This is a review of the class I just took from TR.
No, it wasn't the class in the video, but it was the same format.
Yes. Jay Gibson - the same guy you are all calling a fool or worse for being on the line - was photographing the class.
Those of you who aren't interested in reading any further, please go away.
Those of you who want to hear about how the training went, read on...
Fighting Pistol 6/1 & 6/2
Taught by: James Yeager, Jay Gibson, and Brian Brekau
Short version: The class rocked. Instructors were great. I learned a lot.
A - On the range/shooting:
The class started off with safety instructions, and the class was run as a hot range. The instructors didn’t hover and treat the students like idiots; they simply demonstrated safe weapon handling, expected everyone to be safe to use their own intelligence and observational skills, and the students did it.
The drills started off progressively and built on each other very well.
Movement & drawstroke was broken down and practiced, then shooting from the holster, scanning for additional threats and topping off, malfunction clearance drills with dummy rounds progressed through the class to shooting from your back, shooting from your back and sitting up, then transitioning from the back to sitting to kneeling to standing. Shooting from retention was also covered, as was shooting on the move.
The class did not overly stress marksmanship, stance or grip. These topics were covered, but not beaten to death. They were taught to the degree necessary to achieve the desired results:
Students who can FIGHT with handguns.
When Tactical Response says “Fighting Pistol” they aren’t kidding.
B – On the range/Weapon operation in close proximity to people you do not want to shoot:
I have attended stick and knife seminars which did not leave me as drained as this class. This was Fighting Pistol. Fights are physical. You move. You change position. You change levels. Just like in boxing, stick fighting or grappling.
But in thinking back on the class I realized, that wasn’t why it left me completely drained. Hard work is one thing. This class was physically demanding…but unless I was so seriously out of shape that I can’t handle standing around for 2 days with some squatting, kneeling, sitting, laying on my back, and a bit of walking & footwork, something else was in play.
I think it had more to do with the class format rather than the physicality of it.
In a stick fighting class, if you screw up, someone gets a busted hand; If you don’t pay attention in a grappling class, someone can get an arm wrenched out of place or fall badly. …but more likely than not, that’s it. If someone made a mistake here – someone gets dead. Maybe you…maybe someone standing next to you, or at the other end of the line.
It took a lot of mental effort to operate a handgun safely while in close proximity to 25 moving people (which way will they guy next to you on the right or left move…that’s a good question…you can find out when James says “Fight!”…) and do not want to shoot, all the while making hits on a target you do what to put holes in.
That was stressful – but what happens when you are in a real situation with real bad guys in close proximity to your family? Stress. As Yeager said several times in the class, “Charlie don’t care…”.
Bad guys don’t either, which is what they count on.
This was a great learning experience for me.
In terms of technical skill such as shooting, handgun manipulation and shooting from different positions, I learned a lot.
Regarding the running a handgun safely and effectively (or was that effectively and safely…either way) in a crowded environment, I learned even more.
II - Lecture:
Lecture #1 (beginning of day #2)
Excellent. Simply excellent.
From the mindset of winning a fight, to the legal aspects of self defense to post shooting procedures & problems, it was comprehensive & excellent.
Lecture #2 (End of day #2)
Medical care is not something to be ignored. It is also not beyond the reach of ordinary people. You don’t have to be helpless when the **** hits the fan and people are bleeding.
Trauma wound care was broken down for people like me who know nothing more about trauma injuries other than “Dam. That’s going to leave a mark.” & “I think that’s going to require dry cleaning and a tailor...”
Do I feel like I can rush in and save the day with my newfound medical skills…no, but if I or someone get’s shot or stabbed I’m no longer in the dark as to what to do.
For those who want to know,I'm an attorney in Connecticut and I do civil litigation and criminal defense; and I'm an assistant moderator in the Legal section on GOTX.com.
I'm a risk averse person by nature and by trade. If I thought the training was unsafe due to the drills, Jay's location or any other factors, I'd have stepped off the line.
I didn't because I didn't see the need to do so.
If you don't think this kind of training isn't for you - don't go.
If you aren't sure, TR has a money back if not satisfied policy. You have nothing to loose by trying the class.
If you want to learn how to Fight with a handgun, I'm sure you know the website for TR by now.
I'll be training with TR again, and I don't have any fear for my safety in doing so either personally, professionally or related to litigation.