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August 2010

By Chris Upchurch - Suarez International Staff Instructor This last weekend I took the Suarez International Close Quarters Battle (CQB) class from Gabe Suarez in Prescott. This class is a rather unusual: a course on how to defend yourself with a firearm that involves absolutely no shooting. Not even airsoft guns for force-on-force. As Gabe put it, this class is more like chess than UFC. Unlike most of the more advanced SI classes there is no rolling around on the ground with a rifle or wrestling with another guy while you try to get your pistol into play, this class has a much more intellectual bent. There is certainly a physical component, but it involves how to move into a position where you can shoot, rather than how to hit or shoot someone. The goal of this class is to give students the skills they need to maneuver into a position where any gunfight will be as one-sided as possible. The class had ten students in it, including three SI Instructors: Richard Coplin, Jon Payne, and myself. One of the... Read more →


I know all about how pistol fights tend toward being close and fast. However, there have been several instances where a long shot could have saved the day. I recall reading statements from some witnesses of various “Active Shooters” detailing how they saw the shooter twenty-five, or forty yards away reloading his rifle. And there have also been instances where the lack of skill, or the lack of confidence, on the part of police officers to take a longer than usual shot could have stopped the action and saved the day. I know a story about officers who were within 15 yards of a fully armored rifle-armed active shooter who did not try to fire head shots for fear of missing. I think that while we should definitely prioritize the close range problem, we should not ignore the possibility of the longer shots. We have pushed our Advanced Close Range Gunfighting students out to 200 yards with CCW carry pistols. I know the "close range" thing sounds like a misnomer, but we do plenty of close and fast point shooting... Read more →


Fighting in houses...or fighting in your house can take on many forms depending on your mission. Having clarity of mission is essential so you know how to comport yourself in each event. I want to be very clear that this is one of the most dangerous activities that a homeowner may encounter. Sadly, most training out there is limited to the police application, which I call “hunt the burglar”. This has very little in common with much of what you may need to do if you are not in that line of work. Basing our focus on the armed civilian CCW operator we can identify several possible mission profiles and tactical skills needed for fighting in houses. 1). Holding Ground. This is the most common home defense type scenario. Think of the classic scenario where a homeowner is awaken by a strange sound indicating a break in. They barricade themselves in the bedroom with the old double barreled shotgun, issue the classic warning, “I have a gun” and then call the police. We hear stories like this all the time.... Read more →