17 September 2012

DIY Force on Force 101

There are basically two types of force on force, drills and scenarios.  I find drills best suited to learning individual physical skills.  Scenarios are best used for mental problem solving, during dynamic situations.  Today we will discuss the basics of drills.

Whether it is open hand combatives or pistol work, one of the biggest problems is the lack of incorporating realistic furtive movement into every drill.  The human response to any violent attack is based on Boyd's OODA Loop, the first part of which is observe.  The more times you observe a complex movement the faster your speed of recognition is of what the end of the movement will be.  For example, we read all the time about police officer's shooting a suspect because they made a furtive movement.  If you take 20 people from various backgrounds, and have them conceal a weapon on their person, and then tell them to draw that weapon as fast as they can in response to a visual cue, you will see very similar preparatory and execution movements based on human anatomy and physiology.  To the experienced eye, even the most subtle movement becomes an indication of a threat.  A general rule of thumb when dealing with people at arms reach is that if one hand quickly rises above the shoulder it is going to be an open hand attack.  If the hand dips below the mid-line, they are accessing a weapon.

For the reasons outlined above, the key to force on force drills is that the good guy have the opportunity to respond to the preparatory movements instead of waiting for the execution movements.  To get the most realistic effect, you need three people.  One to give the bad guy a visual signal to begin his attack, the bad guy, and the good guy.  If you try to do it with just two people, it is almost impossible to get realistic movement and speed into the attack.  A perfect draw on the range from a stationary position, and a dynamic draw during force on force, look nothing alike.

To train realistically for the realities of a gun fight, you will need a Blue Gun and an airsoft.  The easiest way to show the difference between range and reality is to stage a gun fight.  Simply have two individuals, both wearing protective gear and armed with holstered airsofts, stand at arms distance apart.  They should have their hands in the middle of their chest, when a third party drops say a tennis ball, they both attempt to draw their pistol and engage each other.  Here are some things that typically happen that will cause people to just  stop moving all together.-

  • They will grip their concealment garment over their pistol.  The only way to fix this is to grab the slide with the other hand, and you will not do this unless you have trained to do it.
  • The magazine will drop out of the pistol.
  • The pistol will malfunction.
  • They back peddle in a straight line and often fall.
Most people, regardless of the amount of live fire training they have, will stop moving and stare at their pistol in spite of someone trying to kill them.  The reaction is the same regardless of the weapon their attack has.

The rub when it comes to using a tactic or tool is deployment.  Both in reference to when and how to deploy.  If it is a furtive, spontaneous movement that you will face in the street, and your training is predictable and stylized, your training is flawed.  Your "when to deploy" based on your speed of recognition will be slow.  Subsequently, that means that you will not have the time, movement, and distance to effectively deploy any mechanical force options.

That is why the foundation of your personal protection system needs to be open hand combatives.  Principle based open hand combatives utilizing your natural protective responses allow you to respond with overwhelming force and violence to furtive movement.  This can often negate the need for a mechanical force option, or provide you with the time, movement, and distance needed to deploy another force option.

In future posts, we will discuss breaking down the movement of both yours and your attacker's in order to give you the edge.

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