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October 2011

By Chris Upchurch, Suarez International Staff Instructor Earlier this month I had the opportunity to assist with the Force on Force class that Randy Harris taught here in Columbia, SC. Force on Force was one of the very first S.I. classes I took back in 2007. While the fundamentals are still the same, the class has evolved quite a bit since then. The other host for the class was fellow S.I instructor Alex Nieuwland. We were also joined by S.I. Staff Instructor J.D. Lester. Both of them took the course as students. There were nine other students, including some repeat customers from Alex and my previous courses in Columbia. Most were from South Carolina or neighboring states, but a few came from as far afield as Pennsylvania and Missouri. I brought my usual FoF gear. I ran a pair of KWA airsoft Glock 17s in Archangel holsters. Not only does a class like this give a good chance to practice dual carry, I also find that it takes two airsoft guns to keep one running. They may look like Glocks,... Read more →


By: Greg Nichols, Suarez International Staff Instructor The more I train people, and train with people, the more I notice how many are afraid of their own firearm. I find I keep running into folks who coddle their gun like they think they are going to break it or handle it like it‘s going to bite them and I find it to be a strange phenomenon that inhibits positive control of the firearm. I find this phenomenon to be more prevalent in regards to hand guns than in rifles or shotguns. So the only causes I can figure are two, proximity to the muzzle and overall size of the firearm. I see people cautious of over-hand racking of the slide, riding the slide, rapid fire, loading, reloading, malfunction drills, and draw stroke. To me a firearm is no more dangerous than a blender, toaster or automobile and I find myself wondering at the caution used in its manipulation. A firearm is a mechanical device with a predictable result and is no more dangerous than a blender. As long as you... Read more →


Dealing With PESTS (Part 5 - More Practical Application)

This is going bad quickly. He was looking kind of nervous. The fence and the verbage did not dissuade him and now I'm getting forward pressure fom him as he gives some classic "facial grooming". He shows me the triangle as he reaches for something...no time to stand around....get off the X and do something ...here we Explode off the X Acquire Better Position Take the Fight to them and we FIGHT! Getting off the X and the ruthless counter attack completely disrupts the bad guy's OODA loop...... a burst to the chest from the TSD Glock completely disrupts the bad guy's internal organs..... Now we Assess (is he down? Did it work? ) Scan (Does he have friends? Are they behind me?) Top Off (How's my Ammo?) Instead of turning my back on him I orbit around him to check my 6 so I can Scan, Topoff and Treat injuries or Talk to who needs to be talked to without ever losing sight of the bad guy. Read more →


Dealing with PESTS (Part 4 - Practical Application)

STOP encroachment.......and Tape Loop.... Step to 3 or 9..... We see where stepping off the X and off the line of force now opens up what was previously behind us. If we allow ourselves to get sucked into tunnelling in on the known threat the unknown might be maneuvering up on us......so step to the known threats flank as you talk to check your six! From here if they continue to show threat signs I will bust off the X to my 10 o'clock in order to stack them and limit the#2 man's ability to engage me. Hopefully he won't shoot through his buddy to hit me.............. Read more →


Dealing with PESTS (Part 3)

Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor Randy Harris At this point we have tried to evade and avoid we have stopped their encroachment and used the fence and our feet to stop their encroachment, get better position, and check our 6 o'clock. We have been working on deescalating the situation if possible. A fight we can avoid and walk away from is a fight won. If confronted with an agitated individual then maintaining a calm demeanor and making sure you do not instigate a fight may well be your best strategy. Be polite and try to break contact. We obviously want to avoid a streetfight with no rules if we can. But many victims get sucked into talking far longer than is productive or practical. There is a time to talk . There is a time to act. And there is not a whole lot of overlap between the two. Sometimes verbal deescalation is not possible. Sometimes ballistic deescalation is the right answer. If you need to fight you need to fight. If your attempt at verbal deescalation is going... Read more →


Dealing with PESTS (PART 2)

Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor Randy Harris A big part of recognizing the threat is understanding what to look for. Unfortunately while many self defense schools pay lip service to awareness many really do not offer any structure for dealing with it other than advice to "pay attention" and be able to "shoot tight groups". Unfortunately those are two differnet sides of the Grand Canyon with a huge chasm in between.You basicly set people up to maybe pick up on something that looks out of place and then their next link in the chain is to use their gun. If that is all you have in the tool box then you will likely shoot someone who did not need to be shot . The other end of the scale is "paralysis by analysis" where you wait far to long to act. That comes from not being familiar enough with what you are witnessing to make decisions in a timely manner. We do not have to wait until we can determine the caliber of his pistol by carefully measuring the... Read more →


Dealing with PESTS ( A comprehensive structure for Pre, Mid and Post Fight Issues)PART 1

Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor Randy Harris The subject of self defense is a broad one that encompasses many areas. There is not just one way to defend yourself. People can spend a lifetime working on one area or another and still there is much more to learn. Most people spend their training time working on a "delivery system" of one type or another. For some it is the gun, for others the knife, for many it is the empty hands and others might be the stick. When we look at delivery systems we really are looking at what we will use to end the fight. As our friend Sonny Puzikas says most people spend 95% of their time working on the last 5% of the solution. Having spent most of my life in pursuit of martial excellence I find this to not only be true, but also profound. No matter how hard you hit (which is important) and no matter how well you shoot (also important) the point where these attributes come into play is not at the... Read more →