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Posted: 7/7/2008 7:15:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/8/2008 5:32:42 AM EDT by GhoSSt]
I.C.E. Training's Introduction to Combat Focus Shooting

When: Saturday, August 16th, 2008 - 8am til 6pm (or later)
Where: Private Range (Brighton, CO)
Instructor: Rob Pincus
Price: 150.00


This 8 hour course is designed to introduce students to the principles, fundamentals and training concepts of the Combat Focus Shooting Program.

For decades, combat shooters have known (and progressive trainers have acknowledged) that the human body and mind have predictable, instinctive responses to surprise and lethal threats. While the basics of weapons handling and marksmanship are important skills for all shooters, they are not the basis for success during most lethal encounters involving the defensive use of a handgun. You are much more likely to be caught off-guard by an aggressive attacker in close quarters and low-light than you are to be confronted by a truly lethal threat in broad daylight standing 30 yards away in front of a dirt berm.

Combat Focus is an intuitive shooting program that is based on the study of empirical evidence from real violent encounters and builds on the body's natural reaction to an attack. At the ranges that gun fights typically occur, Combat Focus is the most effective way to engage your threat with a handgun. This 1 day course empowers students by encouraging them to embrace their bodies natural reaction to a lethal threat and work with it to neutralize that threat as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Combat Focus Technique is not hip-shooting, in fact, the only significant difference between using this technique and sighted fire is the focus of your attention at the moment the trigger breaks.

Students need:

Equipment Needed:
* Handgun and 3 magazines
* 800-1000 rounds of pistol ammunition
* Holster and magazine pouches
* Cover garment if you regularly carry your weapon concealed
* Hat or other head covering
* Knee and elbow pads
* Eye and ear protection
* Sunscreen or raingear (as applicable)
* Adequate personal water supply
* Sack lunch and snack food (We do not leave the range for lunch)

Instructor Biography:

Formerly the Director of Operations at the Valhalla Training Center, Rob has been a trainer and consultant in various combative fields for many years and is the developer of the Combat Focus Shooting Program. His background in military, law enforcement, executive protection and recreational shooting gives him a broad experience base. Rob's specialty is progressive reality based training and fitting the fundamentals into the context of his diverse students' environments.

During his training career, Rob has provided extensive training to personnel from US Army Special Forces, US Navy SEALs, special operations law enforcement personnel, patrol officers, executive protection agents and persons interested in self defense.

Rob has presented training sessions at various conferences, including IALEFI's Annual Training Conference, The New York Law Enforcement Expo, The NATO Law Enforcement Training Symposium and SWAT Round-up International.

We'll be meeting at the Home Depot between 7:30 and 8am on August 16th, 2008 at Highway 7 and I-25 (168th Ave and I-25). If you need directions or more information, please contact either Kelly at Tactical Testing and Evaluation at kellyb@ttellc.net or I.C.E. Training at http://icetraining.us/contact.php

This is a great opportunity at a great price, sign up soon because this class is capped at 10 students!

Registration form: http://icetraining.us/regform.pdf

Map to meetup:

Western US Editor and Writer:
http://www.ttellc.net Cool, no bs gear reviews and news

"When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." ~Author Unknown
Link Posted: 7/14/2008 7:10:52 AM EDT
This one trumps the rifle course.

I'm so Low-speed High-drag it's ridiculous. I can, however, shoot a pistol.
Link Posted: 7/14/2008 6:44:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/14/2008 8:31:42 PM EDT by doc45]
I've certainly heard alot about Rob Pincus, know that he has or had former SEALs as his instructors. I've attempted to find out more specifics about his background/training and have had those questions unaswered in the past.

Specifically what police dept./how long? What military service/MOS/how long? What protective detail work/how long?

As a client, expecting to verify my qualifications to attend various schools, I would like to know more detail about my instructors.

Please understand, this is not a slam or anything negative, just want to know more about the instructor. Thanks for posting, this sounds like it could be a great course.

Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:39:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 8:03:38 AM EDT by SpentRound]
BLUF: I just signed up to attend.

