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Link Posted: 7/19/2008 11:34:12 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:



What I am trying to determine here is whether or not there is a legitimate reason to freak out or if this is a bit of over-reaction by a relatively new shooter. (Which would be understandable)




I am a relatively new shooter (less than a year), but both of the people who attended the class with me are VERY experienced shooters. Both have trained with Scott Reitz and my friend Zac has trained extensively with Clint Smith. Zac said that the TDI course made him feel the most unsafe he's ever felt in a training environment. He was astonished that no one had been killed yet and he said what he saw was "gross negligence that no waiver would touch in court."
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 12:07:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By NoHarmNoFAL:
There seems to be a lot of NRA rules only, paper punchers in this thread.


I don't know if that's a reference to me or not, but I can assure you that isn't the case. I've trained with Ken Hackathorn and Larry Vickers, neither of which are "NRA rules only, paper punchers" in their approach to instruction. I've taken 2 of the 3 low-light specific courses jointly taught by Ken and Larry thusfar, and I'm scheduled to take the level II class in November.

That's probably the most progressive training offered to just about anybody these days.

I'm not a fan of the range rules that are, to put it like Mr. Vickers puts it, "so safe that they are unsafe". At the same time, training is an inherently risky thing and reasonable precautions should be taken to keep things from being any riskier than they already are.

Since Mr. Bowie has been named, I find it difficult to believe that he did anything that was genuinely unsafe. I haven't taken warm showers with him or anything, but I have been on the range with him and with people he has been influenced by (like Ken Hackathorn) and I never had a moment's concern.

I know a lot of people freak out at some of Ken's drills, but I never had a moments problem with them.

What I am trying to determine here is whether or not there is a legitimate reason to freak out or if this is a bit of over-reaction by a relatively new shooter. (Which would be understandable)


I was not referring to you, I was referring to the mentality of others that under no circumstances should you ever point a pistol at someone in training (unloaded and inspected of course).

I was not trying to show how big my e-penis is either, I would only do these drills only a hand full of folks that I know and trust. I can't say that I would be very comfortable doing those drills with strangers myself.

You guys train how you want, I don't really care. Just don't go to an advanced training class and then complain because you got uncomfortable, that is why you went there.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 12:37:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ReluctantWarrior:
I see your point. And, again, I'm sure ALL of you here are FAR more experienced than me. So I'm open to learning and changing my mind. But this fact remains...

THERE WAS NO REASON TO POINT WEAPONS AT ANYONE. We were doing emergency/tactical reloads, malfunction clearing, and smooth draw. In each of these drills instructors AND students were pointing their weapons at each other UNNECCESSARILY. The instructors would sweep students with their muzzles as they were talking, like it was part of a hand gesture, completely unrelated to even the drill at hand. The sickening part was when John (not Benner) pointed his gun at my friend Caitlin's HEAD and DRY FIRED WITH THE SLIDE LOCKED FORWARD.

And, yes, there have been ADs at TDI. In the original post I mentioned we left when the smooth draw instructor recounted a story of an AD in class where a man was shot. And, also, the instructor of the first drill told us a story of an AD, laughing, "Good thing it happened to be down range." This was before he dry fired at Caitlin's head.



Who dry fired into someones head?
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 1:51:01 PM EDT
If they want to practice "real world scenario" instructor should fire paint balls at students. Seems more purposeful than dry firing a real potentially deadly weapon at someone accidentally shooting them.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 2:19:21 PM EDT
I feel there's a time and place to train with weapons pointed at you. However, an entry level class is not one of those times.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 4:03:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2008 4:05:07 PM EDT by RRA_223]

Originally Posted By NoHarmNoFAL:
I was not referring to you, I was referring to the mentality of others that under no circumstances should you ever point a pistol at someone in training (unloaded and inspected of course).

I was not trying to show how big my e-penis is either, I would only do these drills only a hand full of folks that I know and trust. I can't say that I would be very comfortable doing those drills with strangers myself.

You guys train how you want, I don't really care. Just don't go to an advanced training class and then complain because you got uncomfortable, that is why you went there.


I'm sorry, but I think it's worth pointing out that most of your previous arguments were largely off-topic relative to the situation, environment and personnel at hand. You mention yourself that you would limit your own involvement in pointing and dry-firing weapons at one another only in a select group of people you trust, and of course you levy most of your argument against the "advanced training" references.

Neither of those apply in this discussion, as the OP clearly defines the entry-level course, purpose and people involved (or perhaps I should say that he implies those things quite well, both in description and in describing his own skill level). So by sake of your own argument above: the OP, the class and the environment are likely outside of your comfort zone and most of the people posting here.

So again, I would reiterate that it seems that this method of training - IF true - is far outside the comfort zone of the typical shooter who might go there for the handgun 101, 102-type classes. Arguing whether or not super-special operators push the envelope some of the time in elite training classes with years of mandatory prior experience is irrelevant to the discussion and, IMHO, erroneously lends credit to those organizations who pass on [arguably] unsafe mannerisms and training to the otherwise uninformed masses. Ergo, the OP is doing us a service in posting, as we are by waiting for representatives of TDI to show before passing final judgement; as I believe the vast majority in the profession would also argue that there's no place for this type of training in an entry-level training class.

I am still interested in TDI confirming (justifying?) or flat-out denying these claims as I had intended on spending some money there in the future - I don't want to waste the trip .

Link Posted: 7/19/2008 4:52:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2008 4:56:24 PM EDT by NoHarmNoFAL]

Originally Posted By RRA_223:

Originally Posted By NoHarmNoFAL:
I was not referring to you, I was referring to the mentality of others that under no circumstances should you ever point a pistol at someone in training (unloaded and inspected of course).

