ShivWorks ECQC After-Action Report - Covington, LA January 2014

This is a discussion on ShivWorks ECQC After-Action Report - Covington, LA January 2014 within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In a previous discussion thread on this forum about fine motor skills and so on, it was eventually suggested to me that I do some ...

Results 1 to 7 of 7
Like Tree4Likes
  • 2 Post By brocktice
  • 1 Post By TVJ
  • 1 Post By N.M. Edmands

Thread: ShivWorks ECQC After-Action Report - Covington, LA January 2014

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,272

    ShivWorks ECQC After-Action Report - Covington, LA January 2014

    In a previous discussion thread on this forum about fine motor skills and so on, it was eventually suggested to me that I do some force-on-force (FoF) training. I took it to heart and signed up for the two top recommended classes from that discussion -- ShivWorks Extreme Close-Quarters Concepts (ECQC) with Craig Douglas aka SouthNarc, and a combative pistol course from Suarez International. This past weekend I had the good fortune of completing the ECQC course. First, I want to say that I haven't taken a lot of firearms/hand-to-hand classes. Most of my firearms training has been my CCW class, IDPA, and some IDPA coaching with a private instructor. With my lack of experience in mind, my ultimate conclusion about ECQC is this: if you only ever take one self-defense class, aside from CCW/basic gun handling, this should be it.

    There are some great, very detailed reports of the content of the class, as well as videos, already available online, so I won't go into the contents in detail. Briefly, Craig has developed a system of dealing with 'unknown contacts' -- anyone you don't recognize -- that approach you in day-to-day life. If you know about the Tueller Drill, where you try to beat a running assailant by drawing and firing before they can close 21 feet, you know that anyone closer than that can easily get the jump on you. Obviously we can't keep everyone in our daily life a minimum of 21 feet away, and we can't draw on everyone that comes closer. In addition to making you look like a lunatic, it's illegal and impractical. So, how do you go about your life with unknown people closer to you than that, maintaining as much safety as you can without being a paranoid gun nut? Craig calls this 'managing unknown contacts' or MUC. Essentially, you politely ask an approaching person to wait where they are, while putting your hands up in a gesture that indicates stopping and gets your hands where you need them. If they continue to approach, you get more forceful, starting with startling shouts to stop and profanity and moving on to eye jabs or the like. If it escalates from there, various methods of dealing with the person are taught in the remainder of the class. I personally feel that everyone should have the managing unknown contacts training, whether they carry firearms or not. Managing unknown contacts is simply not a thing we're taught how to deal with in normal life, and it allows criminals to get close to us quickly. MUC is taught first in a classroom format, then role-played. The role-playing and practice is critical.

    I want to make a comment here in particular about drills and practice, but it applies to the whole course, from classroom at the beginning, through grappling and live fire exercises. Craig has been teaching this material in some form for 20 years now, and he's an excellent teacher. He's really honed down the process of explanation, drills, validation. He gives clear, concise explanations and illustrations of what he's teaching and explains the rationale. He has devised drills that start step-wise, and then gradually synthesize everything. Once the skills have been practiced a bit and 'installed' so to speak, they are then validated with force-on-force or roleplaying scenarios. I found that I was never bored of an explanation. I never felt like he was going on and on because he liked talking. I never felt like the drills went on and on because he had nothing better for us to do. Sometimes I felt like I hadn't finished the drills to my satisfaction before validation, but I think that's just a limitation of the class timeframe (Friday evening plus a weekend, I guess so local folks don't miss any work). I'm also sometimes a slow learner with the grappling stuff. The only complaint I have on this is that I wish he broke the hand-to-hand stuff down with stepwise drills as well as he did the live fire, but again, there's very limited time for the class.

    After the introduction to managing unknown contacts, Craig went on to cover the fundamentals of grappling, making sure we understood how to maintain posture for control of an engagement and the opponent. We performed various exercises around getting holds on each other and escaping the holds. I thought, no way am I going to learn this enough to be of any use today, but when we got to the force-on-force evolutions, lo and behold, I found myself successfully using what I'd learned. This took a lot of time. It was exhausting. Every night I was asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow.

    We regularly rotated partners for each exercise, which was great because it gave us each chances to work with more- and less-experienced partners. One time I'd have my butt handed to me, another I'd have the advantage, so I got to feel what 'winning' and 'losing' a particular maneuver felt like. We were also instructed in each exercise how much effort to put in, whether we should work together or against each other, and so on. Craig broke each exercise down as competitive or non-competitive, consensual or non-consensual, and technical or non-technical. So we'd be told, "practice escaping an underhold (may have the name wrong?) with one arm, holding the other guy with the other arm, technical and consensual, non-competitive" or "non-consensual, competitive, but only about 30% effort, you shouldn't get short of breath". This allowed us to work things out without a black belt in jiu jitsu (there were 2 in the class) doing his level best to shut us down, for example. I noticed that as the class went on, Craig eventually dispensed with these instructions. I think once he saw that we understood how to train together productively he didn't feel that was necessary any more.

