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Posts Tagged ‘Alias Training and Security Services’

Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

By now most of us are probably sick of hearing or seeing posts about the recent negligent discharge. Surprised or not, safety is the top priority in any high risk training evolution.

It’s high risk for a reason

I don’t feel the need to regurgitate the incident, suffice it to say it was pretty stupid and I’m glad no one was hurt. The other day I was catching up with my good friend Pat Rogers and we were discussing the subject of negligent discharges. It is a very real possibility in firearms training classes and as instructors we have an obligation to ensure the safest training environment possible. Incidents like the one mentioned above are preventable by avoiding stupid behavior. The hard part is when your instructor is exhibiting the stupid behavior…ugh. My sincere hope is folks can look at this incident and see it for what it is, reckless and unnecessary. Learn from it and move on, focus on proper behavior during high risk training.

Set expectations early and often

Let’s pretend we live in a world where stupid shit like this doesn’t happen, or at least too often. As an instructor I set the tone early on for the expectations I have for our students while in class. It is clear and consistent from class to class because it is part of our programming and I hope it becomes a part of theirs once they leave. I truly believe if you hold your students to a higher standard, they will work tirelessly to meet the standard. From there we evaluate all training to determine it’s level of risk as well as ways to mitigate those risks. Sometimes, it means eliminating the risk completely as the best course of action. Next, we try to use redundant safety features where possible to minimize the known risks and even mitigate unknown risks that may pop up at times.

Begin with the end in mind

Safety briefing should be conducted and questions asked to ensure everyone knows their responsibility and what to do if the worse case should happen along with appropriate medical gear readily available. This type of training has inherent risks so creating a pre-mishap plan will help to expedite things should they go sideways. When a safety violation is committed it is important to deal with it at that moment and as a class. I can promise you, there are probably more of the same safety violations being committed and you are just not seeing them. So, it benefits explaining and addressing the situation as a group. If the same safety violation is committed by multiple students you need to evaluate your methods and your delivery of expectations as they are probably being overlooked.

Model behavior

As a student the best thing you can do is pay attention, pay attention to the details. I will be brutally honest; you cannot multi-task. If the instructor is briefing, listen! Don’t be loading magazines, trying to replicate the movements or wondering what’s for dinner. Stay focused during those moments and if you are unsure of what is expected ask for clarification. The worse possible thing you can do is try to argue over safety. The fastest way to be shown the door is when you try to save face or deny any wrong doing so own up to it if you make a mistake. The last thing I would add is look out for one another, don’t let someone do something dumb on the range because they are not paying attention or had a brain fart. Each class has the opportunity for failures, but also successes because we are helping one another. These are but a few considerations regarding safety, but it seems with the current incidents we have had it might be a good time to review them.

Safety is free; pay attention, know what you are doing and ask questions when unclear.

– Jeff Gonzales
Trident Concepts, LLC

Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts, LLC is a decorated and respected U.S. Navy SEAL who has worked in a variety of environments and capacities throughout the globe. He specializes in personal protection tactics and training for armed and unarmed conflicts. His motto is “Concepts that meet reality”. Jeff’s goal is not simply to train you, but to better prepare you for the worst-case scenario.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn, they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Plateaus in training suck. I write often here on ways to bridge gaps and come off of plateaus but I do not always follow my own advice.

One course of fire I run in nearly all of my courses is a fifty yard, four position rifle shoot on IPSC targets. Five shots are taken from each position of standing, kneeling, sitting and prone. The shoot is timed and penalties are one second added for ‘C’ zone and head, two seconds added for ‘D’ zone shots and five seconds added for misses.

My wheel house, or plateau, was 25. For years! This is usually better than most in my classes but I accepted it as my normal. I knew that if I burned it down in 18 seconds, I would throw six or seven shots into the ‘C’ zone. I was accepting mediocrity in my personal performance because by way of comparison, it was still a rockin score.

Last week in California, nursing a bad knee and elbow, I switched mental strategy. I turned off my analytical mind and switched from thinking mode to trusting mode. One’s body works well enough. It’s our minds that get in the way and distort one’s ability to perform at the next level.

I shot a 19.8 with two seconds penalty for a 21.8. Now the Roger Bannister effect has consumed me. Pretty sure I will break 20 in the next week or so.

