Needing to Fight Your Way Out of a Violent Riot

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

From a discussion at my forum

Marc is doing beautiful job covering contact weapons and edge weapons foot work, for when things are very close, and you are not strapped. And I threw in on the positioning concept, because ultimately movement must have purpose. In the middle of a mob that has set their sights on violence on me…..I need to get out of there. If they are not going to let me leave and they are committed on attacking me, I may have no choice but to fight my way out of the situation.

I do not want anyone to think that I am ignoring movement while fighting with a firearm. With the significant threat of death and grave bodily harm to my loved and I, at my age, at my size, at this level of disparity of force against me, and at my skill level with hand to hand, knife, and contact weapons, I will mainly be relying on my firearm, my positioning, and my skill with a firearm, while moving dynamically, while moving in a controlled manner, and while stationary. I cannot go toe to toe with the mob and I cannot just out run them. Just running from a violent mob is like running from a pack of feral dogs. It is not going to go well.

I will most likely need to fight while maneuvering, possibly dynamically, to set the tone that their mortality is also at risk. I need to deter the largest portion of the mob that I can. Eventually the mobs guns are going to be deployed. Then I will need to fight once I have landed in my position of tactical advantage. Here is where my accuracy level needs to be at the highest level I can achieve. One shot/one hit is what I am going to need or I am going to run out of ammo. If the threat remains, I will then need to fight while moving to the next position of tactical advantage. The best solution may be “move stop shoot” or accurate fire with controlled movement, one shot/one hit, all while ultimately looking to get the hell out of Dodge.

If this very unfortunate situation ever came to reality I am going to be very happy with the type of well rounded training I have been doing.

You are going to need to be smart. You are going to need to be fast. You are going to need to be accurate. And most of all you are going to need to be well rounded.


By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concept

At my forum we were discussing footwork that my be helpful if you are unfortunate enough to get caught up in a violent riot. Here were just some of my thoughts.

My footwork at my age is not going to help me against a bunch of 20 year olds. I am thinking what I need is outstanding positioning.

I have written so very much over the years, but the one subject that I always wanted to write about, but could never figure out how to articulate, is about the importance and concept of positioning. “Concept” is the only way I can explain it. It is the act of placing yourself in the most tactically advantageous position possible. There are so many things to consider, that it is literally impossible to convey it by the written word. At least it is for me. The situation is the dictating factor and the environment is the most important of the many factors.

Positioning seems to me to almost be instinctive. I have no idea where I picked it up from, but it comes to me with almost zero conscious thought. It comes as easy as taking a step or taking a breath. Not only have I never figured out how to write about it, I have not even figured out how to teach it. The most beneficial aspect of the concept of positioning is that it can help you completely avoid the confrontation. If that does not work, it can help you deter the attack. A position of tactical advantage is not just obvious to you, it is obvious to your adversary. There are times where all you need is for them to recognize the obvious. “Good ground” may be all that some of us can hope for, but “good ground” can mean everything.

Funneling your opponents, having the high ground, having your back covered, having your flanks covered, obstacles that slow the pursuit, obstacles that divide your adversary, creating exposure for your adversaries, lessening the exposure for yourself, having additional positions to be able to maneuver too, and having an escape route are just a few elements of the concept of positioning.

When I was young, my footwork was my claim to fame. I can no longer out run a gang of 20 year olds, but with a sharp mind, I can definitely out maneuver them.

“Guns Don’t Kill People, Men with Beards Kill People”

First attempt at humor, by Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

Throughout this forum we discuss ALL things martial. We are constantly looking to become as dangerous as possible to our enemies. But it has become clear to me that we have not covered one of the most important topics inside of this very important subject.

The Beard.

Back before I started training, I had a mustache. I simply did not know what I did not know. I thought I was “good to go” since I had owed guns since I was six, hunted with my dad, and occasionally shot competitively. My ignorance and lack of skill was directly related to my lack of facial hair.

Once I started training, I understood that a mustache was simply not good enough. My skill set was one dimensional. While I was really good at shooting and my mustache looked great, I did not believe that I was really training to fight. My learning progression on training to fight lead me to a more well rounded skill set and a neatly trimmed goatee.

I trained for decades and as my skills grew, so did my Goatee. It became perfectly clear (to me at least) that the more dangerous I became, the more facial hair I had. It grew from a stubble goatee to a good six inch long bushy goatee, one so nice that any warrior in Valhalla would be proud of. I wore this goatee proudly, for years, with the full knowledge of my absolute deadliness.

Then Covid-19 hit!

My goatee was so fracking awesome that nobody could keep their hands off of it (when I say “nobody”, I mostly mean “me.”) At that point it became perfectly clear that my goatee had become so dangerous that it was even dangerous to me. So, I convinced myself (against all empirical data) that it was not my goatee that made me such a bad ass and that I could be just as dangerous without it.

