TacCon22

TacCon22 is in the books. A fine time was had.

I taught 4 blocks: 2 AIWB Skills (live fire), 1 panel with Lee Weems & Erick Gelhaus, and my presentation on Minimum Competency. I participated in 1 live fire class, and observed a few presentations. I stunk up the match. Of course, being able to hang with “the family” for a few days is what makes this awesome. So many hugs given and received – my heart is full.

I first presented at TacCon21. Tom asked me to step in for brother Spencer Keepers (Spencer had some medical issues to tend to; all good). I was quite surprised yet honored to be asked. My imposter syndrome skyrocketed to 11. I was honored to be asked back for TacCon22. 

Scott, me.
photo: Tamara Keel

AIWB Skills went over well. Saturday lunch, Scott Jedlinski asked me if I had any open slots in my Sunday class – I did, and Scott joined. Imposter syndrome 12. It was cool tho. My first time really hanging with Scott – my fellow large Asian mammal – and it was good. He gave me some excellent feedback, and taught me the meaning of “cheater”. 😉

“I once caught a fish this big…”
photo: Ed Vinyard

Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol is something I’ve been researching since 2013. I presented my original work, along with my recent thinking. I also presented my “Minimum Competency Assessment” and thinking behind it. My present thinking is to write this up in long form and update my “Drills, Standards, Qualifications, & Tests” eBook. Matter of time and priorities. Stay tuned.

Lee, Erick, me
photo: my camera taken by (I can’t remember…)

The Aftermath, my panel presentation with Lee & Erick. This was… special. I spoke about my 2015 home invasion. Erick about his incident. Lee about 2 incidents his deputies were involved in. Funny thing about this is we did barely any planning/organization work prior to TacCon: each made a few slides, Lee collated, Lee projected them… and then the 3 of us stood in front of the audience figuring out how we wanted to do this presentation. 😂 I went first, then Erick, finally Lee, each giving a short account of our incident focusing heavily on issues of the aftermath. Erick turned to me and asked if he could reference one of my slides (of course!). Before today, Erick and I were strangers to each other. Our stories are different, yet our aftermaths are similar. We didn’t plan our presentation, and I think the organic nature of it all made for a special and emotional session. Erick and I (and those deputies) are in a club, for better or worse. I’m fortunate to have found a new brother. Love you, Erick.

Shot the match with my franken-P365: WC XL grip, curved trigger, P365 slide with irons. Scored paper: 245/250, tie: 35/50 4.49 sec: 252.795. Finished 76/174. On paper, dropped the first WHO shot to just outside the box; tie had 3 just outside 6 o’clock. With that gun, basically cold, after the emotional drain I just went through? If this is where my skill degrades to, I can accept that.

Took class from Wayne Dobbs (HiTS) channeling Larry Mudgett; most excellent stuff, giving me new tools to diagnose problems and help students improve. The excellent learning resources Jon & Sarah Hauptman (PHLster) are producing through their Concealment Workshop will become industry reference. I finally got to partake of John Holschen’s wisdom. I listened to Erick present research. Greg Ellifritz had an informative session on medicine under austere circumstances. Good learning being had.

And of course, seeing old friends, making so many new ones. Eating good food. Having to eat Whataburger. Many many selfies. Endless hugs. More selfies. Hot AF tents (Meadhall Range cookies!). Going to bed late and getting up early. Big thanks to the Dallas Pistol Club for the facility and contribution. Thanks to Tiffany Johnson, Martin Hoffert, Aqil Qadir, the RSOs, the crew. And of course, Tom & Lynn Givens of Rangemaster. What a special event; I am truly blessed to be a part of it. ❤️

See you at TacCon23!

Thank you, Tom.

Sunday Metal – Badlands (again)

I can’t post about Badlands and not introduce you to “In a Dream”… a beautiful acoustic number that really showcases Ray’s singing.

When I’m down, and feeling low, and confusion has touched my soul

How I need some place where I can hide away.

Let me fall, within your arms, melt away this cold I feel.

All I need is to hold you tonight.

Hold me close when I’m cold. Let me hear your beating heart.

Close my eyes far away in a dream.

In the morning I wake, and I’m blessed by God’s grace just to open my eyes, see your face.

Hold you tonight sweet child, never let me go.

Tell me everything, oh will be alright.

In the morning I wake, and I’m blessed by God’s grace just to open my eyes, see your face.

Just to open my eyes… (and) see your face.

Sunday Metal – Badlands

Speaking of amazing singers… how about Ray Gillen and his work in Badlands?

It’s not a great recording, but it’s a live performance and all Ray – no autotune, no backing tracks, just Ray’s incredible voice. (Thanks, Ricky for turning me onto them, all those years ago).

Badlands with “High Wire”

I’m not freaking out… no…

No… not at all. Not freaking out at all. 🤪

Next week is TacCon22. I am presenting 4 blocks on 3 topics: 2 AIWB Skills live fire blocks, 1 panelist with Erick Gelhaus and Lee Weems on “The Aftermath”, 1 presenter on my pet project: “Minimum Competency for Defensive Pistol” including presenting new thinking on the topic. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little stressed. 😬

When Tom Givens asked me to step in for Spencer Keepers at TacCon21, of course I answered “Yes, sir!”. My imposter syndrome spiked to 11. But I presented 3 live fire blocks and I guess I didn’t totally suck because I was asked back for TacCon22. I’m almost finished with my prep (as prepped as I can be). It’s been stressful, but I know the Conference will be good.

