Force on Force : Flashlights

| February 10, 2016 | 2 Comments

I don’t know if there are many force on force classes exclusively about fighting in low light, but QSI Training put on an excellent one last Saturday.

I got to play a bad guy for most of the scenarios, which gave me multiple opportunities to get beamed in the face by flashlights.

I learned a lot, and I hope you try some of these things out on your own.


Close range (less than 5′)

  • Every flashlight in class dazzled me. I couldn’t see the student or what they were doing.
  • Extremely bright lights dazzled me for longer periods of time (2-5 seconds after the light shut off).In two cases I was unable to understand anything being said. I knew the student was making sounds ; I had no idea what those sounds meant. I also have no recollection of responding verbally, and but in watching video I apparently did.
  • The brightest lights caused me to lose my depth perception.
  • It is always good to move, but getting off the X is critical after using a light. I could only go forward towards the light. Don’t be there.
  • It is not feasible to rely on the presentation of a weapon to discourage someone you just blasted with a flashlight. I couldn’t see ANYTHING.

Mid range (5′ – 15′)

  • Only the brightest lights dazzled me.
  • The dimmest lights helped me locate the other student. The flashlight technique, and how proficient the student was with the technique, allowed me to gather a range of information. We were taught several techniques earlier in the class (and at prior live fire low light classes). The FBI technique poorly implemented revealed the most information.

Long range (15’+)

  • Flashlights had no effect on me.
  • Unless the student was using the “firefly” technique of flashing and moving, it was very easy to see the student. I feel like using the light was a disadvantage at this distance. Erik Pakieser from QSI teaches that lights are used for navigation, identification, and a weapon (in some circumstances). Students who sparingly used their lights and “strobed” me unpredictably were able to identify me while minimizing danger to themselves.
  • It was easier to track a student’s progress down a dark hall if they had powerful flashlights with focused beams. In this case, lesser quality lights were better. This made a big impact in scenarios where I ambushed students.

The light as a weapon

  • Almost any decent light (300+ lumens) seemed to disorient me at close range. The She-Shepherd gave me a nice one-two punch : several pulses of her 800 lumen light followed by a long spritz of chemical spray.
  • One student flashed me, rendering me completely blind in my right eye and about 2/3rds blind in my left. They moved quickly off my line of attack, which was great. However, he moved to my left.  I couldn’t see him clearly, but I could sense his general direction due to my remaining 1/3rd “sort-of-not-completely-annihilated” vision. Had he gone to my right, I would have had NO idea where he went.If practical, hit them with the beam, then move and blast them again. This should be done quickly.
  • Learn to strobe your light. I have constant on switches, but I can press the switch only halfway so it “strobes.”

I had a fantastic time at the class. Being the bad guy gave me a different perspective than most of the attendees. Every person who trains for self defense should take force on force, but the low light class was even more special.

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.

2 Comments on "Force on Force : Flashlights"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Martin Luther says:

    Shepherd, any differences in the use or effectiveness of weapon mounted lights as opposed to handheld?

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Excellent question — only one student remembered to deploy their weapon mounted light (they just stuck with their handheld once they encountered trouble).

      The student who remembered his WML engaged me at mid-range, and pointed the light at my CNS area instead of my face. So, no effect on me, and it illuminated him.

Post a Comment