So, have you ever been in a gun fight? No? Well, me either… but I have had a good bit of force on force training. Yeah, yeah… that kinda sounded like one of those Holiday Inn Express commercials… but the point I am trying to make is that force on force training is one heck of an invaluable experience. If you’re just an average Joe like I am who because of time and financial constraints will probably never shoot 10,000 rounds in a year and who will probably only go to a minuscule number of training classes in their lifetime then let me offer this suggestion…. focus all your time, money and efforts into doing some force on force training.
Force on force training is a way to engage in a gun fight, get shot, feel some pain and everybody walk away with a smile on their face. It’s just about as real as you can get. They use marker rounds or simunitions to enable shot placement recognition and to inflict a small dose of pain motivation on the recipient. Standard firearms use conversion kits to allow them to function properly, and safety equipment is worn by participants to limit injury.
Force on force training is by far the most productive form of training that any civilian (and probably LEO) could ever do. The thing about getting shot at is that you can listen to someone talk about it for days on end, but you will never truly understand what it is like until you have experienced it. It is a stresser, and one that will inevitably lead to a “deer in the headlights” moment the first time it is experienced. Someone can tell you that until they are blue in the face, but until you actually experience it your mind will never be able to tell your body how to push past it.
One major benefit of force on force training is how it seems to shorten the learning curve. Firstly, you will find that the more you engage in this type of activity the more clearly and quickly you can respond to these types of encounters. There is no faster way to learn why its important to “get off the X” in a gun fight then to actually be shot at. You also will never be able to truly understand how important cover is until you’ve actually had a need for it. Simply put, there is nothing like a little bit of fear and pain to kick the learning process into high gear.
Another key thing that I have learned is that being in a fight teaches you how to think during a fight. participating in force on force training teaches your mind and body how to improvise when your preplanned tactics fail. We all know that old saying about how “no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy,” but until you are forced into that experience and required to improvise during a shootout you will never truly understand.
So do yourself a favor. Don’t spend anymore time or money on practice or training until you first go out and participate in some force on force training. It will by far be the most productive training you will ever have. Yes, thats a bold statement, but the way I see it….. What better way to train for a gun fight then to actually be in a gun fight?