In our programs, there is no "flavor of the month," such as "shoot the pistol like pointing your finger" or "pay no attention to those bumpy things (pistol sights) on the pistol." There are the fundamentals of modern firearms training, developed in a methodical way. These fundamentals range from the modern isosceles two-handed hold, to one-handed eye-level shooting as instructed by the late Col. Rex Applegate, as well as compromise positions such as the CQB position and high ready. We then throw in some positional shooting from Rob Pincus' "Extreme Close Range Tactics" program at Valhalla Training Center. Eye-level shooting is encouraged because its effectiveness is so proven in force-on-force exercises and on the street. In running hundreds and hundreds of shooters through force-on-force training, I, my partners, as well as Chris Cerino in his experiences and other trainers I associate with, have seen misses from students at role-players as close as four to five feet, with hip level shooting. Whenever possible, bring the pistol to eye level, and as Rex Applegate admonished, "Shoot through the pistol."
Applied to suspect control, the above notion is to learn basic strikes, then learn to hit as hard as you can. Learn where to target your strikes to improve your success probability, and learn those gross motor skills in joint locks and takedowns that you will be able to actually do on the street.
At the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Non-Lethal Control Training Program a number of years ago, a fellow student asked me the question about a particular technique, "Do you like it because you can make it work, or because your students can make it work?" Good question, and as an instructor, be careful of training material that you can make work because of your skill, power, or size, versus what your students are able to do. When students use the same technique in dynamic confrontation simulation and it continually fails, I think that's a clue that the skill might be too dependent on high levels of training not available to the troops or not conducive to high stress events. Too many instructors invest their ego in the material, versus applying a common sense approach as to what works and what doesn't. Experienced instructors have an open mind about content, but have an extreme focus on what actually works on the street, not just the range or the DT training room, or what they can do.
How to Defeat Any Attacker in One Easy Lesson
Balderdash! Plain and simple, it ain't that easy, and never has been. Advertisements to the contrary, lifesaving skills such as shooting and suspect control cannot be mastered in one easy lesson--or two or three, for that matter. And yet, like fast food, this is what the LE/buying public wants. The admin staff wants a skill set that can be developed with little to no training time and expense, that will reduce injuries to officers and suspects, and will reduce liability. The troops want a skill set that can be developed with little to no training time or effort, that will improve their performance, and reduce their injury potential. Let me state for the record: this animal doesn't exist! There is only the tried and true, and the time spent in preparation.
The End Game is Winning!
Lest we forget, winning is high performance in action and is the result of proper training preparation. Recently while in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to watch the famed LAPD Special Investigations Squad--a tactical surveillance unit that works the worst investigations in LA. They conduct firearms training at Scott Reitz's I.T.T.S. training facility. Reitz, a multiple gunfight winner now retired from the LAPD, is a former SWAT operator and firearms instructor. He ran the unit through various shooting drills to help prepare them for their mission. The training was everything positive mentioned above, and has worked quite well for this high activity unit in a number of shootings. Nothing fancy or high-speed/low-drag--just hard and effective training.
Agencies train to fail when they fail to train the troops. Officers that don't train deny themselves the very thing that will make a difference in a life and death fight. Agencies and officers that train in ineffective and outdated skills and methods train to fail because those skills will not work on the street. And lack of regular training promotes no-or low-performance and frequently results in officer deaths. This is the training paradigm that kills, and we must defeat this mindset now, lest we be victims to it!