I don't really know him either. So I'm using two separate theories:

(1) If A associates with B, and B associates with C, then A might (or does) associate with C. What this is, is about what circles (or people) Rob runs in or with. Rob (it appears) hangs out with/in the LMS Defense circle. Larry Vickers and others hang out with/in the LMS Defense circle. If Rob was a total posser, I'd think someone would have run him off.

(2) Any training is good training, as long as you engage your brain. Either getting good training/drills or seeing bad training/drills, both provide a learning experience.
It's been said a person learns more from their mistakes, then from their success. I guess I'd go along with that, as long as the wasted effort doesn't cost too much. $150 is a drop in the bucket when you think about the cost of 1000rds/pistol, and the gas to drive there and back.

Link Posted: 7/17/2008 8:43:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 8:46:55 PM EDT by ecgRN]
I got a free DVD from Guns and Ammo in the mail awhile back. It was called 'Shooting in realistic envornments' or something along those lines. It was basically a DVD of a class put on by Pincus at the Valhalla Training Center.

Good show. Covered ALOT of very practical and useful material. Did not seem like a "holier than thou" instructor.

Maybe I can make a "back-up" for you guys that want to see it.

DVD on Amazon...
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 10:36:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/17/2008 10:50:06 PM EDT by juslearnin]
I don't know if you are trolling or not, as this has all been covered in excruciating detail, I will give the benefit of the doubt. Rob is not a big HSLD operator guy, and has never claimed to be one as far as I have heard. He was a police officer (I believe for a fairly short time) who became interested in shooting and teaching, and has tried to educate himself with as many different instructors and styles as possible.

His strength is in analyzing what is out there, and then putting together his compilation of what works and what doesn't. I think that his method of thinking about high stress situations is the most logical I have been exposed to. Basically, he says, "what does your body do instinctively, and how can you use this to your advantage?", and secondly, how do you balance your need for speed vs precision in this specific incident.

In my mind there are people who have "been there done that", but are not good teachers, there are people who have "been there done that" and are good teachers (a much smaller number than the first category), and there are folks who haven't "been there done that" but have studied and trained and learned the skills, and are good teachers. Pincus fits into this last category.

I took a course at Valhalla when Pincus was in charge there, which was taught by two former SEALs. One was an excellent instructor, the other was not, in my opinion. Were they both very experienced? Yes, but one was a much better communicator than the other. You have to decide in your mind what is important to you. If an extensive military background is important to you, then Rob is not your man. If good instruction, and a well thought out philosophy on approaching high stress situations is your priority, I think he does a very good job with this. For those who are attending the class, I wished I had read his book before taking a class. If you have the basic structure of his approach in your head before you go, you can then focus on "trying it out", instead of "piecing it together" during the class.

I can also say that the walls of Valhalla were covered with letters and pictures from many of the HSLD guys who were taught by Pincus, and I saw some pretty glowing praise in many of the letters.

I am not a Pincus "fan boy", and am not trying to defend him in any way. I am trying to tell you my understanding of where he is coming from so you can make your own decision.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 7:27:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/19/2008 7:13:00 AM EDT by doc45]
No sir, not a troll by any stretch of anyone's imagination. Please refer to my feedback if you have any doubt.

Please, if it's not too much trouble, can you point me to where Mr. Pincus' experience is covered "in excrutiating detail"?

Since this is the internet and it is impossible to determine one's tone from the written word I specifically mentioned I was not slamming Mr. Pincus (or anyone else for that matter).

I was simply trying to determine his qualifications. One of the best local courses I took (Sept. '03), the main intstructors were the late Bill Black, LT. of the Littleton PD SWAT team (and much more involved in the dept. than that) and adjunct Thunder Ranch instructor, and Rob Rathburn, Denver PD and also former TR adjunct instructor. Additionally Larry Bailey (formerly of the CO AG's office) provided the instruction for the legal use of force portion of the course. I have taken many courses over the years and all the instructors have been very happy to provide resumes with the specifics of their employment/experience.

Again, as I posted, I am aware that at Valhalla the instructors were former SEALs. In my experience gentlemen of that caliber rarely, if ever, would align themselves with someone not worthy of their time, skills and honor.

I was simply interested in learning the details of Mr. Pincus' "real world" experience as explained by him. I agree 100% that there are plenty of those out there that may have very extensive experience but are not good at instructing.

