More push back about the ‘CQB’ virus

Squad Attack Drills VIDEO Examples pulled from YouTube
June 19, 2013
Tactical Headgear – Thoughts & Application
June 25, 2013

Forgive my snark:


Yes, its an old school video and it’s not perfect, but take a look at the environment for high intensity urban fighting. There is no room here for your ‘super slick’ over-stylized ‘button-hooking’ drills that are more appropriate for a SWAT-style hostage rescue situation where you are only going in to the house to 1) confirm that it is clear or 2) take down the psychotic guy with the knife.
Please quit going to retired SWAT trainers to get training and information on how to fight in a high intensity urban battle. This is not a self-motivated statement, because I do not myself have an urban facility, so I’m not in competition. I’ll teach you how I would do urban fighting if you like, but I prefer to concentrate on good solid basics that will stand you in good stead in all environments. I will not get on the ‘tacticool’ bandwagon.
If you are doing dynamic entry into rooms, and you are going through doors, the only way to gain an advantage is to put something in there beforehand to allow you to seize the initiative i.e. a grenade or a flash-bang or similar.
Otherwise, don’t go in there. Shoot the place apart from stand-off. Combat experience has shown that unless you are doing high intensity MOUT/OBUA, utilizing grenades/flash-bangs/entry charges and massive violence to seize initiative on entry, usually avoiding going through doors, then you are on to a loser.
The ‘hostage rescue’ style ‘CQB’ as taught by so many is not ideal unless, in quick summary there is 1) not really much of a threat and you are confirming clear or 2) you use overwhelming speed, aggression and surprise. That’s the difference between your local goon-squad SWAT department at the one end of the spectrum and a Tier 1 dynamic entry team at the other.
Why is that? Because combat experience is showing that, just like in the high-intensity urban fighting training video above, the big danger is barricaded enemy. That guy will not be impressed by your super-sick drills and will shoot you as you clear your corner. Guess what? SWAT don’t go in against a barricaded threat, they stand off.
If you have to go in and clear, you can try another combat proven technique: starting with the ‘call out’. Isolate the target house, usually with an L-Shaped formation which covers egress from all sides of the building yet does not threaten fratricide on your own guys – the ends of the ‘L’ must go past the ends of the building to achieve this. Then escalate force in order to try and get the target to give up, occupants to surrender, or whatever it is you want to achieve. You have the option to destroy the place from the outside if they did not cooperate and it was too risky to go in. 
If you decide you have to go in, then your best bet is to use violence of entry and don’t use the doors. Breach into the building and clear from the top down using massive violence and savagery. Smash the side wall in with a truck if you think it will be helpful to breaching.
If there is any reason why you have to clear the rooms but must refrain from massive violence but at the same time you suspect that there may be barricaded enemy within, then use a technique called ‘combat clearing’: this is where you don’t make entry into a room in the standard ‘CQB’ style. You don’t toss in grenades either.
Basically the technique revolves around the ‘slicing the pie’ technique. You have to get the door open first, which means some breaching action, but then you remain in the corridor and using the way you array your guys you gain line of sight gradually into the room using the ‘slicing the pie’ technique. There is a risk point as you flip past the door to get a view back into the other side of the room, and you have to keep the corridor ahead of you covered also. I don’t have a diagram, but its not that hard to figure out.
I paint a picture of realistic urban fighting at various points in my novel: ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises’
Please, stop drinking the ‘Tacti-Koolaid.’
Live hard, Die Free.


  1. Sanders says:

    Good show!

    Just like they taught us in Infantry school, and as practiced in various hellholes around the world.

    I believe you are the first trainer I’ve seen tackle this subject from the no-nonsense point of view.

  2. I’m of the opinion if there is a person or persons in a structure that I need to deal with, I would incorporate a 5 gallon can of gasoline, a lighter, and a well covered shooting position.

  3. You know, I always wondered about this. I happened to receive an instructional DVD, “Pat Rogers: Intro to the Shoot House”, that came with a rifle I bought. As I watched the video, I kept thinking to myself, “Wouldn’t one of those officers probably get shot as they storm into a room if there are guys in the corner?” They never mentioned throwing in a flash bang. They just opened the door and sped into the room. Are they just relying on surprise? Am I missing something?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey Max, do you reccomend tactical ladders lol? Also, could some of the louder and more bright style of commercial fireworks perhaps suffice as a poor mans flashbang? Also dont forget the utility of dummy grenades, US Marines in the Pacific sometimes threw rocks at the Japanese during night time attacks while shouting “THROWING GRENADE”, At the very least they could slow the Japanese advance, at most the Japanese exposed themselves trying to escape a simple rock. Today, novelty dummy grenades can be found just about everywhere (including civilian office desks) and are easy to fabricate. I’m sure they could be useful to any resitance fighters in Close Quarter engagements.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How many flash bangs do you, personally, have? If so, do you regularly carry them on your person? It isn’t a SWAT/HR class, it’s a class focused more on scenarios like a pair of street cops or citizens responding to an active shooter(who’d love nothing more than you pulling back and waiting) and as such they probably won’t have bangs at all, much less enough to bang every space they enter. He also covers soft entries, AKA combat Clearing; what you do depends on the situation. Not all CQB scenarios are the same; Hostage rescue, active shooter, general structure clearing, TEOTWAWKI Mad Max fighting biker gangs, etc. all very different with different tactics.

    The .mil finds a building full of hostiles, they JDAM it. A guerrilla would surround the building, light it on fire, and shoot folks coming out. Neither tactic is realistic for contemporary street cops or private citizens.

    The idea behind the DVD was to put out some high points for students to review before attending class, or to refresh from later. You can’t expect a 90 minute DVD to contain the same info as a 4 day class.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That response was @ Prairie Patriot.

  7. @Anonymous July 2013

    Max stated, “If you are doing dynamic entry into rooms, and you are going through doors, the only way to gain an advantage is to put something in there beforehand to allow you to seize the initiative i.e. a grenade or a flash-bang or similar.”

    The point of my question was why was I seeing people on the DVD practicing going into a room without throwing in some kind of flashbang? If you’re saying because they were simulating NOT having bangs, then that is fine. I just figured if you’re going to be clearing a structure that you might actually have one on you in your Active Shooter kit.

    I’m not a LEO or Mil so I honestly don’t know.

  8. Anonymous says:

    ATF is full retard WRT bangs, requiring expensive heavy-ass expensive magazines to be transported in vehicles and what not for non-feds. Add in the fact that they can still kill someone and/or set things on fire, you won’t be seeing most average street cops carrying them any time soon so it isn’t worth training with something you won’t have any way.

    Max makes solid points. SWAT CQB room entry techniques are mostly useless for a guerrilla fighter; hell, they’re useless for most SWAT teams. If you know what you’re doing you can eat an entry team for lunch; It’s not uncommon for teams to get chewed up by a determined, prepped opponent. We had a team just south of here run into a buzzsaw; the guy was waiting and got #1 man DRT with a shot to the face and #2 man caught a round to the right hand, disabling both him and his gun. He grabbed his partner’s dropped weapon weak-handed and ended the threat.

    Every situation is different; doctrine for an active shooter is to go aggressive and press the threat, not just to stop the killing and give folks a chance to escape, but most active shooters have a tendency to self-terminate when they run into resistance. That’s why it’s so important to go armed everywhere it’s practically possible to do so.