Navy Seal CQB Training


CQB stands for close quarters battle. Close quarters battle is fighting within streets, alleys, buildings, and other places where space is limited. This does not mean that CQB is always hand-to-hand combat. The Navy SEAL wants to dispatch his enemy as fast as possible. Using a gun is much quicker and takes far less time than hand-to-hand combat. SEALs train in many methods of CQB.

SEALs are the special operators of the U.S. Navy.
(us navy granite image by jimcox40 from

When fighting in close quarters, the rifle the SEALs use is a 9mm MP5. It is a very short sub-machine gun and allows them to move around in tight spaces but still carry a rifle. The accuracy a rifle offers over a pistol is particularly important when doing room clearing where there may be innocent people mixed in with adversaries. Misdirected shots could mean the loss of innocent lives. Training for SEALs is often live-fire and does result in the occasional death. However, to be as effective as possible, training needs to be realistic. The MP5 allows for precision shooting in a very compact weapon.

The MP5 is the SEAL's rifle of choice in CQB.
sight image by AGphotographer from

The primary pistol of choice for SEALs in CQB is the Sig Sauer 9mm P226. It is a high-capacity pistol that is extremely accurate and reliable. If a SEAL is using his pistol, he is in very tight quarters. Again, accuracy is critical. Innocent people may be mixed in with the enemy and stray shots could cause innocent loss of life. It is imperative for a SEAL operator to be able to enter a room, quickly identify the target or targets, and accurately be able to eliminate them using a pistol. This skill requires a tremendous amount of practice and training. Much of the training is live-fire.

The P226 is typically the SEAL's CQB pistol.
pistol's muzzle image by AGphotographer from

If a SEAL has resorted to using his knife during combat, either his weapon has run out of ammunition or, more likely, there is a need for stealth. Even a silenced pistol makes an audible noise, while using a blade on an enemy can be close to silent. SEALs are extensively trained in knife fighting, which includes lessons in anatomy and physiology. A SEAL knows where a knife will do the most damage and will put the enemy out of action as quickly as possible. Most of the training with knives is done using training knives that will not cut or stab. Training with their normal knives, of which they carry a variety, would result in many injuries.

SEALs use a variety of knives.
knife image by Albert Lozano from

SEALs use a variety of hand-to-hand tactics. Their training emphasizes using a variety of martial arts. Some of the most common are Muay Thai, Brazilian Juijitsu, and Krav Maga. The latter is also used and was created by Israeli Commandos. SEALs are encouraged to train in as many martial art disciplines as possible. Other popular SEAL martial arts include Ninjisu, Kung Fu, Karate, and Judo. They also train in boxing.

SEALs train in numerous martial arts.
martial arts image by Lisa Turay from

SEALs, like other special operation forces, are masters at using improvised weapons. If they cannot use a firearm or a knife, they are taught to make do with whatever is at hand. They are trained to scan an area and be able to see things as weapons that most people see as everyday objects. A pen, a book, an ornament, or a vase, to name a few possibilities, become weapons in properly trained hands. The CQB training received by SEALs is among the best training in the world.

Ordinary objects become weapons in the trained hands of a SEAL.
Pen image by Vasiliy Dmitrienko from


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