June 5-6th, 2020 we hosted the Weaponized Geometry course with Kinetic Consulting. Learning happened, people were shot, egos were bruised.
Great class. So much information that that I assumed I knew, that I absolutely didn’t! Weaponized Geometry is a very humbling class, but if you truly want to be able to defend/protect what’s yours it’s invaluable.
What was expected to happen?
Close Quarters Combat is more than just running around a house with a gun. In this class, we will cover the basics to CQB, using geometry to your advantage, and the intricacies of working alone. This class will not be team based. It is solo clearance and skills that would also work in a team setting (think: single officer response type scenario or bump in the night, I need to clear my home scenario). All the shooting will be done with UTM Pistol non-lethal training munitions.
This is a Non-lethal munition based course using UTM marking rounds (Provided). NO LIVE AMMUNITION WILL BE USED
(2 days, 16-hour class)
- Day 1 will be concepts, techniques, and tactics
- Day 2 will be force-on-force scenarios
- Class begins at 0900 and goes until 1700
- UTM Pistol and ammo are included in the tuition for the course
Who can attend? Anyone who has safe firearm handling skills.
What actually occurred?
Training Day 1 started with an approximately 3 hour classroom session. If one had to summarize what this classroom session (and the entire course, really) was about in one sentence, it would be this:
Learning to minimize exposure and maximize lethality…
The classroom learning covered brief sections on how our brain works in different states of stress, how we react, what reactions we may be able to train and change and how to manage some of those we cannot change.
Jon filled us in on the “3 deadly errors” that we need to watch for an avoid. This lead into our discussion about “priorities of life” and how we each need to develop our own list and prioritize it in a safe, controlled setting (so we are not having to think about and make those decisions in a super stressful environment for the first time).
Next we learned more about the “geometry” and how the “priorities of work” and what features of a building would be a priority in certain situations. We wrapped up the classroom session with an in depth discussion of “Jon’s Equation”… which you will need to sign up for a class with Kinetic Consulting to learn about 😉
The last few hours of the day were spent in the shoot house while walking through various techniques in the following fashion:
- Talk/walk through with a demonstration
- “Airgunning” it with some buddies, getting some dry reps in with constructive criticism from other students and Jon
- Running it “live” against paper targets with UTM pistols (provided by Kinetic Consulting as part of the course fees)
Training Day 2 started out with a quick outdoor classroom session to review the previous day and expand upon some of the lessons learned in the shoot house the day before. Then a brief dry run session airgunning with other students warmed us up for what we had for the rest of the day. Then the REAL fun and real learning started…
The rest of Day 2 was spent working individually through a progression starting with 1 potential “bad guy” to 3 potential “bad guys” in the building. As we entered, the only thing we knew ahead of time was the potential number of bad guys (only due to the fact that we knew who in the group was playing OPFOR / Opposing Force).
In between drills we would throw together a more fun, but still useful, “games” like some good old fashioned dueling with a few twists thrown in to make it more applicable to what we were trying to learn.
What went well and why?
I’m quite excited to point this out, but during this course there were more notes taken by more people than ever before in any of the courses we have hosted! This is encouraging to see and particularly exciting for me to point out (you would understand if you had read ANY of my other AARs) and I view it as a major step forward and a great progression for our group.
I recently took Kinetic Consulting’s Weaponized Geometry class hosted by Pew Pew Solutions. This class really did a good job at teaching the fundamentals of one man room clearing. Jon is an incredible instructor who really pays a lot of attention to each individual student, giving everyone an individual breakdown after each run through the shoot house. You can really tell he genuinely cares about making sure everyone is learning and having fun. I would recommend this class to anyone who carries concealed or plans to defend their home with a firearm. In short, taking this class is a must.
Another aspect that went particularly well during this course was the fact that EVERYONE seemed to be quite invested and interested in helping EVERYONE improve. This was very transparent during this training, due to the fact that most drills were run with Jon instructing just one individual shooter at a time. This allowed the rest of the group to sit around and shoot the bull, but also to discuss methodology, debrief their previous run etc etc. Also due to the nature of the training, after we had shot a drill we had the chance to observes others from the catwalk in the shoot house. This allowed us to both learn from observation and also provide additional feedback to the shooters, from a different perspective (literally).
