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Competition, Action Shooting And Training. Competition, Three gun, IPSC, IDPA , and Training discussion here.

View Poll Results: [2019] Your Favorite Firearm Training Groups in SoCal
Falcon Operations Group 0 0%
Firearms Training Associates 3 7.89%
Phoenix Tactical Solutions 11 28.95%
International Tactical Training Seminars 11 28.95%
Tactical Advanced Combat 2 5.26%
The Academy of Saint Crispian 10 26.32%
Direct Action Group 1 2.63%
Trident Concepts 1 2.63%
5 Arrows Tactical Training 1 2.63%
Aztec Training Services 1 2.63%
Civilian Arms Training 1 2.63%
Top Gun Training Center 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 10-30-2019, 2:01 PM
Maespinosa Maespinosa is offline
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Default [2019] Your Favorite Firearm Training Groups in SoCal - POLL OPEN!!!!

2019 POLL NOW OPEN!!

Hello everyone, looks like it's time for a new poll to follow up the one we did last year. The poll will be open from today October 30, 2019 to January 28, 2020. Again like last year, vote for your favorite or pick as many as you want and if you wish tell us why.

I have eliminated the groups which got zero votes last time and have incorporated a couple training groups that are advertising on Calguns. Polls are limited to only 12 so 6 are left out but all 18 are listed below with website links.

If anyone has suggestions or recommendations on how to make the list more relevant and up to date please comment.

Here are the websites for the various training groups listed in no particular order:
  1. FOG (Falcon Operations Group)
  2. FTA (Firearms Training Associates)
  3. PTS (Phoenix Tactical Solutions)
  4. ITTS (International Tactical Training Seminars)
  5. TAC-1 (Tactical Advanced Combat)
  6. TASC (The Academy of Saint Crispian / Stan Lee)
  7. TFTT (Tactical Firearms Training Team) Direct Action Group
  8. TriCon (Trident Concepts – Jeff Gonzales)
  9. 5 Arrows Tactical Training (Darren Harlow)
  10. Aztec Training Services
  11. Civilian Arms Training
  12. Top Gun Training Center
  13. American Tactical Shooting Instruction
  14. Defoor Performance Shooting
  15. Forward Assist Training
  16. Active Shooter Defense School
  17. Monarch Defense
  18. California Tactical Academy
    Added During Poll
  19. Vogel Dynamics
  20. Application Tactical +1 vote
  21. Artemis Defense Institute
  22. Artifex Firearms Training
  23. First Defense Firearms Training
Older Polls
2018 Poll
2018 Top 3
1. 12 Votes: Phoenix Tactical Solutions (PTS)
2. 11 Votes: Tactical Advanced Combat (TAC-1)
3. 11 Votes: International Tactical Training Seminars (ITTS)

2013 Poll
2013 Top 3
1. 50 Votes: TASC (The Academy of Saint Crispian / Stan Lee)
2. 46 Votes: FOG (Falcon Operations Group)
3. 25 Votes: ITTS (International Tactical Training Seminars)

2012 Poll
2012 Top 3
1. 60 Votes: TASC (The Academy of Saint Crispian / Stan Lee)
2. 41 Votes: FOG (Falcon Operations Group)
3. 25 Votes: ITTS (International Tactical Training Seminars)

After Action Reports by Calgunners
American Tactical Shooting Instruction (#13 on poll)
https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR
https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR

Vogel Dynamics (#19 on poll)
https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR
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Last edited by Maespinosa; 11-10-2019 at 10:11 AM..
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2019, 2:55 PM
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Nice poll and potential "sticky" reference for questions like, "What schools are out there?"

That said, how do we know that those giving reviews, etc. are competent to judge the quality of instruction?

Analogy - a 4.5-star rating across 2,000 reviews for a sushi restaurant in Oakland. When I tried it??? Doesn't even deserve one star (My background - living in a city where Tsukiji is just a 30-min subway ride).

