SureFire Field Notes 65 combatives training

Greg Lapin of Vida Jiu-jitsu and VATA Group Training probably wouldn’t dispute that a firearm is a great equalizer in a physical confrontation, but in SureFire Field Notes 65, he discusses how firearm proficiency is only one part of the equation when training to defend oneself from an attacker.

“In today’s day and age, people overlook the importance of combatives training programs,” says Lapin, who teaches Brazilain Jiu-jitsu as well as firearms courses. “There’s a potential, a lot more, for getting into a physical altercation–having to use your hands on someone, pushing someone, shoving someone, grabbing someone–than there is drawing your pistol.”

To that end, Lapin says, incorporating combatives training is extremely important in familiarizing yourself with the dynamics of a fight. While entering a jiu-jitsu or wrestling academy with no prior fighting experience may sound like a scary proposition, the purpose is to learn how to survive in a fight. As the old adage goes, repetition breeds familiarity. Similar to training at the range, combatives training provides the necessary repetition to develop self-defense techniques into a skill, increasing your odds of survival when using a firearm may not be an option.

That said, combatives training requires commitment. It cannot be learned in a two-hour or two-day course.

“There’s a big difference between a training course and a training program,” Lapin says. “Go to your courses. Go to your schools. Go to your [law enforcement] in-service [training]. Get that knowledge, but then you’ve got to go and take that, implement it into practice and find a training program. Go join a gym. Go get in a kimono. Learn about actually fighting another man, another person for real. It’s going to do wonders for your capability.”

Greg Lapin runs Vida Jiu-jitsu and VATA Group Training. Lapin spent eight years as a Louisiana Law Enforcement Officer with the majority of his time in Special Investigation and Narcotics units. He went on to work for Triple Canopy conducting high threat protection for the Department of State in conflict zones. Lapin was then recruited for a Department of Defense program in which he also worked in conflict zones while deployed. He has conducted various missions for both government and non-government clients around the globe. Lapin is currently a Sheriffs Deputy assigned to SWAT, an instructor for both firearms and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and is also an avid USPSA competitive shooter. For more information on Vida Jiu-jitsu, visit For more information on VATA Group Training, visit

Located in Fountain Valley, California, SureFire, LLC is the leading manufacturer of suppressors, high-performance flashlights, weapon-mounted lights, and other tactical equipment for those who go in harm’s way or anyone who demands the ultimate in quality, innovation, and performance. SureFire illumination tools are used by more SWAT teams and elite special operations forces than any other brand. SureFire is an ISO 9001:2015-certified company. For more information on SureFire’s complete line of tactical illumination tools and equipment, visit SUREFIRE.COM. To view more episodes of SUREFIRE FIELD NOTES along with SureFire Field Notes 65, visit the SUREFIRE CHANNEL on YouTube.

Special thanks to Ryan & KJ of GunTalk Media for helping with the filming of this video.