Force on Force Scenario: Date Night

| April 25, 2016 | 2 Comments

On Saturday, February 20th we attended force on force scenario based training offered by QSI Training. The class was similar to the one in January – common environments and scenarios based on real events.

Class Overview

This is an extremely brief description of the course.

  • 7 students, 6 male, 1 female
  • Students had varying levels of experience with firearms, other tools, and fight focused training. Most students were repeat students, with several live fire and force on force classes under their belts.
  • Students used Airsoft replicas of their carry weapons. I also had the safety trainer version of my Clinch Pick.
  • Conducted at the SCALE training facility, which was a former health sanitarium turned tactical training facility by the state of Minnesota. The facility has a mock apartment complex, jail, convenience store, courthouse, and bar.
  • Students who participated as “actors” in each scenario were given varying specific direction by the instructors. Sometimes we were told we had no weapons and how to react, other times we were given weapons and little guidelines.
  • The focused of each scenario was given limited direction, such as “go down this hall with a bag of groceries,” or “use this cash to buy this list of things at this store.”
  • Elements were changed if students repeated the same scenario. No one did the same scenario in the same location with the same situation with the same number of other actors. Something was always different.
  • Most scenarios had multiple paths to resolution. Many students could resolve situations without getting involved, or without firing a shot. One students didn’t fire a round all day – except when role playing an aggressor.
  • There was an after action review after every scenario. The QSI instructors explained the scenario, what was done well, what needed improvement, what could be done differently, and any historical context behind the scenario.

The Scenario

I was instructed to meet my wife and a friend of ours at the local bar. This was unusual ; we typically aren’t told that we know any of the participants ahead of time.


It’s hard to see on camera, but the student in the black hoodie was standing up in a weird spot near the door. I entered the bar, and his stance and demeanor threw a flag. He’s the reason I say “what’s up guys” at the beginning of the video.

Since I “knew” my training partner in this scenario, I was able to ask him to validate my concerns about the other person. This a technique directly from partner tactics training from Erik Pakieser at QSI Training. He replied that the guy wasn’t acting oddly.

As soon as that conversation was over the lights snapped off and all hell broke loose.

I’ve taken several low-light / no-light live fire classes before. I’ve also taken low-light force on force classes and participated in low-light FoF drills. I knew that my chances of success would be greater if I was proactive, not reactive. I wanted to ambush the attacker(s), not respond to their attack.

I waited and was patient. I had my Glock Airsoft pistol in my right hand, and Olight M18 flashlight in my left. I did not challenge the target. This was an active shooter situation, and if I was to be successful I needed to counter-attack, not negotiate.

I did exactly what I have been trained to do — indexed my pistol, illuminated the area, and fired. The first four round burst was great.

Then I did something that worked out for me, but not for the right reasons.

I used the corner of the wall for cover and concealment. You can see the attacker’s Airsoft pellets going by me. This was good.  I fired my second burst of four shots. I flattened myself more and more against the wall.

Eventually this completely bladed my body. I was unable to see the attacker with both eyes. I relied on the peripheral vision of my right eye and my point shooting training from Suarez International.

To simulate my posture (since you can’t see it on camera), extend your right arm as if you were shooting one-handed. Move your right arm towards your right and put your chin on your right shoulder. Close your right eye. Keep moving your arm until you can’t see your hand any more. Open your right eye.

My shots all hit, but I feel that I should not have attempted the second burst.

We can go back through the footage and rationalize why it was OK — there wasn’t anyone in the background, I was still bio-indexing on the attacker, etc. etc. — but we should strive to have confidence in every trigger press. I was not as confident here as I wanted to be.

After the shooting was over I had to check for any additional threats, make sure I was okay, and make sure everyone else was okay. I also had to make sure that the attacker was down. Since this was a private setting with many witnesses, I kicked the gun away from the attacker once I was sure he wasn’t moving.

I pointed my handgun purposefully at two other people after the shooting stopped. The guy in the hoodie jumped up to run — when I saw he was exiting I stopped pointing my gun at him. I muzzled another participant who was behind me, next to my training partner/friend. They had moved during the shooting and I wasn’t sure if they were an attacker or not. I shined him with my flashlight, determined he was OK, and then went back to assessing the room.

I kept my pistol in Sul otherwise, which was good.

I normally direct a specific bystander to call 911. I did so reflexively, and then I remembered my friend was there! So I asked him to call, trusting that he’d do a better job than some random person. He called, and after making sure the attacker wasn’t moving I holstered the pistol and waited for the police to arrive.

This was a great class, and I believe every student serious about fight focused training should spend a significant amount of their time doing force on force scenarios.

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 Scenario: Date Night"

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  1. Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

    Two good questions from a reader:

    1) Why didn’t I switch hands to shoot / illuminate? This would have exposed a lot less of my body and head.

    Honest answer: it never occurred to me. I also drew my flashlight first, which would have made an interesting pass. Ideally I would draw my pistol first, transfer from right hand to left, and then get my flashlight.

    2) Why was I so close to the corner and the wall? 🙂

    Honest answer: I did not give any thought to standoff. Standoff is something I’ve been training more and more the last two years, but as you can see in the footage I still reverted to lizard brain and put my body against the wall.

    Good questions, thanks for asking!

  2. Hawkeye says:

    Thank you for this. I’m looking for some Force-on-Force training in my state that isn’t Tactical Response. Your site has inspired this search. Thank you again.

Post a Reply to Hawkeye