AAR – Reactionary Zones
I recently had the opportunity to attend REACTIONARY ZONES, a 3 Hour Online Session with Shelley Hill. This is an online class conducted via Zoom. This is my After Action Review of the class.
One of the glaring holes in Personal Protection training is accessible training that goes beyond the gun itself. While there are various Force on Force exercises available, some good and some not so much, they still require travel to a training site, involve a significant time commitment, cost more than most people want to pay, and are intimidating to those new to the concept of training. Reactionary Zones is designed to address these issues.
As the saying goes, this class can be taken “in the comfort of your own home.” The cost is nominal ($39.95) for a highly interactive experience. Images are heavily used in the class as training props to introduce the clients to the idea that situations will require some degree of reaction for a successful outcome. Images are a part of the class but the emphasis is more on understanding timing aspects of Personal Protection.
A major benefit of the class is that it introduces the concept of spatial relationships and time requirements into Personal Protection thinking. This can be a difficult aspect of self-defense for many people, not just beginners, to grasp in a concrete manner.
Shelley has a very interactive style in the class despite it being Zoom based. It is definitely NOT a boring Zoom lecture. She engages the clients, poses a progression of situations, and requires the clients to learn problem solving. It was obvious a lot of learning was going on by those who attended. This is a thinking and reacting class not just note taking.
For those who are just beginning the journey into understanding Personal Protection concepts, whether armed or not, this is a great starting point. Even for experienced practitioners, there’s a good deal to be learned in the class.
FTC disclaimer: I had significant input into the content of this course. Shelley is a good friend of mine and invited me to take the course gratis. However, I receive no compensation for this review nor commission for anyone who signs up because of my review.
Some things take time
I’ve always accepted that some things take time. In some cases, ideas are like time bombs and take a while to go off.
Many many people, not just gun people either, would greatly benefit from it.
An outline of the principles, called Dale Carnegie’s Secrets of Success, is available as a free download. I have a hard copy and refer to it regularly.
I receive no commission or other remuneration from recommending it, it’s just a wonderful resource for me that I like to share.
Teaching the Snub Nose Revolver
After a decade long hiatus, I’m back to teaching the snub nose revolver. This time it will be in a virtual format on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor/membership
The Snub Nose Revolvers – Hands-on Shooting Tier is a four month project to develop shooting and gunhandling skills for snub nosed revolvers. It will be based on the principles and techniques of the Snub Nose classes I taught for decades and the two DVDs I made about snubs. Also included will be examples of what went right and wrong in several real life incidents involving snubs.
Each Monday an overview of activities and necessary preparations for the week will be published. Three additional more detailed posts will follow each week. There will be one live fire session each month of no more than 50 rounds. The live fire will be compatible with either indoor or outdoor ranges.
Noted author and former CIA paramilitary operative Ed Lovette, who wrote the original book about the snubby, opined that information about running revolvers in general and snubs in particular is getting harder and harder to come by. I’ve shot snubs in a wide variety of formats, including winning more than two dozen IDPA Championships shooting one. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add a little to the literature and practicum by creating this Tier. I hope that those who own snubs will join my Patreon Tier and grow your skills.
I’m also pleased to announce that I will writing a short skill development shooting exercise for each issue of the Detective Gatzette, the magazine of Snub Noir, the snub aficionados’ organization. https://snubnoir.com/ Snub Noir is a unique group and those who like snubs will find membership useful and enjoyable.
Surgical Speed Shooting Summit 2022 – An Overview
Twenty-one years ago, Andy Stanford researched and wrote the book Surgical Speed Shooting https://www.amazon.com/Surgical-Speed-Shooting-High-Speed-Marksmanship/dp/1581601433 about combat shooting technique. He began teaching classes based on what his research had found. A number of people in the industry, myself included, became part of a group Andy formed to spread his knowledge.
Fast forward to June 2022. Andy organized a four day event, the Surgical Speed Shooting Summit, https://www.tacticalresponse.com/products/surgical-speed-shooting-summit to further update what he learned subsequent to writing his book. The event was held at the classroom and range of Tactical Response https://www.tacticalresponse.com/ in Western Tennessee. The purpose of the Summit was not only to update Surgical Speed Shooting but also to bring together a group of some of the top trainers in the industry, many of whom were not SSS related, to add their expertise to the knowledgebase. The final group of instructors was:
- John Holschen
- John Hearne
- Greg Ellifritz
- Michael Green
- Claude Werner
- Michael DeBethencourt
- Allan McBee
- John Johnston
- Karl Rehn
- Don Redl
- Lee Weems
- Melody Lauer
The first day started with a half day update of what Andy has gleaned about combat pistol shooting since the book’s publication. For the second half of the day, the group went to the range to shoot a few drills and see some targets Andy has developed for Surefire https://www.surefire.com/.
Day Two was spent at the Tactical Response classroom with each trainer giving a presentation of his or her own choosing. The topics all related to personal defense but did not have to be specifically on Surgical Speed Shooting.
On the third day, 47 students arrived at the Tactical Response range to begin training with the 12 instructors who had been divided into three different groups of four instructors each. The students were divided into equal sized groups based on an initial skill evaluation by shooting one of the Surefire drills. The student groups received 2 hours of training each by each instructor group. The instructors divided their two hour time frames among themselves to that the students received 12 total short blocks of instruction.
