Don’t get injured in training.

I was sent this video on how not to get injured in martial arts training, this is just too important to not share.

I hurt one of my shoulders in a training class.  I was working with a partner who was having a hard time, and I was feeling pretty badass since this guy was having such a hard sparing against me.  What was happening was that I was being a bad training partner, and instead of working with my partner, his difficulty with the subject matter was causing him to use more force, moving wildly and out of control instead of practicing proper form.  Due to him not actually using the correct technique, he was being less and less successful and getting more and more frustrated causing him to escalate the amount of force he was using until he injured me.

What I should have done was when my training partner starting having issues, I should have slowed down and helped the person I was working with to do the technique correctly.

Remember, training isn’t about ego or showing off, it is about learning and improving.

A Self Defense Story

A member of AR15.com recently took the time to write up  his experience of having to use lethal force to save at least two people not counting himself. He  has graciously allowed us to share it here.

I’ve been debating posting this for a while. I got a call from the prosecutor last week telling me that the ‘official’ investigation is finished, and that he was definitely not pursuing any charges. He also said to my wife that I was a good man, and a brave man, and that my actions were heroic. Me? I’m doing okay… as long as I don’t start thinking about anything too much. My wife is having a hard time with it, considering the fact that she witnessed everything from approximately 10-15 feet away. She already sees a counselor, I’m debating going to one, but I would need to find one that is not an uberliberal, which is a problem around here.

OK, here goes.

It was a normal Tuesday night, I was in the process of making tacos, as we had invited the older two kids over for dinner. I had just got a text from my wife that she was on the way home from the YMCA and that the youngest had gone home with his sister. This was a VERY good thing, as he didn’t witness anything…. I don’t even want to think how traumatic it would have been for him.

8PM rolls around, I hear someone screaming bloody murder. I figured it was kids playing outside. I saw my wife’s car sitting out front so I went outside to say hi. I walked outside to my wife screaming “My God, he’s gonna kill her!” as she’s on the phone with 911, and see my neighbor across the street striking his girlfriend in the face while she’s sitting on the ground, as the girlfriends 9 year old daughter hits the dude in the back with what looks like an aluminum T-ball bat. He grabbed the kid and threw her about six feet.

This occurred in seconds. At that point, when I saw the dude pick up the bat, I ran inside and grabbed my handgun off my desk and went back out. I did not want to see someone get their head caved in. When I came back, at this point, the daughter had run in the house, and he had the woman down on the ground and was trying to choke her with the bat on her neck. I crossed the street, came to the ready position, and told him to get his ass off of her or he would be shot. This distracted him enough that she got him off her and he stood up and looked at me. I ordered him to sit his ass down and wait for the police, he threw the bat toward me.. at this point, the woman ran inside with her daughter and locked the door and he sat on his porch.

At this point, I’m just waiting for the police to arrive… he had other ideas. At this point, he stood up, shouted “YOU DON’T KNOW ME MOTHERFUCKER”, and started rapidly moving toward me, I started retreating backward, around 10-15 feet but I knew that my wife was back there, along with one of the other witnesses, so I couldn’t just run home… this guy was going to hurt anyone he could get his hands on, or beat my ass and take my gun away if I let him get too close.. he was quite a bit bigger than me and definitely spent a good amount of time at the gym. When he was about 5 feet away he lunged at me, and I shot him four times in rapid succession. The whole time he was approaching me I was yelling “STOP, DON’T DO IT!, STOP!, STOP!” His legs just collapsed under him and I will never forget seeing the blood rushing out. At this point my wife told 911 that he had been shot and I was told to put the weapon down so I sat it on the back of my wife’s car and just stood there and shook, and waited. The cops got there 30 seconds after I had shot… 30 seconds. The whole situation lasted from 8:00PM to 8:03PM when the wife hung up with 911 after the police arrived.

