Rich Graham Responds – The Fog Of Derp

Navy SEAL Rich Graham didn’t take too kindly to us making fun of his youtube training video in my last post The Fog Of Derp – Shooting Under Stress.

You can view the video below, and click on the link above to see the comments that were made about it:

For those that are not subscribed to the comments on that post, here’s what he wrote tonight:

OK, OK, you guys can put your stones back into your old testament! I am Rich Graham, and I instructed the course every one is ripping apart. I’m not going writing back to engage in a pissing match, but I do want to clarify a few things. After reading all of your comments and watching from your point of view, I can see how what I was teaching these guys could be misinterpreted. It is very difficult to take and entire course and put it into a 1min-6min promo video, that is exciting to watch, but informative at the same time. There is just to much info and the guys in the course don’t want to see a video of me just talking, they want to see clips of them doing the drills.

So, lets start from the top. Yes, I was a SEAL, class 236, and I did have an honorable discharge for those suggesting otherwise. In the beginning of the video I was talking about thought process that is proactive instead of reactive. Is it easier to block punches or throw them? Same concept.
The drills on muzzle discipline were the first drills of the day, done with no ammo on the range, all magazines in your bags, slide locked to the rear(if you look closely) and group buddy checks from everyone in the group, every time a new student was up. I would not do this drill with live ammo!

I’m glad everyone liked my break dancing, I thought I did it pretty good! Ha ha! Again this is out of context. I was demonstrating soft vs. rigid shooting stances. A shooter needs to be able to get bumped, bounced, tripped, etc. and be able to maintain his muzzle on the target at all times even as his body moves and changes under him. Think about it. A tank can lock onto a target and change directions, go over hills and bumps but the barrel stays locked onto the target at all times. This was not just break dancing to look cool on you tube I was teaching a very important lesson on gun control.

As for the stress courses that some guys find unrealistic, I don’t know what to say there. Just a difference in training opinions I guess. I train Law Enforcement, Contractors, and civilians also. Needless to say if you where a Cop and you chased a guy two blocks, climbed three fences, at night in the dark and it came to an end breathing heavy in a hostage situation… that is NOT the first time to shoot tired, stressed, and under pressure. So lifting weights, running, crawling, multiple targets, etc. is how I try to put it together. One person asked “why would you crawl or who crawls in a gun fight” seriously? If you have not trained shooting from the prone position with a pistol your wrong. How many people carry concealed rifles? If you always have a pistol and you run into a situation and bullets are flying and you don’t know where they are coming form your may want to get down!

With the spray paint, some of the guys got carried away at lunch. The course is serious but we like to have fun also. I am not hazing or running a militia by any means. We got rained on half way through the day so a few guys took there shirts off because every one was soaked. And the best for last the combat roll… I don’t teach that ha ha one of the guys asked about it and if he could try it. I don’t do that, some teach it in Systema, etc. but he did perform it safely so….  Yah I know maybe I should have left that out.

This response is becoming to long, I know you guys just brought up a lot of questions about my video. If you really want to know what the course was like or what people thought of it you could have, or can just go to my website tridentfitness.net and read the testimonials from the course. I have had over 30 SWAT Team operators from NJ, PA, DE, and MD tell me that this course was the best pistol training that they had received so that is why I am not taking offense to these remarks on your site. I truly believe if you had attended the course and had been taught the thought process and reasoning behind the drills you would view this video differently.

He also was butthurt enough to email me this:

Mike-I posted a reply to the less than respectful comments about my video.
In the future you may want to do a little more homework before throwing
someone under the bus like that. I don’t know who the bloggers are or who
you are for that matter thats why I am not going to run my mouth or make
false statements about your club or your site. If you want to know more
about how and why I train the way I do all you had to do was ask.

Rich Graham

To which I responded to with this:

Rich,

My goal wasn’t to throw you (or any of the guys in the other vids I’ve made fun of) under the bus.  The videos speak for themselves.   I could have just put “presented without comment” under your video, and everyone would have pointed out the same things I did, in the comments section anyway.

I’m no one important, and I’ve never operated in any operations.  I’m just a regular guy that happens to blog about stuff that amuses me, in an attempt to keep myself and the several hundred thousand people that stop buy the site every month entertained.

