Man, where do I start. So I arrived at the Tennessee mountain resort just outside of Nashville on that Thursday. I had a beautiful drive in through Virginia and Tennessee, and that continued during the final mile through the resorts property up to our main cabin. I meet a few of the other students outside as I walk in to meet Mickey Schuch, owner and lead instructor of CarryTrainer.com, and his wife.
Right off the bat I realized Mickey was going to be a fun guy to be around but that he was serious about safety. He was sure to quickly take the temperature of all coming in and dish out hand sanitizer ( safety measures related to Corona Virus). After filling out a few forms and receiving a complimentary Carry Trainer S12 t shirt, I was shown to the living quarters. This was a huge cabin, able to sleep 30+ individuals, a giant kitchen where the hire chefs worked diligently from and a massive main room where we held meetings, ate, and at times trained from.
Later that evening after all students were checked in, we were given a walking tour of the property as we headed to the range for a motivational talk with Instructor Zee Durham, U.S. Army retiree and member of the Green Beret community. This guy was a humble but knowledgeable asset to the CarryTrainer team, built like a brick shit house. Looking at him you knew he was very capable person, but in talking with him you came to learn that he was very well thought out in his actions and words. His speech that night set the tone for the weekend of training.
The next day started bright and early, 6:15am with stretches to prepare for a busy day of training. We would have breakfast for about 30min each day around 7:15am prepared by Chef Kent and his team from Z Catering. They prepared three meals a day each day for us. These meals looked great, tasted even better and gave us the fuel to push through each day. These were definitely some of the fancier meals I have ever had, let alone while training. Not an MRE to be found.
We were out at the range by 8am and many were extremely excited to start training, almost too excited as we holstered our empty guns before being told to do so and Mickey was vocally (and understandably) frustrated and corrected us firmly. Attention to detail is the name of the game and he was sure to remind us to pay attention.
We started the day on the range with a lot of of dry-fire and dry-drills in order to make sure we were conducting ourselves safely when we did go hot. Mickey and his team gave us a lot of great info to make the weekend not only productive and insightful but safer as well. We had students there are varying backgrounds and skill levels. We had representatives of the firearms industry, members of law enforcement and firearms instructors other than myself. We had firearms enthusiasts, concealed carriers, and relatively new gun owners.
The instructor cadre included (but was not limited to) Zee, Don Deyo (Retired Green Beret, Retired Fire Fighter and VP of D-Dey Response Group), Paul Sharp (Retired Law Enforcement, BJJ Instructor), Corey Z. (Veteran, U.S. Navy Seal), Dan Hudnet (U.S. Army veteran, Active Fire Fighter), and more (I apologize for those I missed). These gentlemen conducted themselves as knowledgeable professionals and made themselves as well as the material relatable. They kept themselves humble while also being confident in their content. They assisted those that needed a little extra attention without belittling them but could bust balls with the best of older brothers.
Throughout the training weekend we learned how to improve our shooting skills (I know I definitely improved as a shooter), learned to break that tunnel vision and be more aware of potential threats in a self defense scenario, treating gun shot wounds, trained on applying tourniquets to ourselves and others in a shooting situation, using cover better to our advantage, grappling/controlling the hands, room clearing and so much more.
I left the S12 event a better shooter, a more confident/capable protector of my family, gained knowledge that I can pass on to those in my community and hungry to go out gaining more knowledge from courses held by CarryTrainer and others. Hands down I would recommend this course and others put on by Mickey and his team. Was it cheap? No. Nothing good in life is. But it was worth every dime and applaud Mickey for being able to put on such an event with. Mickey wore many hats throughout that weekend- from lead instructor, event coordinator, communicating/making adjustments on catering, promoting sponsors that helped make that event happen, as well as designated comedian. I appreciate the opportunity to train with CarryTrainer and look forward to more events- perhaps even in Maryland…