Suarez Training Testimonials
The best way to see what we offer is to ask those whom we've trained with. Some of these names come from our Warriortalk Forums.
Here is what they say:
It is not simply the training, in this technique or that technique. It is the natural and graceful humility and the personality of the man himself, and how he is able to reach and touch the warrior spirit in everyone. Some of the things that other trainees, without previous experience in mortal combat whispered to me in private moments were really touching. Gabe reached them, he awakened in them a sense of their own worthiness to bear arms against whatever foe fate might send their way.
Your true weapon is your mind. Everything else is just a tool. take a course, refresh, or awaken your warrior spirit.You owe it to yourself.
Hello Gabe: Last week I traveled from Atlanta to attend the Knife Concepts training you conducted in the Boulder City desert near Las Vegas. Wonderful venue, no distractions (during the training). Air fare, car rental, hotel, etc., created the "will it be worth it" question. The workout I experienced with Dale who I teamed with was OUTSTANDING… a special Thank You to Dale. Because I carry two Emerson PUK's (primary knifes) and two Emerson folders (emergency back-up) just in case I'm still alive after being separated from the PUK's, I found the training four times as valuable as a person with only one carry knife. Even for those who carry one knife the training would be worth the money, effort and time. The real issue being "what is having and maintaining edged weapon skill worth to me". I appreciate that some issues that are not strictly defensive where addressed. Overall, I rate the program as indispensable for any qualified individual who carries an edged weapon or is concerned about defending against an edged weapon.
R.J.F. -U.S. Federal Officer
Once again, in his new book The Combatives Perspective, Gabe Suarez proves he is one of the few martial arts (and yes folks tactical firearms is a martial art) instructors who truly gets it.
Mental preparation /mental conditioning is the single most important element in combat survival. Without it, all the other skills may not matter worth a damn no matter how good they may be. With the proper mindset, one can even turn an otherwise dismal situation into victory. My personal philosophy is that with the proper mindset, you may even prevent an incident from taking place to begin with. Predators out there generally do not mess with what they perceive to be other predators.
The Combatives Perspective is a MUST READ for those who would truly seek to maximize their martial arts skills.
Gabe - I enjoyed and learned much from the CRG course last weekend. I've already started passing on pearls of wisdom to my LEO friends that hopefully will give them the edge in any future confrontations they find themselves in. For that matter, the same applies to me. Thanks again.
Dear Mr. Suarez - I just wanted to write and say how much I enjoyed your CRG class in Memphis this past weekend. I appreciate all the hard work you put into the class to ensure that each of us, civilian and law enforcement alike,had a personal and rewarding learning experience. Personally, I would like to say how much I enjoyed meeting you and having the opportunity to briefly discuss with you the Christian Warrior part of your ministry. Know that you are not alone and you have my prayers for your safety and success.
I wish you Godspeed and His protection on your journeys.
Jason (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
Mr. Gabe Suarez -Gabe, I wanted to say Thank You for the great class in Memphis, Tn. Many people can put on a class but what makes a class is when the instructors heart is into it and yours is. I hope to attend another one of your classes again someday but until then I will continued to train and work on your tactics. Rest assured, I will let everyone know about your training and what I thought about it. If there is anything else other than word of mouth I could do for you just let me know. Thanks again and stay with it.
Barry G. (Duluth, Georgia)
Gabe: Thank you for conducting the Close Range Gunfighting program in Conyers, Georgia last weekend. Having trained with nationally known tactical gun trainers I can state that your program is not for beginners. So much material in two days would overwhelm all but the already experienced.
We all appreciate the effort you make to enable the willing to be more able.
Close Range Gunfighting, September 21-22, 2003
I had the opportunity to train with Gabe Suarez of Suarez International recently and was really at a loss as to what to expect in class. I am familiar with Gabe and his style from numerous postings on here and from reading several of his books, which I recommend highly. Even with this exposure, I wasn't totally sure what I was getting myself into. As a "savvy" consumer I try to go into any training situation with an open mind and moderate expectations as to what I will take away from the training experience. I have trained at a couple of the big name schools and with some very small ones and I have to say, bigger is not always better.
