G&R Tactical
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: AAR: Vickers Tactical One Day Home Defense (8/25/13, Southington, CT)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up AAR: Vickers Tactical One Day Home Defense (8/25/13, Southington, CT)


    Vickers Tactical
    http://www.vickerstactical.com




    Alias Training & Security Services
    www.aliastraining.com



    AAR: Vickers Tactical One-Day Home Defense Class
    August 25, 2013
    King33 Training Center
    Southington, CT

    LEARNING POINTS

    Home Defense and the one-person clear are probably one of the most difficult and dangerous of undertakings to attempt. You’re on your own – you don’t have extra eyeballs and guns to help you solve your problem, and the responsibility falls on your shoulders to protect your family.

    I’ve been fortunate to have attended some basic “CQB” style classes with Larry Vickers and Ken Hackathorn (the totally awesome and never to be replicated Low Light I and Low Light II classes in OH, and Home Defense at Blackwater) and train alongside some very switched on shooters. These were all live fire classes and required a high level of surgical shooting skills, ironclad weapons handling, a minimum of three days time commitment, travel to a live fire shoot house, and substantial investment in gear (for example, body armor).

    The majority of live fire shoot houses in the US are controlled by government agencies and just aren't accessible to civilians. And not everybody can afford to kit up and drive to Blackwater for a 3 day class. Yet, the need for good home defense training is universal. Cops and HSLD operators have homes and loved ones to defend too, and they may one day need to draw upon one-person clearing skills.

    Recently we were fortunate to have Larry Vickers introduce a dozen shooters with varying shooting backgrounds to basic home defense tactics at the King33 Training Center in Southington, CT. The training took place in a furnished simunitions shoot house which affords a lot of flexibility for those who are seeking instruction. Safe weapons handling is still a pre-requisite (sims rounds can punch through cardboard IPSC targets, leave a welt on your skin, and take out an eye), but sims don’t require some of the safequards associated with live fire shoot houses such as expensive bullet traps and body armor. Another advantage that sims affords is that for Force on Target (FoT) exercises, the only required safety equipment is eyepro. So, from a risk/reward perspective, sims are much more forgiving than live fire in a training environment, especially for beginners. Sim rounds aren’t that loud (the noise level is below OSHA safe thresholds) so you can train any time of the day, which comes in handy for low light or night-fire training.

    As a civilian, I find it difficult to describe how Larry teaches his home defense classes (much of this is internalized by listening and then doing), so bear with me as I struggle with this (and I apologize for any screwups or misconceptions on my part). One-shooter clears are, in my opinion, a totally different animal from more dynamic team CQB clears. In fact, charging into a room in dynamic mode (using surprise, speed and violence of action to flood and dominate the room with you, yourself, and you) could get you killed. I can still vividly hear Ken Hackathorn telling me that I “just committed suicide” after doing just that. You have only two eyes , one brain and one gun to scan, process, and clear every sector you encounter. You have to take it slower and more deliberately.

    To give a rough idea what it takes to do a solo clear, I would like to draw on an analogy that JD Potynsky coined. The beginning pistol shooter has to juggle several different fundamentals simultaneously – stance, grip, sight alignment/sight picture, trigger control, and follow-through. It’s like throwing a bunch of ping pong balls at one person and expecting that person to catch all the balls at once. With that said, there are a metric shit-ton of ping pong balls that students of the one-shooter clear have to not only grasp, but play mental chess with. This is not something you can really learn by reading about it. You have to train your mind and body and get good feedback from somebody who has done it for a living.

    According to Ken Hackathorn and Larry Vickers, the ping-pong balls being thrown at you all at once are:

    -Use doors and walls and other structures as barricades for concealment

    -Learn to cut the pie

    -Pie the unknown area closest to you first.

    -Use distance to your advantage when you pie.

    -Recognize and clear dead space within a room.

    -Don’t telegraph your presence with your gun or other body part. Your pistol should be in a coiled high ready position.

