AAR: Non-Operator Gunfighter – Pistol 1 Seminar Review by Gary G.

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After Action Report (review)

Enter Gary…

From a psychology class many years ago, I learned there are four stages of competence:

  1. unconscious incompetence – you are not even aware of a certain process/skill
  2. conscious incompetence – you know of the process/skill but you do not know how to perform it
  3. conscious competence – you know how to do the process/skill but you have to think through the steps, movements are hitchy, etc.
  4. unconscious competence – you are so comfortable with the process/skill that you can do it with little thought (second nature)

As with the AK/pistol class last fall, I was mostly in the (#1) unconscious incompetence area with respect to the concepts you taught this time. All I pretty much knew going into this class was that you would want us to always be moving and not to expect that we’d always be able to make the perfect shot from the perfect stance. This I learned from your AK/pistol class and from your Beyond the Firearm 2 video I purchased before the AK/pistol class.

  1. Try to talk to the person you are having the issue with. Don’t cower down to him and don’t be overly aggressive with him. Just be a man and attempt to solve the issue verbally. While doing this, develop a plan to disable him if things don’t go well. Be aware of your surroundings and use them to your advantage.
  2. If you have to shoot, be effective. After the shooting, check 360 for more threats, top off, check for wounds, take photos, call 911, call a lawyer.
  3. Point shooting is an acquired skill. Even more difficult when the gun is lower/near your mid-section and you are moving, at an odd angle, etc. Practice this.
  4. Be aware of (physical) distractions while shooting. Someone from your family may be trying to use you as cover; there may be screaming, etc. Many things will probably be different than shooting at the static steel target you are shooting at when you are at the range. Practice this.
  5. Train with others as they try to take your weapon. Be fluid, move your feet, remember you have another hand. Train with others to disarm them from their weapon. This is not so much of a disarm as the goal but if you inflict enough pain and distractions to them, holding their weapon will not become their primary focus as you have pushed their reset button (messed up their OODA loop so they have to start over).
  6. Again, be fluid. Remember to use gravity to help you get out of the way of their weapon. Don’t be tense and do make use of their reactionary gap. Stay close to your attacker and try to stay out of his cone of influence. Fight through the person and don’t make getting your weapon and gaining space the priority. Disabling them is the priority and if you can with your fists, hands, arms, knees, feet then so much the better. Then when they are not so well off anymore, create space and draw your weapon (at the same time). In this last step, like all others, try to do more than one thing at a time.

With #3-#6, remember no two fights will be the same. Different space considerations, different terrain, different lighting, different sizes of attacker(s), etc. make it pointless to expect the fight to fit your ideals. Better to train with different folks in different locations, etc. so that you become more adaptable to the fight.

After both of these classes I would say I am more in the area of conscious incompetence-conscious competence. I realize there is so much I don’t know and so much that I do know that I need to practice.

I hope that your students realize how lucky they are. It was an honor to learn from you again and I look forward to training with you in the future.


  After Action Reports, AK, Pistol, Training
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