May You Live in Interesting Times

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

I don’t know…….

I have always resisted the sleazy marketing of fear mongering and I have never donned a tin foil hat in order to sell courses.

But……

It seems as if America has changed to the point that the need for “brown stinky stuff hitting the fan” training has reached a level never before seen in my 19 years of training and 13 years of instructing.

When we look at the fact that 50% of this Country hates us with a passion…….30% of the Country would be perfectly alright if we were dead…….20% of the Country would jump at the chance to actually kill us, as long as they thought they could get away with it……and another 20% would sit back and let it happen just to protect themselves from being targeted.

I do not feel those numbers are exaggerated. There is a war going on in America, a war where winning at the polls has only deepened the hatred and widened the divide.

There is one thing that I know about progressives………and that is that they will never stop.

Yes, I am going to be teaching more and more rifle courses.

Yes, I will teach CQB courses every chance that I get.

People can sit back and make fun of this blog entry or this plan. But, I am serious and I think we all better look very closely at the reality of our America and wrap our head around the fact that we are on a very slippery slope. We need to honestly evaluate where we think this Country is headed. Do you think that everything is fine? Do you think it is going to get better? Do you think the progressives are ever going to stop?

I don’t.

I have finally made up my mind and I am going to begin speaking about this. And when I do, please realize it is not over the top sleazy marketing and it is not anti-government stupidity.

In my mind, it is a reality.

For those of you who do not live in a liberal hell hole like I do, you may not understand where I am coming from. But here, I am out numbered and surrounded……….and that fact is made perfectly clear to me everyday.

It took me 19 years of firearms training to finally write this blog entry. I have thought about writing this for over a year. These are very personal thoughts that I have held in for a very long time. I felt it was extremely important to finally put these thoughts out there to my friends.

The Takeoff (Revised)

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

When it comes to the very best way possible of exploding off of the X, there are a number of factors that simply must be taken into consideration. It is very clear that inside of almost anything “tactical,” “the situation is the dictating factor.” Without this being at the very forefront of our thinking, we inevitably end up needing to force fit sub-optimal skill sets into situations where they do not belong. What this means is that the very best takeoff comes down to being user dependent and heavily reliant on the individuals very personal situation. Once this reality is laid down it becomes very clear that the takeoff cannot be “technique focus.” It must remain “concept focused” and used inside of a continuum approach.

In the recent past we have looked toward specific techniques in an attempt to be the very best that we can be at getting off of the X, inside of a truly reactionary gunfight. As we progressed from one technique to the next, it becomes clear that the techniques that we have used in the past were nothing more than the framework needed to establish an extremely versatile and fluid takeoff concept. If we look at the continuum approach, it is basically a A-Z concept where no one point/letter is more important than the next. While some may call this approach complicated, in reality it is not. It is as simple as it needs to be….. but no simpler. A fluid concept is simply the only way to be the very best we can be inside of the fluid dynamics of a fight.

“The fight is going to be what the fight is going to be!”

Here are a list of circumstances that simply must be taken into consideration in order to be the very best that we can be inside of our takeoff.

Traction/footing; This is something that simple cannot be ignored. Traction needs to be rated on a scale of 1-10 and accepted for what it is. The skill sets that we use, to be the very best that we can be, on solid/dry/warm/textured surfaces are completely different from the skill sets that  we use, to be the very best that we can be, on a loose/slippery/wet/cold/smooth surfaces. To think that we can own only one technique that allows us to be the very best that we can be in varying traction levels is ridiculous.

Movement; A takeoff does not just come out of a stationary position. I do not stand around in dangerous environments……I walk through them. The takeoff concept must work while stationary and while moving.

Getting off of the X; A lot of people believe that this means getting off the spot you are presently occupying. In reality, it means getting your body off of your adversaries targeting area. If somebody is targeting my upper thoracic cavity, I need to get that part of my body off of the X that they are targeting.

Which direction am I going; Our takeoffs need to be efficient and effective to every position on the clock, no mater if you are stationary of moving. Some takeoffs are better than others, in this regard. That is why we need to know them all, so we can apply the most effective technique, inside of the fluid concept, no matter what the situation is.