The training days are 9 AM - whenever on Saturday to get in the low light training and 9 AM-5 PM or so on Sunday with ample time for lunch both days and dinner on Saturday. Keep in mind this was September in Southern California and the weather tends to be hot so be prepared for whatever weather conditions your region might hand you the days you are training. Hydration is key no matter what to keep your focus throughout your day and I recommend bringing something like Powerbars to snack on.
When you arrive, you gear up and Gabe gives you the safety lecture we have all had a million times before, For this class, safety is paramount and Gabe makes sure you understand what is expected of you as a student. He also makes you aware of what you can and should expect from him as your instructor. My first impressions were that Gabe is a confident and competent instructor and also the consummate professional. I was immediately comfortable and felt right at home which is important to me for a constructive learning environment.
I'm not going to go over the entire class curriculum but instead touch on the techniques I found particularly interesting and useful.
Movement. The opposite of standing in one place. Simple enough concept. But do it when trying to accomplish the highly skilled task of firing a semi-automatic pistol and it really puts a different spin on it. A gunfight is not a static environment. On the contrary. By nature it is a very dynamic environment. Gabe emphasizes this throughout the 2-day course. It isn't like at the range where you stand in a perfect stance and fire at a stationary target. You must be able to move and shoot, shoot and move, and move some more. During the course, we moved forward and back, laterally, and diagonally with relationship to the targets. All this while maintaining decent sized groupings on the targets. I know now when going through my dry practice, I will be incorporating movement into each presentation.
Gabe introduced us to the Sul position. Sul is one of the more controversial ready positions in use. It positions the pistol in a close contact position on the sternum area of the chest with the muzzle oriented downward, perpendicular to the ground. I have heard a ton of arguments for and against it and I have made up my mind that it is a useful tool for anyone practicing modern pistolcraft to have in his or her toolbox. It is a very low-key way to have a pistol at the ready to bring into a fight, and is the only way to assess your environment in all 360 degrees without covering innocents with your muzzle. It quickly becomes as natural as low ready and in no way compromises muzzle awareness when done properly. I felt perfectly safe "checking my 6" with 11 other guys on the line doing the same with loaded guns. In my opinion, "Sul is cool".
One of the more helpful parts of the class for me was the lesson on sighting principles. (see the thread) Everyone knows the old adage, front sight, press. I have heard it over a million times in classes and repeated it to myself in training. We learned to narrow our focus on the sights as the accuracy you require increases. For extreme close quarters, for instance, you may only need to superimpose the silhouette of your hands on the chest to get good hits on the target. As distances increase, you need to narrow focus to insure the accuracy of your shots. This is not point shooting but refining your sighting method as the need for accuracy increases. The best part of all is it works very well.
We spent the better portion of one day blending hand to hand techniques with the pistol to better equip the student for the possibility of a CQB type of situation. For the martial artists that may take a class from Gabe, you'll quickly become aware how well this blending of the pistol and hand to hand combat works in a close quarters environment. Being able to transition smoothly from gun to hands back to guns or even to blades is a priceless skill to acquire and practice regularly.
All in all the two days went by far too quickly. I was impressed with the level of knowledge and skill Gabe Suarez brought to the class. He has been in the trenches and seen the Elephant and collected the ivory. He uses that experience to bring a different perspective to combat training. His techniques are well thought out, logical progressions of natural tendencies and physiology of the human body. His skills and credentials are never in doubt from the first moment of class. He is extremely approachable and friendly, which makes for a very enjoyable learning environment. I would highly recommend anyone take one of his classes and see for yourself. Buy a couple books. His personality will come through in his books and will give you a bit of insight before you attend a class. My best personal praise for Gabe is I would not hesitate to plop down several hundred of my hard earned dollars for the price of admission to another class. And I plan on doing just that.
Tom Givens (Memphis, Tn, USA)
Brief review, The Combative Perspective
I recently finished reading The Combative Perspective, by Gabe Suarez. This is not a large book, with 97 pages, in 7 chapters, divided into four main sections. You will not find any specific gun handling or shooting technique instruction here, as the entire book is devoted to preparing one's mind for actual combat. Gabe's philosophy is that you must WIN the fight, not merely survive it.
