“The Mingle” 2019 by Shelley Hill (Part 1)

“The first thing I would like to do is THANK a friend, Cheryl Todd of Gun Freedom Radio for inviting me to SHOT SHOW‘s 2nd Annual Women’s Meet & Mingle in 2017! This left a favorable impression on me. On the flight home that year Brian and I started brainstorming and BAM, The Complete Combatant’s first “Mingle” was held in North Metro Atlanta in May 2017!

33160539_10213355081523901_758875603860245708822_o
With the help of sponsors we lend a hand in helping women in the firearms industry gain knowledge through continuing education and meet MORE ladies in the biz.  What a fantastic opportunity to be able to “pick the brains” of the ones that paved the path before us and meet ladies who offer NEW ideas. The Complete Combatant offers a place for women to meet “like-minded” ladies and build relationships to support business, networking to expand contacts and to explore our own personal growth in business, tactics, self-defense, marksmanship, professions & MORE! These special ladies are all patriots that will influence, support, and fight for self-defense rights!

I am happy to say that on May 18th & 19th, 2019 we will be hosting our 3rd annual SPONSORED “The Mingle” 2019 for ladies in the firearms industry. We invite ladies (local or otherwise) that work in the firearms industry, biz owners (managers and team members), club presidents and board members, professional shooters, shooting instructors, ladies of influence in all aspects of the self defense/martial arts, and in the biz professionals that are 2nd Amendment political supporters.  Please make note that “ladies of influence in all aspects of the self defense” has a very large range…IDPA? USPSA? GADPA? NRA? GCO? OTHER WAYS YOU SUPPORT? LET ME KNOW!

46482084_3411938197646ww40_4448069136207052800_n

This year is the most AWESOME year so far because we have grown from a 1 day gathering to a weekend event!

Saturday, May 18th, 2019 12-4pm Day 1:

Sunday, May 19th, 2019 9-6pm Day 2:

  • Located in Dahlonega, GA on our range (private property)
  • $150 per person – firearms instructors and experienced shooters only (experienced shooters = embraces the 4 lifestyle safety rules, has taken a professional live fire class and is familiar with expectations on the line). 
  • 24 student limit
  • This day on the range is sponsored by HK USA and that means GIFTS and GIVEAWAYS…like ammo, SWAG and a VP9 or VP9sk!
  • We have three 2 hour blocks of instruction from three different TOP NOTCH  instructors!

Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant – Developing the Concealed Draw:
Being able to present the pistol in personal protection is the crucial skill for the armed citizen. Developing a repeatable, efficient, and accurate draw stroke will be the focus of this block of instruction. How distance and target size change the arc of readiness during a self defense encounter. A holster will be required in class as a portion of this block will be dry practice and the rest will be drawing from the holster.

Lynn Givens of RangemasterTriggers & Timing:
The objective will be to learn how to use proper timing, as part of trigger control, in order to get good, solid hits in a timely manner. Only hits to a fairly small portion of the human torso will reliably result in rapid incapacitation. This fact, coupled with the fact that stress will increase the size of your shot group, means that we need to learn to hit a fairly small area without the luxury of extended time frames. To accomplish this, we will work on several drills designed to help you find the balance between hurrying up and getting good hits, which is mostly a matter of proper trigger manipulation. A holster will be required to secure the pistol during the class but in order to concentrate on triggers and timing, all firing will be done from The Ready.

Claude Werner aka The Tactical ProfessorClose Range Precision Marksmanship:
The requirement to deliver an accurate shot on a small target at conversational distance occurs regularly in Personal Protection incidents. This class will equip clients with the requisite skills and practice tasks that will allow them to feel confidence in their abilities to perform at the level required for such an incident. A holster will be required to secure the pistol during the class but the class will not require drawing from the holster.

48409022_2374740375929891_5131949344160743424_n

We are getting close to full but if YOU are a lady in the firearms industry and would like to attend this event then all you have to do is REQUEST AN INVITE. I will receive it, confirm your position/participation in the community and send you an Eventbrite invite with password to register.

ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE! We need loot for our ladies SWAG bags. This is a fun way to help! SWAG can be anything that is cool, new, needed or fun! There is no way to estimate how many guests we will have but our May 2018 event was MAXED OUT at 65 ladies so for our May 2019 event we are asking for 75 items from each donator.  Sponsorship Opportunities – DEADLINE IS APRIL 1ST, 2019

Special THANK YOU to all of you “movers and shakers” for the fantastic media coverage throughout the years. I believe RECOIL is attending this year! EXCITED! 

Stay tuned for Part 2: The Nationwide Training GIVEAWAY, Part 3: About Our Sponsors and Part 4: Our Guest Speaker and Instructors

 

Old dogs CAN learn new ways…..

skateboarding-dogCompetition training for the tactically minded…

I believe that old dogs CAN learn new ways. As a shooter you have two choices, accept the need to improve, or make rationalizations or excuses. I have always had a great desire to explore the edge of human performance, to know what is possible, and how to get there.

I recently journeyed to Biloxi, Mississippi to receive training from Steve Anderson, USPSA Grand master, author, and coach. I have been using his material for the last 6 months, also listening to his podcast, which helped me to win my first IDPA match overall, and in addition to place consistently in the top 5 pistol shooters at our local match. The material works, so time to get it directly from the source.

One of my coaches had the unique ability to pick up information very quickly. When I asked him how he did it, his reply was “I look for the commonalities in the movement, instead of the differences.” This insight has allowed me to develop skills rapidly in many diverse areas, and with this mindset I jumped into a competition class.

Performance Improvement on Metal Gears.

Competitive shooting and personal protection have many things in common. Gun handling, marksmanship, efficiency of movement, and performance under pressure. True, there are some differences in equipment, intent, and measured success,but overall shooting is shooting. I compete to improve my own abilities, however my primary focus is personal protection.

Matches provide the opportunity to compete with some exceptional shooters, and I would like to be able to perform at their level. One of the great things about competitive shooters is they measure and track everything they do during a match. Draw, transitions, reloads, movement, and classifiers are known times for the greatest in the world all the way down to beginners.

Steve Anderson uses this information to know exactly how much performance he can get from each shooter using this data driven approach. He is exceptionally good at pushing the last bit of speed, accuracy, and/or performance out of each person according to their current level of skill. Sometimes during class, individual shooters performed a drill a dozen times, until their true level of skill manifest itself. We trained in three modes of training, accuracy, speed, and match mode to develop a deep understanding of what was required in each mode in isolation.

rarcover

Dry fire drills from his book Repetition and Refinement (1-12) were explained, practiced, and coached eliminating excess movement and enhancing reaction and execution speed. Twice a day I have been dry practicing these drills, and I noticed a difference in my ability to perform these drills compared the group. The technique taught during the (accuracy) shooting groups was a fundamentally different approach that yielded extraordinary results for all the shooters present.

Speed mode is my weakest area, but with Steve’s coaching approach I was able to shoot times that I would have thought unattainable for me. During one drill, we drew to steel at 10 yards and transitioned to another steel target at roughly 10 yards to the right. Steve’s methods allowed me to perform this in 1.1 seconds with solid hits. I was struggling before this to get a 1 second draw on a single target.

The years of competition and fighting have left me with a fairly solid match (performance) mode, however Steve develops a methodology to enter this state which useful for matches, classifiers, qualifications, or self-defense. He is one of those coaches that can see what is possible for you, and will push, cajole, or drive you until you get it, if you let his system work.

If you are tactical shooter that is intermediate level and above, (IDPA Sharpshooter, USPSA C class, 80% on the FBI or Rangemaster qualification, etc) this class will help you explore the edges of human performance, furthermore developing a systematic practice and process to improve your shooting.

Having a fast and efficient draw allows more time to decide and aim, being able to shoot on the move makes your fundamentals rock solid. Learning how to train in all 3 modes allows you to achieve a higher level skill. Buy the books, listen to the podcast (That Shooting Show) or most importantly, take a class from Steve Anderson.