If you haven’t shot this before, you should try it. Love to hear some scores. BTW, anything under 35 in total score is pretty good. Sub 30 is bad ass.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Larry Vickers

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Anyone taking home defense seriously needs to take a serious look at the firearm they plan on using, where they store it, the Ammo they have available for it, and realistic transport and reload scenarios. Take a very hard look at these as well as any other issues that are specific to your situation. This can help you decide what type makes the most sense for you. A perfect example is a home defense shotgun; depending on the weapon reloading it under stress may not be a good option. Think it thru and figure out what works best for you.

-Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
Host of TacTV

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Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical is a retired US Army 1st SFOD-Delta combat veteran with years of experience in the firearms industry as a combat marksmanship instructor and industry consultant. In recent years he has hosted tactical firearms related TV shows on the Sportsman Channel with the latest being TacTV of which Bravo Company is a presenting sponsor. Larry Vickers special operations background is one of the most unique in the industry today; he has been directly or indirectly involved in the some of the most significant special operations missions of the last quarter century. During Operation Just Cause he participated in Operation Acid Gambit – the rescue of Kurt Muse from Modelo Prison in Panama City, Panama. As a tactics and marksmanship instructor on active duty he helped train special operations personnel that later captured Saddam Hussein and eliminated his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. In addition he was directly involved in the design and development of the HK416 for Tier One SOF use which was used by Naval Special Warfare personnel to kill Osama Bin Laden. Larry Vickers has developed various small arms accessories with the most notable being his signature sling manufactured by Blue Force Gear and Glock accessories made by Tangodown. In addition he has maintained strong relationships with premium companies within the tactical firearms industry such as BCM, Aimpoint, Black Hills Ammunition, Wilson Combat and Schmidt & Bender.

Larry Vickers travels the country conducting combat marksmanship classes for law abiding civilians, law enforcement and military and has partnered with Alias Training to coordinate classes to best meet the needs of the students attending the class.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer us some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Going fast and being accurate are not mutually exclusive. Everyone likes to think so, but they are independent skill sets.

Assumptions…

Marksmanship fundamentals are one of the most talked about subjects, but most misunderstood. Being a marksman means you hit what you are aiming at on command. The moment speed comes into the equation many folks have difficulty because their marksmanship fundamentals are lacking. We make certain assumptions in our Concealed Carry class, assumptions based on marksmanship prerequisites. We are not there to teach them as much as apply them under concealed conditions.

The reluctant truth

What I am discovering is fundamentals are lacking more than I might like to admit. Then I’m forced to acknowledge we either do something about it or allow countless rounds to go downrange reinforcing bad habits. I choose to do something about it so in a sense we have to “lift lite to lift heavy”. What I mean is simply focusing on fundamentals from both a knowledge and application point of view. You have to have the knowledge of sight management, trigger management and follow through. These are the known and non-negotiable concepts for marksmanship. We have started to cover the fundamentals in every class in an effort to break the cycle.

It’s all in the technique

I love lifting philosophies and the one I mentioned above is a great example. The way we interpret it is you may want to lift the heavy weight, but you probably should lighten the bar and focus on your technique so you can eventually lift heavier. So how do we lighten the bar when it comes to shooting. We slow down, but slowing down is not the best way to describe the process. Instead what you need to do is perform each of the movements and actions at a speed you can execute them flawlessly. The tough part is forcing folks to go slow enough so we borrow a drill from the lifting world called a “tempo” drill.

Precise micro tasks

Nothing fancy about this, each action of firing a shot has a prescribed time limit or tempo you are to perform it within. A good example is the drawstroke, we ask the students to take 4 seconds to come from the holster to the target. Not fire the shot, not even align their sights, but move the pistol from the holster to the target. In this time period we are looking to see how precise their movements are and rather than rush them into making mistakes we give them plenty of time to do it correctly. The beauty of this drill is it eliminates the ego, it is no longer about speed. It is about how precise you can execute this micro-task; which sets you up for the correct application of the next micro task; sight management and so on.

Knowledge base

I feel too much emphasis is placed on speed and I see many students who move faster than they are able to guarantee their hits. If you move so fast you miss your shot, it really doesn’t matter. The tempo drill is harder than it sounds because you now have the opportunity to “think” your way through all the tasks and thinking requires the knowledge part. Remembering all the little details when you have the time challenges your knowledge base for sure. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are or think you are, using a tempo to execute a micro task is about the precision of your movements.