    Another advantage of rotating partners was that often the more experienced folks, or the folks that were just 'getting' a particular technique better than someone else, could and did help their partner understand. As a grappling idiot, I appreciated that, although I did have a few chances to help others sort things out also.

    As the class went on, we built up more and more skills for dealing with a hand-to-hand situation, from drawing to a tight retention position with a thumb-pectoral index, through gun retention in hand and in holster, disarms, and more. Scenarios went from unarmed, unknown contacts to armed, more than one unknown contact. Craig didn't have time to work in knives much, but one participant did bring a training knife, and it was worked into a few scenarios. We finished up with grounded gun grappling, one guy on his back and the other looming over him, each with gun drawn and held in the other guy's off hand. One thing I didn't understand was why the disarms and retention were left for last, rather than being done before the more free-form evolutions. It certainly became blindingly obvious during those earlier evolutions that gun retention would be very important.

    Overall I came away from the class with significantly more confidence about how to deal with an approaching unknown contact. We didn't practice it much, but I feel much more comfortable disarming someone with a gun to my head than I did before. I also came away with a keen awareness of things I need to work on. As Craig said, in the time available he couldn't teach us much. What he tried to do -- and succeeded, in my mind -- was show us (a) where our weaknesses were on this stuff, sort of an audit and (b) give us the foundation to continue learning, training, and improving to address those weaknesses. The class accomplished exactly that.

    Participants & Culture
    Craig told us at the end of the class he was 100% happy with the group of guys that had enrolled, and that he's fortunate to generally attract good (non-jerk) students, perhaps because of all the grappling videos on YouTube from his classes. I couldn't agree more. There were, I think, 12 guys there, no women. About 2/3 had an LEO or military job or background, and the other 1/3 were private, non-LEO citizens like me. Nobody was there because they had to be, everyone wanted to be there, and had forked out a good chunk of change and spent 20+ hours on the class of their own volition. Only one guy, a police SWAT team member and trainer, was there on his department's dime, and he was looking for take-home lessons he could use in training his team. It was useful to get the different perspectives from people with this variety of backgrounds throughout the class. I'd say about 2/3 of the participants were local, and many knew each other, and the rest of us had traveled more than 2 hours by car or plane to get there.

    After the first couple of grappling exercises, nobody was shy, everyone was quick to team up, did their best to complete the exercises in good faith and with the goal of helping each other learn. Remarkably (I am told), nobody 'folded' and puked in their FIST helmets or anything like that.

    The only cultural negative I have to complain about was there was a lot of machismo type language, description of things as gay or faggy, and so on. I get that that's probably common in LEO/mil contexts, and this being DC I don't want to get into a big political argument. Just suffice it to say that I didn't think it was necessary, and it didn't add anything to the class. If I were gay it might have made me really uncomfortable. That didn't stop me from laughing at a couple of the more base jokes, but again, not necessary and it seemed to be practiced and condoned by Craig. Maybe asking to not have that kind of stuff in that kind of class is too much at this point in time.

    Equipment
    I have just a few comments on equipment.

    (1) Traveling by plane, I had to ship ammo. I was kind of annoyed then, when at the beginning of the class we were told we'd need about 270 rounds, rather than the 500 listed in the class requirements. Luckily I just set my father (who lives near where the class was held) up with his first handgun, a 9mm like mine, so I could leave him the extra ammo. The other guys that had to travel ended up selling their excess ammo to the locals. Since Craig clearly knew the round count beforehand, an update to that 500 round requirement would be good, especially in these times of ammo shortage.

    (2) I was one of only two people there not shooting a Glock. The other was a Sig and I had my M&P 9FS.

    (3) The simunitions training guns were problematic. They jammed at the drop of a hat, and significantly impeded the FoF evolutions in my mind. From the comments of others there it seemed to be fairly normal, but if the guns could have been cleaner and functioning better, I think it would have improved the course. I never successfully made it through a full magazine of sim rounds in the course. At one point I pulled the trigger once, it fired, pulled again, nothing, so I started yelling BANG BANG, because I had never successfully cleared a sim gun malfunction during the class. I heard people yelling I couldn't just say 'bang' so I smacked the magazine on my right hip, racked the slide with the rear sight on my back pocket, and tried again. Click. I did get kudos for trying to clear the gun, and sure guns do malfunction at close range (they said the first shot there was a contact shot), but not as much and as hard as the sim guns.

    (4) I could not see a darned thing out of the FIST helmets. They were pretty scratched up and fogged up within 20 seconds of putting them on anyway, so most exercises were done essentially blind. That said, with the grappling and everything I recommend wearing contacts rather than glasses if your eyes need correction. I always wear glasses. I brought some contacts with just in case, but ended up just taking off my glasses for most hands-on stuff. This is what the other glasses-wearers did also.

    I've skipped a ton because it was an extremely dense course. I feel like this AAR is a bit haphazard but this is my first serious class like this, so I don't have much to compare it with. I'm happy to take questions.

