2015 Year in Review: Training

| December 18, 2015 | 7 Comments

I squeaked out just over 300 hours of professional, fight-focused training this year — 304 to be exact. Adding in lecture-only classes brings my total up to 320.

This does not include practice time at home, or live fire at a shooting range. It also does not include the personal Kali instruction we’re getting.

Here’s a brief overview, as well as what I’ll be doing in 2016.

Live fire training

MPA 930SST SBR rifle passthrough

2015: The vast majority of my live fire training was under the excellent direction and care of QSI Training. I have really enjoyed training with them consistently throughout the years, and observing the evolution in their approach and their material.

My favorite live fire class was the vehicle gunfighting course. The addition of shooting through a car windshield this year was awesome.

shooting inside a vehicle with passengers-0

2016: I will continue to take some of QSI’s more advanced classes, and will also take more classes with other trainers.

Force on force training

Force on Force Tailgunner-0

2015: I attended a bunch of great force on force training from QSI last year, and did a very small amount with Karl Rehn of KR Training and Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics at Rangemaster. The KR Training / Lone Star Medic unit at Rangemaster was focused on low light plus a trauma care component. It made me really appreciate the training I’d received from QSI, Suarez International, and DTI.

My favorite force on force class was the active shooter class held by QSI. Even though I made some mistakes, it was a great experience.

Force on Force Mall Attack 2014-12-07-0

2016: I strongly believe that force on force training is the most important kind of training a student can take. All of the pre-fight, live fire, combatives, and medical can all come together in a good force on force class. I will be taking every FoF class I can next year.

Combatives / CQC training

2015: One of the reasons I advocate training with different organizations is each organization focuses on different things, even if it’s the same topic. My CQC training from QSI, Greg Ellifritz, and Craig Douglas at Shivworks was the same and different all at once. For example, I learned weapons retention and disarms from each person, and they were all different. This allowed me to make an educated choice on what works best for me. As a student, you will never be able to make a more objective decision if you stay with the same group.

The highlight of my close quarter training in 2015 was the Extreme Close Quarters Combat class from Craig Douglas. The experience strengthened my commitment to fight-focused physical fitness, and also validated a lot of choices I’ve made about the tools I carry, and where I carry them.


2016: I’m taking ECQC with Shivworks again next summer. I look forward to seeing where I’ve improved.

Medical training

2015: I attended trauma care classes with QSI this year, and was also fortunate enough to get some time in with Caleb Causey from Lone Star Medics at Rangemaster. Even though my time with Caleb was short, it helped reinforce the good lessons learned from QSI. My class with Caleb also resulted in an equipment change — my primary tourniquet is now the SOFT-T Wide instead of the Cav Arms Slick tourniquet.

2016: The She-Shepherd and I have set a goal for getting more people into trauma care classes next year. We’re going to continue to learn, but more importantly we want to help more people learn. Stay tuned for more information.

Pre-fight training

2015: When people think of fight-focused defensive training, they mostly think of working on what goes “bang” or things that are pointy. Yes, it’s fun to run around a barrel, sprint to a VTAC barricade, and hit rifle targets while smashing your face into the ground. However, dealing with the “pre-fight” and managing unknown contacts is something you may do every day. It’s critical to avoid trouble, avoid being selected for violent crime, avoid forceful confrontation, and to avoid damage during and after the fight.


I am very, very grateful that EVERY organization I trained with for more than 3 hours this year taught us about the pre-fight. It’s something that every student needs to train and practice multiple times.

2016: I am going to re-take the Landing the Plane class taught by Mike Anderson. My goal is to bring some folks who have never taken a fight-focused training class to LTP.

Next Year

My goals for next year is to continue training where I am weakest (combatives, partner/team tactics, in-structure training, and trauma management), as well as train with different organizations. I expect more travel next year. This will increase my expenses, which in turn will reduce the number of classes I attend.

What are your training goals for next year?

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.

7 Comments on "2015 Year in Review: Training"

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  1. Billy says:

    Thank you for the training run down! Fantastic list; would you mind posting your ENTIRE EDC trauma kit? Knowing where to get good training is HUGE, but what you are carrying for your trauma kit is also good to know.

    Thank again!!

  2. Jon says:

    So many great classes are coming to my area next year and I am planning on taking as many as I can afford to. Number one on my list is ECQC and unless I’m wrong, I’ll see you there 🙂

    Number two is Tom Givens Combat Pistol. If time and money allow there are also carbine classes by McNamara and Vickers that I would love to attend.

    I really need to add some FoF and medical classes to my CV but I’m just getting started in this. Hopefully I have time.

  3. DAN says:

    My goal is to actually attend a professional firearms training course in 2016. Seems the bulk of offered training is west of the Mississippi and south of the Mason-Dixon line. But, I hope to attend one, somewhere.

    Merry Christmas ! And thanks for your interesting blog.

  4. Robert says:

    I’m signed up for 2 so far for 2016: Armed Movement in Structures with Craig Douglas and Kyle Defoor’s Handgun class. Looks like I’ll be adding a Greg Ellifritz knife class, maybe another with Tom Sotis, and I’ve also been offered a free handgun class with an instructor in VA. AARs for each will appear on my blog as I take them.

    If I can swing the expense of another trip to CSAT with Paul Howe, I will. Paul felt my performance in UDC was strong enough to return for UDC 2, or I can do an instructor class. We’ll see.

    –Robert https://civiliangunfighter.wordpress.com

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