Speed or Accuracy?

[su_heading size=”30″]You Can Have Both[/su_heading]

There are many gun enthusiasts out there that are on different platforms. One of the big question is, “Is the most important thing speed, or is it accuracy?” In this post Rob Leatham and Rob Pincus will discuss and answer this.

The main thing is finding that happy balance that you shoot fast enough without being too slow and be accurate. Both Rob will walk you through some timing drills to build your skills up to where you need to be.

No Secret or Trick
After several rounds of this timing drill, neither Rob’s was faster than the other in reaction time. Both fired with the same speed on target. At the conclusion both Rob’s confirmed that “It’s about pulling the trigger instantaneously without moving“. Does that mean you don’t learn the basic fundamentals, obviously you still do then you progress to faster trigger pull. Both Rob also confirms that most people don’t progress further due to instructors not passing on further skills development.

[su_heading size=”30″]Video Transcription[/su_heading]

[RobL] Hi, Rob Leatham with Springfield Armory, we’re here at Cowtown USA shooting facility outside of Phoenix Arizona, and I’m here with Glen from Independance Training.

[Glen] Rob, you know we get a lot of different shooters out here at the range from all different types of skill levels, and regardless of the type of platform that they’re running, whether it’s rifle or carbine or handgun, they all have the same question: Is the most important thing speed, or is it accuracy?

[RobL] That’s the eternal question right there. How fast do I have to go before I start missing, and how much slower do I have to go to be more accurate? The real truth is, you can never go as fast as you want, because you’ll start missing, and you can’t be as accurate as you’d like to be, because it’d be too slow, so it’s all finding that balance. There’s lots of ways to determine how fast you should go, but the skill-building portion of it is really what interests me. I’m gonna run you through a couple drills here, so–

[Glen] Alright!

[RobL] Go ahead and– what you’re gonna do is, start off with timing me.

[Glen] Okay!

[RobL] Fundamentally, I want you to give me a standby ready that’s on an instant, and push the button, and I’m gonna fire a shot.

[Glen] Alright!

[RobL] Whenever you’re ready.

[Glen] Alright. Shooter ready?

[RobL] Yep.

[Glen] Standby.

[Beep] [Pop!]

[RobL] So what’s that time?

[Glen] Point two-five!

[RobL] So in one quarter of a second, I’m able to respond to an audible, and shoot a target dead center.

[Glen] Mhm.

[RobL] Now if you wanna go faster, you can, but there’s tricks to doing it, and it almost always costs you something. So give me a couple more of those.

[Glen] Alright. Shooter ready!

[RobL] Yep

[Glen] Standby.


[RobL] So what’s that time?

[Glen] Point one-nine.

[RobL] Ok so that’s starting with finger off the trigger, which I consider the ready position. I teack ready position- contact point is the gross trigger-pull from the start of contact to the wall. So that was all the way out, do me again.

[Glen] Alright. Shooter ready.

[RobL] Yep.

[Glen] Standby.


[RobL] What’s that?

[Glen] Point one-four.

[RobL] Okay, give me one more.

[Glen] Shooter ready. Standby.


[RobL] What’s that?

[Glen] Point one-six.

[RobL] Ok, so in under two-tenths of a second, I’m able to pull the trigger off an audible and hit the target pretty much dead-center. Let’s give you a shot at this thing.

[Glen] Alright.

[RobL] So you can start with your finger anywhere you want, you’re aimed-in ready to go, and as soon as you get the buzzer, gimmee a shot.

[Glen] Ok!

[RobL] Alright?

[Glen] Alright.

[RobL] Are you ready? Standby!


[RobL] Excellent, nineteen! Do it again. Standby. Ready?

[Glen] Yep!


[RobL] Point two-two, give me a little faster. Standby, ready?


[RobL] Point one-five, so you’re just as fast as I am. One of the things that I get all the time, is that students always think there’s some magic in the reaction time, that maybe I have a better reaction time than you. I don’t. I’ve tested myself a zillion times, I’m just the same. What I’ve learned how to do is pull the trigger REALLY fast without moving, and it’s not a trick. But you obviously have learned how to pull the trigger fast. There’s a lot of silly stuff going around out there, people think you can only shoot accurately if you pull very very slowly, but that’s only really important when the precision becomes very very high. So let’s increase the required accuracy a little bit.

[Glen] Ok.

[RobL] Step on up, I need you to hit the box in the center, in the A-zone.

[Glen] A-zone! Head?

[RobL] A-zone in the head.

