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.

Point Shooting and Fighting at Night (Revised)

By Roger Phillips, Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

It is a well documented fact that the vast majority of gun fights (70%-80%) happen in low light situations. Obviously, the criminal element prefers to operate under the cloak of darkness. It is also pretty well documented on how much more difficult it is to make the hits in reduced light. The documented drop in hit percentage during well-lit gun fights compared to reduced light gunfight is 20%-25%. This could be for two very distinct reasons, difficulty in getting to your sights while fighting at night, and the brain starving for the reduced visual input of the entirety of the encounter due to lack of light. Even with the advent of night sights and the usage of a flashlight, having the ability to point shoot is an absolute must own skill set for advanced level fighting at night.

It is my opinion that night sights have severe limitations. The most obvious (at least to me) is your ability to actually be able get to them during a reactive encounter. If we can agree that the ability to get to the sights is very difficult in a reactive day light encounter, then it is clear that the ability to get to them in low light is going to be even more difficult. Another obvious limitation comes down to speed. Sights take time to line up and from my experience night sights take even longer. Lining up night sights also require the gun to be at line of sight, which does not work well within the fluid reality of the retention concept. If 50% of all gun fight occur inside of 3 yards that means that well over 50% of all gun fights have a retention problem that must be dealt with. Another “line of sight” problem comes down the necessary visual input of the entirety of the encounter. This is a very important point! The necessity to be at line of sight while the brain is starving for the visual input of the entire encounter, due to darkness, can be very detrimental. Having the ability to work “below line of sight” becomes even more important during low light situations, than during the day. This is obvious due the lack of visual input that can be taken in during low light situations. To further hinder this lack of visual input by having the gun up in your face can be very counterproductive.

Another dramatic limitation of night sights is the fact that their niche is when you have enough light to ID the threat but not enough light to see your standard sights. In an outdoor environment with no artificial light, night sights are really only good during the waning light right after the sun goes down or as it is about to come up. So the reality is that night sights are only good for a small period of time or under a small percentage of lighting levels. To think that all you need is “sighted fire” skills and night sights is a huge mistake. Night sights have their place! Night sights and their usage are just another tool to own inside of your tactical war bag. There are places what you can significantly benefit from night sights, but they are not nearly as valuable as the marketing will lead you to believe. They are by no means the “be all, end all” that some companies will lead you to believe.

Do I have night sights on my “go to” self-defense handguns…… bet I do! But they are only pieces of the puzzle in my night fighting strategies and tactics.

I have had night sights on my self-defense guns for years. I have trained with them at night extensively. I have never been very happy with my performance with the night sights. I am not sure what the problem is, whether it was me, my eye sight, or the sights, I was just never satisfied with my performance while training to fight at night, even with over 200 hours of formal “sighted” low light training. Learning and refining my point shooting skills changed all of this…. and changed it dramatically. I found that I did not have to line my night sights up, I could use them as aids for both my sighted and unsighted fire.

As a civilian and predominantly as a civilian trainer, I am a firm believer of “only use the flash light when you have to use the flashlight” school of thought. For me this is primarily for making the ID. There are some other uses of course, such as being able to see the terrain, additional threats, finding cover, lighting up the sights, and adversely affecting the adversary’s vision. But all of these have to be weighed carefully with the fact that your flash light is a target indicator which can make it (and you) a bullet magnet. This weighing of the pro’s and con’s is something that has to be considered and worked in your training and not something that you find out while you are fighting for your life. You need to know the difference between the performance and effects of your flashlight while fighting against a gun or fighting against an edged/blunt weapon attack. This knowledge and information is absolutely critical because there is a huge difference between the realities of these differing encounters.

The combination of the use of night sights and a flash light is better than either of them alone, but still does not cover all of the bases that need to be covered. The trifecta of night fighting is the combination of point shooting skill, flashlight skills, and night sight skills (in that order.) This is the only way to have all of your bases covered. This is the only way to have all of the skills/techniques to be able to have the tactics that you will need to prevail while fighting at night. Without all three of these skills, your techniques will dictate your tactics. This is never a wise idea! You must have the skills and techniques that allow you to use the very best tactic to make your strategy work for your specific situation. It is my firm belief that fighting at night without sound point shooting skill or flash light techniques or night sight skills is like fighting with one arm.

