I've posted a number of negative articles on what isn't training. Well, today, since I'm on my way to the State Fair to get a double-bacon corndog, I'm going to be positive. What is training, and what you should look for in a good school.
I'm nobody's fanboy, but I think Travis Haley has the market cornered on good training right now. I also like Clint Smith, and I like them for the same reason: simplicity. Good tactics are simple above all else. Simplicity makes it easy to achieve muscle memory. Muscle memory becomes an automatic response under stress, and the way to achieve that is simple repetition. Here's a YouTube clip of Haley on reloading, then a personal story about muscle memory.
So there I was, at Camp Shelby, MS. We were running a squad live fire, and the mission was to clear a three hut "village", then react to contact on the far side. There were three phases: dry, blank fire, live fire. I had already done the course with my squad, and being super high speed, I was selected to lead the HQ section on their iteration. I had been living on the range for three days, and had been averaging an hour or so of sleep a night (you did a day iteration AND a night iteration with all three phases. YAY!) sleeping in a hummvee.
It was dusk on the third day, dry iteration. I was exhausted, hungry, and utterly soaked with sweat from Mississippi's unique 15000% humidity. We made it to the second hut, and I was the #2 man in the four man stack outside the door. We busted in and I hit my corners. The OC (the guy who ran the range) had moved the targets, and one was now in my sector. I flipped my selector to "FIRE" and pulled the trigger to hear a click. I performed SPORTS without thinking about it. I heard a "click" when my exhausted brain wanted a "bang" and did SPORTS. This is a prime example of how simplicity and repetition come together to save you under stress.
Now, watch Clint do some reloading. I think Haley is faster, but Clint may have a point on not using the slide release. Why not use the slide release? Clint's line is "I just reloaded every pistol on the planet". Compelling reasoning, but probably not advice for competition. Ultimately, the choice is yours. I'm going to play around with Haley's way and Smith's way and see which one I like more.
In any case, a great litmus test for training is "is it simple?". If the answer is "no", then save your money and find a new trainer.