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Thread: Aim Fast, Hit Fast - Clackamas, OR 2012

  1. #1
    Leopard Printer Mr_White's Avatar
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    Aim Fast, Hit Fast - Clackamas, OR 2012

    July 30-31st was Aim Fast Hit Fast with Todd Green in Clackamas, OR.


    About six months ago, a couple of my students asked if it would be possible to bring Todd Green out for an Aim Fast Hit Fast at our range. I had been following pistol-training and pistol-forum for a while and thought it was a good idea, so I contacted Todd and started working out details with him and the range. Things worked out, and six months later, we had the class.

    There were a few things about this class I was really looking forward to.

    I wanted to learn to shoot better, and even more specifically, learn to be more disciplined in shooting. I have struggled with oscillating between ‘too sure and slower than it could be’ and ‘as fast as I can go, trying to drag the accuracy along kicking and screaming.’

    I wanted to gain a better understanding of a person I had interacted with on the internet. Communication is so terribly hampered over the internet, and I wanted to form a reasonably well-founded opinion of the actual firearms instructor/person, and not just the internet personality.

    And most of all, I wanted to be a student and shoot! I teach all the time. I lead and assist with basic and defensive handgun classes at our range, and I was really looking forward to two days of shooting alongside my friends, peers, and students purely as a student myself. I was looking forward to the fun and hard work of learning to shoot a pistol better than I could before. In my case, that meant ‘more consistently’ probably more than anything else.

    Todd was an excellent instructor and I got a lot out of the class. My opinion of him and the quality of his instruction is very positive. Looking back, this was the first pure 'mechanics of marksmanship and speed' class I've taken. The many others have all been a tactical/defensive class and typically spend a lot of time on things other than marksmanship at speed. AFHF was almost entirely that, from start to finish.

    Todd found a couple aspects of my shooting for me to work on that I think really helped. It’s so important to get another set of eyes, especially ones accustomed to detecting shooting issues, looking at you. I video myself shooting frequently, and I had not detected one of the errors, and the other one I failed to realize was as much a problem as it actually is.

    The main thing that Todd helped me with was pacing. I personally have a tough time finding that edge where I am fully in control, but wasting no time at all. I tend to go faster and push harder than allows me to hit extremely reliably. I still had some of that in class, but I think Todd's influence in that regard was very helpful to me. I think this was a particularly good class for me personally, at this point in my shooting development.

    Todd’s instruction was great for the other students as well. His explanation and rationale for everything he taught was logical and articulated well. I saw all the students at least considering new ways of doing things - everyone in class had been taught a number of things in the past differently than Todd teaches them, and some had been using those methods for more than a decade. I know some of the students immediately found benefit in a couple of Todd’s methods – some with the press-out and some with his method for shooting on the move. I will certainly continue experimenting with his shooting on the move methodology, which is radically different than the way I’ve trained to do it. But I’m going to continue to working with Todd’s method because I think there is value and understanding to be had there.

    I appreciated the many artificial stressors that Todd added to the class environment. From the timed and scored drills, to the person vs. person contests, to the signature FAST, to the stress and pressure added by (biting but ultimately goodhearted) comments, to having the whole class watch during individual drills, Todd created pressure and stress.

    That in particular was hugely helpful to me, because I am of those who experiences a distinct performance difference between un-stressed practice and stressed/pressured shooting. That’s ok, learning to deal with that and to perform well in spite of it (especially when you are susceptible to it, like I am) is just another part of the journey of learning to shoot better and in more varied and difficult circumstances. AFHF I think helped me with that tremendously, particularly via the signature FASTest.

    And that brings me to…the FAST runs.

    Heading into the class, I was not at all sure I would win a coin, or even shoot a sub-5 clean FAST. Now, I know I am able to do that, but whether I would do that on demand in class is another question.

    Our practice group has shot the FAST a number of times in the past. I have never, not even once, pulled a sub-5 clean in that setting with students/friends/peers standing around watching me, putting me on the spot. In contrast, in solo practice, I have shot a legitimate, cold, 3.62 clean, as well as plenty of sub-5 clean runs. What a difference!

    So, I wasn't at all sure that I would get it done. And that was fine, because what I was really looking forward to was spending two days shooting a lot, as a student alongside all the other students, shooting a pistol, which I love to do, and doing the hard work of learning to shoot a pistol better. I really didn't want to get all wrapped up in 'must win a coin, must win a coin, must win a coin.'

    The AM run of day one was something like 4.26 -2B = 6.26. I had the 3x5 shots easily, reloaded, and simply failed to get focused on the front sight for the body shots and achieved the predictable result. Really stupid. There was plenty of time, I just got undisciplined and didn't make sure of the body shots. That should have been a clean sub-5 right out of the gate, but there was my classic lack of discipline rearing its ugly head.

    On the PM run of day one, I reminded myself to get focused and see the sights for every shot. The challenge of the FAST for me is to summon the discipline to shoot it clean, without allowing risk of marksmanship error. Did it. That run was 4.88 clean, IIRC.

