AAR: Force on Force AMTAC / Bill Rapier, April 7-8 (2018), Undisclosed Location in NJ

"...Under these conditions students can make mistakes, learn and then rep the correct response to potentially violent encounters."


Summary
Force on force (FoF) training should be pinnacle of any interpersonal violence instruction.  There has to be a lot of steps before it and the only step above it is reality, as such, it needs to be logical in process and function.  For many students FoF is the only time they will have had the opportunity to go hands on with an opponent, then add weapon systems, the result is usually a chaotic mess only worthwhile because of the instruction provided.  This is where Bill Rapier's experience and training become invaluable.  This is much more than just a FoF class, it provides the students with the steps necessary to turn the chaos into an active learning situation.  Every drill and part of this class is designed in such a way as to build a logical foundation of unconscious competence which is difficult to find in many current classes in the training industry, both LE or otherwise.



Equipment
Glock 19 Gen5 with Ameriglo TCAP Sights
Headhunterblades.com Rat blade and trainer
Blackhawk Orange Glock Shape (many used SIRT Pistols)
V Development Group Seraph G17 AIWB Holster and Megingjord AIWB Belt

Students used various C02 Pistols and face masks

Multiple layers of clothing
Gloves


First Half (Day One)
Started off the morning with some paperwork and we took a survey of which students had tourniquets on their person and what the plan was if someone needs to be transported to a hospital.  Bill then explained what the students can expect and why he put this class together.


Bill began the class with live fire pistol fundamentals.  If you do not know how to properly shoot a pistol you will not have a solid foundation for more advanced and stressful training involving a pistol and other firearms.


Bill went over pistol grip and concepts of grip pressure.


Shooting stance is extremely important and Bill explained the reasons behind what he does and why.


One of the first live fire drills Bill had the students do is an untimed slow fire at a small target to flush their accuracy out.

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The students were given the opportunity to flush out their shooting stances.


In between the instruction, Bill demonstrated the drill for that particular part.


Then the students were able to get reps of that drill as needed.


Bill talked about what part of the finger he likes to use for trigger placement.  He went over various types of placement and the type he prefers when doing a full grip.  He also touched on trigger reset.


He then demonstrated.


The students were given ample opportunity to see what type of finger placement works for them.


Bill spoke about pistol manipulation and various reasons behind his methodology as compared to others.


He talked about immediate action, what he prefers, and why.  All the while building into his Strike Ready position.


Bill went over pinch grip slide racking, what the concept of being "Tip On" means, and why it is important to the logical application of weapon systems.


He diagnosed any perceived issues a student may have with their pistols in order to figure out exactly what needed to be corrected.


As needed, Bill would explain various related concepts so that students may overcome any barriers.


Bill demonstrated various draw stroke methods.


Drills were shown of stationary draw strokes and movement oriented draw strokes.


The students were expected to be able to do this without issue, Bill made sure to give each student enough attention so that this was not an issue further into the class.



Bill went over his Strike Ready position and explained why he believed this to be a viable position for pistol application.


Bill went over his methodology for his scanning process, as it integrates with his Strike Ready position.


From that point out he expected the students to perform a scan the way shown after every live fire drill, and the students were given the opportunity to do to so.


Bill would jump in and demonstrate little nuances of a drill as the need arose for it.


Students then had a chance to do the same drill live fire in order to flush out the technique.


Bill explained his reasoning for his retention shooting process and spear elbow application.


He demonstrated it live life.



Bill made sure to show every student the proper application, one by one, so that there are no issues.


Then the students ran the drill until it was easily replicated.


Bill went on to explain various issues which may arise with pistols while your other hand is preoccupied and how to overcome those issues.  Specifically one handed immediate action.


Racking the pistol off of your belt.


If needed, off of your shoe/heel.


Any way it is done, it needed to be towards the threat.  This not only follows the Tip On protocol, but it allows for generally safe malfunction clearing.


Bill showed various situations where this may be an issue and how to properly do while tangled with a threat.


Bill demonstrated various immediate action drills one handed live fire.






Students then ran the drills and burned repetitions of the various positions and methods.

After that students had a quick lunch.


Second Half (Day One)
Bill went over a few concepts, better weapon / better position, the issues with multiple targets and (tactical) order of priority.  He then went into what safety protocols should be used each time a switch is made from live fire to dry fire / training.  This included buddy checks and inspections of training tools.


Everyone got geared up with their C02 plastic BB pistols, helmets/face shields and thicker outer clothing and Bill went over what he calls the "Around the World Drill."


He divided the students into two opposing groups and ran the drill with the whole class at once, which consisted of various starting positions so that the students would have a good base to build off of went the scenarios started.


Bill then explained the "Get off the X Drill" which is a movement based drill.


The drill started off slow, with varying starting positions and movement incorporated.


This allowed students to gain repetitions in order to properly understand the concepts.


Then more movement was added.


Bill ran each student individually through the "Get off the X Drill" which involved more movement than before.



Each student was given the opportunity to work through their particular gear setup and deployment.




After that, the scenarios began.  Students took turns being the dedicated bad guys and good guys.  The scenarios were the same for each student, though there were multiple scenarios.