I was not trying to show how big my e-penis is either, I would only do these drills only a hand full of folks that I know and trust. I can't say that I would be very comfortable doing those drills with strangers myself.

You guys train how you want, I don't really care. Just don't go to an advanced training class and then complain because you got uncomfortable, that is why you went there.


I'm sorry, but I think it's worth pointing out that most of your previous arguments were largely off-topic relative to the situation, environment and personnel at hand. You mention yourself that you would limit your own involvement in pointing and dry-firing weapons at one another only in a select group of people you trust, and of course you levy most of your argument against the "advanced training" references.

Neither of those apply in this discussion, as the OP clearly defines the entry-level course, purpose and people involved (or perhaps I should say that he implies those things quite well, both in description and in describing his own skill level). So by sake of your own argument above: the OP, the class and the environment are likely outside of your comfort zone and most of the people posting here.

So again, I would reiterate that it seems that this method of training - IF true - is far outside the comfort zone of the typical shooter who might go there for the handgun 101, 102-type classes. Arguing whether or not super-special operators push the envelope some of the time in elite training classes with years of mandatory prior experience is irrelevant to the discussion and, IMHO, erroneously lends credit to those organizations who pass on [arguably] unsafe mannerisms and training to the otherwise uninformed masses. Ergo, the OP is doing us a service in posting, as we are by waiting for representatives of TDI to show before passing final judgement; as I believe the vast majority in the profession would also argue that there's no place for this type of training in an entry-level training class.

I am still interested in TDI confirming (justifying?) or flat-out denying these claims as I had intended on spending some money there in the future - I don't want to waste the trip .



Reading comprehension is critical.



Originally Posted By ReluctantWarrior:
Wow. I still can't believe the experience I had. Thinking back I wish I would have taken video footage. Anyway, TDI (Tactical Defense Institute) In SE Ohio came highly recommended and is even linked on Clint Smith's web-site. I live in N KY and invited my friends from MI (who have both trained with Clint and Scott Reitz) down for a weekend of training. We took Handgun II. The lecture was great. The first drill was decent. Then we broke into three groups and the INSANITY started...


Seems to me that Level II means not entry level, not uber tactical SWAT but not entry level.


From TDI

LEVEL II HANDGUN
Begins with a tactical planning and awareness lecture and a review of Level I fundamentals. Learn smooth draw, reloading techniques, malfunction clearing, and shooting on-the-move. Mental conditioning is stressed in all courses.


Seems to me that the OP was on a snit because someone pointed an unloaded gun at him, my point was that in advanced drill that happens. Seems pretty on topic to me but what do I know.

I am done with this circle jerk.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 7:56:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RRA_223:
I am still interested in TDI confirming (justifying?) or flat-out denying these claims as I had intended on spending some money there in the future - I don't want to waste the trip.


+1

Does the OP's story check out? Is this a regular and accepted practice at TDI?
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 8:33:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ReluctantWarrior:
I see your point. And, again, I'm sure ALL of you here are FAR more experienced than me. So I'm open to learning and changing my mind. But this fact remains...

THERE WAS NO REASON TO POINT WEAPONS AT ANYONE. We were doing emergency/tactical reloads, malfunction clearing, and smooth draw. In each of these drills instructors AND students were pointing their weapons at each other UNNECCESSARILY. The instructors would sweep students with their muzzles as they were talking, like it was part of a hand gesture, completely unrelated to even the drill at hand. The sickening part was when John (not Benner) pointed his gun at my friend Caitlin's HEAD and DRY FIRED WITH THE SLIDE LOCKED FORWARD.

And, yes, there have been ADs at TDI. In the original post I mentioned we left when the smooth draw instructor recounted a story of an AD in class where a man was shot. And, also, the instructor of the first drill told us a story of an AD, laughing, "Good thing it happened to be down range." This was before he dry fired at Caitlin's head.



No reason to point a gun at someone? How about learning how to watch someone's hands in the heat of the moment so that you can recognize the business end of a pistol coming up at you? Isn't that why you are taking the class? To prepare for the real thing.

I got another one for you, some military units actually train with live rounds (obviously not intending to shoot at their counterparts) but still, live ammo & lots of supervision.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 9:16:13 PM EDT
All I have to say is that I have been a part of countless training scenarios and exercises, and pointing a real weapon at someones head and dry firing, no matter how many times it has been checked, is fucking idiotic and is asking for trouble. We had a police recruit killed a few years ago in Arizona during a training exercise during high risk stop training. All the weapons were supposedly "checked" and "rechecked."

Tell that to his family, and the guy who pulled the trigger. Christ, the first rule of firearms training is" Dont point a weapon at something you are not willing to destroy" or something to that effect.

If someone tried that crap with me, I would walk off that range and demand a refund. It is inherently unsafe, and training that into students is going to get someone killed down the road. Maybe not at that range at that time, but someone will get careless dry firing in their kitchen or living room, I guarantee it.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 6:17:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Maxheadspace:
Never point a gun at something you are not willing to destroy.



Yeah, thats rule #1. What idiots.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 5:26:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NoHarmNoFAL:
Seems to me that Level II means not entry level, not uber tactical SWAT but not entry level.

Seems to me that the OP was on a snit because someone pointed an unloaded gun at him, my point was that in advanced drill that happens. Seems pretty on topic to me but what do I know.

I am done with this circle jerk.


oooooh, "Handgun II!" Well CLEARLY there is a vast difference between "novice" and "operator" with the completion of that uber-intense "Handgun I." Awesome!
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:29:25 AM EDT

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/07/01/france.shooting.resignation/


PARIS, France (CNN) -- The chief of the French army resigned Tuesday after an accidental shooting at a military open house that left 17 people wounded.


