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Thread: AAR: AFHF College Station,TX April 2-3, 2011

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    AAR: AFHF College Station,TX April 2-3, 2011

    * my first AAR so hope it makes sense*
    Prior training: I’ve been shooting handguns recreationally for about 17 years, with a big break over the last 4-5 years (family stuff). Having a child and other events led me to want to become more proficient and prepared. To that end I obtained my CHL, took a 4 hour basic class with a local instructor, 2-Day Basic Handgun with DTI, and started shooting IDPA. To really be on my way to being a “good” shooter I still felt like I needed a solid understanding of fundamental pistol techniques. I’d been following Todd’s site and AFHF seemed like just the ticket.

    The Group: We had 8 shooters. 4 were people who carried guns in their daily work, the rest of us were I believe just average citizens, including a 60’s –ish brother and sister. All great people, everyone was motivated and prepared and we didn’t have “that guy.”

    Equipment: Two worked from duty rigs with retention, one AIWB, and the rest IWB or OWB concealed. Guns were Glock, one HK and one CZ.
    I used a G19 and G17 (both w/ Vickers mag release), Bladetech Nano IWB (normally carry in MTAC but didn’t want to deal with the re-holstering). Ammo was a mix of various 115gr 9mm (WWB, PMC, S&B, AE).

    The Class: Some… navigational difficulties by a few of us got the class off to a late start (sorry Todd!) Todd was understandably pissed but only ragged us about it every 5 minutes or so. We started with an excellent lecture on Stance, Grip, Sight Picture and Trigger Press. My “lightbulbs” from the lecture:
    ●Stance- you not only bring the sights to your eyes, but your eyes to the sights, i.e. as you bend your knees and lean forward your head ends up about where your chest was, shortening the time to acquire your sights.
    ●Grip- rotate your support hand until the pinky points to the ground, locking that wrist and transferring recoil to your skeleton. I THOUGHT I was doing this but wasn’t.
    ●Sight Picture- “See what you need to see.” Learn what you need to hit at different distances but don’t get caught up in whether it’s 3, 3.5, 5.24 or 7 yards.

    Some of the things Todd doesn’t teach:
    Grip- no funky 70/30 grip pressure stuff- you probably couldn’t tell the difference and certainly won’t be thinking about it under stress. Grip as tight as you can without shaking and maintain trigger control.
    Stance- again, no specific weight distribution or foot placement. Bend your knees, get your weight down, and stand just like you would if you were holding something that’s trying to push you backwards, which the gun is.
    Shooting on the move- “I’ve seen you all walk. Don’t worry about how you move your feet, just walk and shoot.”
    Speed - this would be a recurring theme throughout the class. Rather than dictating a tempo, move fast when you can, slow down when you need to.

    I’m oversimplifying but you get the idea- Todd keeps the “clutter” to a minimum.

    There are already several great AAR’s here with details about drills and the progression of skills learned (plus I was too busy loading mags and trying to keep up to take many notes), so here’s the main points for me.
    The Draw: My draw always felt jerky and slow, especially slow to get on target. I finally saw the whole process properly- bending knees and moving weight forward, which lowers the head to meet the gun, setting up the pressout. My tendency before was to remain straight up, taking the “L” shaped draw too literally. That said, I’m really going to have to give AIWB a try. The entire draw is just so much smoother and faster from there.

    The Pressout: Something I tried to work on beforehand but couldn’t seem to get right. I couldn’t really get comfortable with it in class either until I remembered a tip here about shoulder movement (thanks JV!) and Todd made a comment about “hunching” into the pressout. Those two things helped me level the gun out sooner and pick up the sights faster. In my mind the path of the gun from the holster became more of an arc than an L, moving up my torso as my body comes down and leans forward. May not be exactly right but the mental picture seemed to help smooth everything out.

    The Reload: Simple pointers helped me make huge gains here- index your elbows to your ribs to provide consistent positioning, point the mag well at the mag pouch, keep the gun high. I managed a 2 second reload during the Triple Nickel, very fast for me. Todd’s pro tip- paint the inside of the mag well and make sure you see it while inserting the magazine.

