11th Mar2012

Taking Corners In CQB and CQC

by A.J.


Recently we put up a post on 10 Mistakes in CQB and the response we  received was great but, a common response was; well if Corners CQB

those are mistakes then what should we do?” This is a complex question to which there is no universally accepted answer. CQB is multifaceted and dynamic but what will remain true are that TTP (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures) utilized should always be METT-TC (Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops/Support, Time available, Civilians) dependent. Unfortunately, as is typical in life, each situation is distinct and will require it’s own best solution. This article is made to help give you the tools needed to develop your best solution for a future CQB. The Tactical Athletic Performance advisory board does not claim to have the ultimate, best solution for every situation; the information presented are helpful tips to help point in the right direction. We are not Jedi Masters and never claimed to be. That being said, we believe there are some “best practices” we find useful. If it brings one soldier home to their wife and children that otherwise wouldn’t, then it would make this entire site and perhaps our entire existence worth it. If you have another opinion, that is great! Disagreement forces us to expand our perspective. Furthermore, it helps us to understand the logic behind techniques and not just techniques in it of itself. In fact, I have received great insight from questions posed from trainees. Therefore, any disagreement you may have will gladly be entered into the comment section and respected as valid. Sorry for the long disclaimer but we want help our brethren, not step on any toes.

The Two Ways To Take Corners

CQC dynamic corner

The techniques used in the movies are either okay or down right hilarious

When negotiating corners there are generally two basic categories all techniques fall under and those categories are dynamic and deliberate. Taking a corner dynamically “the way they generally do it in the movies” has advantages and disadvantages but, generally places speed over security. That being said when in a smaller more maneuverable force your speed can help increase your security but that doesn’t mean you can blow off common sense because you are running. A deliberate technique relies more heavily on angles, cover and “slowly” taking on only as much as you can deal with at a single time. Deliberate techniques can be very useful if you are getting ready to enter a danger area that you know can easily require more assets than you have available to provide.

When Would I Use One Over The Other?

Generally speaking the way your team approaches and chooses to take a corner is going to be driven by SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and METT-TC, though   on my team there is a spectrum of priority that tends to drive the MDMP (Military Decision Making Process). If a smaller element is required to take a corner where time is not a factor and survivability can be increased by a deliberate technique then generally that would be the choice utilized. If a larger element (full stick or complete team) is required to take a corner and any of the following situations are factors then a dynamic technique will most likely be used, those factors are: time sensitive mission requirements may be materially affected by a “slower” approach, if the mission completion is more important than the survivability of the force or if a tactical advantage can be garnered with a dynamic technique.

Techniques, Not Tactics

Unfortunately, because this is an open source I specifically do not include tactics that can provide value to the enemy but I do provide individual techniques that can increase the capacity of the end using operator, which in conjunction with proper training and tactics can be of value. I know that there are plenty of open source tactics out there and the argument can be made that so long as it isn’t classified I can talk about it, but in the interest of prudence we have decided to just not open that can of worms.

Torso Articulation and Slicing The Pie

Torso Articulation is an individual movement technique that allows an assaulter to twist the upper body and place the only the weapon system and the aiming system (operators head and eyes) into a danger zone. Torso articulation can be done both deliberately and dynamically but generally has its greatest value when used in conjunction with a dynamic tactic. A quick torso articulation can be done in a smooth fluid movement that provides the opposition force with very little time to react and the assaulter with the most possible cover and concealment while continuing to move to clear the threat. Slicing the pie or “pieing” is a more deliberate technique that combines many smaller movements and can be somewhat slower but provide with greater control over threat areas when in a smaller unit with limited security assets. Below we have included a short video that should illustrate the two movement techniques.

Pieing off in CQC

Slicing the pie

The Video

This Video was made under a tremendous time crunch because I had to get back before my wife got out of bed so you may be required to suspend your apprehension and give us the benefit of the doubt. The engagement sequence you see may be questionable but, the chosen sequences utilized were done so for good reason and if you have a question please don’t hesitate to ask, often though the sequence may seem counter intuitive it was done so for the sake of the drill or due to how the individual technique fits into the over arching tactics which are beyond the scope of this discussion.


You Guys Are Great

I would like to thank you guys who make it worth while to put this site out there, over the past year I have derived great joy from developing this community and appreciate your continued involvement. Please help add to the conversation with your tips and experiences, when I publish some new post I consider it the beginning of the conversation not the final word so get your social network involved with the share buttons on the bottom. As usual I would ask that if you haven’t done so already subscribe to the site by filling out the subscribe button to the right and never miss another post. Just a reminder the links in the right are affiliate links and anything you buy through them will help support great charities like the Green Beret Foundation and the Special Operations Foundation so since you are going to buy supplements and ammo anyway you might as well use these links to bodybuilding.com and Brownells.com for the best prices and service, thanks for reading and we hope to see you again soon.

11 Responses to “Taking Corners In CQB and CQC”

  • SSG W

    Nice video, brother. I’ll have to use this with the crew I’m with now- I’m the only active army guy, so I get to learn ’em some new stuff every now and then. I think this combined with off-hand rifle shooting will make a nice little block of instruction/demo.

    • Thanks for the comment, I was thinking about getting into some ambidextrous shooting in this video because it is a great way to use cover and get around barriers but I didn’t want to let my ADD get me too far down the rabbit hole. You make a great point and we are probably going to get into some of that down the road. If you got any tips on support side shooting I am definitely all ears. Thanks again for taking the time to read the whole article.

      • SSG W

        Only thing I’d really have to contribute, A.J., is that I think the quickest way to get someone who doesn’t normally practice ambidextrous shooting to appreciate its virtues is to use some kind of simulation- whether that’s airsoft or paintball or simunitions, or just the ‘good guy’ using blanks or something and presenting against a ‘bad guy’ filming him with a camera. Let them see exactly what the difference is in profile.

        That might be something cool to incorporate in a later video if you can.

        Thank you for putting this stuff together. It’s easy to read and work with, and I anticipate that it will come in very handy when I get back to working with and training Joe.

  • J

    That looks like it’s right in my back yard in Springs

  • David

    Even with good form, it seems the people already in the room have the advantage. They have their weapons in your directions while you have to cut the corner? It that an accurate assessment?

    • The defender can have a fundamental advantage of knowing the TGT building and being in a static position preparing to attack. The assault force also has the advantage of choosing the time of the attack and when the fundamentals of CQB are used properly the assault force should be able to maintain the initiative. When taking a corner there is the off chance that the defender is waiting for the second to attack which is why the use of flash bang grenades and other distraction techniques becomes of huge importance. The defenders weapon will most likely be trained on the “fatal funnel” which is generally the most obvious entry point so have a plan to use windows and even right through the walls as alternate breach points.

  • Mike

    It seems like torso articulation is a good way to initiate a room clearing with a number 2 man behind you, and pieing is more of an individual room clearing exercise. Is that accurate or no?

    • I would say you are spot on,
      Going into a room alone is never a great idea but, sometimes you need to flex to the tactical situation. There are times when one is prefered over the other and I think you are definitely on the right mind set to know which to use and when. Great comment!

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