CFS Class, CCA range, Baxter, IA
October 30-31, 2010
Mother nature blessed us with perfect training weather for a Halloween weekend at the Controlled Chaos Arms range, the mornings started off a little cold but quickly warmed up as the day went on. Mike Riter of Intuitive Training Concepts was lead instructor, with myself as assistant instructor.
We started Saturday off with an introduction of the three CFS components of safety, comfort and competency. After a discussion on combat accuracy and the balance of speed and precision (BoS&P), the students moved to the line to learn the critical fundamentals of extend, touch, press (E-T-P). The students quickly progressed while doing BoS&P drills. In between running lots of drills to give the students plenty of opportunity to increase their competency, several topics were covered including the combat efficiency of lateral movement, the plausibility principle, critical incident reload, the body’s natural reactions, malfunction drills and many others. The discussions were definitely not one way as the students had lots of good questions and comments.
We ended the day with a figure 8 drill and the students were showing they had a firm grasp on their own personal BoS&P. We left under the same sunny skies we started under with everybody excited to start the next day of class.
Sunday began quite a bit colder in the upper 30’s and the students quickly learned the real life problems of shooting while wearing coats and gloves, so for safety reasons we started off presentation from the holster very slow and methodically to give everyone a chance to get used to their extra clothing.
Lot’s of cognitive drills were run on Sunday to get the students minds off of the shooting in order to show them that the shooting is actually the easy part. We also ran colored number drills, take a laps, and multiple target engagement drills, and wind sprints. The push your limits drill showed the students what they were capable of doing when they applied all the fundamentals correctly.
One student had to switch to a backup gun when his M&P started giving him troubles but there were no other equipment problems to speak of as all of the students other than one were shooting polymer safe action pistols.
We had an excellent debrief with lots of great comments. Everyone was excited about the CFS program and several expressed interest in taking instructor development.
As a special treat our host, Michael from Controlled Chaos Arms, ended our day by bringing out several suppressed and/or select fire weapons for us to play with. Talk about ending the class on a high note! Thanks Michael.
CFS Class, CCA range, Baxter, IA
May 14-15, 2011
Mother nature was not so kind to us this time, it was raining and a little chilly but we pressed on with rain gear and positive attitudes. Since the range was a muddy mess Michael from Controlled Chaos Arms was kind enough to set us up in an alternate grass covered location.
The conditions provided a perfect example of one of the three key concepts of CFS training - any perceived benefits we get from training/drills must outweigh the perceived risks - in this case we elected not to run the shooting in motion drill or wind sprints because we felt the risk of someone slipping and falling on the wet grass with a loaded gun was greater than the benefit we would gain from the drills.
With only two students in class, both of which were CFS alumni, we progressed at a slightly accelerated rate spending less time on principals and concepts, and more time on repetitions.
This was reflected in the quick increase in the students competency and the subsequent rise in their own confidence of their abilities. As an instructor I find it both challenging and yet rewarding to teach former students - challenging in the fact that I must mix things up to prevent students anticipating certain "tricks" that drive home key fundamentals based on their previous CFS experience, and rewarding to see students that have retained abilities from before. We ran lots of BOS&P drills to build muscle memory that only comes from many repetitions and ended day one with the always popular figure eight drill.
Day two started much the same as the first day with rain and cool temps. With the students having a very firm grasp of all the concepts and principals, we spent this day doing LOTS of reps by burning through the majority of the ammo the students had left. With the combination of cold, wet weather, peoples evening plans, and most importantly the students confidence in their abilities, it was decided to end class a little earlier than normal.
This class reminded me it's important to be prepared for adverse weather conditions and how it can have a direct impact on the three key CFS concepts of safety, comfort and competency.
CFS Class, Big Sioux Rifle & Pistol Club, Brandon, SD
July 30-31, 2011
Once again I teamed up with fellow CFS instructor Mike Riter of Intuitive Training Concepts. On day one I taught a full CFS class while he taught a women's introductory class in the bay adjacent to us. South Dakota in late July can be very hot as we experienced during this class, staying hydrated is paramount to safety and we were prepared with copious amount of water.
After a short introduction and safety briefing the two classes separated to work in their respective bays. We began with a discussion on efficiency, combat accuracy and the HCR position then started on ETP and UP drills. The students quickly gasped the concept concept of deviation control as it relates to BOS&P when we ran drills with targets of differing size and distance. Soon after presentation from the holster was introduced we took a well deserved lunch break where everyone cooled off in the AC. We ended the day with the infamous figure eight drill, as usual it was a big hit.
With Mike finishing his women's class on the previous day, he joined us for day two. As happens quite often during hot weather, we started out the morning out with wind sprint drills to avoid doing them during the hotter parts of the day. With the students having an excellent understanding of the concepts and principals, we spent this day doing lots of reps to build muscle memory and running specialty drills including one handed/weak handed shooting, shooting in motion and volume of fire. Discussion from the previous day resulted in us starting earlier in the morning which allowed us to avoid the late afternoon heat by finishing class sooner. The last drill of the day was a figure eight in which Mike and I placed LOTS of targets to better simulate real conditions.
Despite the heat it was quite clear the students dramatically increased their competency and talking with them during the after class debrief confirmed they felt far more confident in their abilities.