.... Better yet, the plaza martial arts schools teaching the "cool" stuff, but most likely useless in a self-defense (real fight) scenario. Yeah - they've got the reviews, they've got the students, etc. but is it something you would bet on?

Another case in point - if you look at Yelp, most of the schools in the SoCal region have 4.5 to 5-stars. Are they all REALLY that good?

To the point of recommendations - wouldn't it be good if we come up with criteria for judging "quality"...?

Stuff like,
  • Vision/motto
  • Focus - fundamentals, self-defense, tactical, competition
  • Instructor profile/s (and whether they can DO what they TEACH)
  • Variety, ie., shoot houses, timed course of fire, man-on-man, knife attach, hostage drills, etc.
  • Standards, ie., before you can move up to the next class, you need to demonstrate to a certain level of performance
  • Safety
  • Cost
  • Etc.


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  #3  
Old 10-30-2019, 6:12 PM
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Subscribed. I've only ever been to front sight. I have a passing curiosity to what other defensive training is out there
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodralig View Post
Nice poll and potential "sticky" reference for questions like, "What schools are out there?"

That said, how do we know that those giving reviews, etc. are competent to judge the quality of instruction?

Analogy - a 4.5-star rating across 2,000 reviews for a sushi restaurant in Oakland. When I tried it??? Doesn't even deserve one star (My background - living in a city where Tsukiji is just a 30-min subway ride).

.... Better yet, the plaza martial arts schools teaching the "cool" stuff, but most likely useless in a self-defense (real fight) scenario. Yeah - they've got the reviews, they've got the students, etc. but is it something you would bet on?

Another case in point - if you look at Yelp, most of the schools in the SoCal region have 4.5 to 5-stars. Are they all REALLY that good?

To the point of recommendations - wouldn't it be good if we come up with criteria for judging "quality"...?

Stuff like,
  • Vision/motto
  • Focus - fundamentals, self-defense, tactical, competition
  • Instructor profile/s (and whether they can DO what they TEACH)
  • Variety, ie., shoot houses, timed course of fire, man-on-man, knife attach, hostage drills, etc.
  • Standards, ie., before you can move up to the next class, you need to demonstrate to a certain level of performance
  • Safety
  • Cost
  • Etc.


_
Lol...you're going to break calguns with talk like that.
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2019, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumpfenhammer View Post
Lol...you're going to break calguns with talk like that.


I should be OK, right? I am in the Competition and Training sub-forum...


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Old 10-31-2019, 2:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodralig View Post


I should be OK, right? I am in the Competition and Training sub-forum...


_
Maybe

I agree with you of course...most ratings/reviews are so subjective as to be of limited usefulness. I think the subjects you suggested would be useful, especially if the reviewer's training and shooting background was included. To borrow your Yelp analogy, I remember going to a pizza restaurant based on a 4.5 star rating and hundreds of reviews. The pizza was mediocre and in hindsight the reviews were based on the price point being lower than average and, as a result, the clientele being younger with less exposure to varying levels of pizza quality. In other words, I think knowing the experience and expertise of the reviewer is important.

I'd love to see a dedicated AAR (After Action Report) subforum that required the information you suggested plus the reviewer's training CV. Maybe we should collaborate on a format and see if we can get it established. Here are a few of mine, in hindsight I barely provided enough of my own training CV:

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR

Something else that would be useful is an easy way to see which traveling instructors are coming to California. I believe that the local trainers who post regularly have to register as vendors for a fee. That makes sense since they are regularly using the forum as a marketing tool, but for the out-of-state trainers who may only teach one or two courses here a year, a monthly investment in calguns may not make financial sense. I would assert that the local shooting community and shooting popularity here in general would be better served if we made it easier for calgunners to find those classes and made it more likely that those trainers would continue to teach here. The solution could be a "Visiting Training Courses" sub-forum that allows independent out-of-state trainers to post two class announcements a year without needing to take on a sponsorship. Training booking agencies such as Aztec (who bring in mostly out-of-state trainers) would be treated as as local training company, and would therefore remain subject to the usual sponsorship if they wanted to announce courses.
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Last edited by Stumpfenhammer; 10-31-2019 at 2:31 PM..
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:02 PM
Maespinosa Maespinosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodralig View Post


I should be OK, right? I am in the Competition and Training sub-forum...