French Chief of Army Staff General Bruno Cuche salutes during a welcome ceremony in India.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has accepted the resignation of Gen. Bruno Cuche, the Elysee said in a statement on its Web site.

"The president ... as he has already stated, is closely following the various investigations now under way," the statement from Sarkozy's office said.

Seventeen people, including some children, were wounded by live bullets Sunday as a commando parachute infantry regiment demonstrated a hostage extraction exercise at a military open house in Carcassonne, France, in the country's southwest, according to the French military's Web site.

The soldiers in the demonstration were supposed to be using blanks, but one soldier shot live rounds that remained in his weapon after shooting drills, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.

Don't Miss
Shooting demo uses real bullets, injures 16
That soldier was suspended Tuesday and will appear before a judge later in the day, the newspaper said.

Defense Minister Herve Morin has called for a probe scrutinizing the procedures and rules governing the use of ammunition and the security provisions taken during public demonstrations of military exercises, a statement on his Web site said.

He also called for an immediate suspension of the use of blanks in any public military demonstration.

Brice Robin, prosecutor for Montpellier, said the shooting seemed unintended and that the soldier appeared to "have made a mistake while loading his gun," The associated Press reported.

."This act was absolutely not premeditated; I want to be clear about this point," the agency reported Robin as saying.

These guys were highly trained professionals.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:42:19 AM EDT
I have been training at TDI since 2004 and have been through a number of their classes. I have been through the police academy and LE training, and have also learned from other trainers in the industry, including Ken Hackathorn and Bill Jeans. In the police academy I attended, we used unloaded, triple checked guns for a number of drills to simulate force on force, to teach proper pat downs and weapons checks, vehicle stops, and felony arrests. The quality of training TDI provides far exceeds what I learned in the police academy.

Safety is highly stressed at TDI. The drills the OP was referring to are done with weapons that have been checked by a minimum of three people, with no live ammo on their persons at all. I have never, in all the classes I've taken there, felt threatened or uncomfortable with the practices or the drills.

The OP states honestly enough that he is relatively new to firearms. I have to wonder then why he chose NOT to attend the level 1 and went right into level 2. No, level 1 is not going to teach you everything in one day, that is why TDI offers 6 levels of progressive handgun training, in addition to other classes. But a lot of critical elements get introduced in that first day, and the training builds from there.

I don't disagree with the OP leaving if he felt that uncomfortable. But he also does not have a comprehensive picture of TDI's training doctrine and has come here slinging mud based on a very small experience.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:51:27 AM EDT
I took Tactical Handgun I, II and III at TDI back in 1999 (it looks like they've dropped the word Tactical from the course since then). I took Tactical Rifle I a week ago. At no time in the total of 6 days of training did I see the trainers do anything that was unsafe or to allow a student to do anything unsafe.

Yes, we had a trainer draw and dry fire while facing us. She wanted us to see how she was drawing and prepping the trigger from all angles not just from the side and from behind. I know I checked her gun, I think about 5 others did as well.

Don't get thrown off my the low numbers of the classes. This is not beginners shooting I and beginners shooting II. IIRC in level 1 only 2 people had minimal shooting experience and they were told to spend time practicing at home before coming back. Everyone else in level 1 and everyone in levels 2 and 3 had years of shooting experience.

Basically level 1 is lectures and videos about when it is legal to shoot and mindset, followed by an afternoon learning how to hold the gun, trigger prep, sight alignment and drawing. Level 2 reviews that and gets into shooting on the move, reloading, malfunction clearing and the like. Level 3 review all that and then gets into house searching techniques and ends with a search in a live fire house.

It is unnerving to point a real gun at a person. We are taught to never ever, Ever, EVER point a gun at someone. But the in a life and death situation we are expected to undo all this conditioning and aim center mass and shoot. That's a big transition to make in a split second.

I think the OP is just got freaked out by this and is stating what he felt the situation was, even though I think he's overstating what really happened.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 7:21:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 7:25:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 8:06:43 AM EDT
I think that pointing live handguns rifles or shotguns at others in silly and asking for death and injury.

Why do I beleive this?

Becasue there are numerous instances where unlaoded guns have killed people in training exercises.

If you are going to practice pointing guns at people in training, they make airsoft and simunitions for that.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 8:18:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TonyF:
snip...


My point was not comparing LE training to civilian training, it was simply that I had experienced this type of training outside of TDI. Yes, a civilian who carries a firearm for self defense is a little different from LE who also carries a firearm as part of the job, but the bottom line is not much different...to stop a threat.

Yes, at TDI some of the drills are performed with students in a circle working with unloaded weapons under the supervision of instructors. This is so that the instructors can see what the students are doing and help to correct issues with manipulation and diagnose problems that students may be struggling with. Once again, this is done with cleared weapons that have been minimally triple checked, students are checked for no live ammo, and a yellow training rope through the actions of the firearms.

You were not at the particular class the OP is referring to and neither was I. However I have attended TDI's lower levels of handgun training twice and been present for a third class, so I have participated in, and have witnessed, these drills multiple times. Safety standards are stringent. As someone else said, that is why the checks are redundant, done over and over by different eyes every time.

These drills cover a basic skill set. Safe holstering, smooth draw, malfunction clearing, and mag changes...these are NOT advanced skills that only SWAT or military need be proficient with...these are basic skills that ANYone who handles a firearm for ANY purpose needs to be familiar and comfortable with.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:22:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:33:06 AM EDT
Tactical Defense Institute – John Benner

Response to the post or posts by “reluctant warrior”

First I would like to thank the people running this forum for holding an opinion until both sides of the story are told. Kudos to those and others generous enough to do so.

