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"Combat Shooting" by Massad Ayoob

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Fred Fuller, Nov 7, 2011.

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  1. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Knowing how to do something and being able to teach someone else how to do it are not the same thing.

    Finding someone who can do both is the hard part.
     
  2. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Combat Shooting With Massad Ayoob
    Gun Digest Books
    December 2011

    http://www.amazon.com/Combat-Shooting-Massad-Ayoob/dp/1440218579

    My pre-publication-ordered copy came in from Amazon this past weekend, and I finished reading it last night. I found it an excellent and very useful book, one which packs a ton of history, lessons learned, legend and lore, background and analysis into its slim 190 pages. It's a lot bigger book than its size would indicate. There are tons of pictures linked to various portions of the text, in the best of "a picture is worth a thousand words" style. The book is presented in a very warm, personal, almost chatty style of writing, in a fashion that makes reading it very much like an extended conversation with an old friend. Various parts of it have appeared in other publications at other times, but having all the material that appears here gathered between the same two covers and organized efficiently makes it a worthwhile addition to any personal or professional library.

    I know the author is something of a lightning rod on various gun boards, including this one. I've been reading his stuff for decades, had the chance to meet him once, have seen him shoot and heard him speak. Personally, I have a great deal of respect for the literal lifetime of work he has put into the field of firearms and self defense. And a lot of that lifetime is shared here, a lifetime of shooting, training, competing, studying, teaching, interviewing people, investigating gunfights, and just hanging around with other shooters.

    There are but five chapters - Mindset, Learning Combat Shooting, Three Gunfighters, Competition As Training and Choices. That might seem like a pretty sparse skeleton upon which to build a book, and in fact this is not a weighty or exhaustive treatment of the subject. But there's a lot of material here. I've been paying attention more or less to a lot of this stuff since the early 1970s, and at least some of the same water I saw go under the bridge is included here, but from a point of view I never had. And I'm glad now to get to see things a bit through someone else's eyes, have a chance to learn more about some of the people I heard of but never got to meet, and share some of the experiences I never got the chance to have myself back then. There's a very serious grounding in a very serious subject available here, and not only available but made very easily accessible for anyone willing to take the time to read and remember. There are very few people out there who can read through this book without saying to themselves at least a few times, "I didn't know that."

    Massad Ayoob has offered those of us who consider ourselves serious students a very respectable body of written work in a long career in the fields of firearms and self defense. This book is a very worthwhile addition to that body of work, and I highly recommend it to everyone here.
     
  3. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    I'm going to buy this book just to see what all the fuss is about.

    Frankly, I believe that if a lesser-known author had written this book, very few people here would be supporting it, even if every single word between its' covers were identical.

    It is sad that so many people quoted this and assumed it was an insult to Mr. Ayoob, including three different moderators. Whether or not you believe it to downplay his credibility - and I do not - you simply must admit that it is an extremely accurate assessment. There's nothing false about this evaluation, and nothing true can be added.

    It's a shame when things get to this point. A man ought never be idolized to the point that, when speaking about him, another man is required to pay homage in the same sentence, else others assume he's in error.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  4. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    It is sad that so many people quoted this and assumed it was an insult to Mr. Ayoob, including three different moderators. Whether or not you believe it to downplay his credibility - and I do not - you simply must admit that it is an extremely accurate assessment. There's nothing false about this evaluation, and nothing true can be added.

    During one or another of the retrospectives that came about after the end of the war in Southeast Asia, COL Harry Summers (author of the book On Strategy, where the encounter was related) was talking to one of his North Vietnamese counterparts. Summers told the NVA, "You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield." To which the NVA replied, "That may be true, but it is also irrelevant."
     
  5. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Emeritus

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    Not idolization, but my experience. Having moderated on two different boards, Mr. Ayoob gets a bunch of folks riled up. A pre-emptive shot across the bows, so to speak, for folks to stay polite.
     
  6. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    Your point being...? :D
    Isn't a lot of his teaching/training geared towards making sure you do not find yourself in a lethal encounter-unless, of course, you're looking fer trouble?

    I find his books usually offer more than their title suggests, he seems to think outside the box (yeah, you can shoot me for using that idiom), and unlike some in his field, he comes across as the increasingly rare breed that has the ability to keep his testosterone in check-that in itself will automatically make him the target of a lot of type A personalities.

    And there are a lot of type A folks in his field... :banghead:
     
  7. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Fair enough, Lee. Thing is, I was going to start a thread about Ayoob a few weeks after joining, because I was confused about who he was and what made him credible. (I had never heard of Massad Ayoob before joining THR).

    After realizing how many fans he has here, I expected that most people who would respond to the thread would take my confusion as hostility. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what this post was all about. Needless to say, (and thankfully), I never made the thread, I just googled Ayoob and spent an hour or so reading up on him.

