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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2021
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2

    Default CRG-1 Experience

    FNG here - both to the forums, and to formal training.

    Took the CRG-1 class with John over in Orange this weekend. I honestly didn't know what to expect, given that I've never taken a formal class outside of CCW/LTC classes (which aren't much to begin with). I left pleasantly surprised and very happy overall with the class, class structure and the side bar discussions that were had amongst the other class members and with Jon between evolutions and after the class was completed.

    Pros:

    1. Great for newer shooters or even experienced shooters that don't have much in their training resume. Jon was very structured and adhered to the KISS principle when it came to breaking down the mechanics, explaining why things were done a certain way and that crawling before you walk will pay dividends later in the class
    2. Range was a great little range, and his volunteer helpers were great guys
    3. There was enough shooting (especially on day 2) that you got a really good feel for putting the basics (drawing from holster, sight picture, accuracy at various distances, etc.) into action, even if it was at a slower and more methodical pace (which it needed to be)
    4. Great intro class to segway into more advanced classes, and at the very end we were doing multiple target engagement drills that added some fun and a more real world experience into the class

    Cons:
    1. Weather sucked. It was fuggin cold as shit on Saturday, windy as hell and we spent a lot of time fighting targets blowing around and what not. I don't put that on the instructor at all, it is what it is - weather waits for no man
    2. Because the weather sucked, Day 1 was a little slower paced that what I expect a normal class to be
    3. The love for Glocks. I mean - not everybody has deformed hands and shoots one, but at least we were able to josh back and forth about it and he was cool as hell in that respect (not really a con, just wanted to put it here)

    Neutral:
    1. The weather sucked - which forced everybody into wearing winter clothing, layers, parkas, jackets, etc. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing because we went through basics with what is the most amount of clothing most of us will likely wear at any given time, so it pushed up a need to evaluate how you dress, carry, draw, what could go wrong with all of that extra stuff going on, etc. One of those things that you generally don't think about - especially if you live in an area where it just doesn't get cold all that often and it isn't something that is high on the priority list

    Overall, it was what I thought a really good class that gave me personally an opportunity to work on basics and some aspects above basics, as well as giving me a really good chance to test out a new gun, figure out how I like to carry outside of my normal daily carry (which I don't do all that often), how things like extra layers of clothing can be a good and bad thing, and a few others for me. I recommend it to anybody that is looking for some carry basics, and even those that have been around the block to get some refreshers on things that they may take for granted they already know.

    Another thing that was a really good thing to happen - there were several instances of malfunctions, including a case head separation and out of spec factory ammo that locked up one of the almighty Glocks. Those are things that you don't think about, but are absolutely real world possibilities - because each malfunction occurred with factory ammo and not reloads (ha! Jon). It was good because nobody was hurt and it happened in class and not on the street, so we we were all able to take stock that it is a real possibility and that you have to know how to handle it.
    Last edited by schmellba99; 01-17-2022 at 12:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Posts
    675
    It was a cold and blustery day...
    ...Hey, it was 50 degrees and north wind at 25-30 mph - almost arctic conditions for Southeast Texas. (Quit laughing, you hardy northerners!) The howling wind peeled the paper targets off the target stands all day on Saturday. The round count of staples far exceeded the 9mm ammo for that day. Sunday morning was even colder at 34 degrees (quit laughing), but the sun was out all day and the wind velocity was down about 50%.

    Upon reflection after a good night's sleep back home, those conditions provided unplanned, but bonus course material - dealing with winter clothing while accessing pistols, reloads and re-holstering (I still hear you laughing!).

    My classmates had pistol skills ranging from beginner to crack shots. Four of the eleven classmates were women - perhaps, a growing trend. One was my wife, who has become a competent pistol shooter, in part to Jon Payne's instruction and in part to ShopMonkey produced Glock 43X/RMR/Street Comp. The other three women had much to learn this weekend and had never had formal training. Jon Payne is fully up to the task of taking students with little or no experience and turning them in to effective pistol shooters, to include all weapons manipulation, shooting and holster work.

