We're continuing our series on how to hone your skills in Close Quarter Battle (CQB). If you missed the first installment, it's posted on our our website. Click here first if you need to get caught up.
Recall, that we define CQB as a kinetic fight - typically involving the use of firearms - at close range. While many equate CQB with room clearing, that is not always the case. We also discussed that there are three principles of CQB, which are speed, surprise, and violence of action.
As we mentioned previously, speed is a form of security. Speed makes you a harder target acquire and it helps you set and control the tempo of the battle. That said, it comes with a caveat. There is such a thing as moving too fast.
Remember, you can only move as fast as your eyes can process the room. You need visual acuity to identify threats, make shots with precision, and other tasks to prevail. You can't do that if everything is a blur. So, you have to find the balance between moving fast enough, but not too fast. In short, you need to move in a controlled hurry.
Now that we have reviewed the salient concepts from before, let's move on to the next principle: SURPRISE.
Surprise is the means by which we gain an advantage over the enemy by catching them unaware and unprepared. Our goal is to catch the enemy "off guard" - to deny them the ability to mount a proper defense or counter-attack to our actions. We want to get as close as we can to the enemy and put ourselves in an advantageous position to engage the enemy before they become aware of us.
You can easily see how speed can help us achieve the element of surprise, but it's not enough. It does no good to move fast if the threat can hear you coming a mile away. That's why moving stealthily and utilizing noise and light discipline are also crucial. So how do we do that? Here's a quick checklist to incorporate into your training:
Thinking through what we've discussed so far, you may get the impression that the only way to achieve the element of surprise only comes by shocking or startling the opponent.
But what happens if the "cat's out of the bag?" What do you do if the enemy knows you're coming? Can we still achieve the element of surprise?
Well, that's a great question. First of all, let's be real. It's not an ideal situation if the enemy knows you're coming, but all is not lost.
Let's remember the purpose of achieving the element of surprise in the first place. We want to get the upper hand by catching the enemy unaware of our attack. Startling the enemy is a great way to catch them off guard, but it's not the only way.
For instance, we can deceive or distract the enemy as to the timing and the location of the attack. Examples of this would be delaying our entry into a room; conducting a feint attack; or by drawing their attention away by the use of some other diversion. By causing confusion, creating cognitive overload, or just getting the enemy to lower their guard for a moment, we may be able to create an opportunity to regain the element of surprise. To quote Sun Tzu, in chaos, there is opportunity.
To recap, surprise the second element of CQB that helps us to gain an advantage over the enemy by catching them unaware of our presence, thus making it more difficult to defend against an attack. Stealth, utilizing noise and light discipline can help us surprise the enemy as to our presence, but causing confusion through the use of deception and distraction tactics may be necessary as well.
In the next segment, we're taking on the third element of CQB - violence of action. Make sure to look for that in your inbox soon.
I hope you're enjoying this series on CQB. If you are, drop it in the comments below. I'd love to hear your thoughts and insights on it.