This weekend I spent the day at the West Shore Sportmans Association shooting range and participated in ATSAs monthly study group.
ATSA (American Tactical Shooters Association) holds a study group on the third Saturday of every month.
Here is their web-site:
The group also sponsors what is called the National Tactical Invitational once every year. People from all over the world come to test at the NTI. I've met people from the Secret Service, FBI, Military, Doctors, Lawyers, Salesmen, Mechanics, Prison Guards, Business owners, Students, LEOs from all over the states and LEO trainers from Australia, Europe and even Bahamas. Some of them are loud and obnoxious, some are quiet and reserved, some are very approachable, some are not. There are a lot of different characters you will meet at the NTI and study groups, and all are good people but the one, glaringly evident, common factor that is found in them all is that they realize that "Their" safety relies on "THEM" and "THEM" alone.
In the study groups they discuss everything from tactics, history, equipment, legal ramifications, alternate weapons, environmental weapons, mindset, training drills, other study groups, other training facilities and what they offer, care and cleaning of defensive tools etc., etc., etc.... If it deals with self-defense and self-preservation it gets talked about in depth.
The day is broken in half with a lecture the first half and then drills to help hone peoples abilities to defend themselves in a crappy situation.
This study group discussed what might have happened during the attacks on the US last week and ways that it could have been prevented or ways that may have helped the passengers regain control of the plane. Knowing hind sight is always 20/20 and not taking away from the heroes in the plane that went down in Somerset PA, which may have been destined for the Whitehouse, the discussion wasn't "They should have done this -or- They shouldn't have done that...", it was more like what could have been done?". What could have been used knowing what information the passengers might have known at the time?"
It was a good and long discussion. What really was a point that hit home was when the fellow, on the plane that wrecked in PA, made a phone call to his wife and told her that, "They might die doing what they are going to do but they have to do it..." He accepted his fate and still fought on, him and a few others on the plane.
A review on John Farnams long gun course was brought up by a few that attended the class. They reviewed what the curriculum was and what they noted about the training, equipment and testing of the class. It was a highly recommend course by the several students that attended it.
I took some photos of the drills we worked on outside and the force-on-force scenario. Unfortunately I didn't get to take photos of the house clearing drill because of safety reasons, of course.
The photos aren't of great quality. I couldn't get Ichiro Nagata to break away from his busy schedule to take the photos and unfortunately this Asian doesn't have top quality photo equipment OR skill to do the photos justice.
These are photos that were taken on Range 3. It was a basic knife drill. At the ROs command you block the dummies arm closest to you and from concealment draw and slash and continue to slash. It was done with both drawing from dominant side and non-dominant side. People who carry two knives had a definite advantage over those who carried one. Those that carried two knives and practice had a far definite advantage over those that just carried two
Notes were taken on anyone who had a knife that couldn't cut through the duct tape and cut into the foam underneath. A couple months ago at one of the study group Jim Garthwaite showed us how to keep a good edge on a knife.
Yes, the world-renowned pistolsmith Jim Garthwaite. He doesn't just know how to build a great pistol, he knows how and when to use them too. He attends the study groups also.
This drill simulated two aggressors with weapons ready to shoot and a loved one running in front of them. You goal is to move off the line of force, draw from concealment, while verbalizing and shoot and not hit the innocent and continue to move and shoot until the RO states, "They're down!".
All shooting drills at ATSA are done moving unless you have found cover and it's tactically sound to stay behind cover instead of finding better ground. So we're moving a lot.
After the drill I approached the loved one and proceeded to smack the hell out of them for not diving down and staying out of the line of fire
Another note: Some of the targets are designed to look extremely life like. They have flesh tones and painted in eyes. They are 3-D and some have been modified to move their arms and move. They have solid center cores to go down if hit with a round or rounds of ammo. Some people who are so used to shooting one-dimensional targets are really taken back by these Target-pro dummies and brings a lot of realism into these drills.
This drill was the basic 6 plate rack but it was done three times. The first time is drawing from concealment and shooting dominant side only while moving constantly. Second time is drawing from concealment and shooting non-dominant side only. Third was draw from concealment and shoot free handed or whichever way you wanted to.
The purpose of the drill was to work on accuracy while moving with either and both hands, just in case one hand is hurt or has it on a loved one trying to push them away from the kill zone.
The other outside drill was the house clearing drill, which I didn't get any photos of due to safety reasons.
You entered a house and the RO followed you into a small closet sized room. He then tells you the bedtime story. The bed time story is the story to get you further into the scenario. It sets you up for what you have gotten yourself into and may give you clues for what you may encounter.
This bed time story is that you enter a doctor's office and need to use the rest room and that's where you start out. The RO places you in the room and tells you to face the wall and will return shortly. The RO returns after a couple seconds and says you may begin. So I start to unzip my pants and he says to, "STOP!" laughingly he says, "you're done!"
As I put my hand on the doorknob I hear BANG! BANG! He's gotta a gun everybody run!
Of course your objective here is to get out of the building alive and unharmed by challenging and if necessary neutralizing the bad guys not hitting innocents and not exposing yourself to the bad guys.
Continued in next post....