I’ll start by saying this: “EVERY SINGLE CCW CARRIER and EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITH A GUN IN THEIR HOME, MUST TAKE HOUSE/ROOM CLEARING TRAINING! When I signed up for this class, I thought it was a luxury, something that would be neat to know and fun to do (boy, was I wrong about the “fun” part). I walked away from this two-day exercise grateful I had this opportunity and adamant that I would do this training again and again.
The number one thing I learned is that I don’t ever want to have to clear a room or house. IT SUCKS! This was absolutely one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. The statistics stated are daunting: TRAINED military units only have a survival rate of 65% when clearing a house or building, and untrained military (cooks, mechanics, etc.) have a 15% survival rate. Clearly, the best tool to ever have in room clearing is lots of other people, so you can send them in before you. This was a 30-man, platoon-sized objective we were embarking on this weekend, yet we were expected to complete it alone. The truth is, the chances are pretty low that anybody will be able to survive a house clearing on their own if there is an armed assailant inside, which makes me go back to my earlier statement that I DON’T EVER want to do it, and given ANY other option, I still won’t. But this training will definitely make your chances of survival go up and give you valuable techniques to use in any scenario of danger, whether it’s in a home, room, restaurant, mall - anywhere.
The other thing I learned is that no matter how prepared you think you are, you simply are not and very well may never be. There were 12 people total in this course, three or four of who had taken the same training previously and knew what to expect. I think everyone in the room had a concealed carry weapons permit and regularly trained and practiced with their firearms. One of them worked in a gun store. And while some performed better than others over the course of the training, every single one of us walked away with an even healthier respect for our weapons (and other people’s), the dangers unknown, and a whole long list of things we could’ve and should’ve done better.
If you’ve had firearms and self defense/martial arts training, but have never taken this course, I’m telling you now that you have a false sense of security on how to protect yourself, your family and your home – I don’t care how much you protest against that statement. Even with all the experience and training in that room, every single one of us froze as soon as the perpetrator started shooting in the first scenario – EVERY.SINGLE.ONE, and there were some pretty tough men and women in that room.
I’ll be writing some follow-up blog posts on this experience. If you’re not already convinced you need this training yourself, hopefully the articles will make you understand why you do. I’ll cover physiological responses to the stress, some proper techniques, tips for continuing to train yourself in your home, advice on retraining your brain for survival and more.
Having a gun is not the solution, nor is having pepper spray or a fierce dog – these are all just tools to get you to the exit and help you survive. Why will I continue this same training again and again? So my brain and my muscles and my instincts have a fallback position if the situation arises. The time to learn how to point a gun at a real human being isn’t when you REALLY have to point your gun at a real human being (and trust me, it's NOTHING like pointing it at a paper target). Your brain needs a reference point to go back to. It doesn’t mean you’ll survive, but it sure means you’re more likely to survive.
Take this training. Save your money if you must. Skip eating out, don’t buy those couple of extra purses or shoes, let your nails grow naturally and even forego that mini vacation. You definitely don’t need ANY of those other things to survive, but you MAY need this training. Stay tuned for more and until then be safe, keep training and be ready.
What would you do if you had to face this?