AAR: Talon Defense, Force on Force, Simunitions class.

EliEli Senior MemberPosts: 3,074 Senior Member
This past weekend I had the extreme good fortune to be able to attend a FOF class with Talon Defense.

https://www.facebook.com/TalonDefense.org/events

https://www.facebook.com/TalonDefense.org


This is the third class that I've taken with Talon Defense, and it definitely will NOT be my last. Absolutely fantastic learning environment/teacher.

Like the previous classes that I've taken with Chase, the day started out with a short introduction of the students, a safety brief, and then a really good discussion on the mindset and "attitude" if you will, of fighting another person/persons who also have weapons, and want to hurt you just as much as you don't want to be hurt.

Once out on the range, we started out working on some basic weapons manipulation drills just to get everyone warmed up. After a short period, things started speeding up. We started working on targets that turn to face you for a certain amount of time, the instructor calling out certain numbers (BG photograph target with multiple numbers around the edges), or combinations of numbers that the student had to engage while the target was facing them. He also threw in some mental exercises, depending on which side of the target the number was on, the student moved in that direction while engaging, combinations of numbers meant that the student had multiple things/steps/movements to "figure out" while engaging the target. During all of this we were working HEAVILY on reloads, the idea being to get the student to do their reloads subconsciously, move subconsciously, all the while keeping a clear head and actually THINKING about what we were doing in regards to the threat. Quite stressful, and very effective.

After this class I've gotta say, I'm very happy with my reloads. No, I'm not going to Tomasie the gun back into action, but I didn't screw up a reload all day long......for me, that's progress.

**All photos courtesy of Abner Miranda**


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After lunch, the fun started. The instructors set up three different scenarios for each of the students throughout the rest of the day.

First scenario was the classic "ATM withdrawal" scene. Two suspicious characters, one clearly visible, one you have to look for. I didn't screw the pooch on this one.........I popped a weeks supply of little blue pills and got down with the whole friggin animal shelter. BG1 is by the ATM, BG2 approaches and ask "hey man, got the time?"....you can probably guess where this is going. Like an idiot, I looked at my watch. The instant I did it, I knew that I had screwed up, eyes come back up to BG2, he's a few feet away, coming at me with a knife, I managed to draw and hit him a few times before he got me with the blade (I'm actually pretty proud of that), but his partner lit me up with a Ruger Security Six. The actual answer to that scenario was, when you come around the corner and see shady dudes hanging around the ATM........go to a different ATM. Go figure, huh?


Second scenario was, going back to your car at a gas station (going back into the store was obviously the first option, but we were instructed to go ahead and play the scenario out). You come out of the stop-n-rob to find three dudes standing around their car, which is parked right next to yours. The idea being, once you get in between the two cars, you're screwed. For me, this one involved a whole lot of avoidance, a whole lot of retreating, and some very naughty language. As soon as I took in the situation, I determined that there was no way in hell I was going to get in between the cars. Instead of trying to get into my car, I approached to a still relatively safe distance, and verbally confronted the guys. When they had figured out that I wasn't coming any closer they all started walking towards me. Regardless of verbal commands, they kept approaching, I kept backing up. My gun came out, there's didn't, but they were still approaching. I made the decision to start shooting if one of them moved toward a weapon or if I could get behind cover, whichever came first. Before either of those things happened, the instructor called a halt. Basically they couldn't flank or get behind me and I wasn't allowed to shoot them. Either way, I didn't shoot anyone and I didn't get shot.....I count that one as a win.


The last scenario was the fun one.....it was the one that puts you in the mindset of "sometimes, life just sucks". Scenario is, you're going to pick up your teenage child from the mall. As you're approaching the entrance, several distraught individuals pour out of the doors, panicked, screaming that some guys are fighting, one of them has a knife. You go inside and find that it's your kid that's got the knife, and is stabbing someone on the ground. As I was yelling at "my son" to stop, another person with a gun steps out from behind a corner, also screaming for him to drop the knife. Kid doesn't drop the knife,I yell at the other guy to drop his gun, other guy shoots "my son" and I, of course, light him up. This one actually turned into a running (waddling in my case) gun fight. I got hit once in the left shin, but put most of two magazines (loaded with 5 rounds each) into the other shooter. Once again, even while trying not to get shot, I didn't fumble my reload, I was VERY proud of myself on that one.
Story on this one was, "my son" got jumped by a group of guys that he'd been having problems with at school. He was defending himself. The other guy was a CCW holder that came onto the scene after the main group of BGs had run off, saw one guy stab another guy, told him to drop the knife and the guy didn't, his shot was justified. I just saw some guy shoot "my son", I was completely justified in dropping him. This scenario was designed so that it wasn't really possible to have a happy ending, but rather, it made you think about EVERY single detail in the discussion afterwards.


