It’s common to see Force On Force drills that attempt to teach something which is affected by a student’s foreknowledge. For instance, a student knows that he’s in a FOF class, he’s got a loaded sim gun in his holster, and he knows that the drill is testing his reaction time or ability to do a specific task. His anticipation of the need to shoot is sky high. If the technique works, all it shows is that the student could do it when he had advance warning of the event. Would it work if he wasn’t already primed for action? The trouble is that this can’t be tested in FOF, because there will always be that anticipation. FOF drills must be carefully selected so that the skill being developed or tested isn’t negatively affected by that anticipation. They also can’t be used to justify training that benefits from anticipation, a fault I see all too often.

– Grant Cunningham

It’s common to see Combat Focus Shooting drills that attempt to teach something which is affected by a student’s foreknowledge. For instance, a student knows that he’s in a CFS class or about run a Figure 8 Drill (or Lateral Motion/Wind Sprint/Defensive Shooting Standard) and he knows that the drill is testing information processing, pattern recognition, his reaction time (but without actually being timed) or ability to do a specific task. His anticipation of the need to react to a verbal command and probably shoot is sky high. If the technique works, all it shows is that the student could do it when he had advance warning of the event. Would it work if he wasn’t already primed for action? The trouble is that this shares the same flaw as every drill – for CFS, competition, static/fixed/square range, or FOF – and can’t be tested as such because there will always be that anticipation. All drills must be carefully selected so that the skill being developed or tested isn’t negatively affected by that anticipation. They also can’t be used to justify training that benefits from anticipation, a fault I see all too often.

Here’s a better take on introducing FOF:

The Force on Force Drill

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