I attended the Fighting Pistol with James Yeager on Sept 9-10, 2017 at Camden, TN. I have to say, I had several people ask me if I knew “that Yeager guy was a psycho” and besides – “he cusses too much”. Of course, none of those people had ever actually met James. I had and knew he was a a normal (OK, pretty normal) guy who has proven he absolutely knows how to train people to fight with a firearm. And, just to be clear, this is not a shooting class. It’s not a concealed carry class. It’s not a marksmanship class. All of this topics are covered to some degree but this class is about FIGHTING with a pistol. Which is what you will be doing if you ever have to use your pistol against a bad guy.
Before I start the actual review, let me get this out of the way. I wish I had taken this training decades ago. As corny as I know it sounds, I think it literally changed my life.
What To Expect
OK, I will try to be brief. I will try to include what to expect for anyone who is considering taking the class (Just do it!)
So, the first 12 people to register for a class can stay (for free at the time of this review) in the Team Room. The Team Room is actually in the basement of James’ home. There are bunks, bathrooms, a fridge, several couches. And if you want to chill, way more movies and books than you will have time to watch or read. (By the way, I can’t recommend the movie “The Warrior’s Way” – I’m more of a “Die Hard” kind of guy.) But there some great titles on the book shelf. I wish I had thought to take a picture so I could buy some of them.
But, if you don’t stay in the Team Room there are also a couple of local hotels very close to the training facility. I was fortunate to stay in the Team Room Friday and Saturday night.
Saturday we got up early and some of us had breakfast a a great local restaurant. For some reason all the waitresses wear scrubs. But the food was excellent and easy on the wallet and the service was great.
Then we went to the Tactical Response business location. We had sort of an overview of what we would be learning as well as several other topics. Probably a couple hours total, I don’t remember.
Then it was off to the Birdsong Range about 20 minutes away. Once there, we wasted no time in getting started working with our pistols. Don, David and Brian were helping James Yeager on the range. Starting with the absolute basics we worked up to finishing the day with some shooting on the move drills. I probably shot around 400 rounds or so on day 1.
After class most of us met a a local Mexican restaurant for dinner, then we met back at Tactical Response for an informal Q&A session. After that I went back to the Team Room, had a shower and did my homework (yes, we had homework).
Up at 5:30 AM I went ahead and packed up my gear and stowed it in the truck. Then it was another early breakfast at the same restaurant and back to Tactical Response headquarters for a lecture on mindset – before, during and after a shooting to defend yourself or someone you love. Seriously, as crazy as it sounds, this was worth the whole weekend. James just has a way of putting the really important things in perspective and I learned a lot of stuff I had never even considered before. It will probably take me a while to process it all in my mind.
Then we had a quick lunch and drove back to the range for some really intense drills that includes fighting from all sorts of positions from flat on your back to moving on your feet to using cover effectively. Plan on getting dirty and do what it says on the course page and bring some knee pads. I was really glad I had mine. (By the way, if you’ve never fired your pistol from the “retention position” that will be a completely new experience.) All in all, I’d say I shot another 200-250 rounds on day 2.
It was a very intense weekend but James Yeager and his team are really good at keeping everything simple and easy to understand. They followed a course syllabus and very methodically built one skill on top of another as we progressed. One thing I really like is that many of the live fire drills we learned are easy to safely practice at home using dummy rounds for “dry practice”. In fact, that is probably the only way to really get the correct habits ingrained for most of us.
Just Get Trained
Bottom line, if you are serious about becoming proficient and capable in fighting with a pistol, you owe it to yourself and those you love to get some good training. James is quick to say if you don’t train with him you should train somewhere else but I’d say just train with James Yeager Tactical Response. Yes, you will most likely hear an “F bomb” every now and then (OK, a LOT) but they won’t kill you. A bad guy might. But he (or she) will have a lot harder time doing that if you take this course and PRACTICE what you learn.