Curing the Tactical Turtle

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Ryan
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Curing the Tactical Turtle

Post by Ryan » Tue May 19, 2015 2:38 pm

CQB-TEAM Education and Motivation.

"Pragmatism over theory."
"Anyone with a weapon is just as deadly as the next person."
"Unopposed CQB is always a success, if you wanted you could moonwalk into the room holding a Pepsi."

Eiffel
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Re: Curing the Tactical Turtle

Post by Eiffel » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:23 am

Most of his "rebuttal" strikes me as a load of crap and his nitpicking at every point sounds more like pure defensiveness than logic.

1. I have never heard of anyone looking down to widen their field of view. I'm not an FBI agent, but from my understanding of vision and physiology, this is not how it works. If anything, you should have the widest and largest useful field of view by keeping your head vertical. This is something I first heard from Frank Proctor, a former SF man, SFAUC instructor, and USPSA Grandmaster. I'll take his creds and the physiology over some "old FBI trick" any day.

2. I simply don't see how hunching your shoulders makes you a much smaller target. If you're smaller it's because you're leaned forward. If you read carefully, the article never says you can't lean forward. The entire focus of the article is about the relationship between your head, shoulders, and neck.

3. He claims that it's somehow good for the Body Alarm Response to tuck in the head, because it will help protect your vital areas. This is pure stupidity, as I've never met a man who's jaw was hard enough to stop a 7.62x39 round. (The issue of whether we can overcome the body alarm response is separate, in my mind).

4. He says if the "tactical turtle" stance causes you to not be able to scan and assess, lower your shoulders. This is the entire point of the article in the first place, so...

5. He also claims that your shoulders shouldn't feel fatigued while in this stance, which strikes me as a load of shit. Now, I don't actually turtle anymore, but trying to shrug your shoulders up with a plate carrier on is probably not something I'd want to do for more than 5 minutes at a time, let alone an entire range session. Also, pretending that tendonitis doesn't happen when shooting is obliviousness. If you just google it, you'll see that plenty of people have gotten mild cases of tendonitis from pistol shooting, even with a 9mm. Furthermore, his argument about the length of an average shooting is totally irrelevant. You probably want to train before you get in a self-defense shooting, so here we are again, talking about a 2 hour shooting session.

6. His vague argument about how the battlefield is "dynamic" and "unpredictable" doesn't actually say anything. If the best pistol shooters in the world use a certain technique that doesn't actually endanger you in any meaningful way, I don't see why I wouldn't want to use it on the "battlefield".

7. Furthermore, his talk about using the body alarm response in conjunction with good shooting technique is a bit of a red herring. The entire point of the article is that lowering your shoulders is a better shooting technique. Then this guy claims that if the technique is preventing you from shooting well, you should adjust it, which is the entire point of the article in the first place.

8. Based on watching his stance and demonstrations at the end, I can only conclude that he's completely misunderstood the article. Fair enough, it was shittily written, but I don't think this makes his turtle stance any better.

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Re: Curing the Tactical Turtle

Post by Ryan » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:11 am

Very well thought-out and written reply. Thank you!
CQB-TEAM Education and Motivation.

"Pragmatism over theory."
"Anyone with a weapon is just as deadly as the next person."
"Unopposed CQB is always a success, if you wanted you could moonwalk into the room holding a Pepsi."

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Re: Curing the Tactical Turtle

Post by jimothy_183 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:45 pm

Eiffel wrote:1. I have never heard of anyone looking down to widen their field of view. I'm not an FBI agent, but from my understanding of vision and physiology, this is not how it works. If anything, you should have the widest and largest useful field of view by keeping your head vertical. This is something I first heard from Frank Proctor, a former SF man, SFAUC instructor, and USPSA Grandmaster. I'll take his creds and the physiology over some "old FBI trick" any day.
I have to agree with this at the moment as I cannot find any supporting statements about increased FOV with tilting the head forward. However, I don't think that you lose any FOV either as long as you don't tilt your head down too much.

Too much head lean

Acceptable amount of head lean
Eiffel wrote:2. I simply don't see how hunching your shoulders makes you a much smaller target. If you're smaller it's because you're leaned forward. If you read carefully, the article never says you can't lean forward. The entire focus of the article is about the relationship between your head, shoulders, and neck.
Yes, leaning forward does help with creating a smaller target of yourself along with bending the knees and shifting (not so mch leaning) the head forward and down a little bit.
Eiffel wrote:3. He claims that it's somehow good for the Body Alarm Response to tuck in the head, because it will help protect your vital areas. This is pure stupidity, as I've never met a man who's jaw was hard enough to stop a 7.62x39 round. (The issue of whether we can overcome the body alarm response is separate, in my mind).
My first issue with this point is that yes someone's jaw will not stop a bullet but when it comes to knives it might help give some initial protection so the shooter can respond to the threat if they are surprised.

My second issue with this is why try and train out of survival behaviours when you can use it as leverage, to your advantage? It's like trying to fight against gravity, it is there by nature so there's no use trying to train to overcome it.

