EIR or Ego Injury Report is apparently (I am still learning all these terms) an actual tactical persons AAR or After Action Report. I have not been in the military and I feel for me EIR is more my style because lets face it, that exactly what these videos are going to show, blows to my ego. Hell I lost a shoe in one of these….. So without further ado, Fit To Fights Hard Ready Unlisted or for some attending the course, Krav Maga Black Belt Test.
Last November I attended a Shivworks Edged Weapons Overview course that was being hosted by Fit To Fight. I was so impressed with the crew there and the people I met that I came home raving. So much so that my husband was likely to accidentally slip a mitt and nail me upside the head while we were working out together just to get me to shut up. He didn’t, I am grateful, and we made plans. Or rather I researched like a stoned procrastinator during finals week deciding I wanted to train under them and get a more hands on what they were about.
We went at the end of February and attended their Instructors Training Course weekend which was informative, exhaustive, and incredibly fun. From there we stayed and trained with them doing classes 5-6 times a week for the month of March ending with the grand finale of Unlisted. There is so much to unpack from the month and about this group that I will be writing a separate article about them in a couple of days, but today I wanted to talk about when the fun stops.
To sign up for Hard Ready Unlisted you had to apply, pay (which was a fairly standard rate), and know pretty much nothing about what you are getting yourself into. It’s a three day course where you are told to just show up with a pistol, 200 rounds, two to three shirts and pants and shoes to change into daily, and a good attitude. The application was pretty involved; actually it was very similar to the many foster/adoption parent applications I have filled out only with questions about guns and active shooters.
It’s called Unlisted because if you die, you signed a non disclosure, so they just roll your body off in a ravine on Ryan Hoovers property because you were never there, you are, “Unlisted….”
I am one of those people that prefer to walk in blind when it’s something I know is going to test my mettle. My first training weekend a year ago, I am so grateful I just be-bopped in there oblivious to what I had gotten myself into because I am not sure I would have started all this had I known. Being at Fit To Fight the month before was not necessarily a conducive atmosphere in terms of easing any anxiety I might have felt. I saw literal walls go up, made friends with those that were black belt testing whose unease managed to rub off, and had several people inquire if I was concerned. I wasn’t, until I was asked multiple times what we were doing there for the month and someone would say, “Oh she is doing the Unlisted,” and I would get this, “Ohhhhhhh….” I had no clue that it was also their Black Belt testing and so I awesomely spent the month wigging out and wondering how over my head I had gotten Ryan and I and if this would be used in marital fights for years to come.
So we survived, barely. Day one they, “warmed us up” inspirationally and physically. I spent the first three hours of this pondering when the fun would start. There were about 15 of us enrolled and then several people in and out. We awkwardly did pistol drills with SIRT guns so those running the show who had been so sweet the month before miraculously turned into drill sergeants on crack while they watched silently as we squirmed wondering what the hell we were doing wrong. This second-guessing thought process could have just been me, but I did manage to meet other over thinkers as well; there is like a honing beacon so we can recognize each other and freak out together.
Within the first hour I understood the necessity of the 2-3 shirts requirement, a friend of mine mentioned later that she could literally smell and differentiate other peoples sweat on her t-shirt and I have never understood anything better. We did the worst drill I have ever done in my life, shadow boxing…. Just kidding. It was barrel rolls down the mat with a person on top doing knee on belly. I know for some people who attended reading this they will be like, “Seriously Christun?” But yes, I am serious. That. Drill. Sucked.
We were then split into two groups and we had range day first which I am eternally grateful to those running this sheep circus because the following morning was 30 degrees outside and I am a fair weather fighter. I don’t do cold and I don’t jump rope.
The range was set up basically like every other one of these things I have been to and our esteemed leader was Chris Magno. Chris, ironically is the brother in law to Rodney, the instructor that had walked me through room clearing at AR Tactics a few days before. When I say the world is small, the firearm world is smaller. Chris was an amazing teacher who also happens to formerly be John Ringo in his past life. He would run through the drills making it look so simple that when attempted by myself I contemplated if I had just stood around the whole explanation picking my nose.
