We received our first shipment of the Trijicon SRS sights. We got the model with the integral Bobro mount. There is another unit that comes with the "Colt Style" double screw Quick Detach, but if it is mounted correctly, will neither detach, nor will it do so quickly. We opted for the proven QD from Bobro instead.
On first inspection, the SRS seems bulletproof. Some will want to compare this to the Aimpoint Micro Series, but the two red dots are not in the same genres. A better size comparison would be with the Aimpoint Pro. The SRS is a quality piece of gear, and as I said, feels very strong. Critics will say it is heavy, but it is only 1 ounce heavier than the Aimpoint, with a far better mount. On the mount. Trijicon contracted with Bobro for the mount. No adjustments needed and no risk of gouging the rail. The Bobro-equipped SRS goes on easily, with one hand, and locks securely in place.
The SRS has 10 settings: 3 Nightvision, 7 varying levels of brightness including one super bright setting (useful in the bright AZ desert sun). This last one may seem trivial, but I have had Aimpoint dots become difficult to see in many of our rifle classes here at the height of the day. The ability to go "super bright" during the hours of noon to 1400 HRS out here is a great advantage.
The photovoltaic cell provides additional power should the batteries ever fail. This is a serious advantage for those who may find themselves away from civilization...and replacement batteries. Unlike the dual illumination models of the RMR, this is not fiber optic powered so there is no wash-out of the dot. Trijicon made sure the dot is always available when you need it. They set it up to run from the solar panel on top when there’s sunlight available, leaving the battery undrained until the sun goes down, only then does it draw on the battery. The optic’s power source should last several years this way.
The counter from Aimpoint would be that if an Aimpoint will last for 50,000 hours, that makes the SRS's technology a moot point. But does it? I have been running aimpoints for a very long time and their circuitry is second to none. In fact, they own the patents on that as far as I know. But yet, the 50,000 hour claim is dependant on the battery condition. It is well known that extremes in temperature will reduce battery life to a degree. Is that enough to worry about? I don't know, but having an onboard system that will provide power as long as the sun is in the sky is an undeniable benefit, and one that I think will be copied by the industry in short order.
The "eye box" of the SRS is extremely forgiving and it is very quick for dot acquisition. It reminds me of the Valdada Pitbull, but smaller and lighter. One almost forgets they are looking through an optic. For me, it was much faster to pick up the dot than the same rifle with a T1 Micro, or Pro. The glass is "Trijicon Clear", and the brightness controls are easy to access...much like the brightness adjustable Trijicon RMR red dots we put on pistols. The 1.75 MOA dot is small enough to engage targets out past 100 yards with precision.
The Trijicon SRS is one of those industry disrupting technologies that will inevitably change the way combat optics are designed. It is now available at One Source Tactical - $913.75. Prices are discounted for Warrior Talk Members.
Kneeling position is the next in our series. It is about as accurate, all things being equal, as squatting. Classic Kneeling is assumed as follows. You drop into a kneeling position with the leg approximately 90 degrees apart forming a right angle. Your butt rests on the heel of your foot. This last part is crucial, without which you may as well just stand. The bottom foot maybe flat, or on the toe as the situation requires. The forward arm is bent and the triceps just above the elbow rests on the knee.
An interesting attribute of kneeling is the ability to adapt to high or low angle shots. Although this is something rarely done on flat range training venues, we shoot at all angles and distances and even have a training site where we can suspend steel targets from a cliff so we can shoot at rising angles as well as declining angles.
Two areas will affect this. One is the hand position of the fore end. Farther out will decrese the angle while closer in to the magazine will increase it. As well the bottom foot can be articulated from "on the toe" to "on the flat", or even to a pseudo-sitting to raise the angle of the shot.
It was during the era of the LA Riots. My partner and I were moving down an alley in Los Angeles, moving to a position to intercept some bank robbers. It was dark, about 2200 HRS, and our investigation had tracked them down to a house our team was setting up on. On the other side of the alley...in the street, shots rang out. It didn't have anything to do with us. It was only a drive by shooting by some offended gang member shooting at another gang member. All it really meant was that we would need to move fast before the sirens and LAPD units alerted the bank robbers. But as trained men do when shots are fired close by, we went to ground. My partner took a knee directly atop a broken beer bottle, and had to be taken off scene for treatment. That was 1992...or 1993 before knee pads were in common usage.
The Squatting Position, for those that can pull it off, solves issues like that faced by my partner...lowering the profile on a hostile surface that you do not want to touch.
The Squatting also serves as an alternative to kneeling. It is faster in and out of than kneeling. It is not as accurate as kneeling due to the body being in minimal contact with the ground. Nonetheless, we have found it to be useful to about 300 yards.
To assume it, stand about 40 degrees to the target and simply squat down as if you were going to do a #2 in the woods. The hamstrings will be resting on the calves, and the back of both elbows (actually the triceps muscles) will be resting on the knees. See the photos. This is importnat without which attempting a squatting position is doomed to failure. The feet must remain flat on the deck.
The main detractor of the squat's utility is not a large belly as some would think, but rather a lack of flexibility in three areas. A lack of flexibility incidentally which will also limit the sue of kneeling and sitting. Those areas are the ankle, the hips, and the lower back. A lack of flexibility there is undesirable, not only from a fighting POV, but also simply from a health perspective.
by Dave Sauer, Suarez International Tier One Instructor
Like many of you, I spent years perfecting my “combat draw” in the static world of the Modern Technique. I prided myself on being able to perform a perfect Five Step Presentation and hit the head box from seven yards in under a second. Front sight, compressed surprise break, fluidly fast with no wasted movement. Text book. I shot 500 rounds a day five days a week. Starting with my hand on the gun I could do it in under a half second! (twice as slow as Bob Munden). I practiced so much I got tennis elbow in both elbows. I was a perfect example of “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I thought I was preparing myself for the fight. But I was wrong. Now I know. At least, I know more now than then, and now I think about the draw stroke from an entirely different perspective.
Let’s review a few foundational concepts from the Combative Technique. There are two types of gunfights: Proactive and Reactive. The tactical principle which determines where on the spectrum between these two your fight falls is Initiative. There are two priorities in a gunfight: Not getting shot, and stopping the threat with effective hits. Which of these two priorities is most important depends on how much initiative is in your favor. For the sniper whose presence is unknown by his target, initiative is fully in his favor. When he decides to take the shot all his focus is on making the hit, as he has little worry of being shot. On the other end of the spectrum, if you look up to see a drawn gun pointed at you with sinister intention, and your hand is not even on your gun, initiative is with your enemy and all your focus in that moment needs to be on not getting shot. How does one keep from getting shot? MOVE!
With the above concepts in mind, in what type of fight is speed of the draw a critical factor? By definition, in a Proactive fight, you will have your gun out before the fight starts because you are the one starting it. Clearly, it is the Reactive fight, when we are behind in the OODA race, that speed is of the essence. Yet, the first priority of a Reactive fight is to not get shot, which we do by moving, FAST! Based on these fight proven concepts, may I share a fundamental shift in thinking that I now understand and teach: Any fight based gunfighting training that does not teach dynamic, explosive movement as part of the draw is not preparing the student for the reality of the reactive fight. Stated another way: Any training that teaches the student to stand still while drawing under a time constraint is engraining a training scar that could get you killed when the reality of the fight demands movement to save your life.
