Five ways to blend marksmanship and reality-based training
This is a discussion on Five ways to blend marksmanship and reality-based training within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; From PoliceOne.com
Casting a Critical Eye on Weapons Technology and Training
with Tom Marx
Five ways to blend marksmanship and reality-based trainingThese tips will balance ...
March 4th, 2010 12:21 AM
Five ways to blend marksmanship and reality-based training
Casting a Critical Eye on Weapons Technology and Training
with Tom Marx
Five ways to blend marksmanship and reality-based trainingThese tips will balance the need for conventional qualification and the need to prepare your officers to win an actual gunfight
For the past 20 years or so, something has been bothering me: We are teaching more, people are practicing and qualifying more, but in real life, it appears that our students aren’t necessarily “hitting” more.
This is something Richard Fairburn touched on in his recent column, 21st century deadly force training for police. It’s something Gregory Morrison, who wrote the book on the Modern Techniques and now teaches at Ball State, lectures about. Morrison, you may recall, had taught at the Gunsite Academy in Arizona, thus his authoring the book on the Modern Technique for Jeff Cooper. It’s something that John Meyer (formerly Vice President of Sales and International Training at HK and currently the President of Team One Network) and I have discussed privately for some time.
Some years ago, Dave Spaulding, Mike Boyle, and one of John’s guys dragged me to an early evening lecture where Morrison explained that in the process of getting his Doctorate, he saw what he believed to be pretty hard evidence that even with all the new techniques and increased live fire range time, when it came to officer performance on the street — under stressful and life-threatening situations — things hadn’t gotten much better as we would have wanted or expected.
He presented quite a bit of data to support his thoughts and he explained his surprise. Suddenly I was grateful to Spaulding for dragging me out into the cold of upstate New York to learn that I wasn’t the only one who had wondered about why good students and good shooters weren’t always that “good” when they actually fought with the gun.
I remember telling Morrison and Spaulding that night (and Meyer years later) that when I was teaching full time at the Smith & Wesson Academy in the late 80’s, we would see students come through who were great shots. They would master the drills. Shoot flawlessly against the clock. Win every man-against-man drill they were in. And shoot well against us if given the chance.
But even with the very rudimentary scenarios we ran at the time, too many of these amazing “performers” would completely fall apart when forced to actually do battle with and against the same guns with which they had so convincingly acquitted themselves “in class.” Even then, this made me think that the “classroom” (range) environment should perhaps be expanded to more regularly include the application of the gun in ways beyond the stressors we were including in 1990.
Thankfully, the tools to do this have been developed and refined during the past 20 years but unfortunately, it appears that we are still not utilizing them as fully as we could. Instead, we are still focusing on traditional marksmanship drills, exercises and examinations to prepare our officers for what they will face on the street. Perhaps better stated, I believe that we are still focusing on the idea of marksmanship in general in order to fight with these guns instead of focusing on the fight itself.
That can even be seen in reading some of the comments posted in response to Dick Fairburn’s article—clearly some of the more progressive-thinking people were concerned enough about this subject to speak out.
Before everybody explodes at about what I’m about to say, I offer the caveat that I come from a traditional Bullseye and PPC background where marksmanship was king. Later, living in the Midwest, Ray Chapman and his associates became a huge influence on me. I’m proud to say that for about the last 10 years of his life Col. Rex Applegate and I were friends and were constantly swapping ideas, concepts, and beliefs.
As a result, today I believe that we can’t get bogged into arguments over Point Shooting vs. Sighted Fire. For as much value as there is to be derived from certain IPSC- and IDPA-type drills, they can be problematic too. As much as we want to inspire our students to do more, we have to realize that many people are never going to be interested enough to practice or train on their own. We also know that when it comes to physical fitness and personal pride, some people will never care as much about themselves as we would hope they would.