_
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumpfenhammer View Post
Maybe

I agree with you of course...most ratings/reviews are so subjective as to be of limited usefulness. I think the subjects you suggested would be useful, especially if the reviewer's training and shooting background was included. To borrow your Yelp analogy, I remember going to a pizza restaurant based on a 4.5 star rating and hundreds of reviews. The pizza was mediocre and in hindsight the reviews were based on the price point being lower than average and, as a result, the clientele being younger with less exposure to varying levels of pizza quality. In other words, I think knowing the experience and expertise of the reviewer is important.

I'd love to see a dedicated AAR (After Action Report) subforum that required the information you suggested plus the reviewer's training CV. Maybe we should collaborate on a format and see if we can get it established. Here are a few of mine, in hindsight I barely provided enough of my own training CV:

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR

https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/...&highlight=AAR

Something else that would be useful is an easy way to see which traveling instructors are coming to California. I believe that the local trainers who post regularly have to register as vendors for a fee. That makes sense since they are regularly using the forum as a marketing tool, but for the out-of-state trainers who may only teach one or two courses here a year, a monthly investment in calguns may not make financial sense. I would assert that the local shooting community and shooting popularity here in general would be better served if we made it easier for calgunners to find those classes and made it more likely that those trainers would continue to teach here. The solution could be a "Visiting Training Courses" sub-forum that allows independent out-of-state trainers to post two class announcements a year without needing to take on a sponsorship. Training booking agencies such as Aztec (who bring in mostly out-of-state trainers) would be treated as as local training company, and would therefore remain subject to the usual sponsorship if they wanted to announce courses.
Hi Everybody,

I would like to address rodralig's and Stumpfenhammer's comments regarding the poll.

Rodralig:

Thank you for your comments as they are always welcome. Similar discussion along the same vane as your questions/points came up in last year's poll as well. It seems that your post touched on two main ideas: 1. The merits of rating systems 2. Recommendations to make this poll better.

1. Rating Systems
It is true and widely well known that reviews read on websites like Amazon or yelp can be done by people who are both very well informed and those that are not very well informed on the subject they are reviewing. We all know to take these reviews found on these sites with a grain of salt and choose to make up our own minds. However, the pitfalls in rating type systems or structures does not invalidate their usefulness wholesale. If a person sees a review for a particular item or service on one of these websites with thousands of reviewers all giving a 5 star review then it is highly likely that item or service will in fact be better than an item or service which received a 1 star review also by thousands or hundreds of reviewers.

Now I know you maybe thinking of the dishonest practices of some Amazon or Yelp vendors which pay people for good reviews or extort businesses for good reviews. However, we have to remember, this is Calguns we wont have that problem here at least to a large extent.

The problem with rating based systems/structures rests in the sample size of votes or reviews. A larger number of voting participants (sample size) will give you a better indication as to the usefulness of the poll itself. A small sample size could indeed be misleading. Therefore the fix to this is simple. Encourage people to participate in the poll and if they feel the need speak their mind on the subject by posting on this thread. Simple.

The spirit of this poll at least if I can speak for Ramzar is more to create an awareness of what people's options are and to give them some insights as to which options might be best. Before participating in this thread I had no idea some training groups even existed. People of course should find out for themselves but that is absolutely the point here isnt it. Calguns should encrougage more people of all levels to get training and help give them options in one place that is easy to read.


2. Recommendations:
Your recommendations are great and I agree with them. Some training groups will be stronger in certain areas than others. That is why in the original post people are encouraged to go into detail to help people understand.

The current vBulletin 3.8.9 which Calguns runs on only allows polls with 12 entries. I am not sure how to fit this level of detail into a simple quick poll.