    Also in class, were several seasoned shooters, having completed multiple S.I. classes. One classmate, who is right-handed, performed the entire class as a left hander. Because Clint was so smooth with his weapon manipulations and if that fact had not been mentioned, no one would have had a clue that he was experimenting with "the other side". It reminded me that several years ago at an advanced class, Jon Payne announced he was teaching CRG-1 fundamentals class and challenged us to attend class with all left-hand holsters and mag pouches. I did that class totally left-handed, just as Clint did this weekend. This is a great idea for any of us to consider. Besides the idea that we need to learn both right and left hand weapons operations, an injury to fingers, hand, wrist, arm, elbow or shoulder may make the choice for you. Why not get the gear and practice for "that day".

    Despite that Jon thinks that my wife and I took this class just to be nice to him (and we do consider him a great friend), our real motivation to enroll in this class was to get back to basics. The last formal training we had been was at the beginning of the Rona, almost 2 years ago. That was 3 days of Red Dot Pistol School with Jon Payne in Orange. Perhaps, during the dark period of bare ammo shelves, we had developed bad habits and thought Jon's teaching skills can fix what went wrong. Lucky for us, we just needed to get back in the saddle and conscientiously follow the instructor's direction.

    Speaking of red dot pistols, I have been using them for so long, it seems like cheating. Since CRG-1 teaches fundamentals of marksmanship (stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture and trigger control), I thought of using just iron sighted pistols for class. I took both irons and red dots with me and discussed this conundrum with Jon. He told me that it is never a bad idea to focus on iron sights in a fundamental class. So, I used an unaltered (other than sights) Gen 3 Glock 17 on Saturday and completed the course material. On Sunday, I used an iron-sighted Sig P226, as I wanted more time with this platform. I am not getting rid of my red dot Glocks, but my red dot Sigs are a very attractive and effective alternative.

    The lesson learned: never turn your back on the basic marksmanship training, especially if by an excellent instructor like Jon Payne. For that matter, any class that Jon teaches, you will learn solid techniques and enjoy the experience. We have put our money where it counts and have already enrolled in the remaining 2022 classes by Jon Payne. We encourage you to do the same - you will only regret it if you dawdle and miss out.
    Lee

    You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? From Heaven you pronounce your Judgement, and the land feared and was quiet when you, O God, rose up to Judge, to save all the afflicted of the land.

    Psalm 76:7-9

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Exiled in Texas
    Posts
    7,339
    Quote Originally Posted by schmellba99 View Post
    and the side bar discussions that were had amongst the other class members and with Jon between evolutions and after the class was completed.
    For people who are new to these classes, I add this advice: show up early, take a sack lunch, stay late, and go to dinner with the group. You can learn a ton in the sideline conversations. I’m very much an introvert, and it takes effort for me to push my way into these conversations. When these groups assemble, there is a lot of institutional knowledge gathered in one spot. You can pick it up almost by osmosis. But you have to be there. If you drive away alone for lunch, you don’t know what you’ll miss at the range. In some classes, the social stimulation has worn me out more than the physical exertion, but that’s part of putting in the work. Show up and join the conversation.
    Virtute et Armis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    5,183
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    For people who are new to these classes, I add this advice: show up early, take a sack lunch, stay late, and go to dinner with the group. You can learn a ton in the sideline conversations. I’m very much an introvert, and it takes effort for me to push my way into these conversations. When these groups assemble, there is a lot of institutional knowledge gathered in one spot. You can pick it up almost by osmosis. But you have to be there. If you drive away alone for lunch, you don’t know what you’ll miss at the range. In some classes, the social stimulation has worn me out more than the physical exertion, but that’s part of putting in the work. Show up and join the conversation.
    This. In my training I have been religious about this going as far back as I remember. Even as a kid, I always wanted to hear the conversation from the tribal elders. What you learn over dinner and drinks is just as valuable as what you learn in class.

    Not taking advantage of these opportunities is a choice.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Snohomish County, WA
    Posts
    2,252
    Always fun to see who grabs the best seats at the table with this crew.
    The government selectively enforces laws, so I selectively follow them.

