Thirty six hours have passed since I left your Handgun Level I-III course. A number of people have asked me about it. I just shake my head and summarize by saying that it was amazing and far exceeded my high expectations. As I told you, I have been a casual target shooter for over thirty years. Within one hour of being on the range, I realized that I have been doing virtually everything wrong for this entire time! My son, who also attended, agreed with me. I apologized to him for teaching him how to shoot – all wrong!
There is no question that I will have to spend many hours unlearning my bad habits and developing the muscle memory to shoot properly. Bill Posey had previously told me that he took the course several times. I wondered why anyone would repeat any course multiple times. Now I understand. I will be doing the same thing. Although the lessons learned on the range were outstanding. The classroom and field presentations were equally valuable. As in most endeavors, understanding and mindset are always key factors to success. The information that you and the other instructors shared was invaluable. As I mentioned, I have been a target shooter (and rifle hunter) for many years. I thought that I was prepared for self dense situations based on that experience. What I learned at TDI was an awakening for me in terms of what I did not know and worse, what I would have done wrong if ever confronted with a dangerous situation.
Prior to the class I was expecting to have two or three instructors working with the class. On the last day, I counted thirteen TDI professionals that had worked with the 32 members of our class. During the three day class I had the opportunity to interact with almost all of them. There were some common traits that I observed with each instructor and each interaction. The experience of all of the instructions was remarkable. There was no question that I was being taught by experts. Not only did they know what they were doing, they knew how to teach proper techniques and especially for me, showed an incredible amount of patience working with me to help me correct my numerous bad habits. I also learned a tremendous amount from them during casual conversations based on their real world experience.
All in all, this three day course was the most intense and worthwhile training activity that I have ever attended. I am in the process of transcribing my notes and attempting to document the techniques that I was taught. Like a pilot, I will use this information as my “pre-fight” training checks list; hoping that I never have to actually use it in an actual incident.
As a final comment, I am involved as a consultant with a company that focuses on public safety interoperable communications. This system can and has saved lives in the US as well as in Afghanistan. Although I receive modest compensation for my efforts (the company is a spinoff of a company I used to run), my reward is knowing that I am helping save lives. I have the sense that you and your colleagues also feel the same way about TDI. Collectively, we are lucky being able to use our experience and give back to others.
Thank you and your colleagues for what you are doing. You will definitely see me and my son again.
Tactical Defense Institute Staff,
I want to express sincere thanks to the men and women at TDI for conducting excellent Handgun I, II, III training. As a single mother of 5 children, I bought my first handgun several months ago. If I was going to have a gun in the house, it was very important to me to know how to use it and store it safely. I went into class the first day knowing very little, so I thought I would feel somewhat intimidated. However, everyone was so approachable and open to any and all questions that I wasn’t intimidated at all.
The instructors at TDI did an excellent job of teaching me how to safely handle a handgun, starting with the very basics. The classroom instruction covered all of the questions I had regarding law and gun rights. Then, on the range we learned the basics of how to safely hold, load, holster and shoot. I thought I knew how to safely load and shoot going in, but it turns out that I was doing it incorrectly. Part of the training was not only showing us what to do, but what not to do, which is very important.
After the basics were down, TDI went above and beyond… We ran through different scenarios to learn how to ‘clear’ our home (or other buildings), how to protect ourselves in real-life scenarios, and how to shoot, re-load, and clear any malfunctions in our handguns while walking… something I never thought I would be able to do.
The instructors are extremely alert to safety issues, so I felt completely safe the entire time. I left feeling competent and capable of how to safely protect myself and my family. The experience and knowledge of the TDI staff is beyond compare. Thank you for such a wonderful experience. I would highly recommend your classes to anyone.
I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to you, and all the TDI instructors. When I got the call that I had been selected for the first class I was excited and nervous. I did not want to make a fool out of myself. When we began early Monday morning I knew I was in the right place. I absorbed all the information you were presenting to us. I felt comfortable and safe during all of our lectures, range time, and live scenarios.
What you have created in TDI is an outstanding place for learning and training in a very specialized skill set. You and all your instructors are very approachable and willing to share your knowledge. You answered all questions that were asked by the group and even expanded when the opportunity was right. I am proud to say that I was part of the Pilot teacher program. Thank you for the guidance and opportunity to be trained by the best. I wish you continued success and hope more teachers have the chance to learn from TDI.
In January 2013, the Board of Education passed a resolution authorizing certain individuals to conceal carry on school premises. Although I am in total support of this decision, as the superintendent, I knew that there was a lot of work that needed to be done before this actually became a reality. The first thing I did was call my local police chief, Jeff Lehman, and asked for help. He suggested we have TDI come up to Williams County to conduct a 2 day active shooter training course, so that’s what we did.
The 2 days (March 2 and 3, 3013) spent with TDI were invaluable to my comprehensive plan of arming school employees. It’s one thing to carry a firearm at school. It’s another thing to know what to do with it. The training was practical and intense and provided a structural framework on how to assess, engage, and neutralize a threat in a school setting. The scenarios developed by TDI allowed us to train and practice what may be encountered in an active shooter situation.
The trainers were honest and insightful and made sure we corrected our mistakes. They pushed us to improve and get better. The staff at TDI was second to none. The expertise each of these gentlemen brought to the training was tremendous. When I learn something, I want to be taught by the best. I have not been through extensive tactical training, but I can attest that TDI has to be among the best. I would recommend them to any organization that wishes to be better prepared to handle an active shooter situation.
