely important training point is that no matter how many rounds are discharged, the trigger finger needs to stay in contact with the trigger. Why is this so important? When our trigger finger rebounds off the trigger between each round discharged, the trigger may be potentially engaged with a different level of force and from a different angle with each round discharged. The alignment of our handgun to the threat can be disrupted causing rounds to either miss the target completely or bullet placement can be less than optimal. It has been my experience that when the individual’s trigger finger can maintain contact with the trigger during the firing sequence, more combat accuracy is obtained and the dispersion of rounds on the threat is minimized.

Here are two drills that I use to help “teach” our trigger finger to maintain contact with the trigger during the firing sequence. Each one of the drills can be equally helpful so I use both as part of a training regime.

DRILL #1:

  •  Start off at approximately 3 yards. You can increase distance as you progress through the training process
  • I use a target that is a picture of a face or you can simply use a similar sized blank sheet of paper and draw a head sized circle on the blank piece of paper
  • Regardless of what trigger type your have selected, discharge one round and HOLD THE TRIGGER TO THE REAR OF THE FRAME AND ENSURE THAT THE TRIGGER IS FULLY TO THE REAR AGAINST THE FRAME AND THE TRIGGER HAS NOT RESET!!
  • Next, regardless of what trigger type your have selected, allow the trigger to reset and discharge one more round and once again, DO NOT allow your trigger finger to leave contact with the trigger and hold the trigger to the rear against the frame without allowing the trigger to reset. Continue to repeat this process for as many rounds as you desire.

The goal of Drill #1 is to minimize the movement of the handgun while progressing from shot to shot so that combat accuracy will not be affected by the way we are manipulating the trigger. This is a simple drill that can be integrated into any training program and you can decide how much time and rounds you want to devote to this process. Remember, we are training to “program” our trigger finger to accomplish something under high stress so the more practice the better.

Before going on to describe Drill #2, I want to add that you can also include both sighted and “Target-Focused Shooting” into this drill. My recommendation is to do both so you get practice in precision shooting methods as well as “Target-Focused Shooting.

DRILL #2:

  • Start off at approximately 3 yards. You can increase distance as you progress through the training process
  • I use a target that is a picture of a face or you can simply use a similar sized blank sheet of paper and draw a head sized circle on the blank piece of paper
  • Regardless of what trigger type your have selected, discharge one round and then ALLOW THE TRIGGER TO RESET WITHOUT ALLOWING YOUR TRIGGER FINGER TO LEAVE CONTACT WITH THE TRIGGER AND
  • Next, discharge the next round and repeat the process as described above for as many rounds as you desire. The goal is to reset the trigger WITHOUT allowing your trigger finger to loose contact with he trigger.

Again, I recommend that you use both sighted and “Target-Focused Shooting” while doing this drill to maximize developing both methods of engagement.

By using the two drills I have outlined to “train” your trigger finger, better control of your handgun when working at higher speeds will develop. The downrange result is more consistent hits on target. I hope these drills will be helpful to you.

Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

 Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

In this article I want to discuss an issue that I believe is very important to understand regarding using our firearms for self-defense. An important consideration is that we are responsible for every round we project downrange. Those of us that arm ourselves for protection assume the liabilities associated with discharging our firearms at other human beings. So, one aspect of the issue I will discuss is to fully understand these responsibilities and liabilities. I encourage all reading this article to learn as much as possible about the responsibilities and liabilities of using firearms for self-defense PRIOR to being involved in an incident when a firearm is used for protection. There is a huge amount of information and training courses available that can help sort these issues out. I would encourage all to include this information as part of your overall training regime.  

Now I want to focus on the main point of the article –developing an understanding of how our training and understanding of our capabilities and limitations while fighting with our firearms minimizes our liabilities and upholds our responsibilities when deploying our firearms for self-defense.

I have had the experience of training and observing thousands of individuals in a variety of training classes. Also, I have had the opportunity to analyze dozens of combat shootings where training is put to the ultimate test. I have been able to incorporate the “lessons learned” from these incidents into the methodology I teach in training classes. I want to share some of theses findings that may help you formulate meaningful training that will give you a better chance of winning a confrontation and minimizing your liabilities.

The first important training point to consider is that the 0-5 yard line is the critical distance where training should have intense focus. Why? Because this is where most of the use of your handgun will most likely take place. Especially if you are a concealed permit holder. Since attacks are generally initiated within that distance from us, we must focus training to learn how to fight in that environment. So to maximize your ability to win in those fights, you must:

  •  Focus on deploying your handgun rapidly because you can’t begin to shoot until you have accessed your handgun
  • Practice drawing your handgun from your preferred concealed carry position. Work for consistency and smoothness
  • Use the appropriate positioning of that handgun based upon the distance from the threat (can you extend the arm(s) or have to engage the threat from a close-quarters position or extremely close-quarters position with the handgun positioned below your line of sight and closer to your body).
  • Once you have your handgun indexed on the threat, you must use appropriate methodology to control the rounds you are projecting onto the threat and minimize the liability of rounds not hitting the threat and continuing downrange and potentially striking an innocent bystander or damage property

With the above being said, let’s discuss how we apply what we are practicing to put bullets on target and link it to something I have observed over the years that affects the ability of the shooter to put bullets on target.

