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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 →

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? 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 →

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 →

Fitness, in OUR context is not just about lifting big heavy weights and having women send you "friend requests". It is a complete level of existence where the fit 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 looking like a shrunken Tank Abbot 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, will send a similar message. The job of the Combat Instructor is to convey information clearly, cleanly and concisely. Consider... Read more →

Pistol In Quartata is a term we use to define a movement matrix for extremely close range restricted movement combat. The term "In Quartata" means "out of line" and refers to a swordsman's move out of line with his adversary's attack. Moving off the line of attack is not new and has been a part of the fighting man's repertoire for ages. We've proved it, both on the street and in force on force training, that it is possible to create a situation where the adversary may miss you with his first shot, while you will likely hit with yours. This can be done by moving dynamically off the line of attack when the fight begins. There are no guarantees in any fight, but we've shown students repeatedly that if you stand your ground and attempt to shoot it out like Matt Dillon in 'Gunsmoke', the odds of simultaneously being hit by your adversary are very high. Conversely, this changes dramatically when you move off the line of attack. Using your available battle space to your best advantage is always... Read more →


I did this in Greece, at the Acropolis. I was carrying a Spyderco Yojimbo. To give you an idea of NPE, think of a bunch of TSA guys operating airport type scanners and a few Greek Cops walking around to and fro with MP5s hanging loosely on sling. I walk up to the line and see the detectors scanning everyone. No show of fear, only an exaggeration of frustration at the delay. I announce I am going to take some pics of the outside before we go in (one of our code words). I walk back, snap a few...walk back a little more, snap a few...and so on. In the meantime I am scanning the guards, the presence of cameras, or anything that I may need to be aware of. No big deal. Eventually I sit by a garden wall, acting tired and affected by the heat, and act as if to tie my shoe. As I begin my sitting motion, I covertly palm the knife out from my belt. As I sit, I stick it behind me, into the... Read more →

In this third part of the series on breaching we will address some techniques for bypassing common perimeter barriers such as fences and walls, as well as a few “soft” or covert entry considerations and then discuss various breaching tools and how to carry them. Perimeter barriers are unique in that some level of stealth is often desired when breaching them, so as not to provide early warning to an adversary that an assault is taking place prior to the main assault breach kicking off. This again brings us into a discussion of tactics and will vary from target to target. Fences Fences are among the most common perimeter barriers that we encounter due to their relative low cost and ease of construction. Naturally fences come in many forms, from simple wood and cattle fences that are only a couple meters tall to full on wire topped security fences. Among the considerations when looking for a perimeter breach point is to look for areas that are at least partially obscured from observation; also look for any natural weak points such... Read more →

I know for one, I would cancel any appointment to be right there the next time a couple of active shooters decide to go out in their "blaze of glory". I kinda look forward to being there one day. I suppose that simply horrifies the mediocrity seekers. Oh well, I don't live for their approval. But what do you tell the non-combatants in your family. You know...the underage ones that simply will not be carrying weapons? Here is what I have said. And I stand by it. School or any public place. 1). At such times, the ONLY authority there is mine...whether I am there or not. 2). You will NEVER get in trouble with anyone for doing what I told you to do as long as I am alive. 3). My standing orders are to RUN as fast as possible to the nearest exit. 4). Any slow people - push them hard out of the way or trample over them on your way out. I'd rather you were rude and alive. 5). And that includes anyone including teachers -... Read more →

In America we have something called "freedom of speech". Anyone can speak their least in theory. This is a good thing of course because in other places around the world one cannot. In matters of politics and of faith and even in esoteric matters such as how to cook chili, everyone's opinions may have equal value. However, that does not extend to everything, even if we think it does. Of course, what we are discussing here is the issue of techniques and methods for use in personal combat. Today, anyone with a computer can pen their deep thoughts and most advanced techniques almost as fast as they occur to them. What is a true seeker of truth to do? How does such a student separate the good techniques from the bad...the useful from the unworkable? Here is a simple way to do that. First one must consider what their physical and mental state is likely to be in a true life and death gunfight. Unless you have been in multiple life and death fights you really don't know, so... Read more →