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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.
 

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Beautyful countryside, can almost smell the fresh clean air. :smile: Glad the class lived up to expectations, most of us have to be content with local training at best and punching paper. Interesting comment about martial arts training, I wonder if there is a trend for shooters to take basic courses in martial arts or is this a natural fallout where mom and dad sent the little off to learn about it??
 

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FortyFive, I think that the gun and martial arts skills complement each other...we may not always have time to get a clean draw if the attack is upon us without warning, and should be able to counter the attack to avoid getting knocked down or out.

I'm almost 50 years old, and it is a little bit intimidating to think about starting to take some physical self defense classes, but I can see that being prepared to defend myself includes more than just CCW skills. :cool:
 

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Andy showed me 2 ways to handle the AK-47 safety....operate with the safety already in the "fire" position, or, using the right hand, keep your right thumb on the back of the grip and extend your other 4 fingers (and on my hand it was a stretch) so the tip of your pointer finger rides on the small ledge of the safety bar. It was uncomfortable at first, but as the day wore on, it became pretty easy and fast.
 

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Team American said:
FortyFive, I think that the gun and martial arts skills complement each other...we may not always have time to get a clean draw if the attack is upon us without warning, and should be able to counter the attack to avoid getting knocked down or out.

I'm almost 50 years old, and it is a little bit intimidating to think about starting to take some physical self defense classes, but I can see that being prepared to defend myself includes more than just CCW skills. :cool:
First of all, thanks for the report. Sounds like an excellent class.

Second, I would encourage everyone to get involved in some sort of martial arts or defensive tactics training. The hardest part, though, will be finding a school that suits you. Make sure you observe a class before you join a school, and be leery of signing contracts or putting a bunch of $$ down at the start. Remember also that anyone can claim to be a 10th degree master world champion, etc., etc.

I hope that doesn't constitute a thread hijack!

SSKC
 
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