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  1. #1
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    2022 Training

    Well, I'm finally prioritizing getting some good training this year. I had an excellent long distance / precision shooting class last month and just signed up for Sheepdog Response Carbine 1 class at the end of this month and Gunfighter Pistol 1 with Mike Glover / Fieldcraft Survival next month. I'll probably sign up for a two day Kagwerks class this Fall, too, if they still have openings by the time I register.

    Now I have to figure out which carbine to take the class.

    I missed the Dark Angel trauma class when they were in town earlier this year, so that will probably have to wait until next year. My wife took it a year ago and she really liked it and recommends it.

    Ammo prices are down a little bit (e.g., 2x instead of 3x the "old normal) so that helps and I've ordered some ammo to cover the classes so as not to deplete.

    Anyone else getting some training in this year? I'd be particularly interested if anyone knows of any good classes in the PNW

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    I'm looking for a Kevin Owens shooting class. He instructs for Fieldcraft Survival and reps the east coast, being based out of the Ft Bragg area of NC. I'll probably have to figure in some travel to get him, or any other top name instruction as they seem to get hoovered up by the LE community and their civvy courses tend to be clustered around when they live. Fieldcraft is based out of UT and I have a buddy who lives out there that I've been bugging to get some training from Glover and his group; they seem to be pretty squared away and well-rounded in terms of course offerings.

    That said, I'm over the "Stress Inoculation" thing a lot of these companies push. I put in 35 years in that environment, and while I don't look to have a cookout or a garden party during the class, scaling walls and running miles and miles as part of a course is no longer on my list of fun pass times. I understand that I might be looking for something that doesn't exist, but there is a niche for guys that can kick it in the ass when the need is present, but don't want to spend weeks recuperating from a "class".
    There's no "Team" in F**K YOU!

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    I personally would steer clear of Fieldcraft, based off of what I've seen and heard. Some of the classes they've put on in the past are mildly ridiculous, such as their backcountry bugout class or motorized backcountry bugout class (course descriptions lead me to conclude that they are literally just "how to go camping in the backcountry" and "intro to off-roading", except you get to pay hundreds of dollars per hour to learn). The classes I've seen bits and pieces of (they've taught at my range before) did not seem to make much sense in the context of the class being taught (intro to competition shooting), and glowing feedback afterwards from one of the students that I knew seemed to be simply due to lack of experience from the student rather than any truly useful training (everything described seemed like nothing more than an intro to handgun class, nothing competition specific). I've also heard negative things about how the training cadre was treated by the home group, as much of Fieldcraft is taught by local affiliates as best I can tell, and is much more of a brand than a company (e.g., any class you take from CTT, you get Mike Pannone, while with Fieldcraft, it appears the vast majority are not taught by Mike Glover).

    For pistol stuff, I honestly think that going to USPSA semi-regularly would get you to a much higher level than these tactical pistol classes. The classes are good to get some tactical considerations in, but for raw mechanical shooting, USPSA is the ticket if you're capable of critical thinking and separating gaming from realworld.

    The one class I always tell people to take is ECQC from ShivWorks. It is a highly physical class typically simply due to the nature of the topic, but if you are old and broken, Craig can certainly modulate the class to your individual pace, typically by pairing you with a veteran of the class. Even after all the classes I've taken, ECQC is the class I will instantly say is the best class I've taken, not just because of the material, but also Craig is one of the best instructors I've met.

