Gabe White on Vision

Vision is critical to tactical performance, and has been an important topic in fighting disciplines for centuries. Shooter Gabe White has a fascinating approach to developing vision vis-a-vis the mechanics of shooting that he wrote about here:


From a tactical perspective, of course we must confirm our targets in force encounters. Confirm the factors that provide the articulation to use deadly force. Confirm that a threat is armed, or that it’s a gun and not a phone the subject is pulling out…

And we must be aware of people moving in the foreground between us and our target – with a potential to move through our line of fire. And our backstop – is it an active apartment complex? A brick wall?  Or a plate glass window at the Starbucks, the looky-loos on the other side all turned toward us as they try to figure out what is going on…?

This is a high level task load on our cognitive processing when it will matter most. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little more time to take all that in before going to sights and pressing the trigger?

Gabe’s At Will Accommodation Shift saves time and increases certainty on the sights when we transition to them. This can be invaluable in a shooting situation, and life saving in a situation where a threat may be shooting back.

The Force Science Institute has done some research regarding vision, including gaze control and scan patterns, as well as specifically related to shooting.

I was able to see some of the research mentioned in the Analyst course. It was telling in that the “ordinary” officers – newly minted recruits fresh out of training – spent a lot of time doing exactly what they were trained to do: look for their sights during a shooting encounter. First their eyes wildly jumped around the scene in question, then lost all focus on the subject when threatening actions took place, as they were now occupied in searching for their sights. Unfortunately, in so doing they missed threat cues, they missed that the subject they were shooting had drawn out a phone, or just pointed a finger at them.

By contrast, “elite” performers, members of a tactical anti-terrorist squad, were much more focussed in the use of their eyes. Their eyes were “quiet,” they lingered at the points one would expect true threat cues to emerge: head/facial expression, hands, waistband. Then, when the threat presented, their gun came up, but their focus to the sights came later and was much more controlled, still observing for shoot-no shoot indicators before shooting. Understand this was a matter of fractions of a second.

Gabe has augmented this through his approach to visual acuity on the sights. When considering some of the Force Science research on trained vs. novice shooters,  in particular regarding internal vs. external focus, one can see where the issue with the ordinary or recruit shooters was versus the elites: training time, and experience with stress. Both of these reduce internal focus through more practice and what is called stress inoculation.

What we are practicing is as important, if not more so, than how much we practice. Gabe’s approach offers a practice methodology for Vision that has much promise in a crucial area of shooting performance, and not just for the competition world.

Here is a highlight clip of Gabe in action:




Sumo Mixed Martial Arts

Sumo for Mixed Martial Arts (my copy oddly omits the “for” on the cover…) presents an approach to sumo as a potential base grappling art for practitioners of mixed martial arts. It is a bare-bones look at sumo and some of its techniques in the mixed martial arts context, that could bear fruit for practitioners of other grappling styles as well.

The book is an expansion of an earlier article by author Andrew Zerling that appeared in Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Volume 21, #1, that has luckily been reproduced here at Stephan Kesting’s Grapplearts.   That article has been in my stack for some time.

Confession time: I have a soft spot for sumo – no pun intended. As classical martial arts writer Dave Lowry, quoted by Zerling, once wrote : “Sumo is the primogenitor of all martial arts and ways that came later in Japan.”( p. 151 ) That there is a link between sumo, and it’s ancient form sumai, and jujutsu is generally accepted and makes common sense: Japanese warriors were raised with their own cultural form of wrestling and its conditioning exercises, then relied on the physical and mental attributes said wrestling developed when in close combat, even armored and with weapons. Eventually jujutsu methods developed for fighting with different weapons, in different circumstances, fighting for survival on the ground, arresting and restraining enemies and criminals, and the like – all practiced in more formal ways due to their inherent danger – but all of it overlaid upon a foundation developed through an extremely demanding wrestling practice.

Sumo for Mixed Martial Arts doesn’t go into all that, but does give a brief overview of sumo history.  The history section will not satisfy purists in the classical martial traditions – it is spare and largely drawn from popular, not scholarly, sources. However, the aim of the book is specifically related to how elements of sumo can augment a mixed martial arts practitioner’s fight game.

Sumo’s rules are brief – only the following are prohibited:

  • striking the opponent with a closed fist
  • bending back one or more of the opponent’s fingers
  • grabbing the opponent’s hair
  • grabbing the opponent’s throat
  • jabbing at the opponent’s eyes or solar plexus
  • palm striking both of the opponent’s ears at the same time
  • grabbing or pulling at the opponent’s groin area
  • kicking the opponent’s chest or waist

Nearly everything else is permitted, including striking the throat. However, no part of the wrestler’s body other than the soles of the feet can touch the ground before the opponent’s, or can step out of the ring in any way.

