Movement in the Firearms Training Theater
Roy George, APCLLC Training Consultant
Many firearms instructors cringe over the fact that they need to incorporate movement into their firearms semiannual qualification program. This should not be anything out of the ordinary which they teach on a regular basis even though it is spelled out in “Popow vs. Margate.” Instructors need not forget the basics. First and foremost, they need to understand the concept of what we call the Tactical Combat Fighting Stance™ or T.C.F.S. ™. The Tactical Combat Fighting Stance™ mentioned in last month’s feature article is the sole basis of movement. “Nose over toes”, “Toes, knees, hips and shoulders square to your threat” or whatever you use to train your charges is the baseline of movement.
There are three speeds in which movement takes place. Covert speed, warrant service speed, and HRT (Hostage Rescue Speed). Each one is faster than the other. All speeds must be started in the crawl before they walk mentality. Most officers have never shot on the move, but rather move to a location and engage the target or threat. This is where the finesse of the instructor takes place. The APC mentality of the three D’s is the cornerstone for instruction. First you Describe the action which you want the student to perform, second you Demonstrate what you want the student to perform and lastly you Direct the student in the actions that were described.
When starting and describing a technique of movement, the instructor should first explain to the student that they have to separate the locomotion platform from the shooting platform. The locomotion platform is the portion of the body which lies beneath the waist causing the body to move in a side to side or front to backward motion. The shooting platform is the portion of the body which lies above the waist, keeping the weapon level while shooting.
When movement on the line occurs, it is started with a walking speed with weapons dry to get the student acclimated to movement. Students are taught to keep their feet shoulder width apart, bent at the knees to act as shock absorbers, taking one step at a time. When the stimulus to move is initiated, the student moves forward, looking through the sites attempting to keep an acceptable sight picture on the threat. On the stimulus to fire, the student squeezes the trigger twice to perform a double tap on the threat.
Once the walking sequence is performed at an acceptable level by all charges on the line, a live fire sequence can be performed. At this time the instructor should evaluate the charges on the line where they stand and what time they should begin stepping up the sequence to warrant service speed and HRT speed.