Freedom seeds

Sometimes I jokingly refer to shooting bullets as planting freedom seeds, but how do we plant the seeds of freedom? Maybe it can be through offering beginner level shooters THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON….THEIR FIRST.

I designed The Complete Combatant’s live fire classes to “build upon” each other starting with Pistol Essentials and then moving onto Beyond Pistol Essentials for the intermediate to advanced level shooters.

47296390_396609047748072_7530956468971896832_nDecades of professional teaching can make it is easy to lose the connection to how a beginner thinks and feels and teaching our newest class called Entry Level Pistol Essentials was a unique change of pace. Taking a group of inexperienced shooters through terminology, safety, medical, and fundamentals for their first time was a gratifying, and enlightening experience.

47325043_1977957022291959_4376841076447641600_nIt is quite easy to forget how nervous you feel as a beginner before you shoot, the mystifying terminology that is the language of firearms, and the demanding nature of marksmanship. Shelley and I watched these new shooters courageously tackle each lesson, one step at a time, celebrating their successes.

47326447_1988462081454692_7305599874253193216_nWe taught the lesson I wish I had received when I started shooting, that the fundamentals are the path to shooting well, moreover, you can understand them, and in addition you can correct your technique as you practice. Self empowerment through learning should be the focus of every teacher, furthermore that we are a team solely focused on your progress.

47352524_517032162144245_643249448395839898876_nWe must encourage the new shooter to grow our ranks, in both the shooting sports and personal protection, planting new seeds of freedom for the second amendment. Make your new year’s resolution to take someone shooting for the first time and make it the lesson we all wish we had when we started shooting.

 

 

 

Modern Samurai Project AAR

Modern Samurai Project AAR

November 10-11, 2018

South River Gun Club: Georgia46011101_10215521591966078_3173339326838734848_n

I made two goals this year. To work on my speed, and to explore the red dot. When I found out Scott Jedlinski was coming to Atlanta, I knew it was a perfect time to take his course. This class focuses on learning to use carry optics, additionally, how a shooter can improve their fundamentals using a competitive methodology and metrics.

The curriculum focuses on shooters that have achieved basic proficiency with firearms and wish to improve to the next level of skill whether defensive or competitive. What truly makes this class stand out is not just the technical skills, but Jedi’s coaching. Every shooter gets coaching and individual attention. All the drills are broken down into micro drills, in addition each student is checked for proper performance. Honest corrections are offered, and so is praise when earned. There is no doubt Jedi wants you to improve. His endless enthusiasm for progress is infectious. I watched 13 shooters improve in a quantifiable manner. Everyone’s limitations were stretched, creating an environment of dynamic growth. Explain, demonstrate, drill, correct or affirm, then test the skill with each evolution building upon the previous exercise. Jedi enjoys teaching and connecting with his clients, which creates a teamwork environment. Many times when a shooter overcame a limitation, the class would spontaneously applaud and offer encouragement.

45849352_290020341629825_4201977809477828608_n

I have personally had quite a few coaches in my life, and I classify the good ones in these three categories:

  1. Technical/analytical – this type has the ability to observe and break down the execution of skills, developing a comprehensive approach to performance.
  2. Empathic/intuitive – this style seems to be able to see through your eyes, understanding the performance and offering a sound logical and/or emotional framework for improvement.
  3. Leader/motivator – this style makes you want to perform with a desire to not let the coach and/or the team down.

All three are important, serving the client well at different points of training, but the one to look for is the coach that has all three traits. Jedi displayed all three of these traits while teaching, which profoundly influences the clients’ ability to learn. One of the shooters in class wants to earn a turbo pin (Gabe White’s performance goals). Jedi took him aside during a break to work with him one on one, so he can achieve his goal. That is a deep level of commitment to the client, unfortunately somewhat rare in classes. Another contributing factor is Jedi is a martial artist, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In my opinion, I think the martial arts coach faces a different set of challenges in the force on force environment, and it may lead to a better connection to their athletes and helping them achieve success.

If you’re interested in red dots and/or competition, I highly recommend this class. As a coach, I need to know how to use a red dot and how to solve problems for my clients. My goal was achieved, in addition, I definitely made progress as a shooter and a coach.

