About a month ago I attended a four-hour, basic combative pistol course with George Matheis of Modern Combative Systems. This weekend, I got to experience the full blown two-day course.
Saturday morning’s class started off with some classroom style instruction on weapon and holster selection and weapon deployment. We moved outside to the range to proceed to practice George’s technique of combative pistol shooting at ranges 7 yards and under. The weather wasn’t cooperating and the area where the range is located was basically a swamp due to all the rain, so we shot about 100 rounds each and then moved to high and dry ground and switched our real guns out for airsoft.
I’ve a lot of experience with airsoft from my time spent playing an aggressor for the local SWAT team but George took it to a whole new level. We ran drill after drill, some force on force, some just engaging a target (you gotta check out the new Zombie targets at zombietargets.net, these things are awesome!) using the airsoft guns. Some people, including a lot of the best known shooting instructors out there, would look at using airsoft as a training tool with disdain. At some schools, 1,000 rounds or more of ammo is consumed by each shooter, one shot after another punching paper. If you’ve never done force-on-force training, it is 100% more practical and useful than shooting a million rounds at paper.
Saturday we covered scenarios including car jacking and armed robbery. All the scenarios were real-life situations that any one of us could easily find ourselves in. For me, George had me carry a camera bag to my car, and I was accosted in route by a fellow student playing a bad guy who wanted to steal my gear. I was a little quick on the draw, but no one is taking my cameras.
Sunday found us working inside with airsoft and blue training guns, it was pouring all day. We covered weapons retention, something I had never really thought about, did home-invasion, dark of the night type of scenarios and put the “21 foot rule” to the test. I can tell you that a determined attacker with a knife can and will close the distance and cut you before you can land a fatal shot.
One of the main things I really like about George’s classes is that the basic fundamentals are the same for open hand, edged weapon and combative pistol. There is no learning new basics each time you take a class and the techniques I learned during the edged weapons class last month were the same one’s I used to foul the draw of an attacker, or create enough room during an attack to deploy my firearm. Check out the video’s below to see some highlights from the course. I didn’t shoot a whole lot of video but it will give you a good idea what the course was like.
BTW Don’t ever decide to try out new gear during a course. I had my carry gun along, but decided to use my full-size pistol and a new holster. Big mistake.