Feb 4th, 2012 | By | Category: DVD Reviews, Equipment, Historical, Middle East, Military/LE, News, Strategies, Tactics

Members of the IDF and MOSSAD have always had my respect, because frankly, they just don’t mess around. My first introduction to the members of the Israel’s military and clandestine services was in Central America, when the Reagan Administration was looking for creative ways to arm and train anti-Communist forces, without having to deal with Tip O’Neil and other members of Congress who were more than too friendly to the FMLN and Sandinistas during WWIII, AKA the 80-year Cold War, that led to no little bit of humor for the Castro brothers, namely the one who took over the helm of insurrection in Central and South America from Che Guevara: Raoul.

In response to the Congressional hamstringing, our allies for a very long time, the Israelis shipped Galils to the Salvadorans just in time, along with the men and women to instruct in how best to use them in COIN/COTER operations. There’s a reason the wealthy and influential seek out veterans of the Israeli security forces to man, and train their own security details. The Israeli’s have had solid field experience. How it reveals itself, is the style in which their tactics have formed: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). They believe and act in total respect for efficiency and economy of action.

To this principle, the producers of the latest offering of specialized training DVDs from Mako Defense and the Mako Group is sure to improve the skills of many a practitioner of the art of carbine use: in the production, the M4-type carbines are used, but, yes,  you could even use an M-1 carbine, charging handle considerations aside—a carbine is a carbine. The key is foot and body position, attention and eye focus.

What is enjoyable about COUNTER –TERROR CARBINE—The Israeli Method is that the instructors, all former members of the IDF, get right into the meat of the matter. During the 1980s and 1990s, when these types of instructional videos first became available to the public, they were heavy on hype and drama, light on practical instruction that could save your life. These days, like with many other DVDs we’ll be reviewing shortly, from such longtime professionals as Suarez, Grover and Awerbuck, the instructors get straight into the meat: Mako Defense is no exception.

COUNTER-TERROR CARBINE—The Israeli Method delivers its promise in a manner close to a proper training syllabus: safety (securing your weapon from unloaded training), body position, charge on point, weapon malfunctions, multiple targets, closing distance, firing from cover, firing from a car, maintenance, finally words on instructor recommendations. Most of the chapters go through a three-point instruction method: display dry, instruction with live ammo, and then full class participation. During the display dry evolution, Garret has his fellow instructor, Guy, go through the motions from both left and right sides, so that students, and we, can better see what is happening—important when you can’t just ask the instructor at the end of each segment to go into further detail.

Safety is the chapter that deals with how to set up your weapon for dry practice with others around you. The instructor, whose nom de guerre is Garret Machine, leads you through the process of preparing your M4/AR-15 to insert the blaze orange plug that prevents charging of a round, and lets your instructor and fellow students visually verify that your weapon is safe.

Body position seems like an afterthought for those who focus the sight system first, then the target, like putting the cart before the horse. Garret and Guy take you through the process of setting your feet correctly, and which foot moves forward in the direction of the target, at the same time showing the proper waist belt to top of head positioning in relation to target. Every marksman knows that the proper body position leads to fine accuracy, while poor position creates counterproductive strain by not only trying to focus on the target, but also a subconscious fight against the body’s stabilizing muscles.

A key point is that you’re taught to draw your eye focus onto the target then bring up the weapon, so that the sights fall in line with your line of sight. You’ve probably seen a lot of shooters and hunters bob their heads trying to get a proper sight picture. This is because they brought the weapon up to their shoulder and then tried to find their target in the sight picture. The proper way, clearly delivered in the DVD, is see the target and then bring up the weapon so as to bring it into alignment with your sight—nothing faster and more efficient.

Charging on point is the movement of going from a relaxed, yet aware, position (condition yellow) to full condition red, with weapon loaded and ready to fire. Many parts are delved into, such as millisecond responses to initial attack stimuli, such as that almost imperceptible action of checking the environment as the weapon is coming up: it’s a lot faster to discern the actual threat and bring up the weapon, than to immediately bring up the weapon and then have to readjust from a incorrectly perceived threat to the real threat. For those of you who have been in combat, where we’d chamber a round the moment we passed the base fence, exited the vehicle, or were descending onto the LZ (especially a hot one), the Israeli style of “charging on point” might cause some debate (becoming a hot conversation topic with friend, security specialist, former Marine and police officer, and present Student of the Gun TV host, Paul Markel, this week), but I’ll leave that to thoughts based on your own personal experiences: This is a training video about the Israeli-style of carbine use and to that the producers remain true; and this article is about what the DVD offers, and questioning and highlighting specific tactical practices used by different foreign armies, and even our own different military and law enforcement units, is best left to a later article.

Garret and Guy in the combat pistol DVD of the Mako Defense series

Dealing with weapons malfunctions is well-worth the whole video: you don’t know three major types of malfunctions that can occur, and you don’t know how to deal with them quickly, you’re dead. In this video you’ll learn how to get yourself situated so that you’re not an easy target and then get to correcting the malfunctions:  jam one (easiest to clear, requiring a “slap and rack” response), jam two (when the action is jammed open and there’s probably a double-round jam, or worse), jam three (really just an empty magazine, requiring a full replacement). The key about all these is not just the mechanics of correcting the jam, but what you’re focusing on, not focusing on, and your body placement and position in relation to the environment and the threat.

Multiple targets, or multiple threats, can be a real doozie. That’s what we used to call “hitting the fan”: bad guys are charging your position en masse and pulling a John Wayne (firing indiscriminately on full-auto) will get you killed. With proper attention to details, Garret Machine and Guy go over a proper response in this type of scenario that is at once both a pleasure to watch, and to learn from…remember what I said about attention to economy of action while watching this section.

One maneuver that really says IDF is the way they close with that foot stomp, from a distance it looks a man acting like a spider, feet moving vertically as the operator comes to a stop.  It’s a style that takes into consideration the variations in terrain, which a more direct travel could easily end in the subject going end over end. In the video you can see how someone well-practiced in it (and a few of the students first exposed to the style) moves forward effectively.

Firing from cover and a car are some of my favorite topics. Many get it so wrong, especially when preferring to shoot over a defensive barrier, like shooting over the hood of a vehicle, instead of from the side of the wheel and under the engine. Many think of their bellies and limbs, instead of their noggins when seeking protection, and when you have to shoot over a wall, or hood: it’s your brain that reveals itself to the threat first, not your eyes; while moving from the side can still protect most of your brain and most of your body. Garret covers this well. I did have a question as to why an ambidextrous approach wasn’t mentioned (something I was taught, not just providing the least number of opportunities for the bad-guys, but also in case a lucky round turns your strong arm into a wet noodle flopping round, and you still need to keep shooting), but since it’s in our accompanying, downloadable, GCT Radio interview, I’ll leave it to Garret’s fine explanation.

Shooting from vehicles is nicely touched on, but I’m sure you can arrive at your own conclusions, that there’s a lot more involved, that just can’t be taught in DVD and that you’ll have to take an actual course from Mako Defense to get proper training in that.

The maintenance and instructor recommendations sections are certainly worthwhile because so many, especially those who’ve never gone through some sort of military training, don’t know how to properly strip and clean an AR15. Anyone who pays attention to the material in this DVD, and more importantly make it a component of repeated practice, will come away with enough information to properly handle an AR15/M4-type carbine. In all, I give this video a solid thumbs up!

For more information on the other training DVDs and live training in courses and workshops offered by Mako Defense instructors, visit

For your daily commute on your MP3 player – Download and Enjoy Garret Machine of Mako Defense’s interview on GCT Radio:

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