I took the Sheriff of Baghdad class upon the strong recommendation of Jimmy from F3 Tactical. He spoke very highly of both the methodology as well as the instructor, John McPhee. Given how many classes and instructors Jimmy has seen, I figured this class would be worth my time and money. I am not able to take a lot of additional shooting instruction due to time and finances, and so spending $500 on a one day class seemed perhaps extravagant.
The class was small, there were six total students. We started the day by individually shooting two rounds, executing a reload, and then shooting two more rounds. While we were shooting the instructor took video, and when we were all done, he took us back under the awning and we broke down everything we did in slow motion. When I say that John McPhee broke down everything, I mean he broke down EVERYTHING. Most of us were reasonably competent shooters, but he was still quite easily able to find all of the things we were either doing wrong or could be doing better. He started with stance, then moved on through presentation and grip. While he was going through the video with us, he was annotating it with both voice and lines/direction. At the conclusion of the class we were all sent those videos for our personal reference library.
We easily spent two hours just going through what everybody did with that very short shooting demonstration. Not only were we coached and helped with our own shooting, we got to see that same coaching for the other shooters. John McPhee calls it "PhD level shooting coaching," and I'm inclined to agree with that assessment. Once that part was complete, we moved on to some drills to solidify some of the concepts taught during the first block, to include breaking down parts of the draw stroke. We did a few others to enhance speed, and then finally we did two more video sessions of specific drills at the end.
By the time we were done we all walked away with nine videos, all full of very specific individualized instruction and coaching. Rather than try to write it all down or commit it to memory, we all have it on video with a permanent record, so we can refer to it any time, over and over again. John McPhee uses the application Coaches Eye for this, and he is quite expert at using it to the best possible advantage in order to show you what you are doing, as well as what you could be doing better.
I'd also like to mention that John McPhee is more than happy to field any question on any topic that he is versed in. Given his background, I and several other students asked him a ton of questions. The size of the class made it seem much more like semi-private coaching, rather than some mass market regurgitation. I don't need to spend class fees, ammo, travel, etc., just to hear somebody yell "sight picture/trigger squeeze" at me over and over again. In large classes, only the really bad students get any direct instructor time, and I'm beyond the really bad stage now in my shooting career. The last large class I took, over the span of two days I got perhaps three sentences out of the instructor, and none of that information was particularly life changing in terms of what I do with a gun. McPhee's class is radically different in that regard, because I have volumes of information from him, and a lot to work on/change with my shooting style and technique.
When we were driving away, my colleague asked me if I thought it was worth it, and I told him yes. I asked him the same question, and he also opined that it was VERY worth it. This won't be the last time I take a Sheriff of Baghdad class.