“Jesus Christ, how many fucking guns do you have?”
The Fight – Force on Force Scenarios
Camden, TN – Nov 13-14th 2010
Exercise Controller: Mike
Roleplayers: Jeff, Brian, and Calvin
Writing an AAR for a class like the Fight is so hard, not that there isn’t a lot to talk about, in fact it is the opposite there is a ton to talk about. Instead the trouble comes from that sharing the details of the scenarios would be a disservice to future students. So I will limit this to lessons learned, but first I will describe the class.
The Fight is two days of ego bruising fun, through the two days you will go through a number of scenarios against real live human beings that will respond appropriately to your actions. Many times your actions will decide how the scenario progresses. The scenarios build on top of one another so you aren’t thrown out into the deep end, and they meet the three Rs being that they are recent, relevant to the average person, and realistic. Due to being a late addition to the schedule it was a small class, in fact it was the smallest class you can have, as I was the only student. Being the only student had it’s advantages in that the class was laid back, with more time to try different variations of scenarios, including some brand new scenarios. Though being the only student has its disadvantages too you don’t get to discuss the scenarios with others to hear their opinions and how they responded to the role players. Not meant to be a critique in any way simply an observation of one on one training vs group classes.
Now on to the lessons learned, I will start with the mindset oriented lessons. One big lesson I learned was patience, as a gun gamer I tended to go into “human plate rack” mode after I reached the point that I intended to use the gun, sometimes not waiting long enough for the tactical situation to improve. Next being that this wasn’t my first class with force on force I noticed that I was much less stressed at the end of the scenarios and that I had a much clearer memory of why I did what I did. I experienced the same thing during the medical scenarios during my second time through IAM. Also I noticed that after I flipped the “angry switch” during one scenario that it was easier to get into that high level command mode in the following scenarios. Finally I noticed that staying “up to date” by reading about use of force encounters helped speed up my decision making process, as the scenarios are based on real world bad guy tactics, you have some idea of how the encounter might go.
Next we move onto gear and skill issues. Gear wise I suppose I would mention how rarely I work on shooting in cold weather gear. In general I, like many others, tend to train when the weather is good. That is further exacerbated by the fact that I live in areas where there are mild winters so my practice sessions are rarely when it is cold too. So I rarely have to shoot with gloves and extra layers on. That presented some issues with draws, reloads, and my trigger pull. The scenarios also demonstrated the short comings of using small limited capacity “back up guns.” They are called back up guns for a reason you may not have enough firepower to deal with even one determined bad guy. For skills the point that came across the biggest is to MOVE, even a small amount of movement can propel you into a better tactical position, or at the very least make it harder to attack you. Also as Paul Gomez taught during the Tactical Response Alumni weekend this year, when you shoot in a stressful encounter you tend to do it at an almost cyclic rate. The first shot breaks and you are already resetting the trigger and trying to track the dot back onto the target. IMO practicing that on regular basis made it easier to make the hits I need to survive the encounters. Finally I need to work on shooting moving targets at longer ranges more often, at shorter ranges it makes no difference, but at longer distances you need more of a lead.
In closing I would like to say that I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot to help me refine how I might approach a real world encounter. And that I am surprised that so few people take this class, after taking this class I can say that I agree with James Yeager that this is one of the three Tactical Response classes that every one should take, with the other two being Fighting Pistol and Immediate Action Medical. If you carry a gun, make the time and take this class.