I recently spent a Saturday in Charlotte, NC training at the very nice Fit to Fight training center. A colleague and I went through the Active Killer Defense training program led by the very talented Ryan Hoover (and his colleagues).
For those of you who train along the FEMA guidelines of Run/Hide/Fight for Active Assailant response, this Active Killer Defense training is a refreshing exposure to the truth of how virtually no one addresses the “Fight” part of that formula. This workshop did just that, that is, introduce how to stop an armed attacker.
See this video for a brief depiction of some of what the training includes.
We started with an engaging powerpoint presentation with Ryan, and then moved directly into a fast-paced period of instruction and drilling of essential gross-motor combatives. This included palm heel strikes, hammerfists, elbows, knees, and front kicks, all delivered hard & fast into a training partner’s pads. We also covered very easy-to-perform pistol and rifle disarms.
We received instruction in how to tackle, both by oneself and as a 2-person tackle. Then we drilled them. All the previous stand-up strikes were then put to use to stop the armed attacker once tackled.
I must say that the pace and quality of teaching the combatives was excellent. Everything was taught in a simple, straight-forward manner, with just the right emphasis on how to efficiently do the movements without getting caught up in over-complicated theory.
We also received a module of instruction in trauma care. In this portion of training, we covered the essentials of how to correctly apply a tourniquet in an active killer scenario.
Later in the day we had another powerpoint presentation, this one specifically on firearms, how they work, and how they figure into active killer incidents. Ryan makes the valid point that “active killer” is a more fitting term, as someone may seek to harm others, racking up victims, with any weapon, whether it’s a firearm, an edged weapon, a vehicle, anything.
The day ended with us putting it all together in a physically demanding drill involving striking, moving through a crowd of people, tackling and disarming an armed attacker, and rendering trauma-care to a shooting victim.
This is an outstanding training program. It challenges the status quo which consists of most training programs giving people no training whatsoever in how to effectively stop an armed attacker, the “Fight” part of the FEMA-based Run/Hide/Fight formula.
Clear in all the instruction is that a single person, armed with these basic combatives and a committed will to save lives (his/her and others), can make a huge difference in active killer incidents. Most school systems, organizations, businesses, and institutions are NOT teaching this “Fight” part of the formula, instead taking a passive approach to responding to these incidents, placing emphasis on just running or hiding. This is a blind spot in our society wherein we grant a very real tactical advantage to the active killer who expects and receives no resistance whatsoever from his victims.
If you’re interested in expanding your base of knowledge and abilities, and creating safer conditions for yourself and all others, seek out this training. You will not be disappointed.