View Full Version : Combative pistol (VHS)

Seppo Vesala
01-14-2004, 05:19 AM
Producer: Paladin press, 2002

Instructor: Jim Grover

Run time: 1:01

At the beginning of the film, Grover warns that this is an advanced level tape. That is true, as safety is the only basic gun handling issue that is handled in the film. In addition, it can be very dangerous to practice these techniques, if you are not competent in the basics techniques.

The film starts with discussion of some basic issues on close combat shooting. He discusses the tactical L, and its´ real-life shortcomings, for example. This introductory sequence is filmed on a shooting range (as is the rest of the film), and someone is shooting on the adjacent range. It could be argued that this helps the viewer to get on the mood, but I found it somewhat disturbing. There are also some other disturbing noises from the backround. Luckily, these distractions do not appear on the rest of the film.

The main portion of the film covers four street realistic knife attack techniques advocated by Bob Kaspar, and their application to gunfighting. The tecniques seem very realistic whether one uses knife or handgun. The problem is that Grover does not handle defending against these techniques. He may say something like ”this is a very nasty tehcnique, and very hard to defend against”, but he does not even try to present any defences against these techniques. This would have been important addition to the film, as these knife techniques really are used on the street.

At the end of the film, Grover presents a multiple assailant drill, and handles the issue of multiple attackers briefly. He also stresses that sometimes it may be advisable to use point shooting, no matter your attitude towards it. Grover tells that he is a proponent of sighted fire, yet he advises using point shooting at short distances.

The production of the film is good, save for the disturbing backround noises at the beginning of the film. On the shooting sequences they use two cameras, one camera is shooting above the ground from a crane. This helps one to fully see the action. Occasionally, Grover makes a reference to some issue not handled in this film. I got the impression that they have shot several films at the same time, and Grover refers to an issue they shot previously, but is included in another tape. That is somewhat annoying, but still it is not a big deal.

On many aspects, this film resembles the film Extreme close quarters shooting, by Ralph Mroz. Both are good films, and recommended to watch. However, I liked the Mroz film better, partly because Mroz covers more issues in one hour than Grover, without giving an impression that Grover goes into more detail. And the cost of this film is about $60, compared to $40 of Mroz´s film.

Gabriel Suarez
01-17-2004, 08:45 AM
Moroz confided to me that nothing in his tape is truely pratical.
What he now recommends is using blows when up close and personal.
As to Grovers tape......
IMHO it is dangerous to rely too much on a retention position.
There is no way to know where the muzzle actually is when the it goes into rapid motion, and there is a good possibilty that you may shoot yourself.
Applegate taught us to ram the muzzle into the bad guy, then to retract it slightly ( if an auto) and blast away.
Of course no one could market a one hour video teaching that....


You have to start somewhere. The renetion position is a good place. The retention position I teach has the pistol canted downwards. This prevents the muzzle and the support hand from crossing. At the distances where you will use this, the support hand MUST be engaged with the adversary (striking, moving him, blocking, whatever). Thus shots go to lower body (below ribcage, strikes with support hand go to uper area (head and neck).

When you are attcaked suddenly while you are gun-in-hand, you may not immediately recognize if its a shooting situation or not. Thus going to immediate cover position with both hands protecting you head and neck is an important thing to do. Then its not hard to recover and either use alternative force (hit him with the gun) or move into a contact shooting technique.

At body to body, I hesitate to extend the pistol to "ram the muzzle into the bad guy, then to retract it slightly" because it places your weapon at risk. We've done this with Airsoft and if the adversary is on his game, he can easily deflect the muzzle off his body. Now what??

The retention/close contact position is also a transitory one. While beginners practice it static on the range, it is a position you move into and move out of. Think of it...You come in contact with an daversary and transition to Close Contact (or retention by another name). You strike him under the chin with the left forearm and you fire into his belly and hip area. As he falls back, you move off line and present to full extension, etc.

It goes w/o saying that the circumstances are such that shooting is acceptable.

I agree that relying too much on anything is bad. The point is that we are studying fighting. Just like modern MA guys study the different ranges of combat, the pstol shoter must do likewise. There is a point where the reaction to a sudden attack must be with the hands because drawing will not be fast enough, or the gun may not be the immediate answer.

Here is a pic Juan Sepulveda took in Costa Rica of me demoing the Close Contact. The deal is you are standing facing the adversary as you would someone who has approached you on the street. You pick up a threat cue (outline of gun as he moves toward hs waistband, etc.). You trike him under the chin with the forearm as you move FORWARD into him, draw and fire into belly and legs. Next you move offline and carry on as needed.

Gabriel Suarez
01-17-2004, 10:50 AM
I think the reversion to Speed Rock comes from two things:

1). too much static target work. It is natural to want to move back from the target and blast. This specially if you have one of those comped pistols (which are not recommended fro CQB).

2). Remaining gun-focused and not fight-focused. That is focusing on making the retention/close contact position work rather than transitioning to more appropriate stuff.

Matt, I think we're on the same page on this.

I've watched Kelly McCann's stuff and I must say I like it. Kelly is a sharp guy and definitely a BTDT type guy.

But I don't think he's showing everything in his tapes that he does in his courses. That gives the viewer a "So what else is there"? feeling after watching them. You could say that of most tapes in the industry however. Nobody shows everything in them.

I don't think anyone does. Primariliy I think the reasons are economic, and not security-based. Anyone can look at the tapes and "steal" the techniques, rename them, and then teach them. I had a similar situation happen to me with a now-noted trainer who once taught for me. I gave him all manner of info to develop him as a trainer and all of a sudden he's off on his own using my stuff and claiming to have invented it. Even to the point of using my phrases and terminology. Wow!

Af far as the training methodology for this I think you need square range time to learn the stuff. You need airsoft time on a "bag" at home to associate what you do to the traget with what you do to a man (BOB opponent bags are great for this). And finally, you need structured force on force drills to really make it workable.

01-18-2004, 08:27 AM
I loved McCann's Combative Pistol tape and especially like the fact that he includes the close range knife attacks as well.

And finally, you need structured force on force drills to really make it workable.

This reminds me, when are we going to get a chance to do such a class in Dallas? :)

Gabriel Suarez
01-18-2004, 08:55 AM

We lost the venue to "new" management. However, I'm looking at several other possibilities. I've got two new Close Range Gunfighting -type courses in the cooking pot as we speak. There will be some incorporation of this material. More on this later.