This could also be titled, "a very cool way to spend a week of vacation".
The LMS Defense crew (http://www.lmsdefense.com) was invited out to Valhalla (http://www.valhallashootingclub.com) by Rob Pincus to do some training. The 2 day Pistol 1 LMS Defense class was followed by a 2 day Combat Focus Shooting class at Valhalla. What follows is my AAR for both classes.
It is significant to note, that while both classes were different, they complimented each other nicely. The instruction offered by both could go along way to increasing your ability to fight with your handgun.
In the end, it was a unique opportunity to train with two top tier training companies at a fantastic location. LMS Defense offers many classes across the nation, and Valhalla is based in Colorado, but travels as well.
AAR - September 3-4, 2007
Class: Pistol I
Location: Valhalla Training Center (San Juan Range) - Montrose, CO
- John Chapman
- Troy Price
- Kevin W.
The 2 day class started with introductions and a safety and medical briefing each day.
Subject matter covered included:
Shooting mechanics - grip, stance, drawstroke, presentation, ready positions and marksmanship fundamentals (trigger control, sight alignment, sight picture and follow through) through instruction and/or drills.
Weapon manipulations - loading, reloading (emergency, speed), malfunction clearing (type I, II, III malfunctions), one handed reloading and weak hand only reloading
Technique - shooting while moving (forward, backward, sideways), shooting at distance, shooting from unconventional positions, medium to long range pistol shooting with accuracy
Tactics - using cover & concealment and movement
Every item covered was explained in detail and sometimes demonstrated if need be. The instructors each had input into the class, and provided an exceptional amount of real world experience in their teachings.
The class really provided a lot of drill time that helped solidify the lessons with repetition. The students in the class were of various backgrounds and experience yet the drills were able to challenge everyone at their own level.
At the end of each day, a qualification course of fire was utilized both as a measurement and a learning tool.
The differentiators for this class was the attention on making good hits under pressure, practical approach for each student's capabilities, the ratio of instructors to students, quality of instruction without dogma, and the breadth of subjects covered. The class provided tools to enable the student to continue their training once back home.
I wholeheartedly endorse LMS Defense's instructors and classes for beginner and experienced students, it will challenge and reward both.
It was a fantastic and fun class. I can't wait to train with Chappy, Troy and Kevin again!
AAR - September 5-6
Class: Combat Focus Shooting
Location: Valhalla Shooting Club - Montrose, CO
- Rob Pincus
- John Brown
- Jeremiah Miles
The class started with a lecture that was based on the material covered in Rob's book. A side note about the book; get it, read it.
Basically, at it's essence Combat Focus Shooting is what you would tell your wife or child that needed to shoot someone breaking through the bedroom door and you were only given only 30 seconds time to explain it. Would you go into stance, grip, sight picture, sight alignment, yada yada? You only have 30 seconds to tell them how to defend themselves, what do you say? 1. Point the gun at the bad guy. 2. Touch the trigger. 3. Press the trigger.
It is NOT Col. Applegate's point shooting. It is an intuitive shooting method, based on the foundational goal of Combat Accuracy. Combat Accuracy is your ability to quickly put enough rounds into a threat that will make the threat stop. Obviously if you are too far away, or shooting too fast, your Combat Accuracy will decrease. You will learn in this class how far away without using your sights you can be AND how fast you can shoot before you have to slow down to still be Combat Accurate.
Rob explained how the training center was essentially a good lab. Let me explain; due to the nature of the shooting club residing on the Elk Mountain Resort, they get some people that are not there for the training center. They have a number of people that visit that have never trained before and take advantage of Valhalla while they're at the resort with their families. Rob went on to explain that in the years that he has been running this "experiment" he has seen complete handgun neophytes come in, learn the system, and by the end of class are doing well.
It IS a class that absolutely requires an open mind of those that have had prior training. But, I was in the class with some top tier trigger pullers with 15-20 years of deep training, and they provided a good example of how to take this class with an open mind.
Some of the items that I struggled with most were the weapons manipulations and my "happy feet". The weapons manipulations are done at reference point called the "high compressed ready". It does make sense in the context of the shooting method taught. You have to trust them enough to learn it.
The instructors are all top notch. They are very articulate, knowledgable, and experienced. They provide the training at your level, which with this class was quite a challenge for them. We had the complete range of experience in the class, from novice to combat-proven shooters. The instructors were able to keep all the cats in the herd, and insure everyone was getting what they needed to learn in the class.
I have no frame of reference for the shoot house. It was the first time I've ever been in a "shoot house". I can tell you this, it is way freakn cool. (That is a technical term) Lighting effects, pop out targets, 3D reactive targets, hostages, innocents, cars, bars, bedrooms, living rooms, stores, it is a freakn disneyland OD'ed on testosterone.
The hotel is first class. The rooms are at a bargain rate if you're taking a class. Don't stay in town, stay at the resort. The staff will absolutely take care of you. The chef is fantastic, and can make you look forward to dinner time.
You owe it to yourself to take a vacation, get out to Colorado and take this class. It is worth well more than the money and time you will spend. No matter your experience, you will learn a lot about how to shoot and a lot about yourself.