CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

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safrog
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CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#1

Post by safrog » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:56 pm

Tactical Pistol Operator
CSAT – Combat Shooting and Tactics, Nacogdoches, TX

This was a fantastic course. I will try to summarize the 2 day session…

I had some concerns as I registered for this class. Specifically, I was concerned that the physical and mental demands of the course would be above my head due to the fact that Paul primarily trains LE and Military. (The “Note to Students” on his ‘about’ page underscored this concern.) While I am not out of shape, I would not put myself in the physical category of 20-something military folks or 30/40 something cops. And, running some obstacle course or getting yelled at for a mistake on a failure drill is just not what I desire in training. Of course, Paul’s background also added to my concern. If you are not familiar with the name, Paul spent 20 years in the Army, and 10 of those years in special ops. Paul was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor. He was part of Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia where he was one of the Delta operators characterized in Black Hawk Down.

My concerns were 100% unfounded. I’ve taken 3-4 pistol training classes over the past year. In every one of those classes, the constant has been the huge ego of the lead trainer (sometimes it was earned, other times not). But, when one enters the CSAT range, the first sign says “Leave Egos Here” and points to some brushes. Clearly meant for the students, it obviously applies to the trainers as well. No one should have more of a right to carry a large ego than Paul, yet he is one of the most humble and likeable people I have met in the industry.

Paul and his trainers (which were fresh off of his Pistol Instructor Course the prior 4 days) were very patient and down to earth. They were dead serious about safety, but they were helpful, not condescending. When you did not meet your own expectations in a drill or standard, the trainers were there to support you and positively motivate you. They focused on constructive criticism. They pointed out what was correct first, and then they helped the students understand what needed to be corrected, how to correct it, and why it was necessary. Every concept or drill was demonstrated multiple times…slow pace, fast pace, slow pace. Paul supervised all the training and led the demos and drills on many occasions. He and his staff were always accessible. They would ask for questions constantly, and were never dismissive of any question. I’d say the student to instructor ratio was roughly 2:1.

The training revolved around 10 standards which are listed on the CSAT website, and culminated in an attempt to meet the standards as the final drill on day 2. The targets are modified IPSC targets (read: smaller zones). For context, out of the 13 people in our group (the students were split into 2 groups to reduce wait times and increase training time), no one did better than 5 out of the 10 standards. Most of our group met 1 or 2 standards.

Drills included shooting on the move, the use of cover (vehicles and barricades), kneeling, crouching, hostage drill, etc. Due to the heat, frequent water breaks were provided. We shot right at the advertised 700-800 rounds over 2 days. (No surprise since I got the distinct feeling Paul would not embellish anything.)

One of the more unique features of CSAT training is the videotaping. At the end of day 1, each shooter is individually videotaped performing several of the standards. We were split into our groups to review the video the following morning. This is incredibly helpful. One can really begin to understand every nuance of their form. Watching the others in the group was also helpful. Again, the instructors started with a positive while critiquing the video. For example, I was one of the only students performing all draws from concealment. The video critique started with a compliment on how well I clear the garment to assume a grip, but also pointed to some mental laziness on my part in clearing the garment as well for re-holstering.

The CD one gets at class is also unique. The information in the disc is too voluminous to mention it all here, but it is a ton of reference material. The most helpful for me is the ‘workouts’ and the forms for keeping track of your training progress against the standards.

It is noteworthy that a majority of the students were active LE and active Military. Most of them performed all drills in full gear which was impressive given that the heat and humidity were brutal. For the civilian, this was an added benefit: Not only were we able to bond and understand some of the mindset of the military and LE participants, but we were able to measure ourselves against them. For those of you who are at least competent shooters and follow instruction with an open mind, you will have no trouble keeping up.

The CSAT facility is convenient to Nacogdoches, and within 5 minutes of hotels and restaurants. CSAT does provide a communal board for a nominal fee. Based on the comments of those who stayed on site, I missed out on some camaraderie and sufficient accommodations. However, I decided at a certain age that I would no longer share living quarters with others outside of my family so I stayed at a decently priced hotel 5 minutes from CSAT.

I strongly recommend this course for any CHL holders or civilians with a serious interest in improving their skill set. CSAT will demonstrate and coach you to a solid understanding of the fundamentals of combat shooting and tactics. As importantly, you will receive a blue print for continuing the application of those fundamentals.

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AEA
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Re: CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#2

Post by AEA » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:13 pm

Very good and informative review. Thanks! :tiphat:
Alan - ANYTHING I write is MY OPINION only.
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MoJo
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Re: CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#3

Post by MoJo » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:24 pm

In my experience, the bigger the ego the smaller the person. I don't mean physically smaller smaller in overall life experience. Most of the real BTDT guys I know (and I know quite a few) are humble and willing to share their knowledge but, never tell you how great they are. When a trainer has to tell you how great they are they are usually short in the resume.

I don't know Paul but, he is spoken of highly by those I know who know him. I am glad you had a positive experience.
"To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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bizarrenormality
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Re: CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#4

Post by bizarrenormality » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:50 pm

MoJo wrote:In my experience, the bigger the ego the smaller the person.
:iagree: There are two types of men. Those that brag and those that don't need to.
"Also if you can not be trusted with a pistol after a few drinks you can't be trusted with a pistol period. Booze is liquid bad judgment no doubt but it shouldn't make you into a damn moron. If you are a moron sober I don't know what to tell you." - BurnedOutLEO

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gigag04
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Re: CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#5

Post by gigag04 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:13 pm

Howe is highly respected by our Tac guys. I hope to take some classes from him.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. - Thomas Edison

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WildBill
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Re: CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#6

Post by WildBill » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:01 pm

AEA wrote:Very good and informative review. Thanks! :tiphat:
:iagree:
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big 54r
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Re: CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#7

Post by big 54r » Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:32 pm

outstanding review...thanks.
Howe is on my wishlist for taking training courses.


mdoan300
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Re: CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#8

Post by mdoan300 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:20 pm

Thanks for the review. Taking carbine course from him is on my bucket list.
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Lumberjack98
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Re: CSAT: Tactical Pistol Operator

#9

Post by Lumberjack98 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:39 am

Thanks for taking the time for such a great write up!!
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