I remember, after the shooting, feeling like the world is coming crashing in on me. The first officer put me in cuffs and had me sit in the back of the car while they did the preliminary investigation. He was extremely kind. I remember sitting in the back of the car praying for the soul of the man I had been forced to shoot, praying for the mom and daughter, praying for the well being of my family. While I was in the car, I noticed that my left hand and arm was covered in blood spatter. The evidence tech took pictures of this, and then the officer helped wipe me off. During this time also, one of the lady officers on scene sat in the vehicle to use the computer, and said to me,”You know that you’re a hero to that woman and little girl.” That remark helped to calm me down a lot. About 2-3 hours later, the officer came back to the car and told me that the county prosecutor, who was on scene, had told him to uncuff me. He told me to just stick around but don’t touch anything, I would have to go to the station and make a statement. I asked if I could go into my apartment and see my family and he graciously allowed that, I just wasn’t allowed to talk to my wife about anything regarding the situation, as we had not made our statements. I went back outside and was approached by the Chief of Police for our town and he said,’What you did was heroic, you saved them.’ He told me that they had had prior dealings with the man and that he was a dangerous individual.

Fast forward another hour, and I’m sitting in the office area of the police station waiting to make my statement, watching the officers check in the evidence… I saw them check in my gun and they confirmed that I had fired four times, I wasn’t sure if it was four or five, and that there was blood on the slide, they checked in the bat, and they checked in a chunk of hair and scalp that had come from the mother. And a few other miscellaneous things.

While I was sitting there, finally in some kind of light, I noticed blood stains all over my shirt and pants. He was REALLY close when I shot him. Anyway, gave my statement, kept it simple and to the point. Had my wife bring me new clothes so they could put mine in evidence and I walked out and got in the car, and cried… a lot… probably the most I’ve cried since my mother died in 2000. My wife said to me,”I used to say that my father was my hero, but no, you’re now my hero”. My wife had gone through a similar domestic violence situation with her first husband and barely escaped alive, I couldn’t be there to protect her from him, but I could be there for this. The officers thanked me repeatedly for being cooperative and they were completely awesome, I have nothing but love for them.

I’ve gotten a few more details as time has passed. Apparently he had told her that one way or another that he was going to die that night and was going to take her with him. I know that they had had some rough spots, they lost a baby back in January. My son works with his brother in law, and he was described as a mean drunk.

I picked up my firearm (Sig M11-A1) a month after everything had happened, and the PD had cleaned the blood off of it and oiled it to prevent rust, thank you again to them.

The call I got from the prosecutor this last Monday was illuminating. I asked about the toxicology screen, and his BAC was .228, and he had THC and anti-depressants in his system. The prosecutor was not sure about steroids as he said that they generally do not test for that. All I know is that he charged someone that had a loaded weapon pointed at him, so something broke inside his head.

I went shooting for the first time since the event this last Saturday.. and it just felt good… this is the hobby that got me through the deaths of both parents, and countless other stressful life events.

I’ve heard the word hero used multiple times… I’m not a hero, I only did what I had to do so that I can face myself in the mirror every day. The heroes are the guys that do stuff like this every day, The police, fire departments, the armed forces. They keep walking back into the mouth of hell repeatedly to save others. They are heroes.. I’m just a regular guy trying to keep my little corner of the world safe.

Also, one thing I’ll never forget, a male neighbor screaming ‘My God, won’t somebody help her!’ while he stood there and watched…. I don’t know how to feel about that, it just saddens me at the end of the day.

And a big thank you to my daughter for being there for her mother and I, and my son in law for watching his brother in law so that he did not have to see the scene.

Take aways from this.
1> I need formal training.. I’m ok, but I could be a lot better. My wife is also offering to go, which is a first, she needs to be able to defend herself when I’m not around. I think she understands that now.

2> CCW insurance? Is it worth it? I know that I was lucky in that I live in a gun friendly state with good politicians, it could have gone far worse legally.


More Random Interesting Things

Today I decided to do another post about things I have run across or  crosses my mind. Like the first time  I did this it will be images I found interesting or noteworthy.

First off is a first.  Serial number 1 Colt model of 1911.   It doesn’t get any more historic than that.

On that note, here is a colt recently shown by RIA.   A great example of the gunmaker and engravers art.

This is an interesting picture I ran across on a facebook page about the Vietnam war.   A soldier that is a radio operator who seems to not have liked to the idea of not carrying anything.   But the part that sticks out is the “sniper rifle”.  I don’t think it is a Model 70 based on the shape of the stock and rear sight.  It may be a M700.   An optic has been mounted to the gun by some one.  In this case the optic appears to be the m84 optic originally put on the sniper variants of the M1 Garand.   Some did end up being used on M14s during the war when sniper rifles were urgently needed.