This creates a very dynamic, explosive style that has evolved distinctive strategies: One, favored by strong, heavy wrestlers, is repeated striking and pushing of the opponent to knock him down or out of the ring, the strongly favored and most visible approach to sumo; And two, to use angle shifts and entries to get hold of the opponent – clinching or grabbing the mawashi or “belt,” and then performing a more technical throw or takedown, which is the preferred strategy of smaller, more agile, more technically savvy sumo grapplers. The former are more successful, but the latter have been effective enough to last, some for many years, in a sport with no weight classes. There have been “small” sumo wrestlers at 220 or 250 beating men who literally weigh twice their own weight!

Zerling offers several case studies which highlight some of these men, as well as the huge guys who overwhelm and overpower others by knocking them back, knocking them down, or knocking them out with strikes and thrusts and pushes.

Zerling covers these, and points out the advantages sumo would offer to a practitioner of mixed martial arts. He is, however, balanced in noting the disadvantages or differences that the markedly different rulesets present. He is not advocating sumo wrestlers enter MMA (that has already occurred and has not been successful), but rather that people with a sumo background integrated with other training could find much benefit. Lyoto Machida, a very successful Japanese-Brazilian MMA fighter with extensive karate and sumo experience, as well as a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and training in Muay Thai, is a case study emphasizing this point.

Then he goes to techniques. Unlike pure sumo, Zerling shows MMA style ground controls finishing the throws and takedowns, with the practitioner taking some kind of top control or turtle-position attacking posture. Note these are not of the pulling guard or entangled armbar or choke variety, but top control positions which could be used in self defense to disengage, or in self defense and MMA to begin striking the opponent on the ground, or in MMA and submission grappling to establish a submission move. Though for the sumo purist this may be off putting, it does blend approaches well and establishes that sumo has a place in the pantheon of grappling arts that MMA draws upon, not to mention self defense.

Not unusual, perhaps: many of the throws shown look like “no-gi” judo (an art which drew on sumo and classical jujutsu), and Zerling notes that Maeda Mitsuyo was a practitioner of sumo himself, learned from his father (I am curious as to the source on this, but would not be surprised).

 I have advocated a serious look at sumo in terms of tactical and self defense applications for some time, and there are a number of throws  here that are regular part of the repertoire in the dojo where I train. Zerling’s book adds to the arguments in favor of that.

More to this point, a while back I wrote a review of Thomas Zabel’s Sumo Skills at Amazon – it was short so I’ll re-post it here:

“Sumo Skills fills a void in the English language world as the first book of which I am aware that is instructional as opposed to simply descriptive. It starts from the ground up with the background of sumo (I would have liked to have seen more of this, actually…), the basis, and then immediately onto the basics. Some interesting details are provided as well as a wide variety of techniques that many are probably not even aware exist in sumo.

As a practitioner of martial grappling arts, one of my main interests was for the details of sumo techniques. My own teacher has a deep background in Chinese arts, which in turn were based in Chinese wrestling – in an early term called xiang pu, which is written with the same kanji as sumo. I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of throws that he teaches to his MMA and Jiujitsu students contained in this book! In particular are several techniques not in the repertoire of BJJ or arts like Judo or Western wrestling.

I for one actually often prefer drawings over photographs in technical manuals as I feel they give a better sense of what each performer is doing. The descriptions are also concise and clear – not too dense as some instructional manuals are wont to be.

In short, if you are interested in sumo either as a fan or as a practitioner this is a must-have book. It will shed light on what is happening and teach you how to do it yourself!”


Zabel’s book makes an excellent companion piece to Zerling’s work. Zerling’s photo progressions are easily followed, which will shed light on Zabel’s line drawings. Zabel’s book addresses more classical sumo and competition, with foundational exercises and competition aspects, and in turn shed light on areas that Zerling mentions but does not go into depth with. Zabel also addresses some of the fundamental physical exercises of sumo, a number of which my dojo actually uses as warm ups, and when considering that sumo practitioners do these exercises in the hundreds of repetitions makes one realize whence their explosiveness and “base” derive.

