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MODERN COMBATIVE SYSTEMS - Training - Modern Combatives System
ARTICLES - Keep the Light Moving
  Article written by George Matheis, founder of the Modern Combatives System.  


CAT Theory
Edged Weapons
Preparatory Movement
The Pistol Against the Spontaneous Attack
Spyderco Rescue Knife for Personal Protection
The Ground
The Stick
CQB Pistol Panic Push
Carry VS Deployment
Folder into the Fight
Are You Training for Personal Protection or to be a Bodyguard?
Keep the Light Moving
Knives I See on the Street - LEO and Security Personnel Awareness
Deadly Force is Deadly Force
Police Defensive Tactics
Combative Anatomy
Offensive Defense for the Wounded Combatant
Accessing / Deployed / Attacking
Individual Protection Program
Bag of Evil Contents Revealed
Office Space Survival Volume #1
Root of Excessive Force
CAR/IPD Course Review
Five to Survive the First Five
Which Knives Work Best with the Mercharness
MCS Doctrine as it Relates to Appendix Carry
Musings About the Defensive Use of the Pistol
Edged Weapons - Good Guys vs Bad Guys
Evolution of Combative Anatomy

The majority of the time the tactical use of the handheld light is discussed the emphasis is on the ability of the light to blind the opponent. The ability of a light to blind someone really counts on three things, the power of the light, and the preexisting ambient light of the environment and most importantly the probability of the threat focusing on the light.

When it comes the brightness of the light, which seems to be the focal point of conversation, I believe that many times there is too much. Momma always said doesn't look into the eyes of the sun. This is true since we instinctually seem to know that you should not look directly at bright lights whether it is the sun, on coming headlights or someone welding.

When bright light is shined in someone's eyes a natural defense mechanism is to shield the face with the hands and to attempt to look around the light. The darker the situation the more likely this is to occur.

As far as using a light to blind someone this become problematic in the environment that the majority of folks will find themselves in due to the amount of ambient light that already exists. Most easily explained by the fact that you don't test the brightness of you new light during the day. Flashlight work best in the dark at least for illumination purposes. Illuminating the threat is only half the use of the light.

Getting the threat to focus on the light is the hard part, especially if you shine it right in their eyes. For CQB especially hand-to-hand the greatest benefit of the handheld light is to disorient and distract.

I have gotten several PHs from folks about only using he standard Surefire P60 lamp in my 6P. Basically the three times a policeman uses a light is for car stops, building searches and street contacts. During car stops overheads, takedowns, spotlights and high beams already illuminate the vehicle. What do you think you are going to add to that with a handheld light? Not much.

At that point the handheld light is to look into nook and crannies where light does not fill or splash into. Clearing buildings is usually darkest environment we operate in, there for the weakest light can appear very bright proving the P60 most efficient? The last most common use being street contacts is where I want to make my major points.

Most street contact or “walk ups” are going to occur in places that are pretty well lit for the most part. In and around streets, buildings, parking lots and businesses. This is the situation where there is the most propensity for violence for police and civilians alike. Here the most important parts about having handheld light is having it with you, being able to deploy it under stress and reliability. No matter how ultra high speed your particular EDC light is if any of these three things are not in order your are phucked.

Due to the ambient light encountered during street contacts, blinding your adversary is unlikely. What is likely is being about to disorient or distract him while you decide to take flight or fight.

When you are driving down the street and a small animal scurries across the road in front of you, what do you do? Your predator eyes detect movement and your eyes track it across the road. The same thing would occur if you took a ball and rolled it into a room full of people, they would detect movement and track it.

We can use this to our survival advantage. Also understand the human eye can only track on thing at a time. This is where the use of a handheld light is often misunderstood and underused.

Next time you train in a nice bright area take the handheld light of your choice. Have your training partner stand in front of you and whenever you are ready from a normal conversation distance with your hands in front of you, strobe the light on and track it up at a 45 degree angle.

As your partners eyes latch onto the light and begin to instinctually track it just give him a light slap on the face with your opposite hand. Don't do it hard or he won't let you do it again. The point of the drill is to show that even in the brightest areas the human eye is predisposed to follow movement and when you add a nice shiny light it only adds to the effect.

Again this is only one drill but effectively shows the importance of using he light to mentally and physically off balance their opponent and at the same time move the light off their center line.

This technique can be especially effective for policemen since 90% of the population is right handed, thus the right handed criminal is predisposed as a right handed policeman is to respond to a rear threat or run away by turning to his left first.

A right handed policeman will most likely have his light in his left hand allowing him to strobe the light to the bad guys left, there buy off balancing him buy taking him the in the opposite direction of his normal reaction.

The best way to survive is to keep moving. The best way to use a flashlight to help you to survive is to move the light, not count on it to blind but rather distract and disorient.

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