So, made it back alive from Extreme Close Quarters Combat. And just like last year, I had the goddamn time of my life. Even better, I got to go with my “little” brother, the monster. The picture above shows one of the two-on-one evolutions from the last day. You can see the guy on the ground has managed to access his clinch pick trainer to try to even the odds a little bit, but with two guys on top of you, it’s really difficult to get anything done at all. He’s already lost his protective helmet and eye protection that everyone starts out with. In most classes that would be the end of the drill, but Southnarc does an outstanding job of monitoring what’s going on, and he keeps the evolution going as long as possible as long as everyone is respecting the spirit of the fight and not taking cheap shots or shooting a guy in the face who has no protection. He steps in and calls it as soon as things begin to fall apart, but he keeps it going long after you’ve gassed and wish you were dead. He lets you get in the deepest of holes and makes you keep fighting, working, struggling, trying something, anything, to stay alive a little bit longer. He won’t let you quit, and that’s what we all love about training with him.

No matter how deep the hole, you have to keep fighting.


The Brave One at the start of his two-on-one. The little guy in the shades is SouthNarc, our sensei.

That’s my bro up above, wearing his training company T-shirt ( Spartan Training Resources.) This was his first time at ECQC, and I was excited to be there for it. He’s got a good base in striking, ground grappling, muy thai, and, of course, firearms.

It showed.

Getting rounds off in the fucked up tangle

Here he’s lost his helmet and eye-pro, he’s getting dragged to the ground by one assailant while the other guy is wrapping up his legs, but he managed to shoot bad guy two twice in the head on the way down.

Then it was time to solve the other problem with a little over the shoulder head shooting.

The guy is a little bit of a handful.


The Dishwasher dancing with his assailant.

The Dishwasher getting rolled.

I learned a lot in my evolutions. The shot above is me in the one on one with my assailant. In real life he is an active duty Marine in a special operations group with ten years of downrange experience. He schooled me but good.

The thing about these things is that you really do learn a lot more from your failures than you do from your successful outcomes.

Things are falling apart for me here.

Here he’s got me on my back with my dominant arm pinned behind my head. He’s reaching for his weapon behind his hip. 

I’m entering a world of pain.

Now I’m being gut-shot by my new friend.

I’m on my back, my arm pinned over my head, getting crushed and gut-shot by a Special Forces Marine. So, end of evolution, right?

You know better than that.
The fight for control of the gun.


The slide is pushed to the rear. It won’t fire like that. I’ve got a slim chance.

He’s got the gun, and he’s a lot stronger than me, and in better shape. I’m gassed bad now and I can’t out muscle him. I’ve got one hand on the gun and I’ve got the slide run back so he can’t shoot me, and I’m grabbing his gun hand wrist, which he’s trying to pull off. I’m not going to get the gun from him like this…

Getting my knee to help me out.

So I manage to bring my knee up. Now I can break his grip on the gun using the leverage of my hips and the strength of my legs against his arms, a better deal for me. This worked for me, and I managed to get the gun from him. But it took so much out of me that I quickly lost position. I threw the gun away so at least he couldn’t keep shooting me, but I wasn’t able to take the initiative back. I knew I had to do something, but for the life of me, I didn’t know what that could be. All I wanted was for this shit to stop. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I was completely helpless and getting run like a fucking sock puppet. There was no way out.

back in a bad place.
He’s crushing me now. I can’t breathe, I’m all out of gas, and flat on my back.
Keep fighting.

Southnarc kept me fighting long past the point that I could do anything effective, but I grunted and screamed and thrashed long enough that he took pity on me and finally called it.
Out of gas, game over.

So, other than getting stuffed, pinned on my back, arm pinned over my head, and gut-shot, I think I did pretty good!
I did better in the two on one, going up against the same Marine and another great guy who is a full-contact stick fighter from the Dog Brothers. Managed to stay on my feet for a long time (also known as running away!) and got some shots on both assailants before I got my shit stacked again. I also dominated the car-jacking evolution, where you fight inside a car against a guy who’s got a gun to your head. I got the muzzle averted, drove hard against him as I raised my hips up to the ceiling and crushed him down into the corner of his seat and the passenger side door. I got a knee on his belly and braced my back against the roof, then stripped the gun from him and fed him a couple of head shots. 
It were more fun than losing, I noticed.
Plus, it didn’t hurt nearly as much.
I didn’t get a lot of pictures of the last day because we were up there in the foothills, fighting in the mud in the pouring rain. Then in the rain and hail. Then in the rain, hail, and lightning. 
My brother and I were rolling around in the mud, getting pelted by driving hailstones, fighting over a gun in a lightning storm, and he pauses in the middle of the fight and looks at me, grinning, and says, “Well, it’s official. This is the best fucking training ever!”
Then he kicked my ass, took the gun from me, and shot me in the face.