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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fellow L.E. instructors/listers,

Many of you may not be are aware of the NRA's Law Enforcement Activities Division (NRA / LEAD)'s tuition free training program
for L.E. Firearm's Instructors.

I was lucky enough to attend the Surefire Training Institute's "Officer Survival in Low Light Conditions" Instructor's School last week and I can't thank them, or the NRA/LEAD, enough!

The class & instructors dynamic to say the least . . . Still VERY SORE!

Ken Good and the other Surefire Institute cadre continuously demonstrated how truly effective and properly conducted Force on Force scenarios will have students "running their own mental videos" over and over in their heads - long after the training is over - searching for the points things "went south", the *point at which* the one critical mistake I made occurred, how to avoid that / what I need to do differently "next time", what I did right, what my partners did right, etc., etc.

Surefire sent a total of 5 instructors up for this course which amounts to a small fortune in expense to them. We typicaly started about 3pm each day and went through til 2 am the following morning.

Real emphasis is on the *principles* of *prevailing* in low light / dark / CQB, rather than the specific *techniques* so often stressed to the exclusion of all other considerations.
Example: "Always fight from the lowest level of light available" vs. "hold the flashlight exactly like this in this hand while . . ."

"Understand the principles behind or underlying whatever it is you're 'studying' and correct techniques more often than not will come to you on their own!"

Lots and LOTS of VERY dynamic, fast paced, well structured, Force on Force simulation scenarios (sorta like paintballs only hurts a *hell of a lot* more when you get hit!).

Many of the 100% L.E. F. instructors making up the student body of this class commented on the ability of the very experienced operator / instructors to educate us while *debriefing* us after each drill.

Many of you know how critical a component this is to how effective Force on Force is for your students.
Great instructors/debriefers, all.
Infa-red Video taping the drills and then playing 'em back is a must do!

Former SpecWar types, the instructors definitely preferred the Armed Forces Trainers (AFT) pistols and select fire "M4" carbines over Simunitions as the prior allows for real close up struggles, if they occur, and the potential for a student "getting carried away" and delivering a contact muzzle shot to another player (which is what happened to my spinal area as a hostage taker attempting to hold off other officers).

Real simple. After grasping and using the TEAMWORK / *Use Of Light As A Force Option* / Communication techniques we were taught, a good guy was able to effectively flank me and safely come up right behind me. Am STILL hot in those three spots, one right on top of the other!
More to the point, I won't soon forget where I screwed up, allowing the guy into / onto "my six" to begin with!

Also, a minimum of 2-3 hours were spent each day reviewing principles of, and completing techniques for, Defensive Training (DT) which included contact drills.

As an instructor to many deputies of smaller stature and strength, I appreciate that the techniques really require NO strength - less really IS more!

*Principles* for both Low Light confrontations and D.T. included:
1. ALWAYS maintaining your balance (good shooting platform);
2. ALWAYS attacking the balance of your opponent, and;
3. ALWAYS "flanking" your opponent (getting up close and very personal)
4. Your, and your opponents, "center of axis" (along the spine) and the corresponding triangulation points.

Also, lots of emphasis and practical work on sound, easy to retain and perform, gun retention and disarming moves which were all safely controlled and monitored by a minimum of 3 instructors at all times.

Definitely recommend a HIGH level of physical fitness for this school.

The real "meat" of the curriculum; however; was served via the constant Force on Force scenarios. Ken Good likened the human response (and sympathetic nervous) system to a CD Rom . . . in order to be able to respond to a critical incident in a desired way, instantaneously, it only makes sense to "record" the stimulus involved in that incident onto your student's "on board hard drives".
You know, "burn it" onto the "hard drives" we all carry with us through every waking moment of every day.

Very little sleep and even less live fire compared to other schools. And I really see why. My focus as an officer and as an instructor is now, more than ever, on conducting good, effective, Force on Force training for my students rather than just "teaching" others to shoot static targets at the range, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'll NEVER stop enjoying shooting competively, etc.
It's just that I will never again look at my ability to keep two ends of a machine lined up while manipulating a third part as having as much to do with my ability to prevail in a firefight as I did before!

My constant reflection on what I experienced is exceeded only by my appreciation for, and anticipation of, the opportunity to train with the Surefire Institute again!!!

For more info on the NRA / LEAD Law Enforcement Training programs check out:


Stay Safe, all! /s/ Cpl. R. "THOR" Thorsen

· Registered
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh man! I'm just glad my glaring deficiencies in the martial arts came to light among such friends . . . gotta find a place / group to practice / learn
aiki-jujitsu (spelling?) somewhere between Upper Marlboro and Southern Cavert Co., MD / PAX N.A.S. area!
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