Below is a video and a quote from the description box.


hightthreatsystems wrote:CQB that starts as immediate entry and changes to limited penetration upon resistance. Probably some of the best precision CQB work caught on video and available to the public. Ask why he thought immediate entry was the way to go until there was an actual threat. Survival behaviors override trained out of context tactical behaviors.
The part that I put in bold and underlined is highly relevant to this debate here. While that video is about CQB tactics and this thread is about shooting stance/positions the application is all the same.

Along with that I would also highly recommend Andy Stanford's book "Surgical Speed Shooting" which talks about the body alarm response and how it is relevant to shooting. Another thing he talks about in his book is how these types of stances/positions are optimised for shooting from a pure marksmanship standpoint and when it comes to combat shooting it is not the optimal way to go. He goes on to write that combat shooting techniques will always have trade offs. For example relaxing the shoulders like competition shooters do will allow for better recoil absoption than raising the shoulders like in the "turtle" which is the natural body alarm response. On the other hand working with the body alarm response is more suitable for combat when you are in fear for your life and will do what is natural to you.

Another example in the book would be foot positioning. While having a square up stance is good for a natural point of aim which optimises it from a marksmanship standpoint it is suggested that the "strong" (if you still use that term) side foot goes back a little bit into a more "boxer" stance to allow for ease of transition to hand to hand from shooting if need be. Again one is optimised for marksmanship only the other is optimised for combat shooting.
Eiffel wrote:4. He says if the "tactical turtle" stance causes you to not be able to scan and assess, lower your shoulders. This is the entire point of the article in the first place, so...
Personally I have not had a problem with scanning and assessing as long as the raising of the shoulders and lowering of the head is not exaggerated. Take a look at this picture.

Where it says "Almost - head too low" is an example of an exaggertion. I would call this the true tactical turtle. Then look at the bottom right where it says "win perfection" is still raising his shoulders and lowering his head into a "sort of" turtle position. Look at where his eyes are. I don't know about what other people think but I'm pretty sure he would not have trouble observing the environment if he just shifted his eyes left/right or turned his head left/right.
Eiffel wrote:5. He also claims that your shoulders shouldn't feel fatigued while in this stance, which strikes me as a load of shit. Now, I don't actually turtle anymore, but trying to shrug your shoulders up with a plate carrier on is probably not something I'd want to do for more than 5 minutes at a time, let alone an entire range session. Also, pretending that tendonitis doesn't happen when shooting is obliviousness. If you just google it, you'll see that plenty of people have gotten mild cases of tendonitis from pistol shooting, even with a 9mm. Furthermore, his argument about the length of an average shooting is totally irrelevant. You probably want to train before you get in a self-defense shooting, so here we are again, talking about a 2 hour shooting session.
You shouldn't be in that stance/position for long periods of time anyway. Also there's no rule that says you must stick with one technique at all times as you can adjust and adapt to different tools in the toolbox as necessary.

Take a look at this video. No one says there that you must stick with one thing at all times, you can adapt to different techniques when the situation around you changes.

Bringing it back to pistol shooting, if you are not activly shooting take up a ready position and relax your shoulders to rest. And if you must have your pistol up in the extended position with a sight picture for extended periods of time, that's when you should adapt your technique to something that takes up less energy and is more relaxing.
Eiffel wrote:6. His vague argument about how the battlefield is "dynamic" and "unpredictable" doesn't actually say anything. If the best pistol shooters in the world use a certain technique that doesn't actually endanger you in any meaningful way, I don't see why I wouldn't want to use it on the "battlefield".
I would agree that pistol shooters techniques wouldn't endanger you in combat but at the same time I don't see it as being the optimal solution either.
Eiffel wrote:7. Furthermore, his talk about using the body alarm response in conjunction with good shooting technique is a bit of a red herring. The entire point of the article is that lowering your shoulders is a better shooting technique. Then this guy claims that if the technique is preventing you from shooting well, you should adjust it, which is the entire point of the article in the first place.
Refer to my rebuttal to point 3 and 5.
Eiffel wrote:8. Based on watching his stance and demonstrations at the end, I can only conclude that he's completely misunderstood the article. Fair enough, it was shittily written, but I don't think this makes his turtle stance any better.
Probably. Everyone seems to be giving a lot of hate from both sides of the debate and I just don't quite get it. Perhaps it's a lot to do with misunderstandings from both sides?

Take a look at this and you will see a lot of people dissing the "c clamp/thumb over bore" technique in rifle shooting. Here is a quote from that FB thread that I think is quite relevant:
Hyrum Grissom wrote:The reality is "what works" & the next generation of skills often get buried under the beauracracy of Big Army. Thumb over bore certainly has its place in rapid fire close quarters. But it wasn't that long ago that the military was still teaching teacup/saucer weaver for pistol. LEO SWAT & Spec Ops are where the next generation of skills developed in the world of games via 3 gun & IPSC are being beaten into fighting worthy weapons.
semper acer , semper velox , semper trux , semper promptus

Eiffel
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Re: Curing the Tactical Turtle

Post by Eiffel » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:42 pm

About body alarm response: I personally have my doubts about this one. I haven't seen this term outside of "tactical" circles and I'm dubious about its validity from a scientific standpoint. While it seems somewhat plausible that we would reflexively respond to a close threat in a certain way, it's extremely hard to distinguish between innate and learned behaviors of this kind. If you can raise a child who never sees a fight or a violent movie, then I guess you've got a shot at figuring it out, but who's going to do that?

