Review - Suarez International Defensive Pistol Skills, w/ Upchurch & Nieuwland

Review - Suarez International Defensive Pistol Skills, w/ Upchurch & Nieuwland

This is a discussion on Review - Suarez International Defensive Pistol Skills, w/ Upchurch & Nieuwland within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I attended the Suarez International Defensive Pistol Skills course that was taught this past weekend (Sept. 4-5) at the Mid Carolina Rifle Club in Columbia, ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Martial Archer's Avatar
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    Review - Suarez International Defensive Pistol Skills, w/ Upchurch & Nieuwland

    I attended the Suarez International Defensive Pistol Skills course that was taught this past weekend (Sept. 4-5) at the Mid Carolina Rifle Club in Columbia, SC. I thought that I would share my impressions of this course for others who may be considering taking this and other Suarez courses offered in Columbia, SC and elsewhere.

    Although I have been a hunter/shooter for many, many years, I have never had any formal training other than that which I received long ago in JROTC in high school (I was a member of the rifle team) and when I took the SC CWP course. Since then, I have studied the defensive use of a pistol via reading and video. I recognized, however, that I really, really need hands-on training.

    When it was brought to my attention that Suarez courses were being taught in Columbia, I checked out their website and found out that several courses including point shooting and close range gun fighting are taught there. Having no ego regarding my shooting skills and wanting to build a solid foundation for continued, more advanced training, I opted to take the Defensive Pistol course first. This was a wise decision!

    This is a basic course that is oriented toward precision marksmanship and proper firearm manipulation and gun handling. We began with the fundamentals of firearm safety as well as proper grip, sight picture, sight alignment, trigger press, etc. Although some of this material would seem intuitive for someone who has been shooting for years, I learned several things that had me shooting tighter groups by mid-afternoon of the first day! Shooting IS easy!

    A wealth of information followed for the remainder of this two day course. In addition to honing our marksmanship skills, we were instructed on skills including the proper draw stroke, presentation of the pistol, malfunction clearing, proper reloading, transition to multiple targets and failure to stop to name a few. Furthermore, there were several excellent discussions both during class and during the lunch break on topics such as situational awareness and mindset.
    All information was presented in a clear, concise manner. Sufficient time was allotted for students to perform multiple repetitions of each skill set before the next skill set was presented. Additionally, these skill sets were presented in logical, systematic order with the next new skill being “just another layer” to a previously learned skill. We were pushed to learn but not overwhelmed with too much information.

    Our instructors for this course were Mr. Chris Upchurch and Mr. Alex Nieuwland. I can’t say enough good things about Alex and Chris. It did not take long to realizes that these two down-to-earth guys are extremely professional and knowledgeable. I was equally impressed at how well Chris and Alex worked together and how well their individual style complimented one another. They concluded our course with a brief demonstration of some close range gun fighting techniques…additional proof of what I had already figured out…Alex & Chris don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk!

    In summary, I feel that the Suarez International Defensive Pistol Skills course is the perfect course to bridge the gap between state mandated CWP “training” and more advanced dynamic courses/training. It was a real pleasure meeting and being trained by Chris and Alex. I look forward to seeing them both again on December 4th & 5th in Columbia SC for Close Range Gun Fighting.
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  2. #2
    New Member Array cedartop's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you liked the class. Chris and Alex are great guys. I will actually be catching up with them this weekend as I travel to your fine state for an Advanced AK class. We seem to have a lot of people surprised to find what they can learn in a "basic" class.


    Michael Swisher
    Suarez International Staff Instructor

  3. #3
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    I have done SI classes with Alex two times this year under SI Instructor Randy Harris and both were First Class sessions. Alex knows his business and is one of the newest SI Instructiors in SC. Go do his classes.
    Praise the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle --- Psalm 144
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    Blue Thunder, I smell Victory in the Morning!

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martial Archer View Post
    In summary, I feel that the Suarez International Defensive Pistol Skills course is the perfect course to bridge the gap between state mandated CWP “training” and more advanced dynamic courses/training. It was a real pleasure meeting and being trained by Chris and Alex. I look forward to seeing them both again on December 4th & 5th in Columbia SC for Close Range Gun Fighting.
    Thanks! We really enjoyed having you in class. I look forward to seeing you again in December.
    Chris Upchurch - Suarez International Staff Instructor
    Upcoming SI Classes in South Carolina:
    Close Range Gunfighting - March 17-18
    Zero to Five Feet Gunfighting - April 14-15

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Good stuff; can't have too much hands on training
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  6. #6
    Member Array AlexN's Avatar
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    Martial Archer:

    Thanks for writing that review. I continue to be happily surprised by the serious nature of the students that are attracted to Suarez International training.

    I'm looking forward to training with you again in December. We will continue to delve into the wealth of information that just can't be covered in a day long CWP training course.

    Alex Nieuwland
    Alex Nieuwland - Suarez International Staff Instructor
    Upcoming SI Classes in South Carolina:
    Introduction to Point Shooting - February 26
    Defensive Pistol Skills - March 5-6
    Shotgun Gunfighting - March 26-27
    Point Shooting Gunfight Skills - April 2-3

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