Well, I must say, rarely have I ever felt so privileged and proud to be a part of something. I’m still floating on cloud nine and nearly speechless at just how well the Tactical Conference went, so this will be relatively brief (plus I have an MRI in a few hours that I should probably be on time for).
My presentation at the Tactical Conference went really, really well. Better than expected, frankly. It was very well attended (another pleasant surprise). I admit my looming case of the nerves got a little worse when I saw the likes of Mas Ayoob and Jim Higginbotham in my class. But somehow, some way, once I got started, I fell into a rhythm and things just magically worked. I don’t think I made any major goofs. Or at least, I don’t think there was anything that would have been obvious to the audience. Of course after it was done I immediately started pondering all the things I forgot to say or should have explained better or whatever; but by and large, I must admit, I’m really, really happy with the result. In fact I ended up passing out lots of cards, I got several requests for the slides and the handout, and I even got two invitations to speak at other venues. So, while my material might not have been as sexy as some of the other topics at the Conference, I think (I hope) at least a few people found it useful. Yay!!!
I want to publicly thank Tom and Lynn Givens for allowing me to present at the Conference, even though my background is a little (okay, a lot) different from most of the other trainers. They could very easily have told me to kick rocks and cast a safe bet with the Old Guard. Being able to present among this group of incomparable giants was an experience of a lifetime for lil ol’ me.
As for the Conference at large, I think it was one of the best ones Tom has ever done. There were roughly 200 people there altogether, 136 of whom shot the pistol match. All of the training blocks were well attended and well received. But perhaps more importantly, the camaraderie was genuine, pervasive, and palpable. I was all but overwhelmed by the sea of rare talent surrounding me, and yet I felt totally welcome and “at home.” Most of these big-shot trainers are huge hulking beefcakes with intimidating snarls who can conduct symphonies with pistol bullets, but get them around a dinner table and they’re just about as regular as blue jeans and t-shirts. Everyone was so nice, so hospitable, so helpful, so approachable, and so generous with their expertise that you almost forgot how blindingly lethal most of them can be when necessary.
I’d like to give a shout-out to Vicki Farnam of DTI for Women (a sister company to John Farnam’s Defensive Training International). Vicki is a legend in her own right, so of course I already knew who she was. But at the Conference I had the pleasure of finally meeting her and picking her brain a bit. She’s quite a role model not only for female shooters but for all students of personal defense. She was gracious enough to offer me nothing but kind words of praise and encouragement, for which I am eternally humbled and grateful!
I also had the pleasure of meeting a few of my readers at the Conference, which was awesome! And I think I might have gained a few new readers from the Conference too, so here’s a great big heartfelt WELCOME to all those who are visiting my site for the first time.
Pictures and video from the Tactical Conference have been added to the Rangemaster website. For those who are interested, see the links below. Sadly I’m not in very many of the photos, because I was the one behind the camera 99% of the time. 🙂 Again, many thanks to those of you who wished me luck going into my presentation Friday morning. I think it paid off!!!
- Tactical Conference Photos
- Tactical Conference Videos
- Another video put together by one of the conference attendees
- Presenter Line-Up & Course Descriptions
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give one last shout-out to Craig Harper, my mentor and my right-hand dude. My (our) presentation literally would never have happened if it weren’t for Craig. Kudos, bro! Get well soon!
I said this was gonna be brief, didn’t I? LOL…