Based on the realization of these realities, I now teach the take-off as part of count one of the draw stroke. Instead of the support hand coming to a position of interception at the midline for a two handed presentation, the support hand is used to athletically help propel one into the take-off and joins the grip if and when a two hand hold is available and appropriate for the situation; otherwise, one hand on the gun allows for the kind of movement needed when not getting shot is the priority. The training goal for teaching the reactive draw stroke this way is to engrain moving as the subconscious, default reaction to a threat requiring a draw. I want to engrain it so deep that one has to consciously override the body’s desire to explode off the X. Instructors do not reach this training goal by talking about it or showing it on a DVD. We engrain it through effectively coached repetition and an unwaivering insistence on adhereing to the proven process. This is what we do in our Close Range and Advanced Close Range Gunfighitng courses. Most schools teach a static, two handed draw then add movement almost as an after thought in their "advanced classes", and even then it isn’t dynamic, explosive movement. It is “controlled” contrived and inconsistent with the reality of the fight.
With a winning default programmed in, it is a small thing to substitute accessing another weapon choice with the movement: knife, stick, empty hand strike. The principle is the same, MOVE! Fix ‘em, Flank ‘em and F ‘em up with ferociously forward dynamic diagonals. And don’t stop ‘till they get enough.
Continuing with our study of field shooting positions we will discuss the sitting position. In the field, sitting will be far more useful to you than prone. A few weeks ago we ran an entire 100 - 1000 yard sniper class shooting almost exclusively from sitting. It is, once understood and developed, almost as accurate as prone. As well, it is far more adaptable in the field when dealing with broken terrain and/or elevation changes.
The sitting position most conducive to accuracy vis-a-vis bone support, muscle relaxation, and stability, is with the feet drawn up under the knees. Bring these as far as possible to gain elevation of the knees. This creates a shelf for the elbows to rest. Bring the support hand into position as needed. In this photo, I am shooting at fairly level targets, but if I was shooting at elevated or low angle targets, I would ammend my hand position as necessary. Popular CQB rifle shooting videos to the contrary, when shooting at distances, the elbos must be supported for the best results.
One issue with sitting is that some out-of-condition shooters may not be able to actually get into position. The sitting, however, can be practiced at any time even without a rifle. This will enhnace and increase the back flexibility necessary, which in turn will not only make the rifleman a better shooter, but will give him better health and mobility through increased flexibility.
This weekend I attended the Red Dot Combat Pistol School in Las Vegas, Nevada taught by Roger Phillips. Suarez International actually had three of these classes going on simultaneously this weekend. In addition to the one in Vegas we also had one in Winchester, Virginia taught by Jack Rumbaugh and one in Liberty Hill, Texas with John Chambers.
I brought my TSD Glock 17, with a Trijicon RMR mounted on a OEM Glock slide that we had milled. I also brought along an iron sighted Glock 17. The RMRed Glock rode in a BladeTech Archangel II holster, while I carried the standard G17 in a left-handed Dale Fricke Archangel.
All of the students in the class brought Glocks, including three G19s, one G17, a G35, and a Glock 17L. All of these had red dot sights, of course. All but one were TSD guns (about a 50/50 mix between OEM slides that we’d milled and TSD slides) with RMRs. One student brought a gun with a Burris FastFire in a dovetail mount that replaced the rear sight. I noticed that he tended to spend some time hunting for the dot, since unlike the TSD guns he didn’t have any iron sights to guide him to the dot.
The students themselves ran the gamut, from very little formal handgun training to a couple of Roger’s regular students.
We started out with the usual administrative stuff: signing waivers, promising on video not to sue, etc. Roger gave a brief overview of what we’d be doing in the class, then launched into his usual very thorough safety briefing. With the admin out of the way we headed downrange to the targets to have everyone shoot an initial group. The walk was rather long since Roger had reserved a 100 yard range (and tomorrow we’d be using every bit of it).
Roger had the students shoot the one-hole drill to establish an initial baseline for everybody’s skill level. This drill is simply shooting a five round slow-fire group from about five yards. As the name implies, the goal is to put all the rounds into a single hole. From the group it was clear that we had some folks in the class who were already very good sighted fire shooters. We also had some who could stand some improvement (but that is, after all, what everyone was here for).
With the initial baseline established, Roger went through the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship. This sort of extensive lecture on the fundamentals is something we usually do in our basic classes, not so much in a more advanced class like this. However, the goal of this class is to teach students how to take advantage of the full capabilities of a red dot pistol, including maximizing its long range potential. If you want to shoot a red dot pistol at 100 yards and beyond your fundamentals have to be absolutely perfect.
Roger went through each of the fundamentals in detail, starting with stance and grip. Red dot sights tremendously simplify sight alignment and sight picture, but we still have to execute the perfect trigger press and avoid recoil anticipation. Finish everything up with a good follow through and proper trigger reset.
We returned to the range and practiced the fundamentals dry, particularly concentrating on the trigger press. In order to give students a chance to practice their follow through and trigger reset, Roger had them pair up with one student doing their dry practice while the other worked the slide after each shot. After plenty of dry practice, Roger had the students shoot another one-hole drill to check on everyone’s progress.
We had a couple of students with recoil anticipation issues, so Roger set up a quick ball and dummy drill. Rather than dig out the dummy rounds, he just had the students hand him their gun and turn and face away while he messed with it. When he handed it back, they didn’t know if there was a round in the chamber or not. Sure enough, several folks displayed the classic muzzle dip of recoil anticipation.
After a short break, Roger went through the drawstroke. We did a couple of draw and shoot drills, concentrating on combining the draw with a very accurate shot. Next up were some multiple shot drills, starting with controlled pairs. These are not ‘double taps’ ‘hammers’ or ‘two round bursts’, they are two individually aimed shots, with a sight picture and follow through for each shot. Once the students had the pairs down, Roger had everyone draw and shoot a string of 5 shots in the same manner.
Over lunch, I showed off my FN FS2000. A few of the students shot it and Roger walked downrange and did some CQB drills with it. The bullpup’s short OAL and balance really open up some options when it comes to gunhandling. It really complements the SI approach to CQB perfectly.
After lunch we picked up with some point shooting. While the selling point of the red dot is it’s ability to take long range or very precise shots, we need to be able to cover the entire spectrum of possibilities. Up close, this means being able to point shoot. Having the RMR sitting on top of the slide does change some things as far as point shooting is concerned, but the basic principles remain the same.
Roger went through several different reference points you can use when point shooting an RMRed pistol. The first was shooting through the ‘saddle’ at the top of the RMR. This is analogous to looking over the top of the slide when shooting a non-RMRed gun. To aid in alignment, you can center the front sight in the window of the RMR.
After everyone shot from the saddle, Roger described using the upper corner of the RMR as a visual reference. Like shooting off the corner of the slide using a non-RMRed pistol, this works very well when going one-handed in the ‘half homie’.
Roger really preaches ‘parallel to the ground’ when teaching point shooting. It works well as an introductory level point shooting technique (with angling the gun up or down to get the desired elevation on the target as a more advanced application). Problem is, this doesn’t really work when you’re a foot or more taller than the target (not an issue that Roger usually encounters). One of the students in the class was about my height, so he encountered this issue and ended up putting some of his shots over the target. I showed him how to angle his arm downward to direct fire into the target’s center of mass.
While the corner of the RMR is the most obvious feature to use when you’ve got the gun rolled over into the half-homie, it’s only a single point, rather than a linear feature, so there are limits to how much visual assistance this gives you in pointing the gun. You can also use the corner of the slide (just as we do with a non-RMRed pistol. The RMR obstructs this a bit, but the technique is still usable, particularly with longer barreled pistols.
You can also use our standard point shooting technique of shooting over the top of the slide with an RMRed Glock. The trick is that you don’t want to be looking through the window of the RMR, since the lens of the RMR will distort your perspective a bit if you look through it at an angle. Instead, we look over the top of the RMR at the front of the slide and aim that big flat aircraft carrier at the target. This means we have to hold the gun a bit lower, about chin level rather than nose level.
Finally, Roger went through the TV Screen of Death technique. This is basically metal on meat for an RMRed Glock. You look through the RMR, but instead of looking for the dot, if the target fills the window, you’re good to go.
