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AAR "Intro to knife" and "Down but not out" ground fighting for gun guys

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  • AAR "Intro to knife" and "Down but not out" ground fighting for gun guys

    Over the course of three days, students were presented a heavy intro to combatives for "gun guys."

    We began Friday with an optional Free day of training called "Intro to Knife."

    "Intro to knife" began with looking first at empty hands against a knife. We stressed movement, done to the individual body parts, before moving everything. We think we move well, until we are in cramped spaces, pushed up against a wall, etc. We looked at options there where your mobility was restricted. It's not this BS that gun guys think that they always have or can always "make space"- the unfortunate reality is sometimes you can't, what do you do then?

    From there we worked on bringing the hands in, while also keeping and stressing the movement. This would later open up the opponent where you could get to the flank to help affect a lock and disarm, or control them, or bring them to the ground, or all of the above :) It's much more simple to write or talk about this then do it- and if their was a common theme heard the entire 3 day class it was that normal "gun guys" WITH training had a helluva lot harder time than they thought they would working in close contact against a knife, empty hands, grappling, etc. This is yet another reason you come to class- you literally do not know what you do not know. And the "magic wand" of having/carrying a CCW by itself won't get you out of every situation.

    We looked at some options for locks and disarms both from the inside as well as from the flanks, options for locking and taking to the ground, options for taking to the ground locking and disarming etc.

    We finished the defensive section of the knife class with some options for actual disarming and removing of the knife from the hand.

    Transitioning to a more "offensive" use of the knife from that point on, we looked at some various cutting angles and how every "in has an out." We showed some unique ideas on setting up the attack on the person in order to lock them during the attack, to pin to open up more attack angles, etc.

    As with all our training, students drilled this with multiple partners multiple times.

    The final drill for the Intro to Knife day was the only time we utilized real knives during the class. I've found it's good that people get the "feel" of using their normal real carry knife against targets. The drill related to making space to deploy and then deploying your real knife under a little pressure, then cutting a padded push stick (simulating a knife attack or hand coming into distance). This was one of the students favorite drills during the Intro to Knife day.

    IG short video showing push stick drill

    The handful of students in class stated at the beginning that most of them had some H2H training in the past- some police stuff, some BJJ, etc. but were not regular practitioners. Even just the knife work was starting to show on them, with two full days of training left Sat and Sunday. While they all held up well the next 2 days, I believe the overall lesson was about improving conditioning. And just like everything else, if you want to get better at rucking, then the answer is more rucking, if you want to get better at pullups, then do more pullups. If you want to get better at combatives, then train combatives more.

    Saturday morning started "Down but not out!" ground fighting for gun guys class.

    Some material regarding falling correctly was covered a bit on Friday due to some of the knife disarm drills involving taking the opponent to the ground. It sounds stupid to the layman to hear that they have to "learn to fall" but falling incorrectly can help or hurt your ability to continue the fight on the ground. I showed the correct way to fall and then I showed how many people will fall a little too "stiff"- 4 days later I still feel that. And keep in mind that was on mats. Thank God I have learned to fall and do it correctly most of the time, I'm too old to fall over like a dead oak... LOL

    In general most people's movement is too stiff, too tense. The ground (or mats) is a good way to see that. In a fight the ground can be your worse enemy, or an ally to you, or even a help to you. All that depends on what you know about ground fighting and how well you can move on the ground.

    "The fight will be what the fight will be" and that may very well mean that some of it will be on the ground.

    We emphasized from the beginning that as "normal gun guys" the students:

    1. Did not want to go to the ground if they could avoid it but REALITY being what it is means that-
    2. If they went to the ground they had to first survive and escape, which means possibly not immediately going to the gun.

    So we taught some common ways that you end up on the ground including being "bum rushed", etc. This is probably as common as a wide arse see it six miles away Haymaker thrown in the arsenal of inexperienced fighters as one of the top things they may do. Most people also understand this motion, even if it's just a guy that played HS football and charges in at you after the fight doesn't go his way standing.

