That’s What She Said: Landing the Plane Class Review

| November 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Shepherd has already written about the content of this class, but I have a few things to add from my perspective.

Today I was called to be a good citizen and report for jury duty. In our county, the courthouse is part of a large complex of buildings. Adult detention, sheriff office, juvenile detention.

They’re all situated in a horseshoe with parking lots in the middle.  The process to enter the courthouse itself is just like airport security. Your personal effects go into bins, the bins are scanned, you are scanned, then you get your stuff back. Under no circumstances are edged or even pointed items allowed. 

This put me in the middle of what essentially amounts to a kill box and totally disarmed. We are used to having tools. While we are learning more unarmed / improvised options, a tool is a comfort. It was jarring to go without. 

After I was excused from the courthouse I stopped to shop for a few last minute items.  I am short, and even seated in my SUV it is sometimes hard to get a clear view of the area around me. People take it for granted that the area around them is safe, but a transitional space like a parking lot is where a lot of violent crime happens. 

Thanks to Landing the Plane, I was able to consider my options in both of these environments. I had knowledge and plans, and felt confident in managing my risk without feeling over exposed.

Landing the Plane is exactly the kind of class EVERYONE needs.

If you’re armed, it will help you when you can’t be. If you’re not armed, the scenarios will expose holes in your “well I’ll just run away” plan. Everyone will have something to think about.

Classes like these are a tough sell. They aren’t sexy. They can be scary for people with limited self defense training. Some people are put off by the thought of a full day of lecture. For people new to fight-focused training, they want to shoot, shoot, shoot. However, Landing the Plane and similar are extremely important.

The thing this class does differently than other force on force or even women’s self defense classes do is focus on avoiding bad shit in the first place. There were many great ideas about how to deal with public and transitional spaces like the courthouse and the parking lot. In future classes I’d love to see content more geared towards encounters more likely faced by women, particularly women with children in tow.  

The scenarios at the end of the day were excellent. I’d never practiced calling 911 to report a crime. It was really difficult to speak articulately and give clear directions to my location. I will definitely be mindful of this in future classes when I drill how to greet the police.

Other students learned just how difficult it is to stop a threat before they get too close, or to remember to move in an arc or even to remember to move at all.

I think this would be an excellent class to have students test alternative carry positions (purse, belly bands, ankle rigs, etc). It should be a prerequisite to people with new permits to carry. The notion that you can “just draw your gun and solve the problem” would be proven impractical after just one drill.

I don’t like the terms “beginner” or “basic,” because that implies that the material is only for the novice, or that if you take it once you’re all good. Shepherd and I prefer “foundational,” and we strongly believe that Landing the Plane, and similar cornerstone classes, should be taken repeatedly throughout your self-defense progressions.

The next Landing the Plane session is Saturday, December 5th . I think pairing it with a live-fire class the next day is an excellent idea for people who already have some fight-focused training. If you sign up for both you save $50.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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