    The Sight Tracking: I won’t even try to explain it, other than to say you need to be doing it. I at least figured out that no, I’m not really doing it, but at least I know that now, and have a start on understanding it. A lot of my misses and inconsistency are due to poor front sight focus, so it will be getting a lot of attention now.

    The Todd: Todd is damn near a compulsive teacher, I’m not sure he can stop Even during breaks and dinner, he continued to discuss anything and everything we had a question about. His experiences and stories from the industry were always entertaining and illuminating, and for me it was cool to get some “insider” stories. Todd was happy to take part in our good natured trash talking, but always maintained focus, safety and the pace of the class. We had various skill levels in the class and Todd easily tailored his instruction to each student. He’ll freely admit that he learned a lot from other instructors and is not passing down some super secret method that he created.
    Todd is also immune to Krav Maga, will add “-ish” to just about any word, and his opinion of CZ remains unchanged.

    The Highlights:
    ●ifightcrime and a few others, in the WH and SHO walk back drills making it back to about 12 yards shooting a 2” circle. I was out early on both of them.
    ●The aforementioned lady carving several seconds off her FAST time and IIRC running Triple Nickel clean and in a pretty good time.
    ●Another student cleaning the Hackathorn Head Shot standards from concealment and winning our Figure 8 drill competition.
    ●Todd autographing his SWAT article at dinner; we did our best to embarrass him
    ● “If you have problems when you can’t, then un-can’t. If you have problems when you un-can’t, then can’t.” This was actually Todd in reference to “cant”ing while shooting one-handed, but this way makes him sound more like Yoda.

    The FAST: how could I forget. I'd done it maybe a dozen times before the class, and drastically underestimated how hard it would be under pressure. My performance on all the drills wasn’t that great; I’d push for speed and drop shots or slow down and miss the par time. FAST was no exception. The body shots were never a problem, and I could hit them faster than I thought. But the 3x5….oh that f’in 3x5. My first and third runs were ugly, missed head shots and slow. The second run I managed a 7.01, but with a head shot missed. I was down on myself and not expecting much for the final run, but got a clean 8.06, even though I rode the slide release (the only time all weekend) and had to rack the slide. I’d say I toed right up to the line between speed and accuracy- 3 shots cutting the line and 2 more barely in.

    To my surprise I can draw and reload faster than I thought (still lots of room for improvement though). My goal going forward is to slow everything else down a bit to get good hits. I certainly learned the difference between what I can do and what I can do on demand every time.

    This random mess of an AAR doesn’t do the class justice. I can only highly recommend that you train with Todd. I’ve come away with a solid understanding of fundamental techniques, means to diagnose my problems, and a memorable experience. I truly hope Todd will be back in Texas next year, and that we lighten his luggage by at least a few FAST pins.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter SecondsCount's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Utah, USA
    Well written AAR.

    Quote Originally Posted by NickA View Post
    I’m oversimplifying but you get the idea- Todd keeps the “clutter” to a minimum.
    This is what I liked best about Todd's AFHF class. I been to several pistol classes before Todd's but none of them improved my accuracy and speed like his class. Most of the previous classes spent too much time on the ninja skills and not enough on improving the fundamentals.
    -Seconds Count. Misses Don't-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by SecondsCount View Post
    Well written AAR.

    I agree, I was shooting faster and more accurately than i really thought i could, It was amazing how much just having a good proper grip helped. My lapses in accuracy were really due to me pushing for too much speed. i haven't done a lot of timed drills so i don't yet have a feel for how much i can let off and still make hits.

    I was actually expecting more detailed instruction on a lot of things, but i'm guessing that anything Todd didn't correct me on i must be doing OK, and that he's tailoring those details to the students skills. A guy shooting under 7 seconds on the FAST probably needs more detailed tweaks than someone like me, and it would almost be a disservice to bury me in details that won't matter until the fundamentals are more grooved in.

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