When beginning to explore armed exhibition drill (XD) many Drillers want to be able to execute a J-Hook (created by former New Guard America Driller, Jake Spiers) in the first hour of practice. That’s probably not going to happen- ever. It takes practice. Hour upon hour of practice. When starting out wanting to throw a rifle around, getting used to your specific piece of equipment is necessary: regulation drill (RD). Mastering RD is a must because it is the foundation to working on XD. Once you’ve mastered RD, you can then being to get used to holding your rifle differently and small spins and tosses; basic XD work with a rifle.
Drill Move Classifications
I’ve received many questions about identifying all of the moves that could be listed as “Basic Armed XD Moves.” Read, Where can I find a complete list of exhibition drill moves? and, . While I cover classifying a very long list of armed and unarmed moves as “basic, “intermediate” and “advanced” in my book, Exhibition Drill for the Military Drill Team, Vol II, this is only to facilitate
Standardized Move Names
A word on standardizing the names of drill moves, especially rifle drill: This is a very good thing and I have attempted to bring the names of rifle drill moves that many Drillers seem to be used to from many parts of the country to a national level. If you want to call an OTH (Over-the-Head) a “Pizza Toss,” you should not suffer scorn and be made to sit in a corner. Call the moves what you want, but when it comes to competitions that bring teams from different states together and, more to the point, brings trained judges together, a standard language is going to be very helpful in many ways.
Back to Tick-Tocks
This sequence of moves is very basic, but also quite effective- if it wasn’t the Silent Drill Platoon and hundreds of other drill teams wouldn’t use them! There are also several variations that you can implement. First, master the basics and then use your imagination. When marching, each movement coincides with a step (or you could have your steps count 2:1 or vice versa), when standing still, you can choose your own tempo. Here are some simple pictures my wife took of me using my DrillMaster M1903 iDrill Rifle.
Beginning at Port Arms
Moving from Port, you can move in either direction; here, we can started with upward movement:
Move the rifle up, as the hand is lowered slightly. Next, move back to Port:
Now, begin moving the rifle down, but your hands move up the rifle and stay fairly centered on your torso.
Move the rifle farther down, with hands going farther up the rifle, but still staying centered on the torso.
Next, move your hands back down the rifle and the rifle then moves up, eventually back to Port. All kinds of variations can be inserted throughout this sequence, the choice is yours- now go practice and have fun!