The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

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The Annoyed Man
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The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby The Annoyed Man » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:48 pm

I almost don't know where to begin, so as I lay this out, it may not be in particular order of priority for me; but I wanted to address some of the things that I took away from this year's Forum Day. This may not address anyone else's particular experience, or maybe it does, but I want to start by saying that this event was the single most important thing to happen along the arc of my gun education since I got my CHL about 2-1/2 years ago.

  • Physical Conditioning: I've posted plenty of times here that I am overweight, but also that I am older than some (58 years old), and somewhat disabled by pretty severe and chronic back issues. Those of you who met me over the weekend can attest to some of this. The back problem is not going to go away, and neither are the thyroid issues; but even though the pain is very real, and though those problems make it difficult to get myself into some kind of reasonable condition for a man of my age, I have used it as an excuse to quit trying, and I've let myself get far more out of shape than I ever intended. This really came home during the Cover and Concealment clinic. Danny (whom I did not shoot :D ) was very patient and understanding, but I was embarrassed when I couldn't even get all the way down behind the barrel efficiently - partly because my back, partly because my pants were a little too tight around the waist, partly because my belly was in the way, and partly because when you drop my kind of tonnage low to the ground, it is very hard to get it to go back upward again. That made me feel foolish, and it has got to go.

  • Tactical Training: Although this dovetails with the physical conditioning piece because you can't get tactical if you're spending too much time in a bowl of ice cream and a bag of chips, I am woefully untrained in this aspect of firearms. I have never served in the military, and so I've never even had the benefit of a generic military infantry school. The closest I've ever come to any of this is a modicum of martial arts training (much of which I'm too fat to carry out anyway). Despite feeling foolish, I really enjoyed the two clinics that were about this kind of stuff - the Cover and Concealment clinic, and the Shooting from Retention clinic - but they both left me with a deep hunger to learn more of this stuff. That places a high priority in my mind on getting my lard-derriere back into some kind of shape, even if I never completely regain my boyish figure. To that end, while I'm working on the weight-loss/physical-conditioning piece, I'm going to be doing research on practical courses a guy my age can take that will add to my skill set. Also to that end, I am going to take competition more seriously. I'm not a terribly competitive guy, and I've avoided entering any of the pistol matches at DPC where I'm a member, or joining any local IDPA group. But after watching my son compete recently in a personal protection match, and watching the instructors in the two above mentioned clinics, I can see the value of those things as a training aid; and so I'm going to start entering some matches.

  • Home defense: I have already spent some skull-sweat on this, but I've never had a partner in it until now. My wife took the Cover and Concealment clinic with me, and one of her takeaways is that she has to be involved in this stuff or it isn't going to work. We have agreed to workout a plan (which hopefully will survive contact with the enemy) designed around the fact that we are both shooters - not just me. We are going to include salient facts like the positioning of furniture (concealment) and interior walls backed by reinforcing furniture or exterior walls (cover). In light of this, she has declared that she would also be willing to receive some more advanced instruction in gunplay. Danny Stower, you have a standing offer of room and board overnight in our spare bedroom whenever your work brings you to Grapevine, if you will look at the floor plan of our house and help us to develop our tactical plan from what you see.

  • Teamwork: My wife now gets it! Thank you, thank you, thank you! She has always been on board about CHL, but she had never really given any thought to the fact that, in any confrontation involving both of us against someone else, we are a team. She is now much more willing to discuss strategy and tactics. It's not just about her and her gun anymore, it is about us, the guns, the tactics, a plan, etc. That is a HUGE improvement.

  • Understanding the Law: I'm still not a lawyer, but I found Charles' "Texas Self-Defense & Deadly Force Seminar" to very much improve my overall understanding of the intent of the law (concepts like Reasonable Belief for instance, and why prosecutors hate that standard). You can't get much better that hearing it from the mouth of the guy who wrote it.

There is more, but these are the salient points. If I had to choose a word it would be "Holistic." The way the forum day was organized was to give attendees a very holistic approach to learning the hows, whys, and techniques of CHL, and its application in deadly force scenarios - all mixed in with a lot of fun to keep it interesting. I can't think of a better way to have done this. I will definitely be there for the next one, and God willing, I'll have shed some of those pounds and gotten some mobility back.
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby WildBill » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:03 pm

TAM - Thanks for your essay. I had similar feelings after my first Forum Day. It was really an eye-opening experience. I actually felt that the instructor had given me training that might some day save my life. You can't ask for much more than that.
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby Middle Age Russ » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:04 pm

:iagree: with both of you.

In addition, I have to say that the value of the information/insights provided by Charles and the other instuctors is almost beyond price. It is cheaper than dirt given what we paid for it.

It was also a pleasure to meet so many fine folks interested in these aspects of personal responsibility. Too many are abdicating that these days.
Russ
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby cbucher » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:18 pm

I wasn't able to attend, but sounds like a great gathering. I wish there were something like this in the DFW area. There are so many avenues I would like to explore for further education.
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. – The Dalai Lama


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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby chasfm11 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:43 pm

cbucher wrote:I wasn't able to attend, but sounds like a great gathering. I wish there were something like this in the DFW area. There are so many avenues I would like to explore for further education.


The PSC facility is one that would be hard to duplicate. The quality of the instructors was outstanding and, in my opinion, well worth the trip. I know that it seems like a long way (I ended up with a total trip mileage of 656) but in the grander scheme of things, it really isn't that far. I was about 5 hours in each direction for me, door to door. A few tunes to keep you entertained and suddenly you are there.

I'm not as eloquent as TAM about all the benefits that I gained from my session but I can share a few.

- this was the first time ever that I did a live fire exercise from my holster. I've practiced some (not a lot) dry firing and the instructor was able to help me shave a second off my time right there. With what I learned, I'll will do even better. More important my accuracy improved significantly. I agree that that improvement could be something that saves my life.

