Don’t Headhunt?

Don't Headhunt? The "Third Round is Yours" Theory and Any, Better, Best Target Theory

     Don't head hunt! This was advice I had been given for decades by various boxing, some kick boxing, and even some Thai boxing coaches. I think they always really meant to say, don't "overdo" headhunting, as in spending  all of your time, effort and strategy trying to strike the head. Strike other places too, as well as kick in kickboxing and Thai. You do this to hurt the guy, confuse the guy, wear him down, etc.

     By the way, this is not a debate on fist versus open hand strikes. Not all fist strikes to the face break your hand. Not all palm strikes are as good as fist strikes. And elbows too! These particulars are for another topic (I have already written about this, in fact. See below link.) This is an essay on headhunting, with a side-serving of weapons and targets.  I also have been clocked by classic punches, and have seen classic "boxing/kickboxing" punches wipe out my partners, as well as other soldiers and citizens. There is nothing wrong with "the peoper punch," but maybe how and when to use it and here's when the coach comes in.

     I am fully aware that some of you may have different coaches and trainers that told you otherwise, or maybe never mentioned this subject. But don't act shocked, I have had some coaches across a pretty wide spectrum and the "don't headhunt" advice is not too rare. Many boxing coaches are also interested in spreading the art and sweet science of Boxing, which includes many things.

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     Even when rare, the "don't always headhunt," advice fits best inside the sport world, where there are rounds, time and wear-down strategies and declarations by trainers mapping out the fight that the "third, (or whatever,) round is yours." In the contest world it suggests – 

"First round? Check him out, probe. Probe with the jab. Second round do 'this or that' with the discoveries from your probing. Third round is yours." That's the idea in the most general of terms. 

     It is their job indeed to map out the fight, to give you a game plan. You know that in amatuer and pro fights, where a history, film, even now prolific video exists on an oppoent, those films are studied and strategies evolve. A properly prepped, fighter, MMA or otherwise needs to walk in with a strategy, a plan. And in this process, the plan is made and you might hear "fouth round is yours," kind of talk. Or ideas about tiring him out in amongst the battle plan. I think it would be odd for a coach to simply say,"knock him cold in the first two seconds. That is all." Fighters do indeed knock people out quickly, but inside the mandatory planning, the staging, etc, not all of it is headhunting. 

     I think the non-head-hunting idea from coaches was meant to say – also deliver body shots too and kicks too in kickboxing, to weaken and confuse the opponent in round one and round two for the theoretical victory in Round 3. In one example of body shots, there were numerous successful and unsuccessful boxers who spend rounds pounding the upper arms of their enemies so that eventually their guard would consistently drop for their eventual, head shots, so that "the ______ (fill in the blank) round is yours."

     The transition of these delay ideas and advice can get blended into, for lack of a better term, "street fighting," training by short-sighted trainers and coaches. I was told this at times in several self defense courses and that included boxing methods. For example I was in a very, popular, modern, street-fighting system back in the 1980s, in a course considered a pioneer program back then, that emphasized, "the probing jab." In fact, the newsletter was called "The Probe." The head guy would often take money from people and make than study the jab only for four to six months. The…probe. Jabs for six months. Imagine that. Then you graduated to the cross punch – for who knows how long? People did not stay with him for that long. Yet, he did many other things, effective things too, but some of his people got caught in the "jab rut." Once again that odd mix of using some boxing strategies with some survival strategies and believing in both, despite some contridictions. 

     I'd been kickboxing in Parker Kenpo before I went into the Army. In the old military police academy there were boxing classes almost every night and a bit on weekends. I had nothing else to do, was interested and went to these work-outs. This was encouraged and a good idea for police work. But, the boxing coaches were also occasionally preaching this whole, "third round," concept of ideas at times, and things like wearing down the opponent through time and not over-doing the headhunting concept. 

     Ignorant at the time, this was not a mental delema for me until I started working as a cop and grasping the idea that "there was no third round in the street fight," to use a corny phrase. Nor second. (There are exceptions to this of course, but there are reasons for the odd times.) These street fights/arrests I was in and ones I had to break up and/or investigate had little time for the experimental probing jabs and "third round, wear-him-down, ring strategies." They were usually hard, fast, crazy and over quickly. You were bum-rushed, tackled and sucker-punched, hit with chairs and lamps, etc…I was attacked by a man with an ax once. No time for several probing jabs and slick footwork versus the axe man.

