Sept 13 Handgun Seminar Review

This last Saturdays training session was a success. Eight people trained many aspects of gunwork, beginning with simple movement, gaining ability to draw from concealment, disarming and retention, and ending with many and various sessions of force-on-force (ie shooting each other) in the barricade field.

It was a long day training in the Florida sun, but mercifully broken up with time in the shade. We began with two hours working indoora at the Training Center.

From there we moved to the field and worked a short session with blue guns. Then we turned up the heat and brought out the paintball guns. This brought out the adrenaline, the need to breathe and most of all, enthusiasm. Students really loved the work and it provided many opportunities to adjust their habits and movements to greater proficiency.

It got pretty heated up. We broke for the shade and watched Konstantine Komarov moving in "Gunpoint Supremacy" while drinking cold drinks and eating traditional russian snack of cukes, tomatoes, and olives. 

We trained in the barricade field for the rest of the afternoon until breaking before sunset for a swim and adult beverages. Steaks cooked and we discussed the day and added more fluids as it got darker.

With one last push we geared up to work in the dark, practicing room clearing with a flashlight and gun. Those who were not clearing populated the mock structure, appearing as either innocents or as armed opposition. We had done this drill in the day. But the night closes the environment in, making it more real and intense. The drills with both opponents and non-targets are very interesting and are a great benefit since it requires that the target be identified: in reality we cannont just shoot anything that moves. This forces people to control their emotions even more under stress. As always, proper use of lighting proved to rule the night, a point that everyone quickly saw and tasted.

I compliment the students that came to do the work. Most people are too lazy, too afraid, to complacent, or oblivious to know that they need to expand their abilities. They see the fair weather and don’t see a need to prepare for the possiblity of life’s storms. I admire those who attended for their hardwork and understanding of the value of training.

A few pictures are already posted at:

There were quite a few who wished to attend but couldn’t. I do know who some of you are but it wouldn’t hurt to send me an email and let me know you are interested. The next event will be coming up soon….new and improved, of course.

Robert Cooksey wrote:
     Thank you for a good time and some good training.

     For me, this kind of work really draws attention to the small, internal things that get lost during excitement: wanting to sit and snipe with the illusion that I’m safe if I sit still; breaking posture and realizing that if someone gets the jump on me I am not prepared to move; uncontrolled tension causing my breathing, posture, movement, everything to go sideways.

     This time around, the space felt different to me. It was similar to working an attacker with strikes and leading them. I wasn’t good at it by any means, but I could begin to see how simply showing barrel in a lane would lead an adversary in another direction allowing me more freedom of movement as I worked them into a tighter package. If they were moving well, this became much more difficult.

      Something that I’d like to work in future seminars would be close quarters gun retention and perhaps some training involving both knives and guns in which an adversary has a weapon in close quarters and we don’t know what it is. I know that if I know I’m training gun, I am sloppier with my movement on the lateral sides of the weapon than I am when I know it’s a knife. If i know it’s a gun, I immediately try to close distance, but with a knife, the fear that I’ve yet to learn to manage results in much different movement (not necessarily and probably not good movement in most cases).
      It’s always good to train with folks at varying levels of training and to see how small the margins are that we are always working to shave away in our favors. The humbling aspect of such training is always good for me outside of the direct application of the techniques at work.

      The relaxing and fun approach to the training I think helps to dissolve some of the initial fear and hesitation that people have with regard to this kind of training. Seeing confidence grow initially and leading to a more considered humility that continues to work through all those things that threaten to prevent us from moving freely by the end is something I’ve grown to expect to see in training with you and the Systema community in general. This seminar was no different. The camaraderie, per usual was a giant plus.

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