It is my opinion that point shooting really shines in five separate arenas.
1) When behind in the reactionary curve
2) Low light
3) Dynamic movement
4) Integration of H2H
5) For those with physical limitations

It is my firm opinion that without quality point shooting skills you will never take these five separate arenas to their full potential. When we look at the extreme possibility of the fight happening when behind in the reactionary curve, in low light, while needing dynamic movement, during the integration of H2H, and while dealing with physical limitations that affect a significant number of us, point shooting is an absolute must own skill set.

“It is not about point shooting, it is about what point shooting allows us to do.”

When we look at the true dynamics of night fighting it becomes very clear that point shooting must be taught to the highest levels possible. High quality point shooting skill sets are even more necessary than a good flashlight and good flashlight skills. They are even more necessary than good night sights and good nights sight skills. The three together is the trifecta for the civilian defender and fighting at night.

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.

Flashlight in the Hand

By Roger Phillips, Owner of Fight Focused Concepts

Avoiding the Profile Individual/Deterring the Profile Individual/Dominating the Profile Individual

“The flashlight in the hand” philosophy is the tactic of carrying a small, powerful, tactical flashlight in your non-dominant hand whenever you are in a risky area after the sun has gone down. Whether you are walking the dog, exercising, or making a run down to the grocery store/Wal-Mart, if you are going to be in a public place after sundown, it is the tactic of always carrying your flashlight in your hand.

The main reason for you to do this is because the vast majority of the times that you may need your flashlight, in a self-defense situation, if it is not already in your hand you will most likely never get it into your hand. The number one reason for carrying a flashlight is for making the identification (ID) of the hands and the waistbands for weapons, since our visual acuity is cut in half in low light. It is the hands that kill and the waistband is where bad guys (BG) usually keep their weapons. The number two reason for carrying a flashlight is to disrupt the vision of the adversary. A bright light in the eyes not only disrupts the adversaries vision but it allows the good guy (GG) to work behind a wall of light. When the adversary can no longer see you, that causes doubt and uncertainty. This uncertainty may be all that you need to deter an attack.

A flashlight is not necessarily a fighting tool. I do not need the flashlight to make the hits. It is much more valuable as a physical deterrent (BG cannot see GG) and a visual disruption (BG’s vision is 5% of what it was just a second before.) If you need to fight with the light on you are creating a constant focal point to attack. If you can disrupt that adversaries vision, turn the light out and move, there is no focal point to follow, there is only blinded bewilderment! Even if they recover, you can take their vision again. We have all heard “A flashlight is a bullet magnet” but this does not have to be the case if you “see what you need to see” and “blind as you need to blind” then turn the flashlight out. If you remove the constant focal point the liabilities of the bullet/knife/club magnet decrease. It is the lessons of when to use the flashlight and when not to use the flashlight that are the most valuable of the lessons. Being able to shoot with the flashlight in conjunction with the gun is mildly interesting, that is entry-level knowledge. Knowing when to blind, when to turn the flashlight off, when and where to move, and when to turn the light back on is the advanced knowledge. This knowledge is not possible without thorough testing inside of low light FOF and from both sides of the coin. You have to be both the GG and the BG to learn the lessons as they need to be learned. The reality is that all of this knowledge is useless if your flashlight is at home, in your car, or even in your pocket. If it is not in your hand when you spot the profile individual, it will probably never make it into your hand.

The term “profile individual” (PI) speak for itself. This has nothing to do with race or sex. Trouble and danger comes in all races and in both sex. Trouble and danger has a very distinct look and feel, if you have been around the block a couple of times, you know what I am talking about. If you cannot recognize trouble and danger you may just need to be removed from the gene pool. Recognizing trouble and danger starts with profiling. Forget about all of those politically correct idiots out there and let’s get down to the bottom line. If you do not profile you are a fool! There is a very low danger level from a well-groomed man in an expensive business suit or an elderly couple taking a walk in a park. But there is a higher danger level from groups of urban youths, especially in bad parts of town or where poverty is rampant. This is all just common sense here.

