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Thread: Enhancing Close Quarters Capabilities

  1. #16
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    Kit,

    Time for me to get working on the Voice of Authority. Thank you for taking the time to explain this. It will be an interesting project to come up with techniques to train this.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by allan View Post
    Kit,

    Time for me to get working on the Voice of Authority. Thank you for taking the time to explain this. It will be an interesting project to come up with techniques to train this.
    Al

    For VoA the first step is get breathing under control - under stress - prior to speaking. Short hand terminology LE uses "Big (Boy/Girl) Voice." I use "big boy voice" but also "Mom Voice," the one you use with your kids when they are in trouble, or that was used on you when you were in trouble.

    LE sees problems with people talking on the radio. It can be near unintelligible when someone is stressed out, speaking too quickly, or overly clipped or downright screaming into the radio, even when not experiencing menace, but instead undergoing a stress spike simply because someone is running away/speeding away from you in a car. This is a major stress event for many officers, even seasoned folks.

    I counsel to take a deep belly breath prior to keying the mic. Then keeping the voice in a low register, put out the information. This helps settle the nerves and keeps the voice intelligible. Many cops almost whisper on the radio in the, I think erroneous, view that "quiet equals calm" and this is not necessarily the case, some whisperers clip and speak so fast whispering when they are stressed that it is actually more of a problem.

    I also teach trainees to breathe out with a low sound to get the breath and voice under control during stress. You will hear a difference in people's voices the more you get used to hearing them, but some just have a minor modulation in voice even under a lot of stress and others vary widely.
    Last edited by Hissho; 2nd March 2015 at 19:24.

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  4. #18
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    And for the other elements, visualization is very helpful and important. Its along the lines of the old samurai tales where the guy becomes one with his own death through sleeping under the blade held suspended over his head, or who constantly meditates on the prospect of his own death in various ways, etc.

    But I think it is very important to focus on interpersonal menace. There is something qualitatively different about experiencing potentially lethal threats via a natural occurrence or other risk, and experiencing it at the will of another human being. "I could be killed" when it is from, say, a fall in rock climbing is different from a fall where another person is kicking at your fingers clawing at the rocks and trying to make you fall to kill you.

    Proximity of threat can also a factor, as is our own perception of "how I am performing" during the incident.

    These get into how I personally define fudoshin and zanshin and collate that with some Force Science elements of things that happen during interpersonal lethal threat situations.

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  6. #19
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    Further delving into Enhancing Close Quarters Capabilities - let's look at training modalities. I find that mindset often sets us up for training that is not appropriate to context.

    While more and more I tire of in-group "We"-nies: i.e. the echo chamber-group think "WE have the answers and NO ONE else really understands what WE do cuz well WE do it like no one else..." some training methods are more conducive than others. In some cases this is simply asking questions of ourselves and what we are attempting to accomplish in our practice. I will say right now that martial arts practice for its own sake does not come into this: it is not self defense or combatives training rather it is a separate practice that may or may not enhance self protection skills.

    So some questions:

    * Is your handgun training more appropriate to an old-time pistol DUEL? That is, are you training solely on a range with one direction that is "down range," at set and marked distances, at pre-determined and understood times to draw and fire, without moving from the spot you are standing on, and engaging a target on command? If you think about it that kind of training is essentially preparation for pistol dueling. That's not what happens in real life. Naturally this kind of training is necessary for basic manipulations, marksmanship, speed development, and many other things, but the inherent unreality of it should always be in one's mind vis a vis combative shooting. We ALL practice ALL our various skills on the square range/square mat - just don't get confused as to what you are actually practicing.

    * Is your knife (or any contact weapon) training conducted solely in mano a mano, knife's up, sparring format? This is knife dueling, and is very rarely encountered and NEVER a good idea from a self defense perspective. Certainly some groups still do this kind of thing as a test of manhood ("knife measuring contest," anyone?) or out of sheer immature fetishism with knife violence, but for that is not what most of us are training with blades for - I would hope. Ask yourself questions as to why you are training that way (mostly the answer is "that's how WE do it in my martial art...." ; ) ) and whether you are properly training within combative or personal protection contexts at other times in order to get realistic reps in - by the latter I mean street clothes or uniform/gear, drawing your everyday carry (edc) knife from where you carry it every day, and under tight conditions in contact with a grappling or armed assailant who is attempting to use his own contact weapon on you.

