AAR: Defensive Pistol 1, Green Ops, March 19th (2016), Cuplpepper VA

"Push and expand your performance envelope."


Summary
I saw a post about this class on Pistol-Forum and decided it may be a good way to jump start the summer training season.  I contacted GreenOps and they were kind enough to let me attend in exchange for a review of the class.  Having taken numerous pistol classes before with all types of instructors from different backgrounds I knew that even though this is a level 1 pistol class it was going to give me the opportunity to go over some basic fundamentals, which is something that everyone should do from time to time.  I came into this class open minded and my goal was to go over the basics, pushing myself to make personal standards.


Equipment
I went with a concealed setup for this class:
Magpul GL9 Mag, ETS Group 15rnd Mag, TTI mag extension on an OEM Mag.
Mix of Fiocchi, WWB and B&S 9mm ammo



The First Half
Michael and Brett started out talking about their backgrounds and explaining range safety rules, they went over the theory behind their training philosophy.
Shoot drills that challenge your speed and accuracy.  Record your results to measure your progress and push yourself in training so you won't have to during the real thing.


They went over some fundamentals of proper draw stroke and other parts of basic pistol deployment.  We got into shooting pretty quickly after we did some dry fire practice so that Michael and Brett could see where each of the students are relating to their skill sets.



They went over a good technique, which I've seen done before but never in this context, giving newer shooters a good idea of where their grip should be every time.



This class was not designed to be just a pistol class, but a class in defensive concepts while employing a pistol effectively and efficiently. 


Brett is showing the class a technique in proper scanning after each iteration of dry-fire and the students were encouraged to do so after each drill.  


Since there were a range of different pistols being implemented Michael went over proper reholstering technique, specifically thumb on hammer reholstering.


Brett went over proper reloading technique - "work space"



We began the live fire part of the day, which was good since the temperature was dropping steadily into the high 30's and it was starting to drizzle.  One shot from the draw.  We did this in two groups and then each did it for time on a buzzer.  

Confidence in your speed and accuracy will not only improve your chances of surviving a deadly force encounter, but also making the right decisions. 

We ran a whole iteration of drills, we did a one shot from the draw, reload shot for time.  




Michael talked about workspace and how to properly and improperly utilize it.


We continued to run several drills, with the instructors demoing the drills before the groups would go through it.


We continued to run through the drills, some as a group, some individually timed.




When students were having issues hitting what they were aiming at (7 yards...) Michael gave a good explanation of sight picture and proper use of iron sights.


We ran some more drills and had each one was demoed by an instructor.


After Lunch
We started off after lunch running immediate action drills.



They showed us proper use of barricades utilizing a SIRT pistol.

(switch to my GS5 for photography since it started raining)


After some barricade work the entire class ran a pretty decent VA state police qualification, everyone did well in the qualification, but it was a lengthy one since every stage had to be timed properly and the overall scores recorded.


We finished off the live fire portion of the class running the F.A.S.T. in honor and memory of ToddG, who invented the test.  


After the live fire was over and the rain really started to get serious, Michael and Brett went over the legalities of deadly force, explaining certain concepts and using keywords which should really be part of every conceal carrying citizen's vocabulary.  We did a quick shoot / no shoot drill with a SIRT pistol at two targets, everyone did well.  This part would usually go first before the live fire range portion but the inclement weather required the class to be switched around which the instructors did very well without complications, showing they can seamlessly transition from training methods and topics.
Folks who buy a gun and carry it without professional instruction from someone with serious credentials and experience are potentially setting themselves up for tragedy. Poor awareness and shooting skills can cost you your life. Lack of knowledge on the justifying factors of ability, opportunity, imminent jeopardy and preclusion can cost you your liberty. Be prepared and responsible; get effective training.
Class Photo

Conclusion
This is what I would call an "advanced basic course" though the course title was "Pistol 1" it would be advanced for anyone who has done any NRA training and maybe one or two regular classes on the range with other instructors.  Michael and Brett did an excellent job articulating points and providing the students, who in this class ranged from beginner to very advanced, challenging iterations of the basic drills everyone was running.  There were a few drills which I knew I could clear a very fast time in accurately and I was pushed to do the drills even faster given pointers for various fundamental skills which have become subconscious but always benefit from refreshing.  Anyone who has taken a "Pistol 1" course before would have been very surprised to the level of content and attention to each student the instructors were able to provide.  I would highly recommend this course to anyone who has done other basic courses and is seeking an "advanced" class which still has a good amount of fundamental basic content to allow proper development of their skill sets.     

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