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Dog fights and aeroplanes

By- respadmin | Nov 27, 2015 | No Comments

With my sixth participation in Extreme Close Quarter Concepts (ECQC) haunting my nightmares I’m happy to report that the boots worked great and my trusted pair of Levi’s held up just fine rolling around in the gravel.  The only thing missing in my kit this time was my warm “tactical wubby” fleece TAD gear jacket.  The class was held in Phoenix so I miscalculated the morning chill and disregarded my own rule of always taking a warm coat…

My trip to Phoenix brought me close to the thing I avoid like all normal, average, comfortable folks do: the realistic possibility of failure and death because of my inability to perform.  In extremis, or at the point of death, is where Craig Douglas takes students during his 20-hour curriculum offered through his company Shivworks.  Within this repeated brush with death you lose as much as you win and the learning curve is something out of the Eiger Sanction.  During these sessions I’ve begun to learn a lot about myself or at least realize there is much to know about the deep things that drive us.

The ECQC series of courses are not just about guns, or knives, or fighting, or anything else you can derive from the forum reviews or YouTube.  For me it has always been about managing anxiety during the unknown.  My life has not been without stress or anxiety whether inconsequential like sports or my real world military experiences.  But even in the most stressful of those circumstances it was the “team” that pulled together and sucked it up.  In ECQC evolutions you get the awesome (not) experience of embracing the suck… alone.

Yes, I had some colossal fails. But for the most part I did better than last time and hopefully I’ll do even better still when I do it again this spring.  That is correct, I’ll be doing ECQC at least once a year.  The military realized that the more dogfights their pilots survived the longer they lived…  Weird.  I’m paraphrasing the research that showed when pilots survived more than five combat engagements the losses started to radically drop.  With over 10 combat engagements you practically had a bulletproof fighter pilot.

Some things that your simulation training must posses to get you that flight time:

  • Live fire training doesn’t count. Sorry. Not unless the targets are shooting back.
  • A non-consensual “enemy”. Is your training partner or role player trying to win as well or are they just feeding? Consensual feeding is a good start but you’ve got to bump it up from time to time.
  • Don’t use courses you attend as your only practice time.  Find like-minded training partners that you can trust and hold one another accountable.
  • Drill the important mixture.  Get your grapple on (standing and ground), and a Thai Boxing variant all drilled with weapons in the waistband.
  • Frequency. At least twice a month to start but the goal should be a weekly multi-disciplinary training session.  Remember to drill at a pace that is meaningful but not so hard that injuries occur.

I’ll continue to comment on training issues in the coming year.  Until then, Merry Christmas and have a blessed, healthy and profitable new year!

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