ME!! Ok, I am not all that black and blue or tough, but I think it’s funny, so deal.
Yesterday my husband and I met John and Mr. & Mrs. Awesome for some training on the range. We covered a lot for our brief 3.5 hours there. Again, there are not many pictures because we are all there training and it’s just tough to focus and think about grabbing the camera.
I knew that the plan was to do self defense work from the ground to try to keep the bad guy from getting us to the ground and what to do if he succeeds. I think having that knowledge ahead of time made me a little jumpy. At the beginning I was a little unsure of myself and I think I was trying to anticipate when the moment would come, which made me behave oddly. Usually when I train with John, we are kind of in-sync. I know where he is going with things just by his words or tone, but yesterday as he called things out, my reaction was off and my mind wasn’t “on”. Either that or I have done too much psychoanalyzing this past year and I read way to much into everything now. Either way, I was off my game.
One of the first things we did was, we learned how to access the gun if you find yourself on your back. John simulated pushing us down, we would fall, then kick, kick, kick, the spin on our backs until we faced the target, drew and shot.
I felt pretty good about this drill. The interesting thing was when Mrs. Awesome took a go at this exercise. Both she and Mr. Awesome carry in the Remora as well. They love it!! Time for the drill. John pushed her down, she kicks, spins, goes to draw her gun and it’s not there. It is not in the holster. She does well, she feels for it, finds it and shoots, but we awere all kind of like, “Not good!” She was wearing the model with the reinforced top, so I said let’s try it with the collapsed version. I had mine in my range bag. She did. She falls, spins, draws and the gun was there, but when she drew the whole thing came out, holster and all. Here are 4 people that use this holster daily and and it failed, big time. Not a good feeling. Lots of chit chat, trouble shooting talk. Mrs. Awesome does not wear a belt, so Mr. Awesome tosses out the idea that maybe that is the issue. Mr. Awesome is wearing a belt, so he steps up to the line and does the drill. Falls, kicks, kicks, kicks, draws and all goes well. We might be onto something. John happens to have an extra belt, so Mrs. Awesome puts her regular carry gear on with the belt and runs the drill. Fall, kick, kick, kick, draws, perfect! Looking good, but lets do that a few more times just to be sure. She does not have any more problems.
You know how all the experts tell you, you should train with your gear and you should be sure it works on the range before you trust it to save your life…PAY ATTENTION!!! I saw the look on her face and on her husband’s and I felt the drop in my stomach. I believe we were all beyond grateful, that scenario played out there and not in a parking lot somewhere. In the past I have trained with the Remora as had both of them. We did dry fire and I had even used it at the range a lot, but none of us had worked from the ground in a fight with it. It is my opinion that a belt is needed for the Remora. The company DOES NOT claim that one isn’t needed and they specifically say that some kind of tension is what makes it work and if you are standing up or have an extra mag pouch, that is enough tension to suffice, it is not once there is slack like laying on your back. So much was learned from that one drill. First of all Mrs. Awesome dealt with what to do if something goes wrong. When her gun went MIA, she didn’t stop and give up, she kept looking and she finished up with the shot. Same when the holster stayed on the gun, she pulled it off, tossed it aside and shot. I will continue to wear the Remora and I think they will too. It’s good gear and I trust it, but it needs a belt.
One note, rolling around on the ground with a loaded gun, drawing from your back and shooting can be a formula for disaster. I think good trigger finger control is beyond important. If you draw and put your finger straight on the trigger, you are not ready for this drill. You could shoot yourself in the leg or someone else as you draw before your muzzle is on target. It is simulated, but it is “under” stress. These drills are so important, but I wouldn’t rush anything. By the way there is nothing wrong with that. The point of training is to learn how to keep yourself safe. It doesn’t much matter if the bad guy gets you or you do, the end result is the same. Sometimes we need to push ourselves, but never beyond what we can safely handle. I also would not train with people you did not fully trust. I trust these people with my life and I was comfortable. I had shot with all of them before. We have had conversations about guns and life and I know how they think. I have seen how they handle their guns and their attitude about safety. Feeling safe let me relax and focus. I would not do this drill with people I just met.
Another note, just for FYI. I trained with my M & P. Flawless. Not a single issue. Well, there was one issue, but that was not the gun. I also brought my AGirl holster from Michael Hast. I wanted to see how it would preform now that I had spent time breaking it in. Perfect!!! I feel comfortable now carrying the M & P and using my new holster.