All the best,

-Mike

His comments about the legitimacy of the training exercises was predictable.  We have seen similar justification from other guys who’s vids I’ve made fun of.   I guess it’s one of those things I’ll never really understand because I’m not an operator.

Are you guys convinced by his response? Or are you still leaning more towards Derp?

UPDATE: see the Rich Graham – Tactical Internet Fail post after this one for some extra laughs

38 COMMENTS

JUMP DOWN ↓ TO ADD ANOTHER

jumpthestack September 6, 2011 at 12:24 am

I didn’t find the video very objectionable compared to the other derp training videos. The parts that were the most iffy were the muzzle discipline drills, the breakdancing and the tactical roll stuff, which I feel that he explained adequately. Kudos to Mr. Graham for not getting super defensive and angry in his response, which a lot of guys would have.

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Robert September 6, 2011 at 01:01 am

I give the guy props for thinking outside the box. I also figure if he was a SEAL, he’s gone through a lot of training exercises that if were put in a video without context they would look damn silly to the outsider.

Kudos to the guy for reacting in a very civil manner.

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v September 6, 2011 at 01:05 am

it was/is painful to watch those wacked out vids you put up…
having been victimized by pos instructors in both my POST and other classes, these vids do nothing but reinforce my reluctance to take any further instruction…
he can say whatever he wants, but he made and released that vid as representing his course of instruction…
the cringe factor is strong with this one…

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Trustin September 6, 2011 at 02:31 am

While I don’t agree with samefagging to make it seem like he has support, this was a rational response that actually made me respect his training more. I do think his editing/YT video skillz need work, but this was a well thought out response. I don’t really agree with you ripping his response apart unnecessarily though. give credit where credit is due. At least he’s not doing the V.I.P.E.R.S. shit just because he thinks it makes him bad ass. he actually put thought in to his “tactics”.

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ozwald September 6, 2011 at 06:51 am

i’m prettysure could take this dude in a highspeedlowdrag pissing match…

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I've got nothing better to do on my day off September 6, 2011 at 07:46 am

Def thought the breakdancing was retarded. If he wanted to demonstrate that, do it with a blue gun or something. Don’t f#$%!ng blow your kneecap off.

I’m actually on the fence about the muzzle drill assuming it was done safely. But once again, blue guns are cheap and accidents and idiots are not. Just get a few blue guns. The fact is that in a dynamic situation you might have a person run out in front of you (in fact I shot a local match Saturday with a spinning no shoot target that gets in the way). I think the train of thought is decent but the execution is sloppy.

The part that I actually agree with is the physical fitness part. That’s his schtick. If it doesn’t look like your cup of tea, don’t do it. But the point about running after a bad guy (or in a military context taking that 5 billion degree incline hill), good physical fitness will probably help. Is this gimmicky, yes. Is it without context, no.

While the vid was derptastic, it doesn’t even compare to ADE or that Chariots of Fire one.

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I've got nothing better to do on my day off September 6, 2011 at 07:47 am

Ha. Do love his epic fail one post later. Nice.

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adam September 6, 2011 at 07:55 am

rich where are you in this photo?

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adam September 6, 2011 at 07:55 am
ozwald September 6, 2011 at 08:20 am

he’s the dude in the white shirt. can’t miss him.

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Josh September 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

he’s the dude in the white shirt. can’t miss him.

Ah, but which one is Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy?

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ENDO-Mike September 6, 2011 at 01:20 pm

http://www.navy.mil/moh/mpmurphy/pg.html 2nd picture, it says far left side back row.

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Josh September 6, 2011 at 01:29 pm

I knew that already. Just pointing out that it was his class.

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ENDO-Mike September 6, 2011 at 01:17 pm
Zarathustra February 18, 2015 at 01:55 am

Just guessing. He’s in the front row, between the two officers.

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Adam September 6, 2011 at 08:07 am

His choice of clips to put in the video knowing it would be viewed without explaination is questionable but his response was reasonable. No where near as silly as the previous vids in this genre.

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Dillankid September 6, 2011 at 08:39 am

It all makes more sense with the context behind it – but almost every clip in the video was poorly selected…Shows how things in the wrong context can put a bad spin on anything.