Gabe breaks mental preparation and conditioning into four components:
Desire for Victory
Elimination of Uncertainty
Willingness to Act.
Suarez calls on his own experiences in gunfights and their aftermaths, the experiences of his fellow officers, and some insight from interviewing violent criminal offenders. Gabe is an articulate and persuasive communicator, and you will benefit from reading this book, regardless of your current level of training. I recommend it highly.
I have not yet been fortunate enough to take a course from Mr. Suarez. I have , however, read, and reread 3 of his books on defensive firearms related topics. The books contained very useful and insightful information. It has served me and those I have passed it on to quite well. From what I know, I would recommend one of his classes without hesitation. Soon I hope to sit under his teaching.
Gabe's the real deal. I'm sure you know he's a former SWAT operator who has been there and done that, and has gained more real-world experience from his law enforcement career than most of the current crop of instructors can say. I consider him one of the finest instructor's teaching today. I've had the opportunity to train with Gabe in CQB tactics in a former life and I can tell you that $375.00, albeit marginally more expensive than other courses, is a bargain for the instruction you will receive.
James L. Mayhugh
NRA Benefactor, NRA Training Counselor
Life member: GOA, LEAA, JPFO, NSRPA, IDPA
GMJ Enterprises, CCW Forums, Polite Society
I've taken a two day handgun class, a one day unarmed defense class, a five day combatives class, and am eagerly awaiting December so I can take another three days of training.
Yeah, I like his classes.
David Blinder (Atlanta, GA)
I've only trained with Gabe once but that's just because the dates in my area haven't matched my schedule. I found him to be an excellent communicator of realistic & practical training techniques and would not hesitate to work with him again.
Jamie Jackson (N.O. Area)
I have to Ditto my friend Gomez...I've only taken Gabe's Advanced Combative Pistol (At Tom Given's excellent facility Rangemaster in Memphis ). NonDogmatic and innovative!
Gabe is Highly Professional,an Excellent Instructor and Dialed-in to Integrated Force Options...oh..he's a good guy as well.
I look forward to training with Gabe in Baton Rouge in 2004.
Michael Brown (Tulsa, OK)
I took the same class NMGlocker is referring to and it was one of the best I've attended. If it means anything as a recommendation, I've put down my money to go to this one as well. I conduct my own training in this area (FOF) and have been to several other schools that teach the concept.
I will say that of the dozen or so I've been to, Gabe is one of three that I would spend money on again. The other two are LEO/military only so Gabe is the only one that caters to non-government personnel that I felt had a good handle on how to conduct this type of training.
I think its worth the cash outlay.
Gabe is absolutely fantastic at teaching the small details regarding the nuances of engaging in personal combat from not only our perspective, but the perspective of the adversary.
Some time ago I realized that a 1.40 second draw-to-hit and .25 second splits were probably not going to make a significant difference in surviving a lethal force encounter, but rather the ability to out-think the bad guys and keep my cool. For the last few years, I have studied under instructors that I believe could make me a better fighter.
Gabe is one of those instructors. I will be there.
Cpl. Daniels -Lowell, AR
I am the firearms instructor at my agency and I just wanted to fire off a thank you for your work. I have read your material and have found it to be the most informative around. I often use those things you teach in my classes and just want you to know that I ALWAYS make sure that the credit is given to you for the info. Due to teachers such as you, many police officers will be able to go home at night to their families. Keep up the great work!
Gabe - Just wanted to take a minute to compliment you on your aggressive and dynamic block of instruction. I thoroughly enjoyed your Combative Concepts class that was held in California May 19 - 25th, 2003. I truly believe if more LE firearms instructors would pick up the pace just a little we (The police) would be better off. Stay Safe and Always Motivated!
I would like to say that you are a natural instructor. You are very knowledgeable and capable yet humble. Don't ever change! Have you ever considered an instructor development course? "e;Train the Trainer"e; is a big buzz word in law enforcement and I think that it would have the potential to be very popular.
