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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default AAR Training Group and Zero to Five with Randy Harris

    This will be a review of both the training day setup specifically for 0 – 5 and for the 0 – 5 class itself. These two weekends were perhaps the biggest eye opener(s) I have had. Ever been trained to fight empty handed? Been trained to shoot? Can you bridge the gap between the two? What happens if you’re confronted with someone that already has a weapon drawn? Can you gain better position? Does this position allow you to draw your weapon safely? Can you do this in a 2v1 scenario?

    Stayin’ Alive August 24th

    I was able to participate in the Regional Training Group empty hand combatives day. While the majority of the training was based on empty hand tactics it was not all empty hand. We did get to bring our EDC firearm into the equation at the end of the class, which I missed due to prior engagements. My AAR will be based on the time I spent training with Randy and the other participants.

    This is my third training class with Randy this year and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them, but this was the class/training I have been looking forward to. Why is that you may ask?

    I carry an EDC weapon, as probably most of you do as well, and have always wanted to learn how to combine empty hand combatives with the weapons I carry daily. This training day was a great way to see where you stand when it comes to that. It will open your eyes to the ways of bridging the gap between empty hand and weapons.

    Randy split the day up between high line and low line attacks, but before we got into the different techniques he started the morning with a few examples showing how distance plays a role in defending attacks, whether the attacker is using fists, gun, knife, or bat. This was a great precursor to the techniques he was going to teach us as the day progressed.

    Randy taught us how to start with “the fence” and flow into other techniques whether they be defensive or offensive. If you have ever heard the saying “every block a strike and every strike a block,” well it definitely applied here as my bruises can prove it.

    Each technique we drilled with a partner for several minutes defending empty handed attacks, and then moved on to defending against weapons. Once we were able to do this, Randy then showed how we could transition to our EDC firearm. While some of the techniques may have resembled those that I learned over my decade long martial arts training, there was nothing flashy. All the techniques were economical and brutally efficient.

    After we covered defending and attacking high line and low line attacks from an aggressor Randy decided to let us get a few minutes of Force on Force training in. Have you ever wanted to train against a bat, handgun, or knife wielding attacker? Yes? Well, this combatives class had that! The attacker was aggressive and had an in your face attitude so that you had no choice, meet said aggression with your own. Each participant got to go a few rounds and see where they stood with their training. This was a great eye opener and it let you see what you needed to work on.

    I have trained traditional martial arts for over a decade, but this class was great way to help one start bridging the gap between empty hand and weapons. If you ever get a chance to attend a Regional Training Group or a class being taught by SI’s very own Randy Harris I highly recommend it as you will be able to hone and polish your skills.

    If anyone has any questions feel free to PM me and we can talk via PMs, email, or even over the phone.



    0 – 5 feet Aug. 31st – Sept 1st

    Day 1:

    During the week leading up to 0 – 5 thoughts of the combatives training day kept going through my head. I was thinking about all the information that I gathered in just one day of training with Randy and the others, and this was getting me pumped for the 2 full days of training. At the same time I was a little worried that I would not be able to soak up all the information and would lose and or miss something. In the end I ended up soaking up quite a bit of punches and even an elbow….

    For me Saturday morning started out with a drive from about 2.5 hrs – 3 hr away, and within the first 30 – 45 mins. it started storming and there was a downpour. This got me chuckling and cursing Randy. It seems every time I train with Randy it either storms or the naturally cool weather turns unnaturally hot. Undeterred I continued by drive and by the time I got to Chattanooga it had all but cleared. I got there about 15 mins. before class started and was able to converse with my fellow students. As it turns out the majority of them I had the privilege of training with before in other SI classes. To me this a plus as that means people are happy with what was taught and are coming back for more. We had quality training partners between Randy’s assistant and Chip being there. While all attendees contributed they were the top 2 and because of this we got quite a bit of information.

    Okay, I need to continue on with what happened in the class before this post becomes so long that no one reads it…..