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overkill556x45 September 6, 2011 at 08:50 am

I’m not one for breakdancing or dive-rolls, but having done two deployments to Trashcanistan, I can attest that you should practice shooting while winded and tired. Airsoft guns would have been a better choice for the muzzle discipline segment.

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I've got nothing better to do on my day off September 6, 2011 at 08:56 am

I agree. For those who want to see what it’s like in a safe environment, do a two mile run at a fast speed (i.e. a run with a sprint for the last four hundred meters, not a jog) and then try and send an email from your iphone. Every wrong key is a complete miss. It really highlights how fine motor skills go to $h!t quickly.

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bima86 September 6, 2011 at 09:04 am

he mentioned “carry a concealed rifle” ??
how does someone carry a rifle and people around doesn’t notice??

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Frank September 6, 2011 at 09:20 am

You’d be really surprised what people can carry. SBR still counts as a rifle.

+1 to Rick Graham, obviously he got defensive, but at least he responded. Unlike Top-Douchebag, I’ll give Rick the benefit of the doubt do to malicious editing, albeit I am open to the possibility that he edited his own videos. This whole process is dubious.

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bima86 September 6, 2011 at 09:29 am

ah, right.. I was thinking about those long bolt-action / semi-auto rifles :D

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Frank September 6, 2011 at 11:09 am

Even in the movie Heat, the characters’ rifles are somewhat visible under their dress coats, but throw on raincoats… It’s another issue at that point.

Here’s an example of what a large coat is used for:
http://www.andrewsleather.com/firepower.htm

Keep it mind that sitting down is going to be difficult as all hell. lol

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Dillankid September 6, 2011 at 01:23 pm

Is that a pistol in your pocket or…holy crap it’s a shotgun!

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Josh September 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Don’t point stuff like that out; you might give that idiot Leonard in TN ideas.

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Patrick September 6, 2011 at 10:04 am

I think you misunderstood his point. The question was “who crawls in a gun fight”. Many people shoot their rifles prone, but has he said.. who carries a concealed rifle? He is emphasizing that he believes you should learn to shoot your pistol from a prone position, because you probably won’t have a rifle when you need one. I don’t think that is a bad idea.

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Theblackknight September 6, 2011 at 11:59 am

STILL DERP.

I’m seeing crossed thumbs grips and weaver stances. I know nowhere in the NSW pipeline do they teach that shit.

When is the last time you seen a top competition or Tier X guy shoot weaver, and fucked thumbs? NONE

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What-do-I-know-anyway? September 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm

My experience when it comes to knowing how to point a gun at people or having them point it at me is quite limited… but I can’t help but think there are situations that he was trying to train for. Blue guns certainly would have been safer… but his response leads me to believe that the safety aspect was adequate for the walking in front of the shooter drill was adequate. He also is correct in his response in regards to physical activity… if your heart is racing, it’s harder to shoot straight.

Plus, he was able to calmly, while still expressing his irritation, respond to all the comments in an intelligent and thought out manner… that alone is in short supply these days!

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Poppy September 6, 2011 at 05:41 pm

hmmm…. Rich does have a point.

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Chris September 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I thought the guy showed remarkable restraint, in his post, considering the lashing we gave out. I think the best thing to have done would have been to let him say his piece and defend himself and leave it at that, but it’s your blog.
Again, good on him for not coming in here and shredding everyone, which is the typical internet response to some one calling shenanigans on you.

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Chris September 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Uh oh! Just read the most recent post. Minus 13 on the respect gauge.

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Rich Graham September 7, 2011 at 06:27 pm

I see a lot of things have gone on here since i was last on.. And yes, unfortunately my editing skills still need some work, and music choice, well, what can I say? My wife hates it too. The training however really does what its meant to do.

As far as “Poppy” goes, that’s my friend Justin(not my room mate or mom lol). He was here, and responded to the erroneous comments on my behalf as a friend and the only one out of the group who has actually recieved my training.

Yes I am in the photo, front row dead center.

Though the training may look ridiculous to some of you from an outside perspective, it does work. I put my students under safe but stressful situations that will better equip them for real a world applications. For any who are interested, or for those who still doubt our training methods, I invite you to take a class with us, check out http://www.tridentfitness.net for our schedule.