It may seem odd to dedicate this much time to point shooting in a class dedicated to the red dot, but the goal here is to show how an RMRed Glock can handle the full spectrum of possible threats. The dot is a great tool, but it’s not appropriate in every circumstance.
Moving back to some precision shooting with the dot, Roger lined up everyone at ten yards and had them shoot some headshots. Once everyone had done four shots, we stepped back about two yards and did it again. We moved all the way back to 20 yards this way. A 20 yard headshot is a pretty impressive feat, but most of the students were able to keep their shots in the target’s head. All the practice they’d been doing since this morning was really paying off.
We began on Sunday with some movement drills. Suarez International is known for our dynamic movement, exploding off the X, etc. What Roger was teaching this morning was controlled movement. The main difference is that in dynamic movement you’re moving too fast to use the sights effectively. This requires you to point shoot, which in turn limits the range at which you can use the technique to around 7–10 yards. Controlled movement is slower and places more emphasis on a solid shooting platform, allowing you to use your sights (or red dot in this case). It tilts the balance of ‘to hit or not to get hit’ much more towards hitting the adversary. While this is not a technique we emphasize in most of our classes, there is a place for it.
Roger talked about the principles of controlled movement and demonstrated the ‘Groucho’: moving while crouched down, knees bent, short steps, all intended to minimize disruption to the shooting platform. We did some dry drills involving moving downrange from 30 yards to 10 yards, trying to keep the dot on target. The red dot system is actually very well suited to this kind of dry practice, since the dot instantly lets you know how much disruption your movement is causing to your shooting platform.
Going live, we did some side to side movement, going across the range while delivering accurate fire on your target from about 10 yards. Going to the right, this can be done two-handed, going to the left, in order to to totally screw up your movement platform, it’s much easier to just go one-handed. It can actually be easier to keep the gun steady while moving when going one-handed, since the gun is only receiving movement related shocks from one arm rather than two.
We moved on to some forward movement, closing with the target on a slightly oblique angle. This is a bit easier than side to side since you don’t have to turn your shooting platform so far from your direction of movement. We followed this up with a much more difficult movement to the rear obliques. Roger emphasized that you need to learn to control your cadence. As you get closer to the target you can (and should) speed up your rate of fire as the shots get easier.
Next we moved up closer to the targets and kicked up the speed a notch. At these distances and this speed, we’re into the realm of dynamic movement rather than the controlled movement we’d been doing earlier. We worked some dynamic movement drills, practicing getting off the X to the 3 and 9 o’clock directions.
After that it was back to precision shooting. After a warm up with the one-hole drill, Roger started extending the range. Beginning at 20 yards, we moved back in 10 yard increments, eventually all the way to 100.
At 20 and 30 yards everyone shot from offhand. Moving back to 40, Roger started demonstrating a series of supported shooting positions. At 40 he demonstrated the kneeling position. This provides a bit more support and the added steadiness makes the long shots easier.
At this point Roger also introduced the Suarez International after-action drill. This basically involves making sure the current fight is over, getting ready for the next one, and checking to see if you need to administer any treatment for a gunshot wound.
As we moved back further, Roger showed the rollover prone position. This is a great position as far as steadiness and reducing your profile to incoming fire. The disadvantage is that it can only be used on a very flat surface. Vegetation or even very small micro-terrain variations can block visibility to your target.
Even further out, Roger went through the tactical Creedmoor position. This position may look funky, but it provides a lot of stability and a bit more elevation than rollover prone.
Around this time the wind kicked up. I took a couple of offhand shots from some of the longer ranges and found that the gusts of wind were blowing me off target. I never expected wind to be this much of a factor in pistol shooting.
We got back out to 100 and everyone managed to get hits on the steel at each distance.
The range had a small ramada at around 110 yards to protect the shooting benches. Roger demonstrated some techniques for shooting with external support, including using your buddy as a backrest, and using a stool for support. I showed a method for using a vertical support, like the corner of a wall (or in this case the columns supporting the ramada) to help steady your shot. By this time the wind had really kicked up and the gusts were making the ramada vibrate, making it a less than perfect shooting support.
For our penultimate drill, Roger had the students shoot the Columbian Special Forces drill with pistols. This is usually something we do with rifles, but using the skills developed in this class, you can do it with a pistol as well. You start at 100 yard, drop into rollover prone and fire five shots. Move up to 75 yards and assume the tactical Creedmoor position and fire another five shots. Moving up to 50, it’s five shots from kneeling. At 25, you switch from the steel target to a paper target and fire five shots from standing, then reload and move up to the target shooting on the move.
After everyone had a chance to shoot the Columbian SF drill, we shifted gears back to one more bit of running and gunning. We did a set of GOTX drills to the 3 and 9 o’clock directions up at close range, moving dynamically and point shooting. Combined with the Columbian SF drill this really showcases the TSD Glock’s capability across the full range of circumstances.
This was an excellent class. It really teaches you how to use your red dot pistol over the full spectrum of possible engagements, from long range precision shots to close range bust off the X situations. It draws from many different SI classes and melds them into a coherent whole focused on the red dot pistol. If you have a TSD red dot pistol, this is the class you really need to maximize you capability with the gun.
We had a good group of students for this class. Everyone was squared away and came ready to learn. I'm quite sure that all the students left considerably more dangerous than when they arrived.
Roger Phillips is known primarily as 'the point shooting guy' but he has an excellent set of sighted fire skills and a deep understanding of how to convey these skills to students. Despite being a different curriculum that I usually see him teach he did an excellent job. I would not hesitate to recommend any of his classes, whether focused on point shooting or sighted fire.
The TSD Red Dot pistols are truly state of the art in combat handguns and the TSD Red Dot Combat Pistol School is state of the art in combat handgun training.
In my rifle classes I often say that rifle is a physical weapon. I am actually not the author of that phrase. It belongs to Jeff Cooper. Jeff disdained the shooting bench as the crutch of the lazy and advocated field shooting positions. So do we. Shooting positions are not as fun as doing multiple magazine dumps into a whithering poster of a sci-fi character, but if the focus is on training the rifleman, then the demands of field shooting requires learning them.
First is the prone position. This is the most accurate and desirable of all the shooting positions. We have students take shots out to 1000 yards in the introductory sniper courses and out to 400 and 500 yards in the rifle gunfighting courses from prone. The limits to prone are the terrain. It demands relatively flat surfaces and is contraindicated for shooting at angles. As well, intervening vegetation that obscures the target will limit the use of prone in the field.
Points to Consider For Prone Shooting -
1). Line up with the rifle, and not at an angle to it. This will insure the rifle recoils straight back and not at unpredictable angles. Establish natural point of aim by closing the eyes and relaxing, then opening them and rechecking alignment on target. If you are misaligned, move the entire body into alignment and not just the rifle.
2). Use the magazine as a monopod. Those that tell you doing so will malfunction the rifle are wrong...or they are using substandard magazines. The goal is as much bone support as possible with the least amount of muscle strength necessary to maintain the position.
3). Focus on the fundamentals of marksmanship, specifically the natural point of aim, and breathing. Use the Respiratory Pause method of breathing. Inhale and exhale. On the exhale you are at full relaxation and have approximately six to ten seconds before you will need to breathe again. That is when the shot is fired. When operating the trigger, smooth and easy is the key, and maintain everything in place AS THE RIFLE RECOILS.
All of this should be worked dry extensively before it is taken out into the field. In the next installment we will examine the sitting position.
Suarez International Staff Instructor
Recently, I made an unexpected discovery. I had previously considered how to carry the Uzi Carbine discreetly, but had come up short. I wanted something that discreetly stored my Uzi in a ready to use condition. However, because my 16” barreled Uzi is much longer than a laptop, even with its stock collapsed, laptop bags would not do, and non-tactical backpacks offered no rapid proactive deployment options.