    At this point in my shooting, I'm not actively looking to take classes anymore, as I don't think they would help much. The only classes I would go out of my way to go to are probably the ShivWorks classes: ECQC (to retake as an audit of my progression), VCAST, and/or AMIS. Everything else, what I need isn't another class, but to simply practice regularly; these classes have really become entertrainment for me, which is not a slam on them at all, but more of a critique of my own lack of willpower to put in the work, though in my defense, my USPSA performance shows that I am not regressing, just plateauing, which isn't bad for a guy that literally gets all practice from USPSA matches and is always >50% on the scoreboard with world class GMs at the match in comparison. My tactical performance I get some practice with roleplaying; not ideal, since I'm not the student, but definitely a form of stress inoculation, and great for figuring out how well I can execute typical rifle manipulations.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Default.mp3 View Post
    I personally would steer clear of Fieldcraft, based off of what I've seen and heard. Some of the classes they've put on in the past are mildly ridiculous, such as their backcountry bugout class or motorized backcountry bugout class (course descriptions lead me to conclude that they are literally just "how to go camping in the backcountry" and "intro to off-roading", except you get to pay hundreds of dollars per hour to learn). The classes I've seen bits and pieces of (they've taught at my range before) did not seem to make much sense in the context of the class being taught (intro to competition shooting), and glowing feedback afterwards from one of the students that I knew seemed to be simply due to lack of experience from the student rather than any truly useful training (everything described seemed like nothing more than an intro to handgun class, nothing competition specific). I've also heard negative things about how the training cadre was treated by the home group, as much of Fieldcraft is taught by local affiliates as best I can tell, and is much more of a brand than a company (e.g., any class you take from CTT, you get Mike Pannone, while with Fieldcraft, it appears the vast majority are not taught by Mike Glover).

    For pistol stuff, I honestly think that going to USPSA semi-regularly would get you to a much higher level than these tactical pistol classes. The classes are good to get some tactical considerations in, but for raw mechanical shooting, USPSA is the ticket if you're capable of critical thinking and separating gaming from realworld.

    The one class I always tell people to take is ECQC from ShivWorks. It is a highly physical class typically simply due to the nature of the topic, but if you are old and broken, Craig can certainly modulate the class to your individual pace, typically by pairing you with a veteran of the class. Even after all the classes I've taken, ECQC is the class I will instantly say is the best class I've taken, not just because of the material, but also Craig is one of the best instructors I've met.

    At this point in my shooting, I'm not actively looking to take classes anymore, as I don't think they would help much. The only classes I would go out of my way to go to are probably the ShivWorks classes: ECQC (to retake as an audit of my progression), VCAST, and/or AMIS. Everything else, what I need isn't another class, but to simply practice regularly; these classes have really become entertrainment for me, which is not a slam on them at all, but more of a critique of my own lack of willpower to put in the work, though in my defense, my USPSA performance shows that I am not regressing, just plateauing, which isn't bad for a guy that literally gets all practice from USPSA matches and is always >50% on the scoreboard with world class GMs at the match in comparison. My tactical performance I get some practice with roleplaying; not ideal, since I'm not the student, but definitely a form of stress inoculation, and great for figuring out how well I can execute typical rifle manipulations.
    USPSA is something I fully intend to look into soon. I don't get this whole "Larping" culture.. Why wouldn't somebody want to devote their time and resources to practical shooting, rather than run around going "Pew! Pew! Pew!"? To each his own, but kitting up has been a purpose driven thing and why would I want to do that when I don't have to??? I've always viewed contactors as pragmatic, in that, if somebody wants to hit you, they'll shoot low and bleed you out, or go through your shoulder, bypassing any class IV armor you can dress up in, per the rules. Also, a good shooter can hit your mastoid, and take the bump helmet out of the equation. PPE has its limits; for CQ it might be okay, but out in the open, a guy that doesn't miss can kill you no matter how much protective stuff you have on.
    There's no "Team" in F**K YOU!

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    How to put the fun back into training: When you get put in the stack even though you let your commission drop, because nobody can, or wants to play medic. Strap up, and show them that you can squeeze off a few from 3rd place and still save a few lives. I can still open the can when I need to, but shit starts to hurt around 40, and past 50, you pay for it. At that point, I'll do it for IRL, but to just play ain't worth the squeeze. The advantage is that IRL, you don't stack up without a badge on. The biggest plus of retirement from that way of life is you have the software to do things, but you can choose to do for yourself, your family and friends, and not to have to deal with the people BS.
    There's no "Team" in F**K YOU!

  6. #6
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    I appreciate that feedback / commentary. I'm committed to the Fieldcraft course but it is taught by Mike Glover. They do have a lot of weird course, but I don't think guys like us are the target market. I grew up camping, was active in a church scouting groups as a kid, and served, but I think there is a group of adults out there that don't have any of that background. I decided to go deer hunting for my first time and it was kind of weird getting into it w/o having grown up with it like most hunters I know. Your options are to fumble through it or hire a guide but even most guides are used to serving experienced hunters. But, yeah, I don't really feel the need for an orienteering course but it does have me thinking about how I train my kids in this stuff.