    We looked at how to get back to your feet safely. As with all the skills, students practiced this without pressure with other students and experienced grapplers we brought in, then later we added "pressure" drills working the technique while myself or another instructor had gloves on and was actively punching them. Students had the added benefit of us talking them through the action while attacking them. One laughed about how we were able to both fight them and also tell them what to do to escape, defend, sweep, etc. while maintaining the pressure. When your used to doing combatives this is pretty natural. If you look at some of the Instagram videos we posted you will hear myself or others actually coaching the students against ourselves while fighting them! The goal is always LEARNING, not just beating the crap out of a student. For the experienced grapplers we brought in to work against the students- I took the time to tell them all the material the students had learned and how it was taught. I then told them that "if the student was doing the escape etc. CORRECTLY then let them have it (let it work without resisting). However if they half arsed the technique and did not do it correctly as shown, then do not let them "have" it. In other words, help them to learn and reinforce when they are doing things RIGHT and don't "give it to them" when they are doing it wrong. This helped reinforce proper technique and proper use of the material.

    After this we looked at if all efforts failed and we end up on the ground, what to do.

    We started with looking at if your back has to be against the ground the best position for that- guard. We showed how to wrap up the person, punch block defense drills to a very simple sweep to get the top position. After practicing this a bunch with non resistance from a training partner, then we added in some pressure to tighten everything up.

    IG video showing some work from guard- DBNO class March 23, 2024

    NOTE- Instead of just beating the hell out of students, smashing them, etc. you'll be able to see in a lot of the videos where both myself and the other experienced grapplers we brought in to help students were actually talking students through things WHILE "sparring" with them. One later commented how I went through six people as the "aggressor" and was "talking normally (not gassed out) and walking us through how to defeat him while he was doing it!" That's just experience and time doing combatives, along with some keeping mentally calm in the chaos. Something that can't be learned in a short period of time.

    We added in escaping from some other common ground positions- mount escape drills were a favorite. Students drilled these with each other non resisting numerous times with us walking around assisting and then later worked them under a little pressure.

    IG video mount escapes under pressure

    IG video mount punch block and escape

    The last day students also worked in these same positions working to gain access to their handguns, but against a non resisting training partner first to learn some skills, and later in a "scripted" type sparring session.

    We also covered some basics of working against multiple attackers.

    There is this common Fairy Tale among CCW carriers that often use to justify their lack of training in and interest in training combatives. It goes that they will "not let anyone near them", in public. The make believe story usually goes on about how the CCW carrier "always goes around in condition Yellow (or Red, whatever)." Right... I guess these are the guys I see at Walmart that combat roll out of their car, then move cover to cover to the door, or move via bounds with their wives on the cereal aisle?? LOL Come on, let's grow up and leave this fantasy behind. The reality is that we all live and work around other people and we all have to interact with people in closer settings every time we leave our homes.

    So you can fairy tale story this problem away, or you can learn to deal with it.

    In that regard we looked at working against multiple attackers at close range. Then we moved the distance closer, put the student in a corner, had one of the attackers put his hand on the students gun- either in the holster or out- and started the pressure drills that way. As always, we were there to help and critique. Often you would hear "Freeze!" when a student got "stuck" in a certain situation. We would explain some options there for him and re-start. This gave the student some options they hadn't probably considered. Often times the brain is the first thing to go under stress, and without this kind of regular training, it's easy to get behind in the OODA loop.

    We worked a large section working against gun grabs, standing up, on the ground, in the holster, out of the holster, with the draw "stuffed", etc.

    how to deal with the various scenarios there and how to gain the space to move and get the work done

    Probably shouldn't "spoil" what else we covered in class, and it might take another couple pages anyway. Suffice to say there was a lot more :)

    We ended Sunday afternoon with a short trip to the range to do live fire on the ground. This was very slow, very controlled but included some movement, getting off the ground, etc. Since we had devoted some time working contact shots with an airsoft on the mats, we also added in some live fire work on contact shots also.

    We will offer "Down but not out!" ground fighting for gun guys again September 27th and 28th, 2024

    Alma, GA at the new training house near the SETG range.

    Class info and registration is here-

    Down but not out! Ground fighting for gun guys and Intro to knife class

    Questions? Feel free to call or email

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