In my 30 years experience in the "firearms world" I've never met anyone not glad to share their resume in the training arena. I can't imagine any instructor not willing to list the specific departments/agencies/military branch they worked for.

Mr. Vickers being a perfect example.

Again, nothing in here is intended as a negative comment in the least. I would simply like to know the specifics of a potential instructor.

Yes, the cost of $150 is rather reasonable in my view but it is also irrelevant. Add in the cost of the 800-1000 rounds of ammo and the cost of any course becomes just a bit more significant. Of course unless one is of a means where funds are no issue.

Thank you for your time.

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 7:47:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 8:04:49 PM EDT by GhoSSt]

and his linked in profile is available at:


All of the instructor profiles are on www.icetactical.us including Rob's. Sorry I haven't been watching this thread closely. As with any instructor, I say take a class, use what is useful and discard what is not. Simple as that. Not every technique works for every person/situation/skillset. Plus if you email Rob, he has his entire CV/Resume available I believe.

Hope that helps. :)

Editor and Writer:
http://www.ttellc.net Cool, no bs gear reviews and news
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 7:11:21 AM EDT

Thank You! Looks like this could be a great way to spend a day. Hope I can make it work in my schedule.

Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:45:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2008 6:46:04 PM EDT by Rob_Pincus]
Hey guys... Kelly just sent me a link to the thread... sorry I'm late.

Doc, no offense taken. I'm glad you're interested. I think the guys above did a good job of providing some background info (thanks for that!). You cans also find student AARs at various boards (google). I always encourage you to seek out others with backgrounds and interests similar to yours and see what they thought of the training. In the last six months, since the end of the VTC era, we've been busier than ever and you can find student comments in various places. I know that there are AARs from recent courses in MN, IN, TN and GA for sure.

Honestly, I don't have any world class war stories. I've met some guys who do have them who are GREAT instructors. I've met other guys who have them too....
The most important parts of my background, I think, are as a student and as an instructor. I know that I have learned and developed more in both of those roles than in any other professional endeavor... that's the reason I do this now instead of LE or EP.

When we had SF teams or other HSLD groups come in, I would often get skeptical looks are some direct questions on Day 1 (kind of like: "You're not a green beret, what can you teach us?"), I usually responded with something like "if my background matters on day 5, let me know and we'll discuss it.". Most of them got it right then and there and it was never an issue on Day 5.

Seriously, invest the day if you're interested and I'll refund your tuition if you think it wasn't a fair price for the information/experience.

Looks like I'll see some of you in a few weeks! I'm looking forward to it.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:07:48 PM EDT

Thanks for hopping on here. Sounds like it'll be a great day, I'll know by next Monday whether my schedule will allow me to attend or not. I've definitely had both the good and bad fortune of running across instructors that have the "real world" experience that were not very good teachers as well as those that were outstanding instructors without the "been there, done that" t-shirt, lol.

Regards, be safe
Steve (Doc45)
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 9:07:07 PM EDT
Crap! I just saw this! Can I still get in?

I trained at Valhalla back in 2006 and it was one of the very best things I did! I learned more in 3 days then I did in the last 15 years! Rob and his staff are top notch!
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 6:38:44 AM EDT
Well, we've got 4 signed up, plus Hawke, the range owner and me. So thats 3 at this point. I know we have 2 folks that have emailed me, but haven't made up their minds for certain. So if you're considering it, jump up!

Kelly If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
http://www.ttellc.net Cool, no bs gear reviews and news
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 8:11:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GhoSSt:
Well, we've got 4 signed up, plus Hawke, the range owner and me. So thats 3 at this point. I know we have 2 folks that have emailed me, but haven't made up their minds for certain. So if you're considering it, jump up!

Kelly If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
http://www.ttellc.net Cool, no bs gear reviews and news

I'm in! Should I sign up using the above link or email you my info? Thanks!
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 9:05:03 PM EDT
I don't actually do the registration. So you'll have to fill in the form and all that. I'm just keeping track to make sure we have enough target stands/room.

Link Posted: 7/23/2008 11:57:05 PM EDT
Ok I paid tution deposit off the ICE Website and printed off the regestration form. I could not figure out how to send it over the net so Iwill have to fax it to you.

