Saturday, August 20, 2016

Shoot, Move, Communicate & Kill: The US Army Mantra for Gun fighting...

Gun fighting makes us think of Westerns & War Movies, it is the foundation of the U.S. Army because whether you are a Cook, Clerk or Infantryman you get to go through BCT or Basic Combat Training. This means learning to operate as an individual marksmen & as part of team of soldiers in combat scenario. One Mantra we are taught during this time is Shoot, Move, Communicate & Kill...

Applying this to teaching firearms training, either as part of the Patriot Movement or as part of my own Black Dragon Ninjitsu course of training is two fold. First off, anyone who has ever read Shadow Hunter or Army of Shadows knows I stress individual tactics. Secondly, anyone who has ever served in the Military, particularly the U.S. Army or trained with me knows why. I stress these tactics as guide posts and not hard set rules. There are no rules in a fight, that includes tactically.

Allow me to explain, I teach the individual tactics of Closing Fire & Retreating Fire. This the element of shooting while on the move, anyone who has every been in a shoot house knows you don't stop to aim when shooting at the targets as you enter the room, this is because if you stop the guy behind you crashes into you and you both become “sitting ducks” for the enemy. So what do you do when, you have to engage an enemy at 100 yards? You drop prone or run for cover. What do you do in a hallway with no cover and an enemy at 50 feet or less? You shoot the enemy and close with to ensure you killed the enemy or to disarm an injured enemy. The tactic of Closing Fire exists to teach the principle of shooting while moving at close range because the enemy may not be alone.

Retreating Fire is used to teach the marksmen to fire while moving away. It works at close range but outside of 75 yards isn't practical. The idea of these tactics is to know the environment & conditions in which certain concepts or tactics can be employed. Retreating Fire is and has been used while pulling injured men behind cover while attempting to Suppress an Enemy with Suppressive Fire, another tactic I teach. Suppressive fire isn't shooting to kill or even injure the target but, to keep the enemy's head down and behind cover allowing you room to maneuver to gain a better advantage in a gun fight.

The idea of shoot, move, communicate & kill is essential to how the individual shooter needs to think and act in a combat scenario. Those Individual Tactics are just a basic frame work for how one shoots & moves. The Communicate part is what gets most civilian shooters, including Law Enforcement. The Basic idea is pretty simple, Soldiers don't always “talk to each other” they communicate through hand and arm signals and through various prepared signals. For example, does an Infantry Fire Team say they are going to shift & lift fire as part of a React-to-Contact Drill? No... They use a Grenade or Flash Bang Concussion Grenade to Signal the Flanking Teams movement to Sweep the Objective. Why? Because we communicated before the Battle, know the Signals, Trained the Signals and are Communicating with our Actions.

This means if you have a family or friends, and will be carrying a gun as a soldier, law enforcement or even just an armed civilian you need training to go with the shooting part and you need to Communicate your intent via your actions. A reader of this blog Jake Roberts posted a link to Kid's Tactical Vests in a comment on another blog post. These vests are awesome, if your nine or, even if you just want to teach your kids basic tactics and firearms safety (safety first). Why is this such an awesome thing? Because it gives a parent who is carrying their firearm an opportunity to “play” with their kids and teach what to do if Mommy or Daddy has to use their Weapon to defend themselves or their family (communication before the fight). Kid's will know if the parent has to draw the gun to get behind them. They will be drilled on what to do and this should be true of a spouse, friends and so on.

So you have to engage a threat, say knife wielding post apocalyptic muggers in a parking lot of the local Grocery Store (it's my straw man argument and I have SEAL Team 6 from 3016 be the bad guys OK). So in Response to an Obvious threat, Daddy draws his Concealed Carry Weapon, Mommy makes sure the kids are between her and her husband & draws Concealed Carry Weapon, watching the kids and her husband's “Six” and the Kids know to get between Mommy and Daddy, hold each others hands and hold on to Mommy's belt. Mommy gets the kids to the Car and Daddy takes a position behind cover to engage the post apocalyptic muggers. This is all a made up scenario, a story, to illustrate a point...

The Point being that Communication took place before the Fight. That Daddy doesn't need to tell the kids to get behind me, they already know when Daddy draws his gun get behind Daddy & hold on to each other's hands. Mommy already knows to Draw her gun and cover her Husband's tail & make sure the kid's have hold of her. So shooting and moving are fine but Communication is also a key point.

Another straw man example, is a Concealed Carrier shooting a person trying to rob a Convenience Store he or she is in. The key issue of Communication is that the lawful shooter, needs to drop his or weapon and lay face down on the ground when law enforcement arrive. Why? Because this action, Communicates that the Lawful Shooter is not resisting detainment and disarmament, i.e. is not a Threat to Law Enforcement & probably won't result in the Lawful Shooter being shot.

The last part kill really doesn't apply unless one is in a combat situation. The basic idea of Shoot, Move, Communicate, Kill as a Mantra is basically teaching the foundation of U.S. Military Battle Drills, the React-to-Contact Drill. Shoot means to establish Suppressive Fire and pin the Enemy in Place. Move means to Flank the Enemy that is pinned in place, moving behind available cover and concealment. Communicate means to perform a pre-planned action that will reveal one's intent to Sweep the Objective. Kill means to sweep the objective and kill the enemy using Closing Fire at Close Range.

So while I got your attention talking about guns and Army tactics, allow me to explain how this applies to Martial Arts and Self-Defense. Training should be done in phases,

1. A learning phase of basic techniques...

2. A basic training phase of practice conditioning those techniques...

3. A advanced training phase of applying that conditioning and techniques, usually through sparring & simulated Self-Defense scenario drills to prepare a student to use those techniques in a real world scenario.
Training with prepared responses is only part of the drill, its the conditioning element of the basic training phase. Because when you “take training wheels off” you need to explore the world of dynamic kinetic action & reaction. It is one thing to perform a jujitsu kata of applying a technique against a non-resistant opponent but, its very different to apply a technique against a resisting opponent. That is the difference in how you train, knowing that training is about phases and that it doesn't matter if you are talking about training to use a firearm or your body as a weapon. Training has to be dynamic and mimic the real world where the air isn't air conditioned, the floor isn't covered in mats and the injuries can stop your progress or end your life. There is no hard rule of do or don't do this... There is a loose guide of do this and adapt and adjust as needed once you understand the “finger pointing to the Moon” isn't the goal, you need to set your sights higher.


  1. Thank you for your interesting and informative blog. I have enjoyed reading it and appreciate the work you have put into it. Here is some relevant information for you to review .
    Kids Tactical Vests

  2. You can't legally own a gun, so what difference does your opinion on shooting or "Gun Fighting" make?

    1. Actually "Martin" (which is Phil Elmore's troll account used by his boyfriend Patrick Ferrari) that is a lie and guess what... I even made an meme just to prove your fat ass wrong. lol

      Oh lets not forget I am a former US Army Infantry Fireteam Leader & Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor so my "opinion" carries a lot more weight then some pointless wannabe mud slinging ad man for other people's work, whom you can't even compare to... Hell you don't even compare to me and you know it.
      1. Even if couldn't legally own a gun fat boy, I am a US Army Trained Infantry Soldier and my experience counts for a lot. Plus remember I was awarded for said role..?
      2. The Meme of me and my 9mm? As if your fat stalker ass didn't see it already.