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Thread: Ambush at Close Quarters

  1. #1
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    May 2005
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    Default Ambush at Close Quarters

    Note: These videos show actual lethal violence and murders. Be mindful.

    If you don't check in on Ed Calderon's site, and are interested in the dynamics of close combat and personal protection, you should be.

    I have long stated here and elsewhere that violence with modern handguns and knives is much more akin to the kinds of encounters we practice in things like iai and kogusoku than it is to sport grappling or karate or to knife sparring or kenjutsu. The meat is in the reaction to surprise dynamics, the ability to access a weapon under duress and when crowded by environmental elements and by the threat, and many more factors.

    This is not at all to say that most people are practicing their iai or kogusoku with these things in mind or with the proper dynamics, but I am absolutely convinced that this is what it is/was supposed to be.

    The first example is of a close quarters gun fight/grapple. To be noted is the relative lack of efficacy of firearms - short blades are the same - and the rapidity with which the encounter collapses to grappling range. Have a skill set that encompasses all these things and is able to rapidly transition and combine in the moment is crucial.

    The second, depicting the murder of two armed and armored police officers in Venezuela, shows the importance of gaining surprise on an adversary, and how maintaining initiative can determine the outcome.

    It likewise demonstrates the other side of the equation - reacting to an ambush in a way that INSTANTLY forces a re-set on the part of the assailant(s), from whatever position/physical organization you happen to be in at the moment, and causes them to start reacting to you is really the only way out of an ambush. Once again being able to immediately offset their armed advantage and access your weapon and bring it to bear are the hallmarks of a combative practice.

    This one is disturbing, but it reminds us how important it is for uniformed professionals to be vigilant and find ways and tactics for overwatch even in mundane situations. Most importantly in mundane situations as this bears some resemblance to the Lakewood and other ambush attacks of officers in restaurants we have seen Stateside recently.
    Last edited by Hissho; 26th July 2015 at 17:51.

  2. Likes Tripitaka of AA, Kempo Guy, mkrueger liked this post
  3. #2
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    May 2006
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    All good points.

    This reminds me of a story told to to me during my academy about a detective who didn't use the principles you mention above and died. Maybe I've mentioned this story before... but I can't remember now.

    SWAT had cleared a house and the detectives came in. Someone forgot to check a closet. When one of the detectives opened the closet a man immediately emerged with a hatchet. The detective in surprise, died reaching for his gun, reverting to his training. Rather than creating some distance and THEN deploying his firearm.

    The principles you mentioned above about being vigilant even in mundane situations (like a supposedly "cleared" house) as well as instantly resetting the assailant and causing the adversary to react to you could have altered the outcome for the detective.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    B.C., Canada
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    Thank you for the heads up on Calderon. Though I had heard mention of 'black box' courses I wasn't aware of his material.
    Al Heinemann

  5. #4
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    May 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkrueger View Post
    The detective in surprise, died reaching for his gun, reverting to his training. Rather than creating some distance and THEN deploying his firearm.

    Or, closing distance to foul draw/use of the hatchet and deploying the firearm in contact....but exactly right - cause the re-set.

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  7. #5
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    Mar 2015
    Central Illinois
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    In watching the two videos, the first one I found to be almost funny. The second, almost sad.
    With respect,
    Mitch Saret

  8. #6
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    May 2005
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    Police Ambushes on the Rise


    By Timothy M. Phelps
    Tribune Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON — The number of ambushes of police officers has been creeping back up in recent years, creating concern among law enforcement officials at a time when relations between police and the communities they serve are particularly fraught.

    The number of surprise assaults on police rose to about 250 incidents per year between 2008 and 2013, up from about 200 per year during the previous 10-year period, according to a Justice Department study released Tuesday. Those figures were still far lower than in the 1990s, when ambushes peaked one year above 500.

    The recent uptick has concerned officials. “In an era of strained community relations and struggles with police legitimacy, violence against police is of particular concern,” said Ronald L. Davis, director of community-oriented policing at the Justice Department.

    Police departments in urban areas have come under new scrutiny over their use of force against young back men since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014.

    FBI Director James B. Comey said in a speech last week that police officers may be responding to concerns of being videotaped by being less aggressive, allowing violent crime to increase. The White House and others quickly discounted that assessment.

    The report found a direct correlation between violent crime and ambushes against police, which it defined loosely as both premeditated traps and spontaneous but unexpected attacks. It described ambushes as assaults on police that are executed by surprise, from a position of concealment, and with overwhelming force.

    But to the embarrassment of the Justice Department, which has been heavily advocating community-oriented policing, the study also found a small statistical correlation suggesting that the number of ambushes was higher in places with a greater level of community-oriented policing activities.

    It called the finding “confounding,” but asserted that “it is not within the realm of any plausible theory that community oriented policing is a contributing factor to violence against the police.” Rather, it said the correlation may be due to incomplete data or the fact that such policing techniques tend to be applied in communities where violence is already high.

    Factors that lowered the risk of police ambushes were higher education levels among police recruits and the use of cameras mounted on police cars, which provide a deterrent on both officer and citizen behavior, the report said.

    While the ambushes cited in the report included both fatal and non-fatal incidents, Davis expressed particular concern about the fatalities.

    “We know that the murder of a police officer in the line of duty is an assault on the entire community. However, when that murder is a result of an ambush, it also attacks the very foundation of our democracy,” he said.

    Copyright 2015 Tribune Co.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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