Some people are surprised to learn I’m not an extrovert. Sure, I’m good at peopleing, but it consumes a lot of energy, and I need alone/quiet time to recharge (introvert). TacCon is a LOT of peopleing. It’s good, I have a great time, but it’s still a lot of peopleing. Then the added energy of teaching (“being on stage”), and it’s a draining time for me. Doing the math on that right now is building up some anxiety. I know it’ll all be fine and I’ll live, nevertheless I’ve had the stress-tick of bouncing my foot/leg creeping back in.

The Aftermath stresses me minorly. I’ve told this story before, so it’s a matter of ensuring I mind time constraints and ensure topic mindfulness. That’s all that gets me. Plus it’ll be nice to meet Erick.

AWIB Skills stresses me a bit more, but not tons. I developed the curriculum, but I don’t get to run it much so it’s not as “in my head” as say a KR Training Defensive Pistol Skills 1 class. I also made some iterative refinements, and I think it’ll work better this year. One lesson from last year? Print it out, put it on a clipboard – I can do it from my head, but there’s a lot of details to convey so having a reference on-demand is good.

But the presentation about Minimum Competency? That’s got me stressed. It’s not the public speaking part – I’m good at that. It’s the topic – but meta stuff about the topic. The original blog post has been around since 2013 and the reprint in our 2019 book. I reckon if I was totally off base someone might have called my ass out by now? Or maybe no one gives a shit – my brain naturally gravitates towards the latter. Thing is, I termed the session “a discussion” because I want to present but I want to then open the floor. I want to be questioned! The audience is the right one to ask this to, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little intimidated by the potential of who may be in the audience and the questions that may be asked. But that’s what I want and why I’m doing it. I want to seek truth, this is how we get there. It’s uncomfortable to go through, but ain’t gonna grow otherwise.

It’ll be a good time. I’ll be thankful for it when it’s over, but right now I’m prepping and managing my stress/anxiety about it. 😄

See you on the other side.

Sunday Metal – Steelheart

Steelheart was another band that came in at the tail-end of the hair metal era, with their debut album being released in 1990 (and what’s with that lame-ass album cover?). Yeah, a lot was derivative and formulaic but…

Holy shit, Miljenko Matijevic can sing.

Sure the “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)” song is perfect for a radio dedication to your high school girlfriend, but the real gem on that album is this song: “She’s Gone”. I always preferred the album version as it’s longer, but all you’ll find online is the radio/video edit. Still tho… those pipes, the emotion poured into singing this song. Simply awesome.

Sunday Metal – Tyketto

Oh man… take me back to my radio daze. In 1990 David Geffen was enjoying success so he spun off a new record label, DGC. To help get it started, harder rock bands like… Nelson… were signed. Of course if you have a formula you keep milking it, and so Tyketto.

I remember seeing Tyketto’s album come into the station in 1991 – simply because that name was so odd, it stuck in your head. I never gave it a chance. It was the early 90’s. Hair metal was passé, or at least, these guys didn’t seem to embrace what made that music so good – and so, it never really took off. And then… DGC signed this obscure little band from Seattle called Nirvana and the world changed.

I admit, the YouTube rabbit hole brought this one up and writing this post I let the song spin – the first time I really listened to it. It’s not bad.

Tyketto with “Forever Young”

Notably…

One of the notable aspects of the democratic process is that one need not know anything about a subject in order to pass laws about it. – Col. Jeff Cooper

From Cooper’s Commentaries, Vol 11, No. 4 April 2003

Sunday Metal – Danger Danger

This came on my iTunes radio mix the other day and it reminded me how terrible it was. It came out at the tail-end of the “hair metal” era, when everything had turned derivative and formulaic along with bands/musicians trying to find their way to success before everything had fully passed them over.

And you got this.

That said, Andy Timmons is a good guitar player and Ted Poley can sing. But if this doesn’t epitomize all that was that particular moment in time. 🙂

This is Danger Danger with “Naughty Naughty” for your Sunday Sunday Metal Metal

Quickly, Carefully, Precisely

Quickly, Carefully, Precisely.

There’s a video of Tom Givens explaining the Parrot Drill and how the 8″ circle is shot quickly, the 4″ is carefully, the 2″ precisely. His choice of words matters – not just in instruction, but actual cues to use under those conditions.

For a while now, when I administer the Texas LTC Completion and live-fire qualify people for their LTC, when we’re at 3 yards I tell them to shoot quickly. When we step back to 7 yards, I tell them to shoot carefully. When we’re back at 15 yards I tell them to shoot precisely.

I don’t have to explain some new gun-world concept; they know what I mean by those words. Just uttering those cues absolutely changes the mindset about how the students think and approach what’s before them. It’s an effective teaching tool, that leads students to improved performance (outcomes). I SEEN it!

Look up The Complete Combatant’s drill: The Trifecta.

Quickly. Carefully. Precisely.

Be strong. 🤘