    As always Randy began the class with a review of PESTS EAT FAST. I find this to be an interesting part of the class as when there are attendees I have never trained with before I get to hear their answers and compare them to other classes I have attended. While occasionally you might get an altered answer the majority of them have been the same I have heard from previous classes. Awesome, what Randy taught at a lower level class is being taught at the advanced class.

    During the review we got to have fun with different variations of the Pillsbury dough boy game. Many of you will know what I am talking about here, and for those that do not….well, take a class and you will get to have fun as well. There are a few other examples that Randy goes over through the review, but I do not want to give all of them away.

    After the review we practiced with a little footwork and movement. Without this the attacker could foul the draw or get close enough to attempt to foul the draw. We practiced getting distance vs closing in. We practiced stepping to 3 or 9 or stepping to 2 or 7. Going those angles away or towards attacker. Randy then asked, “Which is better? Are we sure?” Well it all depends on the situation as we soon found out as Randy then had us get our Airsoft trainers and do what we just practiced while getting shot at. This adds a whole new dynamic as soon your brain will register guns are bad as getting shot hurts.

    Randy had us run a few drills and then asked the question about empty hand combatives and how do you bridge the gap between the two. He stated that sometimes you will either not have access to your firearm or be denied access by an attacker. How do we handle this?

    To keep things short we started off running drills with the techniques we learned the week before. Thank God Randy had that class or I would have been a little lost. It was great that an instructor had the foresight to think about this and have students come out a week before to prepare for the class.

    I believe Randy had us train these techniques for an hour or so before on to something new. What?!? Something new? I am already overwhelmed by the amount of information and it’s not even lunch time.

    We then practiced clinch work. We trained anything from duck unders to arm drags to bump and dumps. Oh wait, you can do all this after the Fence, Spear and Helmet, or the cow catcher? Of course you can! It’s all about combative flow training. *While the clinch work I found great Randy gave us a reminder that sometimes running or creating distance is a better option.*

    Randy had us getting behind attacker and drawing, getting behind attacker and then pushing off and drawing, bump and dump the attacker and then moving and drawing.

    We went over the correct way to stomp on someone after we dumped them.

    Right about the time everyone was dying from the 90+ degree heat and 70% humidity Randy called lunch.

    After lunch it was all ground work and/or preventing going to the ground. Randy had us practicing sprawling and want to do after the sprawl. We moved on to what happens if the sprawl did not work and we end up on the ground. After hitting the ground we practiced escaping being mounted or being in someone’s guard. We were also able to practice against side mount. During this time having Chip there with his experience and input took it to another level.

    Our goal here was not to stay on the ground, but to gain dominant position and then get up and move. Sometimes that option was not available and Randy had us to attempt to draw from every position both knives and handguns. What worked? What didn’t? Now do you see why we teach you this and recommend this?

    We finished the day off the same way we finished the training day with being ambushed and confronted by an aggressive attacker. Because of the training day the weekend before and the training from the past 8 hours I felt ready to see what worked. I found out that disarming the opponent and moving/running like hell while drawing to be the best option.

    End Day 1.

    Day 2:

    We had some rain and downpours at the beginning, but Randy went over EDC weapons that can be carried on your person. We were shown blackjacks, saps, batons, knives, and others. He also went over reading material to help supplement our training.

    After the show and tell he had an assistant instructor, Dan, talk about his combatives training in the military.

    We then moved onto more Force on Force drills. Started with Tueller drill and moved to different distances. The distances ranged anywhere from 6 yds to 1 yd and even closer. Randy asked, “What worked? What didn’t? Why did you stand there and get stabbed?” After this we were able to move while being attacked. Randy discussed movement and why it’s important. He said it would be even more important on the upcoming drill.

    Well, if you thought going against one attacker armed with a knife sucked…what about two armed attackers? We ran drills on 2v1, which included anything from being approached and being asked questions to reset your OODA loop or to them just blitzing you. Weapons attackers used were anything from fists to knives and bats.

    After practicing more running, which I found to be quite effective, we practiced fouling an attackers draw. Randy said exploding and being aggressive here is what is needed. We practiced before the handgun was out of the holster, when it starts to clear the holster, and then onto disarms. This was exciting and something I looked forward to as in TMA we never practiced fouling anyone’s draw.

