I recently attended a shooting course taught by a former Navy SEAL. A small portion of that course covered some basic combatives (7 yards and in). When you’re 7 yards or closer to the bad guy you are considered to be within combatives range. Within this close distance things happen fast, really fast. You may not have the option of getting to your primary quick enough which leaves you with you hands, elbows, and whatever other backup and tertiary weapons that are on your person. My instructor carried three weapons on him (all concealed and low vis). He had his Glock 19 in appendix carry, an IWB fixed blade knife to the right of his Glock (forward grip), and another IWB fixed blade knife to his left (reverse grip). Why carry three weapons? In the military we were always taught Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary. The moral of the story is to always have a backup…or two.
He stressed the importance of carrying a fixed blade and pretty much wrote off ALL folders. Now obviously this can kick off quite a debate, but in his defense he has real world experience to back up that statement. Back in 2011 a few pirates took over a yacht and ended up killing all four Americans on board. A Navy SEAL Team was deployed to the closest Naval ship to take down the pirates. At sunrise early in the morning the SEALs approached the yacht. A group of them fast roped in from the top to work their way down and another group boarded via another boat and worked their way from the bottom up.
The pirates were so jacked up on ‘khat’ that they started shooting each other after all four Americans had been killed. Once they knew the SEALs were boarding the yacht they decided to play dead. Two SEALs entered the room where they were ‘playing dead’ with their M4’s scanning the room and the bodies. One of the operators noticed a pirate slowly open one eye to see what was going on. Knowing they could not put a round in the pirate for fear of the round going through the floor and hitting the team assaulting from the bottom up he decided to dispatch the pirate with his blade.
The one SEAL had his CRKT M-16 folder in the center of his plate carrier. He pulled the folder off and immediately ran into issues getting the blade deployed. After a few seconds of fumbling around with the blade he was passed a fixed blade by the other Navy SEAL in the room. At this point this pirate and the other that were playing dead were now dead for real. I cannot go into detail on how exactly it was done, but this was considered one of the first close quarter kills with a live blade. From that point forward the Navy SEAL who had the CRKT folding knife never carried a folder again.
To read the article FOX News released on the situation go here.
“Always have a blade”
(Featured image courtesy of Half Face Blades)