Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

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Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby brian0918 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:43 pm

I'm interested in taking some advanced outdoor defensive training courses in the NE Ohio area. I've gotten my CHL and been to the range a half dozen times since then. I've checked out Three Tango's site, and they have some nice videos, but their setup seems to be just a bunch of targets lined up. Commence Fire in Cleveland looks like they have more obstacles, but it's $45 more (including a required holstering course). How about MOFTA? Any recommendations from personal experience?
Last edited by brian0918 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby TSiWRX » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:49 pm

To wit - all 6 days of Costa's HE01 and HE02 was nothing but targets in a row:

http://rangerat.net/

Does that mean it's any less "advanced?"

8) You get what I'm driving at, right? :wink: :)

I'll be back in a bit to post more. Gotta put the little one to bed and watch some Breaking Bad with the wifey. :D
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby pirateguy191 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:59 pm

Have not been to Commence Fire yet, but I have been to Three Tango. DP-1 is alot of repetition from the draw which is a good thing. We did slice the pie and shoot around a barricade, we shot on the move and we definitely shot under stress. I feel it's a nice progression from "regular" range time. Well worth the time in my opinion.

I'm sure others like Dan and Allen will be along shortly to share their points of view.
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby Atilla » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:12 pm

Haven't been to 3 tango, but I can speak for CommenceFire. They run drills and like any course repetition is a key. CF has a progression of courses with some prerequisites such as a proper holstering course (before 'advanced handgun' 1 and 2 classes) which are for safety and to increase training time available during those classes. I'll be at their AHG1 sept 9, and we will shoot from cover, while moving, at various targets, get timed...and best of all ongoing assessment/input from staff (and classmates). I think any good class will cover all these subjects. I take what we do there, or at CF 'shoot with the instructors' and practice many of the same drills at the range when possible. Putting holes in paper can be a waste of time and money if that's all one is doing.

If time permits, I'd like to try out TDI or 3 tango but for the next 2 months at least, I'm as busy as ever.
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby TSiWRX » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:34 pm

BTW, I should say that the RangeRat.net photo/AAR is not mine. :) That's from a classmate, and he only had time to take that one photo, but it shows how our days were set up, both for Handgun Employment 01 and HE02.

Yes, Commence FireARMs Academy has a lot of props, and that's definitely a good thing: barricades with irregular portals, steel of varying sizes, as well as other challenging targets makes the day definitely much more interesting and fun - those extra dollars? I think it's worth it, I really do think that the CFA crew puts every cent back into their business.

But are these props necessary, for the instruction?

I don't necessarily think so.

What it really comes down to is that shooting is shooting. The skills need to be transferred from the instructors to the students, and this can be done just as effectively with a real brick wall as the barricade as it can be with two target uprights designated as the same. Paper doesn't offer the instant feedback of steel, but does it still print your hits (or misses :oops: ), sure it does.

I haven't taken any of Chris Cerino's civilian manipulations courses, but I did go through both of his Pistol Enhancement Clinics this past winter. We were shooting indoors, close-range, and most of it was static. But did it help me become a better shooter? You bet: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=58343&p=4081538&hilit=cerino#p4081538

Sure, Three Tango's classes may not have the fancy props, but it does hit the fundamentals very, very well. The bang-for-buck ratio is extremely high, especially with students getting a half-off discount for any classes they wish to repeat. The "simulated stress-fire" and introduction to angular search is worth the half-tuition to repeat his beginner-level class, and the intermediate-level class is highly rigorous in skill-set.

And that's not to take anything away from Commence Fire, either - it's hard for me to get the right "tone" over the Errornet, but trust me when I say, with absolute sincerity, that what I said above should not be taken to have *any* negative connotations about CFA's instructors or operation. Their instructor-to-student ratio is probably the best that anyone will ever see, and they run it as a well-oiled machine. And again, for the sheer joy of the props. :) You know where your money went.

Each of these local schools and instructors have something unique to offer (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=59279&hilit=tango , viewtopic.php?f=11&t=58467&hilit=tango , and viewtopic.php?f=16&t=55933&hilit=tango :arrow: these three threads are among the ones where I've written a bit more about both CFA and TT), and I really would heartily endorse all of them.

