The Double Edge Sword and Force on Force Fighting at Night

By Roger Phillips, Owner of Fight Focused Concepts


“You do not know what you do not know!”

This has been one of my top catch phrases. The reason for that is because it has been the absolute reality of the firearms training industry since the middle of the 1900’s. When we see skill sets or tactics that are staunchly defended, beyond any common sense, that we know does not work against a living, thinking, and resisting adversary “you do not know what you do not know” is the very core of the discussion.

The difference between Fight Focused Concepts student base and most of the other students of the gun is that we accept the fact that everyone is ignorant about something. We understand that the word “ignorant” is not an insult…….it is an obstacle that most be surpassed…….it is a challenge that must be met and conquered.

Unfortunately, there is some training out there that is so difficult to get, that even our students have not stepped up to the challenge. This leaves many of them in the position where they may not be as squared away as they think they are, and you know what that means.

”You do not know what you do not know!”

One of those training opportunities that are often missed out on would be low light force on force (FOF.) The reason for this is clear it can be a logistical nightmare for the student and for the instructor. But really, is inconvenience a legitimate reason to miss out on some of the most important training that you can possibly receive?

When we look at the “most likely” of a civilian encounter it is going to be a reactive event in low light conditions. If you have not tested your skill sets against a live, thinking, and resisting adversary you are not near as ready as you think you are. I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, but I am not here to baby my students, hold their hands, or powder their little tushies, I am here to make them as deadly as they can possibly be. My students know that I will tell them the truth……good or bad! I have been running low light courses every year since 2005. I know how many students have actually trained with me in low light. Straight up, the numbers are not good considering the quality of students that we have.

One of my biggest concerns is that the student base has not had a chance to experience “the double edge sword” of FOF and fighting at night. “The double edge sword” is loosely defined as “what works on you will work on your adversary and what works on your adversary will work on you.” This means that we must experience everything that is in our war bag, from the bad guy’s perspective. We must also know everything that is in the bad guy’s war bag so we know what may be coming, along with its effects that it may have on us, so that we may steal his tricks and skill sets and use them against him. Whatever they can do…..we can do!

As Sun Tzu said in “The Art of War”

“So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.”

There is no way to experience these invaluable lessons unless you take them into low light FOF. Without this firsthand experience as the good guy and as the bad guy it is nothing more than speculation and theory.

In the past we have seen flashlights marketed as tools just short of laser beams that can immediately blind, disorient, and vaporize the adversary. How can you possibly understand the effects of a good flashlight or your ability to fight through those effects if you have not personally experienced them? You have probably heard that “the flashlight is a bullet magnet.” How would you know whether this is true if you have not been on both the giving end and the receiving end of the confrontation? We have heard that if you have good point shooting skills it is best to fight in the dark because you have superior skills over your adversary. How would you know if your skill sets are good enough to meet that challenge if you have not put them up against a resisting adversary?

How do your dynamic movement skill sets hold up against an adversary that is moving dynamically……in the dark? Do you know the best way to use your flashlight after you have made the ID? Do you keep it on and engage? Do you turn it off and engage? Or do you use something in between those two concepts? Do you know the tricks that bad guys use to hide their accessed weapons? Have you seen those tricks used at night and do you know what the tattle-tells are? Have you learned how to do it yourself? How do you handle a profile individual at night? What are some easy tricks to help you remember how to deal with a profile individual? Do you know what flashlight position is best for each situation? Do you have your handgun/flashlight manipulations down pat? Have you figured out all of the body mechanics to be as good as you can possibly be with a flashlight in one hand and a handgun in the other? How do you search with a flashlight? How do you take that corner? How do you engage after you have clear that corner? How helpful are your night sights in a reactive situation? How does the RMR compare to the nights sights?

I could go on and on!

If you do not definitively know the answer to each of these questions, you may not be near as deadly as you think you are. Over 70% of all gun fights happen in low light! Have you trained properly for this reality? This is not target shooting……this is not a bright sunny day at the range! This is the down and dirty reality of fighting for your life or the lives of your love ones.

If you have not trained for a reactive gunfight at night, you have trained for substantially less than 30% of the fight!

Reality is ruthless.  Train accordingly!

Come on out to Las Vegas on August 17-18, 2019 and meet me at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club and I will show you that this is not about point shooting…..this is about what is possible because of point shooting. Come on out and pick up some of the most important skill sets, techniques, and concepts and you may ever need. Come on out and learn how to win while fighting at night.

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