James Yeager was more the primary trainer on today’s work and Kyle Lynch was assisting as was Erin Trimble (sorry, not that other Aaron!) and the combination of their coaching was done on a more individual basis today. By the way… Day 1 is here. Drills started right away and we hit the ground running… well, walking fast.
More movement drills, this time walking left and shooting to the right and vice versa. This was one with multiple targets as you walked past and for some reason really got my adrenalin up, but it had a ways to go up from there. Today’s drills were all fairly complex and well instructed. And a blast.
We did drills shooting from retention — keeping the gun in close to your chest at contact distances. Initially just at that distance, then shooting and adding distance, then shooting and adding distance with a final headshot. This layering of skills was more pronounced in today’s drills and the progression really works naturally: I’m too close, so I should shoot from retention… hey I shot him a couple times, so I can probably back off, but I should keep shooting… hey I’ve backed off enough and he’s still coming, so I should try to end this now that I’ve made some distance and can be more precise. Like the “I’ve been knocked on my back, so I’ll sit, come to a knee, and stand all while shooting” drill from yesterday, this was one of my favorites.
Making the shooting from retention drills more interesting was the element of a real scuffle. We individually stepped to the target and had to empty the magazine into the target and reload from the retention position all while James and an alumnus of Fighting Pistol grabbed our belts and jostled us around… a lot. Shooting at contact distance and reloading under pressure… even this small simulated pressure definitely got the blood flowing.
Cover and concealment were discussed and we spent some time playing the angles of visibility around cover and minimizing the badguy’s visibility of us. We shot standing, kneeling, and prone (or supine) around a simulated cover made of target stands. The concept of being too close to cover and the difference between the mindset of “get behind the cover” (bad) and “get the cover between you and the target” (good!) was made clear. We added some movement drills to shoot while walking towards cover then using cover to reload and peep out for a final shot.
A break for lunch and while we were all sitting James went through a lecture primarily on the mental aspects of not only a gunfight but what it means to carry a firearm and the proper times to use it (or not) from many perspectives. Numerous topics are covered from the tools you bring to the fight (Mindset, Tactics, Skill, Gear), the alertness conditions (white, yellow, orange, red), statistical discussions of what happens in a gunfight, a discussion of what happens after a gunfight from a very practical perspective encompassing both the legal and emotional aspects. A lot was covered here and I’m hardly doing it justice. I didn’t look at my watch before or after but it could have gone for 2 hours, 3 hours… hell that could have been the whole class material and I’d probably still have paid for it. It is good stuff.
James and Kyle mentioned that this two day class is nowhere near enough to ingrain any specific things — it’s just not enough repetition and practice in 16 hours with 1000 rounds or whatever. I think what it does, however, is instill the mindset that repetition and practice are needed. I had said about the last course that good training is good training because it activates the need in me to get more training and practice more and harder on my own.
This is very good training.
I highly recommend taking this class and I definitely hope to take this class again and more from Tactical Response.