Clandestine Carry Pistol AAR
Six of us attended Johns Clandestine Carry pistol class. This class was modified by John at the request of the host to focus on the hand to hand techniques and force on force iterations. [Actually, as I mentioned to the host, it was an easy mod, since it more closely followed the actual POI, just in a streamlined and compressed format. –JM] All of the students except one have trained with John at least once prior and two or three have taken 5-6 classes prior to this one [with me, specifically. The host has trained with a metric shit ton of trainers beyond me –JM]. We had 2 students who were 6’2″ or 3″ and about 200lbs, 2 students that were 5’8″ and 260lbs, one student that was 5′ 5″ and a chiseled 150lbs [former collegiate wrestler at a powerhouse wrestling college no less –JM]and one student that was 5’11” 220 lbs. Age range was 25-45 or so. You’ll see why this is important to know later.
Day 1 started with some basic gun handling with focus on grip, 4 count draw stroke and firing from 2 and 3. It was a good refresher and after lunch we moved inside a large building to begin learning some personal defense techniques. I can’t express to you how GRATEFUL I am that we were able to be indoors on a wrestling mat. The rest of the day was spent learning the fence, helmet, dive and arm drag technique. We practiced these slow to get the motions right and then we did it full speed (or tried) to see how it worked in a live situation. Our collective asses were dragging at the end of the day.
Day 2 was dedicated mostly to fighting our way into a more dominant position. John did a great job of explaining the positional hierarchy and how gaining a better position, however small can lead to a win. He also explained and demonstrated how in real life its never pretty and sometimes being in a position where the other party may have you crushed under their weight its not all bad as long as they aren’t able to do serious damage to you from that particular position.
At one point we went full speed with the attacker striking full-force with boxing gloves, but the defender using only the combatives grappling methods we’d learned, with everyone getting a chance to go at each other including John. It was interesting to note that the different body types forced you to change strategy. Full speed scenarios also reiterated the FACT that you will only rise to the level of training you have mastered. I’m not bragging when I say that I was probably the strongest person there at least from the chest up but rather pointing out that I still got my ass WORKED by several of the other students including the ex-collegiate wrestler who weighed 150lbs.
Day 3 ROCKED THE EFFIN HOUSE!!!! It was almost all full contact with UFC gloves masks and G17 sims guns. Everyone carried concealed at AIWB. We put a pair of fighters on the mat while everyone else watched, critiqued, roared with laughter and dodged incoming rounds. Everyone won some and everyone lost some and EVERYBODY left some blood on the mat. Some more than others. We saw some draw fumbles, mags drop from guns, people draw to soon, draw to late, out of battery guns from contact, disarmed and shot etc. All of us went at least a half dozen times or more with varying partners.
Some observations from my perspective. Its much harder than you think to get your gun into the fight from concealment when the other guy is less than 10′ or so. Action is always faster than reaction. Speed, surprise and violence of action really is key (Right, John?). You have to commit 110%. Just because you’re on your back does NOT mean you lose. In fact, depending on the position you may have the advantage. Being on the top does not mean you own them. I literally had a gun stuck up the crack of ass. Fortunately for me my adversary had mercy and did not pull the trigger. I was very happy with most of my draw strokes (I did fumble a couple) and I feel I did very well in the accuracy under stress department. I can say without a doubt that that has direct correlation to my dry-fire practice sessions over the years. So, again master the skills and you WILL perform well.
To sum it up this class was hard, and at times painful but that’s the reason it was so instructive. There is NO substitute for full contact training. If you’ve never gone full speed with another dude trying to kick your ass then you have NO clue. Your paradigm WILL shift.