Then, I came across my Suchka Bag (available at One Source Tactical) again, so I thought I would give it a try and see what I could come up with for the Uzi. Since it is not being used for the Suchka I renamed the bag the “Dorito of Death” which was derived from the bags shape and its contents.
I grabbed the DoD and stuffed the Uzi in it. I found that rapid, proactive deployment from this bag was easy with the carbine. I took off the barrel and tried it on for size without the added length of the carbine barrel. Deployment was even faster.
For slinging up the Uzi I chose a simple 2 point sling, and also attached the male portion of a Fastex buckle to the sling, close to the rear attachment point, the female portion was attached to the integral single point attachment in the main cargo area of the bag. The excess of the 2 point sling was folded and secured near the front sling swivel with a retainer band to manage excess sling webbing. I am not a fan of the single point sling for a carbine. However, for this purpose and with it being an integral part of the bag it works rather well. It can also be disconnected quickly by releasing the buckle.
Shoulder transfers were not impeded as there is a generous amount of webbing for attaching the gun inside the bag. The interior of the main cargo area, including the front flap is covered with MOLLE webbing, the front flap uses pile tape to construct the MOLLE pattern, and the internal area uses regular nylon webbing. The DoD bag also has a waist bag that can be detached or remain attached to the shoulder carry strap. The main compartment on the waist bag will hold a large frame auto and has room for some other small items. Both the waist pack and the main bag allow for securing the main cargo areas with what 5.11 calls Hot Tabs. A piece of webbing is attached to the flap of the compartment and secured with hook pile tape so the small zippers are simultaneously activated when the tab is pulled.
Here is what I came up with to deploy the Uzi Carbine from concealment using the DoD bag:
WARNING: A GUN BODY PART CONFLICT CAN OCCUR WHILE USING THIS EQUIPMENT. GO SLOW & DRY BEFORE ADDING SPEED & BULLETS.
1. Release the buckle of the stabilizing strap with the right hand, while simultaneously grabbing the bottom left corner of the bag with the left hand.
2. Grab a good handful of bag with the left hand and vigorously pull the bag forward to the front of the body ending the motion at the right shoulder. The right hand can assist if needed by grabbing the carry strap.
3. The right hand moves to the centerline, palm against the bag as the left hand grips the “Hot Tab”and pulls down and away to the left side.
4. The right hand goes into the main cargo area and secures the pistol grip of the Uzi.
5. The left hand ensures clearance of the top edge of the bag and then finds its way to the forward grip area and assists with the vigorous clearance of the carbine.
Continuation of step 5.
1. The left hand controls the carbine while the right hand manipulates the deployment of the buttstock.
2. Shoot’em as you see’em.
If the dynamics of the situation have changed since your decision to proactively deploy the carbine and the need to rapidly engage threats presents itself once you are committed to the carbine, you can take the following actions to get rounds onboard the bad guys.
After step 5. Rotate the unopened stock onto the right pectoral, the carbine can be indexed onto targets within the close range enviroment with good effects on target, shoulder transfers are not affected.
The principal thought behind using this bag is the proactive deployment of the UZI Carbine. Because things don’t always go as planned, however, I also tried two different methods for accessing a handgun for immediate threat reduction in the close range environment.
The first method makes use of the discreet carry waist pack that is attached to the shoulder carry strap. This does not provide super fast access to the pistol as other carry methods. A SIG 220 and a couple of spare magazines were an easy fit. I chose the SIG, which is DA for the first shot, for this application; because the elastic loops holding the gun in the waist pack do not provide adequate coverage of the trigger area for using one of my Glock pistols. The loop will fit over the trigger guard and cover that area however,I was able to dry press the trigger with the elastic covering the trigger. I plan on adding a sewn in hard point to attach the Zack holster by Dale Fricke to have the capability of carrying a G17 in this compartment (also available from One Source Tactical).
The second method utilized my RMR G17 from its Seraphim AIWB holster. This method was much faster, and the DoD bag did not impede the draw. Anyone using this method of carry for their handgun can use the waist pack as a natural place to store a TQ and some other stop leak equipment. There is also a place to carry a hydration system and a soft armor panel.
What led me to explore this method of carriage was the addition of the rail handguard for the UZI from One Source Tactical. The construction of the rail and how it attaches to the handguard is quite robust. The rail provides a very solid mounting point for a short vertical grip or other attachments you might want to mount on the UZI. A change in the handling characteristics for the better was noticed once I installed a short vertical grip and began some dry work.
Net, the combination of the Uzi carbine, railed handguard with SVG and a discreet carriage method offer another great way to reduce the bad guy to good guy ratio.
By Lew Johnson, Suarez International Specialist Instructor
What is a rifle? Regardless of the name you apply or associate with it, battle rifle, rifle, or long gun, it is one of the premier tools that require skill sets. We must become familiar, comfortable and proficient with these skill sets in our duty to protect those that do not have the ability to protect themselves.
Having been in the “Business”, military, security, protection and law enforcement for over 35 years. I have had the honor to be a student, operator, instructor and mentor. And still to this day, mostly student.
What does the rifle do for us? It enables the operator extreme versatility. Anything we can mount on our shoulder is going to be an easier platform to get fast, accurate shots on target. We have the ability to engage our threat(s) faster, more accurately and inflict more damage. Whether we need to engage a threat at 100 meters/yards or closer, the rifle gives us the ability to take the surgical/precision shot from distance, medium range to contact with less reloading time.
Take a look at the power of the rifle bullet vs. a handgun bullet. When we really want to talk about power it comes down to speed. 2300+FPS vs. what ever your favorite flavor of handgun caliber. The slower the round the more it will PUSH. The faster the round, the more POWER produced. Speed correlates to POWER. I know, sounds like a Home Improvement episode. But when we dissect our options to validate our choices, what system allows us a broad-spectrum solution? A RIFLE! With the vast variety of ammunition available for use, an operator can tailor fit his battle load to run the gamut from zombies to glass penetration to a precision hostage saving shot. Without a doubt, a rifle is a must.
Please, do not misinterpret. I fully advocate the Trifold of operating systems, handgun, rifle and hand-to-hand combative techniques. For those of us trained in the techniques and tactics of Close Quarters Battle, these elements are fundamental. No, I have not forgotten about the concept of tactics, they are an integral part of a sound foundation for any system. This is not a piece on tactics, just advocacy of incorporating a rifle into a defensive/offensive course of action.
Not to long ago, there was a situation that developed so rapidly, those without their rifles were at a deficit. Good fire support at a distance greater than 30 yards with a handgun, in a civilian populated area, not a good situation for law enforcement. Such a situation is not ideal for anyone of us safe guarding our homes and/ or others. Every cartridge we carry has our name on it, not that it is MEANT for us but that we are responsible for the terminal ballistic point of that bullet. We need to be using the correct tool for the job and if possible incorporate a “multi-use tool” whenever possible. In my opinion a rifle is a “multi-use tool”. With proper and consistent training it will serve us well.
We cannot bring back the dead, but we can protect the living.
Editorial Comments - It is my honor and pleasure to introduce our newest Specialist Instructor, Lew Johnson. Lew is a former Special Forces soldier with over 20 years of service in the U.S. Army. He served as a military small arms and infantry tactics instructor, Special Forces Engineer Sergeant, Weapons Sergeant, Operations Sergeant, and Intelligence Sergeant. He has made numerous overseas deployments, including as part of a Special Forces Anti-Terrorist/Counter-Terrorist unit. As a Sheriff's Deputy he was a Patrol Rifle Instructor, building clearing tactics instructor, and active shooter interdiction instructor. Lew served on the SWAT team, as a SWAT sniper, and sniper team leader. He joined Suarez International as a specialist instructor in 2012 and will be teaching various courses based on his background and experiences in special operations.
