Hand Gun-Fu and Weapon-Do
© Copyright 2019 Avi Nardia
Normally I’m not a fan of “Tactical Civilians” or “Weekend Warriors” as we say after the war the bar is loaded with heroes and in the CQB Market as many civilians want to play paintball and air soft and war games become fun. I’m not a big fan of civilians surrounding a hero ex-soldier who’s telling them war stories while they all look at him like kids with shiny eyes. I’m not a fan of civilians in uniform to respect the military and police code ‘serve and protect’ while the moral ethic is to dress in a uniform and take lives; it isn’t a game and we need to have a greater understanding and compassion to ensure we aren’t training psychopaths or wannabe heroes, which is why I stay away from these styles and when I teach I try pass the military code and ethics as moral and remind all the Guns kill even if we use for sport so safety first and last .
When KAPAP Krav Maga started incorporating firearms training as part of its “System” more than 30 years ago, many claimed that firearms are NOT part of martial arts and today I’m happy KAPAP WIN in a way and see that many understand that in the modern era, the weapon we face in terrorist attacks and the majority of crimes are not the Nunchako or Baton. As more and more Martial Arts start to see the advancement of combatives study, I find myself teaching CQB / CQC and high-risk entries with civilians more often. As such, I have decided to take the time to write about CQB and high risk situations more, cover and concealment, dealing with an active shooter or terrorist in the hopes that some may find useful information and good education for using the proper terminology of CQB.
Remember that some can be good shooter but bad fighter and we prefer to develop the fighting spirit and not only teaching people to be good shooters but also to handle aggressive situations to deal with reality and violence.
CQC (Close-Quarter Combat) vs. CQB (Close-Quarter Battle) vs. H2H (Hand to Hand)
CQC (Close-Quarter Combat) and CQB (Close-Quarter Battle) are military terms which designate the whole topic of unarmed and armed combatives. H2H (Hand to Hand) is generally considered to be part of this nowadays, the terms having been coined after the Second World War by the British Forces. Names such as Fairbairn, Sykes and Colonel Applegate considered any type of combat under 15 to 18 meters as CQC (Close Quarter Combat). As battle terms, they were correct since much of the fighting took place within urban, suburban and country settings. This type of combat could be carried out with hand-grenades, machines, trench tools (shovels) in numerous instances, cudgels, fixed bayonets, knives and even hand-to-hand.
H2H (Hand to Hand) designates unarmed combat that is fought chest to chest or face to face and describes the group of techniques that have been developed to defeat the enemy with one’s natural bare weapons (hands, feet, etc.), usually in circumstances where there is not the option of using guns or there are malfunctions.
CQC (Close-Quarter Combat) and CQB (Close Quarter Battle) are military terms which designate the whole topic of unarmed and armed combatives. Armed and unarmed conflict is covered by CQC impact weapons, edged weapons and adapted weapons (everyday items which in critical incidents can be used as weapons). H2H (Hand to Hand) is generally considered to be part of this nowadays, while the term CQB Covers armed-offence utilizing firearms (with the use of sights, depending on the distance). All of this is taught in a single system.
Combatives systems use both CQC and CQB in order to be effective in real life situations we may face.
Civilians combative group, concentrate on the CQC portion which is primarily focused on the striking aspect with only basic physical weapons. This needs to be called “CIVILIAN COMBATIVES” while the army may use more CQB and also heavy weapons, machine guns, helicopters, air force and so on for more long distance engagements.
True Combatives strive to keep training as realistic as possible, the argument being what is realistic for civilians should be thought of as self-defense, in that it is NOT exactly combative in nature.
In Combatives we have a “self-protection” mindset and not a “self-defense” mindset. This means that we actively protect ourselves so we don’t have to get to the point of defending ourselves (by attacking our assailant). we are proactive(so as not to allow surprise assault) and “awareness” is our first line of defense. Conversely the “self-defense” mindset is reactive(having already been assaulted), wherein “reaction” is the first line of defense. also in Combative mind we MUST deal with violence as law enforcement or Army while civilian want to prevent and NOT engagement and avoided and need understand different between combative and self defense .and today we mixing in between and use some parts of Combative in self defense BUT need remember that once get a way to avoid is best and if not you may get into Combative.
The “self-defense” school of thought has 4 main reasons for its ineffectiveness and failures:
- Too many techniques– it is best to have a few worked to expert level.
- Non-realistic training– full physical contact, vocalization and multiple assailants is a must.
- No adrenal stress– a real violent confrontation can leave you shivering from adrenaline secretions to say the least, if not puking and standing in a puddle of your own urine.
- Defensive thinking– real violence often requires offensive and sometimes pre-emptive mindset.