Did I learn tons from Bob Vogel and Chris Costa? I won't deny that I did, and I won't deny that their courses are among the most rigorous I've attended, so far.

But our locals really do put on quite the curriculum, and they're definitely worth studying under and repeating to hone your skills.

Round count. Props. Class duration.

These are all secondary. The real importance is how well they transfer their skills and knowledge to you. All you need is a target, a gun, and some ammo. :)
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby TSiWRX » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:37 am

I wanted to come back and add/elaborate :arrow:

Some schools/instructors make a big deal about round count. I see it both ways.

Like Atilla said above, there's something to be said for repetition. Both in terms of repetition of the skill being taught as well as in terms of how to coordinate that with what's happening with your gun. That takes ammo. Yes, some instructors/schools are very religious about making every shot count: one or two shot drills are not uncommon - but at the same time, there is also validity in having the student shoot at least 4 to 6 rounds with each weapon presentation: some errors are not evident until more shots are on-target, especially for more experienced shooters (the "Tigerstripe Drill" video on the Haley Strategic YouTube Channel, with Ron Avery running Travis Haley, is a perfect example - Travis doesn't start to come apart until he's really hammering out the rounds).

Similarly, yes, I do think that there's a true benefit to multi-day classes. It's not just about having the time to really delve into the skills being taught, but also in that format's ability to have the students *really* take the skills and make it their own. But at the same time, intense-focus half-day or even two-hour classes can also both really sharpen one's skill-set as well as be a really good way to confer a limited number of new skills.

And props? I won't lie and say that I don't like shooting steel. I love the instant feedback, and reactive steel is just so much challenge. :) But is it necessarily something that I'll look for in a class? not really. Look at many of the top-tier trainers and what their "traveling" classes consist of, and you'll usually see just what Nick posted on RangeRat for the Costa classes (see more class photos at Nino Granzotti's gallery - http://ninogphoto.com/p495402214) - a target (i.e. The Grey Group Vickers 2-day Handgun AAR or the Advanced Combat Pistol AAR on the Firearms Training and Tactics Forum). The 1911Addicts.com class with Bob Vogel? Again, it was pretty much just a set of targets. Barricades and positions can both be taught with only minimal props, and what's typically available at the range, target stands/uprights and cardboard, are really usually all that's needed to construct something makeshift and will do just as well, for the purpose, as something more elaborate. Certainly, some well-constructed stuff can really add quite a bit more depth to the experience, but is it necessary for the success of the students and proper knowledge/skill-transfer? I honestly don't think so.

One thing that we do lack, local to NE-Ohio, is a school with the facilities of TDI down in southern Ohio.

^ And that leads me to my final point....

What are you looking for, in your training?

What we currently have in the area - and what's taught mostly in traveling classes - are "manipulations" based.

For tactics, I'd really think that you'd need to hit a school that has some solid facilities, like TDI, Thunder Ranch, Academi (Blackwater), TigerSwan, etc.

Manipulations is the critical fundamental. I've yet to take a Redback One course, but I love their motto: "Subconscious weapons manipulation, cold and on-demand." 8) But if you're good-to-go on manipulations, I'd spend my money simply accumulating the necessary "prerequisites" at one of the larger schools that has facilities, and go from there.

That said, I also believe that one can never have too much manipulations practice, and that these relatively low-priced local courses we enjoy here in the NE-Ohio region are a great way for even advanced shooters and competition shooters to keep in-practice.
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby brian0918 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:36 am

Thanks for all the feedback. Since I've only just gotten my CHL and been the the range a handful of times, I'm probably looking for more basic training (despite the post title I used). I checked the various online schedules, and Three Tango was the only one that showed an available upcoming course, so I'm signed up for their Sept 8th Defensive Pistol I. In the future I'll check out the other locations that were recommended. Thanks!
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby TSiWRX » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:58 am

^ No problem! Have fun! :)

IIRC, CFA also has upcoming courses available - but I don't know if you've already completed their pre-requisite holster course?

