Taking The Initiative

Taking The Initiative

This is a discussion on Taking The Initiative within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I teach the sight continuum with the sighted fired shot as the default. The urgency of making the shot and the distance to the target ...

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Thread: Taking The Initiative

  1. #1
    Member Array 7677's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Taking The Initiative

    I teach the sight continuum with the sighted fired shot as the default. The urgency of making the shot and the distance to the target will determine which technique you are going to use… point shooting or sighted fire. Other factors such as initiative, movement, and/or the availability of cover play a role in which one you will choose. Distance and initiative will determine if you go guns, H2H, knife and or when to transition to another weapon after the initial strikes are made.

    There are three type of initiative; 1) equal is the point where neither party has taken the initiative. 2) They have taken the initiative and you are behind the reactionary curve, and 3) when you have taken the initiative and they are reacting to you. Btw, Initiative can change during the fight.

    All plans of action should have one thing in common…seizing the initiative and going on offense and making the aggressor react to you. This is what has been forgotten and was known by the old school gunfighters that have taught some of us. Once the plan of action is initiated the OODA loop should effect your opponent because you should have one goal and it is to shoot the SOB to the ground as fast as humanly possible. The plan of action maybe to lull your enemy into thinking you are not a threat and going to cooperate and you strike and/or shoot when the opportunity presents itself, or it may start with movement with pre-emptive strike followed by shots or it might call for stand and deliver. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident and I do not have a crystal ball nor do I have an account with the Psychic Friends Network so I have to teach students the techniques necessary to handle a wide range of situations.

    I hear a lot about being behind the reactionary curve and it relationship to sighted and point shooting. Threat identification is an over looked skill that is not talked about enough with shooting. There is a continuum here with the further out you identify the threat the more options you have to work with. Let us not forget that criminals do not appear out thin air and you have to look for people that are out hunting for an easy mark. It all goes back to the basics…distance, the urgency of taking the shot, and taking the initiative in the fight. In bmost cases, it has to do with distance to the target and your plan of action to change to dynamics of the fight in your favor.

    Knives, sticks and firearms either extend the range or the lethality of the basic punch. The drawstoke is the way you deliver rounds on to the target. The same with the punch, there are different ones to choose from and the distance to the target determines which one you are going to use. What I teach is all about a system that integrates H2H, knife, point shooting, and sighted fire into a single system.

    My drawstroke is simple and works the same one or two handed. The ability to pointshoot gives the shooter the ability to shoot at any point during the drawstroke. There is not a different drawstroke for point shooting and sighted fire. The simple fact is the sighted shot comes at the end of the drawstroke. The distance to the target determines how far the gun is extended and the method used, point shooting or sighted fire.
    The fact is that the simple four-count draw stoke I teach solves about 99% of the problems out there. Why go through retention to get to full extension? The answer is every time you draw your weapon and extend it you all ready pass through a retention position so why create a new one that is independent of your draw stroke? I do not bother naming every point in a drawstroke, as the amount of extension required to make the shot will come to the shooter based off the distance to the target, which may change in an active gunfight. The shooter does not have to consciously think about it as it automatically apparent to the shooter.

    After the drawstroke and then I teach movement drills, which also include the drawstroke and the correct amount of extension based on the distance to the target. The student will transition within the drawstroke while doing these drills. My movement drills have the students moving in all directions dynamically…not walking slowly forward or moon walking backward but getting off the line of attack and putting rounds in the target. Movement should be use to gain an advantage to move to a point of advantage.

    The end goal is to teach students to act without having to think about what they have to do. Their reaction to the attack is to divert the attack and then take some sort of action to gain the initiative. Those who hesitate or stay in the defensive posture to long to make up their mind are going to lose.
    Last edited by 7677; June 9th, 2007 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7677 View Post
    Those who hesitate or stay in the defensive posture to long to make up their mind are going to lose.
    Truer words have never been written.