Can't wait for class to start! Should be a really fun and informing event!
Link Posted: 7/24/2008 7:46:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SkagSig40:
Ok I paid tution deposit off the ICE Website and printed off the regestration form. I could not figure out how to send it over the net so Iwill have to fax it to you.

Can't wait for class to start! Should be a really fun and informing event!

Sounds good. The range owner is going antelope hunting, so we'll have 1 more slot available. And I just got another email forwarded from a gent at CrossfitAgoge sending two more folks.

Link Posted: 7/24/2008 10:41:18 AM EDT
I have 2 friends that are into handgun training. I'll see if one of them can make it.
Link Posted: 7/29/2008 10:49:21 AM EDT
Is there still one opening? My friends could not make it but another guy I know might like to go.
Link Posted: 7/29/2008 11:25:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/29/2008 11:25:48 AM EDT by GhoSSt]

Originally Posted By SkagSig40:
Is there still one opening? My friends could not make it but another guy I know might like to go.

To be honest, I don't know. I think we're pretty close to full, but you'd have to ask Rob to be 100% sure. Have you emailed him yet?
Link Posted: 7/29/2008 11:55:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GhoSSt:

Originally Posted By SkagSig40:
Is there still one opening? My friends could not make it but another guy I know might like to go.

To be honest, I don't know. I think we're pretty close to full, but you'd have to ask Rob to be 100% sure. Have you emailed him yet?

Yes but not about if the class was full. Can I turn in my form at the class? Fax does not seem to work or the email form. I bought a deposit on the ICE website so hopefully I'm good to go! Let me know if I need to do anything else. Thanks!
Link Posted: 7/29/2008 5:25:23 PM EDT
You all set, Skag and there is still room in the class.
Link Posted: 7/30/2008 9:58:51 AM EDT
As of this AM there is room for 2 people. We have 6 signed up and that doesn't include mine or Heathers.

Link Posted: 7/30/2008 2:22:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GhoSSt:
As of this AM there is room for 2 people. We have 6 signed up and that doesn't include mine or Heathers.


Make that one! I just got off the phone with a frined and he was able to adjust so he can go! I'll get his info and payment over to you guys tonight.
Link Posted: 7/30/2008 11:42:01 PM EDT
Ok my friend Sam bought a deposit for the class and we are mailing in our regestration forms tomorrow.
Link Posted: 8/15/2008 5:27:48 PM EDT
Tomorrow is the big day! Can't wait, should be a blast....pun intended!
Link Posted: 8/25/2008 8:05:38 AM EDT
Well, the first day we tried to run the class was a bit messy. The range was a bog and the lightning was close. We got in a few hours of very wet and muddy training and then did about 30 minutes of lecture at a restaurant nearby. I sent everyone home with CFS DVDs and a promise to re-schedule for this past weekend.
After a few emails and phone calls, we reset the course for yesterday. (That was a nice luxury of an all local class!).
Yesterday was a MUCH better training day, we pushed through another 7 or so hours on the range and covered the rest of the intended material and drills. It was a great class.
Thanks to everyone who attended and Ghost for setting it up.

Link Posted: 8/25/2008 2:36:10 PM EDT
I attended this class. After having a day to digest what went on I can say that I am extremely satisfied with the material and instructor. Rob's a great instructor and what he was teaching makes alot of sense. If you have ever been ambushed/ sucker punched/ startled by your kids throwing firecrackers at you as you nap/ etc. etc. you realize that we initially react the same way. CFS build off of this initial reaction.

I almost feel like we got one over one Rob because of the rain the first go'round. It was like two days for the price of one.

I did some dumb stuff a couple of times during the class and I think I am taking more away from those incidents than anything. Embarrassment makes a nice, lasting mark on ones pride.

If you are looking for some very practical training that delves alittle deeper than shoot the target or play range games you will enjoy this. I am already looking at some of the other courses I.C.E. puts on.

Rob, can you tell me what the differnce is between the full blown CFS course is and what we did?

