Low-Light Environments - 3/12/16
On March 12, 2016, I was joined by a group of people for a very long day at the range. That morning, we taught a Handgun Fundamentals & Safety course. After lunch, we carried right on over into a Weapon Manipulation & Personal Protection course. As the sun went down, we went straight into the most advanced training course of the day: Fighting in Low-Light Environments. This After Action Report will focus on the Low-Light portion of the course.
As anyone who has trained with us can attest to, we believe in thoroughly explaining a topic in detail prior to putting it into use. It has been our understanding that the more a student understands about what is going on when firing a weapon, the more comfortable they are with the entire situation. It helps to overcome the "fear of the unknown" with which so many students arrive.
Therefore, we explained in detail the human anatomy of the eye and how our eyes adjust to being able to see in low-light conditions. We also discuss ways that we can use those physiological responses to our advantage during a violent encounter.
Understanding how our eyes work allow us to better come up with creative solutions to problems that might arise in a fight. For instance, being able to use ambient lighting to our advantage, direct lighting to control the visual capabilities of our attackers, and taking away light in order to retreat or advance without detection is vital to our success. We begin this course before night fall, and we make sure that everyone understand use of cover/concealment, various lighting techniques, and various firearm manipulations with a light in their hand. This allows us to focus our explanations and course work during an intermission and then go back out and test our skills in an actual low-light environment. Fair Weather Farms is definitely in a remote location, so any ambient lighting was minimal. This created a fantastic training environment to test our skills.
We also worked on ways to use handheld flashlights indoors when scanning an area, searching a room, or intentionally blinding someone within our immediate presence. We worked with partners to understand both sides of controlling visual capabilities so that we would know the effectiveness of our lighting techniques. By the end of the course, I believe that everyone walked away with a new-found respect for a high-powered flashlight as a force-multiplier.
In summary, this is among our favorite courses to teach because it truly focuses on the fighting application in a more advanced environment than what most people get to experience. We are looking forward to more opportunities to offer this course in the coming months.