Henderson Police Department - North Sub Station
225 E. Sunset Road
Henderson, Nevada 89014
Dates & Times:
Friday, March 27, 2015 7:00 PM -Sunday, March 29, 2015 3:00 PM (Central Time)
I am 41, 6’4” and weigh around 280lbs with about 30% body fat. I started working out regularly (1hr 2x / week Pilates and 1hr 2x/week strength training with a little cardio mixed in) about 3 years ago. So I have ok core, back, upper and lower body strength but my cardio endurance sucks. I haven’t done any hand to hand training in over 20 years. I shoot semi-competitively and feel that I am a good shot with a handgun. I intermittently carry either an S&W Shield 9mm or a SIG 938 in either appendix or pocket respectively.
I found out about Tony and Jeff through several articles on ITS’s website, after doing some research into Tony’s work I came to the conclusion that I would probably be screwed if something were to happen on the street even if I had a gun, knife etc. It seems like a lot of encounters are close contact. The ITS article with Tony regarding the Charlie Hebdo really made me thing about getting in the fight and ambush tactics. So I was hoping to come away with a better understanding of how to react in close contact and ambush situations.
I brought to the class my S&W Shield 9mm, a MTAC Holster with “P” Clips, Remora magazine pouch, SOG Trident knife, 5.11 casual leather belt, and a Streamlight MicroStream C4 flashlight. This is my usual carry load out, the Shield in appendix carry, the remora with a “flush” shield mag in my rear left pocket, the SOG in my right front pocket and the microstream in my left front pocket. I usually wear pants and a T-shirt most of the time, with a light or heavy jacket depending on the weather (I’m in Minnesota).
Day 1 (2 hours):
The first night was a 2 meet and greet and a 2 hour into the Cycle of Behavior ™ (CoB) and the “Get off the X” mindset. Which covers the F.E.A.R. (False Expectations/Experiences/Evidence Appearing Real) Loop. There were some real-word personal stores from some of his students that were interesting. My feeling is the CoB is applicable to multiple scenarios not just combat engagements, for example my wife and I applied it to an upcoming decision regarding a job change and it worked well.
Day 2: - Introduction to the SPEAR system and combat drills
On day 2 we started the morning with a lecture orientation to the SPEAR system and some of its concepts. Training safely was stressed we were patted down and had our functional weapons cleared and safety flagged once we began the physical portion of the class. We paired up, several people had brought partners with, and I did not so I got assigned someone who was about 10-15% smaller than I was. We began with slow static drills then picked up speed and intensity Tony and Jeff kept an eye on what we were doing offering pointers and corrections as we worked out the drills. We would periodically switch role attacker/defender so each of us got equal practice. We learned the basics of using the spear system to we could get emotional and psychological control of our self and then physical control of our attacker to create time and space lead into deployment of a better weapon.
Day 3 – Integrating handguns into the system
Day 3 started with some lecture by Jeff dealing with concealed carry, knife, and accessories. Jeff laid out some recommendations for your equipment. We did a drill to see if your holster would retain your weapon and still stay on your body. We also worked drills using the SPEAR system to enable a transition into drawing a weapon, dealing with a weapon grab situation, and finally close and near contact shots. We ended the drills by increasing the mental and physical intensity of the drills. We were encouraged to be a good “bad guy” for your partner. The day concluded with a recap and some discussion of what each of us got out of the class.
My “ah-ha!” moment was understanding and feeling the biomechanics of the spear work, having the emotional control of myself and physical control of my attacker was eye opening. This course changed the way I think about self-defense. I believed before that I could strap on a gun and I’m good to go. Taking the course I realized that I was wrong, self-defense is a systematic approach. Your training needs to be dynamic and modular. One of the concepts that was stressed is go out and play with things. I had a scenario of “how do you deploy a spear from a seated position?” Tony encouraged me to go home and give it a try, play with it and see what happens. I think most people were shocked to see the difficulty to gain emotional control of yourself and how hard it was to utilize complex motor skills under stress.
This class is mandatory in my opinion for anyone who carries a weapon for self-protection. The class addresses so many aspects of things (hand to hand, mental, weapons) that are not normally integrated together. The instructors are awesome knowledgeable people that are good at explaining the concepts is hard to find. The class also serves as a good reality check for your self-defense strategy.
If you are thinking of attending this class I would strongly recommend that you evaluate your holster and physical fitness. I don’t think that you have to be in great shape but some of the drills are intense. If you have back or shoulder problems you might find the drills tough on your body. I still have some bruising on my chest 1 week out.
My personal action plan:
I am going to get more training, increase my physical fitness and practice the SPEAR, close contact shots, and angle shots. Self-defense is systematic and if I have a heart attack I’m not doing a good job defending myself.
Edited by rottenit, 23 April 2015 - 11:24 AM.