So, what would I recommend? Meyer and I used to talk about the possibly misplaced emphasis on marksmanship and technique. We would look at some of the “skills” that were being taught and (like Morrison) we saw that they worked fine on the range and in qualifications, but such proficiencies often seemed to not be of help to the average user on the street. John, in his typical direct fashion, used to tell me that he felt we were training figure skaters when we should have been developing hockey players. He was right.
My belief then (and now) when it comes to reality-based training is to look to the kind of training that has become so important and so successful in other areas of police instruction: real life, force-on-force, scenario-based, and reality-based training. We know it’s important to employ real people and real devices to simulate the handling of domestic disturbances, the stopping of vehicles, and the restraining of prisoners. Why, then, are we so reluctant to make that the focus of our efforts in firearms training?
I would suggest something like this as the starting point. Try to balance the need for conventional “qualification” (something many of you will never be able to change due to board- or state-level requirements beyond your control) and the need to actually prepare your people to fight with the gun.
1) Teach the mechanical operation of the weapon
a. Loading, unloading, simple/unified stoppage drill(s)
b. Operation of safeties and decocking levers if applicable
2) If necessary, teach to the qualification course
3) If not required, then I would recommend something along the following lines:
a. Single shot drills on a single target to learn sighting basics and trigger control
i. Student is responsible for keeping the gun loaded and ready to employ
ii. Sometimes require a reload to make a point and/or gauge proficiency
b. Multiple shot drills (not just double taps) on a single target to advance the employment of basic techniques
c. Successful single target engagement drills (standing, turning, maybe moving, with and without the use of cover) from three to perhaps 10 yards
d. Successful multiple target engagement drills (standing, turning, maybe moving, with and without the use of cover) from three to perhaps 10 yards
e. Note that the drills in b., c., and d., (above) should be run both “from” and “from outside” of the holster
4) Then, except for the occasional “tune up” or refresher, put the real guns away and turn to some sort of realistic Simunition / airsoft / paint-marking “guns” and related safety equipment and apply the skills they’ve learned in realistic people-populated scenarios, not all of which require either the use of or the firing of the weapon
5) I have nothing against electronic simulators (and I very much appreciate their many benefits) but even when it comes to using them to teach driving, flying, or operating equipment, sooner or later people have to practice with the real thing
a. Generally, you don’t have that much time (or money) so I think a move directly toward people-to-people scenarios makes the most amount of sense
b. Besides, some machines can’t shoot at you and no machine can put its hands on you like a living, breathing (albeit role-playing) adversary can
That’s what I think is most important: having your students (once capable of fighting with the gun out to 10 yards, keeping it running, and handling it safely) using the gun in situations they might actually find themselves in. I firmly believe that those technically outstanding students of mine from twenty years ago who folded under the pressure of the simple scenarios we employed did so because they had never experienced such things previously.
They had experienced numerous static drills and tests. They had experienced timed drills and qualifications. They had routinely competed against others. But (thankfully) they had never had someone “shoot” at them. And even within a simulated environment, many of these people were shocked or disoriented by the experience to the point where their mechanical proficiency was never put into use or if it was, it never reached its usual high level of performance and failed to keep them from harm.
Think about it, in the “old days” boxing was used not just as a “fighting technique” but to teach people to take a hit and press on; to persevere instead of withdrawing or curling up into a ball and giving up. Today, formal offensive and defensive tactics are taught through the use of various protective “suits”. People (albeit, generally well insulated from the actual blow) are taught to protect themselves and fight on while under attack. The suits allow people to apply the physical skills they have been taught in life-simulating events.
Then why not do the same with firearms and use realistic Simunition / airsoft / paint-marking “guns” and related safety equipment to allow your students to prepare themselves for those types of battles as well?
It’s all back to Meyer’s analogy and Morrison’s observations. We are teaching all these isolated skills that seem great on the range and then we rate our students like they’re in the Olympics. We need to teach the basics and then focus on how to apply those skills outside of the range. We need to work as much as possible within an environment that will allow officers to get a feel for how these skills must be applied in the myriad situations they might face on the street.