I shaved it off.

The next thing I know I am participating in 9mm-vs-45cal. debates, asking what the best magnet holster for my car was, and pontificating about open carrying at Walmart as soon as my CCW permit expired.

It was clear that I had thrown away tens of thousands of dollars of training with a couple of passes of a trimmer. I was reduced from a steely eyed gunfighter to an absolute imbecilic newbie.

Then the Antifa and BLM riots hit!

As I looked in the mirror at a panicked face, a smooth as a babies butt, and a skill set of the same age, I immediately knew what I had to do………..grow the most dangerous beard that I can.

This is a thread on the deadliness of the beard, the importance of the beard, the training of the beard, the upkeep of the beard, the maintenance of the beard, beard products, the mastery of the beard, and most importantly… of the beard.

Training in 2021

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

All 2021 courses will be private courses only

I have had some up and down success with my private courses and have been looking at how to make them as attracted and fair as I possibly can. Here is what I have come up with. It reduces the risks of the motivated guy being messed around by friends or training partners, that are not as motivated or dependable. You get the best deal when you can get four guys that commit, but even if they flake on you, you can still get a decent deal.

$400 for one person, for one eight-hour training session. (8:00 -5:00)
$600 for two people, for one eight-hour training session. (8:00 -5:00)
$800 for three people, for one eight-hour training session. (8:00 -5:00)
$1000 for four people, for one eight-hour training session. (8:00 -5:00)

For those that are looking to get as much as possible inside of one day, add-on extra hours for $150 an hour. We can push as hard or as easy as you want. You get to tailor your training to your needs.

$400 non-refundable payment, 6 weeks in advance, to secure date and range.

Additional students transactions can be taken care of in advance or on the day of the course, at the range. Please keep me informed on how many students I should expect so I can bring the appropriate amount of supplies.

Contact me by phone or by email at least 6 weeks in advanced to get things all set up.

Free Speech

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

Free speech is all about the quest for knowledge, seeking of a dialogue, and ultimately discovery of the truth. It is what allows us to debate topics, hear varying opinions, gain insight, and to see things from every angle. It is about improving ourselves, our lives, our families lives, and our world through an open conversation of free thinkers.

The suppression of free speech is nothing more than the exact opposite. The suppression of free speech, that half of the Country is dealing with today, may just be the most formidable weapons ever used against us. Without free speech, we are lesser men/women, intellectually, spiritually, morally, and in regards of understanding the true reality of our world. When there is only one acceptable way to think, to speak, and it is not what you believe, we suffer severely.

Right now the left is using fear to silence us. They have made it perfectly clear that they will come after you, your family, your job, the way you support your loved ones, your freedom, and even your life. They will cancel you with zero concern on what is “right or wrong” of what is “good or evil.” They hate you, therefore you must shut up/obey and any dissent to what they believe must be ruthlessly crushed.

Free speech is hate speech and hate speech is violence. That is the way the left is framing this. That is their narrative.

I have been sitting back and watching how this all plays out. Most of you know well, that I did not have much faith in getting a free and fair election. Most of you know well, that I did not have much faith in the left not dramatically abusing their new found and ill-gotten power. Not only did we not just witness the most questionable election in America history, but we have witnessed the most destructive 18 days, to the founding principles of America, in American history.

I have sat back and watched. I have hardly said anything, except to those that I know I can trust. I have been effectively silenced and that silencing is based on fear. I have no fear of dying, I should have died when I was 16 and I was effectively “already dead” for 10 more years on top of that. My fear is for my family and my loved ones. If they cancel me, my family will suffer. That probably sounds familiar to a lot of you, but most people will not say it.

I have gone back and worth on this issue. The American man in me wants to keep speaking as I always have. The husband, father, grandfather, protector, patriarch does not want to draw any more attention than I already have.

With the attempted suppression of your free speech being an irrefutable fact……..

What is your mindset in regards to speaking on these irrefutable facts?

What is your tactic in regards to speaking on these irrefutable facts?

How important do you believe, your decision on this issue will be to you, to your family, to your lives, and to America?

Becoming Completely Ambidextrous and Dry Practice (Revised)

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

I will be teaching people how to become “completely ambidextrous” on October 19-20, 2019 in Vegas.

I remember back in 2002 when I made the decision to work to become ambidextrous. At first, I felt “inept!” I was slow, clumsy, weak, and inconsistent. I refused to accept that feeling as my reality!

Right off of the bat, I knew that I was going to have to get squared away on my own, through dry practice. The reason for this was not just about getting over my ineptitude but to get past the significant safety concerns. I had an ignorant left-handed trigger finger and an ignorant right-handed thumb. In comparison to my educated right hand trigger finger and my left hand thumb, the differences were astronomical.