Force on force training has brought the defensive shooting world, kicking and screaming, into a modern age. This renaissance of training development has never been seen before and I attribute it to several things. One is the proliferation of Concealed Carry around the world, and second is the willingness of some instructors to step away from the traditional world of the shooting range and involve themselves in force on force training.
The same thing happened about a decade ago with the martial arts world when the Gracie family challenged any and all martial artists to a no-holds barred match that morphed into what we now know as UFC. All manner of sacred cows died in that cage-like ring, as fighting notions held
to be true for centuries and never challenged were quickly proven false, as their proponents lapsed into unconsciousness on the ground with a tight Brazilian arm around their necks.
Force on force has done something the very same thing in the world of defensive shooting. Once the cat was out of the bag, so to speak, no one who experienced it would ever look at training the same way again.
Yet every few years the lessons of the past begin to be forgotten anew. You can see it in the discussions on the various internet forums. It begins as a more pronounced focus on the minutia of range drills and of shooting groups, as well as discussions of mechanical points of which trigger works best at this game or that game with regards to the use of the pistol. That would be fine if everyone simply admitted that they had no interest in defensive shooting and rather, that their
focus was on winning gun games. Or on using firearms training to feel good about themselves. But that is not the case. This type of thinking is put forth as the way to win a street fight.
I see this phenomena every few years because American shooters are two things: Exclusively hardware focused instead of software focused, and they are also lazy and soft and would rather marvel at a tight group from a new gun than on a stellar performance against an uncooperative
opponent in a force on force session. If that is you, you can get upset with me and complain to the editor, or you can read further and see how you can not only change that, but become a better “gun” fighter as well.
It is very empowering to go to the range with special “shooting clothes”, special hat and sunglasses, and practice the "hammers" taught at that seminar you attended...just like your favorite gun guru does everyday of his life. It makes you feel good about yourself, and that is the object of the exercise after all, no?
But that will not help you one bit in a gunfight. If you haven't done force on force, or you don't train the lessons of force of force, going to the range, and going through these shooting rituals is like sitting in your AMC Pacer with a copy of Ferrari Annual and pretending you are driving the
real thing. Silly at best and tragic at worst.
But what if I told you that you could have that Ferrari and all it would cost you was a different outlook, an open mind, and a little time?
Primarily, your focus has to change from seeking empowerment, to seeking true fighting skill. That and an open mind to accept that maybe what you have been training is not the be-all, end-all of
gunfighting skills. And finally a little time to unlearn and relearn. Relearn skills for reality.
Training for reality is not like a "martial artist" showing up to "demonstrate" in a splendidly pressed
uniform and doing some classical ancient sword kata against unseen enemies with technical perfection. Nor is it the expert hitting the bag with gymnastic like precision while wearing the
fashionable “fighting clothes”.
Most gun school training is exactly like that isn’t it. Totally ego-focused and designed to make the participant feel good about himself. You can train for ego (to feel good about how good you are), or you can train to win the fight (by training to really fight well) - but you can't do both. Schools seem not to be in the business of teaching anyone to really fight, they are in the business of “empowering” people or teaching people to "feel good" about themselves.
The main reason why more gun guys don't actually train to win the fight, by fighting, is the same reason so many martial arts schools don't do any actual full contact fighting in order to train their students to win hand to hand fights. After a full-contact fight, both sides look like they were mugged. Training like this is humbling, because everyone gets hit, but it will get you far more ready for the real thing on the street, than hours of empowerment by hitting a heavy bag.
All these guys really know how to do is to shoot well against a piece of cardboard in an artificial time limit. One might ask if those skills do not offer some benefit on the street, and therefore are worth pursuing? I say a definite negative. When guys that have spend extensive time training for the range (not to mention extensive amounts of money and ammunition) come to our "training
venue", they suddenly realize that a gunfight is not like the shooting range. As a result many of them do worse than a novice there for the first time since they are so married to their range
protocols that it takes them much more time to unlearn and finally let go of "the useless" and accept what they actually need to do to prevail.
Shocking isn’t it?
In the old world of the sword, there was a saying - In Ferro Veritas, or In Steel We Learn the Truth. Meaning that when it counts, all the theory and bluster is irrelevant. It will come down to whether you can show it or you cannot.
The results, the “Truth” if you will of what we see in the force on force crucible is that the majority of shooting training, done with the idea of “self defense” is virtually worthless in a real street fight. In Steel We Learn The Truth.
The world is a complicated place. And every few years, it is good to refocus and reorient in the event that distractions have taken place. And, we must admit, that in the past couple of years, we have all had our share of distractions.
What is our purpose? Everyone needs a cause or belief that motivates them and drives them to action. It is the why of what we all do. Everyone who is anyone of substance or consequence needs this purpose, otherwise they will stumble through life by accident, like a cow or..dare I say, a sheep. This is ours.
We believe that every man and woman is free, but with that freedom also comes a great responsibility of self reliance and individuality. The freedom to fail or to excel. No earthly authority or government has that responsibility…only you. While we would like everyone to excel, we cannot stop those who self-select for failure by anything other than example. Our message may inadvertently reach them, but our message is for those who self-select for excellence. And, since our path is that of martial pursuits, our purpose is to make you, the excellent, as good and dangerous a fighter as possible. To steal a cliché phrase from the Army, not be the best you can be, but be the most dangerous warrior you can become.
A part of that responsibility is to prevail in any conflict that comes your way, not only for yourself, but also for those entrusted to you, the loved ones who rely on you for provision and safety. Survival is not enough friends, as one who seeks excellence, you have a responsibility to win decisively. We will make sure you can.
How do we do this? We do it by giving you access. We give you access to the basic level training that will keep you alive tonight. And we give you access to the levels of follow up training at the intermediate and advanced levels that will rival that given to the world’s most dangerous professional operators, by many of those operators themselves. What you do with that is up to you, but you have already chosen to be excellent, so we are not worried about that. We will never require a military ID nor a police ID, nor even a CCW card. “Police/Military Only” are bad words in our world.
We do it also by giving you access to online and print publications and videos to help you maintain your hard-earned skills. Additionally, any support equipment that helps your mission is available as long as it is also exceptional and of quality. The excellent might have to make do with substandard gear and can make it work, but if better gear is available, it is obtained and added to the skillset. The excellent use the most modern technology, they do not fear it.
Finally, we give you the environment to share with and learn from those of like minds in a safe tribal online community called warriortalk. Free and open to all who self-select for excellence, it is the foundation of our international tribe, and serves as a basis for exchange of ideas, introduction of new concepts, and networking with tribal bands in each man’s area for sustainment of skills and brotherhood.
Most people want to see tangible proof, or results. Why is what we are doing and offering the way to go? First, you can see that we believe in it. Any organization that gives away as much free information as we do is clearly driven by the passion of belief. Second, what we teach you works. It is not for the self-limiting underachiever, nor for those who live to win a little silver cup by defeating their friends. But if you are a self-selecting warrior seeking excellence, our system will immediately appeal to you. Third, we test everything we offer you in both the crucibles of battle field and street, as well as in hard and unscripted simulation training. Unlike other organizations, you don’t have to take our word for anything. When you realize that you have just evaded a live opponent’s gun muzzle and shot him four times as you drew from street concealment, full speed, you will know what we mean.
Life is too short, and precious to live by accident, or to survive its dangers by happenstance. Choose today to excel. Be the best and most dangerous warrior that God will allow you to be. Take the first step. Come and join the tribe.
It’s a legitimate question and it can’t be ignored. I have over 5000 rounds through my original 556R without a single malfunction and the accuracy so far surpasses every AK I have ever owned. I have shot and hit out to 400 yards with it on video so it could not be denied. It is an excellent rifle and for the price, it beats the feces out of every single 7.62x39 rifle sold in America today.