Everyone’s perception of any incident is slightly different. The other 22 students in our class the weekend this “reluctant warrior” attended our class did not express any opinions similar to his/theirs. After the three in question left, I polled many of the students in the class. In fact, the opinions of the other students were quite the opposite. I take any suggestions or criticism seriously. No one knows everything and mistakes are possible no matter what you do or who you are. After all, no business likes unhappy customers. As wonderful as the shooting community is we can be competitive and staunch in our beliefs in doing things certain ways.

This letter received from another student in the same class reads: “I just wanted to thank you and your team for a great weekend. It was not only fun but also filled with numerous skills. If I am able to remember 30% of what we learned in those three days and apply them to my shooting I WILL BE QUITE HAPPY. Your facilities are superb and all of your instructors very knowledgeable, obliging and patient. Each step of training was very well presented by either you or your instructors. You and your people are well organized and skillful in insuring safe and valuable training.

I noticed a wide range of skill levels of people attending this weekend but at no time did I feel that any safety was compromised.

Again thank you for the weekend and please extend my thanks to all of your instructors, they were great.”

“The Canadian”

In high level classes when we work with real firearms that require person-on-person interaction, we use guns that are roped, meaning that there is a length of rope that extends through the barrel and out the bottom of the magazine well. Anytime that this safety measure is not possible, such as malfunction drill training and magazine change training, live ammunition is removed from the training environment, and every gun (that includes all student and instructor guns) is checked by a minimum of three people other than the operator of the firearm. This safety check is repeated each time the group moves from station to station. For magazine changes, two empty magazines are shown along with the unloaded firearm.

The accidental discharge that was referred to in the first post of this young man occurred 15 years ago during the normal shooting drills and the individual was cautioned numerous times about leaving his finger on trigger during his shooting and gun handling. Two separate instructors worked with him one-on-one until he had shown that he could properly index along the frame before re-holstering. Even after these measure were taken and the instructors moved off he reinserted his firearm into his holster with his finger on the trigger, resulting in the negligent discharge. This incident was not taken lightly by the training staff and is recounted consistently to remind students that mistakes happen, and keeping their finger off the trigger when not on target is absolutely imperative. This individual was struck by two flecks of cooper from the round and was sent to the hospital. He returned and finished the day but did learn about that trigger finger. I would have explained this to these folks had they given me time but it was obvious they did not want to hear what I had to say. This gentleman who wounded himself remains a friend to this day.

Our facility has been training civilian, law enforcement, and military for over twenty years. These individuals have proven to be extremely loyal and return to TDI frequently with their families and friends to share the experience. I don’t think students that spend as much time behind firearms would continue to attend course after course and bring their loved ones if they felt our training was unsafe or dangerous.

From Jack Patterson: “I have been in involved in Law Enforcement since 1979. I have served in various positions from walking a foot beat and pushing a patrol car to working undercover narcotics and vice cases while with Baltimore City Police Dept. (MD). In my career I have been involved in numerous critical incidents in which force was used to defend myself (handguns, knives, clubs, and a machete). After having completed the Level I-III handgun classes taught by you and your staff this past weekend (16-18 June 2007), I can honestly say that this is the only school that I will ever spend my personal funds to attend. I will be returning and bringing family members with me.” Jack felt safe enough to bring his son to numerous courses, including the course in question!

From Jeffrey Lehman, Chief of Police, Montpellier, Ohio. Chief Lehman wrote: “During the course of my full time, professional twenty-two year law enforcement career, I have participated in quite a number of various and sundry training sessions and seminars. I have found very few training sessions that parallel or even come close to the superb quality of training that I received from you and the staff of instructors at ‘TDI’. I have been blessed with the opportunity to attend you defensive knife techniques for law enforcement and handgun 1,2 & 3. Most recently my wife and I completed your integrated impact weapons class. The commitment to quality and ‘true to life’ training demonstrated by you and each and every instructor at TDI exudes through the personalities and attention to detail that is displayed throughout the training sessions. I highly recommend TDI training to any civilian, law enforcement or military person who has the desire to arm themselves or loved ones with the skills and knowledge to become a ‘sheepdog’ and protect the ‘sheep’ from the ‘wolves’.”


Jack Manfre, a 30 year career Chicago P.D. officer, with 14 years on the firearms training staff, eight years adjunct instructor at the Chapman Academy, and four years doing police schools for Beretta, trains and instructs with us and brings numerous officers and friends from the Chicago area.


You can refer to testimonial page at our website, www.tdiohio.com.

When we conduct the Handgun Level I-III training, the students’ guns are pointed at the instructors and the instructors do point guns towards the group. During the level I phase the guns are roped. Level II requires the manipulation of the weapon beyond pulling the trigger. We never have the students pointing the guns at each other at Level I-III, but at higher level schools we do some exercises involving student vs. student with roped guns. The bottom line is that we never violate the “Rule of at least Three plus One” check, and we team teach to consistently strive for the safest possible training environment we can provide. We found 20 years ago that people, rightfully so, have been taught never to point a gun at someone unless you are going to pull the trigger, in force on force many failed to do so in when they need to. We have done force on force for over 20 years since we started training the way we do we have not had any more failures to engage. This also gives the student a better view of how things work and allows the instructors to view and work better with the students. We also explain in level I that this is not to be done at home, we are in a very controlled environment under strict supervision. Our instructor ratio of one to three or four is as good as any in the nation that I know of.