    RGF-3: December 2014
    CRG-1: March 2015
    CRG-2: June 2015
    CRG-2: June 2016
    PGF : January 2017
    0-5 Feet: October 2018

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    South Louisiana
    Posts
    1,368
    I think this may have been the first time I was so affected by the cold, since I wasn't prepared for the wind chills that first day. In fact, this was the first time I took this class that I didn't sweat a drop.
    Since the pandemic and ammo shortage, I was forced to limit my shooting to almost not at all. This class is a great refresher for anyone who hasn't had lots of practice, as well as new shooters. The second time I had taken this class, I was actually just going to bring my son for some instruction with Jon, and just be an observer, as I was recovering from bicep surgery on my right arm. Jon asked my if I had a left handed shooting rig, and I told him that I did. He suggested that I take the course left-handed. So...It was done that way, with my right arm in a brace. You just never know when you may need to shoot with your other side.

    I enjoyed my training time with Jon and met some new shooters and a couple that I had trained with before. I also wanted to extend my thanks to Cullen and Juan for all their work to keep the range going, especially Saturday.
    I also wanted to mention that the Orange Gun Club is an awesome place for training.

    DPS 09/18-19/10, PSP 11/20-21/10, FRS 02/05-06/11 KRG 03/19-20/11, ARG 04/14-15/11,CRG 05/07-08/11,
    TMCO 06/04-05/11, 0-5'PG 06/25-26/11, ACRG 11/12-13/11, VGF 03/03/12, ATM 04/21-22/12, 0-5' PG 06/09-10/12,
    CRG 05/18-19/13, RG 09/07-08/13, CRG5 0-5' PG 03/08-09/14, Pistol Gunfighting 05/20-21/17, CRG 2 03/10-11/18
    CRG1 01/15-16/22, RGF1 03/26-27/22

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    1,154
    Great class after-action reports and comments.

    To underscore comments in the posts above and WHY SI, here are some of the hallmarks of Suarez International Training:

    * Providing the whys of principles, fundamentals, gear, and techniques.
    * Encouraging the sharing of questions, definitions, experiences, and perspectives. You can be, and should be, a valuable asset to any class you participate in.
    * The ability of the instructors to challenge each class member, no matter actual training level and ability.
    * The goal to ensure our "SI veterans" finish each day more dangerous than when they began.
    * Pre-class time, lunch, and dinner should be seen as additional learning periods that may help you become more mentally and technically well-armed; choose to use them whenever you can.

    Looking forward to training with you!
    Last edited by Ted Demosthenes; 01-18-2022 at 05:58 PM.
    Ted Demosthenes
    Suarez International Staff Instructor


    From Murphy's Laws of Combat: "Incoming has the right-of-way" (so, GTFOTX!!)


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    TX hill county
    Posts
    58
    Just so you guys know, I did not want to go to the class, but because my husband wanted to, I agreed. It was his Christmas present. I took the basic LTC class a little over 5 years ago and have occasionally shot with him since, but really didn't feel comfortable carrying or shooting it. This class really surprised me. I feel so much safer handling my gun, pro active reloading, breathing and actually shooting within the target area. I am the one who initiated the target practice today!
    Thank you Jon, Juan and Cullen. Great instruction without making me feel like an idiot.

    This is Sandy on Bruce's account.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    TX hill county
    Posts
    58
    We had great training weather! Got lots of practice accessing our weapons and mags under our winter clothes. I hadn't realized how sloppy I had gotten with my grip and draw stroke so it was great reinforcement of the fundamentals. I definitely tightened my groups.
    Sandy had expressed some trepidation regarding the instruction as she does not respond well to being just told something and needs explanation of the why to better retain what she is being taught. She actually enjoyed the class rather than "endured" the class. We also enjoyed the camaraderie and thanks to Mark for and Cullen for allowing Sandy and I to shoot their guns. Thumbs up to Juan and Cullen who had a full time job just chasing down targets and stapling them back up!
    To sum up it was great instructors with great content and I would highly recommend this class for both beginners and established shooters.
    Thanks Jon for putting this class together!

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