View Full Version : Belated AAR - RangeMaster's Polite Society/ Tactical Conference 2009 in Tulsa

May 18, 2009, 10:57 AM
RangeMaster's Polite Society/ Tactical Conference 2009

Over the last ten years, Tom Givens has put together the 'must attend' event in the training community. The Polite Society Tactical Conference began as the RangeMaster IDPA Winter Invitational in 1996 and evolved into the Tactical Conference in 1999. Starting in 1999, Tom began coordinating a large number of trainers who gave of their time to journey to Memphis and offer short blocks of training around the shooting competition. Two years ago, the event shifted to the Memphis Police Department Firearms Training Unit and, for 2009, the event shifted to the best venue yet...the US Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This year the competition was divided into two phases, one conducted on the outdoor range and another conducted in a shoot house. Additionally, there was a Back Up Gun side match conducted on each day.

Seventeen trainers offered lecture and/or hands-on blocks running the gamut from Immediate Trauma Management to Combat Focus Shooting. Some of the grand, old men this year included Massad Ayoob, Skip Gochenour and John Farnam. Of course, Steve Moses (http://www.Shivworks.com]SouthNarc[/URL]Mike Brown, Mike Seeklander ,TJ Pillings, [URL="http://www.bluffdalefirearmsacademy.com), Marty Hayes (http://www.firearmsacademy.com) and Rob Pincus (http://www.icetraining.us) were present and, perhaps less well-known, but very competent trainers; Hany Mahmoud (http://www.northtexastactical.com), William Aprill, John Hearne (http://www.rangemaster.com/rm_staff.html), Will Andrews and Glenn Meyer also offered blocks to the approximately 150 attendees. As has become the norm for this gathering, Karl Rehn (http://www.krtraining.com), offered Force-on-Force scenario training utilizing airsoft guns each day.

As this event has grown, it is impossible for one person to attend every presentation. My first block on Saturday morning was occupied with presenting on the Need for Medical Training for People that Carry Guns/Immediate Trauma Management. I discussed an abbreviated version of the TC3 medical model with the express purpose of 'extending the Platinum 10 minutes to allow the injured party entry into the EMS system'.

From 1000 to 1200 I attended Massad Ayoob's 'Shooting Incidents, Aftermath Management'. Mas is always entertaining and informative. This was no different. Using a series of court cases to emphasize each point, Ayoob offered a simple protocol for post event interactions with authorities.

Mike Seeklander's module was initially billed as 'Grounded/Wounded Shooter Drills' but, more explicitly, it focused on one hand gun manipulations, both right and left handed. Mike is an USPSA/IPSC Grand Master class shooter, as well as having spent more than ten years as working cop and having extensive experience with the Federal Air Marshall program. He is currently the Operations Manager for the US Shooting Academy. This class was very well thought out and executed. I had already developed rather high expectations for USSA prior to being exposed to Mike's block and I was not disappointed. I am looking at making my way back to USSA this year for more in-depth study.

For those not familiar with William Aprill, you are missing out. William offered a presentation entitled 'Violent Actors, Violent Acts, a Conceptual Overview' that was truly outstanding. He provided the attendees with an understanding of a number of psychological theories pertaining to violent criminals & their behavior and explained the best, current theory and the implications as it applies to our behaviors in complex, confusing environments. This was my favorite presentation of the weekend.

My last block for Saturday was John Farnam's wide ranging discussion ostensibly entitled 'Urban Rifle, the AR & its Alternatives'. In all of human history, there has never been a recorded instance of John staying on a single topic and this was no exception! Listening to John is an always worthwhile endeavor and this was no exception. He is one of the last of the first generation trainers and time spent with him is never wasted.

No comments pertaining to Saturday night will be included to protect the guilty.

I spent the first block on Sunday morning visiting with friends and getting a look around the facility. I attended Glenn Meyer's presentation on Modern Psychology and Firearms Usage at 1000. Glenn and I first met during an injured shooter course in 1999. Glenn showed up with a broken arm, broken leg and a couple of broken ribs...he always was an over achiever. His lecture covered a wide range of topics dealing with everything from some classic experiments and findings through some of the research that he was directly involved in regarding jury perceptions in 'lethal force' cases.

SouthNarc offered his block on Managing Unknown Contacts. This was taught from 0800 to 1000 each day with Mike Brown's Fighting & Weapon Access in the Clinch immediately following from 1000 to 1200. Anyone who has not taken advantage of these blocks being offered in this format is truly missing out on some absolutely vital knowledge and skills.

John Hearne's presentation on the Newhall Incident and its Training Implications has continued to evolve and is truly eye-opening. Viewing of this presentation and Tom Givens Miami Massacre Analysis ought to be considered mandatory for anyone involved in training or who carries a gun.

A quick rundown of stuff that I did not get to witness:

Marty Hayes offered a classroom presentation on 'Reducing Firearms Instructor Liability'. It was very well received by those who did get to attend, unfortunately, I didn't get in on this one.

Skip Gochenour spoke on Criminal Behavior. Skip is a wealth of information and I always enjoy listening to him. Between running the National Tactical Invitational and his 'day job', there is no one quite like Skip.

Will Andrews covered Shooting On the Move but the timing coincided with my attending Ayoob's lecture.

Steve Moses offered a live fire block on the AK47 as a Battlefield Pickup Weapon.

TJ Pillings did a live fire shotgun block.

Rob Pincus offered a block on Combat Focus Shooting.

The RangeMaster Polite Society Tactical Conference has grown each year. What began as a fun time has grown into the best value for time and money invested in the training community. My hat is off to Tom Givens for sticking with this thing, his staff for busting their [collective] ass to make this thing what it has become, to USSA for offering their wonderful facility, to all the trainers who devote their time and energy and to all those who show up and make the Polite Society Tactical Conference event the event.

May 18, 2009, 12:35 PM
Great write up. Thanks!

Tom Givens
May 20, 2009, 03:35 PM
The Tactical Conference will be back at USSA in Tulsa for 2010. The dates will be 24-25 April 2010. To take advantage of the space at USSA, there will be even more trainers offering blocks at the 2010 event.

If you wish to attend, e-mail me at [email protected] . I will send you a registration form and a USSA liability waiver. Phone registrations will not be accepted. This event will fill months in advance. Register early to avoid disappointment.