Tactical Pistol vs. Defensive Pistol vs. Combat Pistol Training

This is a discussion on Tactical Pistol vs. Defensive Pistol vs. Combat Pistol Training within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am trying to decide what training to take next and there are so many options and I am so confused! I've only been shooting ...

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Thread: Tactical Pistol vs. Defensive Pistol vs. Combat Pistol Training

  1. #1
    New Member Array jeepgal1961's Avatar
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    Tactical Pistol vs. Defensive Pistol vs. Combat Pistol Training

    I am trying to decide what training to take next and there are so many options and I am so confused! I've only been shooting about 3 months. I've taken the basic classes (NRA Basic Pistol, Women on Target Clinic, NC CHP) and had some private instruction to help with markmanship. My markmanship is getting better and I think it's about time to move on to something more challenging.

    NC/SC has a ton of training classes. We've got the US Training Center. I've seen some Suarez classes locally. I'm leaning towards the US Training Center because who doesn't want to spend 3 days shooting at the Outer Banks! Then there are female only classes. I don't necessarily think I need a female only class. I think I can hold my own in a coed class.

    Can someone explain the differences between the three types of classes?

    Thanks!
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepgal1961 View Post
    Then there are female only classes. I don't necessarily think I need a female only class. I think I can hold my own in a coed class.

    Can someone explain the differences between the three types of classes?

    Thanks!
    Not to be a...but that's just my nature...

    If for some reason someone can't stand being on a shooting range with a bunch of guys for a few days, taking a class which does not even involve rolling around on mats trying to choke each other out or beating the hell out of each other, what makes someon think they can deal with agressive men in real life?

    Maybe I'm looking at it from a guy's point of view, but women in class aren't really that noticable.

    During the down time I'm usually too busy drinking water to make annoying small talk with anyone...and during the class, I have my eye on the front sight rather than on someone else who's going to possibly beat my score on the final.

    As to holding your own in a co-ed class...draw without wasted movement, put the bullets in the place they need to go, reload faster than everyone else, and generally run your weapon without looking like a flounder out of water, and you'll do great.

    As to the differences between the kinds of class - based on the names, it's marketing mostly, and a little bit of mindset.

    A "combat pistol class" may focus more on the running of the weapon itself, less on the lawful use of deadly force.
    A "defensive class" might take more time to deal with when to use the gun rather than how.

    And "tactical" - If you call it tactical, someone will pay for it. It's marketing. Doesn't mean it is bad...just look at the lesson plan, not the class name.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    From my experience with what instructors may define:

    defensive - focuses on the personal encounter
    combat - focuses on the gun-fight itself
    tactical - tends to be more of a "next level" class - timed shooting & other stress related activities tend to be prevalent... My range offers a Tactical pistol class on invitation only basis.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
    - Roy Batty

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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    I may be bias, for I am a Suarez trainee. What I liked and like about Suarez training is they not only teach you how to shoot your gun and make good hits but also how not to get shot yourself with movement. Since taking SI training the others just seem dull, movement if any is slow, they seem to lock on the how small the group is. Not how to get the first hits and come out on top with out having hits taken.

    While I think any gun handling and shooting is good, I'm sold on Suarez training. Is there someone else doing the same (and as good of) training? I don't know but I have not found them. With the training I have taken the best money I have spent was that spent on Roger Phillips "Point Shooting Progression" class. The others were good and I learned lots of good information but PSP was the class that that gave me the confidence to think I had a chance at winning a gunfight.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

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    How about all of the above?!?!



    In all honestly, it goes back to the whole, "What's in a name?" argument. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet and often times a pistol class by any other name would teach you the same thing.

    I've taken "general handgun classes" that taught more about ALL of the above (defense, fighting, etc) than "pistol fighting classes."

    What you need to look at, more than the TITLE of the class is the reputation of the school and the instructors along with what is being taught in the class (or the curriculum). Also, look for places that will teach you specific things you want to learn. For instance, one thing I'm dying to get more instruction in is room clearing. Going to a place that has a shoot house or addresses that topic specifically moves higher on the list than just general shooting.

    And I wasn't kidding about taking all of the above. Some methods and teachers just click better with some students than others do. Sometimes you learn a piece here and a piece there and when you put them all together you have a great skill-set you may not have developed doing only one class. Do your research, call them and talk to them! Ask them about the curriculum and what you can expect to learn that's not in the bio. Ask them their stance on women in the class (I LOVE to do this). Ask them about the kind of feedback they get and/or if their tactics are actually being used successfully in real life. Sometimes they will have media outlets they can share that show times/places their tactics have been used.

    If they claim something is "the best" method, ask them to explain. If they can back up their claim with other, outside sources, then it's worth looking into.

    Look for reviews from people who have taken different classes from different schools as well. Sometimes you do read glowing reviews about a place and then you find out that that individual has ONLY EVER trained at that facility. Well, how do you know if there isn't better out there if you don't do a little shopping around?

    Now, as far as "women only" classes are concerned.

    I see their purpose.

    As a woman in the gun industry I can say that sexism is still alive and well! I have been in classes where male participants griped the entire time about women being allowed in, etc. I've also been in classes or events where I was completely excluded or ignored and not given a lot of feedback or time. I get what I can from those and move on.

    I've also been in classes where I've been THANKED for being there because women so rarely come. It all depends on the instructors and the kind of shop they run.

    Sometimes the reason for the women-only classes is not to protect the woman from her fellow students and THEIR judgment but to protect her from the judgment of her instructor! Of course, any instructor who thought less of me because I was a woman isn't worth my money but by advertising "women only" classes it broadcasts that that instructor is comfortable teaching women and she should not fear being ignored, undermined or treated unfairly in the class because she may be the only woman.