    Overall Conclusions
    (1) EVERYONE should have this or similar training in dealing with unknown contacts (meaning the basic Managing Unknown Contacts stuff, not all the grappling and whatnot).
    (2) Craig could easily charge double what he does for this class and I'd take it again in a heartbeat. It was worth every penny several times over.
    (3) Craig is an excellent instructor. He doesn't waste your time. He understands the material and the learning process very well. He knows his stuff from plenty of real-life experience with the lowest of the low criminal element up through your $10-a-pop corner drug dealers.
    (4) If you can take this course, and are interested in this course, take it. You won't regret it and you'll probably be back for more. A significant number of the participants in this go-round were. One guy was on probably his 5th or 6th ECQC.

    EDIT: Application

    I forgot to add, I'd read about the MUC curriculum before the class, and actually successfully applied it on the way to the airport. I was filling up with gas in the rather-sketch neighboring city when I noticed a car driving slowly and sort of indeterminedly around the gas station lot. There was a woman driving and a man in the passenger seat. They seemed to be paying a lot of attention to me. They eventually pulled up on the other side of the pump from me -- (their car facing down) [pump] (me) (my car facing up) -- and stopped, but angled funny and not like someone would do to fill up normally. The male passenger got out and disappeared from my vision behind the pump. I thought, "ok, he's going to fill up their car, or approach me". He ended up coming around the pump to approach me. I put my hand up in a fence said said, "hold up right there for me boss" (people say boss to males around here, I'm trying to blend in). To my surprise he stopped like he'd hit a wall, and asked me for change from a good 8 or 9 feet away, rather than the usual 3' these people like to get to. I told him I didn't have any and he got back in the car and went on his way. So, score one for MUC before I'd even taken the class.
    Last edited by brocktice; January 9th, 2014 at 12:27 PM.
    TSiWRX and BadgerJ like this.

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    TVJ
    TVJ is offline
    Senior Member Array TVJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tejas
    Posts
    659
    Great write up.

    Way to set up that boundary at the gas station.

    If you have interest in knife FoF, check with this group that I train with for a local group in your area: AMOK! | combativesAMOK! | combatives
    brocktice likes this.
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
    - Frederic Bastiat

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,272
    Quote Originally Posted by TVJ View Post
    Great write up.

    Way to set up that boundary at the gas station.

    If you have interest in knife FoF, check with this group that I train with for a local group in your area: AMOK! | combativesAMOK! | combatives
    Hmm, the directory seems to be empty. I'll try the email.

  5. #4
    Member Array N.M. Edmands's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Yavapai County, Arizona
    Posts
    294
    Nice AAR, nice work at the fueling station. When is your Suarez class scheduled ?
    brocktice likes this.
    Oh yeh? Well this was sent from the scary black electrical box under my desk, so there!
    "It aint how good you shoot, it's how cool you look doing it." [Fred Sayer 1994]
    H&K P7
    Colt XS, Star PD
    Caracal F

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,272
    Quote Originally Posted by N.M. Edmands View Post
    Nice AAR, nice work at the fueling station. When is your Suarez class scheduled ?
    Fall of this year. If you guys know any airsoft experts let me know. My new GBB Toucan likes to go full-auto on me.

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Mid-Atlantic
    Posts
    1,333
    This is a great write up, but I have a question. When you were getting gas was there a time where you could have simply gotten back in your car and sought another gas station?

    If so why didn't you do that? Now you might say it's a waste of time and you can't be doing that every time you have a potential encounter, but IME things like this happen no more often than a few times in your whole life. TO ME, the point is we get too 'invested' and have a lack of an ability to 'break off' the contact. Witness the woman who pulled into a CVS and SAW the bg eyeing her and she parked anyway.

    I think rather than attempt to do 'force-on-force' we should be trying to understand why and how to break this need to be 'attached' to what we're doing and try to stand your ground when it's better to break off and do your business elsewhere.

    In the situation belting your kids in the car REMEMBER you can ALWAYS get someone from the store to come out and be with you while you do that. Take advantage of this service. If you can't get someone from the business or store you can almost always find a sympathetic passer by and ask them to watch for you. Having two adults there is a deterrent to contact which can happen in the blink of an eye. Learn how not to be too embarrassed to ask for help.

    Thanks again for the write up.

  8. #7
    Member Array N.M. Edmands's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Yavapai County, Arizona
    Posts
    294
    All good points Badger, but breaking contact requires all participants want contact broken. Force on force training teaches you what may help when things go south.
    Oh yeh? Well this was sent from the scary black electrical box under my desk, so there!
    "It aint how good you shoot, it's how cool you look doing it." [Fred Sayer 1994]
    H&K P7
    Colt XS, Star PD
    Caracal F

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

1911 shivworks class

,

1911 shivworks ecqc aar

,

ahat tvj

,

knife self defense classes covington, la

,

shivworks

,

southnarc ecqc negative

Click on a term to search for related topics.