The Dark Side of Training

This is an interesting video. I don’t know this group. Some of the things they do seem a bit extreme. There are some intriguing aspects that I find could be fun to try. Like the moving targets on poles. It presents a somewhat more dynamic aspect to one’s practice. Rather than having stationary targets or a swinging target, here you can simulate people in your way, safely. The only other way you could simulate this is with force on force and with airsoft or simunition. The ice plunge is another interesting challenge. I recall an episode of the Mythbusters where they tested pain tolerance and used hands submerged in ice to test pain thresholds. So there are multiple aspects to that challenge. Pain in the hands on top of the wetness and possible shivering of the hands, while trying to manipulate a hand gun.
If you watch near the end, the shooter shoots into the ground. It reminds me of the Russian technique we saw in the Larry Vicker’s confidence video. It is used as a warning shot. Other aspects like having a plastic bag over your head and having someone spray some type of liquid into your eyes seems extreme but I guess it could happen so why not try training for it but as I am not in LE or military I can only surmise the effectiveness or necessity of this type of training.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Greg

    Anyone know why he was firing into the dirt by his feet at the end? That baffled me a bit.

    • AznMike

      The way i understood it was he was pushing “someone” back and firing into the ground to keep other “people” from challenging him.

      • Greg

        Im no operator but where I come from 1 in the mag is worth 3 in the dirt.

        • only hits count

          Yeah. I was completely baffled by that part too.

          • Roide

            He apparently took it from the insane Russian FSB video.

            Only God knows why.

          • nanoc

            After watching that video I found another one that showed one guy walking with one of those bullet proof shields and two guys walking behind him while getting shot at by multiple people from the front. Crazy! if those two behind him move and inch to far to any side they would have gotten hit!

    • mechamaster

      Well, a warning shot maybe.. but it’s dangerous if the bullet ricocheting and create collateral damage if he shoot in the ‘hard’ surface… like asphalt road..

  • Dan Siefert

    Because you never know when your going to need to make that reverse chair mirror shot…..

    • Patrick Mingle

      tell that to Annie Oakley!

      • Blake

        or .22 Plinkster!

      • Dan Siefert

        Annie Oakley would look good in some multicam

    • billyoblivion

      It’s about as tactical as a bright orange pair of fuzzy slippers.

      But it *is* all about sight alignment, sight picture and trigger control. I’m not going to argue that it’s got any place in a training regime, but it makes the point.

  • Risky

    I think “operators” have finally jumped the shark.

    • Nicks87

      I agree, what a bunch of nonsense. A better title for this article would have been: “When firearms training turns into a circus”.

    • Jay

      Well then, The Yankee Marshal is for you then! Snark aside, there’s value to this, hunting shows, and things like 3 Gun Nation. They satisfy specific subniches in the gun community. I think Instructor Zero is awesome for Army personnel in that a lot of the existing TTPs are outdated and Soldiers have numerous training scars. “Why do we do it this way?” “Because we always have, private, drink water!”

  • Sheldon McNeely

    Woooh…that training was tough. Can I do that? I have been doing indoor target shooting for a year now and this is my first time seeing such training. I was amazed seeing the guy shooting while he lies on his back.

  • JT

    I thought this was going to be about students getting shot or injured during these courses and it getting covered up or something. There’s enough people training and enough intensity to that training to produce some

  • biggles

    This guy goes by the name Instructor Zero and is affiliated with the youtube/facebook page Funker Tactical. I don’t really keep up to date on all their stuff but as I recall he’s ex Italian military. He certainly puts out some fairly interesting videos. Not quite my cup of tea though.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Original thinking and ideas for sure; at least no one was standing next to the targets!

  • santi

    Innovators are often mocked at first. Why is it such a bad thing to try to think out side the box and expand? Forever refining and learning. You can stick to the same doctrine for 50 plus years before you start to see other ways of thinking. He is an experienced military combatant. Most of us are barely weekend warriors to have any clout and saying this is ridiculous. I am not saying it’s better but I am sure he can handle a course with some of the best of them.

    • santi

      Oh but I do disagree with that warning shot. The bullet ricocheting could cause collateral damage for sure. I feel it would be unwise.

      • billyoblivion

        While I tend to agree with you, in some circumstances it might save lives. Better to would one or size than be forced to empty a few magazines into a crowd.

        Thing outside YOUR threat models and what you perceive as likely. To quote someone famous “There are more things on heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamed of in your philosophy”.

    • clericik

      zanti, you are right!

  • Texas-Roll-Over

    Ideas for training.

    Mirror shot = Trick shot for fun, all you haters just got trolled so hard.

    Ice bath = not a bad way to simulate cold fingers

    Moving targets = good idea,

    Shooting into the ground = dumb, if your gun is out then you need to be using the bullets for the real purpose.

    For all you tactical hillbillies out there. We all know that most engagements revolve around people standing straight up and down with perfect gear, perfect weather, bullets flying in one direction only, time for retakes, and cool-guy mag changes! So why would you need to do anything out of the ordinary for training sake!…..

  • Manimal

    There is a reason you don’t tackle the quarterback of your own team in practice.

    Why would you build a training program that risks harming a valuable asset that you have invested training hours and money into with low reward – high risk stunts? But the spectacle is the point isn’t it? This is clown shoes, these games belong in the circus.

  • troy

    People here are quick to criticize. Americans should understand that the end all be all of techniques is not always American. The ice bath, moving targets, and maybe possibly even shots to the ground could be useful. I know it goes against everything we understand, but the Russian FSB operator does not have to worry so much about collateral damage or post shooting investigations. If I was an agitated protestor trying to get in the way of an arrest I would probably run too if I got sprayed in the shin with spall fragmentation from a guy who would shoot me in the head unarmed without compunction.