Stumpfenhammer

Also thank you for your comments. Its seems that your post touched on three main ideas: 1. The merits of rating systems 2. After Action Reports 3. Visiting Instructors

1. Rating Systems
(See my comments to Rodralig since my feedback is the same)

2. After Action Reports
Great Idea!! I had a similar thought process as well and it ties in Rodralig's recommendations. I can link those reports to this poll for those wanting more detailed info.

3. Visiting Instructors
The original posts back in 2013 as well as last year's did include more traveling instructors. They however did not get any votes and I removed them from the poll. Visiting instructors are great and are perfect for the more experienced shooter that feels they need the next level of instruction.

However, most of us have jobs, families, and busy schedules which take precedence over our shooting. Therefore our training class selection has to bend to our schedule and not the other way around. Then there is of course the issue of cost. Visiting instructors at least as far as I have seen are a more pricey option since they are a scarce commodity in the region they are visiting.

If I can find a class on a weekend I am free and can afford it, I would take it. I would think most people would follow a similar decision making process especially people newer to shooting though I could be wrong.

As was mentioned earlier this poll is meant to give people options and insight as to where to start.

Thanks for the comments guys.
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Last edited by Maespinosa; 11-01-2019 at 12:12 PM..
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  #8  
Old 11-03-2019, 9:24 AM
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TFTT / DAG. Lower prices for superior training. Very little down time. Methodical classes. Great instructors.
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Old 11-04-2019, 3:24 PM
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I would like to post about Application Tactical. I took the 360 CCW class and truly feel like I got a lot of useful information and training. Things I never thought about (like the 911 call and what to say etc). They get my vote this year.
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Old 11-05-2019, 7:54 AM
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Originally Posted by downyours View Post
I would like to post about Application Tactical. I took the 360 CCW class and truly feel like I got a lot of useful information and training. Things I never thought about (like the 911 call and what to say etc). They get my vote this year.
Thanks for the additional training group suggestion. I have added them to the list with 1 vote.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:33 PM
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Been going to PTS for years now. I always learn something new, or have a really good refresher on stuff I've forgotten.
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Old 11-05-2019, 1:41 PM
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You left out Artemis and Artifex in OC.
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Old 11-05-2019, 1:51 PM
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One thing I would look at is the curriculum for their BASIC course if it is chock full of many different skills instead of fundamentals then they really are not going to be that good of instructors as it is impossible to teach that many skills for a basic course.

An example below is from one of the web sites above for a 2 day basic course.

Quote:
Skills Taught:
Mindset
medical
combatives
weapon setup
safety
fundamentals
accuracy
draw
targeting
positions
speed
barricades
shooting on the move
manipulations
strong hand only shooting
multiple targets
non shooting movement
shooting under stress
The "skills taught" above is just fluff. No way one can teach all of those in two days to people that you start with a weapon setup. Basically people going to this course will get exposed to bunch of stuff and learn almost nothing as there would not be enough time to burn in any particular skill.
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Old 11-05-2019, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanks View Post
You left out Artemis and Artifex in OC.
Wow didnt know these guys existed. Nice. They are added to the list.

Thanks to tanks. Tanks are you voting for these two? I can add +1 vote to both.
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Old 11-05-2019, 9:37 PM
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Ok, so is there a recommendation for a home defense course or anything like this stuff for NorCal?

I've got a friend with a wife, wants to get trained. Location is NorCal. Suggestions?
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Cincinnatus View Post
Ok, so is there a recommendation for a home defense course or anything like this stuff for NorCal?

I've got a friend with a wife, wants to get trained. Location is NorCal. Suggestions?
You dont see many "home defense" classes per se. A good tactical handgun class that works on your basic marksmanship and teaches you to "fight" with a handgun is I suspect what you are looking for. It will teach you basic weapons manipulation, moving with a weapon and "basic tactics" with regard structure clearing; doorways, hallways and room.