    * Similarly is your empty hand practice comprised mainly of "sparring" or "dueling" contexts? Hands up, you go - I go preparation for an agreed upon, equal initative fight? Is it a test of skill, where you and another remain "in the pocket" trading blows with feet and fists or attempts at entry and takedown? Or do you hang out on the perimeter of the fight waiting for an opportunity for entry and never take the opportunity that distance creates for escape? If so you are training more appropriately for a duel (whether sportive or otherwise) and not for a proper, contextual self protection response.

    I do think many folks that are AWARE of self protective or close quarters contextual realities actually default to dueling training methods by force of habit, or because it is easier and less time consuming to train that way, or because they have lost sight of the end state.

    * Finally - do you train with a force on force component?

    To understand force on force I mean realistic, progressively cycling practice leading from "give and take" cooperative training up to open environment, fully oppositional training in which each side attempts to impose their will. To the uninitiated this can and does often look like "sparring," or "grappling" or MMA or what have you but it is fact quite different.

    The problem is for most people, combat sport is their primary, or only, experience with force on force training, and well, if it looks like a duck...

    This is not actually the case and the waters can get very muddy without a discerning approach. Some elements are very similar/have direct parallels to combat sport and in many cases in unarmed fights having a combat sport background will go a long way toward controlling such a fight. The problem is complex, asymmetric tactical considerations rarely come into play in these kinds of fights, but are critically important in others, and training combat sport can lead to a false sense of security, or what could be called a confirmation bias, when successes are view in light of "it all turned out okay." A famous example of a BJJ player in a fight inside and outside an eatery, in which he dominated the confrontation but made some common tactical errors - because he defaulted to his sport approach - is one that immediately comes to mind.

    Force on force training is absolutely necessary to develop and condition the skills and attributes of a confrontation; it is not and should not be viewed as simply taking combat sport or contact dueling arts (stick fighting in training armor, etc.) and applying them in a different context. This can be and often is successful, which is why it happens, but the variables are very different in an actual situation.

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  8. #20
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    All great questions you asked there. Important for each person to think on. In particular the differences between sport BJJ versus "street" (for lack of a better term) BJJ are a great example. Just about everything I trained for a tournament did not make any sense in a striking environment. Hence, I got knocked out as soon as I tried to apply those skills in a force-on-force context. My instincts up until that point was to perform techniques without an awareness of whether my opponent could hit me. Does that mean I throw out that skillset? Not at all. However, it does require modification and simplification to drop anything purely sportive and focus on those principles that take into account strike neutralization as well as escaping the ground equation as quickly as possible to reassert mobility.

    The one I would respectfully submit for your consideration of addition to the list would be: What constitutes a "win" condition for this particular scenario? Followed on with: Has it changed?

    For example, if a "win" consists of neutralizing the immediate threat by whatever means available then that may or may not constitute deadly force. If I am responding to a mentally disturbed teenager at a high school, the details of the situation may merit submission and control as a more valuable "win" condition. Though that certainly does not preclude deadly force, I would hope we can all see the value of minimizing deadly force usage in that scenario. If the teenager then introduces a firearm to the equation and there is a reasonable threat to others... well that changes the "win" condition. If they then drop the firearm and appear to be submitting only to start fighting again once the first handcuff goes on... again the "win" condition has changed again.

    Thus, being able to transition quickly from a "submission/control" condition to a deadly-force condition and back again based on the fluidity of a situation might be a useful thing to be aware of.

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    Matthew

    Yeah, its how the skillet and individual techniques are chosen and applied: there is a crossover area where things that can be and are practiced in a sport or competitive environment are the very same things that make tactical sense in a real threat situation. AND there is a set of skillets and techniques that make less sense, or in which tactical considerations versus competitive considerations make them a bad idea. Many people have a real hard time with this.

    You point regarding "wins" is also a good one, and another critical difference with martial arts and combat sports. The number of tactical choices increases, decision making is a much greater factor, and ambiguity is much more common. I follow discussions on other forums and find that this area is the one least understood when converting and adapting martial arts to close quarters combatives. Group think, in-group insulation, fan-boy-ism, and confirmation bias gradually mean that the wrong questions are asked, or don't even come into the discussion.