**All photos courtesy of Abner Miranda**


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This class, more than any other, has validated my carry gear. My method of clearing the cover garments from both the holster and mag pouches. The fact that I REALLY like a hi-viz front sight (the simunition guns had Glock factory sights). It also let me know that I have a "sure" method of reloading, now I just need to work on speeding it up.

On the mindset front: Situational Awareness is paramount. Don't do stupid stuff (like looking at your watch, while a shady character is approaching you). Leaving yourself a way out of places or situations...an escape route, if you will. It also reinforced the fact that you need a lawyer on retainer, and in the event of a shooting, USE THEM! While I was shooting, I knew that I was doing the right thing, but in the discussions afterwards I had trouble articulating exactly why I was pulling the trigger. In a real life situation, I'm sure it'd be a million times harder.

Once again, I've got to give a shout out to Chase Jenkins and Brandon Teague of Talon Defense. A couple of phenomenal instructors. Throughout the class they are constantly keeping an eye on everyone, taking the time to assist individual students if they need it. They encourage questions throughout the entire class. After every few drills there's a "huddle" where each student gets the opportunity to state what they thought was the most important thing they took away from the drill, as well as to ask any questions that they may have. Any question that the student has is answered to the students satisfaction....not only "how", but the "why" as well. Chase is also a very "A way" teacher, instead of a "MY way" instructor. Anything that he shows you how to do, he'll show you what works best for him, and then show other ways of doing the same thing that might work better for other people. We don't live in a cookie cutter world, so this is much appreciated.

As I've said before, I've taken multiple classes with Talon Defense.......and I'll definitely be taking more!

Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,945 Senior Member
    Nice write up :up:

    Sounds like fun AND some good training.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Seems that you had a terrific training session, from your description. The only problem appears to be that big guy who kept hogging the camera view. (ha ha)

    Never had a tactical SD course but a good one is valuable, helps you formulate reaction scenarios should it really go down.

    You were probably told this, but my recommendation... As you replay the lessons in your mind, apply them to a possible real world situation, taking the steps learned, the cautions, the specifics, and create from each item in the class, as if it were a "laboratory experiment", and expand that into a real life scenario, applying the specifics into a "what if" situation.

    Oh, what's the pistol in the first photo? Size of magazine too? Q: Do you find that a hi-cap mag is comfy to wield? I've got an extended length mag for my 1911s and I found it to be clumsy and that it got in my way. I guess I could get used to it but it wouldn't do for concealment. Your thoughts on this? Thanks!

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,737 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Oh, what's the pistol in the first photo? Size of magazine too? Q: Do you find that a hi-cap mag is comfy to wield? I've got an extended length mag for my 1911s and I found it to be clumsy and that it got in my way. I guess I could get used to it but it wouldn't do for concealment. Your thoughts on this? Thanks!

    Glock

    Those are standard mags in the process of being ejected. The slide is locked back and support hand is reaching for a reload while the empty mag is ejecting.

    Multitasking.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Paramount to what you've described (excellent narrative by the way) is situational awareness. This is primary, and perhaps even more critical than being able to hit a target in a tactical situation.

    Well, of course both are essential but in some cases (going to a different ATM as you say) is the preferred action. Regardless, being aware of your surroundings is critical. It can prevent your having to draw & present in the first place.

    What's the basic cost of these classes, by the way?

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    SamW wrote:

    Oh, what's the pistol in the first photo? Size of magazine too? Q: Do you find that a hi-cap mag is comfy to wield? I've got an extended length mag for my 1911s and I found it to be clumsy and that it got in my way. I guess I could get used to it but it wouldn't do for concealment. Your thoughts on this? Thanks!

    ...
    Zed wrote:
    Those are standard mags in the process of being ejected. The slide is locked back and support hand is reaching for a reload while the empty mag is ejecting.

    :that:

    My carry gun (the one in the photo) is a Glock 17, that I've cut the grip to Glock 19 length. The mag in that picture is a standard 17 round magazine, I just happened to be in the middle of a reload when the photo was snapped. I personally don't own any "extended" handgun mags. When I'm carrying the gun, the long mag would be too cumbersome, and when I'm in bed, there's a rifle right next to me.
    SamW wrote:
    What's the basic cost of these classes, by the way?