We did a drill shooting from, ugh, I can’t remember what the position is called. I want to say position 1, but I think I am making that up. So, you draw, the gun is at your side, low, no extension and you start shooting from there as you move up to the full two handed, extended position. I think the drill is called “The Zipper” Another fabulous lesson. I am rather well endowed, so when I drew my gun and pulled the trigger the slide hit my breast and did not have room to fully go back, so my gun jammed. I did do tap rack, bang, which only made it worse and instead of taking care of it, I stopped. This is not like me. I am very good at dealing with malfunctions and finishing up, but my mind was not on and I noticed everyone else had stopped shooting, so I did too. NOT the right thing to do. Anyway, it was a good thing to have happen because I knew I needed to make an adjustment to my draw. I did and did not have any more problems. I will practice that drill a lot in dry fire. I think it is important that I do it again and again, so it is ingrained, naturally. Under stress, I doubt I will remember where my boobs are.
Next we did ground work. We completely disarmed. Nothing, not even a flashlight on us. Did the TSA groping drill to be sure no one had forgot anything, then used a blue gun. For my newbies, a blue gun is just that. A plastic “gun” that is blue. It really is a gun shaped object. The slide doesn’t move, there is no where to put bullets or snap caps. It is just a molded piece of blue plastic in the shape of a gun.
We took turns laying on our back, bad guy on top, grab, pop hip, shove off, grab gun, shoot. This is where I got bruised. My hips are boney and tossing someone off of me, made my hips black and blue and sore. I also have a large bruise on my thigh, clueless as to how I got that. Again, I felt good about this, but in a way – not. My bad guy was my husband, so he was on top of me and I don’t think he was trying very hard. I understand simulation and I know no one wants me to kick them etc, but I would have preferred actually being pushed to the ground and trying to get a person who was trying off of me. The technique is so important and that repetition is vital, for skill building and mindset. It’s not good to just lie there and say, well, I am toast, but I don’t know if I could really get a big huge dude off of me. My take away really was, I do not want him to be able to get me on the ground. For the record John said that. He did not endorse letting the bad guy A. get close or B. Get you on the ground. I am just stating the obvious. My mind was fine for this drill and I think it would have been no matter what, but since there was man on woman, we did it with couples. Again, I think it would have actually been better for both my mindset and skill building, it the bad guy was not my husband. I am not afraid of him, I know him well and I know he was not “trying”. By afraid, I don’t mean I want to train with someone who scares me, I just mean there was not once ounce of apprehension or anticipation. I know that training is not all about me. I am not the only person to be considered and no one wants to lose a knee, the family jewels or an eye to my obsessive need to learn, I’m just saying.
We did some drills where we were pushed up against the wall and the bad was choking us. We learned to drop the knees to get slack and push the arms out, run, grab gun etc. Again, my husband didn’t really choke me and I was kind of annoyed (I am strange like that) I said, “Babe, you are not trying” So, for the next few times he did and it was more difficult to get his hands off of me, but I felt a little better about those attempts. The Refuse The Mount, the bad guy on top and the back against the wall drills were very valuable to me, for what should seem like obvious reasons. My son is a pretty large man and I am gonna make him do the drills with me. I don’t think he will try very hard either, but just by virtue of his size and mine, it will pose a very big challenge for me.
We ended with some basic marksmanship type drills. I suck at those. I can shoot accurately on the move, under stress, from my knees, on back etc, but ask me to line up the sites and shoot, forget it. I hate the sites on my M & P. For the record neither John or Mr.s Awesome like my sites either. I shot Mr. Awesome’s 1911 with Heinie Sites and those I loved. Also for the record, I really loved his 1911.
As with any range session I could write endless posts and I am know I leaving things out, but this pretty much covers the main points. I had a great day!!! I learned so much and I did not have any flashbacks, I did not get shaky or have an emotional breakdown. I did not cry and I did not have any nightmares. Something did happen in my mind about the attack, but I will save that for another post.
I consider myself beyond fortunate to have access to the kind of people and training I have. These people, their commitment to help me has literally saved my life. Not just physically, but my mind. Having the tools and support has helped me heal in a way that lets me have a quality of life that is free from fear. Knowing I can defend myself and knowing I have people I can go to, well I consider it a blessing straight from God. Also, I just fricken love it. I am serious, if God himself came down, stood in front of me and said the world is safe. You will never be harmed again, I would still call up John and say, hey wanna teach me how to roll around on the ground and shoot?
P.S. my God is about my personal faith. For me he is a he and he is in heaven and all that, but when I say “God”, I mean a benevolent loving God and I don’t mean him to be exclusive or limited to my version of him. I just mean, I believe in a Devine-ness that has sent me foul mouthed, politically incorrect, often crude men (& women) who I adore, that’s all.