Todd Fossey

Circle Drill

Todd Fossey
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Duration:   16  mins

In this in-depth video lesson, Todd Fossey of Integrative Defense Strategies presents the Circle Drill, which integrates hands-free skills with firearms skills, particularly when the defender has a weapon in hand, and while a barrier is also present.


Todd picked up the Circle Drill from Progressive Force Concepts and modified it for the context shown here. He encourages viewers to check out the original version of the drill too. The reason the drill is as he demonstrates it here is because he has viewed numerous real-life video evidence showing military, law enforcement, and security personnel, as well as private citizens, having to defend themselves in a confined space with barriers in play. The barriers are used for defense and/or concealment.

Todd has noticed patterns in these videos and wants to discuss them here and correct the errors he has seen defenders making.


Part 1 of the Circle Drill takes place close to the barrier, while Part 2 takes place farther away. There are pros and cons to each, which Todd will address. He wants defenders to use the barrier to their advantage, particularly when someone is attacking.

Practicing the Circle Drill requires a partner and a barrier that is about as tall as you are. Here Todd and IDS Senior Instructor Larry use two stacked barrels. Todd prefers experiential learning that mimics defensive scenarios as much as possible — tactical shooting drills as opposed to static range training.


This is part of the core training at IDS. Todd has found that his students with high-level unarmed self-defense skills often don’t know how to take advantage of the fact that when they have a firearm in hand, they have a force multiplier. He has even seen students unconsciously drop the firearm and revert solely to hands-free skills. They have not learned how to integrate the two skill sets, which should be complementary, not opposing.

People who can put the armed and unarmed pieces together will be at the best advantage in a defensive situation. The skills presented in this video can also be applied when there is no barrier in place.

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