About the author:
Tom Marx left the Chicago Police Department in 1988 to become an instructor at the Smith & Wesson Academy. After several years of teaching full time both nationally and internationally, he shifted roles at Smith: first to a series of technical positions and then as Head of their Domestic Law Enforcement Operations. He left S&W to organize a Law Enforcement Division for Michaels of Oregon as well as to help design much of their police-related duty gear. Leaving Uncle Mike’s, Tom became Director of Intellectual Property for BLACKHAWK Products Group; focusing on the patent efforts for all of their divisions. Today, he is a consultant in various firearms, accessory and training matters. Throughout the years, Tom has continued to lecture and instruct both inside and outside the US with such diverse groups as ILEETA, IALEFI, WIFLE, LETC, NDIA, the NRA, and Team One Network. .
Contact Tom Marx.
"America is not at war. The Marine Corps is at war; America is at the mall."
March 4th, 2010 11:39 AM
And this is why Force on Force is CRITICAL to get people used to actually being in fights...not in target matches.
The FIRST time you see a real live breathing and moving person pull a knife or a gun on you should not be when it is for REAL. There is a reason many people "freeze up" in a violent encounter. It is NOT because they are cowardly. It is because their OODA cycle is moving in slow motion because they have simply never seen this happening before and they take far too long to make decisions.
Also we need to look at marksmanship that works in the actual dynamcis of the fight and then teach THAT....not take the classical "stand tall and straight and look for a picture perfect sight picture" type of shooting and try to interject it into a chaotic REACTIVE situation. Especially when under sudden adrenal dump and stress the last thing your body will do is stand tall......so why teach shooting methods or stances that do not work well when in the actual fight?
Don't get me wrong. If I CAN get proactive and get the gun in the fight early then I WILL use as good a sight picture as I can get.And that is made possible by recognizing the cues of impendding assault. So seeing it before in training helps you make decisions faster and may well allow you to get ahead of the curve and use more traditional marksmanship.... But if I am REACTING to a sudden threat I frankly may not have the time to use that classical marksmanship before I get hit. That is where being able to shoot well with a less than perfect sight picture comes in handy.
Unfortunately the vast majority of folks have never shot at anything other than paper or cardboard so they just do not know what they do not know. But when you DO use Force on Force as a tool to determine what really works in the dynamics of the real fight, then some things become pretty clear and we see some glaring problems with how we have historicly taught marksmanship. Fortunately force on force training is more readily available now, for both departments AND civilians. In fact at Suarez International we use FOF as the test vehicle to pressure test everything we teach. And by doing that we are able to judge techniques on the merit of how well they work in an actual man on man fight, not just whether they score well on a target.
If anyone in the Southeast is interested I will be offering our FOF class in the Anniston Alabama area next month......here is the link...
April 17-18, 2010 - Force on Force Gunfighting - Alexandria, AL
March 5th, 2010 09:53 AM
Excellent article...here are my thoughts on this subject and some of the points Randy made in his post.
One of the things I commonly observe is most people believe that taking a self defense class as being trained. However, a class only provides the knowledge in the form of techniques and the tactics for employing them. After the class is over, the student has to spend the time to ingrain these techniques into their tool box.
It is incumbent on the student to practice the technique(s) until it become reflexive. I call this subconscious competence.
Subconscious competence is the ability to perform a task with out having to think about every step in the process. For example, when I reload my pistol, all I consciously think is I need to reload my gun and my subconscious mind immediately takes over and performs the operation. Only by doing the task over and over and over does a task become reflexive.
The conscious mind is severely limited in the amount of tasks it can perform at one time. This is one of the reasons why students that have been trained in only classes lock up their first time in a fight or a stressful situation. The mind simply becomes over loaded.