Keep up the Good work Gabe. I look forward to training with you again.
God Bless you and your family.
Kudos on the new schedule layout. It is easier to gather the needed information from and apparently easier to use the link to enroll for a particular class. Your website has been steadily getting better and better.
Looks like you'll be a busy, well traveled instructor next year. I'm looking forward to training with you again in '04, probably at the Close Range Gunfighting class in Sacramento in May.
You offer top level training for a good value and you've made a real difference in my self & family defense preparedness. It must be very rewarding to you to improve others skills to such a degree. Keep up the good work, Gabe!
My name is Joan Gagan my dad Tom Gagan and I just took a class this weekend the Defensive Pistol July 26th and 27th and I wanted to thank you very much. It was a great class, Jeff Mayberry was an awesome instructor I feel that I left this weekend knowing more about the basics and fundamentals and safety of a handgun, even though I have taken previous classes for example at Front Sight. This class though was Great. I had fun and will return for future classes. Thank you again!!
I was looking forward to a good Tactical Pistol Marksmanship classes, but it was better then my expectation. I also was impressed with the caliber of people that came to the training and found that I learned from their qualified questions. I was impressed with your hands on manner of training and your down to earth way that you expanded what we were to do. I find that with your training and me practicing what I have learned from your classes that I will have more confidence as a pistoleer and a responsible CCW carrier.
I hope you come back to Thrumont or even better Western Pennsylvania where Ilive with the next level of classes.
Thanks for the fine training and be safe.
Gabe - I'd like to thank you for the two days of training just completed in Thurmont, MD. You managed to fit much more into the two days than I would have expected, without anything feeling rushed. I thank you for customizing the material for the class. I am very impressed with the students that your classes attract - a further testament to the quality of your material and presentation. The atmosphere was serious and safe, but also very enjoyable for everyone. I eagerly look forward to both practicing what you presented and my next opportunity to participate in one of your classes. Please consider the Maryland area for a regular class stop in the future.
Although I make no claims to be "an operator" or tactical expert, having been in Federal law enforcement for over 22 years, and in the U.S. Army (Infantry) for 6 years prior to that, I do have the ability to see through bullshit real quick. I recently attended a handgun course instructed by Gabe Suarez. I learned more potentially life saving combat pistol craft tactics in two days with Gabe, than I have in any other firearms or tactics course I have ever taken (and I have taken dozens in and out of the government). Gabe is a no bullshit, straight shooter who does not invent bells and whistles to make the topic of tactical hand gunning an unnecessarily complicated one. His sincerity, coupled with his clear tactical skills, makes him as fine a firearms instructor as I have ever rained under. I will definitely take future courses with him to keep my edge sharp. And since I must travel to one particular South American country where being properly switched on could mean the difference between life and death, being prepared is not something I take lightly.
J.M. (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
The team and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your assistance, not only in bringing us to a higher level of skill, but also for your help operationally.
Gabe is a very dynamic and animated speaker and the information that he disclosed regarding his perception of what was going on during some of his gunfights was of real value to me.
Thanks, Gabe Suarez -I signed up for your "Tactical Operator Newsletter" and have found both issues very insightful. Not only do they teach proper mindset for a gunfight, but also the provide very important precursory information of what to do and what not to do. Many of the post battle techniques may end up saving our very freedom and our livelihood as well. Another part of you newsletter that really got me was how important you thought this information is that you highly recommend sharing it and copying. I highly recommend that everyone sign up for Gabe's newsletter. It's free and could end up saving your life as well as your freedom. I look forward to the time when I can take one our your courses for it seems to me that you are well grounded in your thoughts of personal defense, as it applies to a lay person.
SSgt Rob Trejo (High Risk Personnel Course - Chief Instructor)
Gabe - I have read your Tactical Pistol book countless times and refer to it frequently. I have also included it in my recommended reading list that I give to my students. I would like to review your other books and hopefully add it to the list. Thanks for your time and Keep on writing.