[Glen] Ok!

[RobL] Start on the target, ready to rock.

[Glen] Alright. Finger on the trigger?

[RobL] Yep. ready to go. You’re– the decision to shoot has been made, you’re waiting for the go.

[Glen] Ok.

[RobL] Standby, ready?


[RobL] Ok, so time is point-one-six. Did you get the quality shot you needed?

[Glen] I did.

[RobL] so why would you ever pull the trigger slowly? Alright? Was there a low? Was there a high? It was pretty much a good shot. Alright, do it again. Standby, ready? [BeePOP] Point one-nine. So you’re right on, bullets are touching each-other, you’re shooting as quickly as you can fire the gun, because you’ve learned a fundamental technique that a lot of people don’t know. You know what that is?

[Glen] What’s that?

[RobL] Jerking the trigger without moving the gun. And a lot of people think that this whole thing is about squeezing the trigger, and it’s not. It’s about pulling the trigger instantaneously without moving. Now you realize, if he can hit the middle of that head at four yards like that, that would hit the whole target at fifty yards. What happens is the process changes, and the person thinks because the shot gets more difficult that he has to change the process. You don’t. You just have to do it right.

[Glen] And do you think that’s an error in the way that people are taught the fundamentals, or the way they’re teaching themselves, or the way they’re learning the fundamentals?

[RobL] No… I don’t think it has a lot to do with the fundamentals, I think it has to do with us as instructors, as we’ve not kept up with the needs of our students. The first guy you get, you’re not gonna teach him how to do this.

[Glen] No, absolutely not.

[RobL] ‘Cuz there’s no way you can do it. There’s no way he can even understand the concepts of pulling the trigger that quickly. He’s almost every time gonna jerk the gun out of alignment when he does it. So that guy, you’re gonna say ‘listen, line the sights up, learn to pull the trigger without moving the gun. If you need to do it slowly, do it slowly. But then as you become better at moving your trigger finger, to the exclosion of moving anything else in your hand’, then we should keep up and now what we say is ‘Ok, pull the trugger faster’ and faster, and faster, and faster, and faster. Because the trick is always, once you wanna shoot fast, we start taking things that should happen in sequence, and doing them all at once.

Sights are on the target, you say fire the gun, you know when you fire the gun, the gun’s gonna kick, so as you fire the gun, you’re also controlling the recoil that’s coming from firing the shot, and it moves it down.

[Glen] Now at what point does a shooter move from that ‘perfect sight alignment, good solid sooth compression’, to what we’re doing here?

[RobL] I always push a student to the point of failure. The practice range is the place to screw up. So let’s say– I’ll give you a perfect example. Run me again, and I’ll show you the jerk, ok?

[Glen] Alright.

[RobL] We good there?

[Glen] Shooter ready. Standby.

[Beep, pop.]

[RobL] Ok.

[Glen] Alrighty.

[RobL] So what’s the time?

[Glen] You are point-two-one.

[RobL] See the shot down on the bottom?

[Glen] All the way down there.

[RobL] So the normal way of dealing with that would be, come back to the student, say ‘Listen, you need to slow down’. But what I did was nothing to do with the speed that I did it. It’s the fact that I moved the gun out of alignment when I fired the shot. So unfortunately, what will come back to them from the instructor’s standpoint, is ‘Oh we need you to slow down, you’re not ready to pull the trigger that fast’. It had nothing to do with pulling the trigger. To get the gun pointed down there, I had to do something, right? I had to move the gun out of alignment. So then we take the student and say ‘Listen, quit worrying so much about aiming, worry about pulling the trigger and moving nothing else’.

by J Hines

Source: IndependenceTraining Youtube, Rob Leatham, Rob Pincus

New NRA Infographic will improve your shooting

[su_heading size=”30″]The NRA put together an Infographic to help your shooting Fundamentals[/su_heading]

If you are just getting into target shooting and need some help fine tuning your shooting skills. Look no further, the NRA (National Rifle Association) has put together this amazing simple shooting fundamentals infographic that will get you on target.

Handguns vary differently from sizes, feel to weight. With all those variables basic shooting skills itself doesn’t change. This infographic cheat sheet shows you the right way to properly sight align, focus, trigger control, and breath control. This visual will get you on the right track to better your shooting skill.


