Caveats: I am a civilian who has been around guns since a young age shooting in the forest and on the square range for fun. I have done no tactical training prior to this, and no rifle training beyond Appleseed
REVIEW: First off Max is an asshole. This may sound harsh but it is not. It is in fact a good thing, and part of what makes Max a good teacher. He is confident, serious about combat and comfortable in his knowledge. The reason I mention this off the bat is that if you think you are a tier one mall ninja operator, or a special little snowflake Max is not the trainer for you. He will not cuddle you before you go to bed, or give you the warm fuzzies when you screw up or don’t listen. He is an asshole because he wants you to learn, and survive. He is one of the few teachers I have met who truly thinks a student’s failure reflects on the lessons of the teacher.
1. You are in worse physical shape then you think you are: I run every day. I feel pretty fit. But that is not the kind of fitness that makes the most difference in a real combat situation. Just running does not prepare you for the gear you have to carry, the hills you have to climb with the gear, and going from prone to kneeling to standing to moving. If you are interested in being an effective fighter you need to train as you will fight. Max pushes you, but tailors it to your fitness. But one of the clear points is you need to not be a fat slob.
2. You need to use your gear to find what configuration works: Seems obvious no? Its amazing how much difference small changes in your gear can make when you have to fight under pressure. Max does not emphasize gear, but he gives you a good basic perspective on what you need and what is functional. A corollary of this is: know how to use the gear you have, buying it is not enough. Thus you need a course like Max’s to teach you.
3. You do not know how to fight from watching u-tube or reading a book. Nor do you know how to fight from shooting on a square range: One of the biggest strength of this course is that Max is actually teaching you how to fight, both as a small group and as an individual. From the malfunction drills, to setting up an ambush, and basic movement such as peels and break contact, the course content teaches you and then practices the things that will keep you alive and win a real world firefight. Max’s use of large open ranges and dynamic pop up targets cleverly arranged to simulate possible real world encounters creates a realistic combat experience. The use of live fire is done in a safe but realistic way, and allows you to develop some level of battle inoculation.
4. Whatever plan you had to defend you and yours in a bad situation, will not work: Part of what Max is teaching is that 90% of the ideas that people have about combat and how they would defend themselves and their property is bullshit. Max teaches a more realistic way to fight, based in experience as opposed to some prepper fantasy.
I learned many more lessons from my six days, but in the end the bottom line is this: Max knows what he’s doing, he’s a gifted teacher, and he wants his students to learn. The stuff he is teaching is applicable to what what someone like me might encounter in this world, as a patriot, or as a prepper.
The course is well worth the investment of time and treasure.