AAR: Craig Douglas' ECQC in Council Bluffs, IA - August 2018

R. Schoening

After Action Report: ECQC - Council Bluffs, IA August 2018

5W's and 1H
  • Who: Craig Douglas “SouthNarc” of ShivWorks
  • What: ECQC - Extreme Close Quarters Concepts
  • When: August 10-12, 2018
  • Where: Council Bluffs, IA @ LHGK
  • Why: Close Quarters Problem Solving
  • How: Lecture, Demonstration and Hands On
  • Craig Douglas, AKA - SouthNarc. For more information check out www.shivworks.com.
  • LE Background: 20+ years experience in full-time LE with line assignments in Corrections, Patrol, SWAT, Narcotics, and Investigations. Longtime LE Academy and Defensive Tactics Instructor.
  • Combatives Background: 30+ years experience in Philippine, Indonesian, Brazilian, and Japanese martial arts.
  • ECQC Numbers: 19 (18 Males, 1 Female)
  • Backgrounds: Civilians, Former DotMIL, LE, Tactical Medics
  • Ages: Mid 20's - Mid 50’s
  • TD1: Sunny, Temps in the 90’s
  • TD2: Sunny, Temps in the 90’s
  • TD3: Sunny, Temps in the Mid 90’s

ECQC is a 2.5 day, 20+ hour course with TD1 being known as “MUC” or Managing Unknown Contacts. MUC is the "classroom" block of ECQC and the primer for the rest of the weekend. We started MUC off at 6pm and ran for approximately 4 hours. What’s MUC all about, in a nutshell, this is content that hopefully keeps you out of a bad or keeps a bad situation from turning into an even worse one by giving you a foundation to recognize and deal with potential problems involving criminal assaults. MUC has both a verbal and physical component to it, and is way more than just lecture and you get plenty of repetitions working with other students under the watchful eye of Craig...details are outlined below.

MUC Topics:
  • Instructor and Student bios
  • ECQC Course Development
  • Training vs. Reality as a whole and for ECQC
  • Awareness: Broad vs Narrow
  • Assaults: Criminal Assault Paradigm, Presence of Weapons, Multiple Attackers, Distances.
  • Criminal Stereotypes: Gender, Age, Color, Social Class, ETC
  • Pre-assault Cues
  • Goals of MUC: Communication, Movement, Hand Position
  • The Default position
  • Heady / Body Position and the Mountain Goat Drill
TD2 and TD3 – ECQC

MUC being the “classroom” portion of ECQC, means that the other two days of training are the “Live” or “Range” portions. Both TD2 and TD3 contain live fire shooting, combatives blocks of instruction and Force on Force Evolutions. Range blocks ran from 0800 – 1130 each day, followed by lunch, then Combatives and lastly, Force on Force Evos. Training Days 2 and 3 are both long ones, we started both days at 8 and wrapped up after 6. Like MUC, both TD2 and TD3 had us working with other students to learn techniques while Craig tweaked our understanding and use of the material…details are outlined below.

ECQC Topics:
  • Safety Brief / Medical / Range Brief
  • Firearms Safety Rules and Discussion
  • Equipment Considerations (holsters, shirts, jackets, ETC)
  • Range Commands
  • Presentation of the Pistol
  • Shooting at Contact Distance
  • Shooting in Confined Spaces
  • Defensive and Offensive Shooting Positions
  • Wrist and Bicep Ties
  • Escapes
  • Over and Under Hooks
  • Ground Work - Escapes, Kicks, Defensive Positions, Standing Up
  • Firearms Retention and Stripping
  • Combatives Inside Vehicles
TD2 and TD3 – Evolutions

If you haven’t picked up on it so far, there is lots of physicality to ECQC. TD1 / MUC are the start, Force on Force Evos on TD2 and TD3 are the culmination! Evos are a tool that Craig uses to help students work the techniques learned in the course against another student. One student is the “good guy” the other student is the “bad guy” and there is always a simunition gun involved. Evos are competitive and non-compliant in nature meaning that both students are trying to “win”, this provides pressure and helps students see what works and what doesn’t. All aspects of what is covered in ECQC is tested during the Evos; verbal skills, physicality, clinch work, ground fighting, dealing with single and multiple attackers, handgun retention and disarms, presentation and manipulation of the pistol...it’s all there! Once you wrap up your Evo, there is a quick debrief by Craig and the others in the class, then you switch roles, rinse and repeat. Evolutions are outlined below…all in all, you get to participate in 7 or so Evos and watch 40 plus others…details are outlined below.

  • 1 versus 1 - Grounded Fight with the "Good Guy" armed
  • 1 versus 2 - Multiple Participants with the "Good Guy" armed, the other participants may play the role of being "good", "bad" or neutral
  • 1 versus 1 - Hitchhiker in your vehicle, both the "Good Guy" and "Bad Guy" are armed
Personal Thoughts

This ECQC was my fifth one, and having seen this course 5 times it would be the norm for someone to say it’s the same as it always was, but that’s not the case and it was easy to spot the tweaks Craig has made to the content and his delivery from last year’s course. Just as in years past, his crawl, walk, run approach to all blocks of instruction sets everyone up for success, and his delivery, formatting, and in the end, Evos truly help to drive home all that you learn in the 20+ hours of ECQC. A truly valuable course, with solid and well-founded material, delivered in manner that is second to none. It’s been said ECQC is an “audit”, truer words haven’t been spoken…come to this one with an eager, open mind and an empty note book!