Close Range Gunfighting, Lake Wales, Sept 8/9
I had the pleasure of attending SI's CRG this past weekend, and thought for those who might be considering a class with SI, I'd post a quick review. I also realize some here have beef with Gabe Suarez, and that's fine. I would ask tho, that we keep any discussion here centered around the training. Thank you.
If I can answer any questions, or address any issues, please inquire.
Began promptly at 9am with intros by our Instructors. Don Robison and Dr. John Meade made quick and efficient work of intros both to and by the students, who were also very punctual, a courtesy appreciated by all.
The class was brought to attention by Don, who, tho was thus far quite light-hearted, made it known he and John were more than serious about the safety of the class. Each student was told very directly, if he or she was not comfortable w a training action, or with the gunhandling of anyone on the range, to notify either of the intsructors immediately. I have not been to a class yet where students were given the 'greenlight' to so openly question the exercises or instruction. As an aside, it NEVER was an issue. Safety was paramount not only in relation to guns, but to the environment as well. The lecture covered the requisite rules of gunhandling, as well as the fact that we were training in temps near the hight 90's, with heat indexes in excess of 100 degrees. Both Don and John emphesized the need to stay hydrated, and tho both instructors assured us they would be observing us for signs of heat troubles, we were told it was just as important the we as the class looked out for each other, as well as our instructors. We were told to be mindful of our footing as the range was a cleared section of orange grove, so the terrain was made up of very loose, sandy soil, with assorted footing hazards associated w farmed ground.
On to the ego stroking. The class was moved to the firing line at about 7yds and told to put 5 perfect rounds on paper. That, boys and girls, would be about the last of any cloverleaf groups by anybody.
Draw technique was addressed next. Whether the student's style of carry was traditional 3 to 4 o'clock, or appendix, Don and John worked w the class to make certain each student was maximizing their drawstroke and minimizing excess travel and most importantly, time. It was demonstrated, and then practiced how a smooth, proper stroke establishes one to shoot from the retention position, allowing quick accurate hits at "chin scratching" distance. Some more work followed this theme as contact tactics were covered. oh, yeah, and Doc hit me!
Ready Positions were covered next. Contact, Compressed, and Sul. I won't delve into these techniques as I respect SI's position that proper instructors should relay the materials at a class. From here, we babystepped into some lateral movement. Hand to hand transitions were addressed, and the infamous AFTER ACTION ASSESMENT introduced. After a few walk throughs of the AAA, and it's importance discussed, Don implored the class to perform this with the utmost care and concentration, and not to let it become "Range Ballet". btw, Don, I'm gonna use that term quite a bit from now on.
All feet were on the dirt by 9am. Again, the courtesy the class demonstrated by being on time was really impressive. Safety was again the primary focus of the first thirty to forty minutes of the morning. Firearms safety was reinforced, as was environmental safety. This day, "the weather was perfect". Rain, and plenty of it. Wind, yeah no shortage there either. And substantially cooler. Enough so, that Doc reinforced the need to hydrate, and to keep watch on one's body temp. I think he noted the temp was around 20degress shy of the previous day. It was also brought to attention, the ground had become very 'spongy' with the addition of the rain, so careful, deliberate footing was emphesized.
With the safety covered, the class reviewed yesterday's techniques with a hurried discussion and an agreement we need to be training while its raining, we can talk inside of lightning were to be spotted. And so, the exercises began anew, with the added stress of improving speeds, all the while maintaining good hits.
During an indoor lecture, butting up to and extending a few minutes past lunch, ambidextrous shooting was taught. It's importance was later recognized and 'barricade' engagements were covered. This technique could be applied to doorways, corners, halls or anything one may need to shoot around while keeping exposure to a minumum. Cover, cover, cover. nuff said.
Gear Used-by me.
gen4 G19, Dale Fricke ArchAngel Holster, S&B 9mm 115gr fmj, Uli Gebhardt's awsome mag pouches, Wilderness Tac CSM belt.
Gear Noted in Class-dominated by polymer pistols, Glocks, S&W's, Springfield xd's. Tho, there was at least one metal framed Daewoo being fired admirably by a student. Holsters were kydex, leather, iwb, owb, traditional position, appendix.
Students ranged from 18 to 59 yo, with the average being about 47, based on the ages from the thirteen students I was able to query.
14 males, 1 female who not only held her own, but fought as hard as any man there. I'd be proud to have her fighting with me, and really worried to have her fighting against me.
Students varied in background from boat captains to doctors to machinists to farmers.
Conclusion-kicking myself in the ass for not taking this sooner. This is a "don't miss" class for anyone who wishes to move beyond paper punching, and desires to test themselves and to begin to lay the foundation for the type of training that very well may save one's life.
My sincerest thanks to Don and John, and to our hosts. Thank You!