     These official, wear-him-down, delay strategies seemed to be inherent in several martial arts I did, in ideas, big and small. I called them "sport cancers" to be on the look out for in all transitions from sports to the non-sports world. Enlightened coaches look for these. What works on who, on what, when, where, how and why.

     Another popular idea in this mold was: 

"the closest weapon to closest target" idea. 

     To me this falls a bit into the "third round" category, because it promotes lesser shots on lesser targets. Who knows who originated the "closest-closet" concept, but I will take a good guess and tell you it is probably not who you think it is. It goes waaaay back. It sounds so good too, but, what does it precisely mean?  Exactly? Define weapon. Define target. 

     Taken literally, if I am struggling with with you, and we are bent in a weird position, and my elbow is near the right cheek of your butt. Is that my closest weapon to your closest target? And I elbow your…ass? If this idea is unacceptable, then shouldn't the motto read, 

"your best weapon to his best, closest target?" 

    If you accept the term "best," into the motto, because elbows to ass cheeks is kind of worthless, it changes a lot of the original, cool intent, doesn't it. Even the word "better" changes the intent of the close-close motto. Better? Maybe the motto could read – 

"your better weapon hitting a better target." 

      It suggests that of you wait just a second, a better or the best target may turn up. I don't want to get overly semantic here, but this "closest to closest" quote never impressed me. Many cutting-edge, sports performance experts promote the idea of "waiting," if just for a half a second or so, for the best point in time to maximize/execute their effort. (Do read the book, Waiting, full of this research)

 

     Juxtaposed to this wear-him-down strategy, were other strategies I learned. I spent some time with a retired, South African commando, who these days wishes to remain low-key. He said that "military knife fighting is about the neck and the head." He said this due to the vests and the gear common to enemy soldiers. He also said that this "head and neck" idea relates to empty hand and survival fighting. Head hunting and neck hunting is good hunting. 

     To me, headhunting is important. So, too is neck hunting. Even though as a cop I couldn't prioritize this until my struggle escalated to that justifiable point. Hitting the computer (brain) and quickly, and hard, is such a great idea. Hitting the neck, its whole circumference, can be so good too. No need here for an anatomy lesson I hope. Blood on the sides. Wind in the front. Electricity in the back. Boom! (And I include chokes in neck hunting category, too.)

     I've made the smart ass remark for decades,

"what the best martial arts technique? A punch to the nose. What's the second best? Two punches to the nose."

Everyone laughs. It's a generalization, but it makes a point. As I said earlier, I think these boxing and kickboxing coaches always mean to suggest, don't "overdo" headhunting, not quit it. There are many, many boxers, MMA and kickboxers who emphasize the head and are quite successful. Who doesn't think Mike Tyson was a head hunter? Who doesn't think that Iron Mike ignored long-term stragegies and tried to knock the other guy out in seconds? 

     The overall boxing and kickboxing strategies? Strike in combinations and heights – as well as kick in kickboxing and Thai. You do all this other stuff to hurt the guy, fake, confuse and set up the guy or gal and/or wear he or she down through the designated rounds. I get it. I do. This still boils down though, fighter-by-fighter and their favorites and styles in the end. Through however many rounds.

     But, the "third round is yours" and "any close weapon to any close target" ideas are not ideas for fighting crime or hand-to-hand, trench war. So, for the citizen, cop, soldier, survival fight, I personally believe very much in prioritizing head hunting and neck hunting, standing or on the ground. Fake, hit, stomp and kick where you can too, but jeez…that solid head shot? Solid Neck Shot? The choke? Hard to beat. Better or best weapons to better or best targets.

     All roads lead to the head hunt? The neck Hunt? You could say. Serious business. Do not stop boxing or kick boxing. It is a positive in so many ways. It is important. My brain damaged head misses it. But pay close attention and think about what all the coaches say. Be on the lookout for sport cancers, big and small.

    Boxing or street fighting with boxing? What are you doing? What are they telling you? 

Hocks email is HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com

 

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Hack Away At The Unessential

"It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential." – Bruce Lee

     I took this advice very, very seriously. Did you?

