Some say you will hardly use math skills taught in school other than to balance your checkbook. I suppose it depends on what you do in life.

Its All Fun & Games Until

Maybe math is more important than you think. You might appreciate it more if you have to work tactical problems. Where you need to clear around corners to a dead space at the far end of the wall; what is called a hard corner. Years ago when I was working as OPFOR for my guys I witnessed an amazing phenomenon. The further back into the angle I got, the less I had to expose in order to gain ground down range. I saw the reverse play out when teammates would hug the corner as they attempted to clear the hard corner. While not ideal, both of these skills are important in the grand schemes of tactical movement repertoire. The problem was how this thinking it went against the grain from conventional wisdom.

It Is Not Always The Why

I remember when teaching a tactical team Active Hostage Rescue skills where managing corners was heavily emphasized. One of the members in their previous career was an architect. As I was explaining corners and the approach towards a corner I talked about obtaining the best vantage point. The better the vantage point the more down range hazards you can clear. Leaving usually the hard corner to visually clear with a dynamic movement. As we worked in commercial buildings we had the opportunity to explore a variety of these types of problems. His curiously was piqued and in the evening after class he pulled out his old drawing program. He created a large scale representation of not why it works, but how it works. I remember his excitement rolling this large piece of paper across his patrol car hood and the careful explanation as to the how.

You Can Only Look One Way

While I cannot remember the technical terms, it was impressive. When you are working in smaller and smaller units the ability to cover all the angles becomes more challenging, almost impossible. Since you can only look in one direction the importance behind achieving the best vantage point becomes huge. Of course, there are points of diminishing returns such as when you have to clear a weak side corner. This forces you to expose more of your body since it typically crosses the plane before your firearm does. A maximum we teach is to maximize your distance and minimize your exposure. When you accomplish these in tandem you create a significant tactical advantage. In order to minimize your exposure you may have to develop the skill of transferring to your weak side to help reduce your exposure. I caveat this technique with a statement that focuses on safety and competency. If either of those are suspect, then you are better off exposing more for improved fighting capacity.

See First Always

There will always be those who have a hard time accepting this technique is simple and effective. Going down range to get the bad guy’s perspective helps. Even then it still takes time to accept; which usually comes with application. When placed in a situation where it doesn’t matter how skilled, how cool your gear is or who’s side you are on it generally boils down to who sees who first. If you are exposing less and seeing more you will come to recognize the value with time. If you step back as an observer you eventually see the light bulbs turn on as they perform more and more runs through a simulator.

When you are playing an adult hide-n-seek game, you will come to appreciate the importance behind these maximums. You will develop these skills out of self preservation.

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