AAR – Suarez International: CRG-4 – Force on Force Gunfighting

Course Title: CRG-4 – Force of Force Gunfighting
Organization: Suarez International
Instructor: Steve Collins
Dates: August 29th & 30th, 2015

Having taken (and taught) many defensive shooting courses over the last several years, I have a level of skill with a defensive handgun that is generally superior to that of the average person that has taken nothing beyond their state mandated concealed carry course and has spent no practice time since then.  I don’t mean that to sound boastful or arrogant but it is difficult for one to achieve a higher level without putting in additional effort.

That said, I am pleased to discover that this course challenged me in many ways.  It was able to confirm many of the beliefs I have had for quite some time and it also answered some of the questions I have had about real world defensive situations. Continue reading

Your Most Effective Weapon

If I asked you what your most effective weapon in a dynamic lethal force encounter would be, what would your answer be?

Would it be pepper spray…
A Taser…
A knife…
A gun…

I have often heard people that practice martial arts and other fighting techniques claim that if you can’t win a fight without a gun, you won’t be able to win it with a gun.  Most of them use this claim due to their desire to get more people involved in hand to hand self-defense techniques. Continue reading

An Alternative To The Top 5 Excuses

In my work as an instructor, I get the chance to talk to a lot of people who are taking state mandated firearms training in order to qualify for a state-issued CCW permit.  My organization “polls” every student after every class in the form of a verbal “debrief” and through the use of a printed Feedback Form that is handed out for students to provide an evaluation of the training they received.  On the form, we ask them, A) if they are interested in taking more training, B) what additional classes they are interested in taking, and C) if they would like for us to contact them when those classes get added to our schedule.  Around 90% of respondents indicate that they do wish to take more training, and about 75% of those ask to be contacted when those classes come up on our schedule.  While those rather large numbers seem like something to get excited about, unfortunately, the number of those people who actually elect to take any follow-up training is much lower.  While I can’t account for students who go on to take additional training from other instructors, the number of them that return to my organization for additional training is only in the 5 – 7 percentile range, and I believe it’s reasonable to assume that, at best, only an additional 1 – 2% seek out additional training from other sources.

On that note, I’ve made it a point to ask people why they don’t take additional training, even though they, at one time, recognized the need.  Continue reading

Expanding on The Plausibility Principle

It’s something I see and hear pretty often.  As someone who conducts a fairly substantial number of Instructor Development Courses throughout the year, it is fairly common to discuss various training experiences with the candidates who come through these courses during breaks or over lunch.  Most everyone likes to talk about the different classes they have taken from different instructors; what they liked and didn’t like, what kind of gear everyone was using, the different scenarios presented in the training exercises, the kind of techniques taught – as gun people, and especially as gun people who like to train, these are things that interest us.

So it came as no surprise when, during a recent conversation I was having with a young man attending one of my classes, he started talking about a “Tactical Carbine” class he attended earlier in the year.  Continue reading

Haters, Fan Boys, and Valid Instruction

“He’s a fraud!  He teaches all of that stuff, but he’s never had any experience using any of it in real life!” – This was a comment I read a few days ago made by some anonymous poster on the internet, directed at fairly well-known defensive shooting instructor.  Best I could tell, the implication from this poster was that if an instructor hasn’t personally used each and every tactic, technique, or skill he or she teaches in a “combat” situation or in a “gunfight”, then not only is the tactic, technique, or skill invalid, but the instructor is also a fraud.  Continue reading

“A Gun is Not a Defensive Weapon!”

Yes, you heard that right. According to Emmeryville, CA Chief of Police Ken James in a statement he made during a recent press conference, a gun is “not a defensive weapon”. Rather, in his view, it is an “offensive weapon used to intimidate and used to show power”. So by using his own (seemingly twisted) logic, this Chief is saying that he equips the officers in his department with the means to “intimidate and show power” in the performance of carrying out their duty, rather than the means to defend themselves and protect the community at large. Alrighty then……
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After Action Report – GPS Tactical Handgun Class, 02/09/13

I’ve been remiss lately in my blogging as I just haven’t been setting aside any extra time to type out any thoughts.  On that note, I thought I would do something a bit different and post the After Action Report (AAR) I wrote regarding the class we at Armed Missouri, Inc. hosted, as well as participated in, this past weekend.  I realize this is a bit lengthy for a blog entry, but I wanted to get this out there to help shine the light on good training at a very reasonable price.  Hope you enjoy!
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“Get Your Super-Duper, High-Speed Tactical Training Here!”

As I sit here browsing the websites of various local training organizations and local instructors, the statement in the title of this blog entry seems to be the recurring theme on many of them.  One instructor claims to provide “the best tactical training in the Midwest”, while another promises to deliver a “comprehensive tactical pistol handling course”, and still many others make generous use of the word “tactical” and/or “tactics” in their many course offerings – everything from “basic tactical shotgun” to “tactics and combatives”. Continue reading

A Change Of Plans

After getting my blog entry nearly finished up last night, I had plans to make a couple of final tweaks this evening and then get it posted.  However, in light of the tragic events in Connecticut today, I have decided to postpone that entry and instead, jot down a few thoughts I’ve had today.

First and foremost, I want to lament that, try as I may, I’ve yet to find any words that are worthy of saying to the people affected by this heinous act.  At this time, the words, “my thoughts and prayers are with you”, seem entirely inadequate.  Only time, prayer, and love will help to heal the wounds the people in that community suffered today.  The thought of losing a child under ANY circumstances is heart wrenching at best, and as a parent, I would never wish that on another. Continue reading

Do I Really Need To Carry Spare Ammunition?

I recently taught an intermediate-level class in which, when asked, not a single student said that they normally carry any spare ammunition for the defensive handgun they carry daily.  These were all intelligent, well-meaning people who were trying to take responsibility for their own personal safety as well as the safety of their families.  They had all been carrying on their CCW permits for several years, all of them claimed that they shot at least somewhat regularly, and all of them had taken the responsible step of seeking out additional, non-mandated training.  Yet it had never crossed their minds that they might, at some point, need more ammunition than the normal payload that their firearms carried.  Continue reading