     Well, the deal is, the trick is…and it’s a zen thing…a journey thing…you have to keep learning and getting wiser about all things. At some point we hope to get "a handle" on the subject. Get a wise handle on the overall subject. And then we can spot the extraneous, the unnecessary, the redundant. Its takes education to do so, and after all, most of us cannot tell what is and what is not needed in new cars to make them run. Trained engineers know this.

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And there a few assumptions that automatically go with this.
– You are always learning new stuff.
– You achieve a certain level of wisdom on stuff.
– You have a matured filter to discern stuff.

     This is the kind of advice/line that helped me organize almost all of my pursuits. For example, I am very interested in the various kinds of psychologies. But I would rather study the overall “psychology of psychologies.” I am interested in overall religion, but I am more interested in the “religion of religions.” The big back step, pulling back the curtains. Finding the back wall where the Wizard of Oz pulls all the strings.

     What does this mean? To be more specific, an example on this pursuit – why does humanity need religion? Why do we make them? Why do we need them? Once made, how are they alike and unlike? Why? The religion of religions. Once you study the “religion” or religions, I think people understand overall religion much better. Many people who have done this, wind up with no organized religion and live the life of a deist or atheist. Or, you can become a religious charlatan who knows how to connive the last bit of money from the elderly, because “the church” needs a new jet plane.

     In the martial world, I am interested in the good universal things that work and solve problems. These good things exist inside almost all systems, but they usually are abstract and burdened and at times mislead by the fluff, geography and personality of the system. For me, I don’t care where it comes from, Israel, Indonesia, the sewers of Spain (ha!). Come from a certain tribalism and a need for it. Group appeal. Human nature builds these social groups for just about everything, from football teams to the quilting clubs. But, if you are looking for the "martial," you have to let all that extra  `fluff-stuff go, file it away, and sometimes just kick somebody right square in the balls (a kick that is universal by the way).

 

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     I don’t mind at all kicking the tires of various martial arts, doing them, having some fun, experimenting, absorbing (there’s that word again!) tipping the hat to some. But for me personally, in the end, I am really only interested in the “martial of the martial arts.” I have used the term, "reduce the abstract" for decades, but it is the same as "hacking away the unessentials."

     Works and solve problems, but then for whom? What I need is not always what you need to survive. To function with the above guidelines, I have to live under the “who, what, where, when, how and why” questions/format. If you are going to absorb what is useful FOR YOU? Who are you exactly? And so on. And if you are a teacher, who are your students….and so on? What is your motivation? Theirs? Social group? Exercise? Fun? War? Peace? I just ask for – know why you are doing what you are doing and where it fits in the big picture. That is all I usually ask for. Just know.

     People think this is just about simplicity. I think it is and it isn't. How zen. Simple or simplicity is relative. A superior person may find different levels of achievement, different levels of simplicity than the rest of us. What is simple for some is complicated for others, either from natural skills or training. It really is a scale. Instructors must recognize this. And time. Instructors must recognize the time involved with teaching and learning things.

     The Bruce Lee statement is kind of a zen riddle. Some people get confused by it. But because of it, I have whittled myself into a box. A bland, "hand, stick, knife, gun" box. Boring names. No pizzazz. No uniforms. No system head worship. No exotic locations. Tough to…“sell,” as a business plan. But, I am a martial deist, or martial atheist. I am also heavily influenced by the needs of my Army and police work times. 

     Even Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do has whittled itself into several boxes.

     But that message still remains…

Hock's email is HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com

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It’s a Hand, Stick, Knife, Gun World.

"It's a hand, stick, knife, gun world."

     Sound familiar? It's a 20 year motto I use in the opening speech of every seminar since 1996. "You are either in it or you're out of it."

     I hope everyone here gets the Force Science newsletter, from Dr Bill Lewsinski, University of Minnesota – one of the few real laboratory research places working and studying scientifically on fighting, shooting and police problems, which also usually directly relates to citizen problems too. The new newsletter covers some observations from Insp. Chris Butler, "one of North America's leading use-of-force experts, minces no words in assessing present shortcomings."

