The 4th Paul-E-Palooza training event is in the books. The event is a memorial fundraiser to help Paul Gomez’s children after Paul’s untimely passing several years ago. The organizers, William Aprill and Sherman House , and a slew of other top tier instructors, volunteer their time to raise funds for the kids. It’s tactical philanthropy at its best.
The event was a great time. But with two ranges and two classrooms to choose from for the eight total time slots, I had to pick and choose what I decided to take. It’s an exercise in limited resources and unlimited wants. I’ll outline the high-points of the instruction I took. Here’s some notes.
Saturday Block 1: Chuck Haggard – Between a Harsh Word and a Handgun
In this block, Chuck discusses less lethal force options for the private citizen. The primary focus is on Pepper Spray (O.C. – oleoresin capsicum). He explains the history, ingredients, physiological effects, difference in the strength of formulations, how companies rank the ‘heat’, tactics of use, role playing and demo. It’s some of the only info I’ve seen in the training community on the intelligent use of OC for private citizens. Here’s some of the high points:
- His experience is it is 80-90% effective in police work. The reason it’s not closer to 100% is because police have to spray and then put handcuffs onto the sprayed person. We as private citizens can spray and immediately leave.
- Favorite baton is the PR24 Monadnock style. Collapsible batons are sub-optimal
- Civilian Tasers Suck, are fragile, and have a different pulse frequency than police Tasers. (The little pink gun show stun-guns are utter garbage)
- “Wasp spray is fuckery” – Chuck Haggard, it’s ineffective a stopping someone right now, and is a low level neurotoxin (organo-phosphate) so it might give the guy cancer in 10 years. Which is bass-akwards from what we’re looking for.
- A fire extinguisher makes a good improvised eye and lung irritant for school workers. Flood a hallway and make a smoke screen. Bright flashlights are also great for these folks.
- The ‘Major Capsinoid Content’ is the number that matters.
- Sabre Red is 1.33% MCC (Bear spray is limited to 2% by law, so Sabre is HOT)
- Stick with Cone or Spray for most uses. Foam or Gel is for institutional use to avoid contaminating an air system.
- MACE (brand) spray is weak sauce
- The Spitfire (now discontinued) and ASP Key Defender have about 5′ range. They’re like the ‘mouse guns’ of the OC world. Better than nothing, but you would prefer something better when it comes time to use it.
- The Kimber Pepper Blaster thing is garbage. No way to aim, 2 shots. With regular OC, you can sort of walk the stream onto the face. If you miss with the Kimber, you’re boned. Plus, a lady got her eye destroyed by one. That’s grave bodily harm….
- Combo CS/OC is a gimmick. CS takes time to work, requires heat to properly disperse, and is a bigger hassle to decontaminate
- Work failure drills with flashlight and OC, then drop OC and draw pistol, etc.
- Sabre Stream with pocket clip – http://amzn.to/2g6hso9
- Sabre Stream Trainer (Inert) – http://amzn.to/2wztZYj
- ASP Key Defender baton – http://amzn.to/2wovaJv
Saturday Blocks 2-4: John Hearne – Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why
This is a talk that I’ve been looking forward to for several years. It is the ongoing pet project of John Hearne, an instructor with Range-Master since 2001, Federal LE Ranger since 1992, and research geek. This is a 8 hour lecture, so I’ll only share the purpose of the talk and a few high points. If you EVER get a chance to hear this talk, you should make it a high priority, it’s powerful and very useful stuff. It’s a little esoteric, but if you’re a nerd like me, you’ll dig it.
- Understand winning and losing
- Understand how the human animal is wired, how it works for and against us, and how we can rewire the system to out advantage
- Counter the VAST misinformation that exists on this topic in the training community
- Understand what is reasonably possible to achieve with meaningful training
- Understand how to improve our personal performance under stress, and best training methods.
- Meaningful training can allow you to ‘overlearn’ skills and physically restructure the brain
- Why you won’t necessarily have all of the scary side effects of adrenaline that are popular to preach in basic handgun classes (hands to flippers, tunnel vision, etc.)
- Study of a decision tree for a good guy who is trained and untrained when they are in their gun-fight. Staying in the rational mind and not to an emotional state have MUCH higher chance of winning.
- The importance of mental maps, eliminating novel stimuli, and dedicated practice
- Over time the brain can refine how much adrenaline is released for a given situation. The untrained are usually ALL/NONE.
- Emotional Bookmarks (e.g. hand on stove) ties past experiences to influence current actions. FOF creates this for us. Exists between rational/emotional mind
- Cops who win fights – 90% had high physical fitness, 75% had scenario training, preplanned responses, multi-tasked well, able to quickly assess, relied on patters over explicit observation.
- There’s nothing ‘natural’ or ‘instinctive’ about firearms usage. The only thing natural is to run away screaming and pissing yourself. Therefor everything can be learned. (he basically shit all over many training modalities that are currently popular)
- There is no ‘innate hesitation to kill’ as Grossman proposes in On Killing.
- Shuts down ‘it’s impossible to focus on your front sight under stress’ argument with anecdotes and science.
- Recency is one of the most important predictors in success. (airplane studies)
- How to not get shot by the police – study of “A Critical Analysis of Police Shootings Under Ambiguous Circumstance”
- Training Implications of all this research.
- Here’s two charts that are property of John Hearne. The first is what gives you the best value that corresponds to winning, and the second is shooting drills and ranking that indicate high shooting automaticity.
If you want a taste of John’s work, he wrote a chapter in Massad Ayoob’s book Straight Talk on Armed Defense – http://amzn.to/2woYTlX
Day TWO is coming up next. Thanks for reading.
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