Allowable Telegraphing; There are plenty of times where “telegraphing” is simply not a factor. But, there are times where you simple cannot telegraph your intent. Distance is a key factor on whether you can afford to telegraph or not. The amount of telegraphing all comes down to the quickness of your “drop.” The flinch/drop will telegraph more than a simple lean/push or fall/lean/push.

Genetics/Experience; Some people are born with natural abilities that allow them to do things so easily, that it is as natural as breathing. The ability to flinch/drop on command is one of these abilities. This ability opens up options that others may not have. The flinch/drop is also something that is very prevalent inside of Western sports such as football and basketball. Some people have trained extensively in relaxation based martial arts training. This allows them to do things that many people will not be able to do. We must be very careful and train in the manner that is appropriate to how we will really fight.

Physical limitations; As an instructor it is my job to teach people to be the very best that they can be. If there is any sort of physical limitation to one of the legs/feet there must be adjustments made to allow the individual to be the very best that they can be. Being technique focused will not get the job done.

When we look at the varying circumstances around the takeoff it is clear that “one size does not fit all”……and it never will!

The Framework of the Explosive Dynamic Takeoff

 The Pekiti Takeoff is long time established Fight Focused Concepts doctrine. It is based on the trailing leg being the 100% drive leg. It works great for solid footing and in conjunction with movement. It is both a stationary takeoff and a movement based takeoff. The stationary Pekiti is conceptually the exact same thing as a typical movement base football “cutback.” Due to the movement based characteristics of the Pekiti, it will always be a mainstay and the primary takeoff. Inside of the balance “to hit and to not be hit” the Pekiti takes both equally into consideration. You get off the X very quickly with an outstanding ability to get to the gun very quickly. Inside of the A-Z continuum, the Pekiti is the “A.”

The Enhanced Pekiti was discovered in the most difficult of circumstances. It is based on the lead leg being the 100% drive leg. The dropping over the center of gravity on the lead leg, the shoulder to the opposite toe, the tucking of the chin, and the allowing the head to lead the way are all about making the adversary miss and setting yourself up for an explosion off of the X. It is all about surviving the initial contact in order to be able to get into the fight. The center of gravity being over the top of the lead/drive leg is all about setting yourself up for full explosion, with next to zero chances on slipping. This is not a movement base skill set due to the fact that it breaks the general rules of “never cutback off of the inside leg.” Inside of the A-Z continuum, the Enhanced Pekiti is the “Z.”

The Optimal Two Footed Takeoff gives us the very best body mechanics (hips and toes aligned with the desired direction of movement) to be as explosive as we can possibly be. This is the takeoff used by the fastest humans in the world. This is a 50%-50% takeoff. The trailing leg is used to create momentum, to get the lead/drive leg past the apex and into the fully loaded drive position. This allows for the lead/drive leg to start at the center of gravity which drastically cuts down on the possibility of slipping. Even if the trailing leg slips, you will not go down or  lose much explosiveness due to the fact that the lead leg is on the center of gravity. This is a movement based skill set that is conceptually the same as a football cut back out of the “stutter step,” The stutter step is what we do to control the speed of the cutback on wet surfaces, while at the same time puts the inside leg under our center of gravity. If the outside leg slips, the inside leg is right there to take control of the slip. The stutter step is virtually, setting up for as close to a two footed takeoff as movement will allow. It is not a pure two footed take off but it is extremely close to it. Inside of the A-Z continuum the Two Footed Take Off is the “M.”

Non-telegraphing Take Off

I have been teaching the “Lean/Push” for a very long time. It is a trailing leg take off designed for those that do not have the athleticism of the “flinch/drop.” You simply begin the fall the direction that you want to go and push off with your trailing leg.

During the discussion on takeoffs, Sonny Puzikas introduced us to the Russian/Systema take off, which is another no-telegraphing takeoff. It is basically falling/leaning the direction that you want to go, to the point that you have defeated the apex, and then push off with you lead leg……from a position of full power potential.

Rounding out the rest of the continuum comes down to varying percentages of the drive leg (trailing or leading) varying levels of allowable telegraphing, and the amount of rolling of the shoulder……..dictated by the situation.  This is a truly fluid continuum, a continuum that you can turn your take off into whatever you need your take off to be.