Forcing Ryan to be the Instagram husband and film, I was able to get a few of these on video so the world can see my screwups. Fueled on beef jerky and a prayer we went into some drills I had done before, thumb pectoral shooting and what not, to some I had not. I spent this day testing out the Fabriclip holster I had bought. Not being a belt wearer I wanted to see if it held up to its hype, a little bit of yes and no. Looking for better options currently…
We were constantly getting our heart rate revved up with pressure testing and then running a gamut of things. It was hard, but it was fun, finally. The atmosphere felt as safe as you can make it when fighting with pistols. One of the drills was a three man attack for what felt like hours and was in reality probably 20 seconds. Then you had to open the safe and shoot whatever target they called, mag change when you need to, and keep going. Another had us ramping up the blood by kettle ball and then attend to what would be a wounded person bleeding out. For anyone that knows me my bedside manner can best be described as Nurse Ratched and I promptly forgot I was wearing a body cam after this one started. After I managed to tourniquet the dummy’s arm I had to carry him and run to get him into the truck for safety. No ranger roll for this girl, just an incredibly inelegant sling up to my shoulders that I am pretty sure would not be feasible for me IRL with a real human, because physics. This was followed by a bevy of curse words as I pounded up this hill to not so gently lay him down with, if memory serves, a, “get in there fu@#$%....” Not my finest moment. Hastily remembering the body cam, I arranged him more gently. I ran back down the hill to protect my, “person,” and shoot at the, “bad guys.” 8 hours, first day done.
Day two was more emotional. I was sore, bruised, and likely sporting a broken thumb; we were inside though and it was warm so no complaints. We ran sparring drills with Morgan who I had been learning from the past month, changed a few shirts, and individually ran the shoot house drill. I had just hit my thumb while trying to choke my husband (safely) and was doing my best to not puke when I got called in for my turn.
Aaron Janetti is an affiliate with Fit To Fight and runs Endeavor Self Defense in Ohio. I had met him previously at EWO and had done a few memorable evolutions with him. I found him to be a fun, very easy going person who travels the country teaching Active Shooter Response in over 30 states, but training Aaron and teaching Aaron are two totally different individuals….. Training Aaron is a laughing individual who cracks jokes and is a happy-go-lucky training partner. Teacher Aaron rocks a serious mode that cracks an evil smile occasionally and quite frankly scares me. Like when you are debriefing/explaining your reasons for your decisions in the shoot house, no smile, no frown, no emotion, just sits there letting you run out of steam. Wigged me out. Obviously I am not scarred enough to not learn from him again because I signed up for his Knife Control Concepts workshop in June. It’s that or I am a masochist.
Aaron ran the shoot house drills and taught several do’s and don’t of house clearing and dealing with general bad dudes in your space, job, public, etc. My scenario was me sitting home alone when someone knocks on my door. I have a sim gun in the safe located in my bedroom with an unknown amount of rounds and a tourniquet next to it. That’s it. That’s what I got.
I need to point out that there was no way I was going to do any of these scenario work drills correctly, there are too many variables and that wasn’t the goal. I am posting the video because its fun and eye opening. There will be nothing a person can point out that I did wrong I haven’t already hashed over a billion times while counting bruises in the bathtub each night and for several weeks afterwards. I knew going into this weekend I was going to mess up constantly, I was there to try, not get it right. I was there to see what I would do, weigh out my options, and test myself with what I had learned up against my own internal fight.
There were two small things that had been hammered into my head for quite some time before that and if I managed to do those I was going to pass my own personal exam. One was understanding that it was not a gunfight, but a fight with a gun in it. I didn’t want to dwell and focus only on the gun as my weapon, but to make sure that I used everything I had been trained with. I thought I was out of ammo after I missed the second guy and he came upon me in the hallway. Honestly I don’t even know what I was doing at that point going back to the living room; I think I was thinking I needed to see if there were any more people in the house. I hit him with the gun and then dropped it because it was not useful to me. That was my first personal success.
The second was making sure I damn well called 911. This was something I totally had shamed into me at ECQC and I was not going to screw it up this go round. So yeah after flailing around and being slammed into a few walls from Bad Guy Window Salesman who I missed killing the first time around, I stupidly left my gun a few feet from him, ran into the wrong room, didn’t check to see if first guy was dead, ran outside my “house” minus a shoe and called 911 on a phone I magically pulled out of thin air because lets be realistic, I either left my phone on the couch in the living room when this started or it fell out in the scuffle. But dammit, I remembered to call. So yeah, I failed in every other aspect and there are so many shoulda couldas that I have ran on repeat in my head constantly since, but I dropped my empty ish gun and I called 911. Minor success, but success nonetheless….
