March is a great time of year to escape the clouds and rain and more rain of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and I smiled as my plane cruised on its early Friday flight path to Phoenix.
I smiled again, thinking of seeing my ROBAR friends, and the fun but demanding schedule awaiting me. At PDX and again at Phoenix Sky Harbor, I observed groups of men, both college age and retirement age, lugging their golf club travel bags.
I, on the other hand, carried luggage, a messenger bag (full of devices and my little Canon S90), and a range bag containing my ROBAR customized Glock™ 19 Gen 3, holsters, tactical belt, mag pouches, electronic muffs, and eye protection. Filled with not a little temerity, I awaited my ride — none other than ROBAR’s fearless leader, (LtCol USMC Ret) Freddie Blish.
Friday passed quickly, catching up with the terrific gunsmiths at ROBAR, with ROBAR founder, Robbie Barrkman, and with Freddie and his wonderful wife, Hope.
But the (first) main event, the rigorous schedule began in earnest Saturday morning at zero eight-hundred at Ben Avery Shooting Range, just a quick ten minutes north of Phoenix.
Four years prior, in February 2015, ROBAR had arranged for me to attend Jeff Gonzales’ Concealed Carry Tactics class, which I chronicled in an article. Now here I was four years later eager for round two.
A bit about our friend Jeff:
US Navy SEAL Jeff L. Gonzales is a nationally recognized weapons and tactics instructor. He serves as president of Trident Concepts, LLC and director of training for The Range at Austin.
Jeff’s background comes from Naval Special Warfare; where he served as a decorated and respected operator and instructor. Participating in numerous combat operations throughout the globe, his duties involved a wide variety of operational and instructional assignments on both the East and West coasts.
Through Trident Concepts, Jeff pioneered new advances in weapons and tactics instruction. His unique understanding of adult learning, detailed curriculum development and rigorous adherence to performance standards continue to set him apart from an increasingly crowded field.
But Gonzales is more than a SEAL bio. Jeff was reborn, through the BUDs crucible, into the elite tribe of fierce frogmen warriors and it shows. At times grinning and recounting humorous escapades, he almost giggles (I know, SEALs don’t giggle).
Then, in a moment, Jeff is all business, his look intense, like a hired gun in The Magnificent Seven. He’s now the warrior who protected his brothers, his country, his family. And he knows he’s teaching skills that could save or take lives, and perhaps both at the same time.
Many people, like me, have their concealed carry permits, take a class or two, and hit the range when they can.
But do you understand the necessity of training and good marksmanship required for every day carry (EDC)? Do you get that holstering up and throwing a jacket over your pistol does not constitute “low profile” EDC? Do you know what a practical loadout is for every day? And are you comfortable with deep conceal should you be in a non-permissive environment?
This class will equip you with a wealth of concealed carry knowledge: clearing clothing, strong-hand only draw, drawing while moving, failure drills, combat reloads and more.
The Concealed Carry Tactics (CCT) is a two-day advanced gun-fighting class teaching the fundamentals for every daily carrying of defensive pistols and supporting equipment.
The class will cover various modes of concealed carry, supporting equipment for concealed carry, warrior mindset, practical training drills that progress from dry fire training to live fire training in the various concealed carry modes.
The class will start by revisiting correct fundamental shooting habits and progress to concealed carry modes without compromising shooting speed, combat marksmanship or student safety. Graded evolutions throughout the class provide instant feedback to the student on skill development, technique deficiencies and overall ability.
This 2019 class was almost all new faces, except for Danny (an out-of-state LE officer who had been in the 2015 class). Pretty impressive that an active LE officer will burn his own time and money to better his carry/shooting skills. Danny, like most of the students I’ve met in these classes, is skilled and serious, eager to see his marksmanship skills evolve, and nice as the day is long.
This time around I was once again the only female. I had only one malfunction, and was considerably improved. That said, I have a lot of training to do.
After two full days of shooting, some fatigue set in. But what I really felt was a dogged determination to commit to dry fire and train weekly, to not accept “not bad” or “good enough.”
The whole point of concealed carry is to, in fact, be a sheep dog, or a lion/lioness, and that comes after hours upon hours of training.
Sheep dogs and “lions” guard their own; protect their own and take down threats.
Jeff Gonzales and his Concealed Carry Tactics class will give you the rudimentary and advanced tools to accomplish that.
You better believe I recommend Jeff’s class. But only if you want the best of the best instructing you, and only if you’re serious about EDC.
And on a personal note, great thanks to Freddie and Hope, Robbie and Lisa, for welcoming me back to Phoenix — you all are fantastic friends and gracious hosts!
And to Jeff, I’m honored to call you friend: you continue to live out your oath daily to protect America and Americans from all enemies foreign and domestic. I promise I’ll train harder!