The Fallacy of Being Above it all

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

I wrote this after Sandy Hook. It was clear that this tragedy was going to be used for all that it is worth by the gun grabbers and when you get children involved, emotions often cloud reality. I had stepped away from the political aspect of the gun to focus on my advancement of learning, but this tragedy made it clear that we were going to be up against it, like we had never seen before. Many people these days feel that they do not have a voice and that their vote does not matter. I am in disagreement with that! I wrote a handful of articles after Sandy Hook and they were spread far and wide. When done correctly, a single person can have more than just one voice and more than just one vote. But that is not obtainable if you are not aware and if you do not get involved.

People have asked me why I would spend time worrying about something that is completely out of my control. First of all…..I do not worry! Worrying is for the weak and is a waste of my time. I fight back! Second……this is not out of my control, I can have a dramatic effect doing something that I enjoy and am pretty decent at……writing. For the people that tried to tell me that this was a waste of my time and that I needed to get back to writing about tactics and training……..I will never consider the fight for the future of my children and grandchildren as a waste of time.

Edited very lightly, because not much needed to be changed to fit in perfectly with what we are dealing with today.

I have been a shooter and hunter practically all of my life. I got my first BB gun long gun at five years old, my first BB gun hand gun and my first .22 rifle at  six years old, and my first shotgun at seven years old. I was raised in a family of sports men and women that was all about the outdoors. I progressed from gun safety, to target shooting, to hunting, to various forms of competition, to tactical training, to being a Civilian trainer, then to being a Tier One Civilian/LEO/Military Tactical Trainer for one of the top Tactical Training companies in the world.

I have spent fifty-two years in the shooting sports and the one thing that I simply could never understand is the fact that gun owners are their own worst enemies. In those fifty-two years the amount of elitism, prejudice, and backstabbing  that I have witnessed makes me embarrassed to be part of a group of people who are so intentionally divisive. The vast majority of gun owners that I have met tend to divide themselves into groups and then latch on to the fallacy that somehow their chosen group is better than all of the other gun owners groups. It is one thing to be proud of what you do as a gun owner (pride), but it is an entirely different thing to look down your nose and talk smack about  other gun owners that did not gravitate to the exact same form of “pursuit of happiness” that you did (arrogance.)

First and foremost, being a gun owner is a God-given right. Every person has the God-given right to protect themselves, their loved ones, and innocence from the evils of this world, with the best tools to be able to match the level of evil that is directed towards them. This is not a right given from one man to another!  It is not a right to be judge by anyone except for the person that has prioritized their own responsibilities. This is not a right extended to a man by his government. That inalienable right is either substantiated or refused to be recognized  by the government. Refusal to recognize does not overcome the fact that it is a God-given right that comes from a much higher authority than the authority of men.

Second, being a gun owner is something that is substantiated by the United States government. They saw it as being so important that it is the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The right to bear arms was put into place as a form of “checks and balances” to protect the people from a tyrannical government. There is zero doubt on the intent of this. This has never been about “hunting heritage” or “sporting guns.”  It is about putting in place a method of keeping those in power from trying to grab too much power. It is about protecting the very core principles of what the USA was originally founded on.

When we look at these two key points, where is the room , the reason, or the common sense to have gun owners infighting over such ridiculous thing as “my chosen opinion on gun ownership is better than your chosen opinion on gun ownership?

  •  “My sport is better than your sport”
  • ” My hunting rifle is better than your handgun”
  • “My target shooting is better than your tactical training”
  • “I don’t know why anyone needs a handgun, those are just for killing people”
  • “Sporting firearms are better than self-defense firearms”
  • “Hunting is the only purpose for a firearm”
  • “Hunting is wrong”
  • “Nobody needs a AR15”

The lists of  divisive comments just goes on and on!

The elitism, the arrogance, the ignorance, the prejudice, and the divisiveness is absolutely revolting! Yet, we see it all of the time and we cannot even stop ourselves from doing it even when we are headed down the very same road as Australia and England. These are countries that experienced the “divide and conquer” tactics used against gun owners. Are we so blinded by our biases that we cannot look to the facts of history and stand up and declare that “you are not going to do that to us?”