So what is the deal? Since I have an entire staff assigned to market research, I detailed them to do some investigating. And doing what they did best in their prior positions, they dug like it was a homicide investigation.
There are entire forums dedicated to promoting other rifle platforms that despise the SIG because it competes directly with their rifle of choice – either the M4 or the Custom Traditional AK-47/74. There is even one forum that was partly financed by SIG that has as many SIG haters as SIG lovers. Incredible. One guy was claiming that his “Famous AK maker” custom rifle was far better because it was a customized MAK90, whereas the SIG was made in China! I nearly spit coffee when I read that. Not only is SIG not made in China, but his MAK90 most emphatically is.
The vitriol can be traced to the fact that SIG did not sufficiently study the AK world before putting out the SIG556R. If I were teaching a business class that would be Case Study Number One in why doing sufficient market research and sufficient T, E, and QC are essential. Nonetheless, all firearm companies have had recalls and put out bad guns from time totime. There are even “Famous AK Makers”that have sent out guns that went full auto. Yet that is usually not mentioned, or forgotten about, or the owner waxes apologetic about why it happened. Not so with SIG.
Here is what we found –
Some of the original internet videos done of the SIG556R failing was supported and/or funded by the American AK industry. In particular AK Makers and one large importer of high end AK rifles. When one is charging $1300 for a “custom AK” that is in reality nothing special, and along comes something like the 556R with its better stock, better trigger, full length handguard, receiver rail, optics ready, etc. It makes those selling “high end AKs” nervous, and thus an expose of the weapons failing must be made and spread virally over the internet. And so it was, fed by SIG's lack of sufficient R&D and their competitor's fear of losing the market.
The SIG, being a new rifle and not having many people supporting it fell victim to guerrilla marketing as the legions of AK supporters, and “Famous AK Maker” supporters joined in the chants of “SIG Sucks!” Even those who had never touched Swiss chocolate much less the Swiss rifle. The internet is very much like a mob and we know the psychology of mobs very well. I recall the anti-Glock hysteria that was spread by the high end 1911 Industry back in the early 1990s. There was no internet back then thankfully for Glock.
The guerrilla marketing done by the American AK Industry against the SIG, coupled with the internet mob effect, began to kill the sales of that rifle.
When SIG brought out the 516, which is a direct, product-improved copy of the HK416 (made by some of the same people) the M4 Industry nearly blew its colon right out of the seat of its multicam BDUs. One company sued SIG. M4 dedicated forums began lambasting SIG for theft, un-American behavior and even witchcraft. And the M4 industry coupled with the AK industry worked hard to rally its customers, and yes…its followers to burn SIG at the stake….and all its rifles too.
Now, since I have put away the AK…a rifle I used and promoted for some seven years, and selected the SIG 556R as the top choice in 7.62x39 rifles, I am seeing renewed attacks against me. I find it hilarious that on an M4 centric forum my team watches, Vickers is an "ambassador" for Daniel Defense (owning part of the company I would hope so), but me…I hear that I am just ”a pimp for SIG”.
The funny thing is that I do not need the US AK Industry (whom I slammed the door hard on) nor the M4 industry for business support, as we have a different structure. And as far as personal attacks – well one market analyst we did business with summed it up this way, “Mr. Suarez, you are untouchable…what could anyone possibly say about you that hasn’t been written about for years now. And what is more, many of these guys really do think you are insane and liable to stab them in the neck right there on the floor of SHOT Show”.
I love hearing things like that.
I will continue doing SIG video shorts promoting the new generation 556R because the truth is that the 556R is a far better rifle than anything coming out of Izhvesk, Nevada,or Illinois, or anywhere else. That is why I have selected it as my 7.62x39.
TSD MAG15 Magazines are now available in Fun Size!
The TSD MAG15 20 round magazines have the same level of durability and reliability as their bigger brothers. They're great for keeping your fighting rifles light and handily, or for making it easier to fit your rifle into a covert rifle case.
Get yours from One Source Tactical!
Available singly, or in packs of five or ten.
Miyamoto Musashi is thought of in many circles as one of the best swordsmen to have ever lived. In actuality, there have been many other men both before and after who have killed many more men in combat than Musashi’s humble score of 60. But undocumented knowledge does not outlive
the one who possesses it. Nonetheless, what Musashi did, that perhaps his colleagues of the sword failed to do, was to document his findings in the form of a book – Go Rin No Sho, or as we know it,
The Book Of Five Rings.
Read literally, it is a simple book intended for a young swordsman in ancient Japan. Yet, there
is a great deal of “between the lines” information for one who reads it with a warrior’s eye. The amount of operational information the book yields is equal to volumes several times it size. It captures an old warrior’s perceptions of the world, and of what he thought was important for warriors to know. It is important to know that Musashi was writing at an advanced age and for him, there would not be any more battles. A warrior in his prime might be expected to hold something back lest his enemies get hold of his methods. Additionally, Musashi intended the volume for his son, thus the key points which he mentions as important take on an even
more serious tone as they are intended to perhaps save the life of one important to the writer.
Much of the book is specific to combat in old Japan, yet old Musashi has much to teach our 21st Century men-at-arms. We wear Glocks now instead of katana, but fighting is fighting regardless of the history, and the lessons of Musashi still apply today.
Musashi divides his book into parts. Namely Ground, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void. A full discussion of the modern applications of Musashi’s work would take a great deal more space than is
permissible in a magazine article, so we are keeping to the most poignant lessons.
Musashi writes, “Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest and the deepest things. As if it were a straight road mapped out on the ground”. The entire Ground book is intended to teach planning.
In my youth as I first began the study of the martial arts, I learned that those who are destined to win, study first, then fight. Those destined to lose, fight first and then study why they lost. Outcomes in combat cannot be predicted, yet we can certainly “stack the deck” in our favor as much
We can train ourselves so that we have a realistic understanding of our capabilities and skills.
We can study the dynamics of conflict so that we have a basic understanding of how combat develops and unfolds. It is important to do this with 21st Century focus since men do not fight the same way to day as they did back in ancient Japan.
Musashi compares the way of the warrior to the way of the carpenter. The carpenter plans
everything out with great specificity. We must do the same. How many of you readers have a plan in the event of a violent home invasion? How about an attempted car jacking, or other violent assault? If you are a family man, have you made plans with your family in case of one of these events? Don’t be like the deer in the headlights frozen by the savagery of the world. Be prepared. Be like the carpenter who plans everything as much as he can. In other words, avoid leaving anything to chance.
Musashi’s second book is titled the Water Book. “Water adopts the shape of its receptacle, it
is sometimes a trickle and sometimes a wild sea. Water has a clear blue color. By the clarity, things of the Ichi school are shown in this book”.
One of the most difficult things to teach is adaptability. The wise fighter knows how to pick what fits. His goal is to hit his adversary, not to execute a certain technique. Adaptability, knowing what
fits in each confrontation, whether at the outset, or in mid-fight is essential. This ability to become a tactical chameleon will only come from exposure to various fight systems. Witness how poorly narrowly trained fighters do in mixed martial arts, or UFC fights. It is the fighters who have trained in all conceivable methods, from ground grappling to kick boxing, and all ranges in between that do well. And that is only for a combat sport in the controlled environment of a ring/cage, where there are no weapons and no reinforcements standing in the wings ready to kick your skull in at the first opportunity. Study everything, absorb what is useful, and do not limit yourself to any one system.
“This book is about fighting. The spirit of fire is fierce, whether the fire be small or big: and so it is with battles.”
