Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spaulding Vehicle Combative, part 1

I just finished Dave Spaulding’s Vehicle Combatives class.  You can find out more about Dave here

Dave Spaulding demos form
Dave Spaulding

He claims it’s a watered-down civilian version of a course he developed for undercover narcotic officers.  This doesn’t upset me.  I don’t have the same needs and requirements of LEOs.  What I wanted was training on a shooting solution.  This course provided the information and practice.

All car hijackings, kidnappings, assassinations and terrorism start with violence.  This course doesn’t teach you how to recognize the developing patterns or tactical set-ups.  It’s a two-day course and you’re on the range for most of it.  But there is an intellectual side to this.  Adults learn better when we see the reason for what we need to do.  Here’s some of the ideas Dave worked with.

Dave had some interesting ideas about life at the criminal/citizen interface.  He points out that as “good guys” we have a set of rules/behaviors not recognized by criminals.  We need to reflect these differences in our training.  The example he gave was our concern about stray rounds from “pray and spray” shooting.  The criminal doesn’t care who gets shot.  He is going to dump rounds downrange and hope to get a hit or two out of it.  This impacts, pun intended, the concept of stepping sidesways every 3-4 rounds and moving off-line while reloading.  The criminal isn’t taking aimed shots, he’s just dumping rounds at you.  So my conclusion is when faced with a single opponent maybe it’s better to focus on hitting your target and not trying to upset his aiming by moving around.  My other conclusion is high capacity magazines are a great invention.  They are a need , not a want.

The two mostly likely scenarios civilians experience are an attack for the vehicle (carjacking) and attack around the vehicle (robbery).  Willy Sutton was once asked, “Why do you rob banks?”  His answer: “Because that’s where the money is.” The same answer applies to “Why are both crimes concentrated on the urban environment?  There are 256 million vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc ) registered and most of them will be in the population centers.

We were told the first American carjacking occurred in Detroit in the 1980’s and the problem continues to grow.  As much as I hate to admit it, that makes sense.  Why try to steal a car and have to hotwire it, or defeat alarms and deterrents, when you can steal one with the engine running.

Dave’s numbers suggest:
Half the carjacking attempts are successful
                      84% do not result in injury
                      Handguns are used 79% of the time (no surprise here!)
                      Long guns are used 10%
                      The rest is a mixed bag of disparity of force.

student practice draw from confined seat
The students practice drawing from a confined seat, like a car seat.  the far left guy is doing it right.  He's leaning forward to make space.  The woman in front on the right is leaning to the side, where there may not be any space.



Think about the places you find yourself with the car stopped and motor running or keys in ignition: traffic control signs, parking lots, attempting to make a turn, waiting for the car in front of you to do something, gas stations.  I’m sure you can think of others.  Massad Ayoob likes to say, “Know where the attack will occur and have a proven defense in place.”  

Change your habits in these locations.  The proven defense isn’t always a physical altercation; it could be being alert, not dawdling getting in or out, and taking the keys out the car at gas stations.  It could also be driving over someone. 

Fighting starts in the mind.  We all know this.  Everything else are just tools.  It starts with a previously made decision based on rational thought about when and where to fight back.  After the decision is made and the tripline tripped, Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Self Defense should be your operational mode.

Just remember what John Wayne told Ron Howard in his last movie, “The Shootist.”  I’ll paraphrase, but you can find it online.

“..I learned early on that some men will pause, or take a breath (before shooting) and I won’t.”

Awareness and willingness are the two major factors needed to prevail in combat.  As the CIA teaches: Avoid…Evade…Failing that, counter with great enthusiasm!


That’s quite a bit to think about and we still haven’t fired a round.

old guy with tablet
It was like I was in that TV commercial with everyone fighting because someone was always blocking the view with their oversize camera.   It's a good thing a armed society is a polite society, cause I was just a P.O.ed





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