by Kenny Polhamus
Reprinted from the May 2011 issue of GunNews
(Guns Save Life) – I recently had the opportunity to do some handgun training at the Impact Training Center in Mt. Carroll, IL. I had bought a certificate for the three-day Competitive Shooting Skills Course at an Illinois Conservation Foundation banquet. Wow! What a great purchase this turned out to be!
The training started at 8:30a.m. in Classroom One with a brief safety meeting and introduction of the instructors and my fellow students.
First off, I have to say the facilities at the Impact Training Center were first-class and top-notch. They had over a halfdozen autonomous ranges, not counting a Simunition house and a live-fire shoot house!
After some time in the classroom, it was off to the range where I would be spending the next three days learning new tricks and drills to make me a better US Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) shooter – and by extension a better pistol shooter all around.
Roland Perez was our instructor and Eric Davis, the head of Impact, was in and out throughout the three days, just long enough to put in his $.02 which was quite helpful. Every time Eric spoke up it was like a newborn reciting Shakespeare. Each of his observations, tips and techniques were most helpful – some downright amazing in the difference they made.
Mr. Perez was great as well. He is a Chicago cop on the south side so he had several stories that related competition shooting to real life self-defense situations. When you can relate certain aspects of competition shooting to real life scenarios it really helps you grasp the concepts of why you should try new skills rather than staying in your comfort zone. Every time they would change something that I was doing the “maladaptive” (that is a word Roland likes) way, we would run a drill until everyone was accustomed to the new technique. After running a drill 8-10 times, everyone was doing it properly without even thinking.
I went through close to 2000 rounds of ammo but it was worth every bit of the cost of the class and ammo. I came home on Wednesday evening overly tired from the previous three days of hard, fast-paced training and got a good night’s sleep.
Thursday evenings are when I shoot USPSA practice at my local club. I went the night after getting back from the class and my hit factor averages have *doubled* since taking the course. People said I looked a lot smoother and were impressed with the improvements that were made with just three days of quality training. I will be taking several more courses at Impact Training Center in the future. It is a top notch.
Editor’s note: Impact Training Center in Mt. Carroll, IL closed near the end of last year. It has reopened as The Hollow Training Center.