View Full Version : Gabe Suarez

November 21, 2000, 07:06 PM
I'm beginning to plan which three
classes to take next year.

One I'm considering the the three day
Advanced Combative Pistol/Shotgun class
taught by Gabe Suarez.

Have any of you taken this class?

What is your assessment?


November 22, 2000, 09:48 AM
I haven't taken any of his classes. I have read a couple of his books. He was a student of and instructor for Cooper. I'm sure that he's quite good.

Personally, my philosophy is closer to Ayoob's than Suarez's, but I'm sure Suarez can teach you how to shoot better than you do now.


November 28, 2000, 02:07 AM
Longer answer...

I took Combative Rifle from Gabe Suarez this past year.

(By way of background, I am a regular-guy citizen; have completed the 40-hour LFI-1 with Massad Ayoob, 27 hours of classes with InSights, 40 hours of defensive handgun and shotgun training at the local level; compete in monthly tactical three-gun and practical rifle matches; blah blah blah.)

I highly recommend you take any training from Suarez that you can afford and that works with your schedule. I plan to take his Advanced Combative Pistol in the coming year.

He's such a great instructor..."been there, done that," a clear communicator, paces the class so you get the max out of the time and the most for your training dollar, emphasizes what works "in the real world," has a keen BS detector... and is a pretty funny guy as well as a gentleman. And, pretty obviously, a warrior.

I own and have read all his books. They'd be a good primer before any of his classes. They are available from Paladin Press or the major online booksellers. They are: "The Tactical Rifle"; "The Tactical Pistol"; "The Tactical Shotgun"; and "The Tactical Advantage." Last spring, he told me the manuscript for his next book, "The Art of the Pistol," was being reviewed by Col. Jeff Cooper.

That said, Ayoob and InSights were top-notch, too. If a person could only take one class, LFI-1 would be my suggestion. (I hope to take LFI-2 with Ayoob and plan on some more InSights classes, eventually.)

Paraphrasing, I heard Suarez and Ayoob, notably, as well as the InSights guys and my local instructor, say: none of us has all the answers; beware of anyone who says they do; take as much training as you can from reputable teachers. Suarez seems fond, too, of the quote "sometimes a teacher, always a student."

November 28, 2000, 06:26 PM
I took a handgun class from Gabe a couple of years back. Good teacher - great combat mindset. I would definitely take another class from him.

John Francis

November 29, 2000, 11:03 AM
I've taken LFI-1 and LFI-2. I agree with mib2000 that if you can only take one, LFI-1 is an excellent choice.

That said, next year I'll probably look for more of a shooting academy. While I learned a lot at LFI-2, my shooting did not improve as much as I wanted, particularly while under stress.

LFI-2 spends a lot of time on handgun retention, which is taught using the Lindell system. One downside of the Lindell system is that it has many techniques and is prescriptive (e.g., you have to diagnose the attack and use the correct technique for that attack). This weekend, I'm taking a retention class using the Hamilton/Insights system. The Hamilton system is supposedly less prescriptive (fewer techniques). It is also destructive, which can be either an advantage or disadvantage, depending upon the circumstances.


November 30, 2000, 12:11 AM

Thanks for your thoughts regarding LFI-2.

I've taken two InSights classes, and their theme throughout was "non-diagnostic techniques work well under stress." Makes sense, and I was very pleased with the instruction.

In fact, I'd put InSights' "Unarmed Self-Defense" class as second to LFI-1, based on what (little) I know so far. "If all's you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." This class offered lots of non-diagnostic reactions for the ol' toolbox. The instructors also noted the curriculum jibes nicely with their "Handgun Retention & Disarms," a class high on my wishlist.

Just wanted to wish you well with the class, I'm sure you'll find it very worthwhile ... and to encourage you to post a short review at The Firing Line afterward.