ECQC Shivworks Ground Evolutions June 2016

| June 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

Day 1 of the Shivworks ECQC class is about managing unknown contacts and working on posture and position.

Day 2 has a shooting component, then various standing grappling drills and techniques, followed up by ground work.

The final drill of Day 2 is the Ground Evolution.


Student 1 starts on their back. This is to emulate being ambushed or knocked down in a confrontation. Student 1 puts their feet on the hips of Student 2.

Student 2 starts in the standing position. They don’t have access to any tools. They may react to any tools Student 1 has, should their presence become known (e.g., by drawing, touching, or visibility during the struggle).

Student 1 may use any tools on their person once Student 2 makes a “credible” attack. This is to prevent a quick draw and shooting Student 2 while they are still standing.

Student 1 is trying to get to their feet. If they do so, the drill is over.

Student 2 is trying to keep them on the ground.

Students are expected to compete with 100% intensity, but not 100% force.



What a difference a good bottom game makes! As you can see on my “turn” on the bottom, I had some problems.

The FIST helmet protects us against Sim rounds and light contact, but it also obscures your vision quite a bit and makes breathing more difficult. When I was on bottom, I felt my partner touching my waistline. I was sure that he had my pistol, but I couldn’t see it. So I worked on his right side (my left). I figured that he didn’t have my gun when I heard people screaming at me to turn into him (the proper thing to do to escape a side mount like I was in).

It turns out that my partner threw my Clinch Pick, and I thought he had my gun. He threw my gun out later 😉

By the time I turned into partner and started to escape I was panicky and tired. I felt like I was very behind in the fight. Lack of skill, pressure, and concern contributed to my fatigue. There was a moment where I was sure if I was going to puke in Craig’s FIST helmet. I regained my composure, and did my best to escape.

But it’s clear that I need to improve my ground game, and I’m taking steps to doing that. There is a Gracie BJJ Certified Training Center gym less than 15 minutes from my house, and I’m going to pay them a visit next week.

Other Observations

About half of the folk in my 2015 class were law enforcement. They were more likely to use tools, especially knives, when things got weird. About half of the remaining pool of students also had knives, and we used them pretty judiciously.

This June’s class had a lot more experience fighting on the ground. Very few people carried knives (four out of 19/20, as far as I know), and we all carried on the body midline. The students in this class used their hand to hand skills very well, and I am going to be interested to see what happens when they start incorporating knives into their EDC.

The other byproduct of this class is disarms were much more common than in 2015. I was disarmed in at least one “turn” of every evolution. We’ve trained weapon retention before, but everything changes when you are grappling, scrambling, head fighting and then someone goes for your tools.

I wish we could do more evolutions. I can’t wait to do this class again.

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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