About c-clamping/3gun stances: I am a c-clamp guy. It simply feels very natural to me when I need to control the weapon muzzle. I think it's funny that back in the day, many of the tactical guys used to claim that the c-clamp was a competition technique that was "no good in combat" because you'd get fatigued. Instead the "tactical" thing to do was to grab the magwell and square up to the threat, elbows tucked down. Then it trickled through the SMUs and to SOF units, and now everyone's doing it. Competition shooters very literally lead the way in terms of shooting technique. Guess what their shoulder/head position generally looks like? :P

Again, I think we actually agree fairly closely on what a good stance looks like. I am not a fan of doing things "because you'll do them in combat" when the jury is still out on what I'll do in combat and when the science is not very clear. I don't think training without my traps flexed will hurt me that much if for some reason I do flex my traps in combat.

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Re: Curing the Tactical Turtle

Post by Ryan » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:59 am

Eiffel wrote:About body alarm response: I personally have my doubts about this one. I haven't seen this term outside of "tactical" circles and I'm dubious about its validity from a scientific standpoint. While it seems somewhat plausible that we would reflexively respond to a close threat in a certain way, it's extremely hard to distinguish between innate and learned behaviors of this kind. If you can raise a child who never sees a fight or a violent movie, then I guess you've got a shot at figuring it out, but who's going to do that?
"Fight or flight response". "Freeze, fight or flight response". "Flinch reaction". "Tonic immobility".
There are numerous articles on this such as "Exploring Human Freeze Responses to a Threat Stressor".
An example video:

It's survival. Self-preservation.

Here's some reading in tactical context:
http://www.slideshare.net/trevthrasher/ ... g-21043979.

Ever watch a scary movie and get a jumpscare? Similar event. Shit, I've played games where I'd come around the corner, not expecting (or even fucking expecting) someone and jump as I found them. Then shot at them. And that's a videogame. :lol:
CQB-TEAM Education and Motivation.

"Pragmatism over theory."
"Anyone with a weapon is just as deadly as the next person."
"Unopposed CQB is always a success, if you wanted you could moonwalk into the room holding a Pepsi."

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Re: Curing the Tactical Turtle

Post by jimothy_183 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:55 pm

Good points ryan. To give a better view of what Pincus says about the ideal shooting stance/position here are some vids.


@ 0:59 picture perfect position.


@ 0:21 rifle position @ 0:26 pistol position. Notice the similarities between rifle and pistol in terms of the relationship between the head and shoulders. The main difference between rifle and pistol here is that the shooter (Jason Falla) likes to blade more with the rifle and square up more with the pistol, but otherwise it's the exact same thing.



In contrast lets look at a specific stance/position that's optimised for competition shooting.

Image

Shoulders relaxed and head raised a little. Great for the competition environment where targets don't shoot back at you. Do you think you will take up this position in a critical incident? I would put my money on no.



Ryan made another good comment in the comments section of this youtube vid.
ryan wrote:The flinch response affects us all. I laugh at people who say they have "countered" it. It's a natural reaction. You can learn to 'ride' it but not 'counter' it.
Again, going back to what I said before, why try and work against it by training out of it when you can work with it and use it as leverage, to your advantage?

I would highly recomment Rob Pincus's book "Counter Ambush" as he talks about how we react and the psychology behind critical incidents. Some of the material has been covered in his videos but the book goes into more detail.
Eiffel wrote:Competition shooters very literally lead the way in terms of shooting technique. Guess what their shoulder/head position generally looks like? :P
Competition shooters like...Jerry Miculek?

Image

Shoulders raised and rolled forward, head lowered with slight forward lean of the head. The main difference here is that his body is quite bladed, probably around 45 degrees, but other than that it's the "turtle" that people seem to be making fun of these days.
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Eiffel
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Re: Curing the Tactical Turtle

Post by Eiffel » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:43 pm

I'll just say this: If your stance and head position looks like Miculek's I won't complain about you turtling. If you go all the way like Costa or that guy from Falcon whatever Group then that's more of what I'm thinking about.

I read that paper and it has nothing to do with the type of body alarm response we're talking about. The facts of the matter are that we have very little scientific (aka, peer-reviewed and published) literature about human response to a violent threat. I realize that "tactical" guys have a pretty clear idea of what it might be, but I am contending that much of it is influenced by learning and is not truly instinctual. If you watch streetfight or south american shooting videos, you don't see Costa-esque turtling very often. Also, I'd look into John Hearne's work, it's very interesting, well researched, and takes a contrary view to most of the "tactical guy" way of thinking.

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