“The Weather is Going to be Perfect!” Being Prepared for Cold Weather Training

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

As a student, I always loved the cold weather training days. It was a way to guarantee a low student to instructor ratio. The colder it was, the less students in the course, and the further that my skill sets would progress. I always looked at cold weather as being a way to take advantage of being smarter than other people. It was not about me being tougher and able to deal with cold weather better than other people, it was about me being smarter on how I dealt with cold weather. I had a philosophy that I still use today as an instructor;

“The best way to be warm, is to stay warm.”

What this means is, that you do not let ego or your need to look like a tough guy keep you from staying warm. It always amazes me when I see people who obviously do not have enough warm clothing and freeze their rear end off, just so they are not seen with a beanie, hoodie, or gloves on. It is as if staying warm is some sign of being weak!

Staying warm is a sign of being smart!

When everyone else is freezing, the smart ones are training with 100% focus on training. They are taking advantage of all of the people who were afraid to come out in the cold and all of the people who will not come out in the cold again because of how cold they were “the last time.” The smart ones notice that it is cold because everyone else is freezing. They never feel the cold because they know that the trick is to stay warm from the very first minute……throughout the entirety of the day. They start off adequately dressed and remain adequately dress throughout the day. They do not ever fall behind the curve. They do not ever wait too long or wait until it is too late.

When you do this, it can lead to sweating. Sweating inside of the wrong type of clothing is as bad as not wearing enough clothing. This is why you must pick the proper under garments. You must pick a garment that wicks moisture away from the skin as it hold the warmth in. There are a number of different types of garments that accomplish this. The one that I use and works really well for me is “Cold Weather Under Armor.” It wicks away moisture when sweating and holds the warmth in.

Obviously a high quality sock that accomplishes the same thing is an absolute must. If your feet are cold……you are cold! I buy socks that are made for Snow Boarders. Good stuff! High quality Gortex boots are another huge benefit.

Layers are the way to go. I use a general guideline. If it is under 50 degrees I am going with a minimum of two layers. If it is going to be under 40 degrees I am going to do three layers. I tend to stay away from heavy jackets because it affects my mobility. I prefer tight layers and a light shell to keep the wind out.

Your heat escapes out the top of your head. Baseball caps simply are not good enough. Hoodies do a decent job, but are too loose. A nice, tight, thin, high quality beanie is really the best way to go. They are warm and low profile enough that your hearing protection is still very effective, toss a baseball cap over a quality thin beanie and you are good to go.

Of course, use some common sense and cover your ears.

Some other very beneficial clothing are as follows

A zippered fleece that covers the neck.

“Shot Gunner” Gloves if you need full dexterity use of fingers. The ones that I used in my “Fundamentals of Point Shooting” DVD worked well in temperatures around 30 degrees.

Full gloves with thin palms that offer quality dexterity. Mechanic gloves are not bad. I use a neoprene glove that is used for climbing glaciers. Good warmth, with excellent dexterity properties.

Do not sit on cold plastic chairs. Bring a cloth chair, so the cold is not directly transferred from a solid chunk of ice, straight to your core. Common sense right!

If you want to get the most out of your training dollar, learn how to dress for cold weather and look for a good course in the dead of winter. You may be able to avoid the snow, but that does not mean that you can avoid the cold. If you want to learn how to prepare to train in the cold, look to the guys that are out there every weekend during the winter. We can not cancel a course because it is cold. We are going to be out there and we know what it takes to be there, while not suffering from the cold.

The Value of One Handed Skill Sets and Dynamic Movement, Chapter 11

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

If you can not hit the targeted area, just about as well with one hand as you can with two, this weakness will cause severe limitations inside of your dynamic movement skill set. It is my opinion that there is no better way in the world to bring your one-handed skill sets up to a very high level, in a very short amount of time, than the study of the Fairbairn, Sykes, and Applegate point shooting methods. I consider these methods far superior to anything else that I have ever seen, due to the fact that many of my students spend only a half of a day on the skill set, and they are able to reach skill levels that begin to rival their two-handed skill levels. This is a missing link that so many do not have when they try to judge shooting one-handed with dynamic movement. Without the knowledge and the skills the phrase “you cannot get there from here” rings true more often than not. If you have good one-handed skills, these skills really shine inside the “dynamic” portion of the movement continuum.