    -Never linger in hallways or open doorways or in front of windows

    -It’s generally not a good idea to stand in the middle of a room. Pick a wall or corner to finish your clear.

    -When coming out of a room and into a hallway, be sure to re-check the area you just came from before entering that room.

    -It’s not only okay to peek, but it may be necessary to peek around a sharp corner to locate and identify a threat. Just make it quick.

    -Discriminate your target and be absolutely sure it is a shoot or no-shoot. Always check both hands. Always check both hands. Did I mention that you should always check both hands?

    -Your gun is your third eye. Your body's natural point of aim should be aligned with your eyes while clearing.

    -Not every room has to be entered - if it can be cleared from the outside and there is no dead space, move on.

    -Don't pay for the same cleared real estate twice. Move on.

    -A variation of the above: don't be a turtle and pull your head into your shell after engaging a threat. Follow through. You own the threat, close on it to ensure it is in fact neutralized.

    -Don’t tunnel on a threat you just neutralized – move on. Be cognizant of emerging and simultaneous threats as you clear, especially as you approach an open door or are in a hallway.

    -Breathe. Scan and breathe.

    -Strive for smoothness in your overall clearing technique. Don't be jerky in your movement.

    -Don’t outrun your headlights. You’re in a hurry, but a careful hurry.

    -There are times when speed is security.

    -When in a hallway and approaching an open doorway, pie as tight as possible to the wall if there are other open doors nearby.

    -When appropriate, don’t hesitate to be verbal. If you spot an unknown, call that unknown out and get that unknown to comply (“hands up, get on the ground" etc.)

    -Rear security. Haha. That's all I gotta say.

    -Due to time constraints, surgical precision shooting wasn’t a focus of this class. But, train to get your hits. Accuracy can decline by 50% when under stress and multitasking. Train to be excellent now so that you can at least be average in the real world.

    -Not from Ken or Larry but an observation from me: Practice landmarking the vital zones on threats. Real-world threats will not have bullseyes attached to them. If you have a cardboard IPSC target, mark off the top half of the A zone on the body. Put a shirt over it. Strive to get your hits in the marked off area.

    -You know the layout of your home the best. Practice clearing your home (when nobody is home with a blue gun or empty hands). Take advantage of that knowledge to clear your home.

    -Have a plan before something bad happens. Will you try to make it to your kids room first, barricade yourself there and call the cops? Do you have a plan to evacuate if some home invader intends to burn your house down?

    -Know the laws concerning the use of physical and deadly force in your jurisdiction.

    -Understand that some clearing situations will just suck (“no getting around it, this is just a bad place to be”) and you’ll just have to work it out. Make no mistake, this can be dangerous.

    THE CLASS - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm

    The class format was fairly straightforward. The first few hours were spent on flowing each of the students individually through the shoot house with no guns. There were three subsequent sims FoT exercises that brought students through clearing exercises starting in different locations in the house, with switched up threat and no-shoot scenarios. Larry threw in a few mind ****s to keep the students on their toes, and flush out the gaming element.

    Students were limited to handguns in the first two sims scenarios, and were given the option to use a carbine in the final exercise.

    As you can guess, due to the subject matter and the individual attention each student was getting from Larry, this was not a shooting class so much as it was a tactics class. The round count for each of the dozen students was about 50 rounds. Not surprisingly, the accuracy was challenging for folks who have not previously trained with Larry, and even for those who have, a few were overcome by the complexity of the situation and accuracy suffered as a result of shooters being amped up. It was clear in the beginning that everybody was drinking from a fire hose. One interesting thing I noticed: the majority of shots were low on the target. That speaks to a failure by shooters to properly landmark the vital zones on threats. Usually, LAV's home defense classes will have bullseye targets pasted on the threats. We did not have the benefit of those visual aids (or even a shooting warmup) in this class.

