Close Quarter Battle (CQBC)
I returned to the Velocity Training Center (VTC), Romney, WV, this May to take the Close Quarters Battle Course after having taken Combat Team Tactics and Combat Rifle Skills in the past. I will not rehash the events of each day of training as the other recent posts do an excellent job of describing what to expect and the great practical training that was provided. Instead, I would like to give you a review of the CQB instructors and a few of my personal take-aways from the class.
In my humble opinion, the CQB course Max offers is a “must have”. I believe close quarters combat is the most common threat any of us will face in our everyday lives. From a home invasion to coming home from work and finding your front door kicked in, this CQB course will provide you with tools to assess the threat and give you a fighting chance to secure your home or protect your family members.
When I first took CTT a few years ago I was new to the AR Platform. In just a few days I was moderately proficient with my rifle and received lots of great training to take home and continue on my own. I tell you this only to stress the importance of frequent realistic training. I HAD NOT done enough. While doing “battle” with little orange pie plates during the DAY 2 “stress shoot” I had a weapon malfunction. The stress of the situation, combined with lack of muscle memory “tap-rack-bang” potentially left me down a priceless 4-5 rounds still in my magazine that was now lying in the dirt. My battle buddy pushed me out of the doorway to keep the simulated enemy from continuing to dump countless rounds into my now probably lifeless body. I was reloading while completely exposing myself to the enemy. My goal of this story is not to bash myself, but to stress the importance of continuing your training. Muscle memory which is developed during frequent, realistic training is the only way to perform at a high level during stressful, ever changing situations. While the CQB course may not be feasible to take on a “frequent” basis, it provides realistic training that would be hard to come by anywhere else.
A few thoughts for those of you thinking about taking this class:
- Do it. Stop thinking about it. Stop talking about it with your friends. Take the class. If your “man cave” battle buddies won’t take it with you, go by yourself. Make some new friends at class and tell your buddies at home what they missed out on. If your family/wife/children don’t understand why you want to go “play GI Joe in the woods” tell them. This class is fundamentally about being able to protect your family and their way of life.
- You don’t have to have the most expensive gun/optics/accessories. I run an ACOG with RMR sight. It only got in my way. This class taught me (actually I kind of stumbled across it on my own) that I could shoot without the use of optics, or even irons sights for that matter at very close distances.
- Have your rifle “zeroed” or have it close. Anything that you can do to be prepared for this class will allow you to get the absolute most out of class, and allow it to progress quickly. You took the class to lean CQB not how to zero your rifle.
- Leave your ego at home. Luckily we did not have any problems with this. Everyone had a professional mindset and was ready to go to work without any hesitation. I struggle with this at times when I “fail” during training. Offer encouragement and be willing to “do it again”.
To a couple of my classmates, Jack and Chris: Your weapon manipulation was awesome. Your dedication to frequent training was obvious. Jack: Your constant drive to improve after each scenario was a motivating factor for me. Chris: Your barbeque eating ability was both impressive and revolting.
The instructors we had were not just great instructors but a great group of guys who genuinely wanted to be there. In fact, I would say they were as excited as us to be there, if not more. There were no condescending remarks towards students; only praise, encouragement, and constructive criticism. The three instructors that we had were brothers in arms. That brotherhood and camaraderie was evident from day one. They all provided a slightly different point of view but never contradicted each other.
John: The lead instructor was “driven”. That’s the first word that comes to mind for me. Even while showing us techniques, he was constantly critiquing himself when he did not perform a maneuver perfectly. He has a warrior’s mentality. Correction, he is a warrior. He has spent a large portion of his life honing his craft and has a drive to share that with others. Many of us “civilians” are spending our time trying to improve our training and develop our own “warrior mentality” but it was very humbling for me personally to be around not just John but Kang, Phillip, and also classmate Barry who have spent so much of their lives in defense of our great country. Thank You For Your Service.
Kang: Soft spoken and deadly. Most likely to give you hug, unless you were unfortunate enough to be on the business end of his rifle. His footwork was amazing. He moved through the CQB techniques as if he was dancing. Kang gave out a lot of praise, but with that was always advice for improvement. “Good” is ok when training. “Good enough” is not. Thanks buddy.
Phillip: Another great asset to training. He provided a third point of view. It was always in the right context, without any contradictory information. Phil was goofy, in the best kind of way. A little comic relief to sooth even the most painful of UTM rounds. Phil was fearless, braving countless UTM rounds during scenarios just to get a little camera footage.
Barry: I add you in here even though you were a classmate. You were a kind of impromptu instructor. Your military and law enforcement background gave us a wealth of experience to learn from.
As we say in the Fire Service, “You don’t know what you don’t know”. This class is a prime example of that. Close Quarters Combat is an extremely perilous endeavor even for highly trained fighters. This class really opened my eyes to what I need to do to protect my family. I wouldn’t have known if I had not taken this class. Now that I “know what I didn’t know,” I can get started training.