When I was in a training battalion in the military, our goal was to gradually increase the pucker factor for the recruits on each mission or exercise to teach them how to deal with sudden on set of stress and how to work through it. And, when they got it wrong they spent hours upon hours working on it until they got it right.
When TSHTF is not the time for the student to think how did that draw stroke or knife disarm go? These skills should be ingrained in the student so they act with a certain response to different types of stimulus without even having to think about it. A excellent shooting program will teach skills in their simplest form and build upon them as the class or classes progress.
Firearms Training...up until the last few years most places did not have a balanced program that taught integrated H2H, threat focus, and sighted shooting techniques.
Force on force: I have been using FOF as a training tool in various forms for the last twenty years.
I'm not big on using scenarios where both parties know what is going to happen or the outcome of the drill. I'm not a fan of using unrealistic scenarios such as students drawing against each other unless it is being used to teach the advantage of one technique over another for example to demonstrate the benefit of the economy of motion.
It has been my experience that once you put someone in FOF gear they instantly go into high state of readiness and they will felony stop the old lady who reported her cat in the tree. So, there has to be multiple scenarios which test tactics and techniques.
Over the years, I have seen the use of bad tactics result in many unnecessary shootings during FOF.
FOF should be used as a vehicle to teach students the common pre-attack indicators and an after action review should be conducted after each scenario is completed.
FOF should be more then something to pressure test techniques but a tool to test the competence of the student and his decision making skill by the actions he or she takes. And, it should be used as a tool to teach the correct application of tactics and techniques based off stimulus given to the student such as pre-attack indicators and taking control of the situation.
March 5th, 2010 02:18 PM
Your point on being hyped up as soon as you get the mask on during FOF is so true. First time the mask went on and the scenario started I looked like a nervous twitchy gunfighter in the middle of the street. The more you are put in those situations the better you are able to cope with the stress. And even the most stressful FOF encounter doesn't come close to a real life incident where your life is on the line.
Your point of taking a defensive class of some type not making you a gunfighter is also true. Unless you do the work and practice those skills you will lose them. I have a buddy who has been to Thunder Ranch 6 or 7 times and he really isn't much better than before he spent thousands of dollars. In my opinion if you want to maintain the skills you just spent good money for try and form training groups where you can practice with other like minded individuals.
"America is not at war. The Marine Corps is at war; America is at the mall."
March 5th, 2010 06:09 PM
Recurring realistic training is what is needed to establish unconscious competence.
One FOF class once in a lifetime is not going to cut it. Just like a week long class where you shoot 2500 rounds is great but if you do not follow it up with regular relevant realistic training it will eventually be forgotten and you will be back to square 1.
As 7677 said....."FOF should be more then something to pressure test techniques but a tool to test the competence of the student and his decision making skill by the actions he or she takes. And, it should be used as a tool to teach the correct application of tactics and techniques based off stimulus given to the student such as pre-attack indicators and taking control of the situation."
I agree with this 100%. There are drills which teach the physical skills, and there are scenarios that test the skills in controlled environments and there are scenarios that test decision making. All 3 have a place in the ...."Training continuum" to steal some terminology from 7677....
Throwing someone with little or no skill in the deep end of the pool in a full blown scenario is of questionable value . On the other hand if ALL you ever do is do controlled "fights" against a single opponent with no decision making other than when to get off the x and go for your gun, then you will never develop the decision making that often leads to being able to make good decisions and avoid the fight or control the environment before the fight kicks off . Think FoF classes versus the National Tactical Invitational. NTI is a TEST of what you have in your tool box...it does not give you tools. You arrive with what skill you have internalized and test it in an environment you did not create or control. It tests how your training regimen stacks up to realistic scenarios. But it does not "teach " you physical skills. If you do not know HOW to read cues and function against live opponents the test type fof may not be what you need yet. There is a long road to unconscious competence.
And as JohnN mentioned....Since most folks do not live next door to a fof school the training group IS the way to maintain the skills and get practice working against live opponents on a regular basis. And the key is the REGULAR basis.