    That being said, the only "women only" class I've ever taken has been a hand-to-hand self defense class. All of my pistol classes have been co-ed. And, honestly, I CANNOT STAND being treated differently than the guys. It's inevitable that if any contact work is going to be done I get treated like a doll and I often have to tell participants that it really is okay to man-handle me. That's what I'm there for! Yeah, when I show up I sometimes get side-ways looks from some of the other class-mates wondering how I'm going to preform and keep up (especially if the class is particularly physical) but most of the time, as long as I don't complain and do the work right along with the guys, no one has a problem with me. But, as I said, the atmosphere has a lot to do with the instructor and how he treats me/the women in the class as well.

    Don't be afraid to take co-ed classes, definitely. But don't necessarily be TOTALLY surprised if you run into a little sexism. Don't let it get to you. Learn what you can and move on to better training!

    Good luck!

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    Lima is on point. Any training is good training the difference is sorting through the egos and their one and only way of doing things so you can find out what works best for you. I tend of avoid or am cautious of classes or instructors that say "This is the best or only way", that type of mentality can and will get you hurt.

    Suarez or the US Training center are both well established places and you would enjoy either. In regards to the female only classes from what I have seen some women just feel more comfortable around an all female class and instructor staff in a learning enviroment it's all up to you and your comfort level.
    Hopefully that any co-ed class you take there would not be any "Let me help you little missy" type attitudes or if there are the instructor would end that quick.

    Go for as much training as you can from different instructors and schools. Don't get stuck in the rut of one schools doctrine or ideaology, you will become a much better shooter and increase your survival odds if you vary it up.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    Like Lima says...

    Any training is good training. Even if you get only one thing to put in your tool box.

    IMO Any training will include all the above. In fact IMO training would be incomplete without all the.

    A handgun is inherently a defensive weapon.

    Combat training... I guess... But... Combat kind of denotes a military situation. And military situations, and soloutions have different rules than civilian use.

    Tactics?... Kind of covers all three I think. IMO Tactics, Tactical, both overused, and misrepresented. I believe that Tactics, and tactical are more a state of mind than anything. Not a particular piece of equipment, or a color, or a mode of dress, or even a job. I believe that any equipment can give one a tactical advantage in any given scenario. It more depends how and/or when the user deploys it.

    I do believe that womens needs are unique, and should be given special consideration. Women for the most part fight differently than men. I believe that women on a whole are much more at risk in general and in most S/D situations. However I do think women should train with men. Most probably the person who would attack a woman will be a man.

    Spuk!

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    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    Lima just reminded me of a woman I knew several years ago. Japanese & had been training in Aikido since she could walk. She was helping a girlfriend move her stuff out of the house of an abusive boyfriend when he walked through the door. Let's just say that Mr. 6'3" 285lbs underestimated her. When the police arrived he was quoted as saying "Get this crazy (female canine) off of me." I will point out she is 5' 3" 105lb. If the guys in her classes had treated her like a fragile little girl she never would have progressed as she did.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    lima got there 1st----a rose by any other name.....

    call it something different and they will pay for it twice...err, 3 times.

    a class that covers 'the art of the handgun and its use' will touch on all aspects of its use.

    so--teach driving and you have--going forward
    --going backward
    --watching where you are in general
    --watching what others near you are doing.....and on and on

    make more money if you make the classes smaller in scope.

    there are differences in the way events occur, though training will overlap:
    start with competency in general: gun handling and SA
    truly train too have SA running in the background and work on balancing skills with the secondary weapon, be it a BUG and /or a blade.
    be comfortable however you are dressed or intend to go; build flexibility into your plans as they often change.
    Be aware, be deliberate in your actions and be accurate.
    -------------------
    Why do those elected to positions of power than work so hard
    to deny those same opportunities to the same people who empowered them

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    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    Tactical ? Defensive ? Combative ? Really ?

    There is no such thing as differences of winning a gunfight. You can call a course whatever you want to call it to sound cool or more advanced.

    There is only the perfect execution of the fundamentals. Is that Tactical ? Don't know, but if your fundamentals are not there, then anything Tactical, Defensive or Combative is really of no difference.

    If being Tactical means the use of barricades, cover and or concealment shooting then it still boils down to owning the fundamentals. I truly don't believe there is a difference between any of the three mentioned in this thread.

    Any way you look at it if your in a gunfight your in a Combative situation. Instilling the combative mindset is just as important as training to hit your target @ 25 meters around the corner of a barricade or over top of your automobile hood. Again, it's the fundamentals, nothing else really counts.

    My fundamentals may be way beyond yours in scope and execution. Then again, it may not.

    Rant off.
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    New Member Array runamok's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to what your referring to exactly as the "fundamentals". Are you talking about marksmanship? Or weapon handling? Maybe both?

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    No matter what you know, you figure out quickly when the balloon goes up, you really don't know what you think you did.
    That's when a little divine intervention is very necessary.:)
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

  14. #13
    Member Array BigRay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    No matter what you know, you figure out quickly when the balloon goes up, you really don't know what you think you did.
    That's when a little divine intervention is very necessary.:)
    That's why my left front pocket carries a Rosary in addition to a spare mag.
    I also believe that while formal classes are a great idea, I see too few people out at the local range each week honing their skills. Once you've learned the fundamentals from a certified instructor, perhaps your money is better spent on cases of ammunition and range time. Just a thought.
    BigRay

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