But no, we have gun owner backstabbing gun owners. We have  gun owners tossing sacrificial lambs into a sea of fire in forms of appeasement. All of this done hoping that “if we give them somebody else guns, they will not come after mine. Coward! “I do not know why anyone needs a standard capacity magazine!” Traitor! “I do not know why anyone would need an AR 15. I do not need one! Turncoat! It is my right to have them. It is a right given to me by God and is substantiated by the US Constitution. How can I protect myself and my loved ones at the level that I want, if the evil of the world has better armaments than I?

Yes I know, they are going to come after the weapons of guys like me first. Yes, I am asking you to look past your prejudice and help me keep what is mine in the eyes of God and the USA. But who are guys like me? I am a guy that has witnessed much violence and evil. I am a guy who has lost loved ones to violence and evil. I am a guy who has used the tools of death to save loved ones from violence and evil. I am a guy who fought his way out of the gutter to make sure that my children never have to do the things that I had to do. I am a guy who learned to be as deadly as he could possibly be because I know that if I am called on again…….I will be in the fight again. I am a guy that teaches this stuff to other people who find themselves in need of those type of skills. I am a guy who teaches good guys to be as deadly and safe as they can possibly be, whether they are Civilian/LEO/Military. Some people say that what I teach is wrong. It is my belief that what I teach is as right as anything could possibly be. It is a God-given right to be able to protect yourself, your loved ones, and the innocent from the evils of this world.

If you have never had to deal with the evils of this world……..God bless you…….I sincerely hope that you never do. “You do not know what you do not know” is a term that I use all of the time and if you have never had to fight for your life or that of somebody that you love, try to imagine what that must be like. Try to imagine, without ego, how good you would really like to be? How good of a weapon system would you really like to have?

If you still think, as a gun owner,  that your chosen sport, hobby, activity, or method of “pursuit of happiness” is better than what I do, then I seriously question the type of person that you are and the amount of love that is in your heart.

It is not hate that makes me who I am. Love is what makes me who I am. Love is what makes me as dangerous as I am. Love is why I own the weapons that I own and train with them in the manner that I train.

If you are against this level of love being directed towards my loved ones and those under my care, then the problem is not with me……the problem is with you and your obvious lack of love in your heart.

We are at yet another beginning of a very long fight. Make no mistake, the progressives that are in power right now want you to be disarmed. Their strategy will be to “divide and conquer.” If you sit back and do nothing right now or even worse if you back stab guys like me, when they are done with guys like me, they are going to move onto the next group of gun owners. If you do not think that your gun is going to be targeted, you are wrong. Look to the history in England and Australia.

If you think that you are above all of this……..you are wrong!

April 21-22, 2018 – Las Vegas, NV. Fight Focused Handgun IV – Fight Focused Marksmanship – $250

April 21-22, 2018 – Las Vegas, NV. Fight Focused Handgun IV – Fight Focused Marksmanship – $250

Fight Focused Handgun IV – Fight Focused Marksmanship

Fight Focused Handgun IV (FFHIV) picks up right where Fight Focused Handgun II left off. This is an intermediate level, fight focused marksmanship based course that is designed to take your sighted fire skill sets to the next level. This course is all about the improvement of your speed and accuracy with the use of the sights. This course will continually keep the context of the fight and the mental aspect of the fight at the forefront, all will pushing the students limits inside of fast and accurate marksmanship based shooting. This course will also push the advancement of skill sets inside of the all important manipulations and malfunction clearances. This is not your typical square range marksmanship based course. Over the years I have witnessed a significant gap in fight focused marksmanship training, that I feel needs to be addressed. This course is designed to fill that gap. We will take an in-depth look at the proactive gunfight, how to make it a proactive gunfight, how to keep it a proactive gunfight, and how to dominate the proactive gunfight to its conclusion. We will be bringing the lessons that we learned from the study of the reactive gunfight and modify the concepts in order to be as deadly and safe as we can possible be when we have time and distance on our side.

Approximately 500 rounds (minimum):
As always “Bring more if you want to shoot more”

What you will learn inside of this course is the essentials of being able to fight with your handgun with the use of the sights.

