What do I know?🤣Threat focused skills taught by Fairbairn/Sykes in Shanghai in the 30, then to OSS agents as a few USArmy ranger units [ 1941-45 ] had all been lost to history just 15 years later in 1960.
The OSS agents and GI's that came back after the war didn't advance the pistol fighting skills, none of them taking up the task of training others or even advancing what they knew to the general public.
Around 2001, I had joined a couple of gun boards. Over the following 2 years, I heard so much BS about what FSP trainers were calling snake oil. They espoused to the world who didn't have a clue that TF pistol skills couldn't be relied upon in DGU's, weren't accurate enough for the street, that if the skills were superior to FSP police depts across the country would be teaching it, blah blah blah blah.
I found that amusing and disheartening at the same time. I'd been using those very skills since 81 when I attended SIONICS counter terr training at the "compound" in Powder Springs, Ga. I also saw two other people who had been given the skills and were advocates once the discussion of TF vs FSP was broached.
One out of NYC, whose father was given the skills while a US Army ranger in ww2. His dad was very good friends with Rex Applegate, who was considered as versed in those skills as F/S, having been a student of theirs during the war, and then training others himself. The dad had Rex over often at the house, and asked him to take his son under his wing and give him the skills from WW2. A teen as sit were, and he granted the old mans request.
One out of Ohio, a federal agent whose dad was given the skills during the war as well who then passed those onto him when it was time to learn how to handle a pistol. He'd had the skills for decades just like the NYC guy had had.
They'd read about my attending SIONICS and having learned the WW2 skills along with training with the originator of rifle QK which the US Army adopted in the late 60's. More interesting to them was the trainer giving us QK pistol skills which had never been written anywhere [ the how to ].
We discussed at length in PM's how most didn't know what they didn't know about the skills. Decided I'd drive to LI, NY one weekend, the Ohio fed would fly in to NY as well and we'd meet at Rodmans Neck where the NYC cops train annually during requalls.
Hook up with the two around 2002 and had a great day exchanging information and shooting WW2 TF pistols skills. They were shown QK pistol and QK hip. The fed from Ohio took to it on that first mag as did the NY person. They couldn't believe it was that easy and complimented the WW2 stuff well. The NYorker didn't think much of the QK pistol, believing it probably wouldn't work well on the streets where multiple were encounter who had to be put down.
More banter on the boards and being called charlatans, snake oil sellers, etc by the FSP trainers/proponents. As it happened, Dec of 04 one of the leading FSP trainers asked us to come to his week long round table, several trainers would be there, and they issued a challenge of sorts to "prove" the skills not only worked but were superior to FSP in DGU's. I happened to be moving that month/week to Az so I was not going to be able to attend, but the other two stepped up the plate and attended.
The event happened while I was driving to Az just before Xmas, so it was over a week before I could get back online to see what the outcome was at the week long event. The NYorker was set up by two FSP trainers there with national recognition as top tier FSP trainers.
The scenario they gave him was 3 FSP well heeled students of theirs against just him, at about 12 feet distance. NY guy gets a little nervous as to how to go about taking them, when he remembers QK hip he'd been shown. He said he figured it was worth the try. At the go, the 3 highly trained FSP students drew, NY guy drew to QK hip and took all 3 before they could get a shot on him. Of course during all the rave reviews from students there for the week never mentioned the above, for obvious reasons. They wanted that fall out to never see the light of day in print. It defeated their purpose of trying to embarrass the TF proponents.
Within an 18 month window after that event, we discussed putting on a TF pistol weekend. They'd fly here if I could find a range and accommodations for us. I made that happen on a Tucson privately owned range and the 3 of us put on a 3 day as it was a holiday weekend and that gave each of us one day to train the students in the skills. There were just 8 in attendance, local to Az but two of them came in from Nevada. After that event, reviews started rolling in on those boards [ the two from Nevada were regular contributors on those boards but were KNOWN to have attended some of the national FSP schools multiple times before.