     "He deplores the "silo-type" training of street skills that dominates many academy programs, citing particularly the "bifurcation between physical combat training and firearms training. Very few academies meld these together in a reality-based environment where officers can be taught to apply them in close-in encounters." Silo-type instruction leaves "gaps, with a failure to connect the dots," Butler says. "That's like teaching an athlete specific skill sets without teaching how to apply them in a game. "There's a huge responsibility on trainers to understand how to tie together cognition, perception, motor behavior, and tactical decision-making," he says. "We have the most work to do in moving firearms training into a state that is supported by research." – Force Science

 

HOOCKGROUPGUN9

     This bifurcation exists in the citizen training world where you have BIlly Bob's wrestling school on one street corner, and Ralph Jones kick-boxing school on another corner. Folks,

"Fighting is fighting and you fight where you fight, up, down and all around, with what you got."

     That's another motto of mine. You are either in or you're out. This is why modern, evolved MMA training is probably the closest one will get to the big picture…BUT… its still a bit far, but closer. You also have to throw in the stick, knife and gun into the mix, and the end goals are different. This doesn't mean a championship, UFC match or death match every single class night, or every seminar. It can be done in a healthy, progressive manner for all skill levels and even ages. The goal is to get better, get smarter. It's a lifetime thing. This never ends. And if you are in the life or death business, this should never end. Just know your position in the process.

     Another big topic for Butler in this Force Science newsletter and interview, is police (and citizen) shooting and range shooting in general and how it needs to change (situational, simulated ammo shooting scenarios solves many problems – sound familiar too?).

     You would think by now, this message would have sunk in but I believe only now, these last few years, is it really getting any impact. One of the last vestiges against change are numerous, gun instructors who, either through the lack of creativity, or a fear of the losing their "range-business-model" (and maybe a few other reasons too – some sound) seem to hold that static line and fail to integrate real, survival, situational, problem solving.

     Just a quick add-on. Just because your country bans certain weapons, this doesn't not ban you from learning them because criminals and enemy soldiers will attack you with them. You disarm these weapons and hold them or pick them up off the ground. Then what?

    More on this with Lewinski's Force Science newsletters. Ask for, or read the April 11 issue.

 

Hock's email HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com

The Parable of the Wooden Gun

The Parable of the Wooden Gun

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At seminars, police or others, I have seen a lot of “force-on-force” work-outs. This nickname became popular in the later 1990s. The majority of these have been with rubber guns. When it comes time to draw these rubber guns under stress, or when just fighting over them, and when one person gets free of the other enough to successfully pull, point and theoretically shot the pistol at the partner/bad-guy, these folks just freeze and look at each other. Once in a while someone yells “bang!” But they freeze. They act like the scenario is over, like the trigger pulling part and the wounding or killing part is automatically over.

It’s not over. I mean, if the other guy is shot and wounded, or even if he receives a mortal shot, he can still shoot back, stab, fight back a bit, or fall upon the good guy with a weapon in is hand. The fight is not over with the mere pointing of a rubber gun. The freeze is totally unreal. The scenario IS NOT OVER! I have often said to folks:     

“You like those rubber guns, huh?”     

“Yes.”     

“Hey, what would you think about wooden guns?”     

“Wooden guns?”     

“Yeah, using wooden guns shaped like your guns, or shaped like your rubber guns?”     

“I guess that would be okay.”     

“Now, what if I told you…what if I told you these wooden guns could shoot something? A safe something? Wouldn’t that be cool? You could do all the stuff you are already doing, and – you could actually pull the trigger shoot something and see if you could successfully, actually shoot the gun, hit your enemy while fighting, standing or on the ground. And multiple shots like a semi-auto. You wouldn’t have to stop when you pointed the gun. You could actually exercise pulling the trigger and aiming under stress, explore the next events. Anytime. Anyplace.”     

“I guess that would be smart. But we do that with Simunitions.”     

“How often?”     

“Oh, about once every two years.”     

“Two years?”     

“Sometimes more years than that. Some people never do it. ”     

“I know. Because you need special gear and a special place that won’t be destroyed by the Sims. Lots of set up and gear. Sometimes the setup and expense just pushes the workouts off and off. What if I told you could use these wooden guns – which cost about 15 bucks each – anytime, anyplace, aiming, shooting with no safety gear, easy experimentation with moves and problems. You can get a lot done, safe, and cheap.