  • Intermediate level manipulations and malfunction clearances
  • The importance of the thumbs forward/locked wrist grip
  • The perfect body mechanics of the eye hand coordination draw stroke
  • The internalization of sequence of sighted fire shooting
  • Refinement of the four secrets of marksmanship
  • The ingraining of the focal transitions
  • The compressed surprise break
  • The ownership of type two focus
  • The perfect balance of speed and accuracy
  • Failure to stop drills
  • Surgical precision
  • Hostage rescue shooting
  • Rapid assumption of shooting positions
  • Shooting from behind cover
  • An in-depth look at controlled movement at distance

Training is a Very Personal Thing

By ninpo_student of The Ready Line and Deus Ex Machina

Training is a very personal thing. You have to tailor your training and resources to your particular mission set. Figure out your needs and build a program to support that. I’m a huge fan of the 90% solution. Give me a technique, tactic or procedure that covers 90% of what I may be faced with and I’ll audible it to work for the other 10%. Software is the most critical component of any training program and you should try to address shortcomings or flaws in your game through training first. However, not all problems can be fixed that way. Hardware is also a critical piece of the puzzle. My take on equipment is to use what I need to fill those voids I can’t address through training. Some things are so useful that they are mandatory in my opinion, such as lights, lasers and optics on carbines or lights and optics on a fighting pistol. With a quality product, those categories are incredible force multipliers.

Using a war belt setup, bandolier or bag setup to address carriage issues for equipment is another place where solid equipment choices reap benefit. A thought out and well configured setup enables you to fight and train without the distraction of equipment issues. We’ve all been at a class (or gunfight in my case) with a sub-optimal setup that required bandwidth to deal with, taking away focus and attention from the problems at hand. What you consider unnecessary may be something another dude considers critical. Something else to think about on the equipment side is that the private market has been driving the evolution in the gear market for a while. Companies like Velocity Systems and Blue Force Gear saw deficiencies on the soft goods side based on experience and addressed them, raising the bar across the board. The .mil could give a care if your stuff is comfortable or even reliable as long as it checks the box that you got it. Without the large civilian market, .mil guys would have no recourse to rectify those issues.

I spend roughly 60-70% of my training time with a pistol, for a couple of reasons. One, those same skills that work on a pistol effectively translate over to the carbine fairly well, while the reverse is not true. Two, the pistol is more difficult to shoot well and tends to deteriorate faster without sustainment training. Lastly, if I ever have to shoot someone again, it will likely be with a pistol, so I want to be up to speed with my likely weapon. I still spend time with a carbine, because those skills need sustainment training as well. Here again is an area where the .mil and LE benefit disproportionately from the civilian training market. Outside of SOCOM in the .mil, training methods and TTPs are outdated and archaic. The prevalence of excellent training choices today allows the dude who wants to master his profession a way to do so. This was not the case in the late 90’s and early 00’s. I wish it had been, the early GWOT would have been different for a lot of dudes who died because their training failed them.

Ultimately it’s up to you to decide what’s appropriate for you and your situation. Like Sammy, should someone enter my home without permission, he’s getting the bees from a carbine, it’s far more efficient to use in close quarters than a pistol and kills people better. The go bag located with it holds extra ammo should it be required, marking equipment for danger areas and casualties and first aid gear in the event myself or a family member is injured in the encounter. I carry two spare mags and a blow out kit with my pistol everyday in the event I happen to be in the same place as a retard intent on doing stupid stuff. To me those things aren’t over the top, they are reasonable solutions to potential problems. While I do use armor at work, if I had the chance to jock up before a gunfight I’ll do it in a heartbeat, I’ve seen it save lives, mine included.

Lastly, your argument is the same one made to restrict our 2nd Amendment rights by the opposition ( I’m not making the argument that you share their beliefs, only that it’s the same logic applied ). Why do you need that ? Why do you need to train for that ? Most gunfights are over in a few seconds with only a couple of rounds fired at close range. However, not all of them are. Without training and experience, those outliers are much more difficult to mitigate successfully. Hard, realistic training builds confidence which gives you options not available to those without. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of people who I could have shot under the ROE that I didn’t because I knew I had them if it went to guns. That confidence from solid training gave me that leeway. Folks spend their time and money where they deem appropriate. It doesn’t always make sense to others. If these things aren’t for you that’s awesome. I hope that you are pursuing training avenues that cover the things you do need to shore up. Just don’t be surprised when others have different priorities. Yours may seem just as odd to them.