I did not want to show up to a live fire course feeling inept and having major safety concerns. I did not want to be “that guy!” When I did show up to the live fire course, the instructors watched me like a hawk to make sure that I was ready…..and I was.

The time that I spent on my left-handed dry practice may have been the most valuable dry practice that I had ever put in. My right-handed skill set were never “inept,” They were just ignorant. But my left-handed skill sets did start off at “inept.”

The Stupid Trigger Finger

Make no mistake about it, until you have educated your secondary hand trigger finger……it is stupid……and stupidity can get you killed! You need to bring the level of “educated trigger finger” to the point that it is ingrained at a purely automatic level. This is an absolute “must have down cold” portion of your dry practice.

The Stupid Thumb

This is not so much a “life and death issue as it is a “don’t hurt yourself” issue. The thumb of your primary hand must learn its place when it becomes the support hand during your two-handed shooting. It must learn its “thumbs forward grip” position to keep you safe from the slide coming back and smacking the stupid appendage. That thumb is used to “wrapping” around the back strap and that is what it is going to want to do unless you train it to do something else.

Why Am I So Inept?!

This is temporary and can be moved past very quickly with dedication. “This too will pass” is the mindset that you must have. Once you get past this period of ineptitude… will never come back. I went away from my “mirrored set up” for a good six years. When I came back to it, it was as if I had never left it. Right now I am at about 90% of completely ambidextrous. If I did not have significant problems with my left wrist. I would be at 98%. This was not a hard level to reach. But, it had to be reached initially, through dry practice.

The Learning Progression

Dry practice until you are past being inept and unsafe. Unfortunately, the majority of “students of the gun” do not dry practice near as much as they should. This is a fact that is often hidden from the Instructor. Due to that, I no longer accept a student telling me that they have put in the time, I make them show me. In all of my courses, there is a good good deal of dry practice, more so in courses that attempt to facilitate “completely ambidextrous.” Dry practice under the watchful eye of a qualified Instructor is invaluable. That is the point where the Instructor transitions to being the Coach. A good Coach is the person who will facilitate safe and proper “completely ambidextrous” skill sets.

Dry practice to the point that you acquire the skill level that will facilitate not making a mistake that could be painful or deadly.

Step back down to the fundamentals and run them secondary hand only.

Acquire the confidence in your well-earned completely ambidextrous skill sets through live fire.

Step back into dry practice and practice your intermediate skill level skill sets.

Begin to work past the fundamentals and start working fluid, well-rounded, and versatile skill sets.

Take these skill sets into the intermediate live fire.

Step back into dry practice and work your advanced skill sets.

Take those skill sets into the advanced live fire.

This is the progression that I took and it is the progression that I would recommend to all of my students. Do not be “that guy!” You know what I say about “that guy”…….he can get somebody hurt or dead real quick!

In nearly all of my FFH5 the student base safely reached a completely ambidextrous skill level that was simply amazing. We did this in a very safe and methodical manner through dry practice and repetition. The experience from those courses and those groups of students, has solidified my resolve to continue on this path of excellence. It had such a profound effect on me that I have now introduced a new course called Fight Focused Handgun VII – Advanced Fight Focused Drills. This course is going to pick up right where we left off in the FFH5 course. It is going to be heavy on completely ambidextrous while running the most advanced of the drills that have ever been seen inside of any of the Fight Focused Concepts courses.

If this is a skill that you would like to improve on, come on out to Vegas October 19-20, 2019

Got Completely Ambidextrous?

By Roger Phillips, Owner and Operator of Fight Focused Concepts

From Fight Focused Handgun III, to Fight Focused Handgun V, and Beyond

I will be teaching people how to become “completely ambidextrous” on October 19-20, 2019 in Vegas.

To the vast majority of trainers and students out there, my flagship Fight Focused Handgun III – The Reactive Gunfight (FFH3) course would be seen as an advanced course. Those that train with me know that in reality, it is actually nothing more than an introductory course to the true realities of fighting with your handgun. The course is perceived as being advanced due to the fact that we do not accept that the fundamentals of marksmanship are the “end all be all” to fighting. While they are very important, they are just one piece of the overall puzzle. To be as deadly as you can possibly be, while fighting for your life with a handgun, there are many more pieces that need to be added to the puzzle.

I remember the very first FFH3 course that I taught and how before it was even over, the students were asking me “where do I go from here……what is next?” This is a very important question and one that needs to be answered. I could have just created another course that had a few more advanced drills in it and continued to ride the wave of success…….or I could do what I believe to be right and create a course that actually is more advanced and does prepare my student base at a higher level, inside of the matters of “life and death.” The easy route for my students and I, would be the first option. The problem with the second option is how it required me taking a good number of my students and pushing them outside of their comfort level and their belief system.

