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United Defense Tactical   |  Aug 12, 2023

Mastering Close Quarters Combat (CQC / CQB): Effective Tactics for High-Stress Encounters



Close Quarters Combat (CQC) also known as Close Quarters Battle (CQB), refers to a highly specialized form of tactical combat arms training which specifically focuses on engaging deadly threats in confined spaces at relatively short distances. CQC involves using specific tactics, techniques, and procedures in order to effectively navigate and engage armed opponents in various inhabited environments including various sized buildings, confined urban areas, or tight quarters where traditional military battlefield tactics may not be as effective. Close Quarters Combat emphasizes quick efficient decision-making, strategic teamwork, and tactical adaptability to rapidly changing multidimensional scenarios; making it essential for special forces, law enforcement, and all other individuals such as home defenders operating in close proximity to potential threats.

Key principles of tactical combat arms Close Quarters Combat include:

1. Speed & Surprise: Speed combined with the element of surprise is essential to dominating the targeted space and catching armed opponents off guard in order to gain the upper hand in close quarters situations. Remember, your skill and ability to move quickly is your own real security in any tactical or CQB scenario.

2. Cover & Concealment: Utilize all available objects and structures as cover to protect yourself from incoming fire, while always attempting to remain concealed from enemies. It is crucial to remember; “concealment” cloaks you, “cover” protects you.

3. Situational Awareness: Always be aware of your immediate and overall surroundings. This substantially enhances your fighting capabilities and ability to swiftly and decisively react to potential threats while greatly increasing survivability.

4. Proper Weapon Control: Safety is always the paramount concern when handling a firearm, and the complex tactical movements during Close Quarters Combat makes this vital firearm protocol far more challenging. Always keep your safety on and finger out of the trigger well until proceeding to fire, while consciously avoiding “muzzle sweeping” friendly forces. When moving, or not in an actual firing position, always retain your firearm close to your body for ease of movement in tight spaces, and denying your opponent the opportunity to block your shot or snatch it away from you. Remember, wherever your eyes go, your muzzle simultaneously follows at all times.

5. Tactical Fire Control: Few elements of CQB are more important than proper fire control. In most applications, full-auto is not only ineffective fire, it is an unnecessary waste of ammunition. Burst fire is highly effective in numerous tactical situations, but for most CQB scenarios, single shot and double-tap techniques produce the most consistent successful results while conserving essential lifesaving ammunition.

7. Tactical Communication & Teamwork: The overall safety and success of any Close Quarters Combat scenario requires highly effective tactical communications. Clear, concise, easy to deliver communication is the key to any successful tactical operation. Consistent CQC related team training drills focused on small unit tactics - combined with hand and arm signals, tac lights use, and familiar voice commands- are the prerequisites of winning a close quarters battle engagement.

8: Stealth: The combined ability to remain tactically unseen and unheard is the greatest form of security in all Close Quarters Combat scenarios. Being tactically invisible is by far the best way to stay alive and increase mission success.

9: Mindset & Training: Cultivate a mutually offensive and defensive combat mindset. Personally commit to continuous reality-based professional tactical training, which will ensure you are fully capable of reacting instinctively under very high-stress and life-threatening situations.

10: Violence of Action: While stealth, speed, surprise, communication, and small unit tactics are key principles to Close Quarters Combat, violence of action is the key factor when engaging any deadly threat. For all intents and purposes, violence of action is meeting violence with more powerful violence in order to accomplish a life-preserving mission. You can look at natural predators like bears, wolves, and sharks for examples of violence of action. Savage violence, to ensure victory while minimizing self-injury.

Close Quarters Combat is extremely complex by nature and requires thorough professional “reality-based” tactical training, self-discipline, and strict adherence to all rules of engagement, in order to fully minimize risk while achieving mission success.

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