GABE SUAREZ ARTICLES Feed

Thusfar we have shared what I think are the all important aspects of the study of gunfighting. We have taken all the steps on the map from developing the proper attitude, and self-image, and what that leads to, as well as the sort of training that will best insure your victory in the fight itself. As a point of credibility, not only do I have personal hands on experience with this, but so do my students. I have been teaching these concepts now for twenty years. None of my students, many of whom are private citizens as well as police officers, have ever lost a gunfight, nor have any of them been jailed for their actions during the gunfight. And it is that last point that this next segment of the study is about. The so-called aftermath. The Aftermath (followed by sinister music) is big business. Like the relationship between doctors and pharma that keeps America sick and drugged, the Aftermath-based businesses help keep America afraid, ignorant, and in real danger of the law after a shooting. Both of those... Read more →


I have been around a long time. In fact, I bought my first pistol when the majority of the Youtube Commandos were still swimming around in their father's nutsack. I have seen many trends and new things come and go, and I have the apparently rare perspective in this "industry" of knowing what killing an armed enemy up close is like. In short, the ability to repeatedly hit him in vital areas hard and - did I say repeatedly - repeatedly, is important. The needs for killing the man that wants to kill you, before you yourself are killed trumps policy, tradition, ideas of propriety, and anything else. This industry is often resistant to technology. We see the old instructor (usually younger than me) pat his belly and announce, "all ya gotta do is train more and watch yer sights", as if he was such a deadly man-killer dropping a diamond of hearsay wisdom. "Its the indian and not the arrow son". Well, here is the reality. An open minded indian of means will not make do with an antiquated... Read more →


We hear it from time to time. It is a mistake, but like lies, mistakes repeated over and over, and never corrected, tend to become the perception of correctness. The issue is the idea that all training is good. It is not. Not all training is good...and not all trainers provide valuable training. The same can be said for tactics and methods of operating the weapon. "Its just another tool for the box". No...it is mental garbage that you have just injected into you mind like a junkie injects heroin. Once that trash is in the mind, it won't leave. And anything you program vis-a-vis repetition, has been installed in your program. So no...all training is not good. Only good training is actually good. And what is that? It is what is actually useful and applicable to your daily operations. Doing a reload, for example, like the third man in a stack on a direct action team with endless support and endless supply may make the typical gun student's groin twitchy, but has absolutely zero bearing on how he should... Read more →


“There are things in heaven and earth”, says the poet…that human kind yet doesn’t understand or is able to explain. But the lack of scientific understanding does not invalidate the existence of “those things”. One of those areas we have been deep in study, and for close to thirty years now, is how a mental attitude and established self-expectations translate into live physical performance in combat. Recently some of us were discussing “fear”. The word itself is as inaccurate as the word “love”. We love our mothers and a nice single malt…but not quite in the same way. Yet the word is the same in the English language. Same for the word “fear”. Those words tend to create physical manifestations, which I believe in turn have a deep effect of physical performance. Thinking in words creates physical expressions of those words. Ask someone to show you a “fear face” and they will take on a frightened, submissive, hiding posture, like a child hiding under the covers from the monster in the closet. I believe that such physical expressions of thoughts... Read more →


Amazing things happen when preparation meets opportunity. The issue we have is the lack of preparation in professionals as well as private citizens. Oh, they may be well prepared to run a stage imitating an overweight John Wick, but not for what we are talking about. Bruce Lee, in the landmark movie Enter The Dragon (look it up kiddies and watch it), after one of his adversaries broke a board, said simply yet eloquently, "Boards don't hit back". In our study we might rephrase as, "cardboard targets and steel plates...don't shoot back". There is a natural and momentary hesitation that takes place the first time you look over your sights and see another breathing, living human being rather than a training target. It is almost as if the brain is questioning the reality of the very foreign image it is seeing. And then the doubts come in. "Am I correct, and I legal, will I get into trouble, will I be arrested, fired, sued, should I shoot, should I...." At some point along this internal dialog the bad guy realizes... Read more →


