CQB Mistakes

Lately our little band of Merry Men and Women have moved from strictly getting range time and pulling the trigger to doing more and more training in the tactics we are likely to use if TSHTF. Everything from teaching everyone common and arm signals, patrolling, land nav, to CQB. This article will cover some of the mistakes people make in a CQB scenario.

I am by no means “The CQB Guru” and have made just about every mistake you can make in both training and combat when it comes to CQB. I feel like I have enough training, and more importantly combat experience, in CQB to make some fairly intelligent comments about what I see as common mistakes.

What is CQB?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, CQB stands for Close Quarters Battle or Close Quarters Combat, your choice. Close quarters battle falls somewhere between fighting from corner to corner and choking some terrorist ass clown with your bare hands. Think of it this way, if you can accurately use a pistol to engage and destroy targets you are in a CQB situation.

CQB Mistakes

The list that follows is by no means the be all, end all the mistakes you can make in a CQB situation. Rather it is a list of a few of the most common mistakes I have seen in no particular order.

  1. Hesitation- That confused look you see in the eyes of your team mate while he decides whether to go in that door or stay anchored to the wall outside the room is an indicator that he has reached his mental or physical capacity to solve the CQB problem. At its heart, all CQB is about angles, opportunity and percentages. The CQB skills are based on the most likely course of action you need to take to have the highest chance of survival, nothing is 100%  not in life and especially not in CQB. So it is a matter of can you mentally negotiate the problem at hand at a speed that provides you the highest success rate and chance of survival. Often times for people who are new to the tactics of CQB the answer is, “no” and when this happens there is an introduction of hesitation and that gives the “bad guys” an advantage. The solution is training until the tactics of CQB become second nature. Train as you fight and you’ll fight as you train.
  2. “I have forgotten more about CQB then the guy who invented it.”- If you have spent more than five minutes around CQB you have met this ass clown. This is the guy who for whatever reason is teaching you or your team about CQB or Shooting or how to fart in a crowd or Tactics in general that knows absolutely everything there is to know about armed conflict, just ask him, he’ll gladly tell you. Listening to THAT guy will get you fucking killed! Quick! “That Guy” is so totally convinced he is awesome and his parents died on Krypton, he will not answer any questions or explain why he does anything the way he does it. There are hundreds of guys that are teaching skills they don’t understand and only teach them because someone TOLD them it was how “Tier One Guys Do It.” Of all the BS you have to deal with,  getting rid this guy  will work wonders for your team. I try very hard to be open-minded when it come to training of any type and I would be lying to say I couldn’t walk away learning something from even the worst school, even if it was what NOT TO DO. Just remember that no one is a Jedi Master when it comes to CQB and ask “WHY do we do it THAT way?” if you don’t understand something.  Maybe, you might just learn something. If, after asking questions, you still have no idea what is going on and want to just do as your told, make sure you are being told what to do by someone you trust to lead you.
  3. Speed is Your ONLY Security- Speed, is one of the basic principles of CQB. Speed, Surprise, and Violence of Action. having said that, speed is NOT the ONLY principle and if you get so worried about going fast that you lose basic security, you are going to end up a hole filled corpse.  Speed is nothing more than an enhancer like Coke in your Jack or Red Bull in your ℑagermeister, you still need the alcohol to make it yummy. I’ve seen guys charge head long into complex scenarios that they have no chance of getting out of and I have made this mistake a ton due to frustration, or fear, or plain stupidity. You don’t need to be a team of guys running around like your hair is on fire unless you have trained to be incredibly fast, think Tier 1 operators with huge budgets,lots of training, raw skill, and advanced selection in which case you don’t need, want, or desire what my silly ass has to say about CQB. Be deliberate, methodical, calculated and competent. If you master the skills speed is going to happen.
  4. Peak-A-Boo- Lots of great guys get killed because for some odd reason they decide to engage in a fair fight. Often they gain entry into the breach point and get a foot hold in a structure, at the same time the bad guys get out of bed and decide to engage. If you are in the first room let’s say and he is in the far room and he shoots we will go to a position that provides cover and return fire. If there is a linear danger area separating these two places (think hallway, stairwell, etc.) we will sit on one side and he will sit on the other and we will play peak a boo together until someone gets hit. This game is deadly, it kills 50% of the people who play it and it is totally unnecessary. If he is there and you are here do not engage in a fair fight. If you find yourself in this nasty situation you can yell, “Loading!” (when you still have ammo) drop a mag to the floor and get him when he shows himself, have a sniper take a shot, throw a damn Honey Badger at them for all I care just don’t attempt to have a fight fair in a CQB situation, it is stupid and will most likely make you dead.
  5. “I am so pumped right now man!”- Combat in general, and CQB in particular, is stressful and stress will cause an increase in your heart rate, an increased heart rate can, and often does, cause tunnel vision and tunnel vision WILL get you dead. If you are in a fight and everything looks like you are viewing it through a toilet paper roll, then you need to calm the hell down and get your situational awareness back. Take a deep breath do a 360° look around to make sure you aren’t standing in a window or silhouetting a danger area and take inventory of what is going on. Often when we get that pumped up we don’t even know it, so make sure everyone knows to monitor each other for this kind of behavior.

As I said at the beginning of this article I am by no means the final authority on CQB. This list merely represents a few of the most common mistakes I have seen and more importantly that I have made throughout the years. I hope you found this little list useful and can learn something from it. If you think something on this list is utter bullshit feel free to disregard or ignore it. If you can think of anything I might have missed please feel free to let me know.

I look forward to seeing your comments and as always, Train to Survive!

Tom

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