Close Quarters Force on Force: Bed Time

| March 25, 2015 | 3 Comments

Last Saturday The She Shepherd and I attended a close quarters force on force (FoF) class with QSI Training. This was the third in their series of FoF classes, and concentrated on close quarters and/or “blitz” scenarios where students did not have much time or space to react to a threat.


Nothing good will come out of a situation that includes the phrase “put this shemagh over your face.”

I was supposed to be “sleeping,” unarmed, and unable to see. My vision was completely obscured by the shemagh scarf. When my instructor Erik Pakieser said “wake up,” I’d react to the situation.

When I pulled the shemagh off I found two men standing over me, and they started attacking me and grabbing my legs, trying to pull me off of the bed.


This was the second scariest FoF drill I’ve ever done. The most emotional one was when my wife was taken hostage. Things happen under stress. Looking at the footage now I’m a little embarrassed about yelling during the drill, but it just came out. At Rangemaster this year, one student grabbed his knife and screamed “I WILL KILL YOU!!” at his attacker.

He had no recollection of saying it.

I know a lot of places teach groin strikes, but from a pretty early age I was taught to clap, grab and pull. It has been effective in real life fights. No one likes getting their bag grabbed, and it can cause a lot of pain and injury.

I gave one of my training partners a little smack at first, and then followed up with another more forceful one. That was enough, and for training purposes he was out of the fight. I could fully concentrate on the other attacker.

I attacked his body and legs with kicks. I attempted to grab his knife from the bed, but he was on me and I had to fall back and protect myself. He was winning the drag battle, and I had to stand. At this point we clinched, and I sprawled my rear leg out and pressed him into the wall.

I was pretty scared the whole time, but the scariest moment was when I stole his folding knife. We had all disarmed earlier in the class, and I knew that his knife had an orange plastic training blade, but I didn’t want to be wrong. I looked at it both before and after I opened it to make sure I wasn’t going to stab my instructor and friend with a real blade.

Orange = stab, so he got it in the kidneys and neck.

I could have done a few things better / differently:

  • I did not check on the first attacker when dealing with the second.
  • I did not re-address the first attacker after finishing the second. I’m sure a lot of you have been blasted in the junk before, and the pain and vomiting is usually temporary. I should have followed up.
  • Grabbing the second attacker’s knife left one of his hands free (my right hand was hand fighting). The instructor was kind enough not to elbow me in the back of the skull or do something else. I thought going for the knife was the right move, would you have done something else?
  • After deciding to go for the knife, I stopped striking and concentrated on grappling. This is due to my inexperience, if I had more training I think I could have continued to attack while accessing the knife.


All of that being said, this was the most important thing I learned:

“I don’t wear knives with clips in my pockets,” said Chris Fry of MDTS Training in New York state during our class at Rangemaster. “I don’t want people to know I am carrying a knife until the fight is on.”

I didn’t put a lot of credence in this statement when I heard it. Good luck getting a knife off of me! I thought.

Well, I just did it, and it was easy. Once I have gained a little more experience with my small knife on the body midline, I will stop carrying my two folding knives.

I’ve written this before, but force on force training is one of the most important things you can do. You will learn a lot every time, and maybe even change your philosophies and tools.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

3 Comments on "Close Quarters Force on Force: Bed Time"

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  1. QSI-Gabe says:

    I totally get what Chris Fry is saying about not carrying a knife with a clip, as it’s a clear sign of what is in there for others to see/use….but I sustain that carrying a pocket knife is like carrying a gun in regards to awareness and knowing how to defend it. Just like you’ve learned to both foul draws and defend against someone trying to draw your gun the same applies for knives. Now, is it one more thing to worry about? If you are defending against someone taking your knife you can’t get to your gun right? That’s true but I don’t think it eliminates completely the usefulness of a pocket knife. Perhaps a pocket defensive knife but remember a lot of people carry pocket knives for things other than a more tactical reason.

    As you always point out, training is the key.

  2. Thomas M Reyburn says:

    It should be noted that some states prohibit the concealed carry of a knife. The Concealed Handgun Permit in those states does not include the right to carry a concealed knife. Some states concede that the clip is a disclaimer of being concealed and you can therefore carry a knife in your pocket with a blade in excess of three inches (or whatever that state’s law is). As usual, it gets complicated. Check out your own state’s rules on this. A fixed blade knife hidden in a boot holster is illegal in most states.

  3. Kyliewyotie says:

    Interesting, and scary scenario. As always thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Also nice Mandalorian Crest patch on your attacker. Boba fett would be proud.

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