March 8th, 2010 06:47 PM
Cruel Hand Luke,
Have you attended an NTI event? What year/s did you attend?
I attended once, didn't see the need to go back.
BTW, did you mean subconscious competence and not unconscious competence. Unconscious anything with a gun wouldn't be good IMO. Subconscious competence was something that was well known throughout certain training regimens as far back as 1933. It directly relates to being able to operate without conscious thought, similar to operating a gun with peripheral vision while not directing your focus to the gun vs. direct vision on the gun in any way.
March 8th, 2010 09:34 PM
The correct term is Unconscious Competence. It's one of the four stages of competence.
Originally Posted by AzQkr
March 8th, 2010 10:00 PM
According to Linda Adams, president of Gordon Training International, the "Learning Stages (model) i.e., unconsciously unskilled, consciously unskilled, consciously skilled, unconsciously skilled ... was developed by one of our employees and course developers (Noel Burch) in the 1970's and first appeared in our Teacher Effectiveness Training Instructor Guide in the early 70's." However, given Maslow's earlier development of the theory it is likely that GTI primarily advanced and further developed the model instead of inventing it.
Originally Posted by Blackeagle
Something developed by an employee of a training group in a teacher effectiveness training instructor guide. ?
The above source is supposed to be convincing? From wiki, where anyone can write dissertations and profer opinions that many will take as factual and undisputed?
I always enjoy wiki being used as a definitive source of truth to support an opinion.
"Richard E. Pierce in "The Real Secret of Psychological Reciprocity" does something very interesting; he moves consciously competent beyond unconsciously competent and states that it is a higher level of learning. This is because we are not only able to accomplish the task, but we also understand clearly why we do the task. In other words, Pierce's conscious competence is very similar to Funch's meta-conscious competence. However, this particular change cripples the original intent of the basic concept by removing the third step and is, therefore, unacceptable.
Pierce also makes what is a relatively common mistake: underestimating the importance of the first level to an understanding to the entire process,
"They interact poorly with the activity and don't have a clue as to what's going on or why and don't even care."
The impact of the first level, unconscious incompetence, on our companies, communities, and society, is way beyond this simple explanation.
Finally, John Gookin, Defining and Developing Judgment, changes the fourth level to subconsciously competent. I like this change and believe that is an improvement over unconsciously competent. Gookin realized that while the first level was essentially an unconscious one, the fourth level was not an unconscious one, but rather a level of understanding controlled by the subconscious. For the balance of this paper, we will call the fourth level subconscious competence.
Unconscious competence has been psychologically analyzed and further researched to discover it's actually sub-sconscious competence that we're talking about. The masters of yore knew about this back in the 30's. That unconscious competence has been perpetuated upon the shooting community by others and accepted in some segments and groups doesn't change the fact we're actually talking about subconscious competence.
March 8th, 2010 10:20 PM
And this doesn't change the fact that unconscious competence is the accepted term.
Originally Posted by AzQkr
March 8th, 2010 10:27 PM
Accepted by who? Those who don't know the difference and perpetuate incorrect terminologies?
Originally Posted by Blackeagle
Got it, might be nice if people who were training others and passing information to students actually understood the psychology their talking about though, wouldn't it?
maybe not, maybe we should just accept the terminology just because it's accepted instead of fully researching and understanding what to hell we're explaining really is happening psychologically so eventually the incorrect information about what is happening is correctly stated and understood.
March 8th, 2010 10:42 PM
When it comes to usage, I'm a descriptivist. So given a choice between language that's technically more correct and language that's more likely to be understood by my intended audience, I will choose the language that's more likely to be understood. "Unconscious competence" is far more common and well understood by the intended audience. Communicating the underlying idea is the goal, the words to do so are merely a means to that end.
