If you look back in the archived articles on my website I know at some point I have written that I think you should not lock yourself into one instructor. That goes for everyone and includes me. As an instructor I have great confidence in what I teach but if I never look at anyone else how do I know that it has not been surpassed or dated?
With that in mind I got the chance to take a class from Todd Rassa. He is a regular guest instructor at The Sig Academy in NH. He teaches a number of their classes as well as a ton of his own stuff. Let me start off by saying that Todd is first and foremost just a nice guy. While he does have some impressive Boston PD credentials he does not come off as that guy with the huge ego we have all seen teaching these type of classes. He laughs at himself, jokes and makes the entire experience very comfortable and a pleasure.
The class I took was Armed Civilian Response to Active Shooter. I was feeling a little sheepish about taking this class but I wanted to take something that would just be fun. Then after the first day of class I got back to the hotel and a friend texted me, telling me to turn on the news, and Paris took care of all those sheepish feelings. Hard to have a better example of timely, and practical for a class or an instructor.
The class was split about 40/60 class/range. The write up said between 300 and 400 rds of ammo and I ended up at 500. This was a nice aspect of taking the class at The Sig Academy as the instructor just pulls cases of ammo to use and you settle up at the end of class so you have no travel worries about ammo. Also they will lend you a gun, holster, and magazines and those are free of charge.
I took the opportunity to try out the Sig striker fired platform the P320. I chose the compact and interestingly enough Todd and his crew have recently converted to this gun. It was amazingly accurate, easy to shoot, and overall, is making me think about my everyday carry.
Back to the class review. So if you are the academic type there was plenty of classroom PowerPoint with discussion of past and possible future active shooters with some insights that only PD could give you.
If on the other hand you came to shoot, then there were plenty of both drills and scenarios that gave you a chance to learn as well as test your skills in a more real world set up then you can get on your own at any range.
The only possible disparaging thing I can think of is this. The class was full. Sixteen people. That means that with as much material as Todd covered the time drilling was mostly limited to one time through. This is always a problem for instructors. If only two people show up then you run the same drill over and over. If too many show up then you only have time to show them the drill, run through it real quick and move on. I did learn some new things that you can’t practice at most ranges and I would have loved to have had more time to drill them in. Todd demos most of his drills live fire, so he is not just standing back there talking. You get to see how he thinks it should look.
This was not a beginner’s class. You did not have to be an expert but you had to have some skills when you showed up. We covered some room clearing, escape and evasion, extreme close quarter’s battle, and tactical decision making. You need to be comfortable drawing from a concealed holster and shooting on the move while maintaining safety for everyone around you.
If these things interest you I recommend you look up Todd Rassa. He teaches primarily up in NH but now lives in TX and I think you will be seeing more of him down here