AAR: ECQC - Council Bluffs, IA May 2017

R. Schoening

After Action Report: ECQC - Council Bluffs, IA May 2017

5W's and 1H

• Who: ShivWorks
• What: MUC / ECQC - Extreme Close Quarters Concepts.
• When: May 19-21, 2017.
• 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.


• MUC Numbers: 15 (13 Males, 1 Females).
• ECQC Numbers: 12 (12 Males).
• Backgrounds: Civilians, Former DotMIL, Corrections - 1, LE - 1, Martial Arts - 2.
• Ages: Mid 20's - Mid 40's


• TD1: Rain, cool.
• TD2: Cool with temps in the low 40's, misting rain in the morning.
• TD3: Cool, with a sunny afternoon...on the last day of course!

Managing Unknown Contacts

MUC is the "classroom" (half day) portion of course that we conducted on Friday night. The Course was roughly 4 hours in length and was the introduction to the rest of the weekend and ECQC. MUC can be taken as a standalone block for those not attending the full ECQC course and we had 3 students sign up for this block only. Understanding that ECQC is a full contact course and that can be intimidating, MUC can be "The Foot in the Door" in a sense that allows students to sample the material and still walk away with a great deal of beneficial information that will set them up for success.

Topics covered in MUC included the following:

• Instructor and Student bios.
• MUC / ECQC Course Development and Timeline
• Training vs. Reality (Firearms and Other).
• Criminal Assault Paradigm (How criminal assaults occur).
• Distance during assaults and reaction times.
• Criminals stereotypes.
• MUC Adaptations / Concepts - Verbal, Movement, Hands.
• Pre-assault cues.
• Developing a "playlist" - communications.
• The Default position.

Following interactive classroom lecture the students broke up into two person groups and worked on the topics outlined above. As Craig does with all blocks, he presented the material , demonstrated techniques, then moved through the students providing feedback and tweaks that helped us perfect things.

Extreme Close Quarters Concepts

ECQC takes place on Saturday and Sunday following Friday's MUC block. The days are long, sometimes a little painful depending on if you are on the "receiving end" and are filled with a stair stepped approach to all things problem solving at a up close and personal distances. Like MUC, Craig presented the material, demonstrated it, then worked the students helping us with everything. Craig encouraged questions and used those questions for extra demonstrations if warranted.

Topics covered during ECQC included the following:

• Safety Brief - Medical Brief (medics, vehicles, travel routes, and commo folks).
• 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.


All ECQC Courses contain student versus student evolutions. Evolutions are competitive and non-compliant in nature and encourage the students to use the verbal, movement, combatives, and firearms techniques covered in the course to solve a variety of problems...not all of the evolutions are "Gun Problems" which some of us learned sooner than others. The evolutions contained at least one simunitions gun and at least two students, the students rotated roles after each evolution at which time a debrief was conducted. Students were not given a script and as expected, some of them were not only educational, but also downright entertaining.

Evolutions in the Open Enrollment ECQC included the following:

• 1 versus 1 - Grounded Fight with the "Good Guy" armed.
• 2 versus 1 - Multiple Participants (maybe Attackers) with the "Good Guy" armed.
• 1 versus 1 - Carjacking in a vehicle with both participants armed.

Personal Thoughts

This was my fourth ECQC and second course in a row concluding what was 6 straight days of beat downs. As I've mentioned, ECQC is mentally and physically taxing, 6 days of it was tough on me with day 3 of 6 being the toughest physically. With all of the ECQC Courses I've attended, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to participate in them as they are jam packed with what I consider to be no-nonsense material built to help in dynamic, stressful situations. I don't have a wrestling, jiu-jitsu, boxing, martial arts background and have always been intimidated by this course, the way Craig presents, demos and reinforces the content is fined tuned for guys such as me that have much to process. With that said, in listening to other students throughout 4 courses now, the guys with "backgrounds" still found a huge befit in this course(s) with Craig's clear and concise approach "refreshing".

All that said, you need to attend ECQC. Don't be freaked out that this is a full contact Course and that you don't have a "Background". Likewise, don't be overly confident that you are going to come in and "own" everyone in class because you do...you won't. This is a course that helps to prepare you mentally and physically for all aspects of close quarters problems and sets you up for success...now, welcome to Thunder Dome, no one leaves.

V/r - Rob