Originally Posted by AzQkr
March 8th, 2010 11:07 PM
Actually, most of any audience/student base you'd be relating this to would have never heard of either term, as neither is "common" nor "well understood" as you suggest. Consequently, using the correct term would be prudent so the incorrect term isn't further perpetrated on the uneducated public listening to the theory of this discussion.
Originally Posted by Blackeagle
March 9th, 2010 01:47 AM
March 9th, 2010 10:29 AM
Yes Brownie I went to NTI in 2007. I finished first overall on one of the standards shooting stages and had a 100% hit ratio in the FOF and survived all the scenarios.
And YES the term they use there (and the term that is GENERALLY used in the community) is UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE.
For those not familiar here is an article.....New Page 1
"THE JOURNEY TO UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE
By: Skip Gochenour
July 17, 2004
Operational definition: Unconscious competence (UC) is the ability to intuitively apply, on demand, skills and techniques which are blended, in whole or in part, and delivered in a seamless fashion as operational circumstances dictate.
UC application of skills and techniques permits practitioners to expend conscious energies on “reading” the human dynamics of the operation. The ability to intuitively apply components of skills and techniques as needed by operant circumstance enhances the confidence of the practitioner.
I. The Journey
A. Operates in four phases.
1. Unconscious Incompetence (UC)
2. Conscious Incompetence (CI)
3. Conscious Competence (CC)
4. Unconscious Competence (UC)
B. Unconscious Competence (UC)
1. In this phase you are unaware of the “rules” that will help you gain competence in the ability to handle operational incidents.
2. You have little if any understanding of the positive or negative benefits derived from a study of skills and techniques.
3. You operate in a trial by error format that is devoid of a matrix by which you can judge the value of the self generated experiences you enjoy.
4. You may, or may not, recognize the need to find a way to acquire an organized exposure to the “rules” that will generate competence.
C. Conscious Incompetence (CI)
1. You are aware there are “rules” that define skills and techniques that can help you acquire competence in operational settings.
2. You begin a process that is largely drill based to learn the skills needed as the first building blocks towards operational competence.
3. Dwell time is used to inculcate skills from the drills.
4. Skill drills are layered and dove-tailed to develop multi-faceted skills sets.
5. You develop an awareness of the span of skills and techniques required to become competent.
6. You develop a sense of the mistakes you make, though you may not know how to correct them on your own.
7. You are largely overwhelmed by the requirements of the tasks and the demands of multi-layered applications.
8. Skills and techniques are a function of direction, not demand.
D. Conscious Competence (CC)
1. This phase is the longest in the continuum.
2. It is the most inconsistent in displays of competence for the execution of skills and techniques.
a. As progression is made through this phase, the Practitioner will show levels of UC applications in some skill sets and levels of CI or CC in others during execution of techniques.
b. Some skills and techniques will operate on demand, others will operate on direction.
3. Practitioners in this phase develop and refine a system that allows the organization of the “rules”.
4. The “rules” driving the various skills and techniques allows the practitioner to develop self-initiated training regimens that inter-mix the various skills and techniques.
5. In this phase the practitioner is a slave to the “rules” for each skill and technique.
a. The practitioner is willing to believe that he only need follow the dictates as provided by the “gurus” and he will be virtually invincible.
b. He is driven to know “what is expected” of him, convinced the “school” answer is the measure of his demonstration of competence.
c. His operation base is usually limited or non-existent, or is in a very tightly controlled, specialized response system.
d. His confidence is easily shaken when, during a real or artificially constructed operation, he applies a technique and does not get the expected response.
1.) In an actual operation he will be dismayed and dither.
2.) In a simulated operation he will insist it was an unrealistic test.
E. Unconscious Competence (UC)
1. During operations, all applications of skills and techniques are intuitive. There is no conscious consideration of the technique to be applied.