Source: National Rifle Association

Get Real

[su_heading size=”30″]Facility Teaches Full-spectrum Defensive, Protective Training [/su_heading]

[su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]W[/su_dropcap]hen training for self defense, it is not uncommon to find yourself in a karate or jujitsu class, or at a gun range shooting paper targets. If you are lucky at the range, you will have reactionary or moving targets to make your supposed threat a bit more realistic. The value of training cannot be understated; however, if you are looking to train at truly top levels, where the full theater of the environment, critical thinking, weapons and hand-to-hand combat comes together – just like they will in a real emergency – you might just want to shake hands with Brian Winchester of Reality Based Tactical Training  in Tennessee.

Ground control is among the many self-defense disciplines that Reality Based Tactical Training offers at their 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility near Knoxville, in eastern Tennessee.
Ground control is among the many self-defense disciplines that Reality Based Tactical Training offers at their 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility near Knoxville, in eastern Tennessee.

Winchester is practically a living legend, although his humble demeanor would never give that away. In short, not only is he a passionate instructor who covers everything from hand-to-hand martial arts to firearms and edged-weapons handling, subjects such as critical management, threat assessment and ground control are among the plethora of other subjects he and his team cover.

Among many of Winchester’s talents and achievements, he was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to the martial arts – now, how is that for an impressive background? – but he is the first to say that Reality Based Training wouldn’t be as diverse and impressive without the team of instructors who are equally as passionate about self-defense and bring a wealth of knowledge from all facets of the industry.

Winchester sat down with American Shooting Journal and gave us some insight into what it takes to be the best in the industry, and why defense professionals from as far away as Europe and Israel reach out to him.

Many of the instructors at RBTT are highly accomplished martial arts experts who are capable of applying and teaching techniques anyone can use.
Many of the instructors at RBTT are highly accomplished martial arts experts who are capable of applying and teaching techniques anyone can use.

American Shooting Journal Hello, Brian, and thank you so much for your time. Can you tell us a little bit about Reality Based Training and what you offer?

Brian Winchester We are a one-stop shop. This means that if you want to learn how to use a firearm, we can do that. If you want to learn hand-to-hand defensive tactics and martial arts, we can do that. We also cover threat assessment and intervention, medical and crisis management. What I feel sets us apart is that we can conduct the totality of training by pulling together mental and physical threats. We can do it all right here.

ASJ Why do you feel it is important to offer so many options?

BW True self-preservation has much more to do with mental conditioning than what the general population understands. The physical aspect of training is great, but because reaction is slower than action, without training the mind to have a battle mindset, you will most likely be trying to play catchup with an adversary. It’s important to expose the clients to the different aspects of personal protection, not just punching, kicking and rolling on the ground. Every action should be launched from a foundation of intelligence and knowledge, with meaning behind every movement.

ASJ What about your background. How long have you been training?

BW I’ve been training since the age of five. I started with self-defense and then moved my way through multiple disciplines, including mixed martial arts, private security, firearm and carry-permit instructor, range-safety officer, executive protection, medical training such as medic first aid, CPR, AED, etc. In total, I have about 25 years of training and experience and have trained with military, law enforcement and private security operators.

ASJ We noticed that you have an impressive team of instructors who work with you. Can you share a little bit about their background and why they are so valuable to your regime?

BW Absolutely! Samson Ferrell comes from a military and private-security background. He is a combat medic and is adept at close-quarter combat, as well as thermal and mechanical breaching. Joe Reese is also former military, second-degree black belt in hapkido and is a kali instructor. Stephen Nuchols (pronounced knuckles) has over 24 years of martial arts experience and is a fourth-degree black belt (yondan) in isshin-ryu karate, second-degree black belt (nidan) in daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu and instructs Deprisa kali. Bobby Parker is our expert in all things Marine Corps weapons systems. He was an instructor at the military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) facility, overseeing thousands of Marines, and has an extensive background with firearms and military applications.
ASJ What skill level would someone need to have to train with you?

BW We teach everyone from age 14 to 90. It doesn’t matter if you have no experience at all or are a well-seasoned veteran. We have programs just for you.

ASJ So, you teach civilians?

BW Oh, yes! We teach the science of being a warrior. That’s what it is, after all, a science. Each individual has their own capabilities and limitations, and as educators, it is our job to help each person find their perfect equation for survival and to help them combat the universal human phobia: another human being trying to harm or kill them. It’s our mission to help the community be a safer place by educating people to be ready to protect themselves and help their fellow neighbor when the opportunity arises.

ASJ What about the facility where you train?