Link Posted: 8/25/2008 5:17:26 PM EDT
I also attended this class. I also cannot say enough good about it. Rob's an awesome instructor who articulates the material very well. He also explains what each drill is for and why we do it a certain way. I agree rwk3, learning from our mistakes helps a bunch. I know I learned a bunch from my screw ups. I am definitely planning on taking more courses from ICE.

Link Posted: 8/26/2008 8:40:42 AM EDT
Let me also add what a professional, articulate instructor Rob is. Since we now have several professional trainers locally, I'd really like to arrange more and more of these 1 day primer courses to give people something to practice on their own. As much as I enjoy and learn at 2 day courses, cost and time off work is difficult.

I think we may have hit on a good learning tool here for everyone.

Link Posted: 8/26/2008 10:42:45 AM EDT
I also attend Rob's Combat Focus Class and I highly recommend it to ANYONE looking to improve their skills, no matter how talented they already are with a pistol! My friend Sam who attend had no training what so ever before going into this class. He freely admitted he was the worst shot it the class. By the end of the day his control of the pistol was, by his words "improved 200%" and I fully agree with him. He gained MUCH better control and could put the bullets where they needed to go.
I'm looking forward to the next CFS class and until then I'll keep reading up on it and watching Rob's videos. It was great meeting all of you in the class and hopefully we all will be able to attend the next one together.
Take care and stay safe!
Link Posted: 8/27/2008 10:45:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2008 10:46:21 AM EDT by Rob_Pincus]
Thanks for all the feedback, guys. It is always nice to have some first-hand experience posts on the forums!

As many of you noted, learning from failures is often the most important part of a course. IF you are not pushing yourselves (or being pushed a little) beyond your comfort zone, you may not be developing at all....


While I don't feel taken advantage of, you are pretty well spot on as far as getting two days in. The certificates say "10 hours) instead of one day. While I wasn't really comfortable calling it a full two day course, we did cover the vast majority of the 2 day topics. As I noted at one point, we didn't get the reps in or as many variations as we would normally do of the SEB drill (distances, sizes, shapes, etc). We also did not do a distance specific drill which is in the video and book called the "Colored Numbers Drill". Other than that, we about covered it. I wouldn't hesitate to have any of the group attend an Adv. Pistol Handling course (the next step in our programs). That said, taking CFS again is never a bad idea for more reps and more learning opportunities.

Thanks again to everyone involved!

Link Posted: 8/27/2008 7:34:59 PM EDT
Thanks for the reply Rob.

I have been looking at the training schedule. We have alot of stuff on the western slope, some in and around Montrose, so I might have to make a trip over there for work when on of the courses come up....unless you think you all will start offering more training on the front range. Once again, thanks for the class and experience.

Link Posted: 8/27/2008 9:24:37 PM EDT
Great, Wade. The guys over there are my staff instructors. As for the front range, Paul Haberstroh (he was my AI on the first rainy day...) is now officially the Regional Rep for the area. He is working on getting some courses posted regularly and I'm going to working closely with him when I'm in town.

Link Posted: 8/28/2008 10:52:33 AM EDT
Most people that have been to a training class or two understand the impact of the “least common denominator” theory of training. It’s what happens when you get a group of people together, that the instructor can not be certain of the skills and/or experiences of each individual. It forces the instructor to “assume” a generally lower starting point of difficulty.

The flip-side to this is the HSLD (high-speed-low-drag) courses, were if you don’t have YEARS of operator experience or train on a constant basis, you’ll quickly find yourself struggling with just understanding what the heck is going on and you go back to your “bad” habits because the training didn’t “stick”.

Most skilled instructors understand how to not only push students to “stretch” their abilities, but also how not to leave them “dazed & confused” on the training line.

Rob Pincus (and the CFS course) do both. It’s more of a class for the “most common denominator”. We all have natural reactions to situations, and believe it or not most of us react in similar ways. The CFS concept builds on this by first recognizing it will happen and secondly to incorporate it into the training drills. This should translate to a smoother “conscious” reaction right after the involuntary reflexive response WE ALL HAVE.

I also found that the training DVDs were like having Rob right there with you, but without the important part of doing the drills with an instructor to point out sloppy habits or give you the interactive discussions when you have a question.

"Humans are not unique in their ability to learn from the experiences of others, rather the unique part is choosing not to."

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