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  1. #1
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    Default Review of Suarez Int. Defensive Pistol Skills in Chattanooga

    Just wanted to put in a good word for the Defensive Pistol Skills course as taught by Randy Harris. As a former teacher, I recognize instructional talent when I see it, and Randy deserves a lot of credit. The course went something like:

    Day 1 - After the safety briefing, we started with a short discussion on different handgun platforms strengths/weaknesses in a fighting context, caliber selection/wounding factors (no heavy handed stuff here... just good information) and basic information on holster selection and positioning for concealment and access. Randy presented the fundamental skills of marksmanship (grip, stance, sight picture/alignment, etc.) with very good demonstrations, discussed eye dominance problems and established which dominance each student had. This was followed by the presentation of the four point draw with proper indexing and clearing of different concealment garments. Next, he discussed threat recognition and situational awareness/conflict avoidance (very good presentation and material on this). Finally, he gave a conceptual presentation of the OODA Loop and classroom demonstrations of the necessity of off-line movement when a fight is unavoidable. After a short break, we headed for the range.

    At the range, we started with a one-shot, "aim small, miss small" drill from close contact ready at short distance while Randy made corrections to our grip, stance, trigger press, etc. He was very patient, especially with me and my "low-left Glock syndrome". We moved on to 2, 3, 4 and 5 consecutive shot drills, respectively, with incorporated dot drill "head shots". After he was satisfied enough with everyone's performance and we reviewed the draw from concealment, we moved on to the draw and shoot one, then draw and shoot two (with similar progression as before) while Randy checked out our draw/use of index and diagnosed problems. We continued with similar drills but began to incorporate movement to 3 o'clock. At the end of day one, Randy allowed us to individually take 25 and 50 yard shots on steel "midgets" to emphasize how good shooting on small targets at short range translates to ability to hit human torsos at distance.

    Day 2 - We started with a review of what went right/wrong from the previous day while Randy answered questions and gave demonstrations to explain the "why" parts of the questions (actually did a great job of this througout the entirety of the course). Afterwards, Randy covered handgun wounding factors in greater detail. Next, he covered malfunction types/solutions and typical problems/solutions with specific platforms. We then individually drilled on all malfunction types while Randy set up the problems for us. This was followed up with a discussion/demonstration on cover and moving around cover; and, before our force-on-force primer, Randy discussed the OODA Loop in more detail, added the formal language, and discussed movement to different parts of the clock while engaging an adversary.

    The Airsoft force-on-force drills were an eye opener for a few people. Even at a distance of 21 feet it was obvious that, unless you are moving off-line in a hurry, you are clearly going to get shot or stabbed. If you bobble a draw while moving laterally or to the rear, you're a goner. Randy emphasized the importance of moving to the forward angles and demonstrated this at much closer distances.

    At the range, we started with short distance dot drills while presenting from the holster and follwed a similar multiple-shot drill progression as on day one. Then we started speeding things up just a bit when using sillouhette targets while shooting and moving to three o'clock, followed by move/shoot drills to nine o'clock. After Randy moved us back a bit to do the same drills with distance, some weapon malfunctions prompted a mini-lesson or two from Randy on malfunction clearance (also one-handed). We then followed up with two-handed/one-handed shootings drills and did some "wrong-handed" shooting drills to round things out. Finally, we began to incorporate an after action assessment into the drills. Again, at the end of the day, Randy allowed us to shoot some steel at 25 and 50 yards to prove that we could hit at distance.

    I know that I left some things out of this review; but, to wrap it all up, I don't think that you could ask anything more from a basic, defensive skills course or from an instructor. Sorry this was so long winded, but I just wanted prospective students to have a good idea of how well Randy teaches, building interrelated skill sets as he goes. He is a "show" and "tell" teacher who deals with students in an informal but very professional manner (no drill instructor garbage). Hope everyone has the opportunity to train with him sometime. Randy, keep up the good work.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Out stalking Jim Scoutten!
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    Colombianito,

    When I was still living in Florida, I was hoping that Gabe would start up classes there someplace. Are you going to start teaching to open FL up for Suarez Int.? If so, I have a couple of friends down there in Palm Beach County that would be interested in becoming students.

    Just wonderin'.

    Dave

  3. #3

    Default Classes close to Floride

    Dave, I hosted Gabe this year in Florence, SC, That is 6 hours from Orlando. So, if your friends are still interested, I will be hosting Gabe next June again here in SC.

    See his 08 schedule.

    Richard

  4. #4
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    Richard,

    I will surely let them know. If that doesn't work, I will make sure that their next visit with us in TN corresponds with a DPS course date that Randy hosts in the future.

    Again, I will point out the SC class on the schedule.

    Thanks much for the input!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Georgia
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    Any idea when the next Chattanooga DPS class will be? I couldn't make this one, but am definitely down for the next one.

  6. #6
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    Didn't see another DPS class in Chattanooga on the schedule; but, I'd bet that it would be worth your time to email or PM Randy in order to discuss having another class.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Chattanooga TN
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    I'll be putting dates up for future classes this week. Thanks for the kind words guys!
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor
    NRA Certified Instructor
    Tennessee State Handgun Carry Permit Instructor
    Glock Factory Certified Armorer
    IDPA Master Class SSP, ESP,CDP, CCP, BUG, CO
    Gung Ho Chuan Association

    TRAIN with me....https://suarezinternational.com/sear...h_query=harris

    Fundamentalist Christian Man at Arms

    AKA - CRUEL HAND LUKE

    Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords , and your pruning hooks into spears; train even your weaklings to be warriors.

    Through HIS power I can walk on water..IF I just have the faith and courage to get out of the boat.

    A good man who's done a couple of bad things along the way....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    231
    I'm going to be taking this course soon (October, Virginia, Jack Rumbaugh), and I was wondering whether there's anything in particular that I should be reading/ doing/ watching in order to be most fully and profitably prepared? Thank you.

    Oh yeah, and Hi. This is my first ever post on WT, and I'm very glad to be here.

    Kindly,
    OBJ

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Ohbejoyful,

    Welcome to WT. I'm not the one to answer your question, but maybe Jack will chime in here shortly.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1
    Great review for a great course. I second the great review here. No need to repeat the fine detail already presented... that's pretty much how it was. DPS was a great class, covering fundamentals, but yet going a long way towards preparedness. Randy does a fine job presenting the material and working with folks to fine tune their skills. He's very personable and takes the time to work out little issues each shooter might have.

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