    I got a third run since I was in the hunt for the challenge coin (have to shoot sub-5 clean on at least two of three runs on one day.) I fired the second head shot with the front sight just a tiny bit high, and put that shot just off the 3x5. That one hurt. The time was under 5 - don't remember exactly - but I dropped a head shot. So close…

    I tried not to stew about it overnight. At that point, I was kicking myself for blowing the AM run, but at the same time, was happy that I had at least shot one sub-5 run in the pressured class environment, which itself is better than I have done before.

    On the AM run of day two, I was mentally focused on being in control, seeing the sights on every shot, and making every hit. My focus was there. Two beautiful shots landed in the center of the 3x5, two holes practically touching, body shots in place - 4.67 clean. I was on the way to a coin, but trying not to think about it. I elected to take the extra run at the end of the day.

    We went through most of the rest of the class and then did the PM run. I was focused and sharp again, concentrating only on getting the hits, and shot it clean, again with two really tight 3x5 shots. I felt good. I knew I made all the hits when I fired them. I believed the time was there. I took a deep breath, holstered, and looked at Todd and he shows me the timer - 5.06! .07 away! Argh!!!

    He ran a couple other people on the FAST as I set up to do it again. I resisted the urge to go faster. Having just missed the time and subsequently getting sucked into going faster was a trap and it would have been a huge mistake. I knew I was fast enough. I needed to get the hits, and just trust that the time would be there.

    It came to be my turn again - my last run and last chance at a coin for a very long time I am sure, or conceivably ever. With the same intention of hits, hits, hits, I again fired every shot with visual verification. I knew I got the hits. I looked at the target as I holstered and the hits were all there. I looked at Todd, and he said, "Dude...5.02." My heart sank. So close! Despite my intention not to, by that point I had become a little wrapped up in all of it and really did desire to win the challenge coin. Then he turned the timer and showed it to me: 4.58. I had done it.

    Actually winning the challenge coin under those circumstances represented what I think is a huge step forward for me. This environment was even more stressful than shooting in front of my friends/peers/students – it was all of them standing there watching, plus Todd, and it was for all the marbles – well, the coin anyway. Where I had been unable to shoot even a single clean sub-5 FAST in the former, now I shot 4 of 6 runs clean, (three under 5 seconds and one barely over) and the two that weren’t clean were simple failures of attention and patience respectively, which is quite correctable. So a huge personal goal was met – by the measure of consistency, I did better than I ever have before, and in tougher circumstances. And that’s where Todd influence was a very positive one for me. His ‘guarantee the hits’ mindset is really what I needed to take that particular step forward.

    The class was a huge success. Everyone learned. Everyone had a safe and fun time. I have no doubt we will ask Todd to come out for another AFHF at some point in the future. We barely scratched the surface of eligible and interested folks out here, so no doubt we could gather the students for another one. I’d take the class again.

  2. #2
    We are diminished
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    Thanks for the great writeup, Gabe. And once more, heartfelt congratulations on an awesome performance from the F.A.S.T. to DotTor to Triple Nickel and literally everything else we shot all weekend long. You earned every bit of it. Stay safe!

  3. #3
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    Great review, and nice shooting, especially with earning your coin!

    If you have Todd come back for another class, I highly recommend AFHS - I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  4. #4
    Leopard Printer Mr_White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JV View Post
    Great review, and nice shooting, especially with earning your coin!

    If you have Todd come back for another class, I highly recommend AFHS - I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Thanks JV. I'll definitely be looking at organizing another AFHF sometime in the future, and once we have enough people up to the prereqs, AFHS too.

  5. #5
    Leopard Printer Mr_White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddG View Post
    Thanks for the great writeup, Gabe. And once more, heartfelt congratulations on an awesome performance from the F.A.S.T. to DotTor to Triple Nickel and literally everything else we shot all weekend long. You earned every bit of it. Stay safe!
    Thanks for everything Todd! It was a real pleasure to get to be in your class.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter DocGKR's Avatar
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    Well done!

  7. #7
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    Congratulations. Your hard work has paid off. Please tell us about your pistol, set up, belt, holster etc.
    I am certainly always looking for a hardware solution to a software problem

  8. #8
    Member fuse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcdgrips View Post
    Please tell us about your pistol, set up, belt, holster etc.


    Doesn't count, he used a G34, everyone knows it's filthy unwashed gamer trash.

    j/k

    Awesome write up, awesome performance. Your students are lucky to have a 'certified expert' teaching them basic skills. Congrats!

    and if I had to guess -

    G34, defoor ameriglo, keeper AIWB?
    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. -George Orwell

  9. #9
    We are diminished
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuse View Post
    Doesn't count, he used a G34, everyone knows it's filthy unwashed gamer trash.
    Gabe shot it with his everyday gun & holster.

  10. #10
    Gabe,

    Hey man I cant tell you how happy I am for you!!! All your hard work and Dedication has payed off big time!!! Now we just need the FAST as an Olympic Sport!!!
    "Gunfights are come as you are events, You do not get to chose"- Tom Givens.

    Keepers Concealment, The Best AIWB holsters EVER, for more info www.keepersconcealment.com

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