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CQD revolutionizes
athletic training


Athletes have a challenging and dynamic occupation often requiring them to perform their skills under arduous, stressful, and otherwise physically and mentally demanding situations.

An athlete’s training must give him or her the edge, allowing them to appropriately assess and respond to each situation, while also being positive role models. We appreciate the unique sacrifices made by those who work hard to become better at their sport and their families that support their dreams.


No one understands pressure better than
our country’s special operations.


Having to face high risk situations on a daily basis that can be a matter of life or death, soldiers must train in a way that allows them to operate in the most extreme conditions. They come to understand that decisions made can negatively or positively effect the livelihoods of themselves, their team and civilians they are sworn to protect.


For over 30 years, the most elite special operations, federal agents, and law enforcement officers have relied upon CQD to instill cutting-edge physical performance and develop their mind to react faster, think clearly under stress, and instantaneously determine the most appropriate response for critical situations.




Close Quarters Defense now offers a new program entitled Accelerated Critical Edge (ACE). Intended for athletes and other vetted citizens, ACE gleans the components of CQD training, condensing and tailoring the training to meet specific needs of various groups. Building core motivation through a world-renowned proprietary process, ACE focuses on unifying the development of the mind, body, and spirit. Through intense training, students fuse the skills and mental acuity required to thrive and succeed in any environment.


At CQD, what sets us apart is our focus on The Development of the Athlete’s Mind, Body and Purpose


  • Enhancement of athlete's capability of mind, body and purpose

  • Integrate team continuity and teamwork to its highest level

  • Develop an athlete that succeeds in athletic and personal life


Our method of instruction is to create a positive learning environment where fear, stress, and uncertainty are replaced with knowledge, understanding, and confidence. All participants are treated with respect, and training will allow each individual to understand what contributions they able to make to the overall welfare of their team and community.
— Duane Dieter, Founder
  • Enhanced awareness

  • Instantaneous assessment

  • Refined decision-making

  • Overcome adversity

  • Appropriate actions and reactions

  • Appropriate dialing 

  • Character development - ethos & inner purpose

  • Team bonding and cohesiveness




CQD provides athletes with training that will increase the overall capability of each individual

  • develop mental and physical acuity

  • enhance performance under stress

  • assess game situations faster

  • Refine mental and physical actions - assessing the situation, to determining the appropriate course of action, to execution


Developing the Full Circle Athlete™


Full Circle Readiness™ is a CQD term that designates the complete integration of all skills. For an operator it means that he has all of the necessary physical, mental and internal skills necessary to perform his mission successfully. For the athlete, though their mission is different, their desire/goal is the same - to have the greatest skill sets, inner drive, and "Critical Edge" over their competitors..

Though all six divisions can be trained separately, power is in their unity


From individuals to teams



special operations
rely on teamwork

CQD builds the individual first, then integrates them into a cohesive unit, and finally trains everyone together as a team.

The same principle applies for athletes. Individuals realize their roles and responsibilities within the team, as well as, how their actions can influence the organization, both in a positive way, but also understands the ramifications of a negative influence.


Internal Warrior

Component of the “Critical Edge” training that unite together in controlling your actions on and off the field.

  • Developing Ethos

  • refining character

  • The Dialing ability

Negative influences will do their best to discourage, ridicule, and prevent you from reaching your full potential. CQD not only develops the individual mentally and physically, but instills each person with the inner spirit and purpose to forge past the naysayers

CQD Training creates greater confidence by allowing athletes to understand the dynamics and challenges equally mirrored by the physical fight and the everyday internal battles faced in both athletic and personal situations.
— Duane Dieter, Founder

Beyond the field of competition, athletes are highly scrutinized by media and fans. Understanding the immense pressure placed on athletes, CQD focuses on the individuals true purpose in life and provides positive effects on their behavior, both on and off the field
Coaches will immediately see the benefit of their players following their CQD training. They will recognize an increased focus, stronger team bonds, increased self-control and reduced instances of off-field problems

Just as it takes effort to be a good operator or a good athlete, so it takes effort to be positive. Those who remain positive in challenging situations find the way to win.
— Duane Dieter, Founder

The fight to do right is an everyday experience, which can magnify your abilities. Life’s battles, which we engage in daily, encourage and foster the same strengths that special operations need in combat. Disappointments and setbacks should serve to augment personal growth, perseverance, and a desire to be the best you can be. A positive attitude ensures the ability to achieve under the conditions of life’s most intense situations.