Final notes: In the thousands of professional and novice students we have had here this is the first complaint to my knowledge. I give “reluctant warrior” credit for his convictions, however, some of the things he has written are not entirely correct or skewed to his perspective. In fact as the posts go forward we seem to be worse and more dangerous than the last.

I have never been on a forum before this. A product of a lack of time, desire, computer skills, and not to mention dial-up service. I will respond no further. Anyone having questions may contact my e-mail at tdiohio@dragonbbs.com .
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:03:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JBENNER:
-snip-
When we conduct the Handgun Level I-III training, the students’ guns are pointed at the instructors and the instructors do point guns towards the group. During the level I phase the guns are roped. Level II requires the manipulation of the weapon beyond pulling the trigger. We never have the students pointing the guns at each other at Level I-III, but at higher level schools we do some exercises involving student vs. student with roped guns. The bottom line is that we never violate the “Rule of at least Three plus One” check, and we team teach to consistently strive for the safest possible training environment we can provide.


Cliff notes: yes, students point guns at instructors and instructors point guns at students. Only during "Handgun I" are their [students'] weapons roped.

To each their own (thanks for the reply, Mr. Benner).
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:20:18 AM EDT
height=8
Originally Posted By JBENNER:
Tactical Defense Institute – John Benner

When we conduct the Handgun Level I-III training, the students’ guns are pointed at the instructors and the instructors do point guns towards the group.


There you have it, right form the boss.

height=8



In the thousands of professional and novice students we have had here this is the first complaint to my knowledge.


Again, I've only been shooting for a few months, but if the above statement is true then I am proud to be John's smartest student ever.

As you could probably tell from John's post, he's a VERY reasonable guy. As I said earlier, he listened to our complaint with patience and humility...he just stood up for his training methods, which have just been directly confirmed.

So there you have it. You make your mind up about how you want to train. I, myself, am looking for an alternative to TDI.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 10:32:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 11:14:23 AM EDT
height=8
Originally Posted By bigbore:
height=8
Originally Posted By ReluctantWarrior:
I, myself, am looking for an alternative to TDI.


Promise?


What do you mean?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 11:39:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ReluctantWarrior:

Originally Posted By bigbore:

Originally Posted By ReluctantWarrior:
I, myself, am looking for an alternative to TDI.


Promise?


What do you mean?


I would imagine that BigBore was providing a thinly veiled retort, asking you to spend your money somewhere else instead of providing TDI with bad press on teh interweb; I would also presume that he is either a repeat customer and/or has a relationship with the organization (ie personal bias).

That's how I interpret it, but just as with training methods, our opinions and interpretations can and do vary.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 11:43:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bigbore:

Originally Posted By ReluctantWarrior:
I, myself, am looking for an alternative to TDI.


Promise?


That was unnecessary.

Let's not make this personal.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 4:46:53 PM EDT
Hi guys. I wanted to offer my perspective on this situation as a long time student at TDI. Full disclosure for me is that I've taken nearly all of the TDI offerings including all of the handgun classes - some more than once. A good friend of mine started taking classes there at the same time I did and is now an instructor working for John. I have no other affiliation with the school.

A couple of thoughts. I think reasonable people can have differing views on firearms safety within certain boundaries. One model of training safety is what I'll call categorical. In addition to trigger discipline, verifying chamber and magazine status, and other commonly agreed upon practices, the categorical model has a muzzle discipline that can be described easily (and fairly I hope) as 'never muzzle what you don't intend to kill under any avoidable circumstance'. I don't dispute the safety of this approach, but I'd like to suggest that it is not the only way to safely train and that there may be characteristics of dynamic situations left unaccouted for.

Multiple independent verifications of the status of the weapon and tight controls around the presence of loaded magazines is, in my view, a very reasonable confirmation that there is nothing to go bang during these drills. The safety record of TDI is suggestive. It has been around for a long time and thousands of students have passed through. Every school of sufficient age has had a student or two AD - on the draw and into the dirt if nothing else. What you won't find is rates of harm or discharges out of line with any other top training facility in the country.

I understand the follow up point, which is even if there is no history of harm or incidences of unsafe practices we can see in the history, why take the chance? The answer John and staff would offer is that the realism of the training increases the safety of the student outside the classroom. Realistic familiarity with your weapon and those in the hands of others is a powerful tool that is, in my mind, being given short shrift in some of the comments here. The concern is that if you are doctrinaire that 4-5 rules must always be followed no matter what, you may break down when your heart rate elevates, you get tunnel vision, and so forth. To perform under stress, you need to be operating under the simplest set of rules, and you need to know that finger on trigger is really what matters no matter what else is going on. It is a holistic view of safety that I believe to be effective both on the range and under dynamic situations real life may offer.

Finally, I'd suggest that there is a totality of experience involved in how concerned each of us would be in circumstances similar to those experienced by the original poster. I've seen these drills and, frankly much more dynamic drills (try Extreme Close Quarters or Partner Tactics, for instance) many times, and I can confidently say that students that have been there and experienced the entirety of the events have overwhelmingly positive things to say such that I have never heard this criticism of Benner's training methods anywhere before. I'm not saying that anyone is wrong. I'd certainly leave any school where I didn't feel safe. I'm only suggesting that a great majority of people who have had this experience don't feel similarly threatened - and this is a wide sample of the shooting pubic we are talking about here.

There is a tradeoff in each view of safety I've tried to fairly represent, but I don't believe either philosophy to be unsound.

Link Posted: 7/21/2008 5:18:49 PM EDT
Dear Forum Members,
I feel I must respond to the accusations made against me in the course of instruction at TDI.

I abide by the same rules you have all been quoting, finger off the trigger until on target, never muzzle anything you are not willing to destroy, and treat all firearms as loaded until I have verified the status.