2. All mental energy is directed to monitoring the changing conditions.
3. Techniques are blended as the evolving circumstances require.
a. The practitioner uses the “rules” of technique application to blend the components of various techniques to develop the most useful response, given the operating circumstances.
b. He is a master of the rules, not a slave to the rules.
4. No mental effort is apportioned to the process of applying the technique.
5. Mental effort is restricted to reading the human precipitated changes in operational circumstance.
II. Components: Drill, Technique and Operations
A. Competence is developed through:
1. CI begins with repetitive drill under the tutelage of a skilled practitioner.
2. Drills permit the practitioner to learn and practice hand skills and shooting skills.
3. Sufficient dwell time committed to each drill, under the direction of a tutor, must occur to inculcate the proper execution of the skill set.
4. CC and UC continue to practice foundational skills through the use of drill.
a. CI and CC drill on accomplishing a presentation that results in the weapon coming to bear on a target with the sights aligned. They then verify the sights are aligned and fire the shot required.
b. For the CI and the CC, exact replication of the drill as taught is the imperative. They strive to become slavish in the exact application of the drill. In an operational environment he will do the same drill, he will try to do it faster than he accomplishes it in a non-operational setting. The “rules” of the drill is the master.
c. UC performs the presentation, confident the sights are aligned, and use various forms of sight appearance as verification that the required shot will be accomplished.
1.) He has developed an immediate, direct and uninterrupted pathway of communication between his visualization judgment and his trigger finger.
2.) His conscious mind is free to determine the need for the shot and to determine the proportions of the desired impact area.
3.) When the desired impact area is selected, he intuitively judges the required visualization for the shot, and when that visualization occurs the trigger finger responds with the required finesse to the trigger to accomplish the shot.
4.) Drill has enabled him to generate event driven response.
5.) He learns the difference between the needed visualization and trigger finesse to accomplish a hit on a man sized target at 10 feet and a hit and to strike a man in the left eye at the same distance.
6.) He masters the “rules” and makes them work for him.
The CC still feels a need to see
the same “sight” picture for
1. Techniques generally apply to dynamic movement and weapons employment.
2. CI and CC study techniques under a tutor.
3. As with skills drills, these two phases of competence are still using significant to substantial amounts of mental effort applied to the “rules” of the technique, as the technique is being applied.
4. At this phase of development there is an operating belief, indeed a hope, that there is a superior technique, which if correctly applied, will cause them to prevail in an operation.
5. The imperative is to find the “right” technique, apply it correctly and with exactitude. The “rules” of the technique are the master.
6. Unfailing belief in the “right” technique is directly proportional to the level of “ninja turtle” that developed the technique. Tricky, sexy and cute qualities existing in the technique usually facilitate the unfailing belief.
7. CI and CC have an unfailing belief in the technique that posits that practitioners must create distance between themselves and the threat. The technique is practiced until it is accomplished reflexively. It is a useful technique in open spaces. In confined, contained areas, the technique exacerbates the problem.
8. The UC understands the purpose of the technique and modifies the application to the circumstances as they are presented.
a. The technique does not rule his response. He rules the response through modifying a particular response and/or blending components of various techniques.
b. Creating distance between the practitioner and the problem is to allow for disengagement, escape and evasion. There are circumstances when the only available route to exercise this technique is to initially close the distance between the practitioner and the problem.
10. The UC understands the purpose of The imperative is to accomplish the goals of the technique, not slavishly apply the technique in text book fashion.