“I guess that would be okay.”

“I am talking about using wooden rubber band guns. I am not talking about giving up routine live fire. I am not talking about never using electric, gas or Sims again. I am not saying throw away your rubber gun. It too has uses. I am just talking about wood over rubber. I am talking about the easy, safe study of moves & shooting. I am talking about more access to important experimentation. You are already using rubber. Why not wood? Why not wood that shoots something? Did I mention the wooden gun cost about $15?”

In the 1990s I was laughed at in training circles and ridiculed for using “toys.” In my defense I never used toy-toys. I used wooden, rubber band guns that fired multi-shots. There was little available and affordable to simulate any shooting back then. By about 2000 or so cops worldwide were seeing my drills and buying a lot of these wooden guns from me for their training. Of course, citizens too. Easy. Safe. Quick. Great for lots of short, realistic vignette experimentation, anywhere. Anytime. (I even had life sized M-16s that shot very well about 30 feet.) Remember, if you do use gas guns? They can break eyes, skin, windows, mirrors, chip paint and blow out lights, ding cars, etc.

There is no doubt I settle for wood because we can’t be anywhere better, and use anything better when and where we are. That, sadly, is most of the time. Sadly, many places I go, with groups of 18 or more people up to 100, not everyone shows up with these expensive guns, ammo and safety gear. Even the gas or battery-powered guns. (And the cheap, battery-powered break very easy.) I ask them to bring this equipment but they often can’t, won’t or don’t. Every week in fact. I am left with these wooden ones.

In my External Focus Gun seminars, or regular mixed seminars of hand, stick, knife and gun, you will probably be shot 30 to 60 or so times day as you work out with a good-guy or bad-guy partner in different situations. And very close up in standing, seated and ground situations. Battery powered guns will not damage the facilities (and will not hurt cars) and you still need some thick clothes and face protection. But I still can’t frequently outfit all, half, or even a quarter of attendees with these guns. Out come the wooden guns.

I want to create a training environment where everyone is working out, not just two people while 18 other people are standing around watching, waiting their turn, for a short supply of weapons and safety gear to rotate over to them. Everyone should be working out, not watching two people work out.

Don’t let your custom fit holster stop you from doing this training. I hear this complaint or excuse. Just get a real cheap “ol bucket,” universal holster for this type of training. The emphasis is on bigger interactive goals about movements and fighting, and many skills more important than exactly how your replica pistol fits perfectly snug your custom fit holster. Rubber training guns don’t always fit into your custom holster, either. Yet people have persevered for decades with rubber gun training stuck in bad-fitting holsters.

In a perfect world, we would live in a wonderland of Simunitions mixed with live fire, in and around buildings, cars, etc., supporting each situation in crafted unison. Show me where that is? And I mean, daily, weekly or cheaply and reachable for all citizens, police and military to access? Can everyone afford to fly there? In the end, we are left with what we are left with, and most of the time, that ain’t much.

Where ever we are. Lets move the ball downfield every chance we get. Pain is not the only reason to have safer, ammo shooting gun. Not by a long shot, ducking pain is part of the training.  I would like to use the best gear in the best locations were we can ignore the destruction of buildings and vehicles. But that dream is both impractical and expensive for most of the places I travel to teach. I do the best I can, with what I can at the moment to move the learning ball down the field.

If left down to it? A wooden pistol that shoots something and safely is better than a rubber gun that doesn’t. 

Hock’s email: HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com

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Who Gets to Define Gun Basics? Why?

I wonder sometimes- who gets to decide and define what are “the gun basics?” Gun Basics. Gun 101. The fundamentals? The essentials? Who draws the line before the next “advanced” step? Is it a group of men from 1930s? 1960? 2005 or so? A collective? Who? There is indeed a collective of info that may or may not have changed? When experts tell you to work “the basics,” what have we allowed to have that mean for us? Does it mean that you will forever and ever, thousands of times, do the same range shooting course over and over and over and over? And over? They might move you closer to, or away from the paper targets, hit you in the leg with whiffle ball bats, while you are aiming at the bulls eye…etc. but you are still shooting at paper targets. And no can can argue that shooting a paper drawing is different than shooting at a moving, thinking person shooting back at you – different on so many physical and psychological levels.

gun day

     I guess you would have to identify the goal of the course. Target shooting, bulls-eye basics? Self-defense shooting basics? Once the mission is established, the basics are established. What if the “basics” were just a little bit bigger than the old acceptable standards, yet still quite simple and quite…basic? And by the way, I am not looking for people to compile the old standards in lists here. My goal actually will be shooting for some new standards.

