George S. Ledyard
I think that "combat" is relative easy to define... It's combat when you cross the line at which the threat is "deadly". When you perceive the threat represents a reasonable risk to you (or someone else) of serious and lasting bodily harm, then you are at the Deadly Force" level of confrontation. At that point it is combat.
I am in total agreement with all your assessments, George. Good show.
I recently received Instructor certfication in Arrestling, something I am particularly proud of, as it is not the typical 40-hours-to-instructor class but rather takes years to achieve.
Great points re: empty hand vs. guns at close quarters, and groundwork involving firearms (in holster and in hand - the problem gets even more interesting when EACH has a gun in play...). Extreme, but a certain Ohio trooper had just this sort of shooting.
Same with your addressing of the tactical team environment. The force and teamwork is usually so overwhelming that shock, surprise and overwhelming force tend to make for "entry combatives" being relatively short work.
The "combat" threat in the tactical team environment is quite rare, but when it is there, things have gone pretty bad! That's why we say we'd "rather be in a shooting than a gunfight."