    Oh remember that ground work from yesterday? Well, it’s about to come into play during the next evolution. Here we got to practice what we learned the previous day against 1 attacker and then later 2 attackers. Each student was unceremoniously dumped on the ground and had to defend their self. What did we find out here? It sucks to be on the ground with an attacker above us. What sucks even more is having two attackers standing while you are on the ground. How can it suck even more? What if the two are armed? To say the least it was an eye opener. I come from a wrestling/grappling background and always thought I found going the ground my best option. Well, after getting stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat I am changing that opinion.

    Lunch break

    After lunch it was range time. This is when we got to see how it was like to use the techniques during live fire. The way Randy setup to have us run this drill impressed me just about as much as everything else we did. Safety was top priority and because of this I felt comfortable practicing live fire drills around the other students. It was conducted professionally and there was zero goofing off. Adding live fire put something into the training that I really cannot explain. We fired while moving, we fired while on the ground, and we even fired after moving to behind target. Being able to do this added extra value to the class.

    End of Day 2

    I have to say the group of individuals we had at the 0 – 5 was perhaps one of the best I have been with. I have travelled to different states to do wrestling tournaments, grappling tournaments, karate tournaments, seminars on self-defense, and others but this class was unique. The diversity and knowledge of not only our instructor Randy Harris, but the students as well was overwhelming.

    By attending this class I had many questions answered, but it also got me thinking about more. At any time during the class if I asked a question of Randy it was answered and was often giving multiple answers. Randy also put my questions, and the questions of other students to the class as a whole. By doing this we, the students, were able to pick up even more info. At no time during the weekend was Randy or any other person stingy with their knowledge. My notepad is full and I am still deciphering what I wrote 3 weeks later.
    Last edited by roar-k; 09-19-2013 at 02:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    NW GA
    Great AAR!

    I hate that I missed this class, I have been looking forward to it all year. Unforeseen family medical issues and work picking up kept me away.

    Now to start (im)patiently waiting for next year...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Thanks for that write up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Good summation. Randy is an excellent instructor and zero to five was one of my favorite SI classes. Drinking from a firehose is a common analogy used around here to describe the information overload you receive. Makes sense to take some classes a few times

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Yes, this class is one that you will take something away every time. I've been through it several times and helped teach it. I pick up so much no matter what side of the experience I'm on. Randy is first rate and pushes you to analyze everything.
    Twitter @Ohioppt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    This class is on my wishlist. Too bad it got canceled in my AO (was going to be next month)! Next year, Randy!
    KRG, HRO: Team Tactics 1/2, CRG, HRO: CQB/Team Tactics, Defensive Knife, TMCO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Depending on the SI schedule, I'd like to take the Zero to Five Feet class as my first class of 2014.
    Dennis Doti
    Suarez International Affiliate - Massachusetts
    First Defense Firearms, Inc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Kentucky, United States
    I was fortunate to take 0-5 from Randy when John McCreery and Mike Swisher got to attend and instruct. This class is unique because it all depends on the students to create the scenarios. Each class with different students creates a different class experience.

    Definitely one of the best classes ever taken! Hope everyone enjoyed it.
    "Always outnumbered. Never outfought!"

    Motto of the Special Action Force of the Philippine Constabulary

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    North Georgia
    Randy - I know you were having some struggles with your camera, but do you have any photos you'd care to post?
    Witty signature on backorder.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Chattanooga TN
    Yes...I'll get them up this weekend.
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor
    NRA Certified Instructor
    Tennessee State Handgun Carry Permit Instructor
    Glock Factory Certified Armorer
    IDPA Master Class SSP, ESP,CDP, CCP, BUG, CO
    Gung Ho Chuan Association

    TRAIN with me....

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms


    Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords , and your pruning hooks into spears; train even your weaklings to be warriors.

    Through HIS power I can walk on water..IF I just have the faith and courage to get out of the boat.

    A good man who's done a couple of bad things along the way....

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