Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Class review: Todd Green's Aim Fast Hit Fast pistol course

Full pic library.  Notice Todd's letter perfect "pressout" as he shoots a clean sub 5 second FAST drill.

 (I note that my gunshot elbow looks pretty gnarly. Never seen it from that angle. Oh well, it works well.)


  Tap. tap, tap. That's the sound of Todd Green working on his students' shooting skills in such a manner they don't know what he's doing until (at least for this student) TD2 when rapid fire while moving and not missing the target seemed easy and a matter of fact.

 TD (Training Day) 1 started with a basic slow fire accuracy assessment which was slow fire on an index card at 7 yards.  Grips were adjusted as well as trigger fingers.  One thing that helped me was Todd illustrating how many folks think they're shooting with a full locked out weak side wrist and thumb along the slide/frame and they are not.  Then we moved on to the fabled FAST test.  A word about the FAST test: this test is designed not to be "gamed," ie it is a broad spectrum test of all of your skills and you are specifically encouraged NOT to practice it endlessly bu rather the basics of drawing, shooting, and reloading instead.   After the FAST test we moved onto the [url=]Circle Drill.  The Circle Drill is a favorite of mine but it helped to have someone watching over me, exhorting me to push myself. Todd seemed to be everywhere during this class and like as not, when you took it easy on yourself and took a drill in your "comfort zone" instead of pushing yourself, you'd hear his voice through your earmuffs telling you to rerun that drill and to push your own limits.   All the while the nuances of drawing (bring your shirt up and out of the way with your weak hand and then position your weak hand in waiting for when your pistol comes up to near eye level for the "ready position").  Being prior military (Marines), I was used to a ready position pointed downward at an angle but within in one try I could readily see the wisdom of having the top of your pistol and therefore the front sight in the lower portion of your vision, ready for your press out.

 A word on press outs.  This skill is absolutely a need to have.  Basically you draw, bring the pistol up to the ready position as described above, and then smoothly press out keeping front sight in your vision and applying slight pressure on the trigger so that you end up smoothly pressing out onto target, firing at the end of your press out.

 We also had the basic safety lecture, lectures on stance, grip, sight picture, and trigger manipulation.  The day went by quickly with reload practice and the beginning of our training on Todd's signature style of "burst fire" shooting which is basically shooting 2-6 round (or so) into the target's chest area very quickly.  When Todd does this, it literally sounds like a Class III weapon is on the range.

 TD2 consisted of engaging multiple targets, shooting on the move, strong hand and weak hand drills, and draw & reload drills. The infamous Dot Torture drill was done in the morning.  Yours truly missed one whole round on it (see pic below).  I like Dot Torture quite a bit because sooner or later, you will find a weakness in own your shooting on it.  After that, we did a target switching drill in which we practiced headshots on index cards on two targets, alternating our fire.  The FAST drill was conducted again in the morning as a skills assessment.  We then "kicked it up a notch" and started working on moving and shooting not forgetting our reloads while moving and shooting.  The day culminated in the FAST test (I dropped 4 seconds off of my time) and some IDPA state type stuff of Todd's devising where we all went through once doing the same drill and the second time, Todd made us shoot the stage with a personally tailored drill designed to concentrate on each student's particular weakness.

 Lessons learned:

  -hiking boots that don't breath well are a bad choice for 8-10 hours in the 95 degree heat and  
   humidity of Virginia in the summer. I switched to outdoors type running  -
   shoes the second day and had happy feet once again.

 -sometimes drinking water isn't enough. Pound the Gatorade (diluting it half and half with water
  works extremely well) and salt your food. You will be working
  muscles you're not used to abusing in stances/grips that you're not used to.

 -Glock "drop free" mags don't always. Develop a method to quickly drip the mag out. I'm
  considering using was/Armorall in my mag well and on my mags.

 -have enough mag carriers. 'nuff said. For Todd's class you'll need at least 3 mags on your hip.

 -wearing 2 t-shirts, one tucked in, the other loose over it covering your gear is a sound CCW
  strategy. Strongly recommend an "underarmor" type shirt as the first layer.
  Another alternative is "shoot me first vests" but I believe they are not as low profile as the 2 t
  shirt method.

 -work on your press out!  Get that front sight up where you can see it before you can align the
  sights and you will end up on target faster and ready to shoot far more

 -as my new best bud Failure to Stop says: "I'd rather be a guy who has 200 rounds ready and
  has shot 30K rounds than the guy who has 30 rds stockpiled and has only shot
 200 rds"

 -Todd walks the walk. He demonstrated a sub 5 second FAST drill clean in front of us and
  demonstrated everything he wanted us to shoot.  You never had to
  wonder "how would Todd shoot this drill?"

 There is no substitute for formal training. None.  There was a few exceptional shooters there and they are agreed upon the need for training.   Each of the exceptional shooters needed correction from Todd in one area or the other. Also, Todd himself makes a habit of seeking out training for himself on a regular basis.

 I greatly enjoyed this class and took a lot away from it.   I made new friends and found (many) areas in my skill set I need to work on.

1 comment:

  1. I've been using a reload technique that includes ripping out the spent mag since taking some pistol classes @ TDI, it works. Have been using it in IDPA in the months since the class and it has payed off. I plan on taking a AFHF class in 2012, looks like a great time and a great opportunity to hone some skills. I'm also a big fan of "Dot Torture", it's a great but sometimes very humbling drill.