Category Archives: training

I hated guns

My friend Ralph Mroz wrote the following in his book Defensive Shooting for Real-Life Encounters.

I hated guns (no, I’m not joking). In my mind they were for fat, lazy rednecks without the ambition or self-discipline to sweat in the dojo! Then one day, about 10 years into the [martial] arts, I had an honest conversation with myself:

“OK, you’ve got 10 years of training. You get into a fight with someone without much training or experience. What are your odds?”

“Good.”

“Right. Now this guy has training and/or experience. What’re your odds now?”

“50/50?”

“Close enough. Now there’s two guys, both without training, but mean. Odds?”

“I dunno, probably less than 50/50, in all honesty.”

“Right. Now two guys with training.”

“My odds suck.”

“One guy with a knife?”

“Oh shit!”

The conversation went on for a few more steps, but you get the idea.

The next week I was looking for a pistol…

The entire book is available for download https://thestreetstandards.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/defensive-shooting-for-real-life-encounters-text-bw1.pdf  on his blog The Street Standards.

It works both ways, though. People who think that owning a gun without having any degree of physical skills are not setting themselves up for success, either.

 

The Mingle 2019

The Mingle is an Invite Only Ladies event for women in the firearms and personal protection industries. It is hosted by The Complete Combatant and sponsored by numerous organizations and manufacturers of the industry. The 2019 Mingle was held on May 18-19. This was the first year that it was a two day event. Day 1, as in years past, was a networking event featuring a short presentation by a guest speaker. This year’s speaker was Chief Deputy Lee Weems of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. He gave an abbreviated version of his ‘Standing Your Ground’ class, which is about the dynamics of using deadly force. Lee’s presentation was sponsored by the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.

After the presentation, a buffet lunch was served and the ladies had some time for networking. Approximately 60 ladies attended and had a good opportunity to meet others from their own and other segments of the industry. At the end of the event, a multitude of door prizes was given away, including a Glock pistol. Each attendee also received a goodie bag with various and sundry small items.

This was the first year that a second day was added. Day 2 was devoted to live fire training at The Complete Combatant’s Dahlonega Georgia range. Day 2 was limited to 24 ladies who had to either be instructors or have had attended a previous training class of some sort.

The day’s events started with a demonstration and trial fire of the VP9 pistol by Heckler & Koch.  H&K presented a short briefing about the pistol and then provided both pistols and ammunition for the attendees to try out.

VP9-Web

The balance of the day’s activities consisted of three blocks of instruction and finally a short Qualification Course for the ladies to fire at the end of the day. Each block was two hours, with a lunch break between the first and the second. The Qualification was conducted concurrent with the third block. Each lady brought her own pistol and holster. All the major pistol manufacturers were represented in the ladies’ choices. They shot approximately 300 rounds during the day.

The first block of instruction was Developing the Concealed Draw by Brian Hill, head coach of The Complete Combatant. This class focused on Fundamentals and developing a repeatable, efficient, and accurate draw stroke. Some of the ladies had not drawn from a holster previous to Day 2, so this was an important piece of instruction.

Second came Close Range Precision Marksmanship by Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor. This class focused on developing the ability to accurately engage small targets within conversational distance.

face shooting

Several innovative targets from Advanced Pistol Practice were included in the class to provide a more realistic approach to target engagement.

eyes and murderers

The final block of instruction was Image Based Decision Drills by Shelley Hill of The Complete Combatant. Each lady had to react to four different scenarios based on images on cards they turned over at random. The scenarios required a variety of responses ranging from disengagement to using deadly force. Tools such as inert cell phones, flashlights, and pepper spray were included in the drills.

Image based Decisional Drill 2

The group was split into two and while half were doing the Image Based Decision Drills, the other half shot a short Qualification Course derived from the Los Angeles POlice Department’s Retired Officer Course. In this Qualification, the shooters had to use several different skills.

  • Draw from a holster and Shoot
  • Challenge an attacker
  • Shoot from Low Ready
  • Shoot with the Dominant Hand Only
  • Reload
  • Make a Head Shot

Mingle qual

It was a challenging course but all the ladies were able to make the requisite 70% passing score. Several made clean runs.

After the shooting tasks were completed, the ladies cleaned up the range, had a short debrief of the day, and then departed. All the ladies said the day had been an enjoyable and enlightening experience.

The Mingle 2020 will be held May 16-17, 2020. Interested ladies should contact The Complete Combatant for an invitation.

The value of a college degree

A Facebook friend commented about the fact that some major corporations had dropped the requirement for a college degree. She agreed with the change because her experience was that her education had no apparent value to her current employment.

There’s a lot of validity in her comments although she may not be considering the totality of what she learned in college. This is especially true given the amount of subsequent education, in different forms, she has undertaken. In the words of the motivational speaker, Steve Chandler, she clearly has emotionally left High School behind, which many people never do.

diploma-clipart-vector-5

For many years, employers valued a college degree for a number of reasons. Some of them, STEM and professional related degrees, related to an entry level understanding of material necessary for job performance. In a broader sense, a college degree had value in that it demonstrated the ability to think clearly about a myriad of subjects, communicate effectively, do research, and to have a goal and stick to the tasks required to achieve it for an extended period of time. These values also applied to getting a High School Diploma. The system involved both Process and Performance.