Sadly, I don't think Cerino is offering any civilian handgun classes this year. :(
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby Quack » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:36 pm

brian0918 wrote:Thanks for all the feedback. Since I've only just gotten my CHL and been the the range a handful of times, I'm probably looking for more basic training (despite the post title I used).


one thing that i will say is work on your fundamentals by dry firing and use the range time as productive range time.
It might sound cool unloading a magazine as fast as you can, but it means nothing if you can't get your hits.
Don't rush, work on your fundamentals and the speed will come.
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby brian0918 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:19 pm

Quack wrote:
brian0918 wrote:Thanks for all the feedback. Since I've only just gotten my CHL and been the the range a handful of times, I'm probably looking for more basic training (despite the post title I used).


one thing that i will say is work on your fundamentals by dry firing and use the range time as productive range time.
It might sound cool unloading a magazine as fast as you can, but it means nothing if you can't get your hits.
Don't rush, work on your fundamentals and the speed will come.

Oh definitely! The ammo is too expensive (for me) to be spraying it without any attention to progress. I try to focus on my breathing, holding my aim through the trigger pull, and reacquiring the target between shots.
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby Quack » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:22 pm

another thing is go to the range to practice a specific thing that you want to work on and not 5 different things.
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby MAHG23 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:55 pm

Commence Firearms is the way to go! I just took and advanced 1 class with them this past weekend and it was amazing! There was an instructor for every two students, so we got very good instruction, and safety is most certainly number one to them! To me the extra money was definitely worth it!
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby brian0918 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:01 pm

I ended up taking Three Tango's Defensive Pistol 1 course today. It was pretty rainy all morning but cleared up for the afternoon. I think we all had a great time. Bill and the other instructors were all very helpful, and the time went by pretty fast, though I felt exhausted by the end of it.

The one thing I regret doing was changing my Glock 26's sights the night before. I put new XS Big Dot nightsights on (previously using factory Glock sights), but for some reason my aim was way off the whole time. It was only later that I found out that my rear sight had come loose, and could freely slide left and right. :roll:

On the bright side, when I retrain with them, they'll think my aim has vastly improved. :D
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby Quack » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:27 pm

brian0918 wrote:I ended up taking Three Tango's Defensive Pistol 1 course today. It was pretty rainy all morning but cleared up for the afternoon. I think we all had a great time. Bill and the other instructors were all very helpful, and the time went by pretty fast, though I felt exhausted by the end of it.

The one thing I regret doing was changing my Glock 26's sights the night before. I put new XS Big Dot nightsights on (previously using factory Glock sights), but for some reason my aim was way off the whole time. It was only later that I found out that my rear sight had come loose, and could freely slide left and right. :roll:

On the bright side, when I retrain with them, they'll think my aim has vastly improved. :D


center the sight and use green loctite.
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Re: Good advanced training in NE Ohio?

Postby TSiWRX » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:29 pm

brian0918 wrote:I ended up taking Three Tango's Defensive Pistol 1 course today. It was pretty rainy all morning but cleared up for the afternoon. I think we all had a great time. Bill and the other instructors were all very helpful, and the time went by pretty fast, though I felt exhausted by the end of it.


Hey, at least you didn't almost pass out in the middle of class. :lol:

I thought about you guys today - and thought what a great day it would have been to shoot...alas, my daughter's school/social and our family schedule is pretty tight for the month. I couldn't make CFA's class tomorrow, either, for the same reasons.

I truly believe that the physical/mental exhaustion is something that you get from getting fed from a fire-hose. It's one of the reasons why I like to repeat classes. There's no way my brain can process everything that's taught in those few hours.

The one thing I regret doing was changing my Glock 26's sights the night before. I put new XS Big Dot nightsights on (previously using factory Glock sights), but for some reason my aim was way off the whole time. It was only later that I found out that my rear sight had come loose, and could freely slide left and right. :roll:

On the bright side, when I retrain with them, they'll think my aim has vastly improved. :D


^ :lol:

Quack shot Costa's HE01 with a gun that he'd also just put new rear sights on and had not really gotten a feel for. It took him a couple of evolutions before he got back on it. :) You guys who bring new equipment to classes, you are definitely more brave than I am! :)
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