Just like in the lifting world, many students are interested in their speed or how heavy they lift. They should be more interested in the precision of their movements, in this case marksmanship fundamentals.

– Jeff Gonzales
Trident Concepts, LLC

Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts, LLC is a decorated and respected U.S. Navy SEAL who has worked in a variety of environments and capacities throughout the globe. He specializes in personal protection tactics and training for armed and unarmed conflicts. His motto is “Concepts that meet reality”. Jeff’s goal is not simply to train you, but to better prepare you for the worst-case scenario.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn, they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

We all deteriorate… to some degree, over time. Failing eyes, or Presbyopia, usually occurs beginning at around age 40, when people experience blurred near vision when reading, sewing or working at the computer. Mine was at 45.

A very common question that I receive on the range is related directly to presbyopia, to which I have an answer. But first, a few options are a site adjustment. For example, I recently switched optics to include an EOTech 3X multiplier behind my T2 on my carbine. I train with fiber optics on the range during the day, and use Trijicon’s HDs or Tough and Brights on my EDCs. Many have switched to a red dot such as an RMR on their pistol. The red dots, to me, can be seen with absolute clarity despite my poor reading vision, but I dare not carry one on the range. I would rather suffer with blurry sites than to appear to have a mechanical advantage while I am teaching; I am still going to knock the center of the target out. When red dots become more of the norm, than they are right now, I will no doubt, be riding that train.

So, I guess my answer to those who ask is, deal with it and figure it out.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

Pat McNamara

Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

Gunfighter Moment – Larry Vickers

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

Given the current situation in the industry with red dot sights I get people asking me everyday on what Aimpoint optic I recommend.

Being a long time user of Aimpoints red dot sights and a brand ambassador for the company I have had a chance to use everything they make. If money is no object then I recommend the Micro T-1/T-2/H-1/H-2 series. They are the top of the line in my book.

If you are watching the budget then I recommend the Patrol Rifle Optic. For the money spent it is superb.

Hopefully this helps you pick what Aimpoint optic works best for you. In my considerable experience, and I am admittedly biased, Aimpoint red dot sights are without peer; very simply the finest money can buy.

-Larry Vickers
Vickers Tactical Inc.
Host of TacTV

20130202-083903.jpg

Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical is a retired US Army 1st SFOD-Delta combat veteran with years of experience in the firearms industry as a combat marksmanship instructor and industry consultant. In recent years he has hosted tactical firearms related TV shows on the Sportsman Channel with the latest being TacTV of which Bravo Company is a presenting sponsor. Larry Vickers special operations background is one of the most unique in the industry today; he has been directly or indirectly involved in the some of the most significant special operations missions of the last quarter century. During Operation Just Cause he participated in Operation Acid Gambit – the rescue of Kurt Muse from Modelo Prison in Panama City, Panama. As a tactics and marksmanship instructor on active duty he helped train special operations personnel that later captured Saddam Hussein and eliminated his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. In addition he was directly involved in the design and development of the HK416 for Tier One SOF use which was used by Naval Special Warfare personnel to kill Osama Bin Laden. Larry Vickers has developed various small arms accessories with the most notable being his signature sling manufactured by Blue Force Gear and Glock accessories made by Tangodown. In addition he has maintained strong relationships with premium companies within the tactical firearms industry such as BCM, Aimpoint, Black Hills Ammunition, Wilson Combat and Schmidt & Bender.

Larry Vickers travels the country conducting combat marksmanship classes for law abiding civilians, law enforcement and military and has partnered with Alias Training to coordinate classes to best meet the needs of the students attending the class.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer us some words of wisdom.

Alias Training & Security Services Welcomes Bob Vogel

Monday, December 7th, 2015

  
Alias Training & Security Services would like to give Bob Vogel a warm welcome. Bob has joined our line-up of world class instructors for 2016. Classes are already up and available for sign-up. If you are interested in hosting a class, let them know.

aliastraining.com
Robert Vogel is a 3-time World and 20-time National Champion Practical shooter. He is classified as a USPSA Grand master and IDPA Distinguished Master class shooter. He has won recent IPSC & IDPA World Titles, and many IDPA & USPSA National, Area, and State championships with over 90+ major match victories. He is the current IDPA World & National champion in the Stock Pistol Division. Robert also has twelve years of Law Enforcement experience serving as a patrol officer, SWAT, and firearms instructor and remains a reserve officer. He is the only Law Enforcement Officer ever to achieve what he has in the competitive realm. He is quite simply one of the finest handgun shooters in the world.