As stated by Mr. Benner we do train in front of the students and guns are checked and rechecked. I am posting this because I have a have a very different recollection of what happened. This past weekend at our Tactical Shotgun course, one of the students that was in the same group as ReluctanctWarrior and his friends, did not remember me being so reckless or vindictive.

My Firearm, like all the others, had been checked three times or more before the start of the exercise. I did not aim at anyones head and pull the trigger! I was pointing between two students, and Cailtin was on the left of my muzzle, that I will admit.

I have read the numerous accounts of accidents and deaths that occurred when live ammunition gets mixed into a sterile training environment. We do use Airsoft firearms and Code Eagle Ammuntion in revolvers for Force-on Force training. During the Level I-III we work with what the students bring to class or we supply range guns. I do not take any of this training lightly and know that Mr. Benner, my fellow instructors, and the students depend on me to conduct training in the safest possible manner! If you don't think this is on my mind everytime I put on a gun or step on the range, you are wrong!

I wish all students would listen to me as well as Mr. Peacock and quote me verbatim! In response to Mr. Peacock's accusations I thought I was conducting training in the safest manner possible.

I want to thank the moderators and those member not passing judgment and waiting for the staff to respond.


Sincerely,
John J. Motil
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:55:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JMOTIL:
Dear Forum Members,
I feel I must respond to the accusations made against me in the course of instruction at TDI.

I abide by the same rules you have all been quoting, finger off the trigger until on target, never muzzle anything you are not willing to destroy, and treat all firearms as loaded until I have verified the status.

As stated by Mr. Benner we do train in front of the students and guns are checked and rechecked. I am posting this because I have a have a very different recollection of what happened. This past weekend at our Tactical Shotgun course, one of the students that was in the same group as ReluctanctWarrior and his friends, did not remember me being so reckless or vindictive.

My Firearm, like all the others, had been checked three times or more before the start of the exercise. I did not aim at anyones head and pull the trigger! I was pointing between two students, and Cailtin was on the left of my muzzle, that I will admit.

I have read the numerous accounts of accidents and deaths that occurred when live ammunition gets mixed into a sterile training environment. We do use Airsoft firearms and Code Eagle Ammuntion in revolvers for Force-on Force training. During the Level I-III we work with what the students bring to class or we supply range guns. I do not take any of this training lightly and know that Mr. Benner, my fellow instructors, and the students depend on me to conduct training in the safest possible manner! If you don't think this is on my mind everytime I put on a gun or step on the range, you are wrong!

I wish all students would listen to me as well as Mr. Peacock and quote me verbatim! In response to Mr. Peacock's accusations I thought I was conducting training in the safest manner possible.

I want to thank the moderators and those member not passing judgment and waiting for the staff to respond.


Sincerely,
John J. Motil


Realistic training, whether it is a driving, flying or shooting school comes with some risks. You have to do things that bring you to a point of understanding. I applaud your reply. It is unfortunately that the OP did not understand the nature of the training. I think it is also unfortunate that he posted his opinions on an open forum.

Good schools do not stay in business by being unsafe.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:04:44 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By ar15_rifleman:
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Originally Posted By JMOTIL:
Dear Forum Members,
I feel I must respond to the accusations made against me in the course of instruction at TDI.

I abide by the same rules you have all been quoting, finger off the trigger until on target, never muzzle anything you are not willing to destroy, and treat all firearms as loaded until I have verified the status.

As stated by Mr. Benner we do train in front of the students and guns are checked and rechecked. I am posting this because I have a have a very different recollection of what happened. This past weekend at our Tactical Shotgun course, one of the students that was in the same group as ReluctanctWarrior and his friends, did not remember me being so reckless or vindictive.

My Firearm, like all the others, had been checked three times or more before the start of the exercise. I did not aim at anyones head and pull the trigger! I was pointing between two students, and Cailtin was on the left of my muzzle, that I will admit.

I have read the numerous accounts of accidents and deaths that occurred when live ammunition gets mixed into a sterile training environment. We do use Airsoft firearms and Code Eagle Ammuntion in revolvers for Force-on Force training. During the Level I-III we work with what the students bring to class or we supply range guns. I do not take any of this training lightly and know that Mr. Benner, my fellow instructors, and the students depend on me to conduct training in the safest possible manner! If you don't think this is on my mind everytime I put on a gun or step on the range, you are wrong!

I wish all students would listen to me as well as Mr. Peacock and quote me verbatim! In response to Mr. Peacock's accusations I thought I was conducting training in the safest manner possible.

I want to thank the moderators and those member not passing judgment and waiting for the staff to respond.


Sincerely,
John J. Motil


Realistic training, whether it is a driving, flying or shooting school comes with some risks. You have to do things that bring you to a point of understanding. I applaud your reply. It is unfortunately that the OP did not understand the nature of the training. I think it is also unfortunate that he posted his opinions on an open forum.


Isn't that what this forum is for? I was reviewing the course that I attended. Yes, it's my opinion that the course is unsafe. But I believe that the original post was a very accurate description of what happened. As far as quoting what Mr Motil said "verbatim", it is word for word what he said in the class. What is unfortunate is that everyone thinks this is an acceptable practice. My intention is not to take bread off of the tables of the TDI instructors. My intention is to warn people of unsafe practices. Maybe everyone should check out Clint Smith's lecture on gun safety found at www.guntalk.tv and see what he has to say about it. He flatly disagrees with these practices and, so far as I know, is the only one of us here who's name is often preceded with the words "world's foremost expert".

