2x2x2x Drill The Way That I Run It

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

Man on man, two students in front of three targets each, at seven yards. Target area is 3×5 index card in the center of thoracic cavity on each target.

Set up is from the holster, three magazines with six rounds in each. Each targets (of three) gets two rounds each, reload, two rounds each, reload, two rounds each.

First shooter that runs it clean moves on. Only clean runs move on to the next round (nothing outside of the index cards.)

I’ve run this in a few courses and nobody ran it clean, throughout the competition, therefore nobody won the competition. This PA. group of guys were informed of this fact and they assured me that would end inside of this course.

Everyone ran it well, but only two could advance to the final. It was Big Sam and Sgt. Psycho. They were shot for shot all the way through, right up to the last shot. The last two shots sounded like one. It all came down to who ran it clean and Big Sam did and Sgt. Psycho had one shot out by a millimeter.

It was a very good competition.

In the course before this one, the guys could not believe that their would be no final, since nobody ran it clean. They all just stared at me in disbelief. I informed them that the standard had not been met and that this course was very much a “standards” type of course.

When it comes to top quality sighted fire skill level, the standard should be very high and very difficult to achieve.

Both of the guys in this final can really shoot accurately, going up against each other forced them out of their comfort zone, and the were forced to shoot faster that they were used to.

Lesson taught and learned! You can shoot accurately, at a faster pace, if you just know how it is done.

The Sequence of Shooting

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts
 I have lectured and demonstrated this concept hundreds of times, knowing perfectly well that I may have missed something. I finally decided to get it written out so it can be put into a handout inside of my courses.

 

(Mental Prep, Brain Leads Body Follows)

  • Eye hand coordination draw stroke
  • Lock in on the focal point
  • Perfect body mechanics

(Perfect Count One)

  • Clear the cover garment
  • Acquire perfect master grip
  • Stage support side hand for the thumbs forward camming grip
  • Begin to bring focus off of the identified threat and back to where the front sight is going to land, focal transition

(Perfect Count Two)

  • Elbow up to high pectoral
  • Elbow down to parallel to the ground
  • Finger goes to the trigger and slack is removed
  • Focal transition still in progress
  • Begin to drive gun in a straight line to the point of aim

(Perfect Count Three)

  • Hands come together in the staged thumbs forward camming grip
  • Pressure is beginning to be added to the trigger
  • Focal transition is being completed

(Perfect Count Four)

  • Perfect balance of speed and control
  • Drive the gun out to a perfectly locked in thumbs forward camming grip
  • Trigger is stage to break off the shot
  • Press out to extension with zero disruption
  • Hard focus on a perfect sight alignment on a perfect sight picture achieved by the focal transition

(Engage)

  • Press off the shot
  • Follow the front sight during recoil
  • Verify recoil recovery with post landing back in the notch
  • Trigger reset
  • Asses the threat through the sights
  • Press off subsequent shots as needed, verifying recoil recovery, and the post landing back in the notch

Why the Change in Focus?

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

This question was asked of me by a student, who sought me out to learn from the “point shooting/dynamic movement specialist.”

 My answer to his question was that my focus had always been on creating well-rounded and completely versatile fighters, but it was the truly reactive gun fight that had not been brought to its full potential. This substantial lack of study in this important piece of the puzzle left me in a very good position to make a name for myself while advancing  the art in a portion of the fight continuum that very few people knew well.

 I have done very well with being the “reactive gunfight/point shooting/dynamic movement specialist”………but I have never preached anything but a seamless integration of the reactive and proactive gunfight. My focus may have once been on the advancement of the art of the reactive gunfight, but it is now time to bring that same laser sharp focus to the proactive gunfight and the seamless integration of the two, into just one high quality system. The integration has always been there, but now we are looking to seamlessly combine our very high level reactive skill sets with a very high level proactive skill sets.

 When we look at the priorities of a typical civilian gun fight, the reactive skill sets are the most likely skills needed, that is if the bad guy does his job well. Concentrating on bringing these skills as far as we could take them made really good sense.

 But, times change and our situation has change.

