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

 

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     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

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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 in the last 20-plus years, as that is about the time the term appeared. The majority of these have been with rubber guns. When it comes time to draw these rubber guns or when fighting over, or with, these rubber guns, and one person gets free of the other enough to successfully point and use the pistol at the other, 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 over. It’s next – it is vital and important, but not practiced or done. I mean if the other guy is shot and wounded, or if receives a mortal shot, he can still shoot back. The fight is not over with the mere pointing of a rubber gun, or the rare shouting of the word “bang.”

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 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 work outs off and off. What if I told you could use these wooden guns – which cost about ten 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 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?

 

Guns primal

 

Some more random notes on this subject:

"In the 1990s I was laughed at and ridiculed. By about 2010 or so cops were buying a lot of these from me for training. Citizens too. Easy. Safe. Quick. Great for short realistic vignette experimentation, anywhere. Anytime."

"There is no doubt I settle for them because we can't be anywhere better, and use anything better. But that sadly, is most of the time. Sadly many places I go, with groups of 18 or more people or way more, not everyone has these guns, like the battery powered guns (and they break very easy.) I ask them to bring them- but they often "can't" or don't. Every week in fact. I am left with these."

"If you use gas? It can break windows, mirrors, chip paint and blow lights, etc. In a typical training day we do, In my seminars, you will probably be shot 40 to 60 or so times day as you work out with a partner in different situations. And close up. Battery powered guns will not damage the facilities (and will not hurt cars.) But, you still need some thick clothes and face protection. I am often stuck dealing with the environment I am stuck in. I do the best I can where ever I am to "move the ball" down field. Yes, we can do some "gun" anywhere."

"And as mentioned, Sims often costs agency time and money and a destructible training area, making easy access and easy training difficult, or for some unattainable. It is often just easier to go to the range and shoot live fire. And everyone doesn't even do that enough! Then with all these onstacles? No training gets done, as people "wait" for Sims day."

"For a message in this main thread – DO NOT 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. Its just training, with bigger interactive goals about movements and fighting, and many skills more important than how exactly how tour replica pistol fits perfectly snug your custom fit holster. Rubber training guns don't always fit into your custom fit holster. Yet people have persevered for decades with rubber gun training."

"In a perfect world, we would live in a wonderland of Simunitions and live fire, of buildings, cars, etc., supporting each other in crafted unison. Show me where that is? Daily, weekly or cheaply? We are left with what we are left with. Where ever we are. Lets move the ball downfield every chance we get."

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.

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     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 no "street crime" (in a semantic sense) and they claim there’s really only “parking lot crime.” Just? 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 ENORMUS 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

 

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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)

For the rest of this articles and other articles, read Fightin' Words, click here

01 Book Cover-med

 

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