August 3-5, 2018 – Phoenix, Arizona – Close Quarter Battle – The Study – 3 days $400 – 2 days $350

Co-Instructed by Roger Phillips and Colby Rupert

ENROLL HERE

The first of the three days will be a live fire course at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. We will cover essential handgun skill sets that will prepare you for taking your newly refined skills into the arena of CQB. The second and third day will be a non-projectile CQB course run in a very large climate controlled building.

If you would like to see photos of the building that we will be training in and the type of training we will be doing check, out this AAR thread from the last time we used it.

Day one live fire portion of the course we will cover;

  • The retention concept
  • Ready positions
  • Handgun transfers
  • One handed shooting
  • Ambidextrous shooting
  • Flashlight positions
  • Shooting from cover and concealment
  • Dynamic movement point shooting
  • Controlled movement sighted fire

Close Quarter Battle Course Description

When it comes to fighting for you life, the most valuable tool that you own is your mind. Fight Focused Concepts course, Close Quarters Battles – The Study is the in-depth study of strategies, tactics, and skill sets that are necessary to be as efficient and effective as possible while fighting in confined spaces. Since 1999, I have been pushing to learn as much as I possibly can inside of the realm of self defense……at the highest levels possible. This is the course where all of that work comes together and reaches it’s apex. These are the training situations and experiences that make us realize that all that we have learned in the past, was nothing more than a building block approach to reaching that summit that is CQB – The Study. This is where it all comes together……. this is where everything becomes crystal clear……. this is where it is all makes perfect sense. This is the apex of much of your prior training experiences and knowledge acquisition.

  • The varying objectives
  • The realities and strategies of those varying objectives
  • The basics of clearing a corner
  • The basics of movement in confined spaces
  • Mitigating exposure
  • Completely ambidextrous skill sets
  • The retention concept
  • T-intersections
  • Dealing with doors
  • Making entries and taking a room
  • Correct application of strategies inside of the varying objectives
  • Basic non-verbal communication
  • Leading a team
  • Teams of two
  • Teams of three
  • Teams of four
  • Basics of fighting in the dark
  • Low-light searching and clearing
  • Low-light strategies in teams

May 19-20, 2018 – Las Vegas, NV. Fight Focused Handgun III – Point Shooting Concepts – $250

May 19-20, 2018 – Las Vegas, NV. Fight Focused Handgun III – Point Shooting Concepts – $250

Fight Focused Handgun III – Point Shooting Concepts

Fight Focused Handgun III picks up right where Fight Focused Handgun II left off. This course is designed to take your point shooting skills to the next level. We will be expanding the knowledge and the skills taught in FFHII to both the proactive and the reactive gunfight. We will make you more dangerous to your enemies from the most dominant of positions, all the way to the very worse of situations. We will cover being fast and accurate when all you need to do is defend your dominate position and we will cover taking back the lost initiative when you are behind in the reactionary curve and need to be more offensive in nature. Unlike most schools, we will not ignore that very worse of situations. We will give you the tools to overcome the tactical advantage of a well seasoned criminal, tools that have been used by some of the greatest gunfighter’s of all time. This is the course that will solidify the “just shooting” aspect of the seamless integration point shooting and precision shooting. This is the course that will leave you well prepared to deal with most encounters that a typical concealed carry or open carry individual may have to deal with on the streets or in the home.

Approximately 750 rounds (minimum):
As always “Bring more if you want to shoot more”

What you will learn inside of this course is the essentials of being able to fight with your handgun.

  •  The benefits of conceptual training
  •  The fight continuum
  •  The mental aspect of the fight
  •  Fight focused handgun manipulations
  •  Refinement of the eye/hand coordination draw stroke
  •  In depth study of efficient and effective body mechanics
  •  Intermediate level of precision shooting
  •  Solidifying the “See what you need to see” concepts
  •  Physiological effects of a life threatening encounter
  •  Deeper understanding of the reality of the fight
  •  Intermediate level of combat shooting
  •  A completely versatile combat draw stroke
  •  One handed combat shooting
  •  Perfect balance of speed and accuracy
  •  Combat accuracy
  •  Advanced level shooting on the move