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August 2014

I have gotten a few PM requests asking my thoughts on or what I keep in my “Bug out bag”. Personally I don’t care for the term Bug out bag or I’m Never Coming Home bag or really any of that stupid YouTube, doom’s day preppers, tinfoil hat bullshit. Now having said that; do I have a pre-packed bag that lives in my vehicle or goes with me when I travel? Yes certainly I do, as do many of the guys that I work with. However the purpose of having such a bag is one of convenience and insurance. I have no Walter Mitty fantasies about what life would be like after the end of the world as we know it, or during a total breakdown of law and humanity; sorry guys but I have better things to do then waste my time or energy on such things. However I also try to be pragmatic about life and as one who has done just a little bit of traveling or rather who has been around and has seen both the... Read more →


The two suspicious characters slowly advancing on me were between me and the door. The one on the left was freaking huge. The guy on the right was much smaller, but he was so close to the wall that I could not get through on that side. The area behind me was filled with clutter and offered no way out. My only way out was that doorway. GUN! Both of them were starting to draw what looked very much like pistols. I’m fast, but I knew from experience that it’s not fast enough to outdraw someone once they are already drawing, and DEFINITELY not fast enough to outdraw two guys. So I leapt forward towards the gap between the wall and the huge guy. Using my momentum and the wall for leverage, I drove him into his accomplice with my left arm while my right hand grabbed for my own pistol, which I carried in an AIWB (appendix carry inside the waistband) holster on my right side. I cleared the hem of my concealment garment one-handed, and felt the familiar... Read more →


First the ground work. Team door entries. There are a number of different types of entry configuration for team entry. The only hard rule is that you want to get two guns into the room simultaneously. Why? Simple...you cannot look two directions at one time and having two guns enter allows each man's back to be covered. We go into that at great length as well as the advantages of the simultaneous cross over. But Murphy was an architect and many times, the situation is not optimal requiring modified entry tactics. One such tactic has been the button hook entry. Picture a doorway, and an operator positioned along the wall to the left of that doorway. His job is to enter through the doorway and dominate the left side of the room. Can you see it? Its usually shown with each man on different sides of the door, although it might be used by the second man, after the first man enters on a diagonal or direct line. Lets discuss just the one man now for clarity of subject. Traditionally,... Read more →


The next installment of this series was going to be how to spot the other guy that is armed, but I received so many comments and questions about the issue of carrying concealed in a vehicle that I moved up the segment on that and made it "Part 2". I think before we discuss any of the dynamics of carrying concealed in the car, we should look at the bigger picture, taking a mission-oriented focus rather than a tool-oriented focus. And that is dealing with a threat from the car. DRIVE OR SHOOT? Let's try an exercise. Picture in your mind the tables that are often used to estimate the terminal ballistics of a particular cartridge. Factors like velocity, mass, bullet design all are compiled into some program and a suitability factor is then issued to the cartridge. Now take all of those values and alter them for a different kind of result. Instead of data for a cartridge, input data for a Ford (or a Chevy, Volvo, or whatever). Talk about a Stopping Power Index!! A vast percentage of... Read more →


Gabe Suarez built his gunfight training around the concept of dynamic movement while deploying a weapon. If you are facing an attack, and you find yourself without a weapon, dynamic movement is perhaps the only means of survival. Immediate, explosive and dynamic movement is absolutely necessary and with proper technique, just might make the difference in overcoming the odds when they are stacked against you. The value of explosive dynamic movement is made crystal clear during Suarez Force on Force classes. Of all the gun classes I’ve taken, I truly believe that Force on Force training taught me more about being a highly effective gunfighter than any other class. You will learn not only how to move and deploy your weapon against an adversary, but just as important you will learn how to increase your chances of survival if attacked by anyone with any kind of weapon, even if you find yourself without a weapon. In FOF training you will have the opportunity to experience getting shot, and although not lethal, it is still a very unpleasant experience, thus the... Read more →


