My videos, posts, and reviews of the Shivworks Extreme Close Quarters Concepts course by Craig Douglas are some of my most popular content. Unfortunately for me, the video where I get shot in the groin 7 times is the most popular and most shared. ?

Since I took my first ECQC in 2015, my friends, training partners, instructors, and readers have stepped up to take it as well.

People have written to me or asked, “what should I do to prepare for ECQC?”

Usually this is the week before, or maybe two weeks ahead of time.

To be honest, it’s too late to do almost anything that will help your performance in class, but here are some things that might make your class more valuable, and less stressful.


It is important to understand what’s going to happen on each day, and plan accordingly. There is NO tool-based work on day one.

There is live fire on the beginning parts of day 2, and day 3.

Day 2 features the most drill work, and a 1-on-1 evolution at the end where one student is grounded, and the other starts standing. Partners will switch afterwards.

Day 3 features the more complex evolutions (2-on-1 with MUC, car fight if available). However, these take a long time to set up and do, so I found day 3 to have the most intense moments, but the least strenuous overall.

To maximize your comfort and reduce your anxiety, I recommend not wearing any training gear on day 1. You won’t be doing any tool-based techniques, and after all the sweat and the Greco-Roman style grappling, the weight of a training pistol, knife(s), med gear, etc all starts to add up. Also, once you start sweating that gear can rub on you. You are going to get a lot of “hot spots” and sore spots as you go through ECQC; don’t add extra ones if you can avoid it.

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