    This will be the first of Ayoob's material I'll have read, and I have to say I'm looking forward to it. I'm expecting some excellent material.
     
  8. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Please note also my response to the original whine in Post #10 above, as well.

    Back when I was working in the College of Education Library at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, students used to say:

    Those who can, do.

    Those who can't do, teach.

    And those who can't teach, teach teachers.


    The world can be a place full of snark sometimes. Sometimes it fits, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's downright irritating.

    I've never been in a gunfight either. Been shot close to, if not at, and pulled a gun on another human a time or three when I thought it was likely to be needed, but never had to pull the trigger with the sights on another human, at least so far. I'd prefer it stayed that way, too.

    But does that mean I couldn't pull the trigger if I had to, or wouldn't? Does it mean I should quit carrying a gun every day, just because I haven't ever had to actually use one yet? Does it mean, in spite of a goodly number of hours of professional and informal training, of practice, of force on force, of study and learning, that I'm doomed to fail if I ever do get into a situation where it's necessary for me to use a gun to defend against another human, just because I never shot anyone before?

    Just what does it mean, really?

    Everyone who ever shot someone for the first time since the invention of gunpowder, had never shot anyone before. But they did it, whether for good or ill.

    They did it.

    So I just don't understand why it's such a big freaking deal.
     
  9. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    It's not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  10. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    [In response to your now edited post]

    Then let me try to explain just a little bit why that might seem be the case, at least in my case.

    There used to be any number of 'known' names who were contributing members at THR in years gone by. Many of them slowly tired of getting challenged by keyboard commandos, told they didn't know what they were talking about, insulted, belittled, put down, etc.

    And so they quit contributing to THR, and moved on.

    That's a loss to those who come later, in my eyes. I really hate to see it happen.

    I'm no fanboy, it's not in my personality to be so. It matters to me what people can and will contribute here, that's all. I hate to see this place deprived of good content because some members are too juvenile to behave themselves appropriately.

    Does that help explain things a little bit, perhaps?
     
  11. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    Is "Three Gunfighters" a treatise on the Mexican standoff?

    Just kidding. Most soldiers have little to do with teaching their skills once out, to answer question posed on here. They want to be civilians for the most part. A few go back and work as contractors for various organizations.

    I taught SDM's. I can teach some serious stuff, but I don't have the patience to teach it to civilians, and I'd have to spend months with them to even get them up to par, and that is saying I could do it all day every day. I'd also be leary of it too, worried about who took the course. I am proud of teaching what I taught to those soldiers, my only student that died died of heart failure (young guy too). However, I don't want to be the one to teach the next "Loughner" to be a faster, more efficient shooter.

    I guess I'd say if you REALLY want to learn combat shooting, and you are young enough, go down to the recruiter's office and tell him you want 11B, airborne, and SF in the contract. You'll get TONS of combat training (maybe for real) and even if you don't make SF the training is worth it, and worst that can happen is you get sent to Ft. Drum, NY.
     
  12. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Three Gunfighters - Wyatt Earp, Charles Askins, Jr., Jim Cirillo.

    It's not necessary to want to be a soldier (or a LEO) in order to want to improve your skillset, nor is it necessary to join the military (or a LEA) to do so. IMHO the best self defense training available anywhere on the planet at any time in history is available to the law abiding armed citizen in the USA right now, for anyone willing and able to take advantage of it.

    Ayoob's Combat Shooting details the evolution of that scope of training, and explains much about how it came to be over the years.
    ======

    And some useful snark, from the queen of that particular realm...

    http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-had-certificates-for-free-class.html
     
  13. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Strykervet,

    Practically nothing in the 11B skillset has any applicability to my life as a CCW toter. I will never lob a frag through a door while my buddies lay down suppressive fire with SAWs and 240s. 11B training doesn't much cover fending off an attacker all by your lonesome while armed with a 5-shot J-frame.

    My phone only will only summon a cop (eventually), not an AC-130 or a fire mission of HE-Frag.
     
  14. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    ... who is apparently watching her incoming traffic :D
     
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    When I was very young (well, in college) we used to actually believe that. It seemed to make sense that if they could actually do what they were teaching, they would be.

    As time went on, I learned that many...if not most...of those who could do, just could not teach what they did, because they either didn't understand how it enough to teach folks who weren't as naturally skilled or they just didn't have the communication skills to teach.

    One of my shooting teachers was the 6th ranked IPSC shooter in the world. I've met 4 of the other 5. They are great shooters, but they don't have the ability to teach as well as the 6th.

    Many accomplished tactical instructors will teach you how they do something, but what is really important is to be able to understand why you should do thing a certain way to properly apply the skills learned
     
  16. jackpinesavages

    jackpinesavages member

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    As an Ayoob instructor myself I highly recommend his works, and not because he's one of our bosses.