TACTICS - THE ART OF MANEUVERING AGAINST AN OPPONENT, AND TOWARD A SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE. Tactics is proactive and preemptive. Tactics is not reactive. We have a set of skills for the reactive event that help prevent you from getting shot when you didn't expect the fight. Combat proven and street tested skills that have kept us and other alive when by all rights we should have died by gunfire. As essential as those are, they are not tactics. Those skills are habituated responses established by extensive repetitions when a stimulus is presented. This is just like the martial arts people have done for centuries. As our respected staff member states, gun-fighting is karate at 1200 feet per second. But karate is not tactics either. Tactics come before the shots are fired. But tactics are not for leaving the fight. As we said, all you need for that is a suspicion and the willingness to act upon it by leaving. Tactics are created and justified by an understanding of both the dynamics of the fight as well as what is justified... Read more →


In a previous life I was hard at work in the study of CQB, and was an Assaulter in my department's special weapons team. During that time I trained with a senior SWAT sergeant at LA County's SEB named Gary Rovarino*. Gary was not only gifted in his craft, but also a student of karate which gave us a common language and made us instant friends. At a regional school he was teaching, Gary defined tactics brilliantly - "Tactics is the art of maneuvering against an opponent, and toward a specific objective". To add to this, tactics is the physical and dynamic embodiment of strategy. Strategy is a thought process and involves thinking and looking forward to objectives. Tactics are physical and involve taking action to cause things to happen. To put it in practical terms, strategies are conceived at the Pentagon, and tactics are developed by the Marines. To examine tactics we first need to establish strategies. And in the context of our discussions, strategies for the lone operator, CCW-equipped, regular guy. Presented with a potential for danger or... Read more →


Uncertainty Kills. That is one of those truths from the street that, being irrelevant on the shooting range, rarely gets taught to students of the gun. Sure, there is lip service to color codes and so forth, but we address all of that in the self-image discussions don't we? Lions need no color codes. Here we are discussing a certainty of position and standing that clarifies the rules of combat - the rules under which you are justified in shooting another man to death - at a deep and almost cellular level. The moment when the pistol is drawn, when the red dot is suspended on the bridge of the bad guy's nose and your trigger finger begins to feel that first poundage of take-up on the trigger is a moment when we need a deep and clear certainty of action. Hesitation is the mechanism by which uncertainty kills. How can we be certain of our position and process of killing another man? And that is what we are talking about. After all the clever euphemisms..."stopping", "contacting", "defending from" are... Read more →


Thusfar I have exposed the myths held onto so dearly by a large segment of the gun world and the CCW world, I have discussed the all important development of the winner's, the warrior's self image. This self-image is of far greater importance than any mind set, color code, or anything else used to skirt the world of the mind in the fight. Now we will discuss how to train to develop the skills of the gunfighter. Gunfighting and Shooting are not the same things. Gunfighting and gun sports are not the same things. I will bet the average thug who has already killed a few other bad guys will utterly trash the average "grandmaster" sport shooter for whom the street fight is a foreign concept. Why? Because the killer knows how to kill and the gunfight is about killing, not about shooting a score. The concept of shooting for a score, or a "running a stage" is actually detrimental to street fighting skills. And doing one will not make you better at the other. Choose what you want your... Read more →


Fear is NOT a gift. Fear, no matter how many books it sells, it is an emotional reaction that leads to poor decisions and to over reaction. What we want instead is coolness under stress...now that is a gift. But far too many gun people are driven by fear. Their training is based on being afraid and their entire defense posture is built entirely on fear because that is what those who trained them knew best. One generally teaches what one knows and understands. But fear-aggression often leads to fear-shooting. And fear-shooting is rarely clean, well done, or justified shooting. The attitude that is most desirable is not the snarling little fear-aggressive dog with the emotionally-driven outburst of words, and often over-reactive gunshots. The attitude that is more desirable is the attitude of the predator. Now by "predator" I am referring to the animal kingdom example that differentiates the snarling little ankle biter dog, and the wolf on the hunt. The Predator does not show emotional arousal, or anger. The Predator does not yell or posture and does not develop... Read more →