Monday, April 6, 2009

Training Day: Combat Triad

Today's defensive training stressed the use of the notion of the "Combat Triad". This concept originated with Jeff Cooper, the originator of The Modern Technique of the Pistol, which consists of Mindset, Gun handling, and Marksmanship.

Over the ensuing years the "Combat Triad" has evolved into various flavors to include the components "Tactics, Gun handling and Marksmanship" or "Skills, Tactics, Mindset". They all essential boil down to the same outcome. Survive a hostile encounter.

Mindset usually is referred to as your willingness to defend yourself this also includes situational awareness, and the ability to keep a clear head and focus during the chaos of a violent confrontation.

Another way to express the triad is Survival Success = Mindset + Skills + Tactics.

Our instructor uses the notion of the "Combat Triad" which is a conceptual tool that allows one to balance training between three discrete components that if practiced individually in various aspects of everyday life can be combined into a synergistic whole which will dramatically increase survivability in a violent confrontation. The components are: Tactics, Gun handling and Marksmanship. Marksmanship being the most important of the three because you have to hit the target at the end of the day.

Also mentioned was combat mindset color code, which describes the various stages of alertness, (i.e., white=unaware, yellow=unspecific alert, orange=specific alert, red=fight) the Color Code helps you "think" in a fight. "As the level of danger increases, your willingness to take certain actions increases. If you ever do go to Condition Red, the decision to use lethal force has already been made (your "mental trigger" has been tripped)."

Applying the fundamental concepts of the "Combat Triad" to a wide variety of situations ensures survival through constant and consistent practice of the principles learned.

How to develop mindset, an intangible skill, is very difficult compared to say, marksmanship which can be measured much more easily with targets and timers. Our first scenario definitely helped develop the mindset component of the "Combat Triangle" as a part of the tactics.

Before we started training a rattle snake had to be removed from the range.

Catching the rattle snake

You can really see it's forked tongue and tail.

The first scenario, being the most physically shocking hammered home the survival of an attack. Each student was brought into the stage not knowing what to expect. They were told to sit down on the ground and then were blindfolded. Some instructions and rules were relayed to the student and then all hell broke lose.

The instructor took a training strike bag, a giant hardened pillow, and proceeded to disorient us with it. We were rolled around and shoved etc. then when he said the word "threat" we were to remove the blindfold, reorient ourselves, and engage the threats which were three bad guy targets that were the assailants. Marksmanship was stressed during this scenario and the "Combat Triad" was put to the test very effectively.

The key lessons to be derived from all this are that one should be aware of his surroundings and any potential threats therein at all times, and that aggressors aren't usually expecting violent resistance, so that one who retaliates quickly and with force stands a very good chance of winning. In other words... be alert and fight back!

Next up was shooting from retention. To enforce the proper form we were to hold a target stand with the support hand. We then were to draw our weapon and shoot from retention, drop the target stand then engage the remaining two targets. As usual, only correctly placed hits count.

This was a great scenario to teach the correct retention shooting and moving off of the X.

The third scenario involved a bad guy gully. It consisted of moving down a path that included two barricades 9 poppers, 5 paper targets. Small poppers were bystanders. We had to move through the scenario eliminating all the threats.

Setting up the scenario

A homemade mechanical automatic target. Awesome!

One of the members put together the above automatic mechanical target which worked great! Very innovative.

All in all the day was a great success and I, for one, learned a lot of information.

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