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Thread: Aim Fast Hit Fast, Albuquerque, New Mexico

  1. #1
    Site Supporter JFK's Avatar
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    Aim Fast Hit Fast, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    This weekend I participated in Todd’s Aim Fast Hit Fast class. This is the second time that I have taken this class, almost a year apart. My original AAR can be found here if anyone is interested.

    http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=283978

    I am going to break this post up into three posts to make it easier to read.

    The class was once again hosted by Tom Jones and was very well executed, challenging and fun. It was located at the Bernalillo County Sharifs Range located at Albuquerque Shooting Park. The facility and range were very clean with lots of space and little distractions. I would like to take a moment to thank Tom for putting this together. I have not had as much interaction with him over the year that I have known him but he is an asset to the shooting community in NM and I look forward to having him in Albuquerque. He did a great job facilitating and dealing with some minor challenges that popped up with total professionalism and his assistance during the class was knowledgable and welcome.

    My background:
    I am your typical CCW holding, hard working, above average shooter that thinks the best way to spend expendable income is to take classes and buy ammo to take said classes. I am a civilian and always have been. I have taken training from several defense oriented instructors over the years ranging from edge weapons to ground fighting. Todd’s class is the first I have taken (last year) that focused on shooting better and being faster.

    Goals:
    Goals for this class were quite simple...
    Shoot a lot
    Have fun
    Achieve Advanced Rating for the class
    Improve my function with my current carry gun (more on this)
    Improve Trigger Control

    Equipment:
    I know this is not something that is normally included in AAR but I think it is applicable to my experience because it was one of my goals in this class.

    I was using my M&P 9mm in a Comp-Tac Minotaur modified for appendix carry. For years I carried a full size 1911 and recently came to the realization that it was no longer the best carry gun for me. So about four moths ago I started shooting my M&P and about two months ago it became my primary carry gun. The reason I mention this is I was having trouble with trigger control and was hoping under the eye of an instructor with much knowledge I could get a little help in why I was a mashy mcmasherson and inconstant.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter JFK's Avatar
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    Albuquerque, NM
    Day 1
    Day one started with a short classroom lecture and safety brief. The first think I noticed is most of the people attending I knew and have shot with before. This was exciting to me because I was near the bottom of a plethora of good shooters. I like to be in classes where there are people who are better, faster, more experience than I am. I learn just as much from watching them as the instructor. Todd is also very good about pointing this out and using others as examples and templates for developing your technique.

    We moved to the range and Todd took a baseline for all of us (F.A.S.T.) After shooting a few marksmanship assessments we moved back to the class room for a very short lecture on fundamentals. After the fundamentals lecture it was back to the range for drills and fundamentals building.

    One of the things I like about Todd’s teaching style is he builds on skills and then has us put it all together. In the AFHF class we start with the fundies (grip, sight picture, etc.) We then work on our press outs, then on the draw, then on the reload, then put it all together.

    After lunch we continued with drills and a little more rounds down range. Having both Todd and Tom was a great help because we always had someone pointing out what we were doing and how to improve. The students were also very good about helping each other and talking off line about their challenges and successes.

    We ended the day with a FAST drill and went for some dinner.

    Day 2
    Day two again started with FAST and DOT Torture. I did not like my performance for either of these drills.

    We continued with working on the draw and press out with a much higher round count then the first day. At some point a lightbulb went off and I realized what I was doing with my trigger. I was not pulling it all the way to the rear. The over travel of a 1911 to an M&P is much different as you know. Once I started pulling the trigger all the way through my shooting improved in an instant.

    We moved on to exploring action and reaction as well as multiple targets and shooting on the move. We then did the FAST drill and ended the day with Triple Nickel.

    All in all about 900 rounds and two great days of shooting and learning.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter JFK's Avatar
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    Albuquerque, NM

    Conclusion

    My impressions of this class were much better that the first time I took it. This is amazing because the first time I took this class I thought it was the most effective class I have taken. This year the class was much more refined. Todd’s lectures were purposeful and relevant. It really seems Todd listens to what is working for his students and adjusts his class to accommodate. Todd talks about the small incremental improvements in shooting once you hit an advanced rating. He says everything after that is just so you can look cool or be better for yourself. I equate that to this to the improvements of the class from last year. If the class was on a shot timer Todd has shaved another .25 second off.

    Goals:
    Shoot a lot - DONE
    Have fun - ABSOLUTELY
    Improve my function with my current carry gun - ON TRACK
    Improve Trigger Control - ON TRACK
    Achieve Advanced Rating for the class - ALMOST

    The only goal I did not achieve was the advanced rating. I am not beating myself up about this too much as I feel like I learned everything I need to to achieve this in a short time. I was all over the place during the class. It felt like a roller coaster... doing good... doing awful... doing good... doing awful. Funny how awful always correlated with a FAST drill.

