View Full Version : COURSE REVIEW: High Intensity Tactical Training (handgun/handgun) w/ Louis Awerbuck

September 3, 2006, 04:48 PM
High Intensity Tactical Training: Handgun/Handgun
with Louis Awerbuck
Boone County, Indiana - 17 August, 2006
Copyright © 2006 by [email protected]

This year’s High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT) with Louis Awerbuck www.yfainc.com was for handgun and “backup” handgun, just like last August. Unfortunately this year the pre-enrollment was too small to justify the full three day class, so it was reduced to one day, with the tuition reduced accordingly. On the other hand, since there were only four students, it was actually a more intensive course than with a full roster, as all four of us were on the line the whole time. That meant we got more individual scrutiny!

The class itself (as I assume is common to the HITT classes) was somewhat more like a tutorial than a more conventional handgun class with a more rigid curriculum. That allowed Louis to focus on those skills where we needed the most work, and less on those others which we could perform better.

As always, “only hits count,” so the marksmanship demands were always high. Given that, we spent the most time working on the details and skills related to handling, manipulating, and moving with two pistols. For those who have not attempted to maneuver with more than one handgun, there are probably some things you’ve not considered. I know that I learn something new each time!
It was also a great opportunity to learn more about shooting with either hand, unsupported. Depending on the situation, you may have to shoot with either hand, equally well. You also have to be capable of getting the gun into your hand and performing the fundamental manipulations.

Some of the elements were:
• Drawing and presenting the secondary gun
• Transitioning to the secondary gun AFTER having presented the primary gun
• Drawing the secondary, then transitioning to the primary
• Incorporating movement into the transitions, including shooting on the move
• Maneuvering at close quarters, then creating distance with both
• Maneuvering at close quarters, then creating distance including transitions from one to the other
• 180° pivots, eventually with all of the above

Toward the end of the class, we spent time applying the skills above to the laterally moving target (the one that tracks from side to side on a wheeled cart as mentioned in a previous review). All four of us had significant difficulty with this target (this time), which once again drove home the importance of follow through and of not “over-thinking” the shot.

One of the more valuable things I take home from this class is experience that will help me determine how I want to carry the gun(s) I choose to carry on a daily basis. Based on this class and what I learned, I have altered my daily carry set-up slightly, and I think it will further enhance my ability to properly respond in an “emergency.”

Due to the time constraints, we did not have time to cover as many topics as last year. Some of the more important were the drills to help develop one-handed manipulations such as reloads and clearing malfunctions using either hand. In a full three-day class, that would have been a significant block of time, and I’m glad I was exposed to it last August. We also did not get to do a night shoot in this class, which is unfortunate as handling a flashlight while transitioning from one pistol to another is not something people typically practice. Even more difficult are the night time drills where one hand is considered incapacitated, so the student has to handle the gun, shoot, reload, and handle the flashlight all with one hand. It can be ... challenging!

Overall, it was an intense and thoroughly rewarding experience. The one day format was good because the small class allowed for more one-on-one interaction with the instructor. On the down side, being on the line for most of the class meant less time for me to rest as well as less opportunity to observe other shooters. An observant student can learn as much by watching a second relay shoot as he can from being on the line himself. I doubt if I could have “survived” three days of it!

Hard Ball
September 4, 2006, 10:43 AM
I thougjt that commercials were against TFL rules.

September 4, 2006, 03:19 PM
Yes, they may be, Hard, but Joe is a student as am I.

"One time . . . at gun camp.":D

September 4, 2006, 09:16 PM
KSF ... have you done the two handgun HITT class in the past? Last summer's edition was probably the best class I've had to date in terms of learning things I either didn't know or had not even considered before.

A couple of my Kydex holsters also have a lot of scarring at the mouth where I had to hook my ejection port on them to run the slide with one hand. Unfortunately we didn't get to do any of that due to the one day format, but what we did do was well worth the time.

I won't be so presumptious to claim that anyone who carries more than one gun needs to take a similar class, but I do maintain that there are probably a lot of things about handling two guns that most people have not yet considered. We all need to think about more of the "what ifs" and develop (and practice) plans to address unusual situations.

September 5, 2006, 07:37 AM
You and your training. Where will that get you?:D

Yes, I have taken HITT from Louis. Yes, I know that kydex holster are less than optimal especially when you train with them.:eek: :D

Train, and then train some more.:cool:

September 6, 2006, 12:28 AM
I actually prefer Kydex overall, but the one-handed stuff is a situation where leather is better, at least if it has a reinforced mouth. Although, if someone wanted to give me a Milt Sparks versa max for my birthday, I would not be upset. (hint, hint)

Expanding on some of what I learned this time, I've been trying a new "three gun" set-up the last few days in lieu of my former two gun deal. On paper my strong side plus the crossdraw second gun works well and solves most of the potential problems I might have. However, I'm just too rotund to make crossdraw speedy enough for my liking. I'll share the details with you sometime if you're interested.

gordo b.
September 6, 2006, 07:57 PM
Next time I do back up guns with Louis I will wear a left holster like a lefty wears for a primary for my back up AND my rt. primary. I saw two guys do it in the Arizona conference and it pretty much solves most problems! As Louis said ; " the old time cowboys knew a thing or two as they LIVED by the gun" .;)
I would love to go to the Boone county classes, as the Capt. Ken is a Prince!:D He must turn the place into a tactical homecoming for two weeks each summer!:)
I use a G-Code kydex FBI tilt appendix for Primary 1911 and a Mad Dog Taylor Thunderbolt on rt rear hip for my back up Lightweight Commander currently. I am waiting on my left handed G-code for a commander for my future training, and use the Taylor Thunderbolt for CCW. Yeah I know! But I don't wear a tactical harness around town!

September 7, 2006, 09:10 PM
gordo b ... you remind me of ... me!

If you wear your left side in a mirror image of the appendix carry, you'll have a really fast setup. I've been thinking about it, and if you don't rely on an unbuttoned/unzipped cover garments, it's probably a better way to go than carrying them behind each hip.

Yes, we are quite lucky to have Capt. Ken. I think I'm going to do one of his own classed in December.

You must be one of the lucky few who has a carry license in California!

gordo b.
September 8, 2006, 12:47 AM
capt Ken gave me my first AR-15 class since 1975 :) 29 years later!

September 8, 2006, 01:56 PM
I won't be so presumptious to claim that anyone who carries more than one gun needs to take a similar class, but I do maintain that there are probably a lot of things about handling two guns that most people have not yet considered.

Well, if you won't, I will. In fact, I think anyone who carries a firearm perior should take a class from Louis. He is one of the true masters of instruction, not one of those who claims to be.