Wednesday, July 9, 2014

After Action Report (AAR): Shivworks Extreme Close Quarters Concepts June 27th - 29th, 2014

The end to a good weekend of learning.

I attended Shivworks Extreme Close Quarters Concepts a couple weeks ago.    Rob Schoening of LHGK hosted Craig Douglas a.k.a. SouthNarc.  Rob was a great host and provided Craig and the students with a place to meet and train over the course of the weekend.  Rob was also very communicative in regards to details surrounding the course and even gave us the heads up on the weather situation on the day of traveling to the Council Bluffs/Omaha area.


Live Fire Drill:  Instruction on the retention position.  Body cues included a flagged thumb pectoral index and tight trap muscle for proper orientation.

Rob did a good job of summarizing what we did in the course.  Additionally, here are a few of my thoughts, lessons and impressions I took away from the course in no particular order:
  • The best way to avoid trouble is to be situationally aware and to manage folks with your verbal agility while physically putting yourself in the best tactical position possible.  In other words, know what you are going to say to a stranger who is closing on you prior to it even happening and be smart about your movement.  This was covered in the first 4 hour block of instruction.
  • Obviously, not every stranger is out to get you.  However, never stop your sweeping movement from your stranger/assailant until they are at a distance that you feel gives you safety.  This is all very dependent on the situation
  • If you think you will just pull your gun out and put down multiple bad guys, then you are likely fooling yourself.  The word I repeatedly used to describe this course to family and friends was "eye-opening".  In the role played force on force scenarios called "Evolutions", without fail, when the "bad guys" were out to get the "good guy" the fight ended pretty poorly for the "good guy".  The assailants will not necessarily drop in a heap if you put rounds on them.  A two on one scenario just isn't good odds even if you are armed.  Below is my 2 vs. 1 scenario.  Be warned, I drop the F bomb a few times.  :)


  • It goes without saying, but the better shape you are in, then the better you up the chances for yourself.
  • I need to practice firing from a retention and semi-retention position a lot more often to get a better "feel" for where my muzzle is pointed.  I also need to work on my entanglement fighting with a gun if I am to make any progress with what I was taught.  This obviously requires a partner who will train with you.  A nice training aid might be a quality airsoft pistol or possibly a SIRT pistol.
  • Never give up during a fight.  If the "bad guys" are closing in, then never stop moving your feet.  If the conflict goes to the ground, then fight for every inch of space when grappling in order to give yourself a positional advantage.  Try to get back on your feet as soon as possible.
  • Found that my Crossbreed holster, while comfortable, just was not up to the task of a knock down drag out fight.  I ended up going with a Raven Concealment holster that I had heard good things about and that others at the course were also wearing with no issues.  I may do a blog post on it after I have had more time to use it on a daily basis.

Grappling Drill: Working from an underhook and tie position.

To summarize, I cannot say enough good things about this course.  Craig Douglas instruction was top notch and exceeded my expectations on a very high level.  The entire course was ran under his watchful eye and he paid attention to each and every student on every drill and Evolution and always had either a word of encouragement or positive corrective action.  There was almost 20 of us and I never felt like I was neglected.  If I had a question, then Craig addressed it until I understood what he was trying to convey.  The material itself was much more than the typical "gun class" fare.  It was a fusion of mental and verbal agility (managing people), grappling and gun play.  The name given the course is very apropos.  If you ever have the funds, desire and opportunity to take this course, then do not pass this up.

Thanks for stopping by.

1 comment:

  1. Solid review, This course is at the top of my 'to do' list. I generally do not worry too much about unarmed comparatives. Honestly as an early 30 something with a wife and kids my fist fighting days are solidly in the past. I have a decent to solid background in Muy Thai, Jui Jitsu and Wrestling. Also I've been in my fair share of fights. In a real close quarters situation I'm probably going to knock the guy out (or I guess be knocked out) before I could draw my gun anyway.

    I really do not like the gun for CQB. Knives are probably better for that anyway.

    Maybe next year this course will be available in my AO.

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