Also totally cool with not using the tourniquet to save bad guy. I live in real life 30 minutes from the closest hospital so if you are in my house uninvited, know I have pressure tested the fact that I am not saving you if I have shot you. I feel like this is good to know.
Day three, not as fun. Actually not really fun at all. Fun fact I have learned: never assume if the Sunday is shorter in hours that it will be a breeze. It’s not. Ever. In fact its short because they are going to just grind you to the freaking ground and smile while they poke at your dismembered body parts with a shock knife.
Honestly I don’t even remember day three, it’s a blur. Lots of moving, sweating, choking back some tears, and the Circle of Death with Amber. This is where you stand in a circle with one person in the middle; everyone has a number and can pick a weapon of choice, gun, knife, or club. Your number is called and you go to town on whoever’s turn it is to stand in the center. By this time we had been split so those that were black belt testing were in another room being smacked around lovingly. I wasn’t too worried about them because they weren’t “Unlisted” so the powers that be needed to make sure they stayed alive; they weren’t as easily disposed of since they are the next batch of Fit to Fight Black Belts and all. Three of the guys in my group were giants with a few years of Jiu Jitsu experience (I am assuming this because they were wearing fancy rashguards,) so I spent most of this drill being used to wipe the floor, and the rest of it I have blocked out from memory.
Another fond drill I remember vaguely was flinch testing. This was where we punched each other’s forehead while they try not to blink. By this point everyone was pretty tired and doped up on adrenaline so even if there was aiming involved it was lacking profusely at best. So after being smacked directly in the eyeball instead of the forehead I made the decision that this one wasn’t worth the 5k I paid for LASIK on my eyes and I screwed them tightly shut.
Throughout the whole time Ryan Hoover gave fun motivational speeches that apparently my brain chose to block out as well since I know they happened, but I only remember staring at the back of one of his shirts. It said over and over, “I have lost many times. I have lost many times.” This covers the entire shirt, then it says in the very last sentence, “But I have never been defeated.” That I remember. I want that T-shirt. That concept was important to me. I knew I was going to lose many times that weekend; I went in with that understanding extremely clear. I also went in rather anxiety ridden for the first time out of all the workshops I have done knowing the battle would be against myself and it was. So what was my win? Did I actually have fun? Why am I paying to get beat down for three days if it isn’t?
Unlisted was by far the hardest training weekend I have survived. The fun stopped several times throughout and several times I wanted to stop, but I learned, I grew. Each time I have walked away from an exhaustive few days like this with a wealth of knowledge and each time what I glean is always new. I am not defeated because I teared up, I learned more about perseverance. I am not defeated because I made the wrong calls in a shoot house, I learned I could keep my small goals in mind when under intense pressure. So all in all I would say a few hours out of the weekend of non fun was worth it to learn that if I shoot a criminal in my house that tourniquet is staying in my medical bag while I fake call 911 with my hand.
Aaron Jannetti RRyan KHoover Aamber Staklinski
Special thanks to Adolfo Salas III Morgan Talley Salas Anya Wallace Anthony Joseph Riley Hoover for helping me the month before. You all are awesome.
Elle Jackson thank you so much for the encouraging messages throughout. Seriously that helped in many ways.
Aaron Kimball and Rodney Thompson sorry for laying all over the walls and just standing in the doorway like a boss #thatneedssomework
Cortenay Munn Matters and Chantell Prestcott-Hollander Alec Rains Brooke Hughes you all are amazing, congratulations on your black belts!
#unlisted #notusingthetourniquet #womensselfdefense #fittofight #hardready #everythinghurts #isurvived #glock #shockknife #andersenwindow #theycomeinpairs #thumbpectoral #number2iselusive #ihavelostmanytimes #learninginfailures #ihaveneverbeendefeated
Author- Christun Erwin
"Thank you for your words. They make an impact and its important that, human to human, woman to woman, mother to mother... you know that you make a difference, even to those you never knew your words" -Krystal