At Applied Protection Concepts and the Bridgeport Shooting Range, we recognized the need for quality, consistent advanced level defensive training not only for the armed professional, but for the responsible armed citizen as well. With that came a cooperative effort from our cadre to create a series of classes we call the Advanced Tactics Workshop. These classes are all 5 to 8 hours in length, and are given on a regular basis throughout the year for the affordable price of only $75 to $125. In this month’s article, I would like to focus on this program and explain some of the features, benefits and goals of it.
An old adage that is often mentioned in every school of every subject is; you have to learn to walk, before you learn to run. In firearms training, this is important for many reasons. The first being safety. If you are taking a knitting class and make a mistake, you may end up with a funny looking scarf or a sleeve a little too long. In firearms training mistakes often result in property damage, injury and in worst cases death. We want to challenge the shooter, but never put them in a situation where they are asked to operate above their skill set without direct supervision from an instructor. Another purpose of progressive training is to keep the momentum of a class moving forward. I think many of us have been in a class where too much time was spent teaching basic skills to an individual who was not up to speed; we may have even been the individual. This takes away from your learning experience and wastes your time & money. So where do we start?
Before you start to take any advanced level class, you need to be proficient with the fundamentals, safety rules and the operation & controls of your firearm. This in itself is simple, but what does it really mean? As a shooter, you should know the safety rules by heart and be able to recite them on demand. You should be able to identify the different parts and controls of your firearm. You should be able to field strip your firearm and equally important, put it back together properly. You should be able to load and unload magazines. In addition to that, you should be able to consistently shoot groups of 6 inches or less at distances of up to 15 feet. Believe it or not, this is not a difficult task to achieve and there are many staff members to assist you with this.
A great start would be taking the class titled, Mastering the Fundamentals of Shooting. If you believe you are ready to jump into the advanced level classes already based on prior training or experience, please meet with Jamie Keever or myself and be prepared to demonstrate your abilities. Once you are up to speed, we will ask you to attend our Intro to Advanced Tactics Class. This class is 5 – 8 hours and is designed to put everyone on the same page, review range commands and procedures and teach the core advanced level skills, like drawing from holsters, reloads, malfunctions and many other topics. This class is a prerequisite for all of our advanced level classes. Once you complete this class you should be able to focus your energy on learning new skills in other classes within the series that you are now eligible to take.
The Advanced Tactics Workshop is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our students. Right now we are able to offer five full 5 to 8 hour classes and we have two more in development. The five classes we have available now are, Intro to Advanced Tactics, Intro to Tactical Low Light Shooting Techniques, Intro to Use of Cover & Concealment, Support Side Shooting Techniques and Weapons Retention & Disarming. Once you have completed the Intro to Advanced Tactics Class, you do not need to take every class in order. This allows you to jump into the classes without having to wait for the rotation to start again. Also, once you have completed the class, you can retake the class free of charge anytime it is offered. We offer one workshop class at least ever other month. As demand for the class grows we will offer them more frequently. In addition, if you have a group of at least five shooters interested in a class, we can run that class at your convenience whenever the range is available.
I am excited for this program and its progression. In the near future we plan on using the platform launch many more classes, as well as a second tier of classes that are more challenging. We are also exploring the possibility of offering “drill nights” where one of our instructors will run shooting drills to re-enforce your skills. There is a lot that we can do with this program. I look forward to developing it with your participation, input and ideas.