Adapt your brain for
mental toughness

CQD’s specialized critical edge™ training changes the way athletes react to the demands of their sport and lifestyle.

Watch the video from The History Channel's The Brain to gain a better understanding how proprietary CQD training engages the mind to think and act clearly amidst pressure and confusion.


Understanding The Brain


Game time mistakes, cracking under stress and poor choices on and off the field can often be the result of fear and panic.


The thalamus relays sensory impulses from receptors in various parts of the body to the amygdala and the cerebral cortex.


Most humans, when confronted  with stressful, dangerous or aggressive situations, respond to information from our senses by means of the Amygdala, and, an area of the Cortex known as the Frontal Lobes.

Two pathways of processing fear

The amygdala triggers your emotions faster than your conscious awareness and instictively presses the bodies panic button almost instantly.


The unique “speed dial circuits” are the first to react to emotionally significant events. 

protects you from harm by interpreting subconscious hints of danger to trigger lightning fast responses.


Unfortunately, the knee-jerk responses of the amygdala can cause you to overreact to the world around you or make incorrect responses to stimuli.

The part of our brain that processes fear in a more sophisticated way is an area of the cortex, known as the frontal lobes.



Controls emotions, problem solving skills, memory, social behavior, and overall judgement. 




Pathways from the cortex offer detailed and accurate representations of the environment. However, because these pathways have multiple neural links, they are slow by comparison to the amydala.

Scientists discovered that information from our senses reaches the amygdala almost twice as fast as it takes to reach our frontal lobes.

The speed of the different brain signals means that unless we instinctively know how to react to a potential threat. we may freeze in fear and panic, waiting for the frontal lobes to process our decisions in a logical way. 

Key Take away

Minimize the fear response delay by controlling the brain in a top down way, with the cortex Controlling the amygdala responses.


Match your reactions to the speed 
and intensity of an encounter


There is nothing like CQD's validation exercises to prepare you for a game-time situation

CQD's validation exercises are world-renowned for their realism and ability to replicate the stress and intensity of realistic situations. These exercises not only evaluate your CQD skills, but instill the ability to manage stress, assess and react faster, and appropriately and instantaneously dial your intensity level up and down as appropriate for the situation.

The hooded box drill

The hooded box drill is part of the CQD system that teaches athletes and soldiers to control the fear response in favor of fast, accurate responses derived from clarity of thought.

How it works

CQD's scenario-based training utilizes specially trained Tactical Role Player™ (TRP™) personnel to create a realistic and unique situation for the athlete. CQD scenarios include actions that require the personal defense of yourself or others, as well as off-the-field situations a player may encounter to provide solutions for remaining calm, avoiding confrontation, and when appropriate, de-escalation.

Through constant exposure to fearful, provocative and domestic simulations, athletes learn to suppress fear that could otherwise make them react the wrong way, creating negative outcomes.

The hooded box drill is meant to simulate those quick snapshot situations, that happen in an instant.
— History Channel's "The Brain"

Under the hood, students are deaf and blind. CQD instructors will set up a physical scenario- when the hood is removed, the student must respond to what is presented.


Scenarios can vary from     

  • An armed criminal attack 
  • A suspicious person asking for directions
  • A spouse or partner instigating a domestic dispute  
  • Protecting a loved one from a dangerous pursuant
  • verbal ridicule from critics

Key Take away 


athletes learn to minimize the decision delay by controlling the panic response -generating fast, accurate results to varying situations they may encounter throughout their life.