The final day’s range activities for the students were similar to the third day’s but the instructor groups were reorganized and the instructors had the option to present different material than they had on the previous day.
Finally, everyone returned to the Tactical Response classroom for a wrap-up of the Summit’s events. The instructors and students invidually gave examples of two things that they had personally taken away from the Summit’s training and presentations. As each person gave their take-aways, they were presented with a certificate testifying to their attendance at this historic event.
More about each day’s activities in the next few posts.
Why I Like to Measure Things
Why do I like to measure things? Because until I do, I don’t really know what’s inside.
I dislike soupy oatmeal. Although I followed the package instructions, it still turned out like soup. When I used the package measurement, it didn’t. Measuring the actual amount of water from the package’s marker doesn’t hold as much water as it says and which the directions specify. One half a cup is quite a bit less than two-thirds of a cup.
What does soupy oatmeal have to do with personal protection? How would we know whether we’re “good shooters” https://youtu.be/qB7NKXEKewM?t=599 unless we measure our own level of competency?
There has been debate within the training community for a long time about standards of competency. Those arguments will probably never be settled. One possible starting point could be the level of marksmanship necessary to pass the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course. To pass the Course, a shooter needs to be able to make five hits inside a 4 inch circle four times at 10 feet, no time limit.
The NRA doesn’t require that a shooter make the standard in four consecutive attempts. Someone keeping or carrying a pistol for personal protection probably should consider being able to do it every single time. Shooting the BOPS test would at least give you an idea of where your competency is. Here is a target for you to use.
My Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting Tier https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor?fan_landing=true is $1 a month on Patreon. The kickoff post, Dry Practice Circle Drill, is available to the public without subscribing. https://www.patreon.com/posts/64582173
To kick off my new Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting Tier https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor?fan_landing=true on Patreon, I’ve chosen to use the Dry Practice Circle Drill.
The kickoff post is available to the public without subscribing. https://www.patreon.com/posts/64582173
I’m excited to offer this Tier so that for $1 a month people can learn how to shoot better than this and it won’t take years to do.
Priorities in Personal Protection
Another excellent video featuring Ken Hackathorn has been posted on the Wilson Combat YouTube Channel. In it, he discusses what the real priorities are for Personal Protection.
Ken gives his view on priorities in this way:
But the most important thing you need to have is a proper mindset. And proper mindset; the way I explain it, is really broken down into three categories of importance.
- Number one, importance wise, is situational awareness.
- Second most important thing is decision making skills.
- The third one we all fall back on is combat marksmanship.
In 1759, the French philosopher Voltaire published his satirical novel Candide: or, All for the Best. From it the following ‘quote’ has often been derived.
Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
Ken distills this into “Life sometimes deals you a bad card and you may be faced with combat marksmanship.”
My ebook Thinking Clearly about Self-Defense and Personal Protection goes deeply into the topics of awareness and decision-making. If you would like to purchase it, click on the image below.
This coming Thursday evening, March 24, 2022, those who want to develop and enhance their decision-making skills will have a unique opportunity. The Complete Combatant will be conducting an online evening class from 7-9:30 PM using Image Based Decisional Drills. IBDD was developed with a bit of input from me and I will be attending this particular session to observe, refresh, and learn. If you would like to join us, please click on the Reactionary Zones image below.
Setting Boundaries and Communication
One of the most important personal protection skills we can develop is to set boundaries and clearly communicate them. Simply saying NO! in a firm voice is the most concise method of doing it.
Although the comment has been made that I give my clients permission to be rude, that has evolved in my mind to simply giving permission to say NO! As a society, we have placed so much emphasis on consensus and negotiation that our ability to firmly set boundaries and communicate them has become sadly neglected.
When someone refuses to respect a boundary that you have set very clearly, their intent becomes immediately clear. That clarity allows us to make definitive decisions about our own course of action.
Practice saying NO! every day in your normal daily activities. You don’t have to be mean or discourteous about it, simply say it firmly and with conviction. Often, when you say it, the other party will physically react and rock back on their heels. You have utterly reset their OODA Loop at that point.
Special Forces – The Big Picture
February’s weekly episodes of The Big Picture will feature the role of Special Forces during the Cold War. https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cold-war-history
Guest Narrator for the first episode is Mr. Henry Fonda, the famed screen actor.
This man wears the uniform of the Special Forces. To use the word special in describing him is no mistake as you’ll see during the next half hour. He’s a mature, dedicated, and skillful professional and his line of work is demanding. It takes in a full scope of unconventional or guerrilla operations.
Special Warfare involves three types of activity; unconventional warfare, psychological warfare, and counterinsurgency operations. This last includes the complete range of military, political, economic, and sociological action. New emphasis is being placed on unconventional warfare and the reason isn’t hard to see.
Today, the threat of war takes three forms; general nuclear war, conventional war, and guerrilla or unconventional war. Fortunately, the world has never yet seen a general nuclear war. Conventional warfare, the regular forces of two or more nations in combat but without using nuclear weapons we know all too well but at the moment no such traditional war is going on. Unconventional warfare is a different story.
In a number of key spots around the world intense guerrilla operations are underway right now. It makes little difference to the people of a country whether they lose their freedom to an invading army of regulars or through the action of guerrilla forces sponsored by an outside power.
My book Shooting Your Black Rifle seems appropriate to this series of films. If you would like to purchase it, click on the image below.
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