After Action Report
This was a 20 hour course and Craig delivered 20 full hours of good stuff.
This was my first actual class with SouthNarc. I noticed that this course was structured similar to his Practical Unarmed Combat Volume 1 DVD in that he begins with laying out the principles and defining the problem.
He warned us that if at all possible, clearing a structure is something to be avoided. But if we have a loved one inside, etc, he wanted to give us some principles and methods that would increase our chances of success.
Then he took us through developing solutions to deal with the problem, first using a chalk board, drawing diagrams and having us discuss how we would handle the problem.
Next was to run scenarios. We were in a freakin’ nightmare of a warehouse in Culpeper, VA. Three huge floors full of trash, junk, appliances, and lots of unidentifiable stuff. Like an in-door land fill (sorry Frank). My first thought was “who in the heck would willingly come in here”?
Craig divided us into 3 groups with each group working a different floor with Craig rotating between floors giving pointers and critiquing our movement, etc. He also had us rotate floors so we ended up running many evolutions on each floor.
The first round of evolutions was to have us simply clear the floor while considering the various principles he discussed at the beginning. You would be surprised at how hard some things are that should actually be easy. For example, one of the principles is to view the structure in terms of what you can’t see instead of what you can see.
After working a good bit on the techniques for solving the problems, we added some bad guys hiding in random places. Another eye opener: people can hide in places you would never believe they can get into. After a few rounds of this, we went hot with Airsoft.
At one point, Craig demonstrated the technique of coming in aggressively behind the muzzle. I was behind a bookcase and as he approached, I leaned out slightly to fire on him. I got hit in the shoulder when I started to lean out. I then pulled the shoulder back in and tried to lean out with only my gun and as much of my head as I needed in order to see.
He nailed me like a two-by-four. I took three rapid rounds to the left eye before pulling back. He was firing as soon as he saw even a small piece of me and hitting where he aimed with EVERY SINGLE ROUND!!
Now I’ve done a few force-on-force sessions, but have never come up against that kind of overpowering accuracy.
After dinner, we did low light work. One floor had some decent ambient light so you could use your flashlight sparingly, just checking into those dark area’s.
One floor, however, was pitch dark. Couldn’t see your own hand. One member of our group, Byron, who had trained with Craig several times before, made a darned good run of taking out 4 of us bad guys in the pitch dark room without getting hit. Craig immediately pronounced him “Ninja”.
Byron used a gun mounted light and a hand held strobe. The combination was very effective.
Next day we repeated the drills a few times to refresh things in our minds, then Craig added an innocent to the mix. He showed us techniques for neutralizing someone that you aren’t sure of, i.e. is he a good guy or a bad guy?
We drilled on how to by-pass a contact to get to a screaming family member. This was some intense stuff.
We ended the day, with each person running through a scenario that had it all. On mine, I was told to clear the structure and by the way, “your wife is in there”. I started clearing the structure only to encounter someone just milling around in one of the rooms, I started getting him to put his hands on his head, turn around, etc. when all of a sudden my “wife” screams. I had to by-pass the guy shoving him to the floor and move rapidly into a room to take out my wife’s attacker (OK. . .so he took me out instead; thank's Dino).
I don’t think I will enter a building ever again without noticing the hard corners, planes of visual impairment, etc.
Guys, this course had it all. It was a structure clearing course with lots of force on force rolled in.
Craig is amazing. His method of teaching is just flat out superior.
He stated at the beginning of the class that he was not trying to teach us how to clear a structure. He was going to teach us how to THINK about the problem via the basic principles, so that we would look at each situation and adequately develop the procedure to best fit the situation. He certainly delivered on that.
Thanks to Dino and Ashley AGAIN for continuing to bring in the best of the best. Can’t wait for ECQC next year!!