Dr. Jamison J. Grime
MONTPELIER EXEMPTED VILLAGE SCHOOLS
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Edgerton High School
I was at the active killer training in Edgerton, OH this past weekend. I wanted to thank you for the superior training that was offered. I was very impressed with the depth of knowledge of all the trainers. I learned a massive amount of information in a short period of time. Each and every trainer/member of TDI that was involved this weekend was very professional, friendly, and an excellent teacher. I never felt self-conscious about asking a question or needing more help with a skill, they were all very patient and helpful. It was nice to train along side police officers in the area. They were able to jump in and help with good suggestions and share their experiences. It helped me to see things from the police point of view. Thanks again and keep up the good work. I would love to be able to do this again and sharpen the skills that I was introduced to this past weekend.
Edgerton High School
Oct 29th, 2010
Active Killer-Shooter Training
I have finally sat down to compile all my notes from the class this past weekend. Before I get into how much I liked the class you had said that you could email the curriculum that was in the class. I have tried to write in order and comprehend all that I have wrote down but alas…some people are meant to work with their hands and others dictation….I am of the group that works best with my hands… Would that be a problem for you to email me this outline so I can best put all this in my head? Now on to the good stuff!
When I signed up for the class I was a little concerned that it would be a compellation of handgun…ECQ….and other things I had already taken at TDI. You told me that it wasn’t and I took your word as I have always thought you as a very straight shooter. You were spot on as usual!
From the lectures on getting into the mind of the active shooter /terrorist to the bomb detection and construction of IED’s to the advanced shooting tactics and I couldn’t leave out the mass force on force attacks and live fire tactics. All eye opening tactics and showing the realization that this training is necessary and a viable solution to this type of encounter. I will highly recommend this to CCW folks,Leo’s ,Military ,and anyone interested in surviving and prevailing in these now all to common and extremely violent events in are society
October, 27th 2010 Student Writes from Overseas
I’ve attached a picture of the 34th Grandmaster of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu with a cane that I purchase from you while at your class back in June of 2010, he was very pleased with the cane. I look forward to seeing you again in 2011.
10-25-2010 Handgun V
To John and the rest of the staff at TDI,
I just wanted to thank all of you for the great training and the great atmosphere at this year’s handgun 5. As always, it was a pleasure attending your facility and getting to train with the consummate professionals there. Even though we don’t have any carry privileges here inIllinois, the classes have taught me a new way to pay attention to the world around me while I’m out unarmed. You stress “know your world” and that applies at all times. So, even though the classes are titled tactical handgun, they are just as effective as simple tactical awareness.
I would also like to mention that the classes, even at their most intense, are about as much fun as a person can have.
Handgun 5 was just over a week ago and we are already looking forward to 6 next year.
June 8, 2010 Letter From a Student
John and Staff,
Having just completed training there last weekend, I’ve had a few days to reflect and practice. First, I can’t begin to tell you how much that weekend meant to me (and I’m sure others). Your staff is by far and away the best I’ve ever seen or had the good fortune to be around. They are SO positive and complimentary that every minute was a pleasure, even when you knew you were screwing up.
The techniques and fundamentals were excellent. Having experienced other shooting and training, I can say without doubt or hesitation that this is the best I’ve seen. The only true way to prove that is to keep coming back and learning more. I’ve got some medical hurdles to clear over the next months, but your class and the future ones I’m signed up for now and in the future remain a wonderful positive goal for me to look forward to.
Please extend my deepest thanks to your staff for a great job. And John, you were especially understanding and helpful. See you in August for the tactical rifle class.
9-13-2010 Letter About Our Concealed Carry Course
I felt compelled to write to you about the Advanced Concealed Carry class my wife and I just completed there at T.D.I. As you know, Amy and I have completed handgun 1-5 there, as well as Tactical Rifle-I. When we discussed the Advanced Concealed Carry(A.C.C.) class, I wasn’t certain that the course would make a lot of sense for us, having had handgun 4 & 5. We decided to go ahead and take it, and the two of us are SO glad we did! Having had several of your courses, we’d come to expect a well-organized, thoughtful, curriculum. A.C.C. is a fundamentally necessary class for ANYONE who carries a concealed firearm. There was not a single part of the class that either of us felt was redundant for us, despite our other courses. While I am clearly trying, I cannot put into words how useful this class was to us. Due to our business being at high-risk for criminal attack, we carry concealed firearms at all times, and it is amazing to us how much we learned and improved over those two days. As always, the instructors were ALL exemplary, but I really have to comment on the lead instructor for this class, David Bowie. To simply say that David did a “good job” with this course would be a serious understatement. I am deeply impressed with David’s ability to teach. It is amazing to watch him stay “ON” the entire weekend as he leads an entire class, each with unique circumstances and needs, through the course. Not for a second did he let up, slow down, nor cut corners. Like all the TDI Instructors, one can easily tell that David cares DEEPLY that if we’re ever faced with a threat, we’re not only ready to face it, but equipped to WIN. I think as regular students of TDI we’ve come to expect such a high level of professionalism that, perhaps, we may forget what it takes to maintain that. The fact is, David worked 10 times harder than any of us, and he maintained that pace all weekend. Advanced Concealed Carry is not a class that ANYONE, law enforcement or citizen, can afford to skip if they carry a concealed firearm. We both learned a GREAT DEAL, and have even discussed taking the course again next year. OUTSTANDING!
Joe & Amy Barrett
“Trigger Time” 55KRC THE Talk Station
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