Athen's, GA 1-Day Pistol, 1-Day Carbine June 18-19, 2016

Posted by Abbey C on

So, I have personally been shooting since around the age of 5. I hit a plateau around 10 years ago that I just could not pass. I was accurate, but I was not fast and accurate. I was accurate, but could not move and be accurate. I began to take courses from all the industry celebrities and at the time I felt I hit the jackpot. I was having a great time, burning a 1000 rounds or more a class, adrenaline was high, and I walked away thinking I was ready to take on the world. Well, I was still at the plateau. So, I went back and kept doing those courses thinking, I just need more of this to master it. 
Thousands of rounds, and year of my life later I matured and realized this is not the way to go about things. I realized looking back that these high round count courses with instructors giving great motivational speeches and screaming to induce stress and putting you in these Rambo-esque scenarios was a waste of time. I was being put into scenarios where I was utilizing my current level of skills and not actually obtaining any new shooting ability. Course cost was high, student count was too high for one instructor, round counts were too high, etc etc. 
Fast forward a few years of no real courses and I found John. I don't recall how I came across him, but I do recall that his style was wildly different. A guy who can improve me in only a handful of shots using some camera mysticism? Sure... I did some research into John, saw his extensive background, his calm cool demeanor, watched some videos and thought his teaching approach was a solid concept, although possibly too ahead of its time. I say too far ahead of its time because hey, no one else is doing this so it must not be right!
Well, I decided to sign up for the course with my girlfriend. We show up, look around and immediately realize its a very small class size. You will find that John purposely keeps his courses small so he can be as 1 to 1 with his students as possible (this was unheard of to me, I was use to an instructor yelling commands behind a line somewhere). We went to the line one by one which was a nerve wracking experience since all eyes are on you. He filmed his video which took about 15 seconds and that was that. I thought, well... that was exciting. It took a few minutes for the students to all do their demonstration of their current ability.
Fast forward to the video diagnostic review. John uses a nifty app which captures all your movements in real time as well as slow motion. There are things that look perfect in real time, that look vastly different in slow motion. All my years I thought I was managing recoil well, seeing my sights well, reloading well, and so on. Well, lets just say the slow motion diagnostic portion left me in disbelief. So much wasted effort, so much lost time, so much inefficiency, so much incorrect technique. Once John began to highlight my mistakes and correct my trouble areas with a real time overlay, I began to see the magic in his approach. Each aspect of my performance - Stance, Grip, Presentation, Reload had its own video dedicated to it, all about 3min+ give or take. The wealth of knowledge obtained in these minutes are worth the price of admission.  This isn't to say the hands on portion of the class isn't up to par! John runs a very specific set of drills and focuses on each individual student one to one as he walks down the line. It can be something as simple as "keep doing that, great work" to a few minutes with you. What other instructor would do that with you? John is probably the most knowledgeable, most laid back, personable, and funny dude you will ever come across.
At the end of the day I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. This is not a one and done deal. This is a platform to base a continued excellence on and improve. John said that there is no perfect, only a continued improvement. I will take his video diagnostic of myself and watch it over and over. I will apply what I learned first hand, as well as the information and drawings he overlayed onto the video and come back again hopefully better than before. I look forward to his next course, just be quick because they sell out far in advance!
Jesus Rodriguez

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