October’s episode of PDN LIVE featured our Executive Director Rob Pincus and Contributor Craig Douglas. Both instructors have spent significant amounts of time and energy over the past two decades developing and teaching programs for defense at Extreme Close Quarters. Douglas is regarded as the current industry leader in this area, and Pincus’ program has been popular with military special operations teams as well as those interested in personal defense. Both Pincus and Douglas are constantly evolving their programs and have been friends and collaborators since the mid-2000s.
Ever since PDN LIVE was launched earlier this year, this episode was one of the most highly anticipated, receiving almost double the usual number of questions submitted prior to the show going on air. The popularity of both instructors and the keen interest of the PDN audience in addressing issues of fighting within two arms’ reach, integrating both armed and unarmed skills, were made very clear.
Shannon Salyer moderated the hour-long question and answer session, which started with Douglas and Pincus talking about the early development and evolution of their programs in the 1990s. Douglas explained how his experience in high-risk undercover operations as a police officer necessitated the development of training approaches that weren’t available at the time. Pincus referenced as his motivating issue the lack of appropriate training for SWAT officers who had to go “hands on” with people, not just turn corners and shoot. Pincus also explained how some of the key evolutions to his own program came from work Douglas had done. Both agreed that the early days of ECQ development were experimental and often little more than decently trained and fit guys fighting each other to see what worked, integrating training and protective gear as it became available.
Many of the submitted questions related to the best choices for gear in regard to preparation for Extreme Close Quarters defense. The instructors offered opinions on firearms, knives, holsters, and even touched on some improvised defensive tool options. But Douglas explained clearly that people who are the most serious about training for the ECQ environment quickly come to the conclusion that more gear is not always better, and that hard training, fitness and knowing how to use efficient tools are paramount.
The hour concluded with information about future training opportunities, with Douglas offering over 30 courses next year through his company ShivWorks, and Pincus revealing that details are being finalized for the 2016 Personal Defense Network Training Tour. Douglas’ coursework is dominated by work in the ECQ realm, while Pincus is currently teaching his ECQT only a couple of times a year for open enrollment, mixed in with a variety of other classes.
Personal defense inside two arms’ reach is a vital area of preparation, and this hour was full of valuable information for anyone who takes self-defense seriously.
If you missed the live event – or you saw it but want to revisit this in-depth discussion – watch the video embedded above. And don’t miss the next PDN LIVE event in November!