I recently attended the Fighting Pistol class instructed by James Yeager and Jay Gibson from Tactical Response. Their home base is in Camden, TN and they often do "mobile" classes throughout the world. I was lucky enough to have signed up for the class in Shelby, North Carolina a few weeks ago. I am not affiliated in any way and I do not get any money from these guys to post on forums about them. I wanted to share my experience and hopefully pass along some good advice to those who carry their weapon daily and are aware of what is going on around them 24/7.
Here is where you can find some information on available classes:
My review about the Fighting Pistol Class:
Fighting Pistol Mobile – James Yeager & Jay Gibson
Host – Jimmy Ellis
March 23/24 2009
After waking up way too early, afraid to over sleep and get my face smashed in by James Yeager, I made my way through Charlotte’s morning traffic. On the way there, I had about an hour and a half drive to evaluate and re-evaluate if I had brought the right gear or if I did or didn’t know enough, if I was prepared to take the heat my friends had warned me about this Yeager guy. I’d seen him on the Internet ripping sights off Glocks and hammering XS Big Dots into place and shooting between the legs. Watching this Yeager guy on You Tube, I thought he was a jerk. I’d read post from him on Get Off the X and other websites and posts slamming him and his methods. I finally arrived on-site at 8:45am and everyone gave me the “Finally, this guy decides to show up!” glance…I guess I was late because roll call was 9:00am. Nope, James Yeager did not smash my face in but the silent Jay Gibson’s first words to me were, “We’ll find somebody else to pick on, don’t worry.” Yeager’s first words to me were, “Who invited this guy?!” From then on I knew this class was for me.
After the introductions, I got a good sense of what everyone’s shooting skills were. Skills between the seven of us ranged from weekend shooters, Army, Jimmy’s 3rd class, and several first timers, including myself, which have never had formal training before.
Yeager’s attention to detail in his safety and course of action in the event something happens was impressive. After the “I MIGHT DIE TODAY!” speech, things got underway and I was ready to learn and absorb what was thrown at us.
I would like to write everything I learned in detail but that ain’t going to happen! Take the course! Techniques on proper draw stroke, reloading, scanning, keeping your head up, and MOVE MOTHER F******!!!!!! Clearing stoppages, shooting on the move, one handed shooting and reloading. Tap-Rack-Fight. F-A-S-T. Re-tape. Re-hydrate. Replenish mags.
Jay’s Super Secret Squirrel tone of voice made me pay attention and listen closely as I was afraid he’d snap me in two if I did otherwise. His trust in our shooting skills became very evident during one of our shooting drills (those of you that have taken the course know what I mean).
We shot lying down, kneeling, laying on our sides, etc. After a few hundred rounds, I had tapped and racked my hands raw and couldn’t get the words MOVE! out of my head. Now every time I pull my wallet, phone or keys out of my pocket, I uncontrollably take a side step to the right…thanks Yeager!
Arrived on-site about 45 minutes early and beat everyone there.
The first half of the day, we discussed mindset, tactics, and lethal force lectures…I like to describe it as “The Way of the Yeager.” This really made me think and rethink if I was ready or prepared if something were to happen…meaning, do I have everything in line if something were to happen to me.
We broke for lunch and returned to shooting the mind numbing Allen Dot Drill. During the drill, I was impressed by one of the attendee’s (I’ll call him Scott) improvements from just shooting these dots. The day before, Scott was impressed by Yeager’s ability to shoot a wasp that had landed on one of the silhouette targets and proceeded to put another round through the same hole. Yeager explained to Scott, he would be able to do the same thing by the end of this course. Scott has never had formal training and little range time, if any, with a pistol and doubted he'd ever be able to do what Yeager just did. By the 3rd Allen Dot, Scott was hitting center and making really tight groups. Front sight, front sight, front sight. I’m guessing Scott was severely influenced from the speech given by Yeager.
