Bringing the Fight Back to the Pistol: Part III
One on one instruction was also available. Here my instructor “Yeager” and I experiment with different stree techniques.
Brian J. Stas / SWAT Digest
Within a few days of my first precinct assignment, I had an enlightenment in my lack of real training. I realized very quickly I was not sufficiently trained to deal with the complex tactical situations in the South Bronx. Since that time I have always been openminded to continuing education. I felt like a school kid who forgot his books when I walked on those streets for the first time. We must look at the past and understand it before we move toward the future. My point here: Many departments have not figured out that they need to instill confidence in their training. With realistic training, their officers will gain confidence through training. For example in a six month academy we spent maybe one full day actually shooting our pistols. After that, a joke of an annual re-qualification. How much confidence would that instill in you?
We must remember, to bring the fight back to the pistol, we must have the same approach to it that any warrior does when he realizes he must be an artist. We must be comfortable with our core skill set. An artist can flow with his paint brush almost without thought. He is confident in his skills and can then open his mind’s eyes to the big picture. No one ever really watches an artist paint or how he uses his tools. They simply look at what he has created. After realizing a bit of a slip into pistol complacency, a friend reminded me of a school called Tactical Response. Tactical Response is a training company based out of Tennessee. Their lead instructor, James Yeager, has experience is Law Enforcement and private contracting. As a SWAT team leader and contractor in Iraq, he has understanding for the need of sound tactics. That is how I ended up paying my pistol skill dues. The Tactical Response cadre is known for actually caring about their students and making student warriors their family, not just their business.
Before the class started my fellow students and I took some time to chat and get to know each other. I’m always humbled by the good people I meet when I’m out training. Although many different walks of life were represented, walking a warriors path brings good people together somehow. Attending the class, were FBI, police, military, businessmen, a couple of magazine writers, and most interesting to me, a trauma surgeon. What a mix! I learned a lot from these people and they kept me laughing the whole time, when we weren’t making empty shell casings that is.
Despite the heat, we trained hard and fast. The uncomforts were tolerable as the learning pace kept us very interested and busy. Yeager and his Assistant Instructor, Tim, kept us running and gunning. Their course was unpredictable and very creative. Some of the drills were similar to prior training, but had that special Tactical Response twist. The curriculum brought me back to some needed refreshment on pistols basics, as well as some really unique confidence building techniques. In bringing back the fight to the pistol, we must understand these concepts. They are drilled into your brain by Tactical Response for a reason. Below, they are listed in order of importance.