Bill went over each the concept of each scenario with each student, in the beginning this seemed tedious but there is a reason it had to be done this way, it laid the concepts for what was to come.



After the first set of scenarios, Bill got some training tools out to simulate a weapon attack.




These scenarios gave students the opportunity to rep fast paced drawing of their pistol, movement and shooting while moving.







There were numerous scenarios played out in this part and that took the class well into the afternoon.  The day finished up with some very fast paced scenarios.



First Half (Day Two)

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Day two started off with one of Bill's very specific mindset talks.  While I have heard this mindset talk numerous times, as well as where some of it originated from, this mindset talk is uniquely something Bill presents in every class.  It is designed around wrapping the real world use, and application, of violence.  It encompasses what ready means and much of what requires of a person in order to be ready.  Bill ends his mindset talk with his belief of grounding in faith, what that means to him and why we would all do well to figure out what we believe in.


After the mindset talk, everyone got their live gear on and the students ran through a very specifically designed cold-bore drill which has been developed specifically by Bill to build off of the mindset talk he just delivered.



The goal being to start off at around 25 yards and work your way down to the target, no time limit, but there is some conversation involved.  There is a hard target at a distance determined solely by the shooter.




It is a good drill which I have adopted myself when I am on the range, especially with people who do not generally shoot these types of drills.


The credit card was the hard target, and a miss is something which should be seriously considered.


After the live fire cold-bore drill, everyone downloaded and we went through a safety check.  Bill explained some concepts of his Integrated Combatives class and that he wanted to go over some of them so that when the students begin to go hands on they have instruction and purpose, rather than unconscious incompetence.


Bill went over upper cut elbows and cross elbow entries, as well as other concepts.

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Bill always goes over the concept of reactionary gap, specifically because it is extremely important and the majority of instructors out there have not been explaining it until recently.  This is a demonstration which Tuhon Tom Kier has been showing for a very long time.


Students burn reps of elbow strikes and entries.


Then Bill went into blade protocol (with his headhunterblades.com Dirty Blade), and a modified version of the Sayoc template 3 of 9.


Bill explained why he likes this template and how it is applicable.



Bill showed the template to the students, while explaining other concepts like scarecrowing and leakage.



Bill went over how this template, when coupled with spear elbow entries, allow for effective deployment of various weapon systems.


Bill went over various techniques for disarming a threat which is pointing a pistol at you.


The students rep'd each technique which was demonstrated.


Bill showed his approach to stuffing a draw stroke.


How effective the technique is depends on if you can gain access to their weapon system with their hands being restrained.


Students rep'd this technique.


Lunch (medical talk)
During the short "working lunch" Bill wanted to go over some medical things which he believes any Responsible Armed Citizen should have and/or know how to use.  Bill went over various tourniquets on the market right now, as well as bandages/gauze, hemostatics and other life saving medical items.  We were fortunate to have a doctor, in a medical field, in the class who was able to give his personal opinion on some of the concepts and items presented.


Second Half (Day Two)
The class then got right back into scenario work, this time around everything ran a lot smoother as everyone knew how the process worked.  Everyone cycled through the scenarios as good guys and bad guys took turns.





Everyone then moved onto vehicle based scenarios.


Since we spend a lot of time in, and around vehicles, Bill wanted to make sure the students had real world applicable knowledge which stemmed from research of how car jacking was done.  You can watch carjackings on liveleak to see how these things go down, so knowing how and what to do before something like this abruptly occurs is very important.


Bill goes over the concepts and instructions for each scenario.



Students then go through the scenarios as good and bad guys, so that they can see what is visible and what is not.


After wards, Bill has the students run another scenario of being inside a restaurant.  This can mimic situations which involve being inside a store and watching a robbery develop.  Knowing what to do in that particular situation is extremely important.


Conclusion
This class, much like each of the classes I have attended with Bill, is packed full of extremely important lessons and concepts.  Being able to walk through a violent encounter, either inside your vehicle, inside a store or while out in the world is very important.  Being given the core concepts which apply to these situations, and having them built upon, as you burn reps is paramount to effectively seeing the precursors and overcoming these deadly situations.  Bill's approach is not only logical, but developed in such a way that a student understands why a particular concept exists and what that concept applies to, and how to implement it effectively.

The only issues which I saw was that the C02 plastic BB-guns were not particularly up to the task of repeated scenario work.  Sure, simunitions would be an awesome tool, but they are also pretty expensive and airsoft does the same thing and is more applicable to this particular training.  Hits and accuracy are extremely important, but the tactics are more important here, and that was very clear.  If your tactics were not properly applied and supported by effective techniques, your accuracy did not matter as you will not be able to implement the weapon systems.

This is a class I would highly recommend for those who want to take a step into a stressful environment which allows for self-development and assessment of skill sets.  One thing each student left this class with was where their personal understanding of training requirements were and what they needed to work on.  The drills and concepts were based in reality, the lessons were designed in such a way that the students were given more than just tactics, they were given a formula on how to strengthen their capabilities in the application of violence in the real world.

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