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Using the Tactical Combat Fighting Stance

Using the Tactical Combat Fighting Stance

Officers practice the Tactical Combat Fighting Stance. (Photo: APC)

By: Arthur Randolph, APCLLC Training Consultant

What is the best stance for officers in the field to work from that gives the most options in the most situations they may face while on duty? Debated and discussed often and especially during firearms training, it comes down to what they were taught and its compatibility to basic body functions under stress. Deciding what to present to students can be a challenge as well. Long standing training standards have focused on score based, distance specific courses. The courses lend themselves to stances that accomplish high score but are not readily transferable to the actual environment officers work in once they leave the range. While most range operations focus on a down range only target area, the street demands the 360 mindset. The tactics and techniques we as instructors teach our personnel need to be in line with the street, not the range.

At the range, I watch what the officers do on the line related to stances, how well they perform tasks and what is the overall outcome. Were they able to shoot accurately? Did they remain aware of the surrounding areas, move smoothly between positions or points of cover, and how fast did they get tired when covering threats for an extended period of time. Although the isosceles stance is an easy platform to shoot from, I would not want to hold a rifle or shotgun from the stance after 10 minutes.

The APCLLC staff use the, Tactical Combat Fighting Stance™ (TCFS™). The goal has been working a stance that can apply to firearms or less lethal force options, and uses natural body motions. The stance focuses on 4 elements:

1. Tactical: A well thought out plan. Going out on the streets with a “wing it” mindset gives the advantage to an adversary in a confrontation.

2. Combat: Armed confrontations are a reality of law enforcement that can occur in any community at any time.

3. Fighting: Force options to overcome resistance or repel a physical assault.

4. Stance: A body posture as a platform to apply tactics and techniques.

The stance is structured with the operator’s strong side foot half a step back from the support side foot. The knees are bent slightly to lower the body’s center of gravity, the upper body is bent forward at the hips which balances the upper body and improves long arm or side arm presentation, or empty hand movement. The end result is a stance that is stable 360 degrees. There are several advantages with the stance. The officer is facing the primary threat area but retains mobility to change direction rapidly. The stance is transferable in that it is applicable to long arm, side arm, or empty hand tactics. A lowered center of gravity helps absorb the recoil from a weapon being fired. There is greater stability if someone were to bump or shove the officer from a side or from behind, and the ability to maintain position for longer periods of time with less fatigue.

Teaching the stance like anything else can be a challenge and especially when introducing a new technique to officers who have done something the same way for a long time. We recognize that this is a way but not the only way. Presenting to officers from this point of view removes a perception of arrogance or being a “know it all” type instructor. Encourage them to test and compare this stance to what has been used in the past. Have an instructor or a participant take other stances. Push from different directions to test overall stability. With arms extended push down or back on the hands to simulate the recoil of a weapon. During each demonstration, watch for how much movement there is. How easily can the participant drop to a low position while staying focused on a target? At the end of the day take out on the road what works best for each.

For many of us, seeing is believing. At a recent course for firearms instructors, I found just explaining the stance and talking participants through it wasn’t connecting with all of them. I asked one of the participants to help to demonstrate the stance with me. I had him face me, and stand off center. He placed his support side forearm across my chest and was asked to adjust his posture to counter my weight as I leaned into his arm. In a few seconds he had moved into the TCFS™ without further instruction. The stance now made sense and he could compare it to what he had been doing in the past.

Further proof that the stance was workable in a wide range of situations came with the courses of fire that where conducted. Since they were not static but included various challenges from shooting on the move to multiple positions, each participant had substantial time to evaluate for themselves. The end result was a better prepared officer.

As I stated in the beginning, this is a way not the only way. It is a fluid stance that works in many situations and conditions. From empty hand to long arms the stance is a solid platform to work from.


+46
  • Photo_00002_max50

    Recondo99

    over 3 years ago

    2640 Comments

    Informative.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Watchman01181

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    I just came from the range a week ago where I learned the stance from a DPS Range instructor. Not only did it improve my shooting it also is a good start to defense. One ex Marine did call it the combat stance and when doing it and doing it right you are ready for just about anything that could happen this to include just pushing the subject back to get distance or to block a cheap shot. The stance gives you control your whole body is at a low ready. It didn’t take me long to get use to it and I’ve been using a different stance for about 28 years. Just give it a try and a chance. It’s not for everyone but it could save your life. Going home at the end of the day it what this job is all about. “It’s not how you die that makes you a hero it’s how you lived”. America’s most wanted

  • Photo_user_banned_big

    stevo29

    almost 5 years ago

    28 Comments

    In the Marine Corps this is called the basic combat stance there is a little difference but not much, I have found problems with this method, however I do agree that when doing the stance properly it can save your life.

  • American_flag_eagle_max50

    NewYork911

    almost 6 years ago

    1672 Comments

    After going to a High Risk Entry School 6 years ago, I changed from the Modified Weaver stance to the Tactical Stance. I have been teaching this stance now for the past three years during in-service training. I was met with resistance in the beginning, but at this point just about 90% of the department is using the technique or what I call the "Modified” isosceles stance.

  • Dsc06387_max50

    brandonosupd

    about 7 years ago

    12 Comments

    Tactically this would be the better stance.

  • Apc_max160_max50

    DOHare

    over 7 years ago

    162 Comments

    This technique merely scratches the surface of what we have to teach. If you would like more information on our training services please visit our website or contact me directly.
    Train hard, serve easy. Be Safe.
    http://www.awarenessprotectiveconsultants.net/

  • Me_in_uniform_2_max50

    calvin2

    over 7 years ago

    30 Comments

    never made much sence to give the perp an angle that was not covered by armor some of us big boys have enough of a problem with armor w/o giving someone an edge

  • In_the_woods_max50

    bigD

    over 7 years ago

    80 Comments

    In Basic SWAT school we were taught to face your target straight on for several reasons, one being you are protecting your body using the full width of your armor. I'm sure everybody remembers Trooper Mark Coates and how he went down. Not to mention one of my neighbors to the south just after Indpendence Day, Josh Norris. I see alot of guys at the range still "blading" themselves to the target, just like they were taught in POST. Personally, I prefer the more stright forward approach, similar to what this article is referring to...

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 7 years ago

    14642 Comments

    Pretty much what I was saying my brother. Learn to ALWAYS be on guard and in a balanced position that is comfortable and natural for you AND that is also one from which you can counter any attack or surprises.

  • Uniform_pic_max50

    NAPD232

    over 7 years ago

    110 Comments

    Read the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi was a 16th century samuri who is considered to be the best skilled swordsman in history. He wrote from experience, and he said to always use a natural stance. by taking a "fighting stance" you are removing yourself from your natural element.

    Always stay in a versitile stance to where you can adjust, but keep it natural.

    This stance sounds like a good thing.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 7 years ago

    14642 Comments

    Well written and VERY informative. This wasn't really taught back when I started but we learned to use this stance through trial and error and this is just about exactly what it evolved into to keep us as ready as possible for any circumstance that came up and still did not look aggressive or confrontational to the good folks but the bad guys were either surprised or knew we mean business and submitted to us instead of taking a chance with someone who is/was unprepared. Very good and thanks!

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    over 7 years ago

    14642 Comments

    Well written and VERY informative. This wasn't really taught back when I started but we learned to use this stance through trial and error and this is just about exactly what it evolved into to keep us as ready as possible for any circumstance that came up and still did not look aggressive or confrontational to the good folks but the bad guys were either surprised or knew we mean business and submitted to us instead of taking a chance with someone who is/was unprepared. Very good and thanks!

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