If you are out at night, doing whatever it is that you have to do, and you see a PI that is going to cross your path here is a very quick overview of how to handle the PI.

Profile; It always starts with profiling!We must profile who is in our general vicinity while we are out after sun down. BG use the cloak of darkness to hide themselves and to hide their intent. Without profiling everything else that follows is worthless. Making the ID on a PI is the first piece of your back story. Back story is very important stuff, nothing happens inside of a vacuum. Collecting and building good pieces of back story allows you to build the information to facilitate making the decisions that you are going to have to make. The more pieces, the better the back story, the better the back story the quicker you will be able to work through your OODA loop. If you make a PI and he has orientated to you, the next thing that you need to do is as follows.

Avoid; Make a directional change to your movement and begin looking for other players. Choose a direction that will require the PI to reorient to you. If there is no re-orientation, that is a good thing, but keep your eye out for any other players/accomplice’s along with the original PI. If the PI reorients to you, you have just succeeded in forcing the BG to show you his hand. You have created the second piece of the back story to further facilitate your decision-making process. You now know the BG is keying on you. There are not coincidences! In low light you cannot allow the BG to close ground on you. You must stop his ingress! Here are some basic concepts to help stop the BG from closing ground you. The next two thing listed may need to be put into action simultaneously, but they are set down in order of importance.

Command; With a commanding voice and in conjunction with a flashlight in the PI eye’s order them to “Back off!” In low light, with a quality flashlight the PI will see nothing but the light. You will have disappeared to him and all he will see is the source of the light and you will be cloaked behind a wall of light. If the first “Back off!” and blinding does not work, that is the third and another huge piece of the back story. Give them one last chance (the fourth piece of the back story) and get louder and more “street.” Sometimes the street only understands “street”………“BACK THE F**K OFF! While the commands and flashlights are being used you will most likely want to doing two other things simultaneously.

Move/Monitor; It is my opinion that you should mitigate the urge to stop and square up to your adversary. I feel that you should keep moving in order to disrupt the adversaries ability to begin working through his OODA loop. By continuing to move you take away the adversaries ability to take a snap shot of the battlefield which is very important to developing a plan of attack. As you command/blind/move you should again monitor the area for any other accomplices. Since you are hidden behind a wall of light to your primary adversary, you should be able to look around quickly for other players, without the primary adversary even knowing that you have taken your eyes off of him. If the PI is still reorienting to you, you probably have enough back story (fifth piece) to articulate reasonable fear. Some people feel that they need to ID the weapon, but FOF training has proven that action beats reaction. If you are unable to ID that something is very wrong, with all of the back story that has taken place, you may be deep into the very worse of positions…….denial! This is where all of your training comes to the forefront. This is where you find out if “your line in the sand” has been thought through well enough. This is where all of your “what if” mental preparation has really prepared you well enough. This is where you find out about the reliability of your gut feeling, and your ability to act on it. This is where it gets as personal as anything that you have ever dealt with.

If in your mind you can articulate that it is go time, then it is on.

If the threat or weapon has been identified that leads us to the next phase of the fight.

Access; When the line in the sand has been crossed, keep moving, access your weapon, and get to work. It is time to fight with everything you have. Accessing your weapon, from concealed carry, with a flashlight in your hand is a skill set that you must own. There are two methods that you need to know, the one hand draw stroke (circular flagged thumb) and the clearing of the garment with the flashlight hand (three digit crab claw.) Which one you use is situational and user dependent. This draw stoke from concealment is the most likely thing that you are going to blow, your “flashlight in the hand” draw stroke needs to be to the point that you have it down cold while moving. With these two draw stroke methods you have the option of keeping the flashlight in the eyes or turning if off. Either way, the adversaries vision is going to be extremely limited. If you keep the light on and draw, everything that you do is cloaked by the wall of light, but the direction and pace of your movement can be tracked through the visual connection to the light source. If you turn the light out, you cannot be tracked periodically, but the adversaries vision will eventually return. Of course you can always give him another blast of light and take it away again. Once you have accessed the weapon and driven it to the focal point it is time to take care of business.

