“Force Readiness” Class at The Total Combatant – Gun Culture two.


3 years ago, I came across a post by Dr. Sherman Property on his then titled “Revolver Science” weblog.   The post was referred to as “Becoming the Civilian Defender.”  (Property has given that renamed the weblog “Civilian Defender.”)

Property prescribed a curriculum that would quantity to what he referred to as “the undergraduate education of the civilian defender.” That is, “the education needed to give the civilian defender the capability to improved deal with the MOST frequent scenarios they will encounter.”

The eight subjects in House’s curriculum have been: Criminology/Street Smarts/Physical Preparedness, Defensive Driving, Emergency Healthcare, Legal Preparation, Aftermath and Guidelines of Engagement, Significantly less Lethal abilities, Handgun Carry Course, Handgun Expertise and Techniques Course, and Defensive Techniques.

The extensive nature of his curriculum impressed me, and given that then I have believed of my personal extensive want list of individual protection information and skills. As I come to be far more educated, the list grows and alterations, but for now it consists of:

  1. Awareness and avoidance, criminal de-choice, de-escalation, “managing unknown contacts”
  2. Other than gun sources (knives, pepper spray, flashlights, empty-hand fighting)
  3. Simple marksmanship and gun-handling (draw, presentation, simple reloads)
  4. “Advanced” shooting strategies (moving and shooting, target transitions, distance)
  5. Pondering with a gun in hand (target discrimination, no shoot/shoot scenarios)
  6. Field health-related abilities
  7. Self-defense law (such as shooting aftermath, police interaction)

I have participated in and observed courses that cover a quantity of these subjects more than the years. (Some of my quite a few posts on this are collected right here, although I recognize I require to bring the collection up to date.)

Shoothouse course at Alliance Police Instruction. Photo by Tamara Keel,

More than the previous 12 months or so, I have attempted to concentrate my participant-observation interest on education courses that fill in gaps in my challenging and soft abilities in these places. Of note are the shoothouse course I took at Alliance Police Instruction, Craig Douglas’s Intense Close Quarters Ideas (ECQC) course, and Concealed Carry: Sophisticated Expertise and Techniques with John Murphy of FPF Instruction.

Meme born of my participation in Craig Douglas’s ECQC Course, 2019.

Most not too long ago, I had the chance to take a 1.five day “Force Readiness” course at The Total Combatant in Kennesaw, Georgia. The Total Combatant is run by Brian and Shelley Hill and housed at their Fusion Fitness and Mixed Martial Arts facility.

I have been wanting to observe Brian Hill teaching given that I met him in Tom Givens’s Rangemaster instructor improvement and certification course in Could of 2017. The Hills have been generous sufficient to invite me to sign my wife Sandy up for the course at the alumni price. I was supposed to attend as an observer but a spot opened up and I was also in a position to participate in the course as their guest. (In addition to Sandy’s tuition, I did acquire two PHLster Flatpacks and two Trainsafe disablers and Tap Rack Instruction aids for the course, as properly as the mandatory t-shirt, for a total of $120.)

Brian Hill (left) and John Correia (ideal) marveling at Active Self Protection video becoming shown at Force Readiness Course, July 2019. Photo by Shelley Hill.

The course integrates videos from the Active Self Protection YouTube channel into its curriculum, and John Correia himself was at the course taking video for his Active Self Protection Additional channel (which has given that seems in 4 components: a single, two, 3, 4). Correia had taught at The Total Combatant the evening ahead of and his XO Stephannie Weidner took Force Readiness with the rest of us.

Force Readiness instructors (L to R): Dylan Hirt, Brian Hill, Gedde Wilson, and Todd Makofski. Photo by Shelley Hill.

The objective of Force Readiness is fairly auspicious, specially for a 1.five day course: to cover the complete individual protection method from starting to finish,” according to Brian Hill.

Remarkably, in just 12 hours, Force Readiness does in reality cover elements of all 7 of the topical places I listed above. I will say far more about the specifics in a separate post, but I must be clear right here that Hill recognizes this is not a specialized course in which students immerse themselves in any of these subjects. Rather, he emphasizes that Force Readiness “is an audit of your abilities in various places.”

Not in contrast to John Murphy’s Concealed Carry: Sophisticated Expertise and Techniques course, it shows you what you require to know, provides you a bit of education on how to do it, and lets you know how significantly far more you require to be proficient.

Practicing the Tueller drill at Force Readiness course, The Total Combatant, July 2019. Photo by Sandy Yamane

The class was book-ended by a single thought: Selection. Hill started the course stating: “This is a class about the energy of option.” He concluded the course by reminding us, “The far more robust your skillset, the far more possibilities you have.”

Right here the “mascots” of The Total Combatant — Joe and Jane, the “Combat Ants” – are instructive. Even though the thought of the Combat Ant was born of a kidding comment by a social media follower, Brian and Shelley Hill ran with the thought, holding a contest for the greatest artwork (won by Pam Wilson).

The Combat Ant has the energy of option, highlighted by its diverse talent set such as pistolcraft, knife abilities, and martial arts (black belt), as properly as making use of a flashlight and telephone when necessary. 2019 Combat Ant would require a couple of additional “tools” on its talent belt, such as pepper spray and a tourniquet in a PHLster Flatpack. And in all probability some operating footwear to emphasize the defensive worth of “Run Fu.”

Far more typically, the diverse and robust skillset encouraged by The Total Combatant and represented by The Combat Ant reflects the overarching vision of Brian and Shelley Hill’s education firm. As Brian told our class, “It’s not about guns or martial arts, it is about you.”

In other words, as noticed in the firm motto, “You are the weapon.”

The Total Combatant at Fusion Fitness and Mixed Martial Arts, Kennesaw, Georgia, July 2019. Photo by David Yamane




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