From the very first, I felt that the Fight Focused Handgun V – Advanced Reactive Gunfighting (FFH5) should be heavily focused on becoming completely ambidextrous. I still vehemently feel that way today!

To become completely ambidextrous, the most efficient and effective training requires mirrored set ups, consisting of a holster on each side of the body and a magazine pouch on each side of the body. We are not talking about becoming partially ambidextrous. Handing the gun over to the non-primary hand is entry-level as far as being ambidextrous. To become completely ambidextrous means, that you can and that you do, everything on the non-primary side that you do on the primary side. About 50% of my student base shows up to the FFH5 course with mirrored set ups. I would say that another 25% wished that they did and end up showing up the second day with a mirrored set up. It is the remaining 25% that this article is aimed at.

The most common reason that I hear for not wanting to train with a mirrored set is “I do not carry that way, so I do not believe that I should train that way.” Guess what? I do not carry that way either! For me, this is not about training for carrying in a mirrored set up. Sure, I could do it at a very high level if I wanted to and if I was planning on just hanging out in Detroit or some other God forsaken part of the country . But I do not hang out in Detroit, so I do not carry in a mirrored setup. Training with a mirrored set up is about much more important things than carrying in that manner. It is about training to be completely ambidextrous, totally well-rounded, thoroughly fluid, and without any weaknesses or chinks in my armor. It is about training to have all of my “most likely” covered to the very best of my ability. You see, needing to be very good with your non-primary hand is not a luxury…….it is a necessity.

For those that have taken force on force (FOF), how many times were you shot in your primary hand or arm? How many times have you heard about people in gun fights being shot in the primary hand or arm? This is a reality that we have to face, but it is not even the most likely reason that you need to be good with your non-primary hand. How many times have you heard of shooters who injury their primary hand or arm in completely unrelated (to guns) accidents? How many times have you heard people admit in despair, when they realize that they have not taken the time or put in the work and now they have to carry a gun without the proper skill level. On the other hand, how many times have you heard the glee in a person’s voice when they find themselves injured and find themselves prepared for that injury due to having the skills to overcome their problem. Now this is the most common of situations where you are going to wish that you had trained with a mirrored set up!

Being completely ambidextrous is like knowing how to point shoot. You all have heard me say this hundreds of times…..”It is not about point shooting, it is about what point shooting allows you to do.” On the same token……..”It is not about being completely ambidextrous, it is about what being completely ambidextrous allows you to do!” Overcoming injuries is marginally interesting! The real benefits to being completely ambidextrous do not even show themselves until you are at the upper echelon of your advanced training. We have the obvious skill sets where you benefit such as shooting around cover and shooting on the move, but that is nothing compared to your abilities inside of CQB and structure clearing. In my opinion, this reason and this reason alone, is not only the number one reason to own completely ambidextrous skill sets, but the most important reason to own ambidextrous skill sets at an exponential level. If you are clearing structures using your primary hand only, you may as well tie the other one behind your back. It is my opinion that you are handicapping yourself to a level that borders on insanity.

Clearing structures should flow like water. A right-handed corner needs right-handed skill sets and a left-handed corner requires left-handed skill sets. The transfers should flow without any thought and the ambidextrous retention concept should be as fluid as your movement. All of the things that you need to do to keep from being seen and shot, while fluidly keeping the handgun in the most advantageous positions as possible is not going to take place unless you have taken the time and put in the work to acquire completely ambidextrous skill sets. Training with a mirrored set up is the beginning of this path.

I do not sell holsters, magazine pouches, or handguns. I am not telling you all this to sell gear. I am telling you all this because it is what I believe, what I have experiences, what I have seen, and what I know to be the very best information that I can find for my student base. If you trust me to teach you the very best information that I can find…….trust me on this!

In nearly all of my FFH5 the student base safely reached a completely ambidextrous skill level that was simply amazing. We did this in a very safe and methodical manner through dry practice and repetition. The experience from those courses and those groups of students, has solidified my resolve to continue on this path of excellence. It had such a profound effect on me that I have now introduced a new course called Fight Focused Handgun VII – Advanced Fight Focused Drills. This course is going to pick up right where we left off in the FFH5 course. It is going to be heavy on completely ambidextrous while running the most advanced of the drills that have ever been seen inside of any of the Fight Focused Concepts courses.

If this is a skill that you would like to improve on, come on out to Vegas October 19-20, 2019

October 19-20, 2019 – Fight Focused Handgun V – Advanced Reactive Gunfighting – $250 – 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM – Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club

Fight Focused Handgun V – Advanced Reactive Gunfighting

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.

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

  • Injured shooters drills
  • The importance of the thumbs forward/locked wrist grip
  • 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

Sign up here.

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.