I would NOT recommend a tactics class for an absolutely new shooter with little confidence in their weapons skills. I would suggest some of the NRA handgun saget classes and look around for a 1st time shooter handgun class for the women.
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Old 11-08-2019, 7:05 PM
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First Defense
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:00 PM
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Stan with Saint Crispian (TASC) was a very good experience. I took Handgun 101-404 (4 classes). I learned a lot and practice some of the weapons manipulations I learned when I can. I also plan to do the Rifle courses and M.O.U.T. in the shoothouse when I am local again. The classes also won't destroy your wallet in the process.

I know people are tentative about signing up for these classes and use these threads to filter certain organizations because they don't want to waste both their time, ammo and most importantly, their money. Stan's classes are priced so that it's not a massive loss if you personally don't learn anything from his classes. I will admit I got bored with some of the content and the pacing of the 101 class as it is meant to introduce new shooters and we had some new shooters with us. However, it's always good to have a refresh from time to time to make sure you are always following safety rules. Things started picking up in 202 and then went really in-depth and complex in the 303 and 404 courses.

You can also consider that a private range @ Burro is $120 just to reserve it and then each guest has to pay their own fee above the first 4. Use of the private range is included in Stan's class and the class is cheaper than if you reserved it by yourself. You get to do a lot of movement drills which you can't do on static ranges.
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:20 AM
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Sorry, guys, but TASC is down in LA, not what I would consider NorCal, unless they have classes up here.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:49 AM
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Sorry, guys, but TASC is down in LA, not what I would consider NorCal, unless they have classes up here.
I don’t believe they were responding to your post Cincinnatus
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:06 PM
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https://centrifugetraining.com/ is top-notch
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:03 AM
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I am looking at their calendar and I only see one California class between now and July 2020. Am I reading that right?
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:07 AM
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Maybe there are a few I am not seeing.

Last edited by Raven556223; 11-10-2019 at 10:09 AM..
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:10 AM
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First Defense
TASC
Thanks for the suggestions xnv733x. I will add First Defense to the list. Are you voting for these two?
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumpfenhammer View Post
I agree with you of course...most ratings/reviews are so subjective as to be of limited usefulness. I think the subjects you suggested would be useful, especially if the reviewer's training and shooting background was included. To borrow your Yelp analogy, I remember going to a pizza restaurant based on a 4.5 star rating and hundreds of reviews. The pizza was mediocre and in hindsight the reviews were based on the price point being lower than average and, as a result, the clientele being younger with less exposure to varying levels of pizza quality. In other words, I think knowing the experience and expertise of the reviewer is important.
Indeed. In the 3-years I have been into firearms, there are actually TWO (2) schools here in SoCal I will recommend against. One was because it was but a hose fest (say 200~300 rounds in 3-hrs) as opposed to the "better" schools that make you learn and be responsible for every shot fired (on average 200-rounds per day, 300-rounds MAX). The second was the limited content/instruction for the $$$.


Quote:
I'd love to see a dedicated AAR (After Action Report) subforum that required the information you suggested plus the reviewer's training CV. Maybe we should collaborate on a format and see if we can get it established. Here are a few of mine, in hindsight I barely provided enough of my own training CV:
I like your format. Do allow me to "borrow" it for my AAR for my recent training with Steve Anderson...


That said, although, a sub-forum may sound good for providing visibility into visiting instructors, etc. there are, IMO, far few for it to be an active forum. I would think that this forum in itself could be suited to the need (just need to have CalGunners post if they know anything, ie., like Rob Leatham/Larry Vickers' class in Janauary).



Quote:
Originally Posted by tanks View Post
One thing I would look at is the curriculum for their BASIC course if it is chock full of many different skills instead of fundamentals then they really are not going to be that good of instructors as it is impossible to teach that many skills for a basic course.
Insightful. I'm interested in which school had that for their 2-day curriculum.


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Old 11-11-2019, 4:59 PM
fitzroy fitzroy is online now
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