Close Quarters Battle training has become the latest rage for the ‘new golf’. While some might argue whether this skill is justified for civilians, I feel it is a valuable skill considering most of us own weapons to defend our homes. Employing a firearm in such ‘close quarters’ requires a new set of skills rarely learned on the flat range. Oftentimes, this form of training for those who are not military or LE is referred to by another name such as house clearing or home defense. No matter the name, the principles remain the same.
By now many of you know that there was an accidental, non-fatal shooting last weekend during a CQB-style course in Texas. Details have begun to emerge and the instructor has manned up and accepted responsibility. This is not the first time this has happened and unfortunately, won’t be the last. So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to point out some common issues encountered by prospective students.
The biggest issue associated with this form of advanced training is that you should seek out instruction from someone that knows what they are doing. As CQB-style training becomes increasingly popular, more and more instructors are going to offer it. Some are excellent and some have no business doing it. One thing to ask a prospective instructor is about his credentials. There is one popular instructor out there who recently began offering this form of training and only started offering it after he attended someone’s else’s course.
Conversely, don’t lie about your experience. If you haven’t done it before, admit it. Once you find the right instructor, listen. Ask questions. Participate in dryfire. You can learn a lot about movement and procedures during practice runs. Finally, practice, practice, practice.
No matter who you decide to train with, pay full attention at all times and remember that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Listen to, and comply with all range commands. Col Cooper’s four rules of firearms safety are just as critical here as anywhere. In fact, probably more so due to the inclusion of the ‘fog of war’ where the shooter must face the unknown.
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Whether in a home environment or in a strange building, remember, there will most likely be civilians. Identifying targets and what is beyond them is crucial to their safety. Remember your rounds may go through walls. Consider this both in training and in the real world. Pursuant to this, train in properly constructed facilities.
If you are going to engage in CQB-style training, train with people who know what they are doing, remember the fundamentals, listen to all range commands, and don’t let peer pressure place you or others in danger. Remember, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”
There are myriad factors involved in this advanced form of firearms employment. Stick with professional, competent trainers and learn to do it right. Training is crucial to success, but let’s be careful out there.