AAR: Complete Pistol Gunfighting School 13-15 May 2016


This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to attended The Complete Pistol Gunfighting School held in Prescott, AZ. I'm going to change the format a bit of my usual AAR's for those that may be new here or have been here and have yet to attend and meet some of the Suarez International staff. I believe that unless you have some understanding of how they operate, you won't realize the opportunities you're missing when you don't get into these classes. Due to this, and already seeing other AAR's, I'll leave out what exactly the course covered.

First, I believe it to be beneficial to give you an idea of the instructors and staff that made this possible. Though you'll all recognize their names from the posts throughout the forum, at least from my perspective, you really have to meet these guys to fully understand the value their posts truly have. I am aware that there are people in the forum that don't care much for SI as a company, their products or their staff; swinging buy for a free meal. I am also aware that some of those people have never attended a course and based their opinions on the words and misinformation of others. I would tell those that fall under that category to leave their internet bravado aside and attended a class to see what you're missing.

The following are my observations and opinions of the staff, I am not an employee or otherwise compensated by Suarez International or any of their employees.

Lead Instructor/CEO Suarez International-Gabe Suarez
Unless you've actually trained with Gabe Suarez, leave whatever preconceived notions and opinions aside and get into one of these classes and meet the man. Gabe has a unique ability to take the information and material, that other firearms instructors make as complicated as astrophysics, sound so simple that you wonder how anyone else stays in business. I believe that all of this stems from creating an adult learning environment during the classes as opposed to treating everyone as if they'd just fallen out of the womb. The professionalism and the respect with which he treats ALL of his students seems lost on most in this industry. Never once did I hear any derogative comment made towards any student in class, never did I hear him raise his voice in frustration or irritation with any student who wasn't able to conduct a drill properly (I'll add that by the end of the three day class every student was making standing 60 yard pistol shots, on target, regularly and consistently. As stated in another AAR from this class, Gabe was able to not only tell you why a particular tactic or skill was needed; he'd show you, then follow up with real world examples. With Gabe, context is everything. I also admire that he provided and acknowledged original sources and authors for where some of the material is based from. There are far to many out there taking credit for things that were around prior to their births, but I digress.

Assistant Instructor-Brent Yamamoto
If you don't believe that ninja's exist, then you've never met Brent. This guy not only hits like Optimus Prime, the way he moves borders on debunking some of the know laws of physics. Brent was absolutely instrumental, particularly to the way I learn, in demonstrating, dissecting, and articulating what I feel is the most important aspect of the entire Suarez International syllabus...busting off of the X. If you're new to the forum or the concepts, I can assure you what you've seen other instructors call, and conduct, "movement" on Youtube is only useful for making your way through a crowded public restroom. I find that the information presented by Brent, helping us understand the bio-mechanics of the human body, was excellent. Brent, if you're reading this, a special thank you for taking the personal time with me in order to make sure my take off was perfect (though someone throwing punches at your face is a Hell of a motivator), and not hitting me after I punched you in the gut. Also, my regards to your father. Let him know that the next time he finds himself here, the ribeyes are on me.

Assitant Instructor-Greg Nichols
On the forums, Greg's humor is well known. What isn't translated via the forums is his ability to teach and help fine tune students abilities and techniques. I saw him on multiple occasions approaching students and giving minor suggestions that translated into a major impact in the students abilities to get hits on target, especially at long distances. His humor does follow him to the range, though he can turn it off in a heart beat when he's trying to make sure you understand, and can perform, the expected course of fire. A special thanks to Greg, without his help I would have missed the opportunity to attend.

Suarez family and additional staff:
Gracious and welcoming hosts, they are also the folks behind the scenes making sure everyone is kept up and running. On a few occasions I saw them assisting students with gun issues or installing newly purchased components. Thank you guys for all that you do.

A final thank you to MCSO and Chrisnobody who took a stranger in at the last minute, the value that you guys provide to this tribe is astounding. Also thanks to my two other house mates, great students, training partners, and all around good people.

I am a firm believer in the system that is taught and offered by Suarez International. It wouldn't matter to me who was teaching this information, it just so happens that the guys that are instructing are world class. I had a mantra this weekend that I stole from Napoleon Bonaparte, which, not exactly verbatim, is "The biggest hindrance to adaptability is ego". Don't let your ego get in the way of learning skills and techniques that will save your life when the Devil comes knocking.

I apologize for the length and the lack of course material in this AAR, but I believe that some here might find better value in understanding what the instructors can offer as opposed to more "free meals". If anyone has questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them.


"We know what we know, and we don't know what we don't know" -Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, United States of America