I had the great opportunity to attend a “Combat Focus Shooting” course taught by Jeff Varner of Team Snakehound. Combat Focus Shooting is a system developed by Rob Pincus. You can read about his biography and qualifications here- http://www.icetraining.us/robpincus.html Jeff has been certified as a CFS instructor since 2009. As one of Rob’s top students, he has relocated to NH to help share his knowledge in a very comprehensive shooting system and to develop a core training program with his friend Owen Martin of http://snakehoundmachine.com/.
We started the day with some very basic fundamentals of safety, stance and grip. Jeff also talked about the basic principles of CFS, one of which is the body’s response to a “dynamic critical incident”. Basically a situation where you are presented with a threat that causes your body to react in a certain way. CFS recognizes these body dynamics, and applies them to the fundamentals of shooting to defend yourself, or rather, to go on the OFFENSIVE to protect yourself or someone else. We all learned very quickly it is one thing to stand at a line and shoot at an inanimate target repeatedly, but it is a completely different ballgame when you add movement and stress. Sure… a lot of people can make tight groups at 21 ft with their 1911, but all that goes out the window when you start thinking about moving and then shooting, or reloading as you are moving.
I am not going to explain the different drills we did. You will need to take the course and see for yourself, but I will talk about what I came away with. As I did each drill, I found myself getting the best hits when I slowed down and payed attention to my grip, my stance and looked at my target instead of using sights…at the distance we were shooting you did not really need them. Most “Dynamic Critical Incidents” or violent confrontations happen within 9-12 feet. It’s a fact. Supported by police reports, security cams, and firsthand accounts. So you should train to be effective at that distance. Then you can move on to being a super dynamic ninja….I definitely had a lot of frustrating moments. Like- “why the hell can I not hit this little circle when I am only 10 ft away?!!” But then I returned to those basic fundamentals and slowed it down, and made my hits. Usually to find myself in the “what the hell?” position shortly thereafter. SLOW DOWN. REPEAT. SPEED UP. SLOW DOWN. REPEAT. That was the mantra for the day. It was challenging, frustrating, but ultimately REWARDING. I felt that I came away with some great knowledge I could use in my own practice to help better myself. I also want to take many more courses to improve and plan to do so.
One of the phrases that is printed on the CFS targets we used is ” The Balance of Speed and Precision”. That summed up the day. Trying to find that balance. If you went too fast, slow down and be precise. If you were getting too tight of groups and weren’t challenging yourself, speed up and then try to get that same accuracy. It was a constant struggle to meet in the middle, and I loved every minute of it! It felt like the first couple years I began tattooing and I was always yelling at myself because I knew what I wanted to do, but needed to do the work and improve my technique to get there. That is what I came away with. No super secret ninja moves, just solid core principles based on science.
If you would like to train with Jeff, keep an eye on http://snakehoundmachine.com/ and check their training section for courses. No matter what level shooter you are, I guarantee you are going to come away with something that is beneficial.