I recently attended Tactical Response's Fighting Pistol Course so I figured I'd share it with everyone here too. If you have not had the opportunity to conduct a training course, this is definately one to consider. It was a very comprehensive course! Be happy to answer any questions if anyone has any.
Trailer for the course:
YouTube - Fighting Pistol Trailer
Website for the Tactical Response Inc.
After Action Review
Class: Tactical Response Fighting Pistol
Location: Camden, TN
Date: 22-23 May 2010
Instructors: Aaron Little, Jay Gibson, and James Yeager
Equipment: Glock 19 w/ XS Big Dot Sights, RCS Phantom Holster (IWB); I reaffirmed that my Glock 19 was the right pistol for me. I had no issues or malfunctions the entire course even after dropping it in the dirt several times and shooting wolf ammunition. My Raven Concealment rig worked very well, no cracks, distortion, etc. This rig was very easy to re-holster with and provided a consistently smooth draw. Most everyone else had some sort of Kydex holster, only saw a few leather holsters. One other thing I will say about gear is it was good to shoot with only one extra magazine holder. I only carry one extra magazine normally so I did the same thing in class and it made me realize exactly how many bullets 30 really is. Many other folks wore three and four magazines - I would recommend anyone thinking about doing this course should shoot just like you would normally carry. I shot the whole course with a cover garment, my holster IWB, and only one extra magazine. I learned a great deal from having to lift that garment every draw and as I said this method made me realize that I don’t have an infinite amount of ammo.
I took the class with 24 other shooters ranging in experience from beginning to advanced. We had folks from all manner of professions and ages for that matter. Before I came to Tactical Response, the only training I had received was from my work in the Army. I got some basic pistol instruction, but nothing about fighting with a pistol and certainly nothing more then shooting from a stationary spot on the ground. All the instructors were patient, professional, and most importantly knowledgeable. When I arrived I had no idea what to expect as far as instruction, but from the very beginning James Yeager was up at the front of the room welcoming us and later on he was out there on the range providing feedback as well. I was very impressed to see James teaching right along side the actual instructors. That is not to say that Jay and Aaron were not fully qualified to teach. They were both excellent. Jay and Aaron both presented the material for the course in a concise manner and more importantly in a manner that was easy to understand. Aaron also made the comment that he wanted us to get everything that we paid for. He literally went right down the syllabus and made sure we got our money’s worth. I can’t tell you how outstanding it is to arrive at a class and walk away at the end thinking “yup, that was worth every penny!”. Anyone who is going to fight with a pistol, whether it be police, military, or an armed citizen, should take this course. It will cover the basics for the new shooter and it will challenge the seasoned shooter with things that few instructors will cover. If you have never shot one handed, one handed on the move, or off hand - you will at this course. This course will help anyone who is serious about learning to fight, get better. The lecture on Sunday alone was worth the $400 because it explains the essential information that everyone needs to survive in a fight. The most important thing I can say to anyone thinking about taking a course in shooting is, take this one! This course will change your perspective on personal defense, shooting, mindset, tactics, and it will give you an opportunity to practice skills that would otherwise go without any practice in a controlled environment.
I arrived in Camden on Friday evening and stayed in the Team Room with several other folks taking the course. Immediately I was greeted by other like minded individuals. The atmosphere of the team room is something to behold…it’s the ideal place for the guys and gals to hang out, swap stories, talk tactics, and have a lot of laughs. Saturday morning started with reviewing the firearms safety rules and the fundamentals of marksmanship. Once we hit the range, the training was controlled and thorough, but still fast paced. We worked from the proper draw stroke, F.A.S.T, and the Dot Drills. I knew from the beginning I was going to learn how to properly draw my pistol and I also knew the F.A.S.T concept would be incorporated into the training. I bought the Fighting Pistol DVD prior to attending the course so I had a vague idea of what was going to be covered, however, until you actually take the course, you really have no idea how much you are going to get. I never expected I would be moving and shooting on the first day nor did I expect to be shooting from my back. Shooting from my back is something I definitely need more work on, but it is a key skill for sure. I never thought about it, but in a fight it is a very likely position to find yourself in. I have also never shot off hand - very necessary skill to have. The learning continued well into the evening when the whole class went to dinner and proceeded back to the Team Room to work on dry practice and complete our homework. Sunday was probably the most influential part of the course with the lecture on mindset, legal issues, and lethal force. The major take-away for me was get your stuff in order before the fight (will, living will, etc.) and insure your mindset is set for a fight all the time. The other major thing that I took away was when I could actually use lethal force in a fight. I really had very little idea of what was required for use of lethal force before this course. Sunday wrapped up with instruction on the proper use of cover and concealment and shooting from retention.
I came down to Camden, TN from Louisville, KY. It was a fairly short drive and well worth it all the way around. I will certainly be coming back to Camden in the future as now I have a list of several other courses I want to take. I plan to take Immediate Action Medical, Advanced Fighting Pistol, and FoF in the near future. I heard about Tactical Response from another soldier I know. He really wanted to take the course as well, but due to obligations to the Army and Ranger School he was unable to attend. I am certain he will in the future though, completely worth it.
I heard about the Fighting Pistol class about a year and a half ago. I remember hearing about it from a buddy in the Army and looking into it just after the new year. The thing that struck me about this company and this course in particular was the volume of rave reviews. Every person I have read a review from has nothing but good things to say about this course and I can see why. Two other things made this course very desirable; one was the relatively low cost and the second was the emphasis on mindset and tactics rather then just shooting. For the armed citizen or soldier/police officer who is on a budget, it is my opinion that there is not another school out their that can give you this level of training for such a great price. Furthermore, I looked around quite a bit and this is one of the few schools with such a heavy emphasis on the fight as a whole and not just the shooting aspect. The defining moment for me was when we started learning to move and shoot, utilize cover, and scan 361 degrees. That was the moment when I realized I had made the right choice on training with Tactical Response. It reminded me that fighting with a pistol is so much more then shooting and it requires so much more then just practicing the fundamentals.
When I first got my carry permit, I knew that I needed to take some professional training. I knew I was missing important aspects but I didn’t realize how much I was actually missing. I knew how to shoot but I was way behind on the actual tactics and mindset necessary for fighting with a pistol. I train because if the day ever comes I want to be as ready as possible. I want to have as much say as I can in regards to the outcome of the fight. I believe it is my responsibility to protect my family and that is not a responsibility I take lightly. I chose Tactical Response as I said earlier because of the heavy emphasis on mindset and tactics and the reasonable price for such a large amount of knowledge.