    I recommend his works because as a LEO I was trained early on in my Academy: Train like there is no tomorrow.

    Read the books, attend seminars, watch Youtube, enroll in the skills workshops you can afford to attend, and stay in the best physical condition you can, and treat every one of those opportunities like a buffet of foods-take what you like and leave the distasteful. You will be a better person and shooter for it. Meet intriguing like-minded folk who have some of the greatest things to teach and stories to tell. Keep training.

    I train like there is no tomorrow because my life and maybe yours depends on it, by our team's actions. I carry on duty, teach shooters, and soon will instruct teachers as well with the encouragement of men like Mas. I do them all well. So I am told. Keep training.

    Mas's body of work covers decades of LE work and firearms instruction. Haters will hate. The shooters will show up for range time. Keep training.
     
  17. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    So Mas never shot anyone. He's put in plenty of street time. He has had to engage suspects with his firearm. But he never had to pull the trigger. Seems like two things have come into play here.

    1. Knowlege and training have provided him with good tools to minimize the risk to himself and others.

    2. Just plain ole dumb luck (and luck ain't nothing to sneeze at). I for one would not want to be on the other side of a firefight in which he is involved. Cuz if nothing else, that "luck" thing that has held him in good stead all these years, will likely still be sitting on his shoulder.
     
  18. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Incidentally, who coaches Tiger Woods in golf? Does the guy who helps Albert Pujols with his swing have more MVP awards?
     
  19. jackpinesavages

    jackpinesavages member

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    Hey Tam, great point, love your view from the porch.

    Get to Indy for the GP and it's always a great experience.
     
  20. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Thank you! :cool:
     
  21. threefeathers

    threefeathers member

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    This will be my gift to both my son's. Mas is the gun equivelant to the Shotokan Karate Masters of the 50's 60's.
     
  22. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

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    Just attended Massad's MAG-20 class this past weekend (it's the 20 hr. classroom portion on the aspects of self defense, not the shooting portion). He is the real deal. He has debriefed dozens upon dozens of folks post shooting, and has an encyclopedic recall of those events. Knows and can/will recite back the law as it pertains to justifiable shooting better than some attorneys I know, and has held folks at gunpoint and was thankful he has never had to pull the trigger (although he says would have been justified a number of times). As I said, he is the real deal, and I for one will continue to read his writings and garner as much as I can from them (but this will be in addition to other sources of non-Ayoob training). There is no golden bullet, so to speak, and his is not the last word on defense with a firearm, but his is legitimate and useful source of information.
     
  23. threefeathers

    threefeathers member

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    I am proud to have been in Mas's last LFI III class at FAS and to sponsor him for the Third time in Sierra Vista, AZ. next April. He has very many friends among combat vets who he has trained here.
     
  24. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    No, I think it is not "extremely" accurate, in that it is misleading.

    Last time I spoke to Mas :)cool:), he told me he had had to stop people at gunpoint several times. Those are lethal force encouters.

    He said that two of those times, "ability, opportunity, and jeopardy" were all there, and he would have been justified in shooting; but he decided to try to end the event without gunfire, and did.

    One of Ayoob's mantras is "Always cheat;" he considers himself an expert in "weaselcraft." It may well be that, because of that, none of Ayoob's opponents found themselves "in a fair fight," and decided to fold.

    Ending a lethal force situation without shots fired, each time? Not bad. I'm not sure it's been clearly stated that this guy may have MORE to teach than someone who's been in several gunfights.

    And perhaps we all know that he is a champion competition shooter. I think we can assume that if he had shot, well, that would have been that.

    Hey: I'm a dangerous game hunter. I have never been charged by a wounded animal I was hunting, and I have never had to fire more than one shot to put Mr. Bad down.

    As I lack the experiences of being charged and of having to use multiple shots, why would anyone listen to me on the subject of dangerous game?
    There are those who are "naturals" at what they do, and yet can't teach worth beans. Being good at teaching can be a tough skill to acquire...but I suspect we've all met teachers who demonstrated that for us?:D
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  25. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Ayoob has never shot anybody. He's been in position to, and would likely have been legally justified had he done so. He didn't fire. What I glean from that is that he didn't want to kill anybody unless it came to that final solution. He was willing to place himself in jeopardy right up to the last possible instant in order to keep from killing another man.

    It would appear that his mantra "In the Gravest Extreme" is more than lip service to an ideal. He lives it. Willing to kill and killing as a desired outcome to a tense confrontation are two different things.

    I have not one shred of a doubt that he'd have pulled the trigger if it had come down to it. It just didn't for whatever reason known only to Mas. Maybe he saw something that let him know that they wouldn't push it to that point, and there was no reason to fire...justified as it may be on the face of it...and that speaks for the man's character.

    My 2% of a buck.
     
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