1. Operations can be simulated or real.
2. Simulated operations can be live fire or human interaction, judgment development based.
3. Simulated operations, live fire.
a. Commonly referred to as “shoot houses”, these simulated operations permit the practitioner to practice decision making in changing circumstance, dynamic movement while reading architecture and obstacles and skills drills.
b. CI’s in these simulations are generally overwhelmed. CC’s may start out displaying some degree of competence, but often have their skills quickly degraded. Upper level CC’s may have the discipline to complete the exercise acceptably performing the drills and techniques, but do so by “thinking” their way through each physical challenge.
c. As the signal to noise ratio, inherent in the complex environment, increases in intensity and cumulative effect, the ability to consciously apply specific techniques and skills is degraded.
d. There is insufficient mental energy remaining to consider the meaning of changing circumstance.
e. In a simulated operation where two explosions have already occurred, obviously generated by hostiles, the CI and CC will still be using varying amounts of conscious thought to accomplish skills and techniques in the “right” fashion. There is insufficient mental power left to recognize an explosive device strapped to their body, realize the implications, and modify their “correct” technique application of placing two shots to the chest of the hostile. They will still be using a certain amount of mental energy to be sure the sights are in “proper” alignment. They must follow the “rules” of the drill or technique.
f. The UC performs skills and techniques intuitively. He devotes little if any mental effort to perform them.
g. His mental energy is available to “read” the signs and signals operating in the incident and consider the implications of their meaning, preparing to take advantage of opportunities created in the crisis.
h. The CI and CC, at least those that are not reduced to dithering, expend their mental energy, ploddingly resolving one component of the problem at a time.
i. The UC uses his mental energy to mine the situation for clues of developing circumstance and searching for opportunity in the crisis while focusing on the goal of resolving the overall problem.
4. Simulated operations, human interaction judgment based. Force on Force (FoF)
a. In FoF simulations the CI and CC are denied the time needed to deliberately apply technique and skills.
b. Likewise, they are denied the control of circumstance afforded in “shoot houses”.
c. Unpredictable actions on the part of the role players dictate the circumstances of the encounter.
d. Mental energy is consumed with interpretation of the actions of the actor.
e. There is insufficient remaining energy to consciously execute skills and techniques.
f. The CI and CC lack time and control of circumstance for their imperative of “correct” application of a skill or technique.
g. The UC does not devote conscious energy to the execution of skills and techniques.
h. Skills and techniques are event and circumstance triggered responses. They are rather more applied than selected from a list of possibilities and performed.
i. The imperative of the UC is to look for opportunity within the crisis to accomplish his goal.
j. The CI and CC will look at a situation and consider means of applying their techniques. The UC will look at the circumstance and develop opportunities to accomplish his goals. In the final incident in ATSA Village at NTI XIV, the CI and CC looked for locations to fight. The UC looked for opportunities to disengage, escape and evade.
The UC is a master of the rules. He understands that skills and techniques are for the purpose of accomplishing the overall goal. All other categories are mastered by the rules. They believe the application of techniques and skills are the goal. At their respective levels, they are correct. If they remain stagnant in that supposition they will not make the transition to UC.
The UC understands the plan is not the master. Evolving circumstance modifies the situation and can degrade the execution of the plan. Plans are for managers and bureaucrats who are always in search of someone to blame.
The able and competent understand the plan is merely a means of mental preparation that prepares the mind to see advantages and opportunity presented by the evolution of crisis. It is the bailiwick of leaders.
Managers, like some recently retired generals commenting on the current war, are slaves to plans. They are masters of logistical manipulation.
Leaders, like UC, understand men and their motivations. They understand that motivated competent men observe opportunity and exercise upon it. They look forward to the opportunities created by crisis.
The CI and CC are stuck in the “belief” they can “manage” a crisis if only they have the “right” plan and assiduously apply the “right” technique. To them, failure to acquire the expected result is a product of a poor plan or poor technique. It is an occasion for whining and hand wringing.
The UC rejoices in his opportunity to prevail in accomplishing his goal through the opportunities created by evolving crisis circumstance."
That article was written by the guy who is essentially the head guy at the NTI.
So if it is OK with you Brownie, I'll continue to use the UNCONSCIOUS competence verbage and you can use whatever verbage you choose.
March 9th, 2010 10:50 AM
Copied and pasted from other articles by skip for the most part.
Like I said, wasn't impressed with NTI much, perhaps they're up and running better nowadays.
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