I do appreciate Mr Benner and Mr Motil responding to my original post. Mr Benner was a class act from the beginning, as I said. We just happen to disagree.

Mr Motil, however, belittled my friend Zac when he was asked to stop covering students with his muzzle. Instead of defending his actions with sarcasm, he very simply could have said, "I'm sorry that makes you uncomfortable. I'll try not to do that so much."

What is unfortunate here is that I, a new shooter, am being persecuted for expressing my opinions on a public forum. You should be helping me to understand more about the art of shooting, the healthy philosophies and practices, and helping me to interpret my experience with TDI so that I CAN GROW AS A SHOOTER. That's all I want. But instead of showing me the ropes you've chosen to label me. That's unfortunate.

My thanks to those of you who HAVE taken time to explain some things to me. You've taught me quite a bit just with this discussion and made me feel better about continuing my training.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:17:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gks452:
I took Tactical Handgun I, II and III at TDI back in 1999 (it looks like they've dropped the word Tactical from the course since then). I took Tactical Rifle I a week ago. At no time in the total of 6 days of training did I see the trainers do anything that was unsafe or to allow a student to do anything unsafe.

Yes, we had a trainer draw and dry fire while facing us. She wanted us to see how she was drawing and prepping the trigger from all angles not just from the side and from behind. I know I checked her gun, I think about 5 others did as well.

Don't get thrown off my the low numbers of the classes. This is not beginners shooting I and beginners shooting II. IIRC in level 1 only 2 people had minimal shooting experience and they were told to spend time practicing at home before coming back. Everyone else in level 1 and everyone in levels 2 and 3 had years of shooting experience.

Basically level 1 is lectures and videos about when it is legal to shoot and mindset, followed by an afternoon learning how to hold the gun, trigger prep, sight alignment and drawing. Level 2 reviews that and gets into shooting on the move, reloading, malfunction clearing and the like. Level 3 review all that and then gets into house searching techniques and ends with a search in a live fire house.

It is unnerving to point a real gun at a person. We are taught to never ever, Ever, EVER point a gun at someone. But the in a life and death situation we are expected to undo all this conditioning and aim center mass and shoot. That's a big transition to make in a split second.

I think the OP is just got freaked out by this and is stating what he felt the situation was, even though I think he's overstating what really happened.


Sooooo. The OP is correct in that this is regular practice? Just asking, because I was interested in this facility as well.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:42:25 AM EDT
In response to Reluctant Warrior and after reading all posts to date - here goes.

The Facts
Have trained at T.D.I. in 06/07/08
Have taken 9 courses total
Have taken 5 gun courses
Have NEVER felt in danger or unsafe!!!

My Opinion
Safety at T.D.I. is first and foremost thru all aspects of training as I have witnessed
T.D.I. training is "tactical" AND NOT "target practice"
Anyone looking for a competent, professional and "real world" training facility should give Benner and Co. an honest look!

Last - For all concerned
Lt. Col. David Grossman has written some books with very good insight about pointing weapons!! Pay close attention to what is said about stress inoculation.

Thanks JRW






Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:00:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ReluctantWarrior:
What is unfortunate here is that I, a new shooter, am being persecuted for expressing my opinions on a public forum. You should be helping me to understand more about the art of shooting, the healthy philosophies and practices, and helping me to interpret my experience with TDI so that I CAN GROW AS A SHOOTER. That's all I want. But instead of showing me the ropes you've chosen to label me. That's unfortunate.



A lot of folks here ARE trying to help you understand what you saw, and who has labeled or persecuted you? You are not willing to be "shown the ropes" or be open minded about "healthy philosophies and practices". You saw something that scared or concerned you, you ran here crying "wolf" and pointing fingers, using inflammatory language and exxagerated accounts of what happened. So the folks that have been there, done that, and do understand what was going on, are making an honest and sincere effort to clarify this SO YOU AND OTHERS CAN UNDERSTAND. But you don't want to hear it.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:27:23 AM EDT
Here is my problem with the whole thing, you don't understand how you are making this personal! You could have posted a random question to the forum about the training you received and asked for their thoughts! You decided to plaster your perception of TDI in the subject line. It would have come out sooner or later, but much less destructive for your third post!

Second, someone from your group called Mr. Benner and asked to start in Level II. In Level I John explain's the why and how we do things in a specific manner! He does a much better job than me when I'm blindsided in Level II with students that don't understand how and why we train! Yup, I was flustered, didn't think things through, and spouted off at the mouth! Not the first time I made that mistake.

Third, change the name of the post to John Motil is an Asshole! Because I have been the topic of everyone of your jabs at TDI! You are a Pastor? I am sure you must have given a sermon that has upset quite few members of the congregation, and I am sure effective communication was shut down and all they heard or saw were the negative things! Much as you have here! You didn't like what you saw and you are picking the experience and me apart. My apologies to Mr. Benner and TDI for portraying a negative image!

The good news is I am asking the moderators to remove me from this forum, because this is my last post!

John J. Motil
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:37:05 AM EDT
Disclaimer: I am not commenting on the veracity of the OP's post, I have never taken a class at TDI.

In the formal education that I have had, we did not do anything like this. All instructors demonstrated drills facing downrange. Brightly colored boards were laid on the ground that students had to stay behind. I also never saw an instructor casually dismiss a student's safety concern.

We were all intructed to clear our weapons at the line at the end of the day. We all held out our guns and instructors visually checked EVERY gun. When we got back in the classroom, one of our fellow students realized he still had a round chambered. Rather than go back out to the line, he pulled out his pistol and racked the slide, fumbled while trying to catch the loose round, and covered abut 30 people with his muzzle. I have no idea how he still had a round chambered, but he must have done it after he was checked and showed clear.

