Saturday, September 20, 2008

Southnarc PUC/ECQC AAR Day 2

Day 2 started on the range. The range drills were mostly repetition and refinement of the drills from day 1. Two additional things that we did were the table drill and a drill working the horizontal line of presentation. The table drill was standing against a table at about 5 yards with someone applying light pressure to our back. On command we would draw and fire. This really dialed in keeping the draw high and close to the body. We isolated the horizontal line of presentation by drawing to the number 3 position (hands coming together as the gun enters the bottom of your vision. Then on command we would extend outward, breaking the shot upon reaching full extension. Then retract to the number 3 position and do it again.

After the range portion, we moved inside to drill managing an unknown contact. I'll post more detail about what that means later. Then Southnarc explained his 'default response'. This is a reflexive guard position to be used when you've lost initiative in the fight. It's designed to facilitate the two most important goals of staying on your feet and staying conscious. I'll try to find a photo showing it and describe it later. The goal now is to get the outline of the training down and write a big post summing up all the details after it's had a few days to a week to sink in.

Next we paired off to drill the default response. One partner would have a pair of gloves on and stand at arms distance away. They'd take a swing, and the other person would react by going into the default response. We drilled this for a while and then added tasking to the equation. Now the attacker would engage the attackee in conversation before suddenly throwing a punch. I found that this was fine as long as I was just listening. I could still pick up the motion and react. As soon as I stopped to consider a response, he could pick it up in my eyes and pop me. I believe after this was lunch time. Since I delayed writing this due to exhaustion (more on that later), I may have some things out of order.

After lunch, we moved outside to better footing. There was enough dust on the floor inside that it was quite slippery. First we did the goat drill. Two guys stand forehead to forehead and try to push the other backwards. This is a great drill for balance and platform. Then we introduced the arms. We did this without much direction at first, just to introduce the idea. Then Southnarc went through some basic concepts for the clinch. He introduced the concepts of the overhook, underhook, neck tie. He explained that the double underhook was a dominant position that afforded great control over the opponent. He introduced the concept of 'swimming' to break an opponent's underhook and establish one of your own.

We paired off and drilled this for a while. We started doing it in sequence back and forth to establish the concept. Then we made it less compliant. We'd start with one underhook each and each try to establish double underhooks.

We took a break and then moved to a grassy open area to use the man marking cartridge guns. One role player would be a citizen, armed with a marker. The other role player, wearing a FIST helmet, would attack. The citizen would go into a clinch and attempt to tie up the attacker's arm closest to his gun, so he could access it and shoot the attacker. This one drill was worth the cost of admission. It was hugely eye opening. As Southnarc said later, "A lot of guys view the gun as a substitute for athleticism. That's horseshit.". At contact distance, the gun is just one small piece of the puzzle. I knew this intellectually, but it's another thing entirely once you're in what Southnarc calls the FUT, or F'd up tangle.

Next, we were introduced to the basics of fighting from the ground. If you're on the ground and your attacker isn't, the key concept is to keep your feet facing him. This prevents him from getting in hits to your head, which could lead to you both semi-conscious and grounded. As SN would say, that's a real shit sandwich. It also gives you a chance to keep enough space to access your gun.

We did some drills like this, starting on the ground with an attacker standing over you. Once we had practiced this, then we introduced the attacker coming down to the ground also. The key defensive point here is to not let them get past your legs. Once they get past your legs, they can mount you, and then you're screwed. Once you're mounted, you've lost nearly all your mobility, and the attacker can beat the crap out of you nearly at his leisure. We drilled this for a while, and then it was time to introduce the guns to the equation.

We started with the attacker remaining standing to practice the weapons access part. This led to one of my favorite points in the class, because a previous piece of training came out without my even thinking about it. I was laying on my back on the ground, with a guy coming at me. I was kicking him in the shins, and scooting around keeping my feet facing him. This opened up enough space/time to go for the gun. I drew, indexed, and pressed the trigger. *click*. I tapped, racked, and shot him dead center in the chest before I really realized what happened. All that practice with dummy rounds really paid off.

Once the attacker started moving in and coming to the ground, things didn't go quite so well. It's very difficult to keep your position such that you can shoot from the pec index and be able to hit the attacker. The natural response is to reach around with your gun hand to get the gun pointed at the attacker. The problem with this is it's very likely to get your gun taken from you before you can do anything with it. As southnarc said repeatedly, "You can't use a tool to solve a positional problem."

At this point, we were done for the day, which was a very good thing for me. I was pretty much completely out of gas. I was happy and full of new knowledge (and bruises and welts), but completely empty of energy. There were plans for the group to meet up for dinner. I planned to join them, but on my drive home to shower and change, suddenly my energy completely plummeted. Before, I wouldn't have been able to do much of any physical activity, but I was functional. Once I hit the wall, I could barely do anything. I got home, dragged myself inside, drank some water and ate some ibuprofen, and then had to lay down to rest a bit. I woke up 2 hours later, too late to go to dinner.

Stay tuned for day 3.

No comments: