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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
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    44,097

    Default COMBAT STUDIES WAS AN EXPERIMENT

    I have been teaching now for over three decades. This is a business and so it must yield profits or it is not worth doing. The expectation of 90% of the gun world when they attend training is they want to shoot their guns. It wasn't long ago that some even gauged the value of a class by the round count. A class where you fired 5,000 rounds in a weekend was far better than one where you fired 1,000 rounds...and a two day class that fired 300 was a waste of time regardless of what it was or who was teaching. That was the mentality and I suppose it is in some minds still.

    But I have said and still hold that the development of the gunfighter has very little to do with live fire work. In fact, too much live fire work is detrimental to developing the gunfighter. The reason is that live fire work has safety constraints and range rules and other artificial limts that prevent true movement and true responses. Those limits are simply not there on street. And thus if one's training is excessively based on the artificial shooting range, their street fighting will mimic what they have done.

    Doing that is fine for those who pursue gunsport, or as I jokingly call them - bullet golfers. Our focus here and in my training is not bullet golf...it is killing badguys with our golf clubs. Its not about a score, it is about killing. And so the training must be focused on the end result.

    That such is not done as often is a commercial matter. Guys want to shoot their guns more than they really want to be good killers with those guns. That is why there are so many shooting courses available to day...everywhere...and so few real force on force classes.

    But to the point. In this experiment we reversed things and ran the program like how I would handle a fighter's development. Of the small group, only about half had ever trained with me and we had a brand new student.

    We discussed the why of the matter so they knew what was happening. We discussed the differences in proactive and reactive work. Then we set forth through the force on force drills. We covered both top and bottom triangles as well as reactive work against a projectile weapon and a contact weapon. Then we trained the Diagonal Lines kata until everyone had a solid grasp of the material.

    The next day we drilled a short proactive shooting session and then all of the material from the prior day live fire. And the small group coupled with the experience from the day before allowed us to run it full speed.

    By the end of Saturday, we had some very capable fighters. Even the gentleman that was a novice was moving off the X extremely well and I commented to the group as much.

    Think of it like teaching about the temperature of water, and the issues of floating and sinking and the inability to breathe when under. Then a brief discussion of how to best work in that environment...then taking the student and dropping them in the deep end of the pool.

    After that experience...when discussing the various swimming strokes and nuances of the work, they have a firm reference point to understand the lesson. And when it is employed, will do a far better job because of that understanding.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    2,811
    Shooting is fun. Fighting is hard work. And hard work is not fun unless there's a successful outcome.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "Can I move?...I'm better when I move."

    1, 5, 13. And a wakeup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
    Posts
    3,336
    You will always learn more about gunfighting by shooting REAL adversaries with FAKE guns than you will shooting FAKE adversaries with REAL guns.
    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
    Gung Ho Chuan Association

    TRAIN with me....https://suarezinternational.com/sear...h_query=harris

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms

    AKA - CRUEL HAND LUKE

    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....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    7,088
    The outcome doesn't surprise me much. A few hundred rounds is plenty to learn the basics of shooting a gun provided the instructor is good. Its how I attained my skill set. I put the work in to master it afterward. Due to that all the classes where I didn't fire a round allowed for deeper learning and are easily my favorites. Heck when Greg was out here for three days I don't think we even shoot 200 rounds total.

    It very well could be that people seem to want high round counts because they suck at shooting and fighting and a lot of instructors require high round counts because they suck at teaching and fighting.
    Geek Warlord
    Dungeons & Dragons & Deadlifts

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    TWOTU since May 2015

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    9,119
    Of the high round count classes I've been to, the majority of the classes were drills. Most of those drills were repeated over and over with no real goal in mind or to lock in manipulations of the weapon that didn't require any live fire to solidify the manipulation. In other words, the shooting held little or no value at all other than to let the participants feel like they were doing something constructive but in reality if the instructor had the ability to articulate, demonstrate, and fine tune the students' body mechanics and/or techniques it would have been far more instructive while being far less expensive and fatiguing.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
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    #thinkinginviolence
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    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

    http://www.warriortalk.com/showthrea...he-Obscenities

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    5
    I was there this past weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly. The progression from force on force to live fire was a good progression of skill sets. The content was interesting and challenging. The smaller class size allowed attention to detail and allowed camaraderie. It was a perfect first "Suarez " experience for me and would recommend to anyone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    134
    After digesting the curriculum and reviewing my notes over the past week, I'm still excited about what we learned and the format of the course. Overall, the course is a great refresher if it's been a while since you've gotten some training, but it's also great for arming a neophyte with enough skill in enough areas to be successful before, during and after the fight. Conducting FOF before live fire shooting really helps to frame the discussion and learning once the real blasters come out. It also enabled Gabe to outline the strategy which oftentimes gets lost in the discussion because so many "gunfighting" courses focus on the "gun" and not the "fight." Because guns bring with them an inherent risk, we must take precautions or steps to mitigate that risk... in a manner which doesn't taint our actual gunfighting skills with training "isms." Just as training the body is important, training the mind is equally or more important; the third day's focus on the Killing Within the Law material should almost be mandatory, not to reinforce fear-biting but rather to sharpen your predatory fangs and strengthen your resolve for the moments when you need them most. I will say that due to the high tempo and the volume of information covered, it's incumbent on the student to take all of the information presented during the course and review it in depth so that he can fully grok all of the course concepts. To borrow an analogy, your instructor can fill your glass with water but it's on you to drink it.

    Great class. If there is only one class you take your wife or kid to, this should be it.

    Fights on,
    Lucas
    She asked me to whisper the three words every little girl wants to hear when they grow up. So I told her "I'm a pilot."

    "You know what ol' Jack Burton says at a time like this... What the hell...."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    currently Germany
    Posts
    769
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Harris View Post
    You will always learn more about gunfighting by shooting REAL adversaries with FAKE guns than you will shooting FAKE adversaries with REAL guns.
    Brilliant!!
    ...If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"...
    If - Rudyard Kipling

    ECRG, June 2006
    Warrior Skills Camp, July 2009

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    12
    Note to Randy, when you have one of these weekends in the upper midwest. count me in.

    The old guy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
    Posts
    44,097
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Harris View Post
    You will always learn more about gunfighting by shooting REAL adversaries with FAKE guns than you will shooting FAKE adversaries with REAL guns.
    The sad thing is that many don't even look at a target as an adversary...but just as a piece of cardboard they are planning to score on. Or they just want to be entertained about what gunfighting might be from watching a movie. Or, they believe the soft - mushy body instructor who begins to fill their skulls with talk of split times and stages and whatnot. In truth, training is such a minor part of what we do that we could easily just leave it to the other staff to handle.

    What I will most likely do in the future is to follow Randy's phrase. I will teach more gunfighting by shooting real adversaries with fake guns that in shooting fake adversaries with real guns. Focus on that for the next few years and if nobody shows up because they think its boring, it won't really matter to me. Who knows. I do believe the training paradigm and expectation has to change because we can do it so much better if we let go of what is less useful.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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