    Good post, thanks.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  3. #3
    Array AzQkr's Avatar
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    10-4 on the mindset and skills development to take the initiative in a SD situation, or take it back, as soon as possible through your own skills set which has to include the ability to "act without having to think about what they have to do. Their reaction to the attack is to divert the attack and then take some sort of action to gain the initiative."

    You'll have to understand and own the skills, train the skills and immediately enact these skills sets to be able to efficiently as possible act/react based on "The urgency of making the shot and the distance to the target

    Very good post sir.

    The mind is the limiting factor


    Quick Kill Rifle and Pistol Instructor

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Roger Phillips's Avatar
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    Really good post!

    7677, for the sake of the members here, could you explain some of the tactics you advocate to take the initiative back, when you are behind in the reactionarty curve?

    I think covering some of these options for this type of circumstance would be a great topic.

    Roger Phillips Owner of Fight Focused Concepts, formerly know as Sweatnbullets



  6. #5
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Over here now!
    Aha, the OODA Loop. Great post. To all, understanding Boyd's Cycle is crucial.

    When you are behind in the reactionary curve, something as simple as moving resets the loop. You just always have to think ahead. If he does this, I do this.

    More OODA info here
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  7. #6
    Member Array 7677's Avatar
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    The fact is that standing still during a close quarter fight rather it is with H2H, knife, stick, and/or firearms is not the best tactic and movement is paramount.

    How much movement and where to move is usually dictated by the circumstances of the location where the fight is taking place.

    Not to sound like a broken record, but the first step is threat recognition. The earlier the threat is identified the more time one has and more distance the enemy has to cross. Just ask anyone that has done the Tueller drill. At 21 feet things happen fast but a person can get off line and beat the charge without much difficulty. However, at 6 feet the enemy can close that ground in a split second and some type of H2H will be used to deflect, strike or move their weapon off of ones centerline. Thus the options are reduced the closer threat is to the shooter. The amount of reaction time available is the reasons why some people have used their sights and other haven't in gunfights.

    My approach to evasive footwork looks more like a * then a X. I'm not a big fan of moving backwards and I apply a two step rule to using reward steps. Some of the rearward movement may include taking a step to the rear to get behind cover or performing the In-quartata against a charging enemy.

    Forward movement is the best option IMHO. However, the square range mentality has taught most to stand still and to achieve that perfect sight picture and that is the last thing that one wants to do in a gunfight. I have observed to many FoF scenarios that look like the shootout at the OK coral in the movie Tombstone. Both LEO's and criminals freeze in place with about 4 or 5 feet between the LEO's and both had their hands on the gun and they start giving the suspect commands. The suspect moves suddenly and draws while on the move and shoots both officers while they are standing still and in the process of drawing their weapons (yes the suspect used point shooting). The same thing occurs when the suspect has a visible pistol in his hands the LEO's draw their weapons and freeze in place about 4 to 5 feet apart and issue commands. The suspect rapidly moves off line and shoots both while on the move. Action beats reaction.

    When the decision to move off line is made, it has to be an explosive move. Movement and the draw needs occur at the same time. If a person has identified the threat and has made a plan of action the first conscience thought should be to get the legs moving and drawing the gun and then shooting. I have observed squared range training come back and haunt officers which tend to hesitate while drawing their weapon and once the weapon cleared leather the lights come on and then they started to move.

    I like moving straight forward or forward at a 45 degree angle (between 10 & 11 and 1 & 2 o'clock because I move faster then moving to the left or right (3 and 9 o'clock). Once I pass the charger I either I cut or circle back behind the charger and make any follow up shots. There are times when the straight on advance is preferred over moving to the flanks. The most important thing about movement is it can be used to cover the distance and to keep the enemies gun off your centerline.

    Single shot, double tap or bursts.
    Another interesting thing that has come to light is the use of the old shoot once assess with a follow up shots when needed. Or a double tap and assess with a follow up shots when needed. In close quarters combat, there is no time or luxury to fire a single shot and assess, as one must be prepared to shoot the threat to the ground.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

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