Student Review: Rifle Skills / Combat Team Tactics March 2016: Eric

Day one of Combat Team Tactics (CTT) should be Rifle skills (RS). Despite the experience of the group, errors were made by everyone. No one was flawless. Even those of us who took the Rifle skills still made errors. But that is what training is for: to make mistakes in practice so you make fewer in action. You don’t acquire skills by reading blog posts or watching videos you acquire skills by experiencing them. I have had some good training in flat and lightly wooded ranges. Nothing compared to the experience I got during CTT. I would have hated to not brush up rifle fundamentals in Rifle Skills and gone just to CTT. I was able to sort out some rifle issues from my highly customized rifles. I was able to get detailed review and refinement of my handling techniques. My Rifle Skills classmate became my battle buddy; and brother, I’ll fight with and for you any day.

Max Adds: see HERE for a post from today about the class schedule and the availability of RS/CTT etc.

CTT got me to think about some abstract concepts. One that came to mind was the “application of cross-domain skills” (that’s mine perjurers). It sounds like a ridiculous mouthful of random, but I can illustrate this to a few areas. I’ll start with the Return fire, Take cover, Return effective fire (RTR) or “react to contact” drill. There are four parts to the RTR drill:

  • Contact – any adversary has been identified and communicated
  • Return fire – attempt to unbalance the adversary by returning fire in his direction
  • Take cover – Get off the line of attack (yes, the fucking “X”)
  • Return Effective fire – fire that forces the adversary to react (retreat, die, whatever)

So what does this have to do with anything else in the world? Let’s start with something I know a little bit about, American Kempo Karate (AKK). In the most basic level of there is a self-defense technique called “Checking the Storm” and it parallels the RTR drill perfectly. In the AKK technique, the attack is an overhead strike with a stick, rod, staff, etc.

  • Contact – any adversary has been identified
  • Return fire – attempt to unbalance the adversary by returning striking his strike (also called a “strike block”; AKK does not teach to waste energy with just blocks, your blocks are strikes)
  • Take cover – Get off the line of attack shift to right or left of the attack, which ever offers the best cover
  • Return Effective fire – deliver strikes to the adversary’s vulnerable points.

This video shows an alternative strike but the points for comparison are still present.

Another cross-domain skill that I was able to associate with CTT is Race driving. I had earned a novice race driving license in 2005. What the racing school taught was that the first three days were spent on how to drive the car. The next two days were spent leaning to race the car. These two skills I call “driving” (no surprise) and “Race Craft”. Race Craft is the application of driving fundamentals to win a competition. If we go back to my day one of CTT, Rifle Skills would be like the driving portion of race school and I would call it Marksmanship or gun handling. When we get to my day three (day two of CTT) we begin to apply those skills to fight or what I call “Fight Craft”. Fight craft is the application of fundamentals of weapons skills to win or survive a fight. Just as in driving there are certain techniques that are only applicable at certain times to pass or get advantage on a competitor, there are certain techniques that only apply when engaged in a fire fight. When driving, I may position myself to block another driver from using the whole track by actually blocking another car (so three cars here). In a gun fight, I would use cover and my firearm to move my buddy into a position force the adversary to react (freeze, retreat, die, whatever).

So what the fuck is my point? That this is nothing new. The point is that the skills found in life can be found and applied to Fight Craft (and I don’t just imply Gunfighting). We’ve all had an experience(s) in our lives that can be paralleled to CTT. You don’t acquire skills by reading blog posts or watching videos you acquire skills by experiencing them.