There Is A Method To The Madness
I have been a student of assaults for the better part of my adult life. I’ve studied, practiced and perfected the art and managed to infuse a little science to the affair.
Seeing The Big Picture
When you are first learning how to conduct CQB operations or assaults there is so much to take onboard. I’m not going to lie, it is overwhelming. Every action or inaction has both a postive and negative outcome. If you go to the right, you miss a target to the left. If you fail to clear this deadspace you expose your teammates to deadly force. The list is mind boggling, but the answer lies within the chaos. Underneath all the crazy there is a simple yet effect symphhony of movement that reduces the dangers you face, while increasing the danger the bad guy faces. The real question is how do you get tickets to the symphony?
Practice Makes Perfect
It all starts with an acknowledgement it will take time. While every force, unit and team will vary there is an agreed upon notion it is weeks, sometimes months to grasp a minimum level of competency to be safe among those who have mastered the art. One of the greatest dangers as an experienced operator is being in close proximity to someone who is still learning. Obviously, the dangers increase as you add live fire practice, varous explosive and of course a living, breathing advesary. So, what is the secret? It’s really no secret, it is practice. What you have to understand is what type of practice. There are various forms of practice, but the type of practice that produces the best results is a deep type of practice.
Working From The Known To Unknown
Within this deep practice, the student is given a set of parameters to work within. Then, they are put into practicals they must apply their understanding of the parameters. It is impossible to get it right on the first attempt, even the 1000th attempt for some. But that’s the point, there is sciene in failure. Failing is a key ingredient to success. You have to be put in these situations often and fail often. This failure brings about a problem solving mindset that is constantly adapting to the environment within the type of individual that makes a good operator.
Understanding The Look
The ideal environment for CQB is one where it starts simple and works to complex. That should come as no surprise, but even a simple square room can get uber complex when you start adding doors, oddities and dead spaces. The trick is to incrementally expose the operator to each of these scenarios. To provide them with what I call “the look”. This look is essential because it gives the operator a frame of reference. In the real world, no live target building will look like the training kill houses we virtually live in when practicing. What you are trying to accomplish is to build a database the operator can quickly review. What they are looking for is not the exact copy, but something close enough. This close enough will allow decrease the reaction and processing time. Providing a workable solution. It may not be perfect, but perfection is the enemy of good.
Being Disciplined and Hungry
How does this help the average person. The lesson to take away is anything you want to be good at is going to require hard work, practice. But not just any practice, deep practice. The type of practice that will produce errors, that you can review and reflect upon. Then try to avoid repeating the same errors in the future. I teach a four part system. First you have to identify the error. Then you need to intercept the error before it occurs. Replace the error with the preferred action then repeat until reliable. What I mean by reliable is repeat until this new action becomes the new habit. I’m always pushing our students to fail, I want a 20% failure rate. This gives the student enough positive to stay motivated and enough negative to stay hungry.
I can go on and on regarding teaching CQB, but that is for another day. What I love is within all the chaos is simplicty.