SPARTAN PERFORMANCE CROSSFIT SUFFOLK
5 rounds for time of:
400 meter run
95 pound Overhead squat, 15 reps
Post time to comments.
If you follow this website you know that we consider the ability to defend one's self, or another, a topic of human performance. In fact we consider the ability to manage a life and death confrontation a very important part of human performance. To this end we have followed the work of particular trainers for the last 20-something years as well as engaged in training. By "follow" I mean read their words, watch their videos or do actual "hands-on" training with them. After several years of hearing about and seeing a couple of video clips we finally had the chance to train with South Narc. South Narc, as he is known in the law enforcement and military training community, is a "cop's cop", even though he's a Captain, from a major police department in the South.
We have to thank Kevin for notifying us that South narc would be on Long Island….so thanks Kev!
We participated in a course called Extreme Close Quarters Concepts (ECQC). As the course description reads, we engaged in 20 hours of "instruction which focuses on a multi-disciplinary approach to building functional, combative handgun skills at zero to five feet. The course is designed to instill core concepts of seamless integration and provide the platform for aggressive problem solving during a life or death struggle. A heavy emphasis is placed upon commonality of body mechanics between skill sub-sets, which means that all combative software is reinforcing. Once the student’s skill sets are initially ingrained, he participant will be stress inoculated with force on force drills utilizing man-marking cartridges and protective equipment."
Before I tell you what I thought of the course it's important to bear in mind the fact that I've been in the law enforcement training community for over 20 years, have participated in numerous courses, attended and presented at numerous conferences all over North America and have continuously practiced various martial arts for the last 29 years.
While my current Brazilian Jiujitsu training and much of my past training served me well during the last 3 days, I learned highly functional skills during the ECQC that, to the best of my knowledge, you don't find anywhere else!
Somewhere in the vicinity of the early to mid-90's a common theme heard in the law enforcement training circles was the importance of having firearms instruction and defensive tactics instruction combined to make officer survival more realistic. Since then many well intentioned instructors have tried to offer a solution, some good and some not so much. South Narc not only offers the best solution, but he is the only trainer I know that combines firearm skills with functional hand to hand skills in a very real way at a very dangerous distance–when good guy and bad guy are "entangled". A pet peeve of ours was how so many in the law enforcement training community emphasize maintaining distance from the bad guy as the main method to enhancing officer survival. The truth of the matter is law enforcement work often involves close-up contacts and maintaining a "reactionary gap" nearly impossible.
South Narc's solution was borne of having been in life and death, extremely close quarters, fights and then experimenting with what works and what doesn't work when there is no cooperation, no "mutual agreement" to do battle. Just put equipment on and set up scenarios based on actual events then have the scenario unfold the way they would on the street between strangers–bad guy makes contact, conversation ensues and then there is either an attack or there isn't. If there is an attack both good guy and bad guy quickly find themselves at touching distance or closer. Good guy now has to take steps to improve his position and effectively respond while the bad guy(s) are literally on top of him, under him, or while making contact with him. The bad guy gets to use verbal distraction, grabbing, striking, weapons and friends.
(One of the goals of the above drill is to not extend the firearm as shown. This officer quickly corrected his position during the next scenario!)
You quickly find out what works and what doesn't. All the skills South Narc taught worked extremely well when there was pressure, stress and no cooperation between participants. There were gun fighting skills and hand to hand skills that I had no experience with. I found that there were small details on the shooting range and with empty hands fighting that enhanced my skill set exponentially. South Narc also forced us to consider gaps in our own previous training and experience, things like what if you were attacked in a space so tight there is seemingly "no room" to move.
All hands on scenario training was placed in the context of a real confrontation that starts with conversation and rapidly evolves into a dynamic, violent confrontation. Decisions constantly had to be made regarding what to say, how to say it, where one's hands should be, where they shouldn't be, is the confrontation harmless or is it about to go bad, what kind of force to use to resolve the issue, how quickly to use that force and to what degree. The scenarios were designed to do 4 things: force one to see what could happen during real fights NOT what you perceive may happen, take you out of your zone of comfort, provide you with the experience of being in a dynamic violent confrontation in the training environment so the first time isn't in a real situation on the street and demonstrate how what you learned is applied (and works!) under pressure. Mission accomplished!
The ECQC was the best course I've taken and I wish it was available early in my law enforcement career. The ECQC most closely resembled what I thought training to win a life and death encounter should be: practical shooting tactics, realistic fighting, realistic context, functional techniques, blended together in a congruous method that addresses the mostly deadly range in life and death fights that is easliy adapted to wide variety of circumstances. There was not a wasted moment in the 20 hours of this course.
South Narc is a top level trainer. His instruction is crystal clear and he demonstrates everything he teaches in a way that makes it easy to learn and immediately functional. He's one of those trainers that can both "do" and "teach". There are some nauseating self-promoters in the law enforcement and self-defense communities, some with a next to nothing background–NOT THE CASE with South Narc. It was refreshing to learn from someone who can speak from the position of having been involved in real world operations, has an excellent skill set and is humble. South Narc "gets it" and he is the real deal.
Anyone who carries and firearm and goes into harm's way should attend this course at least once. If we ruled the world all law enforcement personnel would attend. If you are reading this and thinking: "I've done that type of training" or "my department gave us that training"–YOU'RE WRONG! This is real training designed to save your life.
We've made some observations that others thinking of attending the ECQC may find helpful:
Be fit. 4 of the 10 participants were crossfitters. As the second oldest participant there I would find it difficult to complete this course and perform at a high level if I didn't crossfit. The oldest participant, 2 years older than me, was unable to finish the course. The other crossfitters and me felt a bit beat up from the course, but we never felt completely exhausted. I cannot imagine doing this course without being in good physical condition. Being in good shape facilitates mental sharpness and allows you to recover faster.
Grapple. Try to find a training facility that offers a basic Greco-Roman wrestling program. Find a Brazilian Jiujitsu school. The ECQC has elements of both wrestling and BJJ to improve your position during a close quarters fight. During most of my police career I believed that grappling was not only unnecessary for cops, but impractical. I have completely switched my position since training in BJJ. My BJJ background made the ground portion of the ECQC go a bit better than it would have if I didn't have BJJ experience. Brazilian Jiujitsu is a great sport, but for actual self-defense it's the best system for taking positional advantage on the ground. South Narc explained and demonstrated–and we discovered that a weapon can't solve a positional problem. There are other benefits to training Brazilian Jiujitsu. When doing "live" training, what's commonly known as "rolling" in BJJ parlance, it's done against fully resistive partners. Obviously there are rules and the environment is safe, but you are still going against someone who is trying to dominate position and submit you. You become fit for grappling which translate to being fit for a roll around in the street. You also become conditioned for the kind of contact you can expect to experience in a roll around. Not to mention that the techniques are extremely effective. For locals we recommend 2 BJJ schools depending on where you live: D'Arce BJJ in Bay Shore, NY and Vamos BJJ in Holbrook, NY, both are outstanding.
Master your equipment. Know how to shoot, how to clear a malfunction and how to smoothly draw and holster your pistol. "Know" in this case should be read as: can perform smoothly and accurately without having to consciously think about every detail.
You can find out more about South Narc and how to contact him through his website: ShivWorks.
We plan on bringing South Narc back in the future for other courses…stay tuned!