This is the first in a series of articles discussing how to carry a weapon without detection, as well as how to detect others that may be carrying weapons. I have been carrying concealed firearms all of my adult life. I carried in spite of regulations before my life in law enforcement. I carried officially during off duty hours and while working various plain clothes as well as undercover details as a police officer in Southern California. Later, I carried weapons as a "private businessman" in various non-permissive environments overseas in Africa, and Latin America as well as Europe. There are some things to consider and some points to always observe. 1). Always carry a gun, the biggest gun you can conceal (which means "hide") for the job at hand. If you cannot carry a big gun, carry a small gun. A Walther PPK in 32 ACP in the hand is better than a Glock 21 at home. 2). If you can't carry a gun, carry a knife. Actually, you should always have a knife whether you have a gun... Read more →


Download Alaska Baseball Bat Incident There are times when a video comes out that serves as an awesome training video. This is just one of those videos that I recently came across. First and foremost, this is not a critique or my poor attempt to "armchair quarterback" the officers in this video. I'm a huge believer in not judging unless you were there. However, I also think that a wise person learns from their mistakes. A wiser person learns from the mistakes of others. I think the officers in this video, if they could do a few things differently, would. Watch the video and then continue reading below. I am going to present some of my thoughts about how this incident could have gone better for the good guys. Clear & Present Danger: Was there a clear and present danger? ABSOLUTELY!!!! A blind man would have no problem articulating, without hesitation, that the "bad guy" here was charging with a bat in a "I'm going to smash your F'ing brains out!" position. Is there any reason to sit and analyze... Read more →


I recall a student I had many years ago. He was a kenjutsu aficionado. Kenjutsu, for those who missed that day, is the old martial version of samurai swordsmanship. In any case, after training he remarked on the similarity in concept of what I was teaching him and his sword studies. I'd never seen a true traditionl early period Japanese sword form so I asked him to show me. Immediately he grabbed up a katana and demonstrated. He drew the sword, cut once and twice and sheathed. That was it. Astounded at the brevity, I asked him about it. He remarked that simplicity had a beauty and sophistication all its own. The old fighters did not need many complex methods, just a very few that they could pull off any time, any place and with quickness and accuracy. Flash forward a few years to a conversation I had with a Tier One staff member. He'd worked in the middle east in a PSD for many years. He related about the time when he worked with Gurkhas. Always a bladesman, he... Read more →


As discussed several times before, gunfights are broken down into two categories: 1) Proactive and 2) Reactive. I categorize pistol malfunction clearing or better yet, pistol manipulations, into these two categories as well. An example of a proactive manipulation would be the proactive (tactical) reload. This post is not, however, about proactive reloading. I wish to cover the reactive manipulations and explain why I teach them the way I teach them. The reactive manipulations include the "tap-rack-shoot" and the "rip-reload-rack-shoot" techniques. I know that there are several names for these techniques, but I will refer to them by these names. The “tap-rack-shoot” is often times referred to as the “immediate action drill” because when the pistol stops shooting, we immediately tap the bottom of the magazine to make sure it is fully seated in the magazine well. Second, we rack the slide to eject a bad round and/or load a new round into an empty chamber. If the “tap-rack-shoot” doesn't work, we immediately perform a “rip-reload-rack-shoot”. Basically, we grip the bottom of the magazine, any way that we can, and... Read more →


Those who are familiar with the modern technique understand the concept of stand and deliver. This is the tactic of the good guy, upon seeing a lethal threat, immediately and rapidly drawing his pistol and placing effective fire on the bad guy--without moving off the "X." Of course students familiar with Suarez International Close Range Gunfighting and Force on Force understand that the fundamental flaw with this technique is that in reality, you stand and die. One of the drills we do in force on force is for each student, one with pistol drawn, the other drawing their pistol to both attempt to shoot each other with Airsoft while standing in place. In the force on force drill each student invariably shoots the other with a little plastic pellet; however this is not what happens in real life. We recently conducted an experiment with 100 different trials. We had four participants: one advanced shooter, one intermediate, one somewhat trained, and one basically untrained. The advanced shooter has studied the modern technique for 30+ years, attended all of Suarez International Close... Read more →