Lastly, I would encourage practitioners of classical jujutsu, and the art of aikido, whose founder and founder’s teacher were sumo men,  to take a look here. Again, much in the koryu jujutsu and its descendant traditions comes from sumo, and there are various throws here that would be familiar. Moreover, they are presented in t-shirts and shorts, and with those positions of control more akin to  MMA or BJJ. This could expand an understanding of the grappling methodologies the classical practitioner studies as well, linking it with an evolutionary continuum that Japanese grappling has brought to the world through these various cognate arts.

Going to the Ground

Ten years ago this month Going to the Ground was published by Joe Svinth at EJMAS January 2007. 

Not a whole lot is different, I’d say…More Tasers. More cops are getting shot, but that does not mean no ground fight happens. The latest incident in Arizona involved a shooting and close combat with the officer getting his head bashed into the ground, and rescued by an armed citizen; locally a deputy was shot during a grapple with a disturbed subject laying in the road, who grabbed the dep’s backup gun at his ankle. The deputy resorted to a knife in that encounter.

The knee jerk response is that more cops need more jiujitsu, but that is only part of it. More cops need more jiujitsu, for sure, but they are better served with jiujitsu that is more attuned to the needs of the profession. They aren’t the same.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) go “hands on” in both armed and unarmed physical confrontations more often than perhaps any other armed professionals. Within the self-defense and martial arts communities, this naturally has led to a great deal of interest in the experiences of officers in physical encounters. And no other information coming from the law enforcement community has received as much attention as an elusive set of statistics that purportedly show that 90% (or more) of physical altercations “go to the ground.”

The responsibility for the popularizing of this statistic is most often laid at the feet of the famous Gracie family, proponents of the art of Brazilian jujitsu, and dismissed as a shameless attempt at marketing themselves and their family fighting system which, not coincidentally, emphasizes fighting on the ground.

Unfortunately, I have yet to see a single source within the martial arts community — affiliated with the Gracies or otherwise — that accurately cites the actual study, or that does not either accept the statistics (or repudiate them) almost wholesale. If the constantly repeated Internet forum discussions and “letters to the editor” to various trade magazines are any indication, the topic has actually become an emotional argument for some. That argument usually finds those who practice Brazilian jujitsu or a similar system with a strong ground fighting component supporting the stats, and those who practice an art with minimal or no ground grappling denying their relevance. After personally posting the information below on several Internet forums with a wide dissemination, I still see the statistics often misquoted, misunderstood, and misapplied. I have seen them dismissed as pertaining “only to law enforcement,” and explained away as not offering lessons for self-defense.

The statistics provided here are quoted directly from the ASLET (American Society of Law Enforcement Training) pamphlet for their July 1997 Use of Force Training Seminar. The training was presented in Los Angeles by Sergeant Greg Dossey, Sergeant John Sommers, and Officer Steve Uhrig of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). It includes a description of the study and methodology used in investigating Use of Force incidents by LAPD.

In 1991, Sergeant Dossey, an exercise physiologist with the LAPD, completed a comparative study of use of force incidents reported by LAPD for the year 1988. Sergeant Dossey looked at all 5,617 use of force incident narratives written by officers in 1988, and devised a method for codifying the information contained and analyzing it for what they identified as dominant altercation patterns. The study was replicated in 1992 by LAPD’s Training Review committee.

Below, I will provide direct quotes (in italics) from the 1997 ASLET report along with some analysis and commentary which should help shed more light on what lessons law enforcement and the concerned citizen can glean from the study. After that, I will do the same with information taken from a 2003 survey of attendees at a Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar.

1997 ASLET “Use of Force Training Seminar: Future of Non-Lethal Force Training–Reality Based and Integrating Techniques for Non-Lethal Force Training”

For the purposes of this article, the significant findings of the 1997 ASLET study are: [EN1]

1. During 1988, there were 316,525 arrests made by LAPD.

  • 5,617 (1.7%) of these arrests required the completion of a use of force report.

  • 2,031 (0.6%) altercations developed from these arrests. “Of the 5,617 reports examined, only 2,031 incidents contained a sufficient level of aggressive resistance by the suspect toward the officer to qualify as an altercation.”

Thus, the study confirms what every police officer knows: most arrest situations involve little or no use of force, and minor resistance does not qualify as a “fight” (or in this case, altercation). Semi-compliant persons are often stopped by a mere order to comply or with a firm control of an arm or wrist for handcuffing. Nonetheless, even these low level uses of force may require use of force reports in many agencies, as does the pointing of a firearm at a subject who may not resist physically in any way. This study has accounted for these facts.