We then moved into retention shooting, shooting from cover, moving to cover, and shooting from different positions behind cover. Again, James and Jay’s attention to making sure we were hydrated and stayed hydrated was number one on their list. We did a few more drills, had an open Q&A time to discuss what we had learned and talked about the history of dueling. Then it sort of all came together during that "ah-ha/holy crap" moment. Before I knew it, Yeager and Jay were handing out our certificates. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to do more. I guess I will be taking the Advanced Fighting Pistol in the near future. It was definitely worth the days we were out there. Thanks James Yeager and Jay Gibson…you know your stuff. Thank God for the beautiful weather too and everyone’s safety.
The only two regrets I have are: 1. Not taking the class earlier and 2. Not being able to have dinner with Yeager and Jay. I’ve heard they really say some interesting stuff. There’s always next time.
Points that stand out the most:
2. Be aware of your surroundings.
4. Head up.
8. Pistol is good until you are able to get hold of a rifle.
10. Take the class.
I took this class to get a better understanding of what to do in a situation if I was ever caught in a position where I’d have to defend myself, my business, my house, and most importantly, my family. The mindset part of the course covered a good bit of this and answered a lot of my questions. I also took this class because I needed to get away for a couple days to clear my mind of my day-to-day motions. Meaning, we all get wrapped up in our kids, spouses, money, business, economy, politics and we put on our blinders (cell phone) and fail to see the rest of the world and what’s around us. We sometimes miss the big picture. We sometimes miss the small picture too. This class was a good slap in the face. If you have a big ego, Yeager will let you know. If you’re missing a sense of humor, you’re going to love it. If you didn’t bring a Glock, Yeager will let you know.
If you have a CCW permit, this class is definitely worth taking.
Thanks again James Yeager and Jay Gibson for the 16 hours of influence you have bestowed onto us.
Inside Waist Band (IWB) Kydex by Fist Hoslters - shirt untucked throughout entire class
No magazine pouch used. (Carried 2 spare Glock 19* magazines in pocket for real life practice - *use Glock magazine sleeves if available)
+/- 1000 rounds. American Eagle 9mm 124gr - no failures (shot about 750 rounds)
UpLULA Universal Pistol Magazine Loader - get one, your fingers will thank you!!!! (this is a shooting class, not a reloading class)
Regular leather belt - did not use a utility/holster belt (Yeager likes to refer non-utility belts as girlie belts)
Peltor Tactical Electronic Hearing Muffs
Rain gear (did not use because no rain)
Did not use knee pads - bring some if you do not want to rip or muddy your pants (don't worry about not being cool or manly if you use knee pads...you're a wuss anyway, so it doesn't really matter)
Although I did not use - I brought a Glock 19 and M&P 9mm for good measure (Yeager had extra pistols available if yours would happen to break or if you brought a 1911)
Extra shirt, pants, shoes and towel (if it's muddy, you will be too - you'll have to drive home after class)
Weapon tool box
Learning/Tactical tool box
Food for each day:
Glad you had a good learning experience. Yeager is a good dude & puts on a good class.
good write up. glad you had a good time and learned some valuable skills.
Originally Posted By Yammymonkey:
Glad you had a good learning experience. Yeager is a good dude & puts on a good class.
they are great instructors teaching what needs to be taught
What is Mr. Yaeger's concern with the M1911?
Did you have any concerns about the range always being "hot? "
Some of his issues (& as a long time former 1911 guy, I agree) are that they’re expensive, take a lot of effort, comparatively, to maintain, can be very ammo sensitive & in a lot of cases, still don’t run like they should. It’s a great shooting platform but not necessarily the best fighting platform. The guns that I’ve seen have issues in classes are either cheap POS guns or 1911s.
I don’t have any problem with a hot range & actually prefer it because that’s the way you’ll have your gun set up in the real world. Years ago John Farnam also wrote that the gunhandling on hot ranges was much better than on cold ranges because nobody had the “but it’s unloaded” excuse for laziness/stupidity to fall back on.
Yeager runs a good school.......keep taking classes and train....