    Varies widely depending on the instructor and what specific class you're taking. The fee for this class was $175.00, the previous two classes that I've attended with Talon Defense (a basic handgun course and a night time weapons light handgun course) were both $125.00, they are definitely worth the price of admission. I've been shooting since I was four years old. I've owned my own handguns since I was around 12~13. I've learned more about how to effectively and efficiently run a handgun in these three classes, than I have in the last 13 years of shooting on my own.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Hey, Eli, in the various "bad guy" scenarios, were you equipped with a laser-dot pistol or some sort of electronic system for registering hits and misses? Explain if you will, thanks.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    With my severe arthritic condition, I'm restricted to a walker or cane, so any sort of realistic self defense scenario that involves much movement is impossible for me. And in real life, I'm also quite restricted.

    So I do the next best thing and use alternate stances and presentation when shooting from a regular booth on a 50-ft range.

    I move as quickly as I can left or right, and mix up various grips, shooting right and left handed, and also 1 and 2 handed. And I also alternate pistols, the 1911 and the XD. It's the best I can do to provide various situations. I'll fire 3 rounds while at the left wall of the booth, then 3 at the right wall. All are fired at about 25ft, quick fire.

    I however don't usually practice much with reloading a new magazine. You indicate that this is a fairly important aspect and I'm asking whether you think speed would be of the essential in a real life sd situation. I've got 8+1 or 13+1 depending on the pistol I grab, and I kind of wonder whether more shots would be needed "real life".

    I think it has to do with the area and scope of the place you're defending. Does that sound reasonable? For example, someone who lives on a farm or other rural property might face a possible running gunfight. Whereas myself, in an apartment, it's gonna be over, one way or the other, in less than a minute and 9 rounds of .45 +P will either do the job or I'm toast anyway.

    I'd appreciate your feedback on this (and others too) as I would gladly modify my SD practice routines if it were shown to me that, in my small-area defense scenario, that being able to quickly load a fresh mag would be valid.

    I kinda liken my home defense situation as quite similar to the ATM story. You draw & fire and hopefully you deal with the 2 thugs who assault you. But there really may not be much more gunfire after this. At least I'd hope so, and apply this logic to the home defense thing for my particular situation -- the baddies crash my front door, I have the gun out and (perhaps) I shoot, and most likely any not hit will run away -- that's how it normally goes, it seems.

    Of course, if the bad guys get the first effective shot, it really doesn't matter whether I've got zero or six reload magazines at the ready.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate your thoughts, as you're fresh from this excellent training, y'know?

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Hey, Eli, in the various "bad guy" scenarios, were you equipped with a laser-dot pistol or some sort of electronic system for registering hits and misses? Explain if you will, thanks.

    The Simunition (simulated munition) round is a plastic projectile that's filled with a vibrant paint. It is launched by a piston that's pushed forward by a propellant when you pull the trigger. In simple terms, it's like getting shot with one of your CorBon Power Balls that's filled with fluorescent paint.

    fx.jpg

    fx1.jpg

    It isn't tremendously dangerous, but you still must wear protective gear.....they definitely WILL break the skin upon impact. Under a couple of cotton shirts it still stings a bit, but didn't leave any sort of mark......however, 7 days later, I still have a scab on my forearm where I was hit.

    SamW wrote:
    I however don't usually practice much with reloading a new magazine. You indicate that this is a fairly important aspect and I'm asking whether you think speed would be of the essential in a real life sd situation. I've got 8+1 or 13+1 depending on the pistol I grab, and I kind of wonder whether more shots would be needed "real life".

    I have no idea. Statistically speaking, you'd probably be just fine as having a cell phone as your only means of protection. Anything beyond that is just going to stack the odds a little more in your favor.

    Once the gun goes down (be it from a malfunction, or just empty), it's important to ME that it's back up and running as soon as possible. I am very much a believer in luck.....both good and bad. If I'm ever attacked out in public that means a severe string of bad luck has just happened to me. I had the bad luck of not realizing what was going on until it was too late. I had the bad luck of not being able to deescalate the situation. I had the bad luck of not being able to get away from the situation. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if I had the bad luck of having to do a mag swap, once again, be it from a malfunction or running out of ammo.

    Just like I carry a full-size handgun, just like I carry spare mags, just like I carry a knife, just like I carry a flashlight, just like I practice with my carry gun out to (and beyond) 100 meters, I practice doing reloads because........."might need it."
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Excellent commentary, Eli. You have a potential scenario in mind during which you'll need more than that initial mag full, and will have time, hopefully, to reload. Makes perfect sense.