One of the many things that sets RBTT apart from other operations is their ability to cover the entire spectrum of training, from firearms to hand-to-hand combat and crisis management to intervention. A company spokesman maintains it is a “one-stop shop” for all things self-defense.
One of the many things that sets RBTT apart from other operations is their ability to cover the entire spectrum of training, from firearms to hand-to-hand combat and crisis management to intervention. A company spokesman maintains it is a “one-stop shop” for all things self-defense.

BW Our 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art training facility is filled with buildings, obstacles and vehicles to give the student a realistic setting. As students make their way through dynamic scenarios, we add sound effects so more of their senses are engaged. We have classrooms, a lounge and a state-certified shooting range where we conduct move-and-shoot drills with all sorts of awkward obstacles to navigate.

ASJ What are some examples of courses you offer?

BW Well, a few basic examples would be elite fighting arts, firearm and edged weapon handling, medic first-aid training, risk and crisis management, bomb incident management, ground control, the psychological aspects of combat, victimology – the list goes on.

ASJ What is your motto or mission statement?

BW Our mission is to provide some of the best and realistic personal protection training out there. When seconds count and help is minutes away, rely on your reality-based tactical training and always look left, look right and stay tight!

ASJ From what we understand, Brian, you do just that. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today.

BW My pleasure. Thank you. 

When training for the real world, shouldn’t you train in the real world?
When training for the real world, shouldn’t you train in the real world?

Editor’s note: For more on RBTT, see realitybasedtactical.com.

Pistol Shooting Tips: Mad Half Minute Drill

This handgun shooting drill was created by Special Forces veteran Mike Pannone of CTT Solutions. This drill is designed to test and enhance your shooting accuracy while on the move.

Here’s the Drill
The target is placed 10 yards away from the shooter. There are three shooting points. The first one is directly in front of the target. The second and third points are at five yards away from the center at opposite ends. At the signal, the shooter has 30 seconds to fire the first round from the holster, quickly move to one of the outside positions, come to a stop and fire a round. The shooter then moves back to the center, stops and fires one round before moving to the other outside position. The drill ends when the shooter hears the signal to stop after 30 seconds has expired.

Safety Note While on the move, the gun is to be pointed downrange at all times until holstered.

If you’re into scoring, a nine-ring hit is a minus one point, an eight-ring is minus two and so on. Perfect hits are 11 in the black.

This is another drill that can greatly enhance your skill level via improved sight acquisition and trigger control.

Other thoughts
Notice we didn’t explain the footwork. The drill is design to let you do it yourself and you will discover getting planted firmly will allow you to fire an accurate shot is the best way. Footwork, is all about getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible by moving with urgency.

Photo by Handgunsmag.com
Source: Mike Pannone of CTT Solutions

Taking apart your AR-15

Here’s how to take apart the AR-15:

  1. Safety is paramount, be sure that the AR is on safe and check the ejection port is clear from obstruction and ride the bolt forward.
  2. Slide the take down pin out near the rear of the lower receiver until it is sticking all the way out of the right side of the receiver.
  3. Rotate the upper receiver forward and lift it free of the lower receiver.
  4. Slide the bolt carrier group free from the upper receiver. The charging handle will slip right out as well.
  5. Remove the buffer tube and spring from the buttstock

ar-15 disassembly

I remember learning how to take down my AR-15 back in boot camp, but back then it was the M-16A1. (not giving away my age) Giving clear instructions was a priority for the instructors as they had to process over hundreds of us new recruits per week basis.

I realize many of you folks know how to do this, but there is a small percentage out there that don’t know how to do this. This is the brief instructions on taking aprt your AR, which is the same for the predecessors M-16 A series.

For the complete disassembling of all parts on the AR’s (M-16) for cleaning and function check, see the sources below.

ARMY TIM 9-1005-249-23
AR15 Forum

Action vs Reaction Handgun Drill

This handgun drill is performed by PfcTraining Progression Force Concepts. One shooter is the initiator and the other is the reactor. The drill is two-fold, each shooters ability to go from zero to full speed with accuracy will be enhanced.

This handgun drill is termed “The Charging Initiator”, though the drill emphasis is on testing the shooter’s reaction time, presentation against a buddy. It’s all about forward motion, what would be interesting is to also utilize lateral movements to the target. Another suggestions is to have both shooters start by moving their hands like a 3rd base coach signaling to the batter in baseball (coined by Tony Blauer of TB Tactical Systems), from there the initiator can initiate the drill. Happy training!

