View Full Version : Extreme close-quarters shooting (VHS)

Seppo Vesala
12-20-2003, 03:36 AM
Producer: Paladin press, 1999

Instructor: Ralph Mroz

Run time: 0:57

This film is a critical analysis of eight most common close-quarters shooting techniques. Each technique is explained in theory and demonstrated on shooting range in live fire shooting. After that, Mroz analyzes the technique, and finally there is force on force demonstration of each technique, and the pros and cons of each technique is listed. Besides that, there is some general discussion of close quarters combat.

The techniques presented are:
- Speed rock
- Shove and shoot
- Angle forward
- Elbow technique
- Drive forward
- Drop to the ground
- Fighting it out
- Running away

At the end, Mroz addresses proper training. He says that you should avoid ”range effect”, where you assume that any locale where you are to defend yourself is as level, and the conditions are as ideal as in the shooting range. He also warns to avoid ”uke effect” on force on force training, which means that the training partner is not supposed to help you to accomplish the technique (be a good uke, as in traditional matrial arts). Finally, he states that any stupid technique works at half speed, and some techniques work at 3/4 speed, but almost nothing works at full speed.

If you have read Mroz´s earlier book, Defensive shooting for real-life encouonters, the above list probably seems familiar. That´s because, in essence, this is a filmatization of chapter ten on the aforementioned book. But as the book is excellent and should be concidered required reading for anyone interested in self defence shooting, that is a good starting point.

The strengths and weaknesses of this film are the same as on the book: Mroz analyzes the techniques from the real-world viewpoint, and therefore he is able to process the techniques fully to find what works for real. The bad thing is that he finds out that nothing really works. Each technique has it´s strengths and weaknesses, but there is no sure-fire technique. Of course, that is a valuable piece of information to have, but it would be better if he would have been able to present a foolproof technique that works. But if there is no such technique in existence, then he can´t present it, right?

I have few minor gripes: In the force on force demonstration, they utilize Red Guns, and wear normal clothing. In my mind, it would have been better to wear FIST suits (at least for the attacker) and use airsoft guns (or Simunitions, but as far as I understand, they can´t be used on touching distances). Now there are some instances where it is unclear whether the defender was able to get off a shot before being stabbed with the rubber foam ”cinderblock” used as a weapon. But that is a minor point; the main issue is to see how these techniques work for real, and this accomplishes that goal. Another point I would have changed is that in at least one occasion it is clear that in FOF sequence, the defender gets stabbed as the technique does not work in that instance, but if he had changed the technique on the spot, he would probably have been able to pull it off. Because of that, I would have hoped that Mroz would have handled this issue at least briefly. But on the other hand, it is doubtful how easy it would be in real life to change the technique when struggling for your life.

The production is good, they use two cameras, and the picture and sound qualty are both good. Everything works well, without any bells and whistles. Occasionally, Mroz tends to speak in rapid bursts, which makes it from time to time somewhat difficult to undrestand what he is saying. I don´t know if this is true if your native language is English, though. In live fire sequences, they use Vector ammunition to allow the viewer to see better where the bullets are impacting.

This is a very good film. It is not intended to teach you any new techniques, but rather open your eyes to the limitations of the techniques you were familiar with already. I recommend it to anyone who wants to have a critical look on his/hers training.