Force on Force Scenario: Domestic

| March 3, 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

The student was in their two bedroom “apartment,” and heard a commotion outside.


Up front: the student would not normally allow someone into his house, but the scenario was set up this way in order for the confrontation to occur.

  • I like that the student angled themselves in such a way that I didn’t see him until it was too late. He hit me at close range in the head and upper body. He was unable to stop me before I hit my wife (sorry honey).
  • The student initially tried to manage The She-Shepherd. You can hear him saying, “get back, get back.” This is good, for several reasons. You don’t want anyone you don’t know (and even some people you do know) around you during an incident. They may try to grab onto you, grab your tools, or struggle with you. Trying to manage / contain her would also have separated her from the scene, but this part didn’t go so well.
  • We are taught not to disturb the crime scene if possible. However in this case, I think the student should have moved the weapon away from my body. In this scenario I was “dead,” but don’t count on it.
  • I touched on this before, but separating other participants from the scene is a good idea if possible. Erik Pakieser, lead firearms instructor at QSI Training, suggested that the student could have put The She Shepherd in the 2nd room and shut the door.
  • As evidenced in this and other force on force scenarios this year, it is best to control the scene before calling 911.
  • The student did a good job in describing his location and the situation to the 911 “operator,” but he changed a significant detail. He stated that two people broke into his house. Given the double-shooting, I am not sure how this would end up in court — but be very careful what you say.

    It is highly, highly recommended that you decide what you are going to say both to 911 and to responding police officers before an incident happens. QSI addresses this in the majority of their basic classes, as well as the scenario-based training they do. The best class I’ve had so far on this topic is Landing the Plane by Michael Anderson.

  • Don’t underestimate anyone once a situation unfolds. I got into a lot of heat at the Shivworks ECQC class for refusing to help a woman who claimed she was assaulted. She later stated that she planned on attacking me if I complied with her, but a lot of the students thought I was over-reacting by keeping her at a distance I deemed safe. Never assume a woman isn’t a threat — we live in an era of equality, and try to limit your emotions and bias as much as possible.

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: Domestic"

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  1. Martin Luther says:

    I never expected your wife to attack the other guy after he shot you. I was thinking of her as the “victim” in this scenario. If I had been there I probably would have underestimated her as well.

    Did anyone retreat to the second room and let the husband and wife have it out with each other? If the guy would have retreated to the next room and you could not see him, would you have just shot your wife and left? This scenario made me think that if two people are fighting in my front room I could take up a defensive position in a separate room, call 911 and engage any aggressors who come looking for me. Thoughts?

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Awesome questions. We were instructed to fight whether the student got involved or not. Both students who went through this scenario opened the door to let The She Shepherd in. If they did not, we would have “fought” outside the door. As Erik says, “doing nothing is always an option.” The QSI scenarios are designed to force the student to make a decision, but the student gets to decide WHAT that decision is.

      So, to answer your question, I would have shot her and then shot myself. In the second go-round I had a knife, so I would have just left.

      Your plan on retreating to someplace safe and calling for professionals is the safest and most reasonable thing to do. As Erik discussed with the students, that’s a moral decision that’s difficult to make in real life but it’s the standard answer. You could apply the same rule if you’re at a party and people get drunk (I’ve gone through that scenario in FoF), or if you see people fighting on the “street” (been there, done that, FoF and real life).

      People who are suddenly and unexpectedly involved in public violence typically have no idea who the aggressor is. Getting involved could save someone’s life or be a big mistake. It’s up to you, your morality, and your training.

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