     Self defense, gun experts talk about street crime and some say there is little “street crime” (in a semantic sense) and they claim there’s really mostly only “parking lot crime.”  But we know that there is also college dorm crime, hallway crime, elevator crime, home invasion…all kinds of crime. But let’s talk about parking lot crime for example because there is a lot. It is a place where many strangers pass each other. What would be the basics of gun fighting on parking lots. The basics would include gun drawing, gun handling, hitting the target. Reloading. Moving around a tad when shooting the target. Lots of live fire. Stuff like that. The usual….basic stuff.

     But…what if I did all that and were to add a few more basics to this day? More simple basics. What if we all took up simulated ammo guns and had some shoot-outs right on a parking. In, out and around cars? (Some of this ammo does not hurt cars). As they say in baseball, you are going to have a hard time hitting a curve ball is you don’t see them in practice. The same holds true in parking lot shoot-outs. A whole lot can go on. Even if you pull a car or two onto the range once in a rare while and you are still shoot paper targets, it is not the same as having a moving, thinking person shooting back at you trying to kill you.

    Kahuna 8 

You can punch and kick a heavy bag forever, but it will never be the same as kickboxing versus a moving, thinking fighter blasting away at you. You could spend the rest of your life hitting a heavy bag, but it will only partially, minimally prepare you for kickboxing. The same thing is true for shooting. You can shoot at paper targets for your whole life, but you are not maximizing your experience for that parking lot shoot out (or wherever). It takes the experiences of interactive shooting for you to see the curve balls.

     Many mainstream gun instructors shirk the idea of doing this regularly, or at all. You hear the term “role-playing” or “well-scripted, force-on-force scenarios.” It often sounds like a discouraging, time-consuming Academy Award, epic movie the way some make it sound. I have even seen a training video clip one time from a somewhat known gun instructor, in front of a blackboard, mapping out the dense, deep, psychological methods and the vital importance of role-playing as though it were a complicated, land invasion of Mars or something. Oh my, the ENORMOUS responsibility to portray the dialogue, etc. just precisely right! All this set-up drama acts as a deterrent to doing it! It is not the Oscars. It’s a gun fight. Much of it, is just people moving around stuff and shooting at you, you shooting at them.

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     For example, you give two people safe, shooting guns and put one on one end of a parking lot and one on the other end. They try to kill each. End of script! How much acting and role-playing is involved? How much “well-scripting?” None. There are a numerous VERY simple, basic interactive exercises to go through for parking lot shooting (and everywhere else) that directly add to the live fire training and require no Oscars or Emmys.

     I always wonder when I see these rifle courses – guys decked out like they have been dropped into Cambodia for two weeks, shooting, shooting and shooting at paper targets. I wonder why, at the end of the day, for just one hour, they don’t have a little sims, ammo war with replicas of their weapons, of some sort to top off the education of the day? No “well-defined scripting.” No role-playing for an Emmy. Just basic combat, applying the same basics of the prior live fire training. The basics. (You know the military practiced invading a replica of the Bin Laden compound with…ahhh…“these…toy guns,” working and experimenting through many possibilities. There’s a great example for a “well-scripted” combat scenario. And go ahead and make fun of those SEALS playing with “toy guns”).

     In a training session or seminar, do these basics “in the ring” so to speak. Work ALL those gun basics. Shoot live fire for 6 hours…whatever. Then for the sheer experience, finish off every day with shooting at moving, thinking people who are shooting back at you, in applications of the prior live fire methods. To me this is all “Gun Basics 101” in one package in one module. I understand that there are gun instructors who will not push for this idea, saying that even a little “sims” interaction is only for way, way-advanced live fire veterans. I just don’t think so. Not at all. I think you can introduce it in from the beginning. The benefits are lengthy. life-saving and eye-opening. And I might add, I have been doing this for 20 years and I still see no down-side.