On another occasion, someone shot my truck with and "empty" gun.

Bullets CAN "find" their way into guns that have been checked. That is why the cardinal rules of safety are redundant. If (I repeat, IF) what the OP said was true, I would have felt the same way.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 10:52:06 AM EDT
Make no mistake. This is personal. It become personal the second the OP named a school and called them unsafe.

DISCLAIMER. I am an instructor for TDI. I was not present the weekend of June 28 when the OP and his friends attempted to attend a class. You have read the OP and heard from Mr. Benner himself. My responses are my own and in no way speaking directly for TDI or it’s Staff.


I have to wonder about your true purpose. You attended less than 4 hours of a class on June 28th, then on July 17th you post here on ARF starting a thread calling a clearly established school “unsafe”. Realize you have made some strong statements and some accusatory remarks. You felt unsafe and left. Fine. Do you think you are doing some sort of community service letting people know we clear firearms and use them in demonstrations?


It seems you were fine up until the “INSANITY” started. Interesting enough we call this block of instruction Smooth Draw, Malfunction Drills, and Reloads. It seems you only made it through two of the three. One point the needs to be made here is that your firearm and magazines were cleared just like the instructors, no on took anyone’s word they were cleared. They were all cleared and at least triple checked, period. These sections are closely monitored and real firearms are used for specific reasons. I have yet to be able to teach realoading with a blue gun, it’s hard to get the magazine out. Using inert rounds to demonstrate a double feed or a stovepipe will not work with a training barrel. The AD story has a specific training purpose, nothing more or less. Specifically cleared weapons are used for demonstrating these techniques. So far three called it unsafe, but thousands of others have seen it as instruction performed in a safe manner. Yes, you will be handling these specifically cleared firearms while in these blocks of instruction.


This is all really more than is necessary for me to bother with, but you are questioning a know school about technique that they use. Your group felt unsafe, one of you hid behind another student and then took the complaint to Mr. Benner. Apparently unhappy you left. I can assure you we will teach that same block of instruction to hundreds of people in open enrollment classes this year alone. Add private, LE, MIL, etc classes and you see that so far three people have felt unsafe in 20 years. Mr. Benner told you that but you seemed to be happy gloating how you were “right” and that you were “John’s smartest student ever” Sorry I cannot type that with a straight face.


Now that we have this out of the way, please tell me what really influenced you? Your buddies who have trained with those big names? It is not uncommon for people to get stuck on a specific instructor or school and then refuse to allow themselves to attend another class with an open mind. You waited 19 or so days to start a thread to purposely call TDI unsafe. After Mr. Benner posted you seem to be gloating and wondering what Bigbore meant.

By the way. Bigbore is not professionally associated to TDI, he simply is not afraid to say what others are thinking.


You received everything you needed from Mr. Benner when you voiced your concern. You left the school and you are now raising concern on this board. Again, what is your motivation now?

Jeremy

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 11:19:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 11:27:44 AM EDT by RRA_223]

Originally Posted By ban-hater:

Sooooo. The OP is correct in that this is regular practice? Just asking, because I was interested in this facility as well.



Yes, but the intentions and atmosphere of that practice have much to be interpreted (as you can tell from the thread).


Originally Posted By Multi-G:
By the way. Bigbore is not professionally associated to TDI, he simply is not afraid to say what others are thinking.


In what way is he unprofessionally associated with TDI?

Sounds like the Voice of Reason ought to be something along the lines of "This is what we do, this is why we do it, and this is how we make it safe. We want to make that perfectly clear before you show up, so you know what to expect." And it appears as though Mr. Benner and a few instructors made a pretty good attempt at stating just that with their replies (perhaps a disclaimer on the website???). I do want to eventually come up to TDI and see what all the POSITIVE press is about, however I will have to mull over whether or not their chosen modes of training match my comfort zone. I suppose we've come to the point in this discussion to where it is boiled down to "take it or leave it."
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 12:09:37 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By JMOTIL:

Yup, I was flustered, didn't think things through, and spouted off at the mouth! Not the first time I made that mistake.

Thanks for admitting that. That's all you needed to do in the class. Seriously, I appreciate you saying this. We felt you didn't take our concerns seriously.

height=8


Third, change the name of the post to John Motil is an Asshole! Because I have been the topic of everyone of your jabs at TDI! You are a Pastor? I am sure you must have given a sermon that has upset quite few members of the congregation, and I am sure effective communication was shut down and all they heard or saw were the negative things!
John J. Motil


I never called you names, John. I do feel that what you did was unsafe and I reported that here. I get along very well with my congregation. It might be due in part to the fact that none of us are pointing guns at each other.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 12:22:36 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Multi-G:



Interesting enough we call this block of instruction Smooth Draw, Malfunction Drills, and Reloads. It seems you only made it through two of the three. One point the needs to be made here is that your firearm and magazines were cleared just like the instructors, no on took anyone’s word they were cleared. They were all cleared and at least triple checked, period.


That's fine, but why did we need to POINT THE GUNS AT PEOPLE?

height=8

Now that we have this out of the way, please tell me what really influenced you?



The feeling I had when i left the class didn't go away. I felt I needed to make my thoughts known and get some feedback.



height=8

Again, what is your motivation now?

I had two motivations for writing the original post, and those still stand. One, I would like to let people know that I feel the course I took at TDI is taught in an unsafe manner. Two, I would like to learn how to become a better shooter. I'm teachable, but I haven't seen a convincing reason presented here to violate the rules of firearms safety.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:08:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 3:12:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 3:12:41 PM EDT by TonyF]
I don't want to see a good thread turn ugly
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