2. During 1988, there were an average of 867 arrests and 5.6 altercations per day. Eight hundred fifty six officers reported injuries from such altercations. These 856 officers missed a total of 2,095 days from work due to injuries sustained in altercations.

3. Altercations were most likely to develop from the following field activities: disturbances of the peace (33.8%), traffic stops (18.5%), and observed narcotics activity (14.8%).

4. Over 90% of the subjects involved in altercations were male; only about 9.5% were female.

5. Five scenario patterns accounted for 95% of the altercations: “Within each of these five patterns, a description of the most frequent first, second, and final combative action was generated by the computer… Four combative actions by suspects accounted for almost two thirds (65.8%) of these I.O.D. injuries; the officer was kicked 23.4 percent, punched 16 percent, thrown/tripped 15 percent, or was bitten 11.4 percent. In 1988 the average officer in uniform and assigned to the field was in less than 3 altercations.” The thrown/tripped statistic includes injuries sustained from wrestling on the ground.

As for the five patterns, they were:

  • Subject pulls away from an officer’s attempt to control the subject’s arm. “33.7% Officer grabbed the subject by the arm and the subject pulled his arm away; the most frequent second act was the officer applying a joint lock (32%) and the most frequent final subduing act was the officer taking the subject down to the ground (46%)”

  • Subject attempts to punch or kick the officer. “25.4% Subject ran at the officer and swung punches and kicks; the most frequent second act was the officer evading the subject and striking him with the baton (26%; a close second was taking the subject to the ground 22%) and the most frequent final subduing act was taking the subject to the ground (35%).”

  • Subject refuses to assume a searching position. “19.3% Subject refused to assume a searching position as verbally ordered by the officer; the most frequent second act was the officer applying a joint lock (35.5%) and the most frequent final subduing act was taking the subject to the ground (36.5%).”

  • Subject flees and officer pursues. “10.5% Subject ran from the officer, officer chased the subject; the most frequent second act was the officer taking the subject to the ground (40%) and the most frequent final subduing act was also taking the subject to the ground (39.5%).”

  • Subject takes a combative posture, but does not attempt to strike the officer. “6.8% Subject assumed a fighting, martial arts, or boxing stance but did not attack the officer; the most frequent second act was the officer striking the subject with the baton (38%) and this was also the most frequent final act (41%).”

The study also included the percentages of injuries based on targeting of the attacks. For example: kicking resulted in injuries to the legs (36%), the head (27%), the rib cage (22.5%), and the groin (14%). Although several fractures occurred, the most common injury was a bruise to the legs, head, ribs, or groin. The most common injury suffered in ground fighting was a strained lower back.

6. The report concluded: “Nearly two thirds of the 1988 altercations (62%) ended with the officer and subject on the ground with the officer applying a joint lock and handcuffing the subject.” Given this, it is better put that the LAPD data says when officers physically fought with suspects (versus simply encountering minor resistance or non-compliance which required a minor use of force, but did not escalate into an altercation), 95% of the time those fights took one of five patterns, and 62% of those five types of altercations ended up with the officer and subject on the ground with the officer locking and handcuffing the suspect.

After this report was published, LAPD instituted a program that included training in ground control skills, which in turn were based on modern judo and jujutsu grappling skills specially adapted for law enforcement. A follow-up study presented the following conclusions:

  • Use of force incidents and use of force percentages were reduced. The average 5.6 altercations per day in 1988 reduced to 1.7 altercations per day in 1991. Certainly, other factors were involved, [EN2] but Sergeant Dossey has been quoted (at Defend University, as saying he believes this was in part due to increased confidence in handling altercations.

  • Injuries were reduced. Suspect injuries were down 34.6% and officer injuries were down 17.7% in 1991.

  • The same 5 patterns still accounted for 90% of altercations. Although the same basic patterns applied, the chance of officers receiving a punch or kick attempt increased from a 2-11% chance (depending on scenario) to a 25-71% chance (depending on scenario). Officer involved in shootings increased by 6.3% as well. Thus, it appears that even as officers became better trained, suspects were becoming more violent.

Calibre Press Survival Seminar, 2003

In its April 2003 online newsletter, Calibre Press published results of a research project completed along with PPCT Management Systems. This project measured the other side of the equation, namely the frequency in which police officers were forced to the ground by attackers. About 1,400 cases were reported by officers attending the Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar. [EN3]

Respondents were asked whether an attacker had ever attempted to force them to the ground. More than half (52%) reported this had occurred. Of that number, 60% reported that their attackers had been successful in taking them down. Of the 60% taken down, 52% reported receiving ground control training prior to the event, and 40% after.

