Review: Andy Stanford's "Point Blank Pistol Craft" class
I spent the last three days training with Andy Stanford here in Colorado. First day was an "Advanced Carbine Seminar", and I got to spend a lot of quality time with my Romanian AK-47 learning proper handling techniques and rapid fire skills and drills.
Saturday and Sunday was the "Point Blank Pistol Craft" class, and it was a real eye opener! This class involves gun handling and shooting skills for confrontations from five feet and closer...the range where most real life fights statistically occur.
We met Saturday in Conifer CO and had a basic introduction and discussion of safety principals and mindset, then moved to the shooting range...a beautiful spot of National Forest near Kenosha Pass, about 60 miles west of Denver.
First day was devoted to learning a new technique for drawing the pistol (different from the method we learned in the "Surgical Speed Shooting" class last fall)....a four part drill that consists of: (1) gripping the pistol in holster while off hand goes flat to center of chest (2) drawing pistol to a position high and tight to chest...see the pictures below for a view of this new step that is the most important part of the draw for close-in shooting (3) hands come together as pistol is raised to sight line, and (4) arms are extended to whatever position you are familiar with....modern isosceles or weaver.
The (2) position allows you to control the pistol close to your body for retention purposes, yet allows you to fire from that position if necessary. Key is to draw with your elbow as high as possible...this allows you to come to the same index point every time.
We spent the rest of the day shooting close range targets and practising from different positions and off hand skills.
Sunday began with a review of the previous day skills, and then we progressed to learning some basic physical defense techniques...I was the only person in the class with zero martial arts training, so it was a very interesting experience! Basic blocking moves, followed with some offensive hand attack blows designed to give you time to access your handgun in a close scuffle.
We then began some force-on-force drills that included simulated physical attack defense, and then use of a Smith & Wesson revolver that had been converted to shoot paint markers...one-on-one drills with a person attacking and the pistol holder trying to deflect the attack, draw and fire a paint marker into the attacker. Even though these drills were conducted at "half-speed", adrenaline factored in as the markers were painful enough to focus your attention on the lesson at hand!
It has become obvious to me that time spent at the local indoor range shooting at bullseye targets only hones one particular skill...breaking the trigger while sights are lined up. While valuable, there is a lot more involved with actually getting to that point in a fast confrontation (duh!), and a class like this one is essential to learning the proper technique and skills so that you can practise correctly.
I will try to post more pictures later.