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Repetition and Progression

#fridayfundamentals

A client asked for a private lesson as preparation for an upcoming class at the elite Rogers Shooting School. Rogers is a very structured learning environment, so the format for the lesson was obvious. Fundamental to learning to shoot at a high level are Repetition and Progression, which are the underlying structure at Rogers. You don’t learn to shoot well by thinking about it, you learn by doing it. Visualization is a useful learning technique but you have to know what to visualize before visualization can have any value.

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In Pursuit of Better Practice

Gila Hayes of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network was kind enough to do an interview with me about Better Practice in this month’s Network Journal. Her interest was piqued because many members of the Network had said that ongoing training wasn’t possible for them due to resource constraints. Gila said that she wanted to give the members an option for maintaining and improving their skills that fit their budgets.

How far, I wondered, could the armed citizen proceed in his or her skill development through self-guided practice alone?

She’s an excellent interviewer. You will probably find it interesting reading.

https://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/september-2018-front-page

She also did a book review of Concealed Carry Skills and Drills.

https://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/september-2018-book-review

If you would like to purchase Concealed Carry Skills and Drills, the link to the downloadable ebook is here. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

If you would like to purchase Indoor Range Practice Sessions, the link to the downloadable ebook is here. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2501143-ebooks-education-indoor-range-practice-sessions.html

you got skills old man crop

Morale patch courtesy of Chris North

Jacks & Saps and Timing – Part II

Part I of this review gave an overall view of the Jacks and Saps class. Some of the deeper lessons from the class are worthy of further discussion.

Multidisciplinary training (unarmed combat, impact tools, and firearms) doesn’t just mean learning to use different tools and techniques, it also means understanding the overlap of the different disciplines’ concepts. By understanding the overlap, we can reinforce the concepts and lessons of one discipline and apply it to others. Key Concepts in the Jacks and Saps class were Timing, Timing Errors, and Timing Windows. These have parallels in firearms training and practice, as well.

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Jacks & Saps and Timing – Part I

Jacks & Saps is a class taught by Larry Lindenman of Point Driven Training.   It was hosted in the Atlanta area on August 18 and 19, as two separate one day classes, by The Complete Combatant.

The class objective was described as a:

Small Impact Weapons Skills seminar is designed for people looking for a tool based less than lethal response to criminal attack.

There were ten clients, eight male and two female, on Sunday. They were the overflow from a Sold Out class of 20 clients on Saturday. Since Impact Tools are not regulated in Georgia, it was a very popular class. Note that Impact Tools are not legal to carry in all States even when Licensed to carry a pistol. This makes little sense but logic rarely applies to the law. Readers are advised to be familiar with the laws of their own State and any State they may travel to.

For those unfamiliar, Jacks and Saps are small impact tools [weapons] that are pocket sized. Although ubiquitous in police work at one time, they are now seldom used. Bulkier and less effective collapsible batons have become the standard impact weapons for Law Enforcement now.

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Years of experience

An exchange I had yesterday with a POlice Use of Force Instructor reminded me of a quip by a JAG prosecutor I knew years ago.

Some people have 22 years of experience and some people have one year of experience 22 times.

One of my professors in college had taught the exact same math class for 10 years. She used the same overhead transparencies all 10 years. They were scuffed up and she had to write over parts of them to make them readable during our class. That’s the style some subjects are taught in many fields. Concepts are frequently not updated with fresh information. While mathematics doesn’t change much, social sciences and the law can and do change rapidly.

In the exchange with the instructor, I mentioned a recent case that seemed to invalidate his opinion. I even gave him the search string to bring up the case. Rather than doing one minute of research on the case, he trotted out an appeal to authority meme. “I’ve been a cop for 22 years and I teach Use of Force.” I’m afraid to even find out what he teaches his clientele.

In any field, staying up to date is an excellent idea for anyone. For instructors, it’s absolutely mandatory. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with a stated opinion but there needs to be some fact finding and analysis to support the disagreeing opinion.

Myths and Misconceptions

I was privileged to be the Guest Speaker at The Mingle 2018, a firearms community networking event this past Saturday. My topic was Myths, Misconceptions, and Solutions in the Firearms Training World. There is such a myriad of examples that I have decided to start writing #mythsandmisconceptionsmonday. I would like to acknowledge the influence John Farnam, Greg Hamilton, and Craig Douglas have had in the development of my fascination with the topic.

The misconception that resonated the most with the audience was Training is not an event, it’s a process. Too often in the training community, we put on a training event and our clients then leave with the impression they are ‘trained.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. Training is only the preparation for practice.

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The Woman’s Gun Pamphlet

The Woman’s Gun Pamphlet came up in conversation during The Mingle yesterday. Since the original source is no more, I’m republishing this post for interested parties.

tacticalprofessor

Through an oblique reference, I recently found a link to The Woman’s Gun Pamphlet.Edit: The link and the server appear to be gone. A PDF of the Pamphlet is available at the edit of this post.

WGP picture

It’s a very interesting publication that was written and published by a colloquium of radical feminists in 1975. The intent was to provide information about both guns themselves and about personal protection attitudes to women of that era who knew nothing about guns or personal protection. As such, I consider it an historically significant document. There’s quite a bit of political rhetoric in it but also a goodly amount of information. Even dry practice is touched on. Some morsels of dry wit are quite entertaining.

toc edit

Especially interesting to me is that it was written from the perspective of self-taught women of the time with some input from men and by doing primary…

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