 With the rise in terrorist attacks taking place in America and the definite reality of it simply getting worse, the need for high level proactive gunfight skills has never been as necessary as they are right now. I know…….I know the chances of one of us being there when an active shooter starts shooting up innocence is very small, but so is the need for reactive gunfight skills. Preparing for the worse, while hoping for the best is what training for self-defense has always been about. If we seriously looked at the odds of a law-abiding civilian needing high level gun fighting skills and worked our training off of those odds, we would not even need to own a gun, let alone know how to use one at a very high level. But, when your number is called and your flag goes up, the odds simply do not matter because your odds at that particular time is 100%. You are going to need these high level skills as much as you have ever needed anything in your life.

It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

 When we talk about an active shooter situation, we are most likely not going to be the sole individual targeted and if we are not being directly targeted our proactive skills are going to need to be at the highest levels possible.

 Fight Focused Handgun IV-Fight Focused Marksmanship (FFHIV) and Fight Focused Handgun VI-Advanced Fight Focused Marksmanship (FFHVI) are not just about creating courses that I have always wanted to create, it was also about creating a course that fits in with the circumstances that we face today. Sure the need for the reactive gunfight is not going to go away any time soon. But, in my opinion the proactive gunfight has begun to take on a much more predominant role than it has in the past, in regards to active shooters and terrorist attacks. That is what the FFHIV and FFHVI is all about. Fast and accurate sighted fire, surgical precision, positional shooting, use of cover and concealment, extremely high level controlled movement at distance, comparisons in your precision during controlled movement between the varying forms of controlled movement, and the complete study of movement in order to make the best decisions, on the best form of movement

 Everything has its place and if you do not get deep into the study, you really do not know what makes you as safe and as deadly as you can possible be. The time that I have spent of this study has shown me some very surprising things. Who would have known that I would be better shooting the “turret of the tank”, at 25 yards, with a non-dominant side two-handed grip, over that of the primary side one-handed grip? Who would have known that I was better at fast an accurate shooting at 30 yards using side stepping over the “turret of the tank” concept? Who would have know that “move-stop-shoot” at 30 yards, using the rifleman rule of three, was far better inside of FOF, than both of the last two options?

 There are still so many pieces of the puzzle that have not been explored to their full potential……so many situations where we have not nailed down what we need to do to be as deadly and safe as we possibly can. That is why the focus has changed! But, it has always been about creating the most versatile fighters that we can possible be. Being well-rounded means that you have an answer for whatever fight that shows up at your door step and only focusing on one portion of the fight continuum leaves you flat sided.

Fixing the Problem Shooter and/or Teaching the New Shooter

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

As an instructor, eventually you will run up against a student that is just not getting it. In the private sector this is not that big of a problem, but if it is your job to get a problem shooter to qualify for a professional position, it can be quite a predicament. When someone’s job is on the line, the pressure of overcoming this problem can really wear on the problem shooter. Most of the time, the problem shooter can be brought around with patients and a continuing effort of working on the fundamentals of marksmanship. For a very small percentage of problem shooters this continuing effort may still not be enough. Some students just need a different approach.

As the problem shooter, trying to fight your way through your problems can be extremely frustrating. This frustration leads to an inability to do what really needs to be done…. which is to remain calm. Once the problem shooter becomes frustrated it is very difficult to turn that around. If the student has lost their confidence, the instructor is really fighting an up hill battle. So it becomes clear that we need to do two things right off of the bat. We need the shooter to remain calm and we need to establish their confidence. By taking on a completely different approach, this breaks them away from “that same old frustrating failure.” This is a good start to “remaining calm” and a brand new clean slate for their confidence.

The job of the instructor is to get the shooter inside of their comfort zone and establish the shooters confidence. Once the comfort zone and confidence is established the instructor needs to keep complete and absolute control of that comfort zone and confidence level. Over the years of dealing with problem shooters, it became perfectly clear that this method of teaching was not just good for fixing problem shooters, it was also very good for teaching new shooters.

I really like starting people off with a nice solid Modern Isosceles. In my opinion it is a much better stance for the newbie shooter. There is much less tension in this position over that of the Weaver stance, so the problem student does not tense up and tire as quickly. It lends itself to good recoil control and it gives an excellent center-line. The basic geometry of Modern Isosceles allows the shooter to make hits without even using the sights. The grip needs to be firm and with full purchase on the handgun. The two-handed thumbs forward grip gives us both of these qualities. The goal is to point in at the targeted area and press the trigger to the rear, without coming off of the targeted area. Then recover from the recoil in a consistent  manner. A good stance and grip facilitates this perfectly. A poor stance and grip does not facilitate it at all.