    The individual feedback that Larry gave was priceless. Many of the students were making the same mistakes - so it was beneficial for me as a spectator to hear Larry (very patiently) repeat how to properly address a situation. I would strongly advise anyone who wants to take a home defense or CQB class with Larry to spend some time on the cat walk (or a video monitor) watching other students flow. It is as much as part of the learning experience as actually running the house yourself.

    Larry crammed a LOT of material into one day, but I think the class went very well, considering that runs got progressively better for everyone. I'd note that Larry looked like he was enjoying himself - this is a subject matter he is passionate about, in my opinion.

    Comparing this with prior classes I've attended (keeping in mind this was a one-day class), I'd say this one was somewhat more complex. The furnishings in the King33 shoot house provided extra dead space to process (OVT and Blackwater/Xe/Academi had rooms that were mostly empty). That meant more time clearing rooms. Larry walked into this shoot house cold and proceeded to do his thing - I don't think he got a chance to preview the structure to set up the class.

    At the end of the day, students got a good hands-on appreciation of what it takes to clear a home solo in a non-lethal 360 degree environment and took away some basic skills to apply in their own homes.
    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-31-13 at 06:27.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up

    Larry demo'ing the flow with no gun.













    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-28-13 at 19:36.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up

    First round - problem solve without the gun.



    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-28-13 at 19:38.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up

    Scenario 1.

    First entry with the sims gun.





    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-28-13 at 19:45.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up

    Scenario 2.

    Larry walks a student through a particularly treacherous structure.

    A fatal funnel with multiple doors on each side close to each other.





    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-28-13 at 19:44.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up

    Hallways, windows, and doors, oh my.









    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-28-13 at 19:58.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up





    An example of good shot placement. Sims guns aren't that bad at short range.


    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-28-13 at 19:54.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up

    managing the fatal funnel



    not a good idea to stand in the middle of a room; hug a wall or corner.

    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-30-13 at 10:30.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,678
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Thumbs up

    Scenario 3

    "Bump in the night."

    Students are led blindfolded into a room, and told to have a seat. First thing they see when they open their eyes is me taking a photo.

    LAV explains the problem: You're in bed, something just went bump in the night.

    Solve the problem.

    I'm posting some of these to note the look of momentary disorientation on these students' faces.















    Last edited by 30 cal slut; 08-30-13 at 10:33.
    Doing my part to keep malls safe

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    287
    Feedback Score
    6 (100%)
    Great AAR Ben, and another splendid job hosting this class! I had a great time at this class. Even though it was tiring doing a 2 hour drive early morning, then 2 hours back after the class, it was well worth it. We just don't have this type of opportunity in NJ, so my buddy and I had to jump on this class!

    This was definitely a different flow than your typical 2 day LAV class. As mentioned, it pays to show up with a basic understanding of trigger control, since this isn't a class where the fundamentals of accuracy are drilled on. In typical LAV fashion, only accurate hits count, and Larry was sure to call you out on any shot that sucked balls.

    During my initial run through the shoot house, I definitely performed some actions that would've potentially gotten me killed real fast had there been multiple assailants hiding within the structure. I think the majority of the class would feel the same way. It's amazing how I ended up sweating, even though I moved like a snail through each run. Just goes to show how much stress and adrenaline hits you in these types of situations (and these were just threats on paper). By the time we got to the last scenario, I felt more aware in the scanning of my surroundings, and not telegraphing my way around corners and doorways as much. Being allowed to take your time through each scenario, with Larry guiding you every step of the way was priceless.

    I left the class with a new-found appreciation of just how dangerous clearing a house alone really is. I always knew it was dangerous, but now I see just how much of a deathtrap certain layouts really can be. I would love to do a followup class to this, with more scenarios, and with a low light component too!

    Big shout out also the guys at King 33 Training Center. They not only have a first rate facility, but also a top notch group of instructors. They all took the time to answer questions students had while waiting their turn to go through a FOT run, and were more than willing to help drill in what the LAV had just taught.
    Last edited by acaixguard; 08-29-13 at 05:54.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •