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Tactical Training For Civilians: Need Close Quarters Combat Training?

Tactical training for civilians is an all-encompassing program that focuses on different armed and unarmed combat training

It’s similar to military boot camp but geared toward self-defense and survival rather than guerilla warfare techniques.

Think of it as military training for civilians. Keeping in mind that most civilians will be in buildings like their workplace or home this training should include Close Quarters Battle Techniques (CQB). There should also be low light training and how to use a Tactical Flashlight.

Benefits of the program include:

  • Better Shooting: Just because you have a gun doesn’t mean that you’re automatically safe. A weapon you don’t know how to use will only put you at risk.
  • Improved Unarmed Combat: Turn your body into a universal weapon that can combat guns and knives alike.
  • Boosted Confidence: Even basic training for civilians will set you apart from the average in terms of armed and unarmed combat. It gives you the confidence to make the right decisions during an emergency.
  • Increased Awareness: Part of tactical training is learning to analyze any situation. You’ll understand how to spot signs of danger, assess your own strengths, and gauge whether you should take on an opponent. Participants can also train their fight-or-flight response during the program. 

What to Expect From Tactical Training for Civilians

Tactical training may include basic unarmed fighting techniques, firearms training, danger and risk awareness, and survival training.

1. Basic Unarmed Fighting Techniques

When you’re totally unarmed, you’ll have no choice but to use your own body as a weapon. 

When it comes to hand-to-hand combat, military personnel focus on function and practicality rather than form. There are no rules when it comes to real-life fights. 

Some practical martial arts that would serve you well in a fight include:

  • Judo: Being able to pin your opponent to the floor and incapacitate them is a powerful skill. Once they’re defenseless, you’ll be able to attack them or make your escape. Judo will definitely be helpful in close-range combat.
  • Krav Maga: Krav Maga is a great self-defense technique for those who are too small for other forms of martial arts. Rather than raw strength and power, the discipline of Krav Maga focuses on technique and how to attack your opponent’s weak points.
  • Wrestling: When it comes to wrestling, height doesn’t matter nearly as much as lower body strength, form, and balance. The only disadvantage that short people have against tall people is their reach, but you can compensate for this by learning to close the gap. It makes it a great self-defense technique for small, stocky individuals.

2. Firearms Training

Guns are not toys—it is a powerful weapon capable of ending a life with just one shot. Even a simple mistake could put you and those around you at risk. 

To ensure that participants know everything about handling guns responsibly, most basic tactical training for civilians covers gun safety, nomenclature, and marksmanship.

Gun Safety Rules 

Don’t treat the gun safety rules as guidelines—these regulations are nonnegotiable commandments. 

  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  • Only point the muzzle at your target.
  • Only position your finger on the trigger once you have a target in sight.
  • Know your target, what is in front of it, and what is behind it.


Knowing the “ins and outs” of your weapon is a prerequisite to owning a gun. Skilled tactical training participants can even assemble and disassemble their guns with ease.

Basic Marksmanship

Movies always make it seem like guns are easy to handle. Some action movies even depict scenes where protagonists are dual-wielding one-barrel shotguns. Anyone who has ever fired a gun will tell you that’s nonsense, though.

Firing guns, especially a shotgun, takes skill and practice. Even the power of a small handgun would force beginners to use two hands.

Close Quarters Battle Techniques (CQB)

Most Americans live in some sort of suburb or city. Also, most civilian gun owners are not going to raid other houses.

As a civilian you are probably interested in protecting your home or yourself if an active shooter is in the same building as you. This is what CQB is all about, moving around in small spaces, clearing rooms.

Low Light Shooting

It is true that most crime happens once the sun goes down so learning out to shoot in low light is important. This training should include how to use a handheld flashlight and how to use and pick a pistol light that attaches to your gun.

3. Danger and Risk Awareness

Combat skills are great, but avoiding dangerous situations is even better. 

Remember, accurately assessing the risk or danger of any situation can be the difference between life and death. Here are some quick tips for how to spot dangerous situations:

Read the Atmosphere

Know how to read the atmosphere of any setting. For example, if you are at a bar, and you hear the next table getting into a heated argument, act fast. Before they start swinging bottles or pulling out guns, make your exit.

Don’t Trust Strangers

Do you remember how your parents would tell you never to entertain strangers? The “stranger danger” rule should hold value even now that you are an adult. Don’t trust strangers, and never give other people information or items that they can use against you.

Always Use Your Senses

Your five senses are natural tools that you can use to assess your surroundings effectively. 

4. Survival Training

The final part of basic military training for civilians is learning how to survive in the wilderness. 

It means acquiring the skills to secure food, water, shelter, and clothing if you were ever left stranded in a forest, mountain, or deserted island, for example.

We live in a technologically advanced society that provides us with all the convenience and comfort we need. Do we really need survival skills?

Basic wilderness survival skills are handy because you never know when an accident might happen. Let’s say you were hiking with your friends, things turn south, and you were stranded. Would you want to let nature take its course, or find ways to conquer the situation? We hope it’s the latter.

Secondly, wilderness survival skills give one an appreciation for the environment. You’ll learn the importance of trees, animals, water, and stars during a crisis situation.

Lastly, survival training is a cool hobby. Not only does it give you wilderness skills that set you apart, but it’s also fun. It is a healthier, more productive hobby than binge-watching your favorite TV shows, anyway.

If you are looking for a survival flashlight check out our buyers guide here.

Note: Civilian tactical training varies from program to program. Some trainers offer all-around sessions that include armed and unarmed combat with lessons on wilderness survival, and others focus on firearm training. It’s up to the participant to decide what kind of combat training they’d like to study.

Should You Join Tactical Training for Civilians?

Civilian tactical training is ideal for people who have:

  • Guns and other weapons—if you store guns and ammunition for emergencies, then consider signing up for tactical training. Most programs include sessions on how to use different types of weapons for self-defense.
  • A desire to improve their survival skills—if you are suddenly stranded on an island with limited resources, will you be able to survive? 
  • A need to remain calm and objective in the face of adversity—it is normal to feel overwhelmed or emotional when facing danger. When adrenaline kicks in, the body does everything it needs to survive, but when this physical response does more harm than good, you need to control it. The best approach is training—by simulating emergency situations, the mind and body adapt, and you gain the ability to remain calm in the face of danger.

Civilian tactical training might NOT be suitable for those who have:

  • Pre-existing conditions—tactical training for civilians is a rigorous program. It involves weeks’ worth of military-grade training, so someone with pre-existing health conditions might struggle. As a general rule, consult with your physician before signing up for these programs.
  • A tendency to refuse help or demonstrate arrogance—power in the wrong hands is nothing but mindless destruction. If you can’t train yourself to be level-headed and only use your new combat skills for self-defense, don’t sign up for combat training. The world doesn’t need more trigger-happy fools who pull out guns at the slightest intimidation.
  • No time or money to spend on combat training—even basic training for civilians requires a reasonable investment. If you don’t have the resources, postpone your tactical training plans.

Choosing Which Class to Join

Before signing up for tactical training for civilians, keep in mind that not every program listed on the internet is legitimate. There are dozens of ill-intentioned brands that are simply out to get your money.

How do you protect yourself? The key is research. 

Before signing up for a class, research the brand carefully, and read all the available reviews and testimonials. 

Also, use common sense to assess the offer. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it takes months (or even years) of training to master armed and unarmed combat. 

The most you can achieve in ten to fifteen sessions is basic training for civilians. If the class promises full mastery of military and combat tactics in one weekend, it’s a scam.


Tactical training for civilians is an excellent way to learn various survival skills, armed combat, and unarmed self-defense. It is ideal for anyone interested in tactical training who can’t sign up for the military.

Before you register for combat training, make sure you honestly assess yourself. Tactical training is rigorous, and you might hurt yourself if you’re not in good shape. 

If you’re not confident that you can push through with a full course on basic military training, don’t worry. You can watch online training videos in the meantime. 

It’s nowhere near as good as in-person tactical training, but it is still an excellent resource for those who want to learn more about the topic.

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