Condition: Yellow - responsible preparation, and fun, for an unpredictable world

Armed Confrontation Survival Course

On Saturday I participated in the armed confrontation survival course offered by Brian Harpole and his staff from Consolidated Training Group. It was an all-day class held at the Proactive Defense range in Argyle, TX.

The class was lots of fun and very well run, I thought. It was also very revealing.

carjacking drill

As described on the CTG site

The Armed Confrontation Survival Course focuses on quality, practical training that has real world and situational transference. This course focuses on developing a survival mindset and aggressive weapon handling techniques, while sharpening concepts of threat visualization and reflexive reaction skills. This one or two day class (8 or 16 hours) is applicable for Military, Law Enforcement, Contract Security and Responsible Gun Owners. Topics have immediate relevance to the day-to-day functional activities pressed upon us, and lead directly to the development of specific action steps for immediate life implementation.

We started with marksmanship and gun-handling assessments at varying ranges, then built up to more practical situations. None of the practical drills were static; all involved either an evolving situation, physical requirements in the midst of defense, moving from cover to cover, or having to defend from inside and around a vehicle.

More than half of the drills required us to make critical threat and/or environment assessments and respond according to the new threat or non threat.

shooting drill

This was an exercise where we defended from cover against one assailant, then had to assess the environment to defend against one or more additional threats that appeared at the instructor’s whim.

The latter portion of the class was concerned with dynamic, real-life scenarios in which we used live-fire with Simunition FX ammunition in otherwise real weapons against a real person. These were, by far, the most mentally challenging drills. Each scenario was different and a complete surprise to the student.

There was no instruction; you just entered the scenario with a specific task—”You’ve just arrived home and are going to your door…” or “You are at a store checkout counter…” or “You have just rear-ended another motorist in your car…”—and the situation unfolded with you in it.

I think it notable that in each of these scenarios there were usually moments where the threat was real, but did not warrant deadly force. At some point, however, things changed and deadly force was appropriate to stop the threat to yourself or someone else in the scenario. These were challenging scenarios and it was unnerving to point a real weapon at someone and pull the trigger. See for yourself…

My Conclusions

Brian and his staff did a great job and put together a fun and challenging class. I’m glad to have taken part and I’ll be doing more of these kinds of classes in the near future. I was reasonably happy with my marksmanship, but my lack of experience in these sorts of dynamic, practical, evolving scenarios left me disappointed. As a CHL holder I want to address this gap in my training for, like most people, I lack what I consider to be requisite competence in dealing with the breadth of threatening situations one might be confronted with on any given day.

The result of one’s performance in a threatening situation will have a result that is permanent. Tentative or unpracticed decisions and actions would be detrimental for all involved. I’d rather respond with a practiced eye, spirit, and resolve. That means more training.

If you’d like to prepare for real-world threats and challenge yourself, visit the CTG website or their Facebook page and see what they offer. Sign up for a class or two or six.

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