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  11. #22
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    Kit,

    Great thread.

    All of the Force on Force training I've done has used a conceptual framework of the Proactive vs. Reactive fight. I am curious how much of what you teach centers around this dichotomy. Much of your baseline kata are useful in either place in the initiative race: a good, clean, swift draw stroke, presentation, and first round hits are every bit as useful when performing an immediate action drill with a long gun that has gone dry or jammed, or if you are drawing a service weapon in response to a threat during a traffic stop.

    How do you guys work to prevent injuries, especially when running full kit?

  12. #23
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    Chris

    Ideally our tactics keep things primarily in the pro-active realm (i.e. we take and retain initiative and keep the asymmetric balance in our favor). Not always the case, for example in your traffic stop example - a particularly difficult one.

    Injuries can be kept down through having skilled role players and skilled moderation. There is a difference between owies and injuries, and owies do occur. Some people think of and act as if owies are injuries - this is a mindset issue and not much you can do about it.

    Generally I run things progressively: new skills are taught with everybody slick and progressive resistance. Drills are done at various levels from total cooperation to near total resistance. Rarely do we train with both jocked up as I don't think it is realistic and think there are issues with cop-on-cop (or soldier on soldier). For most drills I like to have one side drop their gear and go slick, which is more realistic and makes a difference in terms of movement and available handles. For full scenarios the bad guy is slick and the officer in gear. I personally try to limit the amount of training armor (FIST suit, Redman, etc.) and like to go with just helmets, but this requires a higher level of skill and toughness on the part of the role player.

  13. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    And for the other elements, visualization is very helpful and important. Its along the lines of the old samurai tales where the guy becomes one with his own death through sleeping under the blade held suspended over his head, or who constantly meditates on the prospect of his own death in various ways, etc.
    Kit et al.,

    This continues to be a great and, most importantly to me, useful discussion.

    I would really like to see more investigation and discussion on the visualization point.

    Until recently I mostly rejected visualization along with "positive thinking" out-of-hand. I have now instead begun to explore this area of practice in some of it's more basic forms. This would include visualization of particular states and goals that I would like to embody and also the mental "practice" of particular skills that I am trying to improve. Haven't done it enough to make any huge progress. It takes a lot of mental energy and concentration and I'm finding it takes some real commitment.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

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    Quote Originally Posted by allan View Post
    Kit et al.,

    This continues to be a great and, most importantly to me, useful discussion.

    I would really like to see more investigation and discussion on the visualization point.
    The best vocabulary for describing the mindset for fighting that I've ever found was in classical japanese martial arts. They separated mindset into various sub-terms. Do some looking around at the various kinds of -shin: fudoshin, mushin, zanshin, shoshin etc. These are sometimes very abstract and difficult things to understand, much less learn, much less teach, and I don't know how to build a training program for them outside of 'koryu' or what have you.

    In more practical terms, one of the most interesting things that I noticed when doing Force on Force training is just how much our sight line determines where we shoot / cut. The human animal is naturally drawn to look at the tools in an opponents hands: we see their sword / knife / gun / whatever, and then we engage where we are looking, ie their hands. One of the most common things to come out of FoF training was a (not so, I guess) surprising amount of hand hits. A reactive draw, present, fire, with common hits to the weapon and hand of the opponent. This phenomenon backs up the overwhelming evidence of 'defensive' wounds on the outer forearms, hands, and fingers of people involved in assaults and shootings.

    The traditional training of enzan no metsuke or 'looking at a distant mountain'--soft-focusing and seeing the whole opponent rather than a particular feature--is a great methodology for avoiding the kind of hand-centric focus, and as a result hand-centric shooting.

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  16. #26
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    Chris - its a changing focus - whole body, hands/threat, back to whole body. That takes a lot of practice.

    Al - it takes practice to get into that state. When I was originally taught a Chinese stake standing method the teacher added visualization exercises after about a year. I took the general premise of those and used them for training. I think Asken goes into how to do "tacitcal visualization" exercises in his Mindsighting book, but I think its stronger to have a basis in some kind of meditation training.

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