“I’m not a violent criminal, but I do play one in Force-On-Force scenarios.” – Matt Ellison
I recently assisted instructing a Fortress Defense Force-On-Force training class, and portrayed a violent criminal numerous times throughout the day. One interesting thing about scenario-based training is what you can learn on both sides of the drills. Having access to a windowless building, we took advantage and ran multiple drills in low light, as is the common condition under which most violent attacks occur. The students all performed well despite being thrust into a few lose-lose situations. As the “attacker” I noticed one aspect that’s use was lacking, but when employed was exceptionally successful: flashlight technique.
I can almost hear the sighs as readers say to themselves “I have a flashlight, and it’s 10 million lumens!” …which will be all but useless if not used to full advantage.
Before I discuss flashlight technique, let me say that I am not a flashlight “expert”, but I have a vast amount of firsthand experience using lights and being on the receiving end of both good and bad flashlight technique.
With that out of the way I’ll start with the basics. First, the light must be bright enough to be effective; 120 lumens minimum; 200+ is recommended. Secondly, the light must be sized right for you to carry daily. Much like a pistol, a big, bright light is worthless if you don’t carry it.
Deploying your light should be quick and easy as you don’t have to be concerned with muzzling yourself or someone else. Deployment should also be a constant habit as flashlights are highly unregulated and you won’t be breaking any laws having it out in public.
Think about where you carry your light: in a bag? Deep in your pocket? On your belt but under your coat…? Do you carry it on your support side?