Very worthwhile class – perfect balance of classroom and shoot house instruction. The classroom information was relied on heavily during the shoot house scenarios. In other words, the classroom information was 100% relevant and gave foundation to the shoot house scenarios. For me, Jon’s style of teaching with science and humor was incredibly engaging. And his energy and desire to “do better” were inspiring. I liked that he taught principles instead of absolutes (leaving some room for interpretation and variation since the dynamic nature of CQB makes absolutes unrealistic). At the same time, however, Jon provided concrete instruction regarding concepts, techniques, and tactics. So concrete that I left with a detailed list of things I personally need to work on. Much of my list came from one-on-one feedback Jon was only able to provide because he took time to get to know me (and understand my level of competence) during the course. I left very humbled, but energized.
The course curriculum is obviously well thought out and structured. Jon did a great job adapting to our group and training environment. Although the techniques taught are important, the force on force drills proved to be incredibly useful in reinforcing the principles taught and accelerated learning greatly. Without the force on force, I think the learning would have been hampered.
What can be improved and how?
Course Host / Organizer
Hosting a course I have never taken is always challenging. Every time I do my best to learn as much as possible about the particular course, to help better prepare the information on the website and be able to answer questions. I think if I had to pick a single thing to improve for next time I host a course I have not done before it would be to ensure that I host and record a live Q&A session with the instructor ahead of time. Reading words on a page is great, but hearing the instructor summarize the curriculum and answer questions about it is worth a whole lot to someone who might not feel comfortable signing up without more info. I also think that being better prepared going into a course makes for a better learning experience.
Throughout and after the course, I was able to speak to and collect suggestions from the participants the feedback seemed to focus around 2 main points:
1 – A more focused, concise debrief
Don’t take the suggestion above as an indication that Jon didn’t debrief, or that his debriefs were not adequate in any way. There were a handful of times when the debrief after a run through the shoot house ran a bit long and those not involved in the drill got a bit restless. I had a good discussion with Jon about using a more formal, structured debrief with the express intention of keeping it “brief” while still being able to cover the necessary points. Hmmmm… this give me an idea for another blog post about my “DEBRIEF” model and how I use it to debrief teams that just executed (or attempted to execute) complex, potentially life threatening activities.
2- A more detailed demo AFTER each drill
Several participants mentioned that if we could save some time in the individual debriefs, then perhaps that made up time would be well spent running through a group debrief demonstration of each drill we executed. Basically a “how to do it right” drill after we all just attempted to figure it out using the individual skills that Jon had demonstrated and worked with us on.
Because of the nature of this course (single person CQB), there is a lot of rest or down time throughout the day. It is always easy to sit around and enjoy each other’s company, but there definitely could have been more deliberate efforts to improve during the down time as well. Once way to do this would be to take more video of each other running the drills, and take part of the down time to review with each other and offer helpful critiques for each other. Some times, the person watching and trying to help critique learns more than the person actually running the drill!
Don’t come into this course expecting to kick down doors, toss flashbangs and yell “clear!!”. This course is a much more reality based training experience (for those of us who are not on a breach team at least). As mentioned above, if we want to sum it all up in one statement:
Learning to minimize exposure and maximize lethality…
All in all, this is a useful course for just about anyone who carries a gun, or keeps a pistol in their home for self defense. The “force on force” aspect allows the students to experience some of the behaviors and responses discussed in the classroom portion… and also experience doing our best to have our neo-cortex or deliberate / “high human” brain override these responses with more rational, effective responses.
We will definitely be hosting this course again in the future and look forward to the development and release of “Weaponized Geometry 2” from Kinetic Consulting.
Jon served with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, deploying multiple times in various capacities. The Ranger Battalion also provided Jon with training and first hand experience in small unit tactics, airborne operations, field medicine, breaching, foreign languages and small arms.
Upon leaving the Army, Jon worked in executive protection and acted as a law enforcement consultant, molding his military experience into a contextual view of the threats faced outside of combat environments. Jon comes to the firearms industry with an ideal blend of military and citizen; shaping his courses to apply to Mil, LE and citizen students alike.