Their reviews were debunked by the same trainers when they exclaimed the TF skills were all the 3 proponents claimed them to be. It got pretty heated at times, and those two trainers thought they could steam roll over us, but particularly me as I was more vocal than they'd been throughout the back and forth [ I've never been one to eat someone's "sheet" for any reason, let alone these two trainers who didn't know what they didn't know and debunked the skills anyway in an attempt to keep the money flowing their camps ]. How could one debunk something they didn't know anything about and had never been trained up in? When asked that question, they just kept circling the wagons discrediting the TF skills.
We put on another COF but at my local range on a private bay I rented here in the valley of the sun the next year and had 16 or so attend. I set up and provided everything we needed for the weekend, they wanted their expenses paid I kept the rest for my efforts [ they were more interested in getting the skills out to the public than making money ].
After that course here in the valley, the train left the station [ sorta speak ]. I started getting request to put more on here and there across the US, but the other two still had jobs and couldn't swing traveling like that all over the US while I was retired and could.
So I struck out on my own, putting on courses [ asked to come in and put on a 2 day, they'd secure a range ] in Tenn; Minnesota, Virginia [ the fed and I co-trained on that one ]; Fla; Colorado and a few others. Based on the reviews of those COF's on various sites, I got a request to train the two swat teams in the skills by the commander of that group in Austin, Tx. That went down and he put the word out to others the skills imparted would likely save some of their lives one day. The train that left the station was gaining more steam and speed every month/year.
Then I was brought into the state of NM where a group of state detectives wanted the training in Santa Fe. 3 years in a row they brought me back until the commander of that unit thought everyone was fully up to speed. His FSP firearms instructor was told to write his thoughts after the first one day was held. He told the commander he'd never seen anything as effective as the TF skills, hence they brought me back twice after that first day.
Starke, Fla's chief made contact through an intermediary to have me come for two days to train his whole dept [ small, I think maybe 20 leo's total. I made that happen for them, and though the chief didn't attend, he got feedback in the form of "best pistol course they'd ever taken/seen offered, the skills would help keep leo's alive on the streets."
About that time one of the two full time leo trainers for San Jose, Ca. reached out and want to come to me for 3 days of one on one. He'd send the ammo in advance which he did. His review on the old Threat Focused forum we'd established set in motion more depts reaching out to discuss bringing me to their AO.
And here we are, 2023, the first ever [ since WW2 ] TF training being offered to civilians in 06. The 3 amigos including me had brought the skills to the forefront of the shooting community, revived them as it were. Now there's hundreds of people who've attained the skills across the US. They'll not be forgotten any time soon, but eventually they will be if someone doesn't step up to the plate and continuing to offer the COF to others.
The world has the 3 amigos to thank for the resurrection of WW2 TF training and the skills along with QK pistol/QK hip to the general public. The above is why members here have been given the gifts I was given in 81 and had used on the streets for decades.
It's about time the 3 amigo's were recognized for their effort to bring them back from obscurity. It's been an honor to pass the knowledge lost to history to others over the last 18 years. I'd have never thought to get into the training aspect but for the FSP trainers/proponents accusing me of not being able to do what I said I could do with a pistol without the use of sights.
Thank the naysayers, I took it personal and would demonstrate to them over a few years they didn't know their arse from their elbow about the effectiveness of the skills being imparted to others. So if you've take a TF course, thank a FSP instructor. 😯
Thoughts/comments on the modern history of the WW2 skills?
Actually, I'd been exposed to "the modern hsitory of WW2 skills" in lots of up close and personal discussions with you on here and face-to-face in courses or at the tavern afterwards. That modern history of WW2 skills had me fascinated from the jump. Since that first course, I've read everything on Fairbairn/Sykes' methods and taken several TFP courses to continue learning as well as remain proficient in applying the skills learned. I guess all I can really say regarding TFP vs. FSP, is that even though I've not been in an actual gunfight, after learning basic gun handling skills, it wasn't until I'd taken your TFP (actually Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun) and QKP courses did I really become an enlightened pistolero. It was only after Threat Focused training and coupled with the multiple Edged Weapon/H2H courses did I really become a lot more confident in my own Self Defense. In other words, it was then that I came to know what I didn't know and I am forever in your debt as one of the fortunate ones to have trained with one of those 3 Amigos!