Negate; Negate the threat with fast and accurate hits while either hiding behind the wall of light or under the cloak of blinded darkness. I cannot possibly express how important it is to have the “double edge sword” knowledge and experience of fighting from both sides of this confrontation. Without this firsthand knowledge and experience, you have no clue of the true dynamics of the fight and the power and the limitations of the “flashlight in the hand” philosophy. Experience leads to confidence, confidence leads to absolute knowledge, absolute knowledge leads to total domination. This is where you want to be, anything short of that means that you have not put in the work and you are not as ready as you think are. Fighting at night is a skill set that can only be obtained through proper preparation to prevent piss poor performance. If you have not put in the time……face that fact for the fact that it is. Reading this article is simply not going to get it done!

Once the primary adversary has been negated and determined out of the fight it is time to move on to the next progression.

Scan; BG’s tend to travel in packs. Just because you did not make any accomplices early on does not mean that there are none. You are going to need to scan 360 degrees to make sure that there are no other players that may need your attention. Scanning may best be done while moving to a place of cover or tactical advantage. Whether you scan with your flashlight or not depends on the ambient light and the presence of darkened areas. Remember the rule of thumb, “if you are in the dark, stay in the dark, if you are in the light, light up the dark.” Once you have verified that there are not other players to engage and verified that the primary has not reanimated it is time to move onto the next step of the progression.

Reload; Now that there is a lull in the fight it is time to top off your gun. If we accept the fact that “if the flashlight is not in your hand at the start of the fight, it will not make it into the hand” philosophy then it would seem wise to be able to load your gun without stowing your flashlight. The “three digit crab claw” allows for a “reload with retention” all while keeping the flashlight in your hand. If you are concerned about the effects of the adrenaline dump, you can stow the flashlight for your reload. Either way, get that gun topped off.

Evaluate; The next step is a medical evaluation of yourself. Since the fight is still not guaranteed to be over I would try to mitigate lighting yourself up or putting away the flashlight. The “three digit crab claw” can still feel the body for wet spots. Another option is to shove the flashlight in between the pinkie and ring finger of the gun hand, bezel up (consistency across categories) A quick lighting of the ground for blood droplets may be acceptable. If you find a wet spot in the groin area, you are going to have to ID the color of the fluid. If you find yourself to be ok medically, it is time to proceed to the next step.

Proceed/Police; Due to the fact that there are some places that if you do not get the heck out of there immediately , you could be fighting the whole neighborhood. It is not always as clear as “call the police and wait for them.” Sometimes you are going to have to get the heck out of there, then call the police and arrange to meet them somewhere. Unfortunately, it can be even worse than that. You may have to get out of there and never say a word to anyone. There are places in this great Country that do not allow good people to defend themselves or their loved ones from evil. In this case, since you primary mission is to get home and continue to take care of your loved ones you may just need to proceed on with your life without bringing the police in. It is a shame that there are places in America that are like this, but it is what it is! A good person needs to make it home to his/her family and not allow laws that are contrary to God’s law from keeping you of fulfilling your primary mission in life.

Much of this information has been around for a very long time. I have just put my spin on it from within the “flashlight in the hand” philosophy. If we look at these ten things that we need to do to make it through dealing with a profile individual, it may look like it is next to impossible to remember. Using a mnemonic device, to help aid this philosophy into being easier to remember, is a very good idea. Most mnemonic devices are a little cheesy, but easy to remember…..this one is no different.


Pacmans rep was, if you were smart enough and fast enough you could succeed in life and avoid all of the goblins. From the very start of the encounter……and all the way through the encounter, If you can remember this cheesy little mnemonic device, you can avoid the profile individual, deter the profile individual, and dominate the profile individule.

Come on out to Las Vegas on August 17-18,2019 and meet me at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Cluband 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.