View Full Version : AAR for Tactical Handgun II (Advanced)

February 22nd, 2010, 12:38 PM
We had the CCJA Tac Handgun II course at their facility in Fredericksburg, VA on February 21, 2010. Let me start by saying that anyone who has the ability to get out to these courses really is doing himself a disservice if he doesn’t go. Let me try to explain why.

This course, being a follow-on course to the primary pistol course, was a strong combination of continued concentration on the fundamentals along with some important new subjects. For example, obviously, both tactical and speed reloads are covered in Tac I. However, in THGII, we may have done 50 presentations followed by emergency reloads. Great emphasis was placed on, “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” We went over how primarily everything starts with a great grip of the handgun, high and as firm as a handshake with the gun hand, and firmer pressure applied with the off hand.

All the elements of handgun shooting were discussed, but concentration was made on the two main parts, front sight and trigger squeeze. We then reviewed some additional material in THGI, talking about the proper draw (one that allows shooting during the entire extension and early pick-up of the sights).

After working the heck out of the basics, we went to some newer and more advanced topics. We discussed and practiced moving while shooting, covering closing and increasing distance as well as moving laterally. We then did a module on low light shooting. Tom covered pieing, entering a room, using the flashlight, when strobing is appropriate, and he actually proved the effectiveness of strobing by having each of us individually on the receiving end of same in a dark room. By being on the other end, it was completely brought home the value of what Tom was teaching.

As per usual in a CCJA course, the instruction was first-rate. Tom has tons of real-world experience that is obvious because when you ask a question, he not only has an answer, he has a practical, real-world reason behind the answer. His people are a great believer in the mantra that this is not THE way to do things, but they are A way. However, everybody should understand that the way he recommends makes a lot of sense, and should at the very least be tried extensively. Tom’s assistant yesterday was Mark __, a gentleman from Hong Kong with real world experience in policing, high-threat protection and current contractor work. His laconic approach and wry humour (intentional Britishism) combined with subject mastery were much appreciated.

One of the hallmarks of Tom’s courses is flexibility. He obviously has specific lesson plans for each course, obvious because he has written material tracking the material covered. However, he has the complete ability to tailor the course to the needs, desires, and abilities of the students in the class. An example would be that barring SHTF situations, the most likely scenario for armed conflict for most of us would be a home defense scenario. Because the other students and I agreed that such was so, Tom was able to cover home defense topics (such as the aforementioned low-light subject and movement in hallways) on almost the spur of the moment, although he had good written material to hand out on those issues and was able to give us the elements of these things as if he had prepared to lecture on them for weeks.

I have previously noted that Tom’s classes are certainly dynamic, not just in the sense of presenting students with changing situations and moving shooters, but in the sense that Tom can add appropriate material on the fly. In my THGI course, because there were only three shooters, he could push the heck out of us. In this class, Tom saw that we were at the point where we got the basics, but we needed reinforcement on those things we already “knew,” thus we worked hard on presentation and mag changes in addition to going onto the more advanced topics.

Essentially the last thing we did before we were done was to get a practice regimen, very reasonable in its time constraints, for things we can do every day in front of a mirror, to really ingrain the lessons learned from this class.

I was very impressed by this class, but was not surprised because of my prior exposure to Tom’s classes. This class is strongly recommended to give you techniques and tools to take the next step in working on defending yourself with a handgun.

February 22nd, 2010, 06:36 PM
Good write up! This course is on my list for sure!

My AAR for Handgun 1 is a work in progress (the outline is done) and will post soon.

Todd v.
February 22nd, 2010, 07:28 PM
This one is on my short list. You can never be good enough with a handgun...