  • TV-PressPass

    Yeager approved?

  • Harry Bedford Exeter

    Why are there so many nay sayers about this? I think this is absolutely perfect and training that actually counts toward actually fighting with a gun instead of punching holes in paper. I see a big disconnect in the shooting world where we tend to get so drawn into the guns themselves and shooting on it’s own, that we forget that what it really comes down to is fighting and surviving in a gun fight and firearms are just tools. Like IPSC or 3 Gun, I love these competitions and participate all the time. But unless it’s 120 degrees outside, and you’re worn out from a 4 klick foot patrol and weighed down with 70 pounds of gear, that 20 second winning count on your PAC timer isn’t worth a damn if what you want is training value. That’s from a military perspective but I’m sure Police have similar situations of stress. Spraying this guy in the face and then shooting? In the Marine Non lethal course they douse your face with industrial Pepper Spray and make you run an obstacle course, THAT’s training for a conflict. Surviving is being in the right mindset and having the endurance. If you can’t run 100 meters up hill to a better position, then you’re never going to get that shot off that you had been “conventionally” training for through all those normal paper target ranges.

  • NormB

    This is all normal CQB stuff. The Annie Oakley shot? It’s a test of spatial orientation, concentration, trusting the “front site picture.” I can understand how the non-shooters (you know, the weenies, the Bloomburg/Giffords “guns scare me crowd”, the Fudds – the golfers of shooting sports) wouldn’t understand how practical a lot of this is, but it’s only the half of it. Try disarmament drills with a loaded pistol. More shoot-no shoot scenarios. Shooting more from supine/recumbent positions (think you’ll always get into Weaver or Isosceles stance when you shoot?), use of cover/concealment. Setting up ATM/home invasion scenarios. It’s all fun, systematic desensitization, getting out of the rut of facing down paper targets, and can save your life someday.

  • Will

    I’m all for trying almost anything new in training because you just never know in what situation you may find yourself.
    I do not, however, agree with wasting ammo by shooting worms to get someone to “stay back”.
    If I’m forced to draw its a life or death situation and I am not going to waste ammo.

    • murderer in god’s eyes

      These are exercises to stop a threat. A threat may be down but not dead. Be ready to extinguish a downed threat by muscle memory at your feet using peripheral vision without hitting your own foot.

  • Owl

    I’m just wondering which hostage taker would let you get within a meter of him without either popping the hostage already or taking one shot at you. While you are totally exposed.

    And it’s a bit less effective training than people think. At that range, you usually can’t miss. And neither can he. Don’t ever get into a situation like that. If you do somehow screw the pooch, back off a bit and move laterally. You have a buddy, make him choose between keeping an eye on you or an eye on your buddy. If you are in there solo…. you f-ed up big time.

    You are a unit. Work as one. Lone ranger shit is only for the movies.

  • Whisky Tango Foxtrot

    Look guys I know that everyone here is suppose to be a serious shooter.
    Seriously, people you should get some serious XCQB training before you just fire out comments being critical of that which you don’t understand nor comprehend.
    That said. “Operators don’t fire warning shots into the dirt during a combat engagement”.
    The Operator appears to be legitimately simulating firing into the Pelvic Girdle, and Leg extremities that would have been exposed when the Tango reversed his direction. The Tangos legs and hips will almost always protrude out from the human shied as the Tango changes direction.
    This only does not happen when a Tango is moving slowly and methodically as to not open himself up, and when a Tango is moving straight backward with the human shield unless he is offset.
    As to the FSB/Vickers video. I honestly believe that the Shooter experienced an N/D.
    There was not reason even in Russia to fire your weapon UP range at guys with no vests.
    I believe he had a sympathetic muscle contraction and set the round in the dirt.
    I will contact Larry and ask him about it to confirm my belief.
    N/D’s happen. In my opinion he didn’t strike anyone because he had very good muzzle discipline. He should have had his finger off of the trigger, and he screwed the pouch.
    No harm no foul in Russia. Big boy rules apply.
    I’m not ripping on the people in here.
    What I am saying is go get professionally trained to the highest level that you can.
    Crawl, Walk, Run. and lastly please realize that just because you didn’t see it at your range, or your last class, there fore it has no merit. My experience is that if you do not engrain your muscle movements under serious stress, when the day comes for you to use your skill set, you will revert back to the lowest level of training that you have been able to master. Almost no one rises to an occasion. They inherently fall back to the level of training that they have mastered period.
    Luck doesn’t occur nor prevail in a multiple threat encounter, your skills honed through training & practice are the only things that will pull you through.

    Whisky Tango Foxtrot

    • billyoblivion

      If you look closely at the FSB/Vickers video you can see the shooter move his finger from a proper index to inside the trigger guard, fire, then move back.

      When he fired the drill continued. No one was shocked, no break in the motion, no startle reflex by anyone. He does it again later. Same response.

      The people he was training with/exhibiting with were expecting it and prepared for it. It was NOT an ND.

  • Patient Zero

    Can you guys PLEASE do a little investigative journalism on this guy. I heard one guyssay he is a regular-Italian-army flunky (and that’s saying something) who is pretty fast with trick shots. Sure he’s likeable but he walks around full-retard tactical as though he is the operatoriest operator in the world. What’s his back story? It’s not anywhere online where I can find it. A few actual badass SOF buddies think he is a turd and have never heard of him. What gives? Please someone post a real link about his real bona fides. Or TFB do your job and dig into it. Please?