Dave Young is an active and lively speaker--something that was helpful on an early Vegas morning. Abner Miranda
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I remember back in 1994 when actress Jessica Tandy passed away. Shortly after her death, I recall seeing an interview with her husband, Hume Cronyn, in which he cited that right up until the end, Jessica continued to work. She dedicated her life to the craft of acting, and, cancer or not, she was going to leave this earth on her terms.
Having been a voice major before entering law enforcement, I can tell you that learning lines and blocking for a play is a time consuming art that requires repetition and continuous drills. Likewise, upon entering law enforcement in 2000, I quickly learned that being a great cop required the same attention to the details that I had previously employed as a singer/actor.
When I sat down to work on my “hit list” for SHOT Show 2011, I knew that there were a couple of classes that I needed to attend. One of those was Dave Young’s “What’s Your Draw-Ability: Gross Motor Skills vs. Fine Motor Skills.” As a full time cop, I’m one of those officers that practices firing his weapon often, but, admittedly, I don’t do a lot of holster practice. Until attending Dave’s class, practicing with my holster was, as I was taught in the academy, something to be done in front of the mirror. So when I saw the course description of Dave’s class, I knew that this was a “must attend.”
Dave Young is a 30-year veteran of military and LE work. He’s the founder and director of ARMA Training and also serves as a consultant for Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement. Right off the bat, you learn that Dave is not a “sit behind the podium” kind of instructor. He is a lively speaker with relevant knowledge to impart upon his students.
As soon as we walked into the lecture hall, we saw a large box of blue foam balls with the Uncle Mike’s logo printed on them. That made me smile because I knew that this was going to be a “get up and do” class. That’s good because at 8 a.m. in Vegas it’s hard to be peppy especially if you have to sit through a lecture. Dave made it a point to move about the room and engage us with eye contact and a constant stream of feedback inducing commentary and questions.
Dave defined the difference between fine motor skills and gross motor skills using various examples that were specific to LE work. He then moved into a series of drills that incorporated the foam balls. This is where the class really got going.
Dave would demonstrate a drill, either live or by video. Then he would ask us to pair up and try it ourselves. This involved everything from tossing the ball into the air and tapping our chest a few times before catching it to playing the wrist-slapping game, in which you lay your hands palm down into the palms of your partner and try to remove them before they get slapped.
I was thoroughly enjoying myself as I circulated about the room with my camera and captured some of the more humorous moments. There was a great deal of hilarity about the room. However, what stood out most was the fact that to keep our minds sharp we need to push them daily. To ensure that we’ll be ready for that moment when death comes looking for us, we must be more than just willing—we must be physically ready.
The only way to ensure that will be to engage in exercises that challenge not only our muscles but our minds as well and force them to make neural pathways to solve problems.
Dave’s class showed me ways to improve my skill as a police officer. He brought out a seldom covered issue in drawing cleanly from the holster. As cops we’re tested on our shooting skills but are rarely ever tested on how efficiently we can get our weapon out of the holster. Thanks to what Dave taught us in his class I will seek to better hone that crucial skill of a clean and efficient presentation of my weapon.
Until next time, practice hard, and I’ll see you on the streets.