Advanced CQB: Introduction

Author: Instructor JB, Special Tactics

Advanced Close Quarters Battle (CQB):
Part 1 - Article Series Introduction

We will be releasing a series of articles, online courses, and books on  “Advanced Close Quarters Battle.” This short first article in the series is intended as a general introduction, and delineates what Advanced CQB is, and what it is not.

What is "Advanced CQB"  (Close Quarters Battle)?

Those who follow the evolution of CQB tactics understand there are always new, complicated, and creative techniques popping up.

While each practitioner and scholar is entitled to his opinion and not all such new techniques are necessarily “bad,” in general we believe that getting to an advanced level in CQB is not about making things more complicated or fancy. In our view, and based on a significant amount of direct personal experience at the highest levels, advanced CQB is not about learning new advanced techniques.  Rather, it is about mastering the basic techniques to an advanced level.

Truly mastering a basic technique isn’t easy; most training programs out there miss many key components of mastery.

Our upcoming articles, courses, and books will explain specific steps in great detail, focusing on three fundamental areas: movement and action refinement, tailored variations, and performance optimization techniques.

Movement and Action Refinement

At the basic level, any technique involves general descriptions of what to do and where to go.

However, even the simplest actions — such as moving through a doorway — can be broken down into fine detail. Refining fundamentals such as situational awareness, vision, biomechanics, footwork, body positioning, and weapon manipulation can improve your chances of survival and success when moving through a doorway.

One crucial reason going into this level of detail must be considered “advanced” training is that if a novice practitioner attempts to focus on these details, he will likely become overwhelmed and inwardly focused, and he will fail to maintain threat awareness. Only when you have truly mastered the larger components of a movement and made them second-nature, can you go on to refine the smaller details of that movement without overloading the brain.

Tailored Variations

When training individuals at a basic level, with time limitations, it is often most efficient to minimize variations within a technique. It is better to learn something one way very well than to learn multiple ways or variations but not master any of them.

While the value of simplicity remains, as an individual becomes more skilled and experienced, it is possible to start introducing variations in techniques based on his unique physical attributes, body mechanics, strengths, weaknesses, and personal preferences.

The more you improve, the more you can “break the rules” when it comes to tactics and techniques.

Advanced CQB training involves learning all the ways to apply variations of techniques, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each variation in different situations, knowing which variations suit specific individuals, and understanding the risks of certain technique choices.

Performance Optimization Techniques

Understanding and refining a technique and its variations is only the first step.

Truly achieving an advanced skill level in CQB or other skillsets requires understanding how to train and how to practice various tactics and techniques.

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect,” as Vince Lombardi insightfully observed.

There are both good ways and bad ways to practice.

Achieving mastery involves selecting the most effective practice techniques and continually evaluating and refining them to maximize performance improvement. This implies that you have methods of tracking and measuring performance over time.

Finally, the most effective practice techniques sometimes vary from person to person, so optimizing training time involves tailoring it to meet individual needs as well.
Future related articles:  Our upcoming publications and courses will focus on the three elements above in detail and help experienced CQB practitioners attain ever higher levels of operational effectiveness.
©Copyright Special Tactics, LLC. Published with permission.