TRADECRAFT/OUTLAW SKILLS Feed

When I teach a class I tell the students that my job is to teach them at three levels. One is to teach the mind as they need to know why they will be doing what they are doing. I encourage questioning and there are reasons why we do what we do…and they must understand those reasons. Two is the hands, or technical mastery. And three, most importantly is the heart, or how they will feel. How they will feel? Yes, because I am not a technical instructor teaching them the intricacies of bullet golf. I am a teacher of killers. And I am teaching them how to kill evil men…and all the intricacies of that action, whether internal or external. A huge part of this is what has been labelled mind set, but there is so much more to it than just a mere thought process. Theodore Roosevelt, a life all men should study, wrote: All men who feel any power of joy in battle know what it is like when the wolf rises in the heart. He was... Read more →


Continuing on the pivotal discussion a few days ago, on counter protest driving, I want to further elaborate some points and add a few new ones. Look at the lead image here. This was a vehicle that was not interested in the plight of the modern snowflake, did not care about some urban thug shot by the police, nor any of the nonsense that permeates the "protest culture". They edged forward moving, not ramming, and at some point, simply drove away. That is the simplest solution to this. One comment asked what would happen if one of these people decided to throw themselves under your tires. The answer is simple...you cannot see down there so how would you know? But moving on. So avoiding these is still the wisest course. Not because we care for the right of the militant liberals to interfere with your day (us caring about their rights at this point is laughable), but simply because it is a hassle and potentially a life threatening event. So not being there is the best option. How do we... Read more →


First I want to discuss the uses and necessities of this. As I type, I have a Glock 17 Pistol in my belt. It has a threaded barrel, and an RMR (RM06)...but no weaponlight. Why not...don't ALL weapons need lights? No, they do not. Let me restate that. Not all weapons need light, and specially not all pistols. Ostensibly, the purpose for a weapon mounted light...or in this discussion, a pistol mounted light, is to identify the nature of a potential threat/target obscured by darkness. In other words, to give you more information than that which you are currently operating on. A clear and present threat does not need to be identified any further. If you live alone and a large figure in moving down the darkened hallway telling you in an unfamiliar voice that he is going to kill you, you do not need to identify him before emptying your high capacity magazine into his face. If in twilight, on a city street, a couple of bad guys "prison strut" over to you, with a "Yo motherf*cker!" while reaching... Read more →


I have little regard for tradition when it comes to winning a fight, or training to do so. Take traditional concealed carry. Much of the common held thought involves a strong side holster with off-side ammo pouches, carried on a heavy leather belt (or Nylon Tactical Belt) hidden under a photographer's vest. Such attire, while technically legal (the gun IS covered), is hiding nothing. Understand that there is definitely a tactical reason to hide the gun far and above the legal requirement to do so. The legal requirements are tactically uninteresting, we want to know the combat reasons why its important. Simply speaking, popular CCW attire marks you as gun carrier, and an adversary seeking to dominate an environment that you occupy will simply shoot you first. Consider a bank or other high profile location. Bad guys come in and look around. There, standing in the midst of a bunch of Gucci wearing latte swilling yuppies are you, bedecked in your Royal Robbins Tuxedo, Wilderness Black Tactical Belt, NRA Cap, and GSG9 boots, with that tell-tale Surefire lanyard dangling beneath... Read more →


Fitness, in OUR context is not just about lifting big heavy weights and having strange women send you "friend requests". It is a complete level of existence where the fit and dangerous man or woman can not only execute daring physical feats, but can carry on an intelligent conversation or speak contemporaneously with authority and eloquence on a given subject. And in the context of the "Combat Instructor", the man must be an expert at communication ("shooting instructor" has connotations that I don't want). The man that shows up to a class populated by a squad of CEOs, Doctors, Diplomats and Lawyers wearing a shirt that has been on his body for the last 30 days, looking like Ragnar Lothbrock and announces, "Yo motherf******! Load your blasters and lets **** some targets!!!" is sending the message that he is uneducated, borderline illiterate, and raises the question of the value of anything he has to offer. Similarly, the man that has not paid attention to his development in speaking and attempts to bluff his way through using words he himself does... Read more →


There is something called "a fighter's understanding". The many variables, tempos, intervals of time and distance, and nuances of the fight can take a lifetime to understand fully. Those who have been involved in combative disciplines for a lifetime know all about these. But as a teacher, I have to spend time putting these understandings and these nuances into words so to pass along the knowledge. And as I was working with the Junior Staff on his epee work recently I found myself having to verbalize these, as Sir Richard Burton called them, "sentiments of the sword". The fencing school we attend has not come to terms with the differences of classical execution, and fighting, or in this case, competitive applications. The footwork is different, the parries are different and many of the methods of setting up the attack are different as well. I have seen it all before, in Karate, and in the world of the gun. To see this dynamic again, in a totally different world, makes me think that there is some sort of developmental gap that... Read more →


Undoubtedly an extremely controversial topic, we used to work it routinely. It involves the concept of shooting an adversary directly through an interior wall. As I recall, and this is back I think early 1990s...a SWAT guy was shot by a bad guy through the wall, which brought up the discusion. In police, and sadly I suspect in your world as well, a great deal of learning takes place once something bad happens. In any case...it was as if nobody had ever thought of that back then so of course, the experimentation was on. The hard part is that urban dwellings may as well be made of paper for all the protection they offer. In fact, if one was to look at it that way it would lead to clearer thinking with tactics. Some guys use that as an indictment of the "stack" tactic, but that is wrong in my opinion. the constraints of the interior environment do place certain limits on how one can move, and specially on how a team can move. Problem = How to keep a... Read more →


All fighting men recall Bruce Lee's famous line in Enter The Dragon. "Like a finger pointing at the moon". And then Lao gets a Di Nozzo right across the back of the head for focusing on the finger and missing the point. The American gun community is like Lao, Bruce Lee's wayward student. Some one told them to be wary of placing the finger on the trigger at the wrong time and like Lao, they missed to point and grew into a trigger-fearing mob of liability freaks wanting 20 pound trigger pulls. If only we could give them all the old Di Nozzo (see the show NCIS) across the melon. By fearing the trigger, they develop a fear of shooting, and then a fear of everything. One wonders if the look under the bed for errant triggers before they go to bed. I want to examine this finger-trigger fear and shed light on the matter. My focus is simple…to win my gunfight and to help my good guys win their gunfights. A department’s liability averse policy is not even of... Read more →