Many of the problem shooters of smaller stature have a problem with remaining extended at line of sight for long periods of time as they work on their fundamentals. This leads to tension that is completely opposite of the remaining calm that we are looking for. We need to understand the shooters comfort zone and keep them from tensing up. Some ways to do this is by teaching and allowing a relaxed/lazy ready position. The first ready position to work with should be a relaxed/lazy low ready. The gun is safely lowered to the 45 degrees and the upper arms are resting on the shooters body. This allows safety, relaxation, and the ability to rest in-between strings of fire. Keep inside of the students comfort zone and they will be more relaxed, less tense, and tire less quickly.

OK, we have the Modern Isosceles, the thumb forward grip, and we have a relaxed low ready. Next, put a focal point on the upper thoracic cavity of the target for the student to focus on. I nice bright red neon sticker the size of a quarter is perfect. Have the shooter start at two yards. All the shooter is going to do is focus/lock in on the focal point, bring the gun up from the low ready till it intersects the line of sight and immediately take the shot. No transition of focus, no hesitation. Just bring it up and take the shot. Then recover back down to the relaxed low ready and rest. As the instructor, watch the hits. Remind the shooter to focus on the spot that the shooter wants the bullet to go. If the shot is low or high make sure the shooter is pressing the trigger right when the top of the slide intersects the line of sight. If the shot is off to the side make sure they are bringing the gun up in front of their dominant eye. If the shooter is right-handed and everything is off to the left, watch the wrist articulation and make sure that it is appropriate for the Isosceles. Repeat until the shooter simply can not miss. Add in controlled pairs, then burst of 3-4. Repeat until the shooter can not miss.

Watch carefully for recoil anticipation (low and to the right on right-handed shooters) and the shooter attempting to aim with the sights.

WHY?

This is the question that will always be asked! Why does it matter if the student is target focused, over being sight focused? This all comes down to gross motor skills over fine motor skills…..being globally focused over being locally focused…..using natural ability over conditioned skill sets. This takes pressure off of the student. It dumps the “conditioned response” of sighted fire and accepts the “instinctive response” of threat focused shooting. This allows the body, eyes, and mind to do what they do thousands of times a day. It is simply more natural! Natural leads to relaxation, which leads to remaining calm, which leads directly into confidence. Hard focus on the front sight while trying to get a perfect sight picture, during the inevitable infinity pattern, can be a major stumbling block for a problem shooter. They often mash the trigger at the point that the sight picture passes over the point of aim. The old mantra “front sight, front sight…….press” is often followed up by the inevitable “NOW!” which is one of the main causes of mashing the trigger and recoil anticipation. If you give the problem shooter the time to think about the recoil anticipation…..you are going to get recoil anticipation.

The next step is “driving the gun.” Teach the student a safe/relaxed/lazy compressed ready (count three of the four count draw stroke or as soon as the hands come together.)  I have a compressed ready that just rests the gun at my mid section, with the wrists and the inside of the forearms laying against the rib cage. No tension, no exertion, totally relaxed. We are now going to have the student drive the gun to the focal point. Remember that “driving the gun” is a controlled move. We have the ability to accelerate out and decelerate to extension. Drive the gun to the focal point, take the shot then recover back to compressed ready. Repeat until the student can not miss. Add in controlled pairs, burst of 3-4, and repeat until the shooter can not miss.

Remember to keep absolute control of the students comfort level and confidence level!

Time to “drive the gun” from the holster, make sure that the student is using a nice four count linear draw stroke. The focal point, the linear draw stroke, driving the gun, and taking the shot with no hesitation……these are the key factors.

At this point you should be seeing some decent success. The student should be relaxed and feeling pretty good. It is time to start moving back. The pace for moving back is up to the instructor. Remember you have now established the confidence…… you must remain in complete control of it! Moving back slowly will keep you in control. Work the low ready, the compressed ready, and from the holster as needed.

