BLUF: Take this class. Invaluable information and the missing link between how to do and when to do it.

Full disclosure: This was my first class at Suarez International. I had my doubts since I didn't know anyone who had trained there, and I wasn't completely sure what I was going to learn. On a personal level, I consider myself a better-than-average shooter with a pretty good resume BUT I have been unable to translate that skill-set to practical application. Translation: I get myself killed in force-on-force with appalling regularity (and I mean that literally, I get MYSELF killed). I have read extensively and learned some ideas and concepts, but hadn't yet made the connection necessary to even figure out what I was missing.

As it turns out, this was some of the best training money I've ever spent.

Rather than roll through the syllabus, I'll just address this review as if I was talking to myself some time after getting 'killed' for the last time but before attending this class.

"Most people enjoy shooting and enjoy being good at it, but the hard truth is that the shooting part is not the most important component of an armed encounter. The shooting part is the easiest to learn and the easiest to train and maintain. It's where most people focus. Tactics are important, but they're really not that hard if you know the general principles. The hardest part, the one most miss or gloss over, is mindset."

"Oh, now, don't look at me with that 'duh' face. If it was obvious you wouldn't keep getting killed. The truth is that fear and doubt are the biggest obstacles we have to overcome. Fear of repercussions and doubt as to whether you can or should apply that shooting skill you pride yourself on. Put more simply, you worry about the aftermath because it's the big scary unknown, and that fear causes paralysis which is why you die so often."

"When you take this class the whole process after the shooting, from 911 call to the detectives, is going to be demystified. You'll learn what to say to whom and why, and why the tiger does the fighting but the antelope does the talking. And once those obstacles are removed and the curtain has been drawn back, you're going to see as a predator sees and you'll feel like the training wheels have finally been removed. It's very liberating... I took my new mindset through every time I'd been killed in training and my errors were glaring and obvious. And every error was traceable back to mindset."

"We'll talk about self image when you get back. Because that was something important and the more I internalize it the more I realize where I am as opposed to where I want to be."


Final word: I'm taking this class again next year, and bringing my wife with me.
Final final word: A special thanks to my classmates, who helped more than they may know.
I mean it this time: Go to this class.