More on sniper stuff is this SOF cover of a kinda well known image.  Taken during the invasion of Iraq, it’s a USMC sniper team.  I have always liked this picture.  It really gives us a look back on how much has changed since then.  Changes in guns and gear  has been rapid since things started in 2001.

Seems the russians have a  interesting way of training prospective snipers.

 

Jerry “Mad Dog” Shriver, MIA in during the Vietnam war while on a cross border top secret operation.   I think everyone who would come to a site like this has heard of him.  A few months ago on one of the militaria collectors forum shared something he was able to secure from Green Beret Shriver’s mother.

The dress uniform  may or may not have been worn by the legend. It was used at  the funeral service for Shriver. An empty casket as real life action hero’s body  has never been recovered to date.

Above is the picture of  1 carbine owned by another legend. The gun was owned my Audie Murphy and given to a friend. the mags are still taped up  the way Murphy had them with  the same ammo it came with when gifted to his friend.

Last is a bit of humor I ran across that gave me a good laugh.

CQB: Attitude Beats TTPs

Today we have another post from our friends Kevin aka “hognose” to his many readers and admirers. Kevin passed away too soon in spring of 2017 and we repost some of his work every week to preserve it. 

By Kevin O’Brien

 

There’s nobody quite as good at CQB/CQC/good-ole-doorkickin’ as the unit known as Delta. Not anybody, not worldwide. The SF teams that are best at CQB are the ones that train to be an interim stopgap, available to theater combatant commanders if Delta’s too far out or too overcommitted for a given tasking.

Delta’s skills came from its origin as a Hostage Rescue / Personnel Recovery unit, and it now has nearly four decades of institutional memory (some of which cycles back around as contract advisors so that old TTPs don’t get lost) to bring skills back up when real-world missions sometimes take off a little bit of the CQB edge.

In a wide-ranging post at the paywalled site SOFREP, fortunately reposted at the unwalled site The Arms Guide, former Delta operator George E. Hand IV discusses how the most important building block of CQB is, absolutely, the guts to actually do it.

Close Quarters Combat (CQC) is to the effect about 75% (maybe higher) testicles, and then 25% technique. I don’t like to over complicate things, especially CQB…. It is the very nature of the degree of difficulty inherent in ‘the act’ of CQB that bids its techniques to remain very simple, lest the mind become incapable of holding the process at all.

… if you can find a person that will take an AR and run into a small room of completely unknown contents, expected deadly threat, then you already have ~75% of what you need to create a successful CQB operator. All that remains, is to teach and train your operator the very few principles, and the very simple techniques, for room combat.

….

You are ~75% ‘there’ once you have that individual who will storm blindly into a deadly room. Now, it can’t be a person who just says they will do it. It has to be a person that in fact WILL do it, and WILL do it over and over.

See, no matter how high-speed low-drag you are, the enemy gets the proverbial vote, too.

There is a constant that exists, though you may disagree ferociously, it remains nonetheless: “no amount of high-speed training and bravado will ever trump the thug behind the door, pointing his AR at the door, and with finger on trigger.” ….

That’s right, the Chuck Yeager of CQB has a bullet waiting for him; all he has to do is wait long enough, however long that is. I have known a team of Delta men who lost their junior and senior team mates to the same goat-poker in the same small room in Iraq.

Both were head wounds from the same rag-head firing blindly over the top of a covered position. For the senior brother, that room was supposed to be the last room, of the last attack, of the last day, of the last overseas deployment he was ever supposed to make. The wait was over.

via Nobody goes into a room like Delta Force: A CQB attitude primer | The Arms Guide.

That “senior brother” is MSG Bob Horrigan, whose picture (courtesy Hand) graces this post. The new guy was MSG Mike McNulty, whose image is also at the link.

Hand’s entire post is worth reading, studying, and even contemplating. Do you go in, when going in could well get you shot by some “rag-head goat-poker”? (For police, substitute “brain-dead gangbanger” or “booze-drenched wife beater”). Real life for guys in these jobs is a daily reenactment of Kipling’s Arithmetic on the Frontier.

No proposition Euclid wrote
No formulae the text-books know,
Will turn the bullet from your coat,
Or ward the tulwar’s downward blow.
Strike hard who cares – shoot straight who can
The odds are on the cheaper man.