The goal is to get the shooter to easily hit everything inside of seven yards, to give them a pattern of success, to give them some confidence, to take some of the pressure off of them. You still have to work on the fundamentals of marksmanship outside of seven. But now hopefully, you have a more confident shooter, someone who now knows that they can do it. Also, someone who has built up some upper body strength due to the repetitions and someone who has learned to remain calm and not tense up. As you work on the fundamentals, as soon as the shooter gets frustrated, bring them forward and let them succeed with some threat focused shooting.

Working a problem shooter through the fundamentals can take some time. By having “inside of seven yards” down cold, this may give you the time that you need. Remind the shooter of the “importance” of inside of seven yards and how they have “the most likely” covered. Let then understand that they already have an important piece of the puzzle and the next piece (fundamentals of marksmanship) will follow as long as they remain calm, confident, and put in the work.

As instructors it is our job to help people overcome their problems. These problems do not mean that the student is anything more than someone with a problem that must be overcome. There may be events in their past that have left them recoil sensitive (a lot of shooting with a 12 gauge shotgun as a very young child, an electrical explosion in my hands, and thirty years of working a tool, where the trigger was pressed with the whole hand instead of one finger were some of my issues.) Reprogramming can be a tough job for an instructor. Here are some “less known” tricks of the trade that can make this reprogramming of a problem shooter and the teaching of a new shooter much less of a burden.

Remain calm and relaxed

Establish a pattern of success

Develop confidence

Solidify that confidence by maintaining absolute and complete control of that confidence at all times

Some Issues with my 2017 Schedule

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts.

Unfortunately, some over-saturation issues have arisen with my home range, Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club (BRPC.) I consider myself very lucky to have had such an outstanding relationship with my home range for over 11 years. But, due to a huge number of new Instructors coming over from other ranges, this easy and prefect relationship has become more difficult and less ideal. I do not write this as a form of complaint, I write this so all of my students understand that my world has substantially changed. These changes will directly affect the scheduling of my classes and the convenience of my students. I will continue my outstanding relationship with BRPC, but it will not be with the same ease, regularity, and convenience as it was in the past.

I will no longer be able to schedule courses months in advance. There will only be a 60 day notice between securing the range and running the course. I will no longer be able to schedule courses on the courtesy ranges, on the weekends, except for the two Instructors bay. I will no longer be able to schedule longer range courses on the weekends. The competition to schedule courses has increased significantly.

With that said, I will be needing to re-evaluating everything that I have done in the past, in regards to my local courses.

I am putting out an open call to all of my students, to see if there is anything that they can do to facilitate securing a range, in order for me to continue teaching courses on a regular basis and that will allow for me to schedule courses well in advance. The guidelines for hosting a course can be found here.

https://fightfocusedconcepts.com/traveling-courses/

I am also putting out an open call for securing venues to teach my CQB courses. Those guidelines can be found here.

https://fightfocusedconcepts.com/2015/12/06/open-call-for-cqb-venues/

Together we can overcome this set back and do what needs to be done to make it nothing more than a minor obstacle.

October 20-23, 2016 Hershey PA – Point Shooting Weekend ($600)

October 20-21 – Hershey PA – Long Gun Point Shooting Concepts ($350)

October 22-23 – Hershey PA – Advanced Point Shooting Concepts ($350)

October 20-23 – Hershey PA – Point Shooting Weekend DISCOUNT 4 days ($600)

Long Gun Point Shooting Concepts

Long Gun Point Shooting Concepts (LGPSC) is a revolutionary reactive based rifle course that looks at the world of the reactionary rifle, like it has never been looked out before. In this course we will be doing an in-depth study of “The Nine Concepts of the Reactive Rifle.”
  • The Reactionary Curve
  • The Ready Positions
  • The Take Off Concept
  • The Retention concept
  • The Mount Concept
  • The Movement Concept
  • The Sights Concept
  • The Grip Concept
  • The Trigger Concept

As you see there is a lot of consistency across the concepts when compare to the “Point Shooting Concepts” handgun approach. But of course, there are some things that have to be changed such as “the ready positions” and “the mount.” Obviously, these are the things that are drastically different from the handgun.