Combatives program techniques use role play and scenario training for the street which is complemented with safe physical contact to “harden” practitioners with “stress tempering” to make them offensively oriented.
In this line of thinking, it is critical to maintain simplicity, directness, brutal effectiveness and determination.
IBT (Initiative Based Tactics) in CQB:
The principles of IBT are quick and decisive action in high-stress, high-risk situations. Speed, surprise and violence of action are key principles which are designed to overwhelm and opponent and leave them no time to react, defeating them before they’ve prepared to fight.
- Speed– coordinated ‘flood’ of individuals into a particular area of engagement, moving quickly but without being detected as so to be in the most advantageous position at the onset of action. This requires a high level of teamwork between operators involved, with clearly defined roles and a unifying plan
- Surprise– The idea of surprise is to be in an ideal and undetected position at the onset of action, without the presence of the operators being known. Optimally, at the onset of action, the attackers are unable to react quickly enough or to entrench themselves in a fortified position.
- Violence of Action– it is essential to dominate your opponent physically and psychologically with sensory overload. Multiple entry points, breaching explosives, aggressive assault, flashbangs or smoke, gunfire and any other technique to overload the opponent’s senses.
In order to achieve these principles, it is essential to act with determination. Eyes and head should be up at all times, shooting accurately while in motion is essential, move quickly to trouble areas and handle them proactively, not reactively. These techniques need to be trained and drilled until they pass into the subconscious as well as drilling in teams.
Cover and concealment – Both can save your life, but one more than the other.
In many training classes, you have probably heard the instructor say “you need to get to cover.” If a fight erupts around you, you want to get to cover before returning fire. Standing out in the open is a great way to get shot and the number one rule of a gunfight is not to get shot.
Cover is the place you want to be when bullets start flying because it is any place that will stop bullets. A concrete wall, a telephone pole, a car’s engine block, these are all places where you can hide and know that a bullet will not pass through and hit you. It can be said that cover hides you from a bullet.
The difference between cover and concealment is simple. If it doesn’t stop a bullet, then it is considered to be concealment because that is all it’s doing – concealing your location. Cover is something that will not only conceal your location but stop a bullet as well.
We can create concelment with smoke granade and Camouflage and more
We can use concealment to not be found in situations where cover is not available, in addition to using it as we move and fire back, but it is not as safe as real cover.
You gun fire is your first concelment
Basic pistol positions
The sul position means south in Portuguese and was developed because those training in the police academy had poor muzzle control with their pistols. This position has become a ‘tacticool’ technique, with many operators using this position both to ensure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction, but also when in a dangerous environment, yet not directly exposed to threats.
The Sul position consists of placing your support hand on your stomach with the thumb up and other four fingers together parallel to the ground. The active hand is parallel with the body and the muzzle at a slight cant to prevent it from shooting your feet. The thumbs are touching as a reference and to ensure you maintain the position safely.
This position has grown in popularity in recent years and is effective while moving and in confined spaces. One can also transition into a ready position quickly, though not quite as fast as some other positions, as we will see.
High Ready Position:
High Ready is the fastest position from which to engage with a potential target, with the pistol in front of your face, arms extended, yet with the elbows at a relaxed angle. However, this position may limit your mobility and may not be viable in crowded environments or where the muzzle should be kept in a safe direction.
Low Ready Position (Traditional and Modified):
The traditional low ready position is when the gun is effectively in high ready with arms extended and both hands on the grip of the pistol, however, the arms are extended at a 45 degree angle downward to remain pointed in a safe direction. The modified position is essentially the same, but with the arms angled a bit higher, between high ready and low ready to allow for quicker action on the part of the operator.
These positions are designed to allow quick target acquisition of any potential threat that one may encounter, but still could pose issues when working in dynamic environments or with other team members. Any sideways turning movements could pose a potential risk to other members of your team as your pistol would be pointing at their legs. It could also be unviable in confined environments or where the extension of your arms could pose a risk for exposure and giving away your position. In all positions, but particularly this one, situational awareness is critical to performing safely.
Compressed Ready Position:
Similar to the high ready position, the compressed ready position has the muzzle of the gun pointed forward, though the elbows are at tight to your ribs and with your head ‘tucked’ in a bit. This allows for quick target acquisition and engagement, while maintaining better mobility and weapon retention. This also works in confined environments, but poses some of the same disadvantages as high ready, insomuch as the muzzle direction is not necessarily safe in populated or unknown environments.
Temple Index position:
Like Sul, the Temple Index uses a physical point of contact as a reference for muzzle direction, but that is where the similarities end. This position is achieved by placing your pistol to the side of your temple, your pinky, ring and middle fingers in direct contact with your temple and the muzzle of the pistol faced upward.