    That Shivworks training looks excellent. I've always shied away from combatives training as it's just not my background or nature, but I finally broke that last winter and started a BJJ combatives course and am enjoying much more than I thought I would. Warrior Poet is having a 2-day force on force combatives class locally that I'm considering, as it looks good and relevant for a general citizen who EDCs.

    Still, I'd like to get some baseline weapons training (beyond the fairly useless 1990's Army weapons quals I went through) in this year and, to your point, I'll consider prioritizing towards competition after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoilerUp View Post
    They do have a lot of weird course, but I don't think guys like us are the target market. I grew up camping, was active in a church scouting groups as a kid, and served, but I think there is a group of adults out there that don't have any of that background. I decided to go deer hunting for my first time and it was kind of weird getting into it w/o having grown up with it like most hunters I know. Your options are to fumble through it or hire a guide but even most guides are used to serving experienced hunters. But, yeah, I don't really feel the need for an orienteering course but it does have me thinking about how I train my kids in this stuff.
    I did not grow up camping or doing anything outdoorsy, and now consider myself fairly comfortable in the backcountry. I still thought the Fieldcraft stuff was ridiculous, simply because it is so overpriced. A 6 hour land nav course is 250 USD through Fieldcraft. REI's 4 hour course is 80 USD. I don't know the quality of the instruction at Fieldcraft, but it feels very much like cashing in on the brand to me, rather than being 4 times better than the REI course.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoilerUp View Post
    Still, I'd like to get some baseline weapons training (beyond the fairly useless 1990's Army weapons quals I went through) in this year and, to your point, I'll consider prioritizing towards competition after that.
    If you want to get into competition, the easy way to do it is to get into Steel Challenge if there are local matches. I would strongly encourage to just go right now, if you're comfortable with drawing the gun and firing; I don't see waiting getting you much, unless you're not comfortable with simply drawing. Steel Challenge is a very simple match, there is minimal movement (only one stage has any movement), minimal stage planning (there are only 8 official stages, and only 5 targets per stage), and really gets you going on the draw and your transitions. It'll also allow you to practice making ready and making clear, which you'll do very often in competition, just to get you comfortable with it. Once you're comfortable with all that, you can move on to USPSA to add additional complexity (I personally would skip IDPA if USPSA is an option, as IDPA seems to me to be an awkward compromise between the tactical and the competitive shooting, and ends up just being the worst of both worlds). Likely, there will be high level shooters who would be happy to give you tips during matches, and perhaps even hang out for a practice session or two.

  8. #8
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    I enjoyed Mike Glover's course, "Gunfighter Pistol 1". It wasn't from the typical script that I expected (e.g., no specific instruction on reloads or malfunctions) but was focused on surviving a gun fight where speed and accuracy win to include techniques such as point shooting and zipping up a bad guy *while* you are acquiring your front sight post.



    I'll say that I was also happy with my and my gear's performance although I got more stovepipes from my G17 than I should have but likely attributable to the HB Industries Micro Comp I was running.

    It was only a 5 hour course and more expensive than pretty much all the competing courses, but you are getting a retired SF E-9 who has stepped back and thoughtfully reflected on what actually matters in a gunfight. I recommend it.

  9. #9
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    In that vein, another instructor I'd like to train with is Tu Lam. That dude is just straight-up badass, from shitty childhood, to Delta. Everybody makes a buck on endorsements as their side hustle, but Tu genuinely seems like a warm, friendly person as long as you are on the good side of his humor.

    On the pragmatic side, I totally identify with Shawn Ryan. He is a complete no-bullshit, if he can't do it, he won't lie and say he can dude. He doesn't pimp every latest, greatest thing, and uses what he has and teaches that. Don't look for gear to bail you out if you haven't put in reps and practiced all the simple fundamental drills. I've been a subscriber of his Patreon page for a couple months and haven't reached the end of it's usefulness, plus, he holds somewhat regular chats and engages and replies to questions and ideas. Nobody has had better quality guests on their podcast in the time he's been operating the SRS and he's looking to move out from SF and public safety figures.
    There's no "Team" in F**K YOU!

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