 Fighting Platform

Fighting platform is often referred to as “stance”. It is absolutely true that many times, we won’t be is that perfect, stationary stance that is often practiced when real bullets are in the air coming our way. However, the concepts of an effective fighting platform are evident whether we are stationary or on the move.

In my teaching of martial arts, fighting platform is explained as the way we organize our body to maximize our balance, and positioning of our body. This facilitates maneuvering to avoid being hit and also allows us to develop speed and power when striking and kicking. If you have an unbalanced and unorganized platform, developing speed, power and balance is greatly reduced.

When we apply the concepts of a fighting platform as discussed above to fighting with our firearms, we see that these concepts are of equal importance when attempting to be successful in placing bullets on the threat. Here is why. We use our bodies to support our firearm. It doesn’t matter if you are using a handgun, rifle or shotgun. The positioning of your body can enhance your control of that firearm which translates to better control of the bullets we project at the threat. It doesn’t matter if you are stationary, or in motion, the way your body is organized to support that firearm will help control recoil and maintain the muzzle on target.

Whenever we are training from a static position, we are teaching our bodies to develop our fighting platform, integrate the firearm into the platform and determine how rapidly we can shoot while maintaining combat accuracy. So, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with devoting training time to static position shooting. This training allows us to practice at the lowest common denominator so that the basics of the fighting platform are learned and our body gets to the point where we can do it correctly on demand. This will be the baseline used to build future training.

As we progress though training and add movement to our program, the physical programming that we have done while practicing static shooting will assist us in developing the ability to be combat accurate within the scope of close-quarters shooting and still maintain combat accuracy. Of, course, we are not expecting shooting and moving to work well at longer ranges as the envelope for shooting while moving is, for the vast majority of people, between the 0-7 yard line. With appropriate training and experience, this distance can be increased to approximately 10 yards. I must point out that how effective someone can be when shooting while moving will depend on his or her training and time spent developing the ability to shoot and move simultaneously. Some individuals may be effective beyond 10 yards but others may not be that proficient. Training and how the individual develops competency via training will determine the effective range that the individual will effectively use shooting while moving.

Let’s tie this all into the theme of the article – responsibility for every round fired and the liability associated with use-of-force. We first must start by practicing appropriate methods that have proven to work effectively in combat shootings not just on the range. By developing a fighting platform that increases our control over the firearm while engaging the threat, there is less liability to the shooter and/or agency when fewer bullets miss the threat.

The last point I will make is that as distance increases, our ability to maintain combat accuracy at high-speed decreases. Each individual will have to determine where the point of diminishing return is for continuing to engage the threat at a rapid rate of fire and still maintain combat accuracy. During a training class, I methodically increase range as the course progresses and the individual shooter can determine where that point is based upon their bullet placement. Through more practice, the distance can be increased. One thing that I can say as a general comment is that most people seem to start to have issues with combat accuracy at high speed after approximately 10 yards (after proper training). So, if a high rate of fire is maintained beyond that range, the ability to hit the threat decreases significantly and the liability for the rounds fired increases. As I stated at the beginning of the article, we are responsible for all rounds fired.

So, if we want to decrease liability and increase our combat accuracy, it is important to develop a fighting platform that supports the speed of engagement for close-quarters combat shootings. In conjunction with that, we have to understand when our distance to the threat and the speed of engagement exceeds our ability to deliver combat accuracy. Developing combat accuracy increases our ability to stop the threat and reduces our liability by not hitting innocent bystanders and creating property damage via our missed shots. It is our responsibility to train properly and apply that training when the moment of truth arrives.    

As always, this is not a “how to” article. It is meant to stimulate our thoughts about training and related issues.

 Train hard and be safe.

Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master

Tactical Tip Of The Week

Patchlogo

Tactical Tip Of The Week

 By

Grand Master Louis M. Chiodo

Welcome back to those who have been reading the “Tactical Tip Of The Week”. For those who are new to these postings, you can find the previous postings in my website, www.gunfightersltd.com or in my Face Book page, Gunfighters Ltd. Combat Shooting Methods Inc. I sincerely hope you can benefit from the information in these postings.

