Training Reports

Level 2 - Handgun Manipulation - Jan 3

Pistol TrainingOn January 3rd, 2016 I spent the day teaching a Level 2 - Handgun Manipulation & Personal Protection course at South River Gun Club. This course had four participants, two of which have previously taken several courses with me in the past. The other two consisted of a gentleman who is currently in the police academy and his wife. The gentleman who is currently in the police academy was scheduled to qualify for handgun training the week after the course, and he was looking to get some help to make sure that he was ahead of the curve for the firearms portion of mandate training.

As we always do with our Handgun Manipulation training, we reviewed the basics covered in the Handgun Fundamentals & Safety course. Specifically, we focused on proper handgun grip and stance, as well as reviewed the major steps of proper trigger control. All of the biomechanics of how we interact with the firearm will have a direct impact on our results down range, so it's important that we ensure all of our fundamentals are in order before adding to our skill sets.

After our fundamentals had been reviewed, we moved into the next section of content as we started working from the holster. We teach a slightly modified version of the 4 point draw, so we went through each step in detail to talk about why each step is important as opposed to just how to perform each step. As we worked on each step of the 4 point draw, we also talked about re-holstering and how it's a great way to basically double your amount of repititions as you reverse through each original step. We also talked about some "tips and tricks" to help get out of the holster and on to the target faster and with greater efficiency.

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Increased Heart Rate Training

NJ State Patrol Pistol TrainingOn Decemeber 16th, I was joined by a friend of mine who works as a State Trooper in the state of New Jersey. He and I spent the day on the range running drills that would simulate an increased heart rate that would usually occur due to the body's response to stress. In order to simulate that stress, we created drills that were physically strenuous enough to drive our heart rate up. Our drills combined lateral movements (sprints) and vertical movements (standing to kneeling, kneeling to prone) with manipulation exercises. This training session was less focused on target discrimination and pinpoint accuracy and more focused on combat effective hits and functional manipulations with an elevated heart rate.

As we all know, stressful situations (like life threatening attacks) will cause a body alarm response which is our body's way of preparing the "fight or flight" mechanisms. Our heart rate will increase to pump more blood through our body's muscles. Our respiratory rate will increase to oxygenate the increased amount of blood being delivered throughout our body. The blood flow will be directed to the most effective areas in the body to both preserve life as well as increase muscular performance. So what's the problem? The problem is that it feels foreign and scary to us if we have never simulated this during our training. You know the feeling of tremblilng hands. You've experienced the butterflies in your stomach almost to the point of nausea. You know how hard it is to perform tasks while moving when your heart rate and respiratory rate are through the roof... In order to increase the odds of our successful completion of these tasks under stress- we must train them in such a way that we can simulate the symptoms mentioned above. So how do we simulate the increased heart rate and respiratory rate? By performing strenuous physical tasks that will cause our heart rate to go up.

In this particular training session, we shot about 350 rounds each within approximately 2.5 hours.

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Dark Angel Medical - Training Review

Dark Angel Medical CertificateOn December 12th and 13th, 2015, I was able to take part in the Dark Angel Medical Tactical Aid course in Norcross, Georgia. This course was taught by Ross Francis from San Bernardino, California. Ross is a Navy combat veteran who had multiple deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan as a Navy Corpsman and later as a contractor. He is also a registered EMT both federally and in the state of California. To preface this review- I must say that the real world trauma experience that Ross brings to the class is absolutely awesome and a large contribution to the course. He has flown with the Air Force Pararescue Jumpers, been the Corpsman attached to Marine Corps scout sniper units, and provided medical aid in the civilian world as an EMT. To say the least, his experience and resume left no doubt that he knew the content that he would be teaching for the duration of the weekend. The Tactical Aid course is 16 hours and focuses primarily on the treatment of life threatening, traumatic injuries. Per their website, the course content includes:

  • Physiological and Psychological reactions to environmental stress
  • The importance of having the proper Combat Mindset
  • Basic Anatomy and Physiology of life-sustaining systems
  • H, A, B, C’s—Hemorrhage, Airway, Breathing and Circulation
  • Breakdown and usage of Individual Med Kit components
  • Proper stowage and employment of the IMK
  • Hands-on application of the IMK
  • Basic and Advanced Airway management -treating and monitoring tension pneumothorax, sucking chest wound and flail chest
  • Airway adjunct device placement-Nasopharyngeal Airway
  • Basic First Aid and Advanced wound care
  • Application of Bandages and Hemostatic Agents
  • Application of tourniquets
  • Recognition and Treatment of various injuries (Gunshot, Laceration, Burn, Airway, Head, Orthopedic, Environmental)
  • Recognition and treatment of hypovolemic (hemorrhagic) shock
  • Moving and positioning victims with various injuries
  • Response to active shooter situation
  • Proper use of cover and cover vs. concealment
  • Casualty recovery in an Active Shooter situation
  • Mass casualty triage procedure
  • Emergency Medical Dialect/Lingo (911 protocol, cooperation with LE, Fire and EMS and First Responders)

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Personal Training Session - 12/6/15

John Target Discrimination DrillsOn December 6, 2015 I joined two friends of mine for a training day where we would try to enjoy some fellowship outside and challenge each others' skill sets with different drills that we had come up with for the occassion. This training session included myself, a close friend of mine named Brandon, and a gentleman named John. John is a four-tour veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan including a deployment with the 75th Ranger Regiment (3rd Batallion). Brandon is a close friend of mine who has spent quite a few hours with me on the range and continues to improve his handgun skills with each training session. The theme for the training session was set to be a combination of speed and accuracy, with several drills that would elevate our heart rate to simulate stress and body alarm.

Warmup & Weapons Manipulation

We began our training session with basic manipulation drills... Reloads from slide lock, reloads with retention, multiple target engagements, malfunction correction, etc. Once our hands were warmed up, it was time to get our bodies warmed up. We began with a zig-zag drill which was to force us to shoot at multiple targets while retreating and ideally to force a reload from slide-lock during at least one of the three strings of fire. This drill consists of six targets with three hits on each target, and all shots must be fired while moving. After going through this string multiple times each, we reversed it and performed the same zig-zag drill while shooting on the advance. Again, three targets with three hits on each- all shot while moving towards the targets. The steel silhouette targets are an excellent tool for this as you can visually identify where your hits are on the target as well as providing audible feedback to know that you have enough hits on target to be able to move on to the next target.

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