46067688_2276549952416441_5347516922432847872_n

Great fellow shooters, excellent coaching, and discernible progress is what you get with this class. Thank you to our host Jason Fobart, who did a great job organizing this event. Check this class out, and get ready to improve!

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius

Hidden benefits

Competition is a divisive topic in the shooting world. While certainly not for everyone, there are some hidden benefits that are not often discussed.

elephant

As a coach in multiple martial disciplines, I have observed the following benefits:

  • The skills necessary to compete must be evaluated. Draw, transitions, accuracy, speed, shot calling, and movement will need to be identified as a strength or weakness.
  • Measurement of the skills is necessary for improvement. How long does it take to perform a skill? Can I hit the target at a difficult distance? Can I shoot from different positions? Can I call my shot?
  • Planning and scheduling for practice becomes a priority. Focusing on up coming competition encourages daily practice.
  • Visualization programs the mind to perform competently and efficiently. Creating a mental vision of the necessary skills and strategies the required for the match.
  • Competition is a measurement of your actual skill. You will perform at the level of skill you have earned in practice.
  • Letting go of things you cannot control. The only control you have is over yourself, therefore let go of trying,and just perform. Everything else is out of your control.
  • Self reflection and the scores give you a baseline of successes , lessons learned, and a plan of action to improve weak areas.
  • A true comparison of skill against other competitors. If your training program is working you will see improvement relative to your level of commitment.
  • Emotional fortitude is essential. Developing perseverance and detachment in the face of performance pressure is the greatest gift of competition. A feeling of empowerment and self-control that are accessible in your daily life, enabling you to meet adversity with self-reliance.

preparation-is-the-keyThe competition is not as important as the preparation. Competitors measure and train, cyclically, preparing for the best performance and mastery of their skill. Changing your thinking process, planning and designing an effective training program, with a confident evaluation of the actual skill level is the benefit of competing. The defensive shooter would be well served by adopting a similar training process, even if they do not compete. Training is its own reward!

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius

 

In a nut shell…REFER & ATTEND Tiffany Johnson’s NRA Women on Target clinic!

Hi all. I just wanted to share a few things about my weekend spent with Tiffany Johnson of Front Sight Press, Aqil Qadir and their NRA Women on Target clinic.

On Friday, October 12th I drove about 3 hours to Murfreesboro, TN, which is just outside of Nashville, and joined Tiffany and Aqil for an awesome steak dinner and even better conversation.

On Saturday morning I attended their NRA Women on Target clinic held at Aqil’s facility called Citizens Safety Academy. This was a great place, easy to find, plenty of parking and you can tell they take extra time to set up the classroom specific to the course being taught that day. Tiffany lined up extraordinary assistant instructors (AIs) Aqil Qadir, Marvin Smartt and Sherman House to assist her for the day. This was a SOLD OUT class with a total of 10 ladies. If my memory serves me right, I believe there were 6-7 ladies in this class that had never fired a shot….ZERO firearm knowledge. It was a mixture of all ages and levels but everyone had one thing in common…..TO LEARN!

43878432_328387137966545_3900266935438278656_n

I will skip a “step by step” play of the day so I have plenty of time to hit the highlights. I feel these photos speak for themselves of Tiffany’s attention to detail, stellar presentation and successful day!

43950371_357191998353048_2785847265724465152_n  43950776_183628285862784_3810578062563606528_n

Tiffany left NOTHING out of her classroom presentation. The PowerPoint was a mixture of stunning images, movement and information. It was modern, easy to follow and she was outstanding on her delivery and answering questions. She went over everything that was required of her by the NRA and MORE! Remember that this was a FIRST experience with firearms for over half the class and many were apprehensive and even a bit scared. Tiffany was able to put their minds at ease through the depth of her knowledge and her own confidence, mixed with a bit of humor. This is a sign of an outstanding teacher.

43950004_274089859881550_3245922414420295680_n

The drive to the range was beautiful and upon arrival you could tell their attention to detail was not overlooked in the firearm’s portion either. They had a table for each student and the AIs worked like well oiled machines putting up targets, they went over the medial plan, safety rules and expectations were re-visited. Once again, the experience of this team was impressive to say the least.