Video Transcription:

“That’s a great run”
“Hey guys, Ryan from Progressive Force Concepts here with another drill for you guys. If you’ve been out to train with us before, particularly on the handgun, you’re familiar with our Gunfight initiator drill, it’s one of our staples, where we test action verses reaction, different areas on the body, different shooting responses, and the ability to play catch-up based off a physical or visual response . We’ve modified that and we’ve added something to it, this is kind of a charging version, a charger of the gunfighter initiator, and it’s pretty interesting what ends up happening. So the traditional Gunfight Initiator is where we start out at the three-yard line.

We have one shooter with his arms extended, and the other shooter with his arms neutral down at his sides; and the one with his arms extended, he is going to drop those going for his firearm. He is required to fire one round to the cranial-ocular cavity. The reactor is required to go for his firearm and then fire two rounds to the center of the thoracic cavity. The advantages we know are two and two: Two advantages for the initiator and two advantages for the reactor. In this version, the charging version, we’re starting back at the seven yard line. Hands go out in the exact same fashion, reaction is the same fashion, and the shooting responses are the same. The only addition is, is that when those hands drop, both shooters have to take and RUN from the seven over to the three-yard line, where they’re gonna take and present their weapons as necessary and fire.

“One of the interesting things we found about this is, on the stationary version, the shooter tends to really sort of dig into a stance. They try to get their feet as perfect as they can, acquire a very good natural point of aim, before the presentation, and that in some regards is unrealistic. This version is very fascinating because of the way the shooter will finish up to take the shot. They might be forward with the opposite foot than they normally would be, they might have a heel off of the ground, they may still be moving into the shot and not have finally acquired their shooting platform.

So again, the setup on this: Initiator, he’s gonna be firing one round to the head; Reactor, two rounds to the body; reactor starts, arms at their sides; Initiator starts, arms out in front. Whenever he decides he wants to launch, hands drop and both shooters take off running for the three, goin’ for the guns as they go. It’ll be pretty interesting what actually shakes out on this. You’ll be pretty fascinated and frustrated at the same time. Give it a try, we think you guys will like it a lot. Stay safe.

Source: PFCTraining Youtube

Is Martial Arts Training Unrealistic?

It is the question that has been asked many times in the self protection world. Whether you’re a survivalist, Joe DT, MMA wannabe or into Krav Maga. Sometimes you have to wonder, will this training help you survive in the real world, or is it just unrealistic training that you got yourself into?

Even Doug Marcaida Kali expert says, “that his Kali training is unrealistic”. That “none of this is real” and that there is a damn good reason for it. Filipino Martial Arts, like all martial arts, is plagued by criticism of its training principles. That movements are staged, rehearsed, practiced over and over again, drilled, memorized—until it becomes routine, until it becomes natural, until it becomes instinctive. Sound familiar? If you’re into firearms training, it should sound familiar.

Training is a progressive and fluid, never-ending lifestyle that first takes into the account the safety of the practitioner. When teaching someone how to use firearms it is advisable to take baby steps. To learn the safety rules. The mechanics of the firearm. Perhaps they start with a smaller calibre and progress and explore their preference. Paper and steel targets certainly do not shoot back. But the skills extracted through compartmentalized training (like how a boxer uses a skipping rope to work on stamina and coordination) are invaluable steps needed in order to progress the nature of said training.

Keyboard warriors aside, those who train understand that the value of compartmentalized training is absolutely essential to the bigger picture. Yet, we still read comments like “Paper Targets Don’t Shoot Back”—of course they don’t. In the same token we hear things like well he’s not attacking you realistically with that knife. Of course not. It’s a knife. Even dulled training knives hurt.

The point Doug Marcaida makes in this video is that like ALL training of ANY combative sport, any martial art, any sport PERIOD needs to first develop a solid understanding and mastery of the fundamentals before progressing into advanced. That the skills developed in training are valuable tools in order to appreciate and fully understand the nature of high speed, realistic and aggressive training. In the same way that a gun owner shoots paper targets to develop their skills and not simply tossed into an active shooter situation to “train.” So the next time someone tells you that Kali or Filipino Martial Arts training is unrealistic, simply smile and say “Yes. Yes it is.” —-you’ll smile knowing the reason its unrealistic is that it HAS TO BE.

Video Transcription:

Doug Marcaida: “Um it’s definitely exploring the different feeds that he can do can do– one feed, multiple attacks. So in this particular case Ishaan feeds one attack, Chris will do multiples and he’ll find his answers in this pod system (?)
“Now Ishaan will go feed, and feed twice. He’ll feeds once, and Chris will have to deal with that, Now ishaan will have to feed three times– one… and two… and three, in fluid motion. Ok? So, Chris and I-

Funker Tactical: “So, How much of this is prepared in your mind, and how much of it is happening on the spot?”

