Shivworks ECQC 24-26 Feb 2017 Okeechobee, FL

#1
Course title: Extreme Close Quarters Concepts

Instructor: Craig Douglas aka SOUTHNARC

Venue: O.K. Corral Gun Club- Okeechobee, FL

Gear: My daily EDC. Sig P320 9mm Carry model, in a T-Rex Arms Raptor AIWB holster, Hollis Holsters horizontal mag carrier. Ammo was 115 gr Federal 9mm training ammunition. No issues with gun, ammo, or mag carrier. Holster? I’ll get to that during the AAR.

I decided to take this class, after hearing from A LOT of folks, that it is the true litmus test to see where you are physically, emotionally, and fight-wise. I am fairly confident in my shooting, but not so much in my combatives. I watched a video MMA fighter and Green Beret, Tom Kennedy put out from his company Sheepdog Response. It spoke about the lack of training that police officers have. It struck a chord with me. I must have watched it 20 times. I actually reached out to him via facebook, along with Craig Douglas…they both recommended to get on the mats and start studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. So I did. I wanted to blend my combatives training and gun skill..hence taking ECQC.

After Craig introduced himself, and his AI, Jim, did short introductions, we did a round robin of student experience, and why they’re taking the course. There were 13 total students in the course, ranging from some .mil contractors, to a chef, to IT professionals. I was the only LE officer in the class.

*Disclaimer* I will purposely leave several important things out of this AAR. If you want to learn more, step up, pay up and take the course. No such thing as a free lunch, right?

Day 1 of the course is a 4-hour block of instruction called Managing Unknown Contacts or MUC. The MUC portion of the course spoke explicitly about the “criminal assault paradigm” and how to “manage” unknown people…good guys/bad guys/unknown guys. During this portion of the class, one of the things that stuck out to me, was something Craig mentioned. He said: “you need the fighting skill of a UFC athlete, the verbal skills of a stand-up comic, and the swagger of an old-school cop”. These skills and their necessity would all come to fruition by the end of the course. After a lot of the “classroom” portion, we then immediately went into the initial practical application of what was just discussed. Learning about leverage, body language, and defensive maneuvers designed to shift the momentum back in your favor. A combination of Greco-Roman wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the base for many of the movements that will be used in this course, on the street and beyond.

Day 2 began at the O.K. Corral Gun Range. We began the day with some live fire training. I will tell you, this is NOT a shooting class. It is a problem solving class. If you expect to burn it down and do a bunch of square range shit, this ain’t the one for you. Craig explicitly says at the beginning of the day, that he isn’t there to show you marksmanship. He is there to apply what you know, and adjust it for survival in the street and in confined spaces. We shot approximately 100 rounds on this day. The live fire portion focuses on drawing your weapon from concealment. Yes, no high speed gear and thigh holsters or whatever else most folks wear. EDC wear baby! After the positions were demonstrated and practiced to standard, all lethal weapons were placed in our vehicles and we were triple checked for safety upon our return from lunch. At this point, is the real meat & potatoes of the course. We learned several offensive and defensive positions to use, along with applying what we learned in the MUC portion of the course on day 1. Using the building block approach, along with applying what we learned on the square range, we conducted several “evolutions” using SIMS guns and training knives (if you had one). After a long day of drilling and evolutions..we retired for the day. We went to dinner as a class, and did a mini-AAR of what we learned thus far, and got to pick Craig and Jim’s brains on current training topics, what we are individually good at, and where we need to improve. Good times.


Day 3 started back on the live-fire range. ALL of us got out of bed a little slower, and had some bumps and bruises. We continued to conduct drills, building on what we learned on the range the day before, and added several positions, along with discussion of shooting positions strictly dependent on distance. This was great. I saw that I could use these positions on and off-duty, in a crowded area, and in CQB situations such as clearing a structure. True flexibility. By lunch time, the live-fire portion of the course was completed. Total round count was about 270+/-. After lunch, we went over some ground fighting tactics, weapon disarms and defenses and on to the 2 vs 1 evolutions. These were rough. Everyone gets a chance to be the defender, aggressor and 3rd party. The most interesting part of this, was the “eyewitness testimony” we all gave back, along with having to justify your actions. Will it hold up in court? Was it a good shoot? Or will you walk off in the jewels of justice due to your action taken. We then conducted a final exercise, with the worst possible situation that could happen to you.

We had a brief AAR at the end of the course. This was the part what was worth the price of admission for me. Craig gave an individual assessment of every student, and their potential for success. We were brutally honest with each other, and we all walked away better men for it.

Takeaways:

This was “eye opening” to say the least. Something I’m still attempting to get a handle 24 hours after the course, is how I have been ingrained to be more docile as a cop. I’ve been a narco ranger/ghetto gunfighter for 13+ years..and got caught slipping. The “Ferguson effect” is REAL. During one of my evolutions, I was being victimized in a strong-arm robbery, and I still attempted to use “verbal judo” to deconflict the situation. A few years ago, I sure as shit would have put a muzzle on homie way earlier than I did. This hug-a-thug shit is gonna get more and more people killed. I’ve been jammed up by my department..so finding a happy medium and being more decisive earlier on, is a true challenge and has to be addressed by me. Another important takeaway I had was the utility and necessity of a knife. Fixed blade at that. Every student who employed one, had far more success than us that didn’t have one to use. I’m currently looking at the Shivworks Clinch Pick, SOB push dagger and similar knives for my EDC. Immediately. Also…BJJ was an EXCELLENT decision made by me. It proved its worth. I was comfortable on the ground, didn’t panic, and even used several escapes to stay in the fight. If you’re not on the mats right now, you need to get there. And if you think it’s bullshit, come to this course. You’ll sign up before the ink is dry. I mentioned my holster earlier. While it was fine, when it came to the ride height, I had to play with it, because you have to have enough space to get a positive grip on the weapon, but still keeping concealability. Deeper concealment means more comfort, but harder to employ and re-holster. I also want a minimalist style. I’m looking at the Keeper’s Concealment AIWB holster or the SOB Condom leather holster. If anyone has experience with either, please provide some feedback. Much appreciated.

That’s all I got..thanks for reading!
 
#2
Thanks for the AAR, Craig's stuff is great.

I have a SOB condom for a Glock 43. I like it as a grab and go, low vis type of holster. It holds the gun securely and is very minimal in terms of bulk. The leather is ridged and stays open for one handed reholstering. I prefer belt loops, but the spring steel clip is very sturdy and as of yet, I have not had any draws where the holster has come out with the gun. On the negative side I can't get a full firing grip on the gun in the holster as it rides lower to my belt line. I don't have huge hands either, so I've had to modify my draw stroke when I use it. Since it's being used with a smaller gun, I don't know if this would be different with a holster with a bigger gun like a G19 or a Sig 320. With me being unable to get a full firing grip on the gun in the holster, I can't recommend it as a full-time holster. It does however fill a niche for me and does that well. YMMV