43878197_1077597942406605_8454512971782029312_n

We started our range experience with dry practicing the fundamentals (including loading mags, seating, chambering, etc) and some “one on one” time with an instructor. This not only helped the ladies with grip, trigger, sights and follow through BUT it helped them understand range verbiage, safety expectations and to trust what they are learning. All the while the coaches were watching and making mental notes on all the important details including how to help each student best. We shot everything from 3 yards, everyone followed directions and everyone learned much.

44025050_320947898461354_8003779394134867968_n  43826575_2122880571095861_3116619507691421696_n

Tiffany concluded the day with some awesome closing statements, thanking her AIs and students for spending their day in the beautiful TN mountains and solid recommendations to continue training/practicing.  They handed out Certificates of Completion and awarded 2 students the honors of the Top Shot Award and the Conqueror Award, which brought many smiles and hugs from classmates.

44062898_488679888295074_8527533574797131776_n    43950713_249801819035104_6390657113038782464_n

It was a fantastic day and I cannot recommend this team of coaches enough. Oh, one more thing to add before I publish this, I paid for this class. Tiffany had no idea that I was going to participate until the registration came through. I went because I wanted to. I wrote this because I wanted to. It was an outstanding clinic and more people need to know about it. Enough said except…in a nut shell…REFER & ATTEND Tiffany Johnson’s NRA Women on Target class!

Shelley Hill

 

 

Here’s your chance…

So here is something different. I was asked to host a live fire class at our Dahlonega range in North Georgia for 12 guys. You would assume, as I did, that it would be a basic shooting class like our Pistol Essentials class. Surprisingly no, it was not for that reason AT ALL!

42961487_2366085996740285_2053463669974499328_n                                                                                   ^ Groom ^

It was for a bachelor party. The goal was bonding, memories, and to offer a unique and memorable “pre-wedding” experience. The Groom is alumni and is from GA but most others in attendance were from the Northeast, New Jersey, and Maryland. With a couple of exceptions , they did not own a firearm, nor did they have any experience with shooting. Daunting to say the least, but also a great opportunity to introduce shooting and safe gun handling to a new audience so here was my chance to make a good “first time shooting” impression!

As always, we started the day making sure waivers and registration forms were completed, moved onto the safety briefing, and then the medical plan which definitely had their undivided attention. You could see that this caused a bit of concern for the first timers with an “Oh crap, what the hell have a got myself into” facial expression.

20180929_153856  20180929_154423

Being immersed in the gun culture, I realize that most of what we teach can be intimidating to the new client. Loading a magazine, or manipulating a slide is a challenging experience for the uninitiated. I started everything in this class from a table start and skipped any holster work completely. We did a great deal of dry practice, forming a base knowledge of how to manipulate the firearm. The fundamentals of grip, trigger, sights, and follow through were the focus of the day. Using the teaching methodology of “explain, demonstrate, practice, and test“, you could easily see that their progress was steady and verifiable. Three hours later everyone was shooting with an acceptable level of competence. They shot a short match on the timer, testing their progress, and I was very pleased to pass out “The Complete Combat Ant” patches to the top three shooters of the day.

As an instructor, you get the privilege of seeing a client’s confidence rise and smiles on faces with a job well done but rarely do you get see so much excitement and enjoyment from an ENTIRE GROUP of shooters, however this was a new and unique experience for most of them. This class had started with a great deal of apprehension, however we finished with new-found confidence. Several clients said that they enjoyed the experience so much that they are going to go to the range when they returned home. Hopefully this changed their perspective, viewing shooting in a more positive light.

42918285_2218260718454405_8343121461656944640_n 42899089_425429001194541_4231173854694735872_n 42987171_905920119609137_7064207306170302464_n

We must use the approach of “winning hearts and minds” allowing others to experience the world of shooting. Never forget we are the emissaries of the shooting world, we must conduct ourselves as such. Never miss an opportunity to work with new shooters as this may be their only chance at a good “first time shooting” experience!