top of page



CQD is an operationally-focused training system that seamlessly integrates all aspects of tactical skills,from unarmed to armed
– for the individual and team.

CQD provides the specialized skills necessary to respond appropriately to all situations and ensures the operator’s confidence and capability is at its highest level. CQD focuses on those theories, techniques and tactics that are functional –
both in personal defense and duty-related tasks.

Operational Readiness Training

CQD courses are designed to provide the operator with the individual and team skills necessary to dominate high-risk encounters. 

For all courses, CQD provides a high level of accountability and quality control through its Validation/Accountability Service. This service utilizes various methods to undeniably evaluate the capabilities of each operator under the realistic pressure and chaos of the high-risk fight. These methods ensure all personnel undergo the same training and evaluation allowing for true assessment and subsequent remediation and produce a greater depth of understanding and confidence. Both Naval Special Warfare and federal agencies have utilized this Validation/Accountability Service for pre- and post- engagement assessment as well as to evaluate the student's suitability for operations.


For those military agencies that choose to make a commitment with personnel and facilities, CQD has established the Instructor Training and Licensing Program. This program certifies selected and fully vetted individuals to teach components of the system and is designed to provide a progressive, operationally focused, and standardized program of instruction for an entire organization. 

Though the skills of CQD may be utilized as a student learns it, the system is complex to teach with the depth of knowledge necessary to maintain a high standard of excellence. Therefore, CQD employs an in-depth process to produce the highest quality instructors. This process develops the candidate professionally, and instills an ethos in each instructor. In the standard CQD Instructor Training Program, prospective students undergo Forging, Instructor Training, and Validation/Accountability Training, followed by periodic Sustainment Training.

The success of the CQD Instructor Training and Licensing program has been demonstrated through the adoption by Naval Special Warfare. Since 1996, over forty-five NSWC CQD instructors have gone through the rigorous components of Forging and Instructor Training. The instructors have in turn trained thousands of SEALs and support personnel in one of the most sought after and successful courses at NSW. The success of the CQD Instructor Training process has been proven through student and leadership approval, and through official operational documentation proclaiming its relevance and necessity.



Navy SEALS are regarded as the world’s premier fighting force with well-documented operational successes under the most challenging conditions. For over two decades a critical component of their success and their most well-kept secret was the Close Quarters Defense® system, taught by Duane Dieter.

Coveted within the SEAL and Federal Agency community for many years, Mr. Dieter is the most revolutionary and influential tactical trainer in the world. Over a period of nine years, he personally developed the CQD system - the most validated and operational system anywhere.

Read more about CQD’s History with Naval Special Warfare

For more information on CQD Military training, please 


Mr. Dieter has helped ensure SEALS will be ready when duty calls. His quality of service impassioned committment and unswerving loyalty resulted in increased readiness and mission capability of Naval Special Operating forces globally.

— Naval Superior Civilian Service Award Citation presented by Commanding Officer Naval Special Warfare Command

This course, more so than any other course we have in Naval Special Warfare, has the most military application and I think enhances you as an operator and will enable you to acheive victory on the battlefield, maintain mission success and not embarrass our nation.

— CAPT Maguire

NSW has been exposed to Dieter’s Close Quarters Defense (CQD) for nine years, it is the only system used by NSW that successfully integrates the use of firearms with other close fighting and prisoner control techniques that works during close fierce encounters in support of NSW missions. CQD has received broad community acceptance as improving NSW close combat ability and has become the standard for close combat techniques. Success of the system has been validated in both NSW exercises and operations… NAVSPECWARCEN CFC cadre tried to compile a program by sending personnel to train in various martial arts, sport fighting or choreographed systems. This approach produced numerous shortfalls and led to an ineffective program. The eclectic approach training came froma sport focus or unrealistic martial art choreographed system not a combat base. The skills and methods of training were designed to win a contest not prepare SEALs for NSW missions. This built conflicting responses in the operator and platoon that made the unit less cohesive in action. Of particular danger, these reflexes were not compatible with the use of firearms. The results are catastrophic under real pressure.

**** **** *** has been exposed to many martial art/ hand to hand instructors/systems, only Dieters CQD has proven itself relevant to **** **** *** mission and has demonstrated sustained integrity.

— NSW Tier 1 Official Training Justification Statement

In my view, CQD is the kind of training that saves lives and keeps people in the Teams.

— ADM Eric T. Olson

...the Naval Special Warfare Center’s “Close Quarters Defense” course is directly responsible for our deployed platoon’s current success in the nightly operations in Iraq. 


In my 15 years in the Teams I have been to numerous shooting schools and seen or attended several “hand to hand courses.” Dieters CQD is the only training that has endured the test of time and combat utility. This training is realistic, it works, promotes team work, is operationally sound for a variety of missions and helps to create a clear operational focus.

— D.S. -NSW Tier 1 operator

Over the last four years, NSW Combat Fighting Course instructors have trained with many national and international martial arts experts to insure that we are providing the best training possible. While these experts are top of their field of competitive or “sport fighting” only one offers a system that has relevance to actual NSW mission requirements. That instructor is Mr. Duane Dieter... His CQD system is already being used exlusively by Naval Special Warfare Development Group...

— NSW Official Training Justification

— NSW Official Training Justification

bottom of page