I just attended Gabe's course in Dallas this past weekend (Tactical Advantage) and thought it was great. Get to this if you can. The thing Gabe fails to mention (probably out of humility) is that his class and teaching style is one of the most polished I've ever seen and I've been to a number of classes. Gabe is also the most approachable of the big name instructors that I have met. I find this to be an extremely attractive trait in an instructor. Instructors should be personable enough to answer questions from the greenest of students. Extreme arrogance is a common trait among several of the big name instructors and I always find it a turn-off. Gabe does not fall into this category.
I will definitely attend another of his courses if I get the opportunity.
Jeff Cooper - The Father of Modern Pistolcraft
"Gabe Suarez is a master pistolero".
Hello Gabe - just wanted to say thank you for an excellent weekend of training. I feel that my skills have been challenged, refined, and taken to a higher level. (As they always do when you are the instructor!).
Doug Williamson - The GunWorks
Gabe does an outstanding job of taking the fundamentals and "smoothing out" the rough edges so that our draw stroke, gunhandling skills, movement while drawing and firing etc. are more "natural" and efficient. He is very much a believer in the concept of the 'total warrior'...that we should be able to use our hands, sticks, knives, firearms or whatever is at our disposal to WIN the conflict!"
B. Nelson -Hall County Sheriff's Office
Just a short note expressing my sincere thanks for all the information you gave me. Your class was an awesome experience for me. You will probably see a few of us at any of your next schools in Georgia.
K. Dunham - Atlanta, GA
I was very pleased with the recent Advanced Handgun class in Georgia(Combative Pistol Concepts II). There were several superb exercises and skills to add to my tactical toolbox such as the post shooting assessment protocol, the CQ drill, disarms, the unique malfunction (clearing) drill, and low light work. I'm already planning how I can attend one of your next Tactical Advantage classes.
I had the pleasure this past weekend to attend Gabe Suarez's Combative Pistol Concepts Course which was held at the Angeles Shooting Range. As a firearms trainer myself, I am not able to attend, as a student, as many classes as I would like. Mostly because I spend most of my available time teaching. So being able to attend a class given by Gabe was a real treat. The class was very well organized and run.
There was the usual skill spread between students from the well trained and not so well trained LEO's, to the average pistol sportsmen. As the title of the class implied, this class emphases really was on using the pistol as a combative tool. But no matter the level of training one came into the class with, we all were mentally and physically challenged both though thought provoking lectures and skill enhancement drills. We all came away from the class with some new ideas on how to better use our pistols in a "combative" way should the need arise. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is serious about learning how to use their pistol as a defensive tool.
I was also at this class and would like to second Dean's critique. I have a good deal of training under my belt and went expecting mainly to support a friend of mine who is just getting in to serious shooting. By the time it was over I was shooting better and faster then I ever had before. The quality and (for lack of a better word) 'depth' of the instruction was very very good. He covered all the little things that I had either forgotten or never knew, and all those little things made a tremendous difference in my shooting.
It had been 2 years since my first tac handgun class and lets face it...most guys when they start want to get to the high speed stuff right away so I never devoted the time the fundamentals that I should have.Having already read all of Gabe's books I thought that the class would be mainly a review of what I already knew but the printed word does not do justice to the real physicality of the course (I had never punched a target before) and the realism that he was able to inject through his own energy (he took the threats/targets seriously and so did we)I would also like to thank Jeff Mayberry, Gabe's assistant who brought a very interesting perspective on things and helped me refine my trigger quite a bit. I can't recommend this class enough, even if you have a lot of 'advanced' classes to your credit and wall of certificates. Gabe made me a better shooter in 2 days then my last year of range time.
Thanks Gabe and Jeff, you did a great job and I really appreciate your time.
E. Richardson - U.S. Army
I worked with Gabe back in the "old days", and knew him as the sort of man the others looked to when everything went to s***.
More recently, my reserve unit and I trained with him and found he is even better as a teacher.
R. Hillier - Tactical Pistol Marksmanship student
The class was fantastic. I am a teacher by trade and your skills as a teacher are outstanding. Thank you.
Your help in developing our team doctrine, team capabilities, and individual operational skills has been a great help and you have our thanks.
Testimonials may be edited slightly for general grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity, accuracy, and hiding private information.