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This is a discussion on AAR Defensive Training Concepts: Intermiadiate Handgun SW Virginia within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This weekend I had the pleasure of attending training with Randy Smith President of Defensive Training Concepts, and an old crusty Vietnam era Saltdogg Richard ...
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending training with Randy Smith President of Defensive Training Concepts, and an old crusty Vietnam era Saltdogg Richard Elias. Randy does have a LE background, and is currently a Reserve Police Officer, but also brings a flavor to the table that I have never seen as a personal trait in a firearms Trainer. He is an Engineer.
The Class was intermediate Handgun a 30 hour course conducted in Lexington, Va thats midway on interstate 81 exit 191 to be exact.
Before I get into the class and the schedule let me give a little background.
I've have the fortunate ability to train with a lot of individuals in the Northern Virginia area from all walks of life at both public and private ranges, spending about 70% of my shooting time in dynamic ranges. I shoot almost daily, practicing drawing and shooting from the holster and actively participate in IDPA and other tactical shooting competitions. I myself am an NRA Instructor, as well as, an NRA instructor trainer for the NRA, in Pistol, and both Personal Protection courses. I feel pretty confident in my shooting ability, from a holster and shooting and moving, and was kind of skeptical when my boss said we where going to an intermediate shooting course.
After, reading a little from what Randy had sent us before the actual start of the class. I knew most of the topics (i.e. Safety circle, SUL, OODA, Color Codes, Shooting and moving etc..) Heck! I thought to myself I teach this stuff. Okay from just skimming them ahead of time, I felt that I would go into this class looking at it trying to steal ideas from another instructor and how to teach them myself. Pick up a few things here and there, and add more screw drivers to a tool box that already had a good set in it. I'm not trying to come across with an arrogant tone but I thought to myself this is stuff I already know.
Now the twist. The text book material I have read constantly, and practiced and seen in static environments; as well as, controlled dynamic environments did not exist in the perfect relaxed shooting box that myself and most of the population exist in. This was not a "Class, Course, or Weekend of pulling the trigger!" In fact to me shooting is enjoyable; however, this experience was a mental and physical rigor that I had never experience.
I will not give specific detail from the course because I feel that would be unfair to my friend Randy. However, I will share personal realizations that I concluded both during the course and concluding the course, and say this. This course was very well put together, from the ground up. You can tell a lot about somebody based on just skimming over the lesson plan they use. Getting to peak at his on the break, said a lot about the time, effort and planning that went into this course.
Day 1: Was pretty much in the classroom prep and recap of basics and fundamentals. I picked up a few key phrases, and proved to myself that I still knew how to shoot center mass, move at the same time, scan, clear malfunctions in the normal fashion etc..... Put it this way, we where it felt like we where driving about 30 miles an hour and me along with a few shooters will pulling away from the pack doing 90 mph I went back to my hotel where I had a six pack of bud Ice and HBO saying okay is this all?
Day 2: Early in the morning Randy gave a small heads up of what we would do for the second day, but conducted most of the training on the line. This is where my 90 mph ego dropped to about 5 mph. The teaching techniques used by the instructor and demonstrations were beautiful presented in a clear and easily processed manner. This day is where the course went from shooting to actual survival training it was no long a "Gun Fight" that most of think about. It was now a FIGHT, both physical and mental, and the gun was just a tool you had at your disposal to help you solve a possible certain piece of the puzzle. I have never felt so unprepared other time on the line as I did this day. I was pushed by situational stress that my techniques practiced nightly and daily started to reduce down to nothing more than a foggy past. My eyes where now open. There where certain explanations/drills that where given and conducted that I never have seen another instructor do in an "Intermediate" or even "Advanced" courses.
Day 3: This was the final day. And after not only attempting to fix my sun poisoning I kept on thinking I have to stay one step ahead. I have to get do it right. Day 3 has got to be easy. NOPE! The bombardment of good material kept me hungry for even more. I felt like I had found my college major, based on the professionalim/ teaching abilities of the instructors. I use to hate being a student; however, these three days now have made me thirsty for even more.
The instructor did not teach these nor where they his opinion at all. These are put together as a result of my own observations and understanding of how the human body works.
Open Carry-I use to be indifferent about open carry it didn't bother me that people do it. However, people that say open carry is a good viable option to self defense, I now greatly question how much they shoot and have researched the topic. Anybody can take your gun from you if they want to! Action beats Reaction every time.
Handguns there is no handgun that has "KNOCK DOWN or Stopping Power", the size of your bullet, the speed of velocity, and the energy transfer means nothing! This was reiterated when a 230 grain did not penetrate both sides of a plastic industrial waste barrel This was done by accident by one of the students.
Safeties-If your carrying a gun for self defense and it has a safety be for warned. Regardless of whether its a slide mounted safety or a thumb safety on a 1911 (Murphy's law is in effect), even the mostly highly trained individual will forget to take it off at one time in their life. A safety is a device that makes your gun "NOT FIRE". That one time might be the time your card was pulled. With the introduction of high stress your body is simple not designed to survive by letting you have the ability to use your fine motor skills. No matter how you cut it flipping the safety off a handgun is a fine motor skill.
Learning techniques, theory, shooting qualifiers, are all fun, but I know think there is more to this then just learning how to do something. Understanding your limitations, and reactions to a situation is something most people will never get to experience, this was the most beneficial thing for me in the course. And I have now truly opened my eyes and trying to think outside the box.
I highly encourage anybody to take this course. It was extremely taxing however, I came away from it knowing more about myself then I ever did before.
Last edited by Rob99VMI04; June 30th, 2008 at 11:03 AM.
Thanks for sharing your experience in the class. I am glad you were able to attend.
It is nice to have 'shooters' in classes like this and you were certainly at the top of the list. Having that skill already well developed allows you to get more out of the material than say someone who is struggling just to change magazines.
Thanks for the opportunity to work with you too. It was my pleasure.
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