Close Quarters Force on Force: Dark Alley

| March 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

Last Saturday The She Shepherd and I attended a close quarters force on force (FoF) class taught by QSI Training.

This was the third FoF course in a series from QSI this year. They previously hosted an Active Shooter FoF class and a Common Scenarios class (you can read my write ups about a bar holdup and 2-on-1 fight).

This class focused on close quarters and/or blitz scenarios. There was no time for a “tape loop” or de-escalation or escape. Many of the drills were conducted in very confined spaces with attackers from behind or tough angles.


This scenario involved walking to a different room in the training facility. Seems easy, right?


The lights were shut off during the last part of the route. I was lucky to have a flashlight on hand, but some students did not have one. The She Shepherd had a dead battery (check your lights and optics, people!).

I looked at the area before I went down the hallway. I didn’t see anyone, and as I started down the hall I looked over my shoulder. Still nothing. It wasn’t until I was about a foot or two from the door that the two attackers started running towards me.

The door was locked. Of course. Thanks, Erik.

My everyday carry flashlight is the 800 lumen Olight M18 Striker. It paid off in several ways during this scenario. By bouncing the light off of the ceiling, I was able to see more of the hallway while walking. When the fight was on, I used it to blind the two attackers. Both participants remarked they had no idea where I was, and basically ran blindly into my gun fire.

I had very little time to react. The verbal challenge is “POLICE! Don’t move! Drop your weapon!” but I only managed to get out “Puh!” before I knew I had to shoot. The hallway measured just over 20 feet, so this video reinforces how quickly people can close distances.

We are taught to get off the X as quickly as possible. In this case, it was just about two feet. However, combined with the flashlight and the small movement, I was not where the attackers originally saw me. In the event that my shots were ineffective, perhaps even just a little movement would have made a difference.

I have been trained to fire four round bursts from pistol caliber weapons. In this case, I fired three to the first attacker, then three to the second, and then a final shot to the first attacker. I fired the last shot because he was still moving towards me. Watching the video later, I learned that he was falling towards me, and my final round struck him in the face.

Another thing I didn’t realize until watching the footage is that I shot from a low, very close retention position. I covered the second assailant with my pistol (he was standing up to recover, but the instructor had not called off the drill). That’s when I realized that I was shooting from a position lower than the ready position (where my pistol is just under chin height, and close to my body). I probably fired from the “rock and lock” position, wherein the pistol is near the bottom of my rib cage.

Force on Force Dark Alley-0 (2)


This is another reason why it’s important to practice shooting from different positions.

At no point did I attempt to use my sights. I don’t know if I could have used my sights if I wanted to. In talking with The She Shepherd, she didn’t use her sights all day, either. This is not to say that we should never use our sights, but to drive home that at certain distances in certain situations you may not look for your sights. In these cases, it is important to have received training on how to fire via body indexing or sight focus (usually lumped together as “point shooting). Of greater importance, you need to practice and train.

Hit wise, all of the rounds hit the intended targets. It is hard to tell on the video how many of them were body midline shots (our target is basically the spine). The first attacker was hit on either side of his zipper, which is good. I am pretty sure I hit the second assailant in the stomach, then in the spine as he rotated, and then in the stomach again. Really hard to tell, but this further validates why we should strive for that four round burst.


I believe that students of fight focused training should do as much force on force work as possible. I am getting to the point where I feel like this is the most important training we can get. It really drives home the importance of quick access to your tools, movement, situational awareness, and the importance of options. As you’ll see in future videos, sometimes your firearm is not the best option — or even an option at all.

Also, flashlights are very important.

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.

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