Book Review: Single-Person Close Quarters Battle

Today’s book review is on:  Tactics, Special. Single-Person Close Quarters Battle: Urban Tactics for Civilians, Law Enforcement and Military, written by Special Tactics, LLC. Kindle Edition.

Book Cover

My kids sleep in different rooms and it might be necessary to work through the house as I try to secure their safety in the event of a break-in.  Having never had any room clearing training I realized it was a gap in my Martial Arts training, so I grabbed this book and read through it.


I would like to stress the fact that you should not even think about clearing your home unless you have had firearms training that puts you under stress.  It would be a terrible thing to accidentally shoot a loved one that you were trying to protect.  Each of you reading this also needs to understand the applicable state laws for shooting someone in your home (castle doctrine). At the end of the day you have to live with the decision and consequences of shooting someone.

What does it mean “to clear a room?”

“Clearing” is the process of going room by room making sure there are no bad guys lurking in the shadows.  There are three basic scenarios that come to mind when I think about why it might be necessary to consider clearing one or more rooms in your home. All three scenarios start with this premise:

* It is late and you hear what sounds like someone breaking in to your house.

Clearing Scenario 1:

You are single, have immediate access to a firearm and are in a defensible position. Don’t clear your house. Call the police and wait until they show up.

Clearing Scenario 2:

You have a family. Call 911 and then begin the process of clearing your house to secure each family member. Once your family is secured wait until the police arrive. Do not clear the remainder of your house.

Clearing Scenario 3:

You are very remote and/or communication with police is difficult impossible. Clear your home if it makes sense.

Book Highlights:

The book is relatively short having only 81 pages. The font of the book is quite readable. it is written in two column format which I do not care for but it makes the graphics come out better on your Kindle reader. The author(s) claim that the techniques were developed by Military and Law Enforcement officers (LEOs). They also state that room clearing for an individual is risky at best, but if you feel the need then these tactics are a reasonable approach for doing so. Here is a screen shot of the Table of Contents:


The book uses both text and graphics to present the concepts.  The text is concise and matches the graphics.  Another nice thing is that the text and graphics are on the same page, here is a nice screen shot:

clearing a room

A screenshot of clearing a room


It met my desire to have some ideas/approaches for room clearing. My home has a staircase so I was pleased to see an approach dedicated to clearing/using a stairwell.


clearing a stairwell

clearing a stairwell


In regards to the other scenarios the book describes there are some good points and they overlap with other training that I have already taken.  This book is not intended as some kind of tactical course, but should be used as a starting point for your personal practice in room clearing your home. The book provided plenty of material to process mentally and physically.  I felt the author(s) did a good job staying on topic.


Overall the book was solid, but there were a couple places where I thought things should be said/done differently.  The first was  about a “J” Hook turn after entering a room.  I thought it should include an elevation change.  While this increases complexity I feel it would also reduce the probability of being shot in the back after entering a room.

The second item I felt was a short coming was not discussing the concept of “slicing .” It is a common term used to teach shooters how to look around a corner while reducing their own exposure. This book does not make use of that term nor discuss it. If you look at the second picture above, I think it would be a good place to discuss the concept of slicing. This would also need to be discussed in light the amount of time that you felt like you had to perform your room clearing.

Final Thoughts:

I recommend this book as a good starting point for learning the principles of room clearing, in particular if you ever have need to clear one or more rooms as an individual rather than part of a team. The time and money spent on the book were worthwhile. The next step for me is working through the drills in my own home so that the material goes from my head into a viable practice!