(Background on the poem. Of all the things I read before going to Afghanistan, Kipling was the best preparation. The Yusufzais he mentions are today still a Pathan (Pushtun) tribal group, frequently in opposition; the Afridis are still dominant in the Khyber Pass area, and some of them still affect green turbans. Only the weapons have improved).

If you have the attitude, and are willing to go into the Valley of the Shadow because you’re not going to be in there with them, instead those poor throgs are going to be in there with you, what are the simple tactics he has in mind?

(Caveat. Your Humble Blogger has never served in Delta. He had a short CQB/HR course called SOT many years ago, the short course which ultimately evolved, in two paths, into SFAUC and SFARTAETC).

Preparation

You need to have the basics first:

  1. Physical fitness. If you’re not ready to sprint up five flights of stairs you’re definitely not ready to train on this. Bear in mind that actual combat is much more physically exhausting and draining than any quantity of combat training. That may because fear dumps stress hormones that either induce or simulate fatigue. Perhaps there’s some other reason; it’s enough to know that the phenomenon is real.
  2. Marksmanship. This comprises hits on target but also shoot/no-shoot decision-making, malf clearing and primary-secondary transition. In our limited experience, almost no civilian shooters apart from practical-shooting competitors are ready to train on this stuff.
  3. Teamwork. It’s best to train a team that’s already tight. If not, no prob, the training process will tighten you.
  4. Decision Making under Stress. This is vital, because the one thing that you can plan on is your plan going to that which is brown and stinketh.

Process

The military stresses doing complex events (“eating the elephant”) by breaking them down into components (“bite-sized chunks.”) The process we use is lots of rehearsals in which risk and speed are gradually increased. One level is absolutely mastered before reaching for the risk or speed dial. (There are guys who go to SFAUC and are still carrying a blue-barrel Simunitions weapon in the live-fire phase. They’re still learning, but they’re not picking it up at the speed of the other guys. They’ll have to catch up and live fire to graduate).

Numerous rehearsals and practices are done in buildings of previously unknown configurations. A culmination exercise is full-speed, live-fire, breaching doors into an unknown situation. It can be done with dummies playing the hostiles and some hostages, and live people playing some no-shoot targets. (George has a story about this at the link. Not unusual to have a Unit commander or luminary like the late Dick Meadows in the hostage chair on a live-fire; at least once before Desert One, they put a very nervous Secretary of the Army in the chair).

The term the Army uses for this phased training process is widely adaptable to learning or teaching anything:

  1. Crawl
  2. Walk
  3. Run

Most civilian students, trainers and schools go from zero-to-sixty way too fast. To learn effectively, don’t crawl until the training schedule says walk, crawl until you’re ready.

Training should be 10% platform instruction and 90% hands-on. This is a craft, and you’re apprenticing, you’re not studying for an exam.

Tactics on Target

The most important thing you get from all these drills is an instinctive understanding of where the other guys are and where you are at all times, and where you’re personally responsible for the enemy.

Divide the sectors by the clock (degrees are too precise) and have one man responsible for a sector. Don’t shoot outside your sector unless the guy covering that sector is down. Staying on your sector is vital for safety! You should not only own the sector between your left and right limits, but also the vertical aspect of that sector, from beneath you, at your feet, through the horizontal plane to overhead.

Shoot/No-Shoot is vital and the only right way to do it is look at the hands and general gestalt of the individual to assess a threat. Weapon in hand? Nail ’em. Empty hands? Wait and keep assessing. (In this day of suicide vests, any attempt to close with you should probably be treated as a suicide bomb attempt).

If you have the personnel, the shooters do not deal with neutrals or friendlies on the X. There’s a following team that handles them, for several reasons including the shooters being keyed up to a fare-thee-well at the moment of entry.

You can’t learn CQB from a book, or a lecture, or some assclown on YouTube who never suited up and took a door. You have to physically practice, and practice, and practice. Ideally, under the beady eye of someone with a lot of doors in his past, and a skill at setting targets that borders on malicious mischief. (MSG Paul Poole, rest in peace, you old goat).

But first, absolutely first, you need guys with the guts to try. George is absolutely right about that. There is much other good stuff in his post, including a funny history of the term “operator” in the Army. (If you didn’t attend the Operators’ Training Course, it’s not you. Sorry ’bout that). You know what we’re going to say now, right? Damn straight. Read The Whole Thing™.