The support side arm and hand can also be used to help facilitate the following;

  • Fending
  • Striking
  • Blocking
  • Parrying
  • Using other tools (flashlight, asp)
  • Manipulating the environmentLLPGFMarch5-62011153[1]
  • Guiding loved ones or those under your protection
  • Help facilitate balance
  • Help facilitate the speed of your dynamic movement
  • Help facilitate explosive move off of the X
  • Help facilitate the application of a cutback or directional changes
  • Help facilitate the tactile ability to maneuver around or through something when you are threat focused
  • To counter balance and help stabilize your one-handed shooting platform

LLPGF March 5-6, 2011 167On the counter balance and stabilizing force, this is the same principle as the way a Cougar uses its tail when it is moving dynamically. The support side arm is used in a natural manner to counter balance the extended handgun. It also stabilizes the handgun from the rolling of the shoulders and the slight twisting of the body, that you get while you are running. It also mitigates the bouncing that comes from the impact of the feet hitting the ground. The use of the support side arm in this manner helps facilitate a more “consistent index” during your dynamic movement by “floating” the handgun. At logical distances this consistent index is so reliable that you can work the trigger as fast as you can with no need to verify that you are indexed on target in between your shots, with sight verification. This is very helpful when you are behind in the reactionary curve and are fighting to take back the lost initiative.

One handed skills are a must for those that want to be well-rounded and versatile. Do not limit yourself to just using this very important asset, for nothing more than supporting a firing position.

A Dad

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

It was an October in Reno and we were having the usual Saturday night dinner that we try to arrange during every traveling course. This one was a little different. We often have guests, significant others, and family members joining us for dinner. This is a good way for the guests to understand why we love to train and find out about the quality of people that we spend so much time with. On this particular night we were joined by a beautiful little 2 1/2 year girl named Sawyer. She was the youngest of three daughters of Warrior Talk member Rob227. She was a little shy at first, but as long as dad was there, all was good in her world.

Sawyer reminded me so much of my oldest daughter Mary when she was that age. The same smile, similar smiling eyes, and that “big” little voice. It was plain to see that Sawyer loved her dad and that dad would do anything for her. It got me thinking about “why we do, what we do.”

I am always asked how I got to be where I am today. People ask me “You are not a Cop, you are not a Soldier, why do you train so hard? Why do you need to know the things that you know and need to do the things that you can do?” To me, the question has always been a bit odd. I always considered the protection of my loved ones even more important than the protection of my community or my country. Through the years I’ve found that my past experiences are very different from most people’s. I guess that experience has solidified my absolute knowledge in “the evil of man.” Making myself as deadly as I can possibly be seems as natural as making as much money as I possibly can. To me, it is just part of who I am and what I feel to be important as “the provider” of my family. We provide financial security. We provide a safe place to live, to go to school, and to grow up. But, the most important thing that we provide for our loved ones is security. When it comes down to brass tacks, it is not the cop or the soldier that will most likely be the last line of defense for our loved ones. The last line of defense will most likely be ………a Dad.

The next day, I approached Rob227 about wanting to write this article. He looked at me kind of funny……as if I had read his mind. He then sat back and told me the event that solidified his need to learn to be “the very best fighter that I could possibly be.” Without going into specifics it was all about being “A Dad.” He told me of the moment that he realized that if he wanted to be the man that he needed to be, he was going to have to learn to be as deadly as he could possibly be.

I am not a cop! I am not a soldier! What I do is every bit as honorable a duty. I will continue to learn to be as deadly as I can possibly be. I will continue to teach my students to be as deadly as they can possibly be. No fluff, no BS, and no political correctness. Just honest, brutally effective, and devastatingly lethal as I can find.

Why? Because I am a Dad!