    One of the things I mentioned to Todd is this year the class was much more frustrating to me. This is not a bad thing. The class was so informative and effective it exposed my weaknesses and gave me good tools to improve. It is frustrating to see your weaknesses and realize the only way to overcome them is with the proper tools (thanks Todd) and work. I am confident I will achieve my goals because of my metrics for last year. One of those was to achieve 130 seconds on the IDPA classifier. (middle of Sharpshooter) Well I blew past that goal and achieved an Expert rating with room to spare.

    Bottom line is this is one of the best classes out there. Take it, learn, have fun, be frustrated and take it again. The second time around I retained and understood why about 50% more of the material. Todd is a great teacher and if you push yourself the techniques learned will help your shooting.

  4. #4
    Member JohnN's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Indiana
    Nice AAR, thanks.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JFK View Post
    It felt like a roller coaster... doing good... doing awful... doing good... doing awful. Funny how awful always correlated with a FAST drill.
    I think I noticed that too.

  6. #6
    Lizard Shoes JDM's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Albuquerque
    Nice writing Jay.

    I'm working on an AAR. It'll be a day or two.
    Nobody is impressed by what you can't do. -THJ

  7. #7
    We are diminished
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Thanks for the very generous AAR, JFK. Glad to see you again this year. Knocking 3+ seconds off your FAST in a year is a pretty big deal!

  8. #8

    great class

    This would be the third time I have taken this course. Everytime I go I realize I have much to improve. No matter what how many students and what various skill levels there are Todd always seemed to be there to give me valuable advice and constructive critism. I highly recommend taking this class to anyone who is learning the art of how to shoot a pistol. Todds technical skill with running the gun and the ability to see the smallest details of your shooting technique are incredible. If your goal is to learn how to shoot faster take this class. I look foward to next year, same bat time same bat channel. Thanks to Tom for going out of the way to make this great class happen.

  9. #9
    Member
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arizona

    AFHF New Mexico

    First I'd like to thank Todd & Tom for a job well done.
    Classmates are all first rate shooters and it was a pleasure sharing the line with everyone.
    This was my first time training with Todd and it won't be the last.
    Since JFK did such a fine job of hitting the major details, here is what I have to offer:



    AFHF Aug 27-28, 2011 Albuquerque New Mexico

    Training goals
    • Appendix carry draw – accessing HG from concealment.
    • Press out introduction.
    • Determine validity of adopting angled magazine carry pouch.
    • Improve & refine thumbs forward grip.
    • Develop dynamic shooting platform


    Appendix carry draw.
    I’ve been using AIWB since about June of this year on a full time basis. This was the first class that I used it almost exclusively. Off-range, I’ve been experimenting with AIWB during FoF drills in my martial arts classes, i.e., “gunning-up” under pressure from an impact/edge or open hand attack.
    While the class didn’t cover in detail any “x”-count draw, there was enough demonstration by instructors and students that it was obviously clear enough to figure out. With a few adjustments on my part, I think I’m on the right path.

    Press-out introduction.
    http://pistol-training.com/archives/3899
    Todd teaches a unique skill that is counter to what most instructors are doing. While the typical “gunfighter” schools teach a 4-5 count draw, Todd has the student draw and immediately brings the front sight to intersect the eye/target plane at what could be referred to as a high “3” position. Having been instructed in the traditional manner, this took some getting used to. As we progressed through the 2 days the PO method was becoming clearer but it is a far from being hardwired.

    Angled vs. vertical magazine pouches.
    Along with adopting AIWB, I started playing around with carrying the spare magazine at the front centerline in an angled mag pouch from Ludus Magnus holsters
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...88610997828013
    (Who also happen to be the manufacturer of the AIWB rig I was using).
    Up to this point, I have always carried in the traditional (vertical) 9 o’clock position opposite the strong side handgun.
    The reload and FAST drills we conducted pretty much confirmed what I suspected. There isn’t any advantage re-training to adopt this new position to overwrite years of hard wiring.

    Refining Thumbs Forward Grip.
    During the classroom lecture, I volunteered to have my grip analyzed. Todd was the first instructor to notice that there was still room for getting the support side wrist locked out. With a minor tweak, I could notice the difference in grip all the way up through the shoulder. He even made a temporary tattoo so I could have a visual reference during the day. A simple remedy to use on the firing line – I referred to it through the course.

    Develop dynamic shooting platform.
    I normally shoot with back straight (slight fwd lean) and little knee bend.
    Todd explained/demonstrated a dynamic posture for shooting multiple rounds quickly that again, is going to take some re-wiring but is definitely worth the training time to ingrain it.



    Conclusions and take-aways.
    Appendix carry
    • Continue dry fire practice (draw & reload) under calm & dynamic conditions.
    • Search for the perfect holster continues.

    Press out
    • Continue evaluation over current method.
    • Would re-training bring significant improvement?

    Refined grip
    • Emphasize during dry & live fire practice.


    AFHF delivers on the course goals: get the student to aim & hit quickly by using the methods explained. The course is challenging and benefits the novice and experienced alike. This class had me reevaluate some of the stuff I do now and is a guide for how I want to do things in the future. If Todd can get this old dog to learn new tricks – then he most certainly can help you.

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