I once saw a very well trained “martial artist” get his rear end handed to him by an untrained yet much fiercer street thug who had no concern over getting killed, much less beaten up. Its not enough to be in great physical shape, nor to be trained by all the masters of the day. If you lack a warrior’s ferocity, you will be wasting your time.
This doesn’t mean that you have to live like Musashi, never washing lest you let down your guard, living in a cave, etc. What it means is that getting your mind right in terms of the fight is essentially important above all else. Musashi writes, “The way of the warrior is the resolute acceptance of death”. We must understand that the ancient Japanese warriors had a fatalistic approach to
things. They trained to die, whereas the European warriors did not. Nevertheless, both had this resolute acceptance of the worst case situation. That is not say that we seek this out, but we must “make friends” with the idea so that in the midst of the fight we are not distracted by thoughts of self-preservation. We will certainly preserve our lives, but we will do so in strength, not by having a wandering attention. The resolute acceptance of death allows a purity of focus in combat that is remarkable.
“In strategy you must know the Ways of other schools, so I have written about various other traditions of strategy in this the Wind Book.”
Musashi focused much of his study on the ways of his adversaries. This concept is not limited
to Musashi, as commentators as geographically and culturally diverse as Clausewitz and Sun Tsu have written like admonishments. In terms of us today, who are our adversaries? Gang members, organized criminals, cult-oriented terrorists?
Learn who they are. Learn how they operate, how they dress, what they do. You won’t be facing a fencer from another sword school, or an “exponent” of a boxing school who will announce themselves and bow like it was some Hollywood flick. The opponents you face today will come by surprise, and kill you without a second thought or any doubt that they themselves are doing what is right.
“Some of the world's strategists are concerned only with sword fencing, and limit their training to flourishing the long sword and carriage of the body. But is dexterity alone sufficient to win? This is not the essence of the Way.”
Without the ever present thought that the study is of life and death, and the result of losing is your death or that of your loved ones, it is NOT a “martial” art.
“In my doctrine, I dislike preconceived, narrow spirit. You must study this well.” The lesson is
clear. Do not be limited in your studies. If you study Tae Kwon Do, add Wing Chun and Brazilian Ju Jitsu to the mix to be come less "narrowly focused". If you focus on unarmed fighting, learn the knife and the gun. If you are a gun man, study JKD. Narrow mindedness kills.
“Anyway, cutting down the enemy is the Way of strategy, and there is no need for many refinements of it.”
I’ve seen some martial arts teachers try to romanticize or beautify combat. I think that those of us who have been-there-done-that know this is a foolish thing. Combat has an ugliness, a reality, and a finality about it that cuts through all the dogma, doctrine, style disputes, and all the miscellaneous clap-trap that clogs our collective combative consciousness and professional journals. It is simple, violent and animalistic. Understanding and accepting this is an important part of development.
Book of the Void
Musashi writes, “To attain the Way of strategy as a warrior you must study fully other martial arts and not deviate even a little from the Way of the warrior. With your spirit settled, accumulate practice day by day, and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit heart and mind, and sharpen the
twofold gaze perception and sight. When your spirit is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true void”.
This passage typifies the Book of the Void. As I read it for today’s fighter there are two aspects to this, one mental (Musashi calls it “spiritual”), and the other one technical.
Mental - was once asked after a particularly violent gunfight if I was scared during the event. I answered truthfully that I had not been. I qualified my answer by adding that I was not scared because I was particularly brave, nor was it because I was particularly stupid. Rather, I was not scared because I was too busy winning the fight to think about it either way. I had trained myself to fight as well as I could, and had a firm understanding of the rules of engagement as they existed
at the time. Additionally, I had a fall back plan for any after-action eventuality that I might have faced. Thus I had a focused “spirit”.
I am no longer involved directly in “the business”, and now focus on teaching others. One of the
principles that I try to hammer into my students is the concept of Purity of Focus. I believe this purity of focus is indicative of the spiritual void that Musashi writes of.
Technical - A few years ago I wrote a piece for Black Belt titled Enough is Enough discussing how having too many ways, or too many techniques was not an asset but a liability. A technique that either is not natural or too complicated will not physically memorized. If it is not physically memorized, it will never be used in a fight.
This concept of physical memorization and subconscious programming is not new. The Japanese sword master Yagyu Tajima No Kami wrote: Learning and knowledge are meant to be forgotten, and it is only when this is realized, that you feel perfectly comfortable. The body will move as if automatically, without conscious effort on the part of the swordsman himself. All of the training is there, but the mind is utterly unconscious of it.”
Yagyu was, of course, writing about swordsmanship, but the concept is just as valid for modern combatives.
Although The Book Of Five Rings was written many centuries ago, the study of personal combat, when boiled down to its essentials has remained surprisingly unchanged. Musashi’s book is one man’s perception of those essential elements as experienced through a lifetime of combat.
As such, it is essential study for today’s modern warriors.
I spoke with a man today who wanted to attend classes, but said he was too old (55!) and out of shape to do anything but “target shoot”, and didn’t think he could take being "banged around". I asked him what he was expecting out of training and he replied, “to be a better shot”. He also admitted to already being a very good shot to begin with.
There is a myth prevalent in the shooting community that all the physicality one needs to win a fight is the ability to pull a trigger. This notion was professed by certain gun gurus who scoffed at, what they called, “the cult of the body”, as they sat on the couch and sipped their sixth scotch of the day.
Listen folks, if all you want to be is a "shooter" you probably don’t need any training at all. Just buy a little bit of ammo and go out and burn it until your accuracy makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over. Or better yet, go to an Olympic shooting coach and have him tune you up to put them all on top of each other at 25 yards. But don’t for one minute think that alone will help you at all in a real street fight.
If you are interested in winning an actual fight, then read on. Everything we teach is for fighting,
in other words - killing the other guy before he kills you - and only coincidentally has anything to do with shooting.
I think in many shooters there is a “laziness factor”, and an “ego-gratification factor”. Its easier to go to the range and fire controlled pairs between puffs of the cigarette and bites of the doughnuts. But I ask, how will that “shooter” do against a 25 year old powerlifter that grabs him by the collars and throws him against a brick wall? Or how will his "ticker" handle the alarm reaction when, and if, he is able to get his pistol out and he has to shoot for blood?
One of the preeminent concepts in our Combative Technique is the "complete arsenal". This means that the individual should have developed his physical abilities as far as his age and medical condition will allow. Now that doesn’t mean that you can say, “I am 45, and now I don’t have to do anything anymore because I am old”.
To the contrary, it means that as much as your true physical condition will allow, you need to keep up with your physicality now more than ever. Sure there are disparity of force issues, and if you have one of those at play, and it is extreme enough, you can shoot anyone you want to. But the reality of the fight is that you may not get that chance. Bad guys are not stupid.
Let me put something on the table for your consideration - if you are too out of breath to fight, or too weak to fight, or whatever, you will not do yourself, nor anyone else any good...least of all those for whom you are responsible. And before anyone starts reaching back for their canned “can’t” excuses I will bring out two gents as examples of guys who would be more justified than anyone in saying “I can’t”, who had it worse than many reading this, and yet managed the fight.
One was a man nicknamed “Geezer” (a regular at my online forum warriortalk.com until he was reassigned by the Lord a few years ago). This guy had bad legs, walked with a cane, and to top it all off had a pacemaker! Hardly the young, power lifting stalwart, yet he attended knife training, and multiple force on force classes. And he did very well I might add. He could not get off the X to, well, save his life. Yet he didn’t fall back on the “target shooter” mentality. He realized that he needed to
improvise with what he still had left. He devised and refined a way to use his cane as a distraction.
He would launch the cane at the target and a blink of an eye later, the same target would be peppered with bullets. He caused me a little concern one day when he launched his cane at a young lad working as his "aggressor" at a force on force class and nearly flattened him. He never complained about being old, frail, or weak, and would have taken offense at anyone even suggesting such a thing.