Gunfighter Moment – Jeff Gonzales

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

I think it’s safe to say the majority of the American citizenry does not expect violence. This mentality has lead to a weakening of not just our societal norms, but our national security.

Why bother

I can sit here and pontificate on how screwed up our government is, how one sided our media is and how “sheepish” the masses are, but it really isn’t going to fix the problem we face. Sure, there have been a few converts who have moved away from the dark side, but the efforts are largely wasted. If you finally realize you need to take your personal safety more serious forgive me if I don’t jump for joy. I don’t want to be all doom & gloom here, I would rather be matter of fact. What would the majority of those who already know we are at war gain value from, what really matters to their survival?

Hierarchy of needs

I’m a big believer in biology. In my opinion it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why, it is the survival of our species. Why are men attracted to certain women and women attracted to certain men? Eliminate the touche-feelie crap and it boils down to procreation, the continuation of our species. Breaking it down even further, survival has a lot to do with mindset. In this day an age, the majority of grass eaters have forgotten or have no idea the importance of survival and how to ensure their own, much less their family’s. It is really quite sad, but in the end your survival depends on your mindset, skill set and the tools at your disposal.

Be prepared

Mentally preparing for unplanned violence requires only it’s acknowledgment to get the proverbial ball rolling. If at a fundamental level you can acknowledge there is the possibility of unplanned violence it makes a huge difference mentally. Once you can look the animal in the eye, it frees you up to prepare. Preparation is key. A good friend of mine was on vacation over Thanksgiving holiday literally a few blocks from the Colorado shooting. In a brief discussion he commented how important preparation was and as the old Boy Scott motto goes, “be prepared” really epitomizes the situation. What have you done to prepare for that or other similar situations. Mental preparation motivates you to then physical prepare in the form of training.

How sharp is your blade

This is where the rubber really meets the road. All your mental preparation will be for not, if you don’t have the physical training to back it up. Unless your control of the Force is Jedi level you will have to fend like the rest of us. In this day an age with the escalation of terrorist threats the two most important training blocks you can obtain are combat marksmanship and concealed carry. Your skill with a firearm must be at the highest level you can obtain, then one more above that. You will never rise to the occasion you will default to your level of training. One of the reasons our standards are so tough is because nothing I do can honestly mimic the stress of real combat. If you have crappy technique based off a crappy program with crappy standards don’t be surprised by your crappy performance. Once your marksmanship skills are honed to a razor’s edge next comes having a firearm on you as often as possible; daily concealed carry. The art of concealing has evolved from the photographers vest of lure so get with the program and spend time perfecting your concealment game. When violence knocks on your door, will you answer with good intentions or hot lead. Once you get this part of the game down it will motivate you to then selecting your gear.

Water, water everywhere

Selecting your gear will be much easier once you have defined your mission. Until then, you are easily swayed by marketing and propaganda rather than truly fulfilling your needs. You also have probably asked yourself if you are fully prepared, could you use this or that or whatever new shiny object is that hits the market. At some point you have to recognize it is a come as you are war. Whatever you brought is all you got so choose wisely. It will either end the fight, allow you to strong point or allow you to move to a safe area or exit. The situation will always dictate. In other words, do you have enough ammunition to put the threat down fast. If not, will you have enough ammunition to keep them at bay while you strong point. If not, will you have enough ammunition to effectively maneuver to cover or an exit. All of the above it is implied your combat marksmanship skills are legit. So, yes, it is a good idea to create your jump bag, go bag or E&E bag whatever you want to call it, but realize you will probably not have it when it counts. You will have to win the fight, to survive, with your daily load out.

In the end, the world is not complicated. It is filled with evil, evil that must be confronted by righteous strength and courage. In the end, some people just need to be killed.

– Jeff Gonzales
Trident Concepts, LLC

Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts, LLC is a decorated and respected U.S. Navy SEAL who has worked in a variety of environments and capacities throughout the globe. He specializes in personal protection tactics and training for armed and unarmed conflicts. His motto is “Concepts that meet reality”. Jeff’s goal is not simply to train you, but to better prepare you for the worst-case scenario.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn, they offer some words of wisdom.