    I'm kinda thinking, for my own situation, is that after I've discharged a full pistol (8 or 14 rounds depending), it things aren't settled yet, I wouldn't have time to reload, as the baddies would be in my apartment and beating me to a pulp (my not having either shot or chased off the invaders).

    Anyway... thanks for the look at the paintball gun. I could see from the pics that everyone was wearing face protection, I shoulda realized the ammo was paint and not lasers.

    I can see some guy hauling out a paint-spattered t-shirt... "I got those wounds in the summer of ought-nine! That's when we were allowed to have fake guns. Nowadays of course the law sez all guns gotta be real."

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,177 Senior Member
    Sam, I understand your infirmities, but one place to consider working out ahead of time is drawing and shooting from flat on your back...entirely conceivable that you could get knocked down...but that shouldn't mean you're out of the fight...you aren't a turtle...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Sam, I understand your infirmities, but one place to consider working out ahead of time is drawing and shooting from flat on your back...entirely conceivable that you could get knocked down...but that shouldn't mean you're out of the fight...you aren't a turtle...

    There's no "drawing" in the mix. I've got my pistols in small carry cases near my recliner or bed, all I have to do is reach into the case and grab the loaded gun. I guess I could wear a holster but then I'd need to add a belt to my normally casual indoor attire of baggy gym shorts and a big floppy t-shirt.

    There are limits as to what measures I will take to be prepared. I suppose I could go around with a pistol in my hand, Barney Fife style, but that would limit my typing and eating, not to mention the bathroom.

    I can retrieve my pistol in a few seconds, and as I say, I'm pretty well practiced in quick fire. If I'm flat on my back this will likely mean that I've been assaulted and the baddies have won -- allowing them to reach me is defeat -- I simply don't have the strength or stamina to resist a brutal frontal assault. It's my objective to "reach out and touch them" first.

    Thankfully I still have good reflexes and I don't scare (or excite) easily, so I can count on remaining calm in a crisis.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    For example, not long ago my car alarm went off at about 2am. I was sitting in my recliner, writing. First thing I did was to reach down and retrieve my XD. I then shoved the laptop aside, got up and went to the door to check (the carport lights are bright so I didn't need my MagLite.)

    But point being, I'm armed almost immediately.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,177 Senior Member
    I really wasn't referring to home...more to when you are out and about....I thought you carried at those times...never mind....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    I really wasn't referring to home...more to when you are out and about....I thought you carried at those times...never mind....

    No, it's a valid question. I carry on my person much of the time but there's a dilemma... about half the time when my girlfriend and I go out these days, it's to a tavern or the local icehouse (see my pics w. alphasig in the Clubhouse section). And you can't CCW in a bar. So I usually have a snubby .357 that I can leave in the car center console when we're at a bar.

    But anyway, yes, you pose a very valid situation, getting conked and being knocked down. A good tactical scenario. And my response is essentially the same... if the bad guys can get to me hand on hand, I'm toast. Much as anyone would like, you simply cannot deal with every possible scenario and come out on top. Example (a silly scenario), a highly trained team of 30 armed and armored commandos storm my apartment. Again, I'm toast.

    Not that this would ever happen, but for me to take the time and energy to plan for defense against such, a waste of resources. Best that I only deal with "real world" situations, like 2 or 3 thugs busting down my front door, their being armed with a couple of handguns and maybe a shotgun. And that's still very unlikely, since if you're gonna take the risk of invading a home for money or good stuff, you'll generally pick a lavish home in the 'burbs instead of a smallish apartment.

    So I maintain reasonable preparedness against what I'd call "reasonable or logical" threats -- a couple of guys trying to carjack me at a red light, or these same guys busting down my front door.

    Regardless, if they can lay hands on me, I'm a goner. So I have to deal with them at 20 feet, maybe less. Which is why guns were made in the first place. Especially .45s

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »

    There are limits as to what measures I will take to be prepared. I suppose I could go around with a pistol in my hand, Barney Fife style, but that would limit my typing and eating, not to mention the bathroom.

    If you will remember, Barney did not carry off duty, and when he did carry, the gun was un-loaded, in a holster, and his one bullet was kept in his shirt pocket just waiting to fall out.

    Barney never did carry a gun in his hand.

    Bottom line, everyone will carry or not carry, however they feel they should, and that is fine, and if someone carries everywhere, even to the bathroom, that is fine too, I am very sure the people that carry 24/7 have stumbled on methods of carry compatible with eating and using the bathroom, hopefully not simultaneously. :roll:

    They might have even heard of those new fangled contraptions called holsters, invented by a bloke what got tired of holding his gun in his hand all of the time.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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