"SOME NOTES FROM FORCE ON FORCE We recently returned from several force on force training courses. What follows will eventually be written up in an article of sorts, but the points are quite important and so I thought sharing the raw data with you would be beneficial. 1). All fights involve one party taking the initiative and the other party responding. There are no mutually agreed upon fights. You either start the ambush, react to it, or avoid the danger area altogether. Most so-called modern training makes the assumption that, due to a developed mind-set, that the operator will never be surprised and thus always have the initiative. Wishful thinking IMHO. 2). If you have good information and can trust what you see, you can take the initiative on the adversary. This may mean preemptive drawing and shooting, as well as preemptively leaving before the fight begins. Distance benefits those who wish to be preemptive which is why the insistence of certain trainers in always maintaining distance, and always being alert. If you can guarantee always being alert, 24/7/365, and will never be surprised...and can guarantee it 100%, then just work on your marksmanship and don't worry about anything else. The rest of us will look at other solutions. 3). If the adversary also has the initiative the result will either be suicide drill where each man kills the other, or a stand-off where nothing happens until on decides to either act or leave. We see the suicide drill a lot when training first time FOF students from certain gun disciplines. They rely on a fast draw without thinking that the other man may also have a fast draw, or even get to start the fight. 4). Even in cases of unequal speed, but equal initiative, when men rely only on draw speed, unless one screws up the draw, the drill ends up with both men shot. The hits may be separated by 1/4 or 1/2 second, but excluding a head shot, I do not believe a pistol shot will be likely to stop the other man from pressing a trigger. 5). All gunfights are 50% shooting and 50% not being shot. I think most sane men would agree that the "not getting shot" is more important that the shooting part. Moving sharply off the line of attack drastically decreases the odds of receiving a hit from the adversary. Staying put in a Weaver or Isosceles increases the odds of taking a hit unless you have total surprise or are behind cover (again preemptive). 6). Some directions of movement tend to increase the angle away from the gunman's muzzle. This means it takes more time for him to get his muzzle back on you. It also means it gives you more time on the trigger. With sufficient hits, he may not ever be able to catch you. I say "may" because there are no guarantees in a fight. 7). In a reactive event (which most non-cop fights will tend to be) it is imperative to move off the "X" to avoid being hit. As well, drawing and getting your own shots moving toward him is highly important. If either one is delayed you increase the chances of getting shot. 8). Most guys get shot when they stop. They initiate movement and avoid the first few shots, but then stop to take a precise shot. At that point they get hit. Keep moving until he's down, you have escaped, or you are behind cover. Movement is life, stationary shooting in the open is death. 9). The most important step once the game opens is to step off the X. Make that dynamic! 10). As hard for some people as it is to hear this, in a reactive gunfight, your physical conditioning is a factor in your survivability. Agility is an issue. If you lack agility, you'd best be hard on the alertness phase so you do not have to be reactive. The problem is that it is hard to guarantee such things. Historically there is a belief that the gun trumps everything, and that there is no need to do anything else. The first force on force evolution changes that. Instead of trying to shave a tenth of a second off your draw, or shooting a tight group, get to the gym and lose weight! 11). Centerline Draws - Appendix Draw or Cross Draw are markedly faster than strong side hip or behind the back. The lines and amount of motion required to get the gun on target are dramatically less. Why these two modes of carry have been ignored by many is primarily due to artificial restrictions at competitions and competition-based shooting schools. 12). No one has seen a traditional sight picture for the first three shots in our Reactive Drills since I began teaching this material. Each FOF student must understand less than optimum methods of aligning the pistol. Point Shooting, Meat-N-Metal and other methods have value and their place in the fighting progression. 13). An understanding of the ranges of combat and what is applicable at each distance interval is important. When people are pressed, they change the interval by either running away, or closing the gap. The idea that you will always be able to keep your distance no matter what is ridiculous. Learn how to fight up close when the time arrives. Your ability to understand this and exploit it will make you a better fighter. 14). Concessions of accuracy and movement. When moving do not concede your movement to gain an edge in accuracy. Rather than modifying your movement to accommodate range-based shooting, modify your range-based shooting to accommodate your movement." .