     I would like to add that many people (too lengthy to list here) are doing a terrific job of teaching live fire basics. My hat is truly off to you, your dedication, your patience and for some, your sheer patriotism. But, who gets to decide for you the definition of “gun basics?”

    For me, I think its live-fire-basics mixed with some simple, interactive/simulated ammo basics…together.

 

Hock’s Email: HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com

Hock’s Web: Right here at www.ForceNecessary.com

 

Well Defined Combat Scenarios vs. Well Structured Ones

The other day, I mentioned here the subject and term “Well-Defined Combat Scenarios” in shooting training in the context of using simulated ammo in interactive training. (Actually the subject must fit into all hand, stick, knife and gun training.) But I briefly suggested the semantics of terms like “role-playing” and “well-defined…” and how some, not all, some instructors turn these terms into epic acting requirements, when there are tons of little short interactive shooting bits and segments that can be set up and done swiftly and successfully in small “skits.” 

     I sometimes think that “properly-structured” might be a better term than “well-defined” but hell…it’s all semantics. But sometimes I still worry where the semantics lead off too. There is a difference between “well-defined” and “properly structured” to an anal retentive person. Think about it. Well -defined means to me and others a heavily stages, like a movie script –

    "Don't miss you chalk-mark on the floor! Walk to and stand there."

-as opposed to something that is well structured, so that the chaos within might still happen.

    "This is the room where this, this and this will happen, or can happen."  

 

 

     A lot of people are doing active shooter seminars these days. Some of these are on TV news lately and of course on youtube. The idea that any person can step into a seminar and do something about this scary, oddity is comforting and hopeful. I see all kinds of responses/solutions in these – the captured folks charging in and throwing books and furniture at the shooter. All jumping on the shooter, etc. Yeah! Win! Then we have the concealed carry person shooting the bad guy. Great. I see the bad guys often carrying a replica M-16, AR-15 and, or AK-47 and suited up with a helmet and pads when they charge into the seminar room. Good idea.

     But I wonder what would happen if the attacker in these seminars had a sims gun? A sims machine gun, (even gas or airsoft) and stepped into the room, and as happened frequently, and just starts shredding the seminar attendees? I think a lot of realistic devastation would occur.

     This falls along the lines of “well-defined” or at least “properly-structured” combat scenario for me- adding in the shooter, shooting. First there is the shock factor of the event happening before your eyes. Then, attendees need to know and predict of the loud explosion of each round coming from the gun. LOUD! (In a class you could run a tape on a boom box at least?) And of course, the ease and insane randomness of the death and destruction as the gunman blasts away.

     This doesn’t make for a “fun” and hopeful day for citizens looking for hope. In fact, it is a depressing day. Especially when you discover that all the well made plans and emotional chants of the instructors, all their blackboard diagrams still lead to quite a bit of bloody destruction and even failure. Sadly, there are no other practical options/solutions but the rush of the attacker, or someone in the group gets clear shots at the bad guy.

     Just a point, if inhabitants in any room or class were ambushed? Getting this fantastic, sudden military charge at the bad guy would be unlikely. If they are holed up in a room, hearing approaching gunfire, perhaps strangers and semi-strangers could be rallied by a leader. Such leadership, such rallying could be a subject in the seminar.

     I myself would never dream of a doing such an active-shooter training day without introducing the simulated ammo invasion of the room, for that “well-structured” experience.

     And as yet another aside on the subject of "well-structured," I see some of this active-shooter training done at shooting ranges, a totally abstract environment especially when outdoors. A person with a real gun and real ammo, draws, bumps and grinds through real co-attendees that are acting to flee or otherwise, to shoot at a paper target. This kind of thing often scares the hell out me. It takes one mistake, one thoughtless second, a misstep and someone in class is shot, if even in the foot. I also feel the same way when I see people at the range, all downrange and close to the row of targets, and a person kicks, elbows and strikes a martial arts kicking shield, maybe turns and pushes someone else away, then turns again, draws and shoots at a paper target. Wow! Reality training? Most real?

     I watch all this and think how someone, in a blind second makes a misstep and bang. Shoots a person. It is more than mathematically possible. The more you do it? The more all kinds of people do it? The more chance it will happen. It’s just math. (My mind wonders back to the hand grenade, rookie range)

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