Behaviorally Compliant


Something that came up in a Vehicle CQB class modeled on the work of Will Petty at Centrifuge Training (and put on by one of his certified instructors), and that was making training “Behaviorally Compliant.”

As I understand this, it means to seek convergence within our training to what humans tend to actually do under the stress of an actual armed engagement – which can be extremely dynamic in terms of movement, high tempo, and at close range.

When working around vehicles, for instance, we tend to migrate towards the backs of our cars (a good thing when done correctly), or inside the vehicle (a bad thing), and tend to take much lower and compressed positions when trying to conform to cover, sometimes perhaps not even realizing we haven’t conformed enough.

Screen Shot 2019-06-22 at 9.48.45 AM

It’s only then we need to do all the “gunfighter stuff” – including seeing what we need to see of our sights for good hits – from those positions. This really challenges the ability, flexibility,  mobility, and gear placement of shooters not used to such dynamics.

And it’s rarely trained, sadly even in law enforcement, which will engage around vehicles, in low light, and at close quarters more often than not.


Screen Shot 2019-06-22 at 9.00.15 AM

In a later handgun course, we did a lot of moving off-line with one handed shooting. The Force Science Research Center has found that suspects in particular are quite effective at doing so. Officers, being accountable for every round they fire, perhaps not so much, and so the training was intended to practice this. What we ended up doing was closer to “spray and pray” – with generous scoring on the targets and no real penalty for complete misses – obviously not great. Then there was the issue of losing the protection of our vests – recent deaths of officers have confirmed that turning side-on to an opposing shooter is NOT a great idea. There are better methods we can use moving and shooting one handed. Gabe White does it, at greater speed and with a high degree of accuracy and round accountability, offering the best of this work I’ve seen: It is Behaviorally Compliant. It works under conditions of ambush/surprise attack at very close range,  but it is something that training must refine – not simply mimic.

We should take caution to avoid what would be called “instinctive” shooting or tactics. The best quote I’ve heard on that idea is from Craig Douglas of ShivWorks:

“Instinctive? Hell, drowning is instinctive. I’d rather learn to swim.”

It’s very much in the same way that simple brute strength or a blitz tackle can be effective – until you find out the guy you just grabbed is a wrestler or jiujitsuka…

To achieve Behavioral Compliance, we have to break free from square range and square mat training, without forgetting the valid lessons those environments offer. We must train under the pressure of active opposition in order to streamline and optimize the behaviors we are likely to see after the initial “BANG” of the event.

After the Bang, instincts could get us killed if behaviors have not been supported by proper training.








One comment

  1. Here’s a quote I quite like (sorry I can’t remember where I found it now) which I think applies.

    “We never rise to the occasion, we merely fall back to our training “.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s