At the time of the assault, most of the assailants were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Most of the takedown incidents occurred during domestic and other disturbance calls, or during traffic stops. These are the same situations in which the majority of officers are assaulted and killed each year (31% during disturbances, accounting for 15.6% of officer deaths, followed by traffic stops, accounting for 15.1% of officer deaths).

  • 45% of the attempts to take the officer down occurred during interviews

  • 40% occurred at handcuffing

  • 10% at escort

  • 5% during booking

Standard assault patterns took the following forms:

  • Pulling the officer to the ground (33%)

  • Pushing the officer to the ground (28%)

  • Tackling the officer to the ground (24%)

  • Kicking or punching the officer to the ground (15%)

Once the officer was down:

  • The subject continued to assault the officer once the officer was down (64%)

  • The subject fled (31%)

  • The subject waited for the officer to get back up to continue the fight (5%)

Of the ground fights, suspects generally continued with grappling and pinning techniques (77%), or used punches, kicks, and strikes (66%). However, in 21% of the cases, the subjects attempted to disarm the officer, with 5% being successful. As a side note, the FBI states that of 594 law enforcement officers killed between 1992 and 2001, 46 were killed with their own weapon.

On the ground, the officers tended to use weapons other than firearms:

  • Pepper spray (OC) was used 29% of the time

  • Impact weapons (sticks, batons, flashlights, handcuffs, etc.) were used 26% of the time

  • Hands, feet, holds, etc., were used 24% of the time

Officers used firearms in just 13 cases (less than 1% of attacks). However, during these 13 uses of firearms, three resulted in suspect fatalities.

Final Comment

Statistics should be viewed more as guidelines than as specifics. The varied situational, environmental, physical, and psychological intersections that occur within confrontations make each and every one different. However, if similar patterns occur time and again, the patterns should not be ignored.

The LAPD study does not show that “90% of fights go to the ground.” Instead, the LAPD study shows that 95% of altercations took on one of five familiar patterns (with which any street cop will be intimately familiar). It also shows that of that 95%, 62% ended up with both the officer and the suspect grappling on the ground.

Obviously, being professionally charged with restraining someone versus being primarily focused on escaping an attack will change the dynamic of a confrontation after the initial engagement. This is why I believe police in an arrest situation are more likely than a citizen in a self-defense situation to stay on the ground during a physical encounter.

Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that more than half the officers surveyed by Calibre Press reported that suspects had attempted to take them down, and that the suspects accomplished this 60% of the time. Of that number, the overwhelming majority stayed on the ground grappling with the officer (77%). When considering these patterns of assault, they are of the same nature as criminal assaults on citizens. In other words, the mechanics of an assault (versus the mechanics of arrest) do not change simply because one of the people involved is a police officer. [EN4]

To conclude, one can quibble with the exact percentages, but being on the ground happens frequently during serious altercations. Could a person’s being taken down and not having an effective means to deal with the situation increase odds of death or serious injury, either to him/herself or to the assailant? My personal view is that this is the case.

About the Author
The author is a law enforcement officer and use of force instructor in the Pacific Northwest.


Dorsey, Greg, John Sommers, and Steve Uhrig. (July 1997). “Future of Non-lethal Force Training-Reality Based & Integrating Techniques for Non-Lethal Force Training.” ASLET Use-of-Force Training Seminar, originally presented at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton and Towers, Los Angeles, California, July 10-12, 1997

Dunston, Mark S. (April 2003). “Instructor’s Corner: Ground Fighting — Assaults on Police Officers,” Calibre Press Street Survival Newsline #630


EN1. The 1997 ASLET study also goes into liability concerns such as excessive force complaints, lawsuits, and settlement amounts paid out, but these are beyond the scope of this article.

EN2. During this period, TASER use increased by 76.7%. This factor should not be ignored when evaluating the reduction of altercations and suspect/officer injuries.

EN3. These seminars take place yearly throughout the United States and include officers from all walks of the law enforcement profession, from federal agents to patrol and tactical officers, detectives and corrections personnel, and any other type of sworn law enforcer.

EN4. In the cases involving violence that I have seen in which neither of the involved parties was an LEO, most had a significant portion (or at least a significant moment) during which one or both of the participants was on the ground, or fighting under conditions that were similar to ground fighting (e.g., on a bed, on a couch, etc.).


