TACTICAL TRAINING TECHNIQUES
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The pistol is at once the most-used of all firearms, regardless of the skill level of the shooter, and also that which is most difficult to become truly proficient. This is true to the point that many of us hold in esteem an excellent pistol shooter the same as we would a world-class athlete.
The pistol training world appears to be overly fraught with outsized egos. I think many beginning shooters who would like to improve (but have no desire to enter the competition arena) feel intimidated and therefore avoid proper instruction altogether.
Skeleton Key is a great training fit for most everyone because I like to teach more than I like to shoot, and your skill development is more important to me than anything else when we’re on the range.
Pistol shooting is broken down into several components for basic marksmanship, and I have learned to distill them into my Main Four Things: Stance, Grip, Sight Alignment and Trigger squeeze (or trigger press, or if you prefer.) Yes, there are more than just these four, but I find that during my classes, once we all talk about this and explain it properly, I can use verbal cues to remind shooters what to do next to build great habits. It’s very effective.
Skeleton Key Tactical has classes designed for new shooters who’ve never shot a single bullet, as well as classes for experienced professionals who carry guns in the line of duty (and everything in between). For new shooters, we can help you with the daunting process of selecting a handgun (and the caliber), also selecting all the gear you’ll need (holster, belt, magazine holders, eye and ear protection, etc) and also the right way to learn how to use it all. For the more experienced shooter, or even the professional LE or MIL person, we can custom tailor curricula for you, your unit or your department that will enhance your capability, challenge you, and increase your survivability.
I’ve seen it quoted, The First Rule of the Gunfight: “Bring a gun, a long gun if you have it. And all your friends with long guns.” -Some famous shooter
The rifle is king in American shooting sports, and with good reason. It is foundational to our national identity. (Think of The Minutemen from Colonial times: the image is of the guy with that tri-hat and a long-ass rifle.) Whether you are conscious of that fact or not is irrelevant. To engage an enemy of the state in combat requires many men armed with rifles, be they a militia of the 1770s or a professional military in the 21st century. The Basics of Rifle Marksmanship is The Mantra I speak when a class is on the range. Properly applied basic fundamentals, no matter the shooting position, the environment, or the rifle, will carry the day every time.
Shooters on YouTube are (mostly) showing techniques that work for them, and that’s fine. But some of them are not quite full of context like they should be – hard to decipher or figure out the actual technique in real time. I take the time to show you why something does or does not work, for you, where you are in your development right now. Small classes enable me to do this, and to spend one-on-one time to help everyone.
The reality is that what you learn on the range from me is what works (that I learned from Tier One operators smarter than me over the years). These methods work day or night, or after a 5 mile walk-in to your target, or after you’ve been on perimeter for 6 hours. Or even when you’re afraid when someone is invading your home.
I start from “worst-case-scenario” and then work backwards from there to create realistic training for everyone who attends a class.
Tactics is life itself. Everything any person does in a day requires a decision followed an action to make it work. Tactics is the preparation and planning to do a thing, and then acting to see it through. Quite frankly, too many tactical guys complicate this, but it’s really rather simple.
Skeleton Key uses basic principles for tactics training:
- Every individual is empowered to make decisions, wherever he is at the time. High-risk entries or military operations are no time to ask permission to do something, especially if that something makes sense. No “Hall Boss” or other “Leader” should be required to authorize it.
- All team members must be empowered to act on their own and solve the problem they have in front of them. If this is not the case, the problem is usually lack of training, or lack of maturity and/or trust. It can be no other thing.
- All team members must understand the goal of the task at hand. It only matters that the goal be accomplished. What does not matter AT ALL is which version of tactical movement we use in order to get there, or who we learned it from. What matters that you apply it properly, that you know why it works, and that it doesn’t violate a principle. What matters is success in the operation, not who takes credit.
We use a crawl-walk-run approach to training your team, and add in more difficulty as the team learns concepts. What this means is that we start a training week doing 1-room entries, for example, and finish five days later doing entire hallways worth of rooms, or sections of buildings all in one run, usually with multiple-teams simultaneously. This can be done with Simunitions/UTM or with live fire (if you have a live fire house available). The team determines how quickly we progress.
I pride myself on doing specific courses, tailor-made for the needs of a particular team, or individuals, with a long track record of success over the years.