Chris: “So What’s prepared in my mind is, the, the angle–”

FT: “You have the same patterns all the time that you do for a low line or a high line, or…?”

Chris: “I have the same initial answer, and either I’m on the inside–, or I’m on the outside. From there, what I follow up with is based on where my hand lies, or how I feel. If my hand falls this way, I find I come back at any angle on the clock system that I see best.

FT: “There’s improvisation–”

Chris: “There’s some improvisation. There’s some improvisation but most of it, is calculated. If I go to stay up on this side– I’m on the inside, I go to the outside– cut through, exit on eleven. If I’m on the inside, say I was on the inside here, knife tap, oh he moved– I open up, exit on the one. Boom. Cut. Open up again on one. Jab him here, stab again on five. Open up, give me a nose strike– oop! Cut. Top, underneath, inside jam, pass on the outside.”

FT: “These guys are– I mean these guys have been doing it for a while, I imagine if this is something new to you, that’s a– a great place to explore and– you know, improvise and find new things!”

Doug: “You learn the basics first. So once again, it’s like learning a numbering system, right, you learn how to count from one to ten, then on one to one hundred, then you start mixing up different numbers, same thing as this. So, in this particular game, uh, Ishaan is doing a question and answer. I’ll transfer over, right? So. I’m asking Chris, ‘Ok Chris, if I deliver one question, answer, what happens if I give you this question in here?’ Bam. He gives me his answer. ‘Ok, but what if the question lies here?’ and then there’s another follow-up question to this, and Chris’ answer to that. In this question you hit this other thing over here, and he just answers, he thinks about it, he thinks about the angle, then he finishes the answer. Bam. So here’s my question, follow up with a different question, and this is another question. He gives me different answers. So this is like a question/answer, but we’re not trying to argue.”

FT: “I got it!”

Doug: “And it’s a difference, right?”

FT: “It’s a conversation!”

Doug: “It’s a conversation, because I’m trying to learn, I’m asking ‘Well, what if there’s this entry into that entry into this entry?’ Then Chris will think about it, ‘well if there’s here, into this into that’, then he’ll direct it this way. So there’s no right or wrong, there’s only exploration, that’s what we’re always talking about. If I’m in this particular grip, Chris I come in here you do that, ok now watch. When I come in here, I hook, and I cut you this way. So Chris comes up here and I’ll hook and I’ll cut you this way– then he’s got to come up with an answer going that way. Is it right or wrong? There’s no right or wrong. It’s whoever does what they do best, first, and better than the other person.”

FT: “So you guys have had many conversations?”

Doug: “A lot of conversations.”
Chris: “A LOT of conversations!”

FT: “So can we see an example of a non-verbal conversation? Like, what level are you guys at right now?”
-‘Conversation’ ensues-
FT: “Ah… Okay…”

Doug: “So my questions to him were here and here and here, and what you would do. I’m not trying to hurt him. I want to bring out things from him. And in the final things he wants to finish, this takes care of that. So the nonverbal thing is, I find a way where I grab, and he just automatically goes in there and destroys me. See, because there’s no resistance given to that. And the whole point here is that, ‘is it real?’, Guys, none of this is real. This is training! This is enjoying the art form. Once again, there are three facets of it, ‘Martial Art’ encompasses everything, within that martial art to make it realistic you want to have a reality base training within that martial art. But you also have to have a self-defense, which is ‘ok, here’s a stimulus of this attack’, his self-defense is how to deal with it this way. Boom. If I wanna be realistic later, I start pushing him and hitting him, hitting him, hitting him, and then he attacks and everything, that’s more realism, we’re trying to amp up with a lot of adrenaline and stress and everything else. Screaming and everything else. But then, again, we talk about the art form. In the end after we deliver the strikes in here, we do this–”

-Handshake between Doug and Chris-

Doug: “We’re friends, we’re buddies, everybody walks away. Integrity, Honor, enjoying what they did. And that’s a whole martial art that encompasses all these different facets of training.”

FT: “And that’s important for you, to not just be like– Because you know, in firearms training, in certain different martial arts, it’s all about “Everything used to be reality-based, train how you fight, fight how you train.”

Doug: “Uh, if it’s reality-based in firearms, and how is it that you’re shooting at a paper target, the paper target’s not shooting back? Where’s the reality in that?”