Donn Draeger on Jeff Cooper



Reading through my collection of back issues of Hoplos, the newsletter of the International Hoplology Society (IHS), I re-discovered a piece from Donn Draeger. For those not aware, Draeger was a WWII-era combat Marine who embraced Japanese martial culture to the fullest, becoming a force within the koryu bujutsu (classical martial arts), in Kodokan Judo, and other disciplines. He introduced much in the Japanese martial ethos (and south and southeast Asian systems) to the international martial arts world through his writings and his work with the IHS studying “the evolution and development of human combative behavior.”

While the IHS was generally focussed on conventional”martial arts,” early offerings such as this one seemed to seek to expand the parameters of intended study beyond the wheelhouse of most conventional martial artists, even those of a serious scholarly bent.

In the November 1979 Hoplos, Volume 1, # 6, “Hoplology and the Bang, Big or Small,” Draeger wrote of defensive pistolcraft and Jeff Cooper . Now, Cooper was also a combat Marine, and a seminal writer and trainer in the realm of modern pistolcraft – interestingly in juxtaposition, apparently also coining the phrase “hoplophobia.”

Cooper is also famed for his “Color Codes” of awareness, and his book Principles of Personal Defense is as much a collection of martial wisdom as any of the classic works of the masters of yore; in my view it makes the concept of handgunning-as-martial-discipline perhaps more accessible to those in traditional martial arts.

In Hoplos, Draeger specifically addresses the hoplological study of explosives and firearms among other “engines of war,” stating that making them a lower priority of study would be “a serious mistake” for hoplologists.

It should be noted that some of the ideas expressed are now the subject of much debate. Defensive handgunning has continued to evolve…mostly… to embrace various shooting positions and revisit the concept of”stopping power;” even now we are seeing another leap in that realm with the advent of optics for handguns.

Still, this was a remarkable start for a scholarly martial arts organization, with what at the time was the cutting edge of pistolcraft.

Draeger further wrote:

“Substantial effort must also be made to cope with the ever-widening developments surrounding the use of firearms taking place in our modern times, and to record these events while they are still fresh in our minds. One of these important developments embraces international popularity in the form of pistol shooting.

Exemplary in the matter of modern pistol shooting are the efforts and the American Pistol Institute (API) in Paulden, Arizona. The founder of the organization, Jeff Cooper, is the world authority on defensive pistolcraft. Cooper, a master shot, insists that the wholesome social individual has a right to self defense by means of the handgun. A salient objective in all of Cooper’s teachings is to furnish the individual exponent of the handgun with sufficient skill in order to prepare him mentally to dominate his immediate environment. Though sometimes Cooper’s pistolcraft may be referred to as “sport,” it must not be confused with ordinary competitive sport shooting. Cooper’s code reveals the mental outlook and stand he wishes to impart for the good of world society.

ATTENTION (and here it’s Cooper writing – Kit)

Here is a weighty matter for the wise to ponder.

Practical pistolcraft is a defensive art, the elements of which are the equal control of accuracy, power, and speed (DVC).

Diligentia = Accuracy

Vis = Power

Celeritas  = Speed

The purpose of the defensive pistol is to terminate instantly the hostile activity of an armed aggressor. Therefore, second only to reliability, STOPPING POWER is its most elemental attribute. Its (the pistol’s) continuity of fire is subordinate to its stopping power.

Any practical pistol contest must simulate the defensive use of the handgun. If the structure of a contest is such as to give a scoring advantage to continuity of fire over stopping power, that contest is flawed.

Practical shooting competition must remain PRACTICAL, at all costs. If we forget that, even momentarily, we have lost the reason for our sport. We endeavor to be both realistic and fair, but if there is a conflict we must be realistic first and fair second. Those who make a fetish of fairness should play chess.

(signed) Jeff Cooper

Whereas Cooper’s dictum stimulates us to discuss a wide range of subjects, there is one area in particular that is relevant to the overall strategy of hoplology. I will make that the subject of some future article.”

Donn Draeger pic                                                   Jeff Cooper Pic

The Stream

Author Laurence Gonzales on the concept of “The Stream:”


I read of it in his book Surviving Survival , along with his Deep Survival a must read for the modern practicing tactician.

The Stream is very real. Lots of informal terms and notions we have demonstrate this: when we feel someone is “hinky” we are talking about The Stream; When twenty years in LE tells you someone is lying without any obvious  or blatant corroborating evidence, you are in The Stream; When some person or situation gives you that feeling: hair standing on the back of the neck, or it”weirds you out,” you are dipping into The Stream.

Some lose their way to the Stream, and its hard to teach “it” without the knack, or to learn to trust it without the validation that swimming in it over time gives.