This position is effective for maintaining muzzle control and weapon retention in situations where a high level of mobility is required. It has the added benefit of the free use of your support hand to assist in situations where the use of this hand is necessary.
CAR (Center Axis Relock) Position:
Developed by law enforcement officer and instructor, Paul Castle, the Center Axis Relock position is an aggressive stance, though can be employed effectively in certain environments. With the muzzle pointed forward and the support foot forward and both hands on the grip of the pistol, the arms are somewhat closer to the body and therefore the gun remains closer to the body. The pistol is at a cant, such that the left eye is looking down the sights of the pistol.
CAR provides effective pistol retention and a compact position from which one can be relatively mobile and quickly engage with targets. It is also particularly useful in compact areas. This has recently gained popularity due to its employment in the John Wick movies, by the protagonist himself.
Room clearing Cover Rule – “less seen of you and more seen of them” and “Multiple muzzle of us against one of them – fire power “
two main kind fast or slower as Dynamic entry and deliberate entry
An important aspect of room combat is the use of areas of responsibility, or individual AORs.
By dividing a room into pie like sections, the room can be cleared far faster than when all operators try to cover all areas at the same time.
- Pointman and wingman
The point man is never wrong principle:
If the point man goes to the right, then the shooter behind him will have to buttonhookto the left.
The Point manis the soldier who takes point, who assumes the first and most exposed position in a combat military formation. He is the lead soldier/unit advancing through hostile or unsecured territory and therefore is first exposed to enemy fire.
The Wingman acts as the partner to the point man, working cooperatively when approaching doors and entering high risk areas. The term originated in combat aviation, so named due to the support individual being to the side and slightly behind the lead pilot, or on his “wing”, while providing support and cover to the lead pilot.
- Room shape – Box , L – shape , door locations center or attach to wall , half walls, window – door sizes ( how many team members can in ) , corridors, furniture’s , Lights and sound effecting ( sun shadow, what lights in , noise , traps ) architect plan
- Clearing rooms
- AOR (Area of Responsibility)– Refers to the specific segment or ‘slice’ of a room or area of engagement that each operator will need to cover and clear to ensure efficiency of movement and clarity of action.
- Chokepoint– any point at which the entry or exit of an area becomes limited. Doorways in rooms are a prime example of a chokepoint and where firearms are present, this is also known as the “fatal funnel”
- OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act)– a decision-making process by which operators arrive at a particular action. The training of this loop over time makes one cognizant of the inputs that they are receiving in high-stress situations (and can also be applied to day-to-day situations), such that they can identify and react to stimuli more rapidly than their opponents.
This technique is used as a pre-entry maneuver, the operator exposing only his eye for a moment as he observes an uncleared room. While good in environments where it is unknown whether the individuals inside are combatants or civilians, the risk of detection is high and may complicate the subsequent entry as the element of surprise will have been lost. Additionally, this is not to be used in situations where the wall is not suitable cover, as you will still be susceptible to attacks if bullets can penetrate the wall which the operator is standing behind.
An aggressive movement where two operators simultaneously enter a room and hook around the doorway to move rapidly along the inner wall of the room which they are entering. This allows for rapid entry and minimal time spent within the Fatal Funnel.
Essentially the converse of the Buttonhook, the crossover consists of two operators entering a room nearly simultaneously by crossing through the doorway to the opposite side of where they began. This provides a quick entry and minimal time in the fatal funnel, though the operators need to be coordinated as so not to run into each other.
Slicing the pie:
Slicing the pie is a technique used for gradual observation of an area, consisting of slowly moving around a corner or obstacle with their weapon trained on the space directly visible (at the edge of the obstacle or corner) and with the upper body leaning slightly into the area being cleared as so not to expose the feet and legs. This technique is not only for entering rooms, but may be used in open environments with large obstacles which could be concealing an enemy. This is often preferred to other clearing tactics as it doesn’t launch you into unknown territory and allows you to slowly and deliberately clear every inch of the room.
Similar to slicing the pie, the incremental method moves around obstacles in a similar motion, but instead of a gradual movement, the movements are stop-start motions incrementally clearing the entire room or area.
Rules of clearing rooms:
- Muzzle before Flesh – the muzzle should always be the first exposed before the body, protecting the operator from return fire and also allowing them to ‘hide’ behind cover fire in the case that they are under attack.
- Do not stop in doorways –doors should be cleared as quickly as possible to minimize time spent in the Fatal Funnel.
- Never move faster than you can (accurately) shoot –don’t sacrifice your ability to neutralize threats for mobility, otherwise you will be identified before you can react.
- Maintain muzzle control at all times – Don’t point your muzzle at anyone’s back while working in teams.