One of the sacred cows out there that is constantly put worth by the LCD students of the gun, is that “you cannot train for every situation, so advanced training is a waste of time.” This thinking is the height of ignorance and laziness, it is used as an excuse to never proceed past the most basic of thinking and skill sets. If you understand “The Nine Concepts” and train to ingrain every point inside of “The Nine Concepts”, you can prepare for the vast number of situations that are likely to arise. To be able to do this we need to break away from the technique focus of the recent past.

Techniques are nothing more than niches and niches do not flow. To be fluid we must look at fluid concepts, concepts that run A-Z, with no one point being more important than another. This need for fluidity is due to the fact that the situation is the dictating factor and the concepts written above are all about the specifics of the situation. In my training I find out exactly what I need to do inside of “The Nine Concepts” to be as deadly as I can possibly be inside of the created training situations.

It is the absolute knowledge of “The Nine Concepts” and the ability to fluidly intertwine “The Nine Concepts” mentally and physically that will allow you to be as deadly as possible inside of the fluid dynamics of a reactionary fight……without any weaknesses.

800 rounds and as always, bring more if you want to shoot more.

Fight Focused Handgun V – Advanced Point Shooting Concepts

Fight Focused Handgun V picks up right where Fight Focused Handgun III left off. The main focus inside of this course is to become completely ambidextrous. When we talk of the most advanced levels of the handgun, the need for completely ambidextrous skill sets simply cannot be understated. Whether the need for these skills is due to being injured inside of the fight, being injured outside of the fight, for shooting around cover, or having the ability to shoot to any angle on the clock while moving dynamically, when you need these skills, you are going to need them as bad as you have ever needed anything. Another arena where you are going to need to be completely ambidextrous, if you want to be as prepared as you can possible be is the arena of CQB and clearing of structures. Learning to apply ambidextrous skills to your “clearing” tool box will make you a safer and more dangerous fighter.

What you will learn inside of this course is the essentials to being able to fight with your handguns, at the highest levels possible.

Mirrored set ups are strongly recommended inside of this course, but not absolutely necessary.

  • Injured shooters drills
  • Injured shooters malfunction clearances
  • A look at back up guns and the varying carry options
  • Transfers and transitions
  • The benefits of mirrored set ups
  • Repetition to get your non-primary hand up to speed
  • The retention concept applied to the non-primary hand
  • Ambidextrous completely versatile draw stroke
  • Ambidextrous movement matrix

**Pre-requisite, Fight Focused Handgun III course or other two-day intermediate point shooting based course.

It can be tough to put on a traveling course these days. The last thing I want to do is scare away people from enrolling, due to lack of quality information. Intermediate skill level with the handgun and rifle would be just fine. We will safely and slowly bring it to the advanced level.

I am going to be flexible with these courses, since they are set up in a manner that I will be able to judge competence well before the guns are loaded. On one end of the spectrum, I may have people wanting to train with me in the Advance Point Shooting Concepts (APSC) that have not taken the Point Shooting Concepts (PSC.) This is a per-requisite that has been changed for this traveling course, since I have taught four PSC in the area and we will not be running another until the market changes. I am confident this will not be a problem due to how the APSC is set up, with a heavy lean toward dry fire at the beginning of the course. That is how the course has been set up for years now and all of the students see the unbelievable benefits of that dry practice.

At one end of the spectrum, if a student shows up for the APSC without taking the PSC before hand, they will be allowed to handle the course as they see fit (with two guns going ambidextrous, with one gun and a blue gun/dry gun going ambidextrous, or just going one gun and working injured shooters drills) as long as it fits with what I see safety wise and competence wise. Once again the built-in dry practice will show me (and the student) how the course will need to be handled. I will warn about making the decision to go “one gun” or “one gun and blue gun” and not bringing a two-gun set up. The dry practice sessions changes many minds on what is possible and what is safe. Many student regret showing up without a two-gun set up.

At the other end of the spectrum, some of the guys have trained with me numerous times in the APSC and they will be allowed to do things, such as run the APSC handgun course with a rifle. This is uncharted waters and the work shopping of this will be very interesting. It may just lead to the birth of an Advanced Long Gun Point Shooting Concepts.

If you would like to attend, but are unsure about qualifying skill level wise, please inquire here or personal message me.

I am looking to create an event! This looks to be a great opportunity to make that happen. Please do not balk on the opportunity due to uncertainty.