tactical preschool 55

Surprise! Surprise! One of the tactical “must-haves” is surprise.

Surprise is one of the tools you use to crack into your opponents OODA loop. At one time or another all of us have been caught off guard, startled, and experienced that split second of FREEZE where your brain is resetting to it’s surroundings. That is the ideal “surprise” you would like to give an opponent, it gives you the proverbial “drop” on the bad guy.

There are different ways you can accomplish this, there are tools and equipment like lights and NFDD’s (explained below) that can be employed, but sometimes simply doing something unexpected will work just as well. You can approach from unexpected routes, you can yell, you can make a sudden and unexpected move or attack…the possibilities are limited only by the imagination.

One of the godsends in tactical development was the Noise Flash Diversionary Device, or NFDD. The NFDD, commonly referred to as a “Flash Bang”, is a grenade that generates a bright flash and a loud concussion. Deployed in tactical operations it can be used to distract a bad guy long enough to pass the fatal funnel.

For illustration purposes, I am showing a 2 man entry here. Most tactical units have a special purpose breaching team that will orchestrate breaching and the introduction of a diversionary device.

Many times,  a barricaded gunman “knows” that the SWAT guys are going to come eventually. He thinks “When they come in, Im shooting the first guy who comes through that door.” When the door opens and the bang comes in and detonates the guy goes “what the…”, and before he can re-Orient on the door the entry team is in and shooting. They broke into the BG’s OODA  at the second “O”.

One of the interesting things about NFDD’s and OODA is that when you are the one throwing them you can oftentimes “Eat the Bang”. This means that since they know whats coming, tactical operators can enter in almost exactly as the NFDD detonates. You may only get a split second startle out of the bad guy so the best thing is to make the most of it.

Conversely, even though most bad guys (who watch TV and movies like the rest of us) KNOW that a Flash Bang will probably be coming, it still will shock the crap out of them. This is because the moment it will go off is unknown and most BG’s have never been exposed to a NFDD before. If you have a hard core bad guy who has been through a SWAT stand-off and been exposed to NFDD’s before, you may want to take that into account.

Some great diversionary tools available today include “bang poles”. These are long poles that allow attachment of NFDD’s to one end. They can be held up to second story windows, held over walls and fences or rammed straight through a window to detonate in the middle of a room vs on the floor; where it’s possible the device could roll under furniture and lessen it’s effect.

The concept of causing a diversion on one side or level of a structure while entering another can be translated to routine patrol functions in many ways. I have tricked warrant suspects who are known to run by placing officers in adjacent rear yards of the target house. When the officers approach the front door and knock…”Mr. DA (dumb-ass) Knucklehead” runs out the back, jumps the fence and SURPRISE!

The real skill with this tactical stuff is to recognize the “essence” vs. the particular technique. Don’t look at this lesson as a class on NFDD’s. Consider the principles in play.

Musashi said:

These things cannot be explained in detail. From one thing, know ten thousand things. When you attain the Way of strategy there will not be one thing you cannot see. You must study hard.


2 thoughts on “tactical preschool 55”

  1. That last bit is an excellent piece of advice.

    I’ve seen this in my own martial arts school where our syllabus is made up of “concepts”.

    Rather than teach something like the Armbar by teaching a student to apply the lock to 50 different positions they will be taught armbars from 5 different positions.

    This is to make the student think about what “makes” and armbar and therefore, the “concept” of an armbar.

    If a student can understand this then they can easily apply it to almost any position, any grab, any angle.

    Learn a standard procedure and then deviate from it.

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