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Chris September 7, 2011 at 07:46 pm

And he still isn’t mad! Ladies and gentlemen, say “Hello” to the nicest man on the internet, Rich Graham!

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Terriligunn September 8, 2011 at 01:22 am

Okay, perhaps I was a bit harsh. You seem like a nice guy, and you are trying to improve this and work the PR for you company. Kudos. Given you have been polite despite my less then polite comments I do apologize. Just please put of a warning on the video, don’t take it down, that this is more of a “fun” video. Please put out more and go into more details of the school, but please one topic per video. Good luck.

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Overblown November 2, 2012 at 08:45 pm

I have taken 3 of his courses one was 3 days long. I think I would have a tough time learning as much as I did in the same amount of time in any other course. I have taken a few other courses and his courses worked the best for me. It’s completely out of the box, fast moving, learn a lot kind of day. They bought me to the next level. Now I only have 100 more levels to go.. ha. I agree I dont know the music is appropriate. But the course is well ran, informative, full of new stuff and safe. Many are pushed to the end of their comfort level (much not shown here) but there is no shame in sitting something out.
My understanding is when there are many civilians involved in a course, that parts of the course might be put on youtube. I think I heard it was basically so everyone can see themselves for the good and the bad, I respect that. I was not at this course but I am thinking the guy who did the roll might not be doing them in the future. Maybe Im wrong? But it is a way to show someone that something might not be working for you. You can learn a lot from watching things that are not perfect.
And yes in all fairness things were taken out of contest and put into a short video for the participants to watch and show there buds.
I respect the fact that the video was posted the way it was. To me it shows confidence.
And as far as the second post from the same location, after meeting Rich I will buy the “it was my friend“excuses. Just smack that guy and don’t let it happen again.

Can someone give me a link to the other courses you are speaking of?
Cool site, I will be back

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TR June 1, 2013 at 04:27 pm

From what I have learned from watching Rich is he has alot of good info/tactics that are real life stuff. Way better than the most. Besides how many of you armchair cheeto eatin orange dick fatasses even own a gun on here?

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Chris D March 8, 2015 at 07:57 am

I just ran across this very old thread and wanted to chime in as well. I personally know Rich Graham and have worked with him and other former SEALs for over three years on a Navy SEAL charity (www.lknsealswim.org). The class photo shown earlier, does show Rich in the front row center, as well as Mike Murphy on top row left for whomever brought that into the topic.

The ribbing, vitriolic rants and opinions so cavalierly tossed around here have me shaking my head. So many of you mock what you see in a short video and mention such absurdities as movies (including many of your very telling names), video games and competitive shooting. Special Operators don’t train to shoot competitively unless you consider that competition to be winning an actual gunfight. And to one poster’s point, simulating the stress inoculation – physically, mentally and emotionally – and of course the REAL pucker factor that comes from truly being shot at is something that is VERY hard to mirror in training. Additionally, tactics are fortunately ever evolving and continuously being improved upon.

I find it sadly amusing that those that criticize the most and the loudest are usually the ones who have the least amount of practical knowledge on the subject – whatever that might be. If you have not actually been in a gunfight, you have NO idea what you are talking about.

Lastly, with regards to Rich’s credentials as a former Navy SEAL – there are several photos of him during a training exhibition at the Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, FL which can also be seen on their home page slideshow – http://www.navysealmuseum.org – so go and see for yourself. I am sure the folks there, above and beyond any of the “experts” here, have the uncanny ability to vet out one of their own and would not allow a fake/poser to present himself in that environment and to that audience.

Respectfully… oh and good luck with your Zombie Apocalypse thing. ;)

C

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Mike January 22, 2016 at 12:17 am

Break dancing? I show a lot of people I know this video for the incredible skill it takes to perform that “dance”. I am fearful of the guy I have to shoot at who can move like he is being controlled by some teenager playing a video game. He would make an impossible target to hit, not to mention he is not the biggest guy in stature to begin with. I saw Rich at shot show and wanted to introduce myself, but the few times I ran past him he was on the phone. Hate all you want, wouldn’t want to be down range of him.

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