2017 A Girl and a Gun National Conference AAR

The A Girl and a Gun club started as a small group in Austin and quickly grew to a national level organization with members and chapters all over the country.  In April 2017 they held their 5th annual conference, a multi day event attended by over 300 women shooters and dozens of instructors.  Events included training for all levels of shooters, in all types of shooting activities, fitness, unarmed self defense, medical skills, emergency preparedness, and other topics related to self-reliance and personal safety.

KR Training was well represented this year, with Karl Rehn & Tracy Thronburg (Becker) teaching multiple live fire sessions and John Kochan presenting multiple courses on emergency preparedness.  Instructors that KR Training has hosted or trained with in the past few years were also there teaching sessions, including Caleb Causey 0f Lone Star Medics, Darryl Bolke of Hardwired TacticalJohn Johnston of Citizens Defense Research/Ballistic Radio and Jordan Smotherman of Atomic Athlete.

Tracy and I arrived a day early to teach an NRA Range Safety Officer certification course for some chapter facilitators.

Thursday was range demo day, including aerial shooting with HeliGunner.

This year I was asked to provide the pre-BangQuet entertainment, so I brought my keyboard & mic and performed a 45 minute set while the staff organized the prizes and set up the food line.   The solo set sounded a lot like my trio, except without bass and drums. Here’s a sample of a few trio tracks from my most recent promo CD.

Friday was the long day. Tracy and I taught Skill Builder, which is a short pistol skills course KR Training offers several times a year. It uses our custom designed KRT-1 target which you can buy from Law Enforcement Targets.

In the afternoon, we taught a new class on a topic requested by AG&G: Correcting Common Shooting Errors.  We had a mix of instructor-level and beginner/intermediate students learning how to recognize, diagnose and correct the problems we observe in every class.   Response to that course was strong, and I expect we’ll offer it both as a new KR Training catalog course and again at conference next year.

Saturday we taught Pushing to the Next Level, which was another new course I developed based on a request from AG&G. This course was for those ready to move beyond just shooting at club events, progressing to taking classes from top tier private sector schools, or competing in any of the pistol sports. The course covered how to plan and run dry fire and live fire practice sessions, how to measure and track performance, how to measure performance against known standards, and how to deal with performance and testing anxiety. It was a mix of lecture and live fire drills.  Like Correcting Common Shooting Errors, this course will likely become a KR Training catalog course and return at next year’s conference.

Sunday we taught Defensive Pistol Skills – Small Gun, a standard KR Training course specific to the carry and use of subcompact semiautos and snubnose revolvers.  I offer this course because I think it’s important for people to practice with the guns they actually carry.  It’s one of the least popular courses we offer, and response to the course at conference was no different. We had fewer students for this course than for any of the others we taught.  My theory is that people mistakenly assume that skills learned with their larger (easier, more fun to shoot) gun will translate completely to the smaller gun…and they don’t.  Small guns are hard to shoot and hard to manipulate: short frames you can’t grip with all your fingers, tiny controls, more recoil, tiny sights, shorter sight radius, triggers that are longer/heavier or just awkward to reach — all those factors affect performance.  Drawing a small gun from a pocket, a belly band, fanny pack or other non-holster method can be complicated and slow.

Thanks to these ladies who showed up for the small gun class.

While we were doing that, John Kochan taught “Creating a Culture of Preparedness”, a course that Paul Martin developed and presented at the 2017 Rangemaster Tactical Conference. It’s based on Paul’s book Pivot Points, which explores the topic in more detail.  John also taught sessions on Dealing With Emergencies at Home and In Case of Death.  Interest in John’s material was high. He was asked to do an additional Sunday afternoon session to accommodate the demand.

The event was held at Reveille Peak Ranch, a 1300 acre multi-use site with facilities for triathalons, mountain biking, trail running, scuba diving, camping, fitness training, all kinds of shooting events, indoor force on force area, a large outdoor pavillion/dining area, and many other features.  It’s being used for a few local matches, and will be hosting some major national shooting events over the next year. Down the road is the Canyon of the Eagles LCRA resort on Lake Buchanan, where many attendees and instructors stayed. This was the view at sunset one evening.

The AG&G team did a tremendous job this year, handling 300+ attendees, dozens of instructors and more than 30 different activities happening simultaneously over 4 days, including coordination of breakfast, lunch and dinner for the instructors and staff, and feeding everyone at the BangQuet Thursday night.  It’s an event as large as (and more complex than) a major Area or National level IDPA or USPSA match, run by a much smaller staff, who did an absolutely amazing job with logistics and support.  They deserve recognition and respect for the effort it took to make everything run so smoothly this year.

KR Training will be back for the 2018 conference.