- I would never have tried retention shooting on my own. There is no place that I know about in the DFW area, even if such an event were held here, that would let me do it. Given the large number of extremely close fighting situations, that too is a skill that could save my life.

- after two great successes, I got to the multiple targets session - and a big humility lesson for me. I knew that I had a number of weaknesses and this session really showed them up. Gary was more than patience with me and he probably infused more information into me in that session that I'd previously ever gained. I know exactly what I need to work on and how to go about it. I'm very, very grateful. I could have paid a lot of money for another type of training and not gotten all that I did from that hour.

So tax, title and license (gas, hotel, food, etc), it was about a $300 cost session for me plus ammo. And it was worth every penny. I cannot wait until the Spring session. I already have it blocked on my calendar.
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby Hoi Polloi » Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:45 pm

cbucher wrote:I wasn't able to attend, but sounds like a great gathering. I wish there were something like this in the DFW area. There are so many avenues I would like to explore for further education.

I think there are enough people here to support it. The issue is if there are enough people who will work for it to make it happen. It would be nice to do one 6 months out from PSC, which would put a DFW forum day in April.

Thanks for the info, TAM. It is quite insightful!
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. -St. Augustine
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reformers in the morning, conservers at night. - Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby RHenriksen » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:05 pm

TAM, that all sounds really positive! :clapping:

On the weight loss - 5 to 6 (small) meals a day is absolutely central. I think short shrift is given to training on the logistics of making that happen. I've often said that personal trainers should take a day w. their clients to go to the store w. them, buyng a good inventory of tuperware and a small cooler, go to the grocery store, and work through the whole process of preparing a day's (or week's!) worth of meals. It's not just about the exercising. Also, from where you're starting from, just plain old walking on a regular basis can have a significant affect on your weight and conditioning. The people I've know who've shed large amounts of weight successfully have typically started there, and only added other forms of exercise later.

It's heartwarming to hear you & Mrs. TAM are going to be working as a team. I'd love to get my wife to that point. She was really interested to hear about the Friday seminar; perhaps I can bring her in April.
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby chasfm11 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:08 pm

Hoi Polloi wrote:
cbucher wrote:I wasn't able to attend, but sounds like a great gathering. I wish there were something like this in the DFW area. There are so many avenues I would like to explore for further education.

I think there are enough people here to support it. The issue is if there are enough people who will work for it to make it happen. It would be nice to do one 6 months out from PSC, which would put a DFW forum day in April.

Thanks for the info, TAM. It is quite insightful!



You might want to look at this http://www.texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=105&t=39139
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby Hoi Polloi » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:17 pm

chasfm11 wrote:
Hoi Polloi wrote:
cbucher wrote:I wasn't able to attend, but sounds like a great gathering. I wish there were something like this in the DFW area. There are so many avenues I would like to explore for further education.

I think there are enough people here to support it. The issue is if there are enough people who will work for it to make it happen. It would be nice to do one 6 months out from PSC, which would put a DFW forum day in April.

Thanks for the info, TAM. It is quite insightful!



You might want to look at this http://www.texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=105&t=39139

Ahhh! :lol::

If the PSC day is moving to April from now on, that would put a little damper in those logistics, wouldn't it? :lol:

I think I recall April and October being the most rainy in TX. I wonder why they prefer April to October. If Oct is difficult, the same problems would likely occur in DFW. Well, whatever the logistics, I think the theory would support it in DFW once a year and the issue is if it could be worked out in practice because I imagine it takes a lot of coordination, effort, and work to pull it all together. My hat's off to those who did so this year! We weren't able to go, but we're learning second-hand what we can from threads like this.
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you. -St. Augustine
We are reformers in Spring and Summer; in Autumn and Winter we stand by the old;
reformers in the morning, conservers at night. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby cbucher » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:26 pm

Thanks for the link to the other thread. I must have missed it. April is very doable for me. The only reason I couldn't make this one is because my son gets married in a couple of weeks. The trip to Colorado and wedding expenses won this time, but not the next one.
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. – The Dalai Lama


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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby chasfm11 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:36 pm

Hoi Polloi wrote:..... but we're learning second-hand what we can from threads like this.


There are some things that just cannot be learned remotely. The humility that can be gained from trying to shoot the Texas Star is something that one just has to experience in person . :banghead:
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby gwashorn » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:16 pm

TAM, thank you for a well thought out piece. I missed meeting you and hate that. But glad you made it. This was my second time for this event. I am hooked on it and it does give you things to think about, good ideas to take home and work on and of course, good company. Don't feel bad about the shape of things, we all have to deal with some thing to get by. But these clinics show you what you can do or have to do or maybe, how to work around it. That is learning and that is what I like about the event. Must admit I was tired and hurting the next day. That is good. Can't wait now till the next one.

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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby TLynnHughes » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:22 pm

Great post, TAM! Thanks for sharing. I certainly can relate to much of what you said.

I understand why everyone is calling your wife, The Pleasant Woman, because she sure is! But I can't understand why you're The Annoyed Man. :confused5 You were smiling every time I ran into you!

See you in April if we don't make it up north before then.

T.
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby hangfour » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:38 pm

Nice words indeed!!! Thanks. It was nice meeting you at PSC. Hope to see you again soon.
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Re: The Annoyed Man's Takeaways from the 2010 Forum Day...

Postby OldSchool » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:41 pm

TAM, you about covered it. Education: The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

But, at the end, you seemed to be doing better than we did! (Very glad we finally got to meet you and your spouse!) :tiphat:

And, man, did we feel it the next day. DynaBlue's foot did great -- but the rest of her leg got quite a workout! :mrgreen:
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