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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Baton Rouge and Killian/Springfield

    VATA Group Intro and Pistol 1 Review/ What I experienced

    I attended Intro to Pistol and Pistol I this past weekend and it was well worth the coin!

    First day(intro) we had around 7 shooters and our instructor Blane was great.
    Ive been "into" guns since 2008ish and had never attended a class. We started in the classroom with going over sight alignment/sight picture and we all gave a brief intro.
    We then moved to the outdoor range, covered safety and hydration, and began training.
    I quickly learned that I had been neglecting the basics. Frequent range trips to precision in baton rouge, while fun, just helped reinforce my bad habits. There is nothing that can compare to having a true "shooter" coach you.
    I began with a pattern/grouping that would have been deemed poor for a shotgun! The instructor was great at not leaving anyone behind on the learning curve and quickly un ****ed up my stance, grip, trigger control and sight picture.
    By the end of day one my groupings had improved and I had learned a few drills i could use to improve my skills.
    Blaine was very adamant that we learn true pistol marksmanship before we just start bangin out rounds at a silhouette.
    While the round count on day one wasn't high,(350ish) i feel like I learned a lot more and wasn't fatigued to the point that i couldn't learn more.
    One on One time was more than adequate.

    The instructor Blane was VERY good at creating a learning environment that doesn't confuse new shooters with technical terms. If someone doesn't understand something he would quickly break it down until it was understood. He created a safe but open environment. He didn't present himself as some mystical tactical joojoo master and was very approachable. I brought a friend that has been casually shooting for a month or so and had made a poor pistol choice. He wasn't criticized for attempting to learn or for using an odd handgun. He definitely learned to clear malfunctions though! After day one my friend went to academy and grabbed a G19 since he was tired of the malfunctions! The instructor noticed on day two and congratulated him! hah! I feel like he truly gave a shit and wasn't there just to grind us though the class.

    Day Two (Tactical Pistol one) attendance was higher at around 10 students and we had a second instructor to assist.
    Day two we were speeding things up.Speed out the holster was covered and a shot timer was introduced. We increased the distance and the timer made ME SUCK! Nothing like a little pressure to make you lose focus on the fundamentals. Things slowed down for a bit and went back to bullseye marksmanship. We were then all tricked by the instructor to shoot well from 25 yards! When he said "okay rip your targets down and notice you all made A zone hits" i laughed my ass off. Speaking of laughing, if you are looking for laughs this class will provide plenty.

    My friend was struggling to learn his new G19. I would look over and notice his groupings were worse than they were with his Ruger the day before. He is sneakily pulled from the line and John gave him one on one with his new gun while we continued some drills. When my friend returned to the line he was smoking ALL the targets. That reenforced my view that THEY NOTICE and THEY CARE. They let nobody fall behind and they also didn't slow down the more experienced shooters there. We had quite a variety of students on both days. Police Officers, Medical personnel, gamers, concealed carriers etc

    Shooting on the move and shooting around barriers was also covered. At first i couldn't hit SHIT on the move. No steel was ringing. I was frustrated. We tried again and this second round my stubborn ass listened to what Blane was telling me the entire time. "wheres that front sight!!?!" Steel became a blur and then it started singing. I had my epiphany moment! I was able to achieve a decent ROF with nearly all hits by the 3rd run thanks to his coaching.

    Barriers were also covered and their use was related to recent tragic events in Baton Rouge and Dallas.
    Surprisingly i managed to not accidentally shoot the barrier!

    While the weather kept screwing with our range time, the material was covered well and the facilities were great.
    Looking forward to attending more VATA classes in the future!
    Last edited by Born4spd; August 29th, 2016 at 08:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Lafayette, LA
    I have been to several VATA classes now and I agree with you. Blane is a favorite as far as instructors, but every one of them has given me good feedback and I can honestly say I learned.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Thanks for the review! VATA is on my list.

  4. #4
    Marksman mike84z28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Did a 2 day a couple months back and Blane was great. The entire experience was awesome and when the weather cools down I will attend again.

  5. #5
    On Target Sig66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Born4spd, that was a great review, My wife and I agree with completely! We did the Intro to Tactical Pistol yesterday, and it was amazing! We only shot 270 rounds each, but it seemed like we shot more. We were lucky enough to have the timer thrown at us, and as you said, it really humbles you, very quickly!! I caught myself shooting instinctively, not even acquiring a sight picture, just because I felt I had to beat the timer. I always see them on the shooting shows I watch (Guns & Ammo, Gun Venture, etc.), but never thought I'd want one, but now I see the value. Once you learn to settle down and focus on your shots, and not the timer, it all works itself out, and you end up shooting well. Great tool for sure. We had Blaine, Mario, and another guy (stocky Hispanic, LEO). Great coaches, great range, and we will definitely return for more. Top-notch in every way!

    Highly recommended!
    Last edited by Sig66; December 11th, 2016 at 09:58 AM.

  6. #6
    On Target
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    That is great information thank you for sharing.

  7. #7
    Marksman LouisianaRebel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I took the same one in OCT. It was great.
    The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.

  8. #8
    Newbie T-Bub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    nice review. I'd love to take some classes with Greg or Blane.

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