I will start this article off by writing a statement that guides my programs and a statement that I will expand upon regarding training in general:

OUR GOAL IS TO PERFECT SIMPLICITY

What brings me to the point of discussing the above statement? Simply because I am seeing so much in the training community go against this principle. My intention is not to write bad things about other people but to cause thought about what I see happening in the training community. We are in a time when people can instantly gain access to information in video and article formats via the internet that depict training from an astronomical amount of sources. I see flashy, choreographed drills that are impressive to watch. What is seen in these videos and what is written in the articles would lead one to believe that practicing what is being seen and adhering to the philosophies that are being professed will help us meet he challenges of real world fights.

 You have to ask yourself a simple question. How is what I am seeing or reading going to keep me alive in the environment I anticipate fighting in? If I am attending a training class that cost me significant money and time commitment, is what I am doing there appropriate for my anticipated use of my firearm. As an example, if I am carrying a concealed firearm, how is what I am doing in training going to help me win a close-quarter, dynamic and spontaneous combat shooting? If I am attempting to gain skill in deploying my handgun not only from concealment but within the parameters of what actually happens in close-quarters combat shootings, I better devote my training time and receive training that is designed to work in that environment.

Getting back to the statement at the beginning of the article – “Our goal is to perfect simplicity”. How does the training I am doing on my own or paying for in a training class relate to the concept in the statement? Also, at a more basic level, ask yourself this question, “Does what I am doing in my personal training or in this course have ANYTHING to do with how I will have to defend myself with my firearm in the environment I live and operate in?”

As you can see from the questions I have posed, YOU need to come to grips with these issues for several reasons. Here are a couple of reasons why these questions are relevant:

  • Training time is a valuable asset that must be used to help us maximize our performance in combat shootings
  • For the vast majority of people, time to train is limited and anytime we have the opportunity to practice and learn, we have to spend that time developing our skills for the environment we anticipate we will be in when defending ourselves
  • If your personal training or what is presented to you in a training program is complex, it may be difficult to reproduce what you are practicing under the stresses in live combat
  • For most people, finances can be an issue when considering what to do about training. Ammunition is expensive, airline tickets are expensive, lodging and the incidental expenses incurred when away from home are expensive and must be considered in the overall picture of your training. Is the money and time I am investing in training actually helping me achieve my objective?

Of course, more reasons exist but this gets us thinking about what we want to do with the time, money and effort we will expend for the sake of our training.

In previous articles, I outlined essential combat shooting skills that should be in your training. Reviewing them may be helpful at this time. So the question you have to ask yourself is what training do I need to do to develop skills in these areas? How should I train to PERFECT these baseline skills?

A trend I see in many programs of instruction is that the “Run and Gun” approach becomes the platform used to present training. Infantry tactics and team tactics are great provided you are going into infantry combat with a group of other people who are similarly trained and disciplined enough to perform under infantry combat conditions. You have to ask yourself, “Am I training to partake in ground combat operations as part of an infantry fire team, squad, platoon? Or, do I need the ability to rapidly draw my handgun from concealment when someone spontaneously and VIOLENTLY attacks me at a distance of 10-15 feet from me?” Having trained and operated in both these environments, they are completely different from each other and require specific training to be properly prepared to fight in each of these two environments.

When you have limited time and resources available for training, you have to prioritize what you include in your training and ensure that the important skills are developed and practiced to the point where you can’t do them wrong. I fully understand the “cool” factor of getting geared up and running through courses that resemble an environment that represents an infantry tactical problem but this should never be done at the expense of not practicing the essential skills that you need to win a fight in an environment that represents the environment that YOU are in during your daily travels.

Here is a suggestion that may be helpful in deciding how you want to spent your training time and dollars that could help you maximize your combat readiness but still allow you to have fun in your training.

First, ensure that your training and the methods you are training are applicable for the environment you anticipate fighting in. This training should be a combination of range time, interactive drills in a force-on-force environment and include full force-on-force training. This will assist you in developing skills and learning how to apply those skills. This training regime is not a nicety but A NECESSITY!

Now once you have completed the above training, if you still have an urge and desire to do the run and gun type of activity, I would encourage you to look up local matches in your area that set up these type of courses and use them as a way to have fun, test your equipment, and work under a certain level of stress. Usually the entry fees are minimum as compared to paying tuition, transporting and purchasing a large quantity of ammunition to attend a course and incur the cost associated with traveling long distances to attend a course.

Again, I want to emphasize that I am not trying to unduly criticize other courses, but I am trying to emphasize that you have to spend your training time and dollars wisely so you can actually achieve the objective of your training – winning a fight in the environment you will be in at the moment of truth. Remember, “Our goal is to perfect simplicity”.

I hope this helps you consider the importance of matching your training to the environment you anticipate fighting in and consider how you spend your valuable time and money to assist you in achieving that objective.

 Train hard and be safe.

 Louis M. Chiodo

Grand Master