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May 2011

Chris Upchurch – Suarez International Staff Instructor Suarez International’s CQB: Fighting in Structures class is a bit different from most classes we teach. It involves no live fire and, at most venues, no force on force either. While there are some physical aspects to it, this is much more of a mental skill. As Gabe puts it, CQB is more like chess than MMA. Because CQB is a non-shooting class, we don’t have any prerequisites for it. There’s no safety reason to require any previous experience or advanced gunhandling skills. That said, to get the most out of it, you need to develop certain shooting skills to go with your CQB skillset. The shooting skills that go into CQB draw on a variety of SI classes. Perhaps foremost are our point shooting classes. During CQB you’ll make heavy use of the retention continuum and non-standard shooting positions. Full extension with a hard focus on the sights is going to be the exception rather than the rule. Point Shooting Gunfight Skills, Point Shooting Progressions, and Advanced Point Shooting Progressions teach the... Read more →


- Suarez International Staff Instructor Jon Payne I have been asked many times, “What classes should I take next"? If you’re reading this there is a good chance you’ve gone through all the steps to acquire a handgun, obtained your CHL (if needed), bought quality concealment gear, and you’re ready to take a basic course such as Defensive Pistol Skills (DPS). DPS is where it all begins. DPS introduces you to the fundamentals of marksmanship, basic weapon manipulation/gun handling skills, and immediate action. DPS also cultivates the Fighting Spirit or Warrior Mindset. By completing DPS you now have the same skills that are taught to police cadets and members of the military that are issued a sidearm. You should have confidence in your sidearm and your abilities to keep it in the fight. DPS is what I call a very good start. With a solid foothold with your fundamentals you’re ready to start learning. So what’s next? Close Range Gunfighting (CRG) is Suarez International’s flagship course and an intermediate class. In order to attend this class you have to know... Read more →


By Uli Gebhard Suarez International Staff Instructor California Back in 1999 I bought a Bushmaster AR-15 with a 16” A2 upper, just a couple of weeks prior to the California Assault Weapons Ban restricting the access to this type of firearm. One of my friends did the same and we took the rifles out to sight them in. I used the factory iron sights on mine and got good hits out to 200 meters. He tinkered around with a cheap cantilever mount for his red dot and ended up spending more time torqueing down the mount and red dot than sending rounds downrange. Nonetheless, when the red dot worked and was properly zeroed, it allowed getting on target very quickly. This was an intriguing upgrade. I ordered a very basics red dot sight together with a see-through mount for the carry handle and shooting my little AR became cheating in style. The combination proved itself a couple of weeks later when I went through an Urban Rifle Course with this combination – Even though the red dot was nowhere near... Read more →


Chris Upchurch – Suarez International Staff Instructor In Part 1 of this series, we talked about how many people are under the false impression that CQB is just for SWAT team members and the military. In reality, these skills are vital to anyone who owns a firearm for self-defense, particularly for the bedrock purpose of home defense. Unfortunately, many firearms instructors seem to be under this same false impression. Often their CQB classes are limited to law enforcement and military only. Even when they’re open to the common citizen, the techniques and tactics they teach are often predicated on military or SWAT tactics. Learning how to clear a room as part of a team of five guys wearing body armor and armed with automatic weapons and flashbangs doesn’t have a whole lot of practical application when something goes bump in your living room in the middle of the night. More realistically, citizens are not going to have the full panoply of tactical gear, just a pistol, or if you’re at home perhaps a rifle or shotgun. We’re probably going to... Read more →


Your Sights Are Training Wheels

Your Sights Are Training Wheels By Randy Harris - Suarez International Tier One Instructor I am a sighted fire shooter. No doubt. And I am a point shooter. I simply shoot however I need to in order to hit the target as quickly as I can no matter what the target or how far the target. But some see it as an all or nothing, either/or proposition. If you read the internet or gun magazines any at all you are bound to run into a discussion where one side argues that only sighted fire is effective because point shooting is too inaccurate and the other argues that sighted fire is for games and that only unsighted fire is fast enough in a reactive situation. Frankly those discussions bore me. The participants seem to be more interested in defending their "gun religion" than actually becoming a better more complete shooter. The truth is somewhere in between, and this is how I see it. First thing right off the bat we need to look at is context. When I discuss this I... Read more →


Chris Upchurch – Suarez International Staff Instructor To some, Close Quarters Battle (CQB) seems like a very high speed-low drag skillset. Something more suited to SWAT teams and the military than the common citizen interested in self-defense. This could not be further from the truth. One of the biggest reasons people buy firearms is for home defense. Knowing how to fight in this environment and to use your home’s ‘terrain’ to your advantage is vital. Consider the following scenarios: You are awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of breaking glass, followed by the alarm going off. You grab a long gun, take a covered position with the muzzle pointing at the door, and call 911. The intruder will either leave, be apprehended by the police, or walk right into your ambush. This sort of thing is what many firearms trainers advise, and it really is the best case scenario when it comes to home defense. Unfortunately it’s not always possible. If we change just one small detail, the whole scenario changes dramatically. . . . You... Read more →