Another was a man that wanted to attend an AK class I was teaching. He advised that he had
"some issues", and sent me a short video of him shooting. He had only a couple of fingers between both hands and yet was running his 1911 45 very well in the first video. In the second video, he was working "shoot - reload - shoot" drills with an AK rifle. He wanted to know if he would be OK to come to class. After I got up from the floor, I called him and said, "Hell Yes!!"
The softest and least physical among you is probably in better physical shape than he is, yet he came to class and tested himself! So as far as I am concerned, excuses are just a substitute for laziness.
There is a third gent. This man is a good friend of mine, but he rarely trains. He is 7 years younger than I and weighs close to 300 pounds. He is a good man, a family man, and just had his third child and his first heart attack. He can shoot a one hole group with any of his handguns in slow fire, but just walking forward to tape targets winds him like a set of wind sprints. He is certainly not in the physical situation the previous other guys were in. There is no medical reason for him to be as he is. Heck, with his size, he could be an NFL animal that hardened convicts would cross the street to avoid!
What made him how he is? Self-indulgence, complacency, and lack of discipline. Can he protect anyone? Unless he is able to ambush an attacker without having to physically exert himself, the answer is no. No matter how good a shot he is.
And even if he were to prevail in the fight, will his body even be able to handle the adrenal dump of a life and death fight??
Does that describes you? Why would you choose that for yourself?? Set down the TV remote, throw out the doughnuts and cigarettes, get your rear-end out on the street and get to training...physical training. Start off slow...BUT START OFF!!
I think the most important issues are as follows:
1). Do something physical...every day.
2). Stay fresh on your exercises. Don’t push beyond what is reasonable
3). Variety rules. Run one day, lift weights the next, go for a hike the third day, swim on day four.
4). Cut the smokes, sweets, and the excess beer.
5). Depending on your age and physical conditioning, prioritize Anaerobic, Strength, and Aerobic training as needed.
6). Eat like a Warrior and not like Jabba The Hut.
Remember, the adversary, your enemy, who will administer your "final exam" on the street will not be some out of shape church administrator, or a pimple-faced 90 pound punk. He will be a capable criminal or terrorist, a warrior for evil who is training right now to kill you and your whole family.
Will you be up to the fight?
That's a lot of mags. A lot of them are going to fill existing orders and in this climate I'm sure the rest are going to go quickly. The TSD MAG15s are the best mags out there for your SIG, SCAR, or AR. Get yours now!
We looked at this possibility some time ago, but the variances in what is actually a 1911 made it problematic. We lacked "production room" and the skilled labor to do this right at the time. Two things which have been remedied.
We will be offering three levels of TSD 1911 conversions. We will offer a full tier one pistol based on the SIG 1911s, as well as a less modified model also based on a SIG 1911. As well, we will offer the conversion (milling, RMR installation, and suppressor sight installation) on customer slides. We will not be doing any work on aftermarket slides. We will have a list of 1911 models TSD will accept for work very soon.
As well, please note the real estate necessary for this. If your slide is equipped with Bomar style sights, or Novak style sights that take up the bulk of the rear real estate of the slide, this system is not compatible. We will install this only on a slide that is equipped with the standard GI sized sights dovetail. We will install the trademark suppressor height sights as well with this system, thereby eliminating the "learning curve" that some experience when moving to a red dot system.
If you want to bring your 1911 into the modern century, and access the game-changing advantages of the red dot system, now you can have it on your 1911. More information to follow -
Nah....we're not going to do that. But the headline caused you look didn't it? I have been getting that question for the last week. Look...Glock is not the only handgun we work with. Take a look at OST and you will see S&W MPs as well as Glocks. We are adding the SIG line as well, and if the all-or-nothing booger-eating socialist morons can't wrap their heads around that I don't care.
OK...why did we look at the SIG. Well, Suarez is in fact an international company, and
our counter terrorist friends overseas that run SIGs asked about adding an RMR to it. And no, they are not a part of the American Navy....think Europe. Anyway, we assigned our people to it and they did it. And a nice job they did. The good guys now have a pistol they can take suppressed shots at 150 yards with....ooops...I mean meters.
We have been drilling with the SIG pistols for a while now while we did the T&E on it and quite frankly, I see no difference in speed or accuracy. The DA/SA thing is not as big a deal as the detractors would have us believe. There are shortcuts that one can learn, but maybe that is for a video short in the future.
The next time I teach a class, you may see me with a TSD Glock, a SIG P226...or perhaps even an FN. Any gun will do if you will do (a phrase I coined years ago). And an excellent pistol will help you "DO" much better.
SIG, Glock or FN? Same as Omega, Rolex, or Zenith...all good, all quality, and since this is America, the land of want and not need, you can have any of them, or all of
This post goes along with the one about "Eliminating the Complainer". This one deals with the "Can't Virus". I will say right now that I hate that virus, and the things it spawns. I got into an arguement with a very dear friend recently that I wish would not have happened because what he was doing was spreading the virus.
The only way to cure the virus is to not accept "Can't". Anything is possible and nothing "cannot be done". It may not be legal, or easy, or logical, or whatever, but it certainly is not "impossible".
I want to tell you a story about a man named Elio Suarez...my dad. He was the son of a rich landonwer in Cuba. His father, my grand father owned a cattle ranch, an accompanying dairy as well as some tobacco plantations. But was a very demanding man and it was clear that although my family had a great deal of money, nobody was going to get anything for free.
My dad realized he had to make it on his own. He looked around at his resources. He saw that there were undesirable weeds and plants in a neighboring planter's fields. He offered to clear the field if he could keep what he cleared. Then using some money he had saved up, he bought a herd of pigs and fed them the vast vegeation. He fattened them up and sold the meat to a local butcher.
With that money he bought a motorcycle and worked up a deal with my grandfather where he would buy milk from the dairy on credit, deliver it to town on his motorcycle, and then split the profit with my grandfather.
Soon the motorcycle turned into a truck and then into several trucks. Then my dad revolutionized the dairy business in Cuba by bringing in a sort of ISO for milk, certifying its purity. Very freaking advanced and technological for the 1930s. At one point, he had milk delivery and sales for the entire island.
That lead to other opportunities and he began to invest in real estate. He bought several plots of land in downtown Havana, and invested in various connected businesses.
Then one day a group of communists walked in and said, "get the f*** out...all of this is ours now". Cuba had just traded one pro-capitalist dictator for a communist dicator. This after a lengthy revolution with the death of brothers and uncles, and an outright betrayal by the US Government at a little seaside resort known as the Bay of Pigs.
Suddenly broke, and with no prospects, yet with a wife and small family, my dad again took stock and looked for spaces between the raindrops.
He got involved in the Black Market, eventually becoming a sizeable player. He sold anything of value, for cash, in total disregard for Cuban laws. God, family and tribe were his only loyalties as his country had abandoned him. He was arrested a few times, bribed his way out always, and often left a scene steps ahead of the Secret Police, or Citizens Militia (a group of armed and sanctioned collaborators).
He was not a rich man anymore, but his belly and those of the people important to him, were full, we all had a place to sleep and the hope born of defiance.
Eventually he managed to get the family out to the USA. Again, with nothing in his pockets. He looked for opportunities and found a job in Los Angeles. He worked as a meat packer in L.A., midnight shift moving boxes of meat in a cold warehouse. He was 53 at the time.
Eventually after a few months he got a better job in the dairy industry that he knew...delivering milk to markets in various areas of L.A. He did that job for many years, retiring at about 75, feeding his family and doing his job as a man....and as an example to me.
Listen carefully young students, no matter what the media tells you, no matter what your teachers tell you, or what the authority of the moment tells you -
THERE IS NO CAN'T