Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Weekend At TDI

Lots to blog about, but I haven’t been posting like I should.

Gary and MeA couple weeks ago, as our anniversary present to each other, we spent 3 days at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union, Ohio. We took their handgun sequence I, II, and III along with three other friends from work. Dianne took this picture of me with Gary on the pistol range. We both wanted to improve our shooting technique and, as an extra bonus, the first two days fulfill the training requirements for Ohio’s concealed carry permit. I don’t know how much of a bonus that is since I doubt I’ll be doing that very much if I get the permit.

I had heard a few positive comments about TDI and read a bit about them. However, you never know exactly what to expect. When we got there, I was pleasantly surprised at how large and nice the facility was. When we walked in to the classroom, there were about 30 people there! It was a mixed group of some less experienced shooters and some experienced military and police officers. I wondered how much instruction we’d get with such a large class, but there were also about a dozen or so instructors. That student/instructor ratio was nice to both create a safe environment and give you enough time with an instructor to learn something.

The first day was mostly classroom instruction, with some shooting at the end of the day. It was a typical hot, humid Southern Ohio day so that was OK with me. The second day we spent about ¾ of the day on the range and the last day was all on the range. We got to know our new pistols very well as Dianne and I each shot over 1000 rounds for the long weekend. They showed us a lot of techniques and explain why they suggest doing things that way. I have a lot to practice! I found all the instructors knowledgeable, patient, and very good about providing constructive feedback and encouragement.

The highlight was a search exercise in one of the “live fire houses” at the end of the third day. The “house” was a framed, single floor structure with chipboard walls. The entire structure was surrounded by earth walls. The objective was to apply all the tactical techniques we learned to search a house and deal with thugs or innocent people pictured on targets placed throughout the house. You used live rounds in your pistol to handle the targets. When going through the house, an instructor was right behind you to both set up the search scenario and provide coaching and a final evaluation. We were sent to the house in pairs, but did the exercise one at a time. I went through the house first and did ok hitting the thugs and not shooting unarmed targets – except for the last target that was a hostage situation. I took three shots and got the thug in the head and neck with the first two but then I went low and hit the unarmed hostage in the head. Obviously I need some practice :^) After that, I was able to follow Dianne and the instructor through the same house -- of course not saying anything or giving anything away. Dianne did very well! Don't mess with her.

Overall we enjoyed the weekend and learned a lot. I’d highly recommend TDI for anyone interested in that type of training. All the instructors were very professional and they handled safety issues quickly and assertively. We plan to return one day and take some of their other course offerings once we’ve had a chance to practice the basic techniques we picked up.

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