CT SPIKE Weekend
This weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time with a group of folks looking to be more responsible with their firearms. SPIKE is a group of started by a nice ol gentleman named Bo Gritz in the early 90′s. Long before “Katrina” and “Hurricane Andrew” Bo noticed a trend in society. A coming ‘softness’ and ‘sloth’ as it was. He recognized the need for civilian leaders and organizers BEFORE something catastrophic happens. Taking lessons from the Special Operations community, he drew the fundamentals of a ‘force multiplier’ and formed Specially Prepared Individuals for Key Events. People that could teach others, how to thrive in a world gone to hell.
The SPIKE program centers around getting a core group together, with focus’ on the key elements of team building. Leadership, Ops, Communications, Medical, Logistics. Each group is cross trained in at least one other area, and proficient enough to teach others to their level of knowledge. Personally, I’m an Ops guy, and to a lesser extent Logistics. I can put things in place before I need them, or know where to source them quickly if pre staging isn’t reasonable. This weekend, was all about my primary skill though. Ops.
I am, for lack of a better word, the CT SPIKE group’s go to guy for weapons understanding. My background lends to a certain proficiency and these guys began picking it up from the get go. This weekend we spent from Friday night to Sunday night focusing on weapon manipulations with a defensive mindset. Not offensive mind you, but defensive. There are two primary reasons for this:
Firstly, it’s called defense for a reason. It’s usually a spontaneous attack, that doesn’t jive with your current activity. Most folks recognize that ‘hair standing up’ feeling when they enter a dark alley, back out, and go a different route. Or are focused on getting to a restaurant to have dinner, when the threat presents itself.
Second, if you bring the threat to you, you own the tempo of the encounter. If you can’t ‘get away’ then it’s better to have a pre-set plan in mind and tactics to call upon when the need arises. Most folks when they are given a new set of variables, pause or ‘freeze’ for a moment. This pause is the mind adjusting to the new variables, and forming an adequate response. (I call it the difference between Battle Readiness, and Bladder Emptiness)
If we train, under actual scenarios, then we can better build those adequate responses, and minimize the mental lag of building them on the fly, under stress or threat. This past weekend, was all about running the drills, and breaking them down into their component parts, good, ill, and adjusting as needed. This group was as diverse as it gets. There were Service members from multiple branches of our nation’s military. From Rangers and Marines, to Navy Special Warfare and Local Law Enforcement. From Competition Shooters, to folks borrowing weapons and gear for the day.
Friday night, we started out with a lecture on the law of the land. Use of force in the state of CT, it’s important to know these things for the basis of understanding you can’t just think, “I have a gun, if I get in over my head, I’ll shoot my way out of the pool.” As I’ve said before, I won’t train folks with improper mind sets or shitty intentions. After the legal aspects were fully understood, we started out with empty gun manipulations. This allows us to see who watches too many cop shows, and where we need to focus training and habit forming for the rest of the weekend.
Saturday was the start of live fire day, focusing on the handgun as the primary weapon system. It’s cool and sexy to think you’re going to have a rifle with you if things go sideways, but we live in a ‘run what you brung’ reality. If you left your rifle in the car, or the closet, that’s where it stays until you can get there. Once the group had mastered the fundamentals of pistol manipulation and moving around other people, that may or may NOT be a threat, we moved on to transitioning. Bringing the rifle in and out of the fight and getting a secondary firearm into play. With varying levels of skill, this can become a difficult task if not managed properly. But this group worked into and out of this training phase like pros.
Sunday was the fastest day the students would deal with. Everything would be brought to bear, in a session revolving around working out of a vehicle, use of cover, finding dominant defensible positions, and uncommon firing positions. All culminating with a Mad Minute so ferocious the State PD showed up due to a noise complaint. Which was in and of itself a learning opportunity for the students. All parties acted highly appropriately and we all went home without so much as a verbal warning. (kudos to two very good Troopers)
All in all, a great course, based on realistic scenarios. The premise of MANY ranges is that you only point down range, and your weapon is empty and open when you leave the firing line. Personally, that’s just not life like, or realistic. From the moment the students began the day, they were on a live range. Guns were everywhere and it was THEIR responsibility to maintain proper discipline and control. If things were left out, then things got disassembled and thrown to the four corners. A trick that brings a smile to my face, but was a trick left in my magic bag this time. These folks kept right on their toes and performed exceptionally well.
Please email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a class in your community today. Don’t miss the ACTION!!!
Thanks to the CT SPIKE TEAM, and to our Hosts as well.
Great Job, stay safe and remember, Muzzles Front!!
Rob Higgins to Spike CT
“Thanks to All that came out this weekend and worked their asses off!! Chris Byrne Thanks for hosting us all. Angel Fernandez Thanks for coming by and helping out with the ‘majic magazine.’ Al KimThanks for bringing the ol Sergent and your lens. Thomas SeboldThank you for your ‘old hat’ wisdom. Ben WhiteThank you for the dedicated travel time!! John Adams Your metal skills were a great help and the use of your big blue love truck, made for some dynamic transitions!!
EVERYONE made this weekend one of my favorite Courses so far”!