FT: “Y-and you know, there are still people who comment on videos that say ‘paper targets don’t shoot back’.”

Doug: “Well, of course, because it’s about safety. But do you ever question a bullet that ever hits somebody when they’re not prepared for it, they never saw it coming, right– or even if they are prepared for it? That’s what the paper target there’s for, that you express yourself perfectly. And if you hit that perfect target that even doesn’t shoot back, but if you train to do that later on, then you’ve accomplished something! You can hit something like a marksman? But same thing with weapons, it’s the same training. I’m not out here to book crazed people (?) I’m out here to go up with the way of the blade, the way of the weapons of Kali that we enjoy, nothing more than that. When we train in military, different story. The military doesn’t need to have all these other things of Integrity and Honor and they have a mission to accomplish. So we weed out all the other stuff. When you work with Law Enforcement it’s to protect and serve, it’s no kill in there (sic). When it comes to security programs, once again same thing: Safety and security. It’s to make sure the persons that they’re accosting, or they have to reprimand, has to be safe for them too. And then you have the civilian populace, where you can’t use a spear as a practice of the arts, so if you are faced with these things, you know what to do. But the number one thing is, never get into the situation to begin with, through awareness and everything else. Learn the disease so you can cure it.”

Transcription prepared by Sam Morstan

Source: Doug Marcaida Youtube, FunkerTactical

Personal Security Training

Graham Combat: ARAINDROP Environmental Manipulation AAR

This is Nathan “Mad Duo Nate” experiences while attending Matt Graham’s course on ARAINDROP Environmental Manipulation course. With further ado here’s Nate.

Trade craft. We’re not talking about all the skills and knowledge Robert Scott used to get the President’s daughter back or all the methods Edward Lyle used to stay off the grid. We’re talking about things you can and should do – and know, and practice – daily.

That can be summarized by the tenets represented by the acronym ARAINDROP.

I find myself sitting in the class room, in this case a hotel suite in Arlington Virginia. Matt Graham begins to speak to the class.

“Everyone wishes to learn the tricks of the trade, I say why not actually learn the trade?”
He’s not referring to pulling triggers or kicking doors. He’s talking about this concept as something that encompasses our entire life. In all avenues, all aspects, we look for the short cut, the path of least resistance, the “Cliff Notes for Life”. We as a modern civilization desire to learn the “secrets” of complex tasks, but demand they be provided in a summary memo. As day 1 of Graham Combat’s Environmental Manipulation /ARAINDROP kicked off, my mind was already racing with questions. Like that rare, chance conversation you have with an interesting stranger at a party, the subjects being discussed were unexpected, stimulating and mind opening.

I had first trained with Matthew Graham a few months before, having attended the Graham Combat Handgun course with many of my fellow Breach-Bang-Clear writers. Held at a very impressive private range near Virginia Beach, the facility featured a fleet of beater cars, various driving courses and a sprinkling of fired MK-19 casings littering the ground. Training in, out and through vehicles during the course was a rare luxury, but for far more reasons than that the instruction left a lasting impression. I left the course shooting at damn near my own pinnacle, with core fundamentals strengthened and principles reenforced. I had also learned a lot of new techniques, rather then just a handful. In short, it was a great learning experience. As we wrapped up that course, Matt had briefly discussed his ARAINDROP course coming in the Fall.

The mnemonic was short and simple, and that alone was intriguing. When I asked him to explain each aspect further, Mr. Graham smiled and simply stated that he couldn’t do it justice in the span of a few minutes. He wasn’t trying to be coy or disingenuous, he was being honest. By the end of the first hour of his Environmental Manipulation / ARAINDROP course now a few months later, I was beginning to fully understand why.

The email I received confirming my course enrollment provided instructions to where to meet. It instructed me to wear what I wear everyday. This is not a shooting course, nor one requiring a parachute kit bag full of gear. Just street clothes and a notebook. Instead of “tactical” cargo pants, cool guy T-shirt and Velcro covered ball caps typical to most at similar training, I decided to wear real people clothes in form of trendy outdoor shoes, jeans and a button down short sleeve.

I retained my EDC items in form of pistol, spare mag, knife and flashlight attached to my key chain. Since Arlington is full of “Young Professionals” in form of athletic, body-conscious, fashion savvy, white corporate types, I wanted to look as much the part as my own vanity would allow. The curious thing about prepping for this course was the amount of thought I was putting into it. Since I had a slight inkling what it would be composed of, I was removing as many “target indicators” and “greyman” items as possible. Since I wanted to look like “Joe Shit the Ragman” for the course. I quickly began wondering how certain items had crept into my wardrobe in the first place. This notion was later reinforced by things I picked up at the Graham Combat course.

