Training with Roger Phillips


Submitted by Mark Hatfield.

Training with Roger Phillips

Two courses back to back. Fight Focused Handgun III and V.

Ahh, Pennsylvania, green, rolling, rocky, cowfull, wheaty, roads on sharp little hills which make driving just like going over the peak on a roller coaster, climbing up facing the sky then going over the top not seeing what is to come then diving seemingly straight down. There, was held two back to back courses by Roger Phillips who usually teaches in and near Nevada.

Fight Focused Concepts is the name of his organization, he was also affiliated with Suarez International where he taught his methods of shooting while moving as well as teaching through his own school. He became well known for creating ways to do what others thought could not be done and he still continues research. His background, energy, and drive, carried over from his youth as a serious athlete, shows in the development he did for what he teaches.

The courses dealt with the alternatives to the use of the sights, not just that there are alternatives, but how to transition between the alternatives and ‘standard’ sighting for whatever is best for a situation. There is the old saying that ‘The fight will be what the fight will be’, so it is quite possible that for a situation involving more than a couple of shots it can easily be necessary to have to change how you align your gun on the target to get the results you need. In some drills I used several different methods of sighting or aligning the gun as the dynamic situation changed and this was in drills which lasted only a few seconds. Attempting to use just one method would have been noticeably less effective.

Movement was also a very large part of the program, moving and shooting at the same time. Much of that I have done before but never in such depth. He made it clear why some methods work better for some people than others and the ‘whys’ of doing certain things in certain ways. He had us push the limits of what could be done with this material so that we could understand its effectiveness as well as our own. Many times something went ‘click’ for me in this class when something was settling into place in my mind and my body, other students related the same happening to them.

Roger was firm that what he was teaching was not to replace what we already know, it was to add to it and it certainly did. There were things, important things which I thought I knew (though not really well), now they are clear and my own function has taken a big jump forward. I was one of the two ‘old guys’ in the class and was mildly ill the whole time, the other fellow somewhere in his previous experiences had left a leg somewhere. Among the students were noticeable variations in equipment and physical ability, everyone adapted the material for their own situation and what they could do. Roger expected that.

These two courses were not for the beginning shooter, but for those who want to take their defensive shooting skills to a higher level, Rogers courses are a ‘must’. Not just a ‘draw faster, shoot faster’ thing, these are serious survival skills. For those who have never touched upon this type of material ‘You don’t how much there is that you don’t know’. It’s not kidding to say that Roger teaches how to do what many think cannot be done. For me, it was a substantial trip just to attend these classes, it was worth it.


  1. You’ve got my attention – alternative methods to the use of sights and moving/shooting at the same time. Starting to become skeptical – tell me more.

  2. Nothing new there, just better developed. Cirillo, Ayoob, Jordan, Keith, Bryce, and even Cooper taught alternatives. To my knowledge though, none taught movement as dynamic as is now. Can easily be demonstrated in live fire.

    Also, because of ‘airsoft’ , techniques can now be tested against another person in ways not possible previously. Airsoft ‘guns’ were not part of these two courses but with them, it can be demonstrated that it is possible to go face to face with someone who (with no signal) draws and fires. It is possible for the defender to move, avoiding the shot and return fire, hitting the attacker before the attacker can adjust to what the defender has done.

    Back to sights, sights used to often be really bad, difficult to use and only for people with perfect vision. Now, most handguns have good sights, however, instead of thinking of using the sights to align the gun, think of using the sights to confirm if the gun is aligned.


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