Matt Graham opened his period of instruction by talking briefly about himself, but not by going down the standard bullet-point biography. A former cop and Federal air marshal, he has since moved on to serve as a civilian defense contractor for the DoD as a full-time firearms and tactics instructor. Personally, I don’t really care much about an instructor’s personal accolades. I care about their honesty, subject knowledge, relevant experience and ability to teach. Since Matt had displayed a solid base of these at the handgun course, I was excited to train with him again.

We started out discussing what it means to be a student (this isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it’s very important) as well as what it takes to learn and how to maximize your ability to process information. This starts with being “present” to the here and now, and how that applies to all things in life. People as a whole are reluctant to embrace change, and often we find ourselves quick to judge that which we do not understand. The ARAINDROP class is as much an environmental course as it is an inner look at yourself. Your own boundaries, reservations, fears and misconceptions in daily life keep you from processing threats that are right in front of you.

A simple example would be walking into a glass front 7/11 gas station that is currently being robbed. You visually saw what was going down before walking in, but you might not have been present enough to be aware of what you had just observed. The medium of glass creates a mental boundary of “this is outside” and that is “inside”. This isn’t a joke, this exact situation has happened many times to people, to include off duty soldiers and on duty cops. The course covered many principles that I have been taught over the years and many that I had never seen before. Although similar to some training I have received in the military and certain private sector courses, ARAINDROP is the first time that all of this diverse information has been consolidated into a memorable, easily grasped format.

As a kid, my grandfather use to say that there are 1,000 ways to skin a cat, but they all start with a sharp knife. This thought resurfaced in my mind as Matt covered the DROP portion of the mnemonic, which covers breaking contact with those that wish to ruin your day. Having exercised due diligence, avoiding the threat and creating distance it might cross your path again anyway. DROP focuses on defense and exercising a more permanent solution to the problem. In a deadly force encounter, regardless of the type or location, violence is the “knife,” the constant to the range of different “cats.” This is my own mental connection, not a Graham analogy. Graham analogies tend be more relatable to everyone, like going to Starbucks or driving a car. They are often as hilarious as they are spot on. It’s his ability to explain concepts in such an easy way, with a mix of seriousness and humor that makes him such a charismatic instructor.

The ARAINDROP course is a hard one to do justice in a single article. I think that I could write 5,000 words and barely scratch the surface. The course is heavy on mindset, but not “combat mindset.” It focuses on awareness as a whole, not “situational awareness.” It includes a lot of old school trade craft, thinking outside the box and being fluid to the situation. The course doesn’t follow a cookie cutter pattern full of buzzwords and regimen. The observational exercises we conducted in public were eye opening, even for those of us with that type of background. It’s been a long time since I have learned so much in a 48 hour block of time, and it was enlightening to have a lot of long standing questions answered.

This summary is necessarily inadequate because of the subject matter and how it’s learned, but believe me, ARAINDROP is an extremely unique class with value to a wide spectrum of individuals. Based off the longer course Graham teaches to the government, it would answer a lot of subject related questions I hear discussed by military and police as well as switched on civilians. In a way, it’s a sort of “worst case scenario” course for life. The concepts extend into every aspect of your own daily routine. I personally gained so much from ARAINDROP…I cannot recommend it highly enough. Check out Graham Combat here, and let us know in the comment section about your experiences with the company.

by Mad Duo Nate
About the Author: Nathan “Mad Duo Nate” is a former USMC Sergeant who recently transitioned to being a nasty civilian. He lives largely on nicotine, whiskey and hate and can be frequently found orating Kipling poems to frightened hipsters. A graduate of the Camp Lejeune School for Wayward Boys, he was a Marine NCO, Infantry Platoon Sergeant and Scout Sniper team leader. He is a fully qualified American Jedi, handsome badass and world-renowned field barista. He has numerous deployments to the Middle East and Africa and is something of an idiot savant when it comes finger-fucking stuff to make it work better. Nate drinks every day and only chain smokes when he’s drinking. We reckon he is probably best described as a sociopathic philosopher with vestigial cutthroat (though poetic) tendencies. Thus far Murr’s writing has appeared in such places as here on Breach-Bang-Clear, on Military.com, in field shitters and portajohns on at least 3 continents, in RECOIL Magazine and of course Penthouse letters.