Student Review: HEAT 1 Combat Tactics: Texas, February 2022 – Phil

Excuses… For the past 6 years or so, I lied to myself with excuse after excuse as to WHY I could not attend one of Max’s classes despite desperately wanting to attend.  The truth is, there was never any real excuse as to why I could not attend this training.  The reason is because the value that this particular class brings to an average individual such as myself supersedes just about any common excuse.  So, as an average man with a family he loves and wishes to keep safe, here is what I learned from H.E.A.T. 1 – Brady, Texas.

1.  Your inexperience or perceived ineptitude with a rifle is irrelevant. Max WILL fix this and any other issues you might have with rifle handling.  It will be done in such a way that will give confidence in using your weapon to exact accurate fire onto the desired target and will also generate an acute awareness for the safety of your teammates and yourself.  Which leads me to my next point.

2.  This is an incredibly safe class. I had concerns leading up to this class regarding safety due to my own insecurities with rifle handling and the unknown of training with strangers.  But those concerns were quelled within the first hour of training on the first day due to the emphasis that Max puts on being in control of your weapon.  Max has eyes in the back of his head and addresses issues immediately in a calm and respectful way to students.  This imbued confidence in myself and my teammates and also immediately added to Max’s credibility as an instructor.

3.  The time to learn your strengths and weaknesses in combat is NOW, not when your life actually depends on it. If you think that you can rise to the occasion without any sort of training in your pocket, you are delusional.  H.E.A.T. 1 serves as an entry level introduction to the basics of team combat in a dynamic environment, and you WILL make mistakes.  You need this training to understand how you will perform in a dynamic environment, and how to make adjustments on the fly to stay alive.  H.E.A.T. 1 will teach you where the holes and gaps are in your skills and your equipment.  Make the mistakes now, and fix them before it matters.

4.  Your communication sucks, but it will improve. In my particular career, experience has shown me that situations deteriorate for many reasons but typically poor communication is the culprit the majority of the time.  This is a true statement for any task in which multiple individuals are involved and team based combat is no exception.  Max does a great job of stressing this point and encourages active but simple communication among the entire team.

5.  Brilliance in the basics. The curriculum for H.E.A.T. 1 is not complicated or fancy.  It is simple and effective.  It will get just about any competent person, man or woman, up to speed to the basic level of coordinating fire and movement at the team (4 riflemen) level.  The equipment you need to run H.E.A.T. 1 to get maximum value out of the class does not need to be complicated or fancy.  It just needs to be simple and effective.  All you need is a quality rifle, a decent chest rig or battle belt, a handful of magazines and some knee pads.  You can do the class in jeans and a t-shirt.

6.  Combat/enemy contact is absolutely sobering. At one point in this class you will (in a safe environment) experience enemy fire.  This drives home and solidifies one of Max’s critical points from the class; the only way to have a chance at walking away from enemy contact (which is never a guarantee), is to have the will exact aggressive violence, speed and momentum upon your enemy.

7.  Max is genuine and has passion and care. From day one it was obvious to me that Max was not there just to collect some money from his students.  Max puts incredible effort into these classes because he loves what he does and he has a genuine care and concern for ensuring that civilians are capable of protecting themselves and their loved ones.  For this reason you will be getting incredible value out of the class.

8.  You don’t know what you don’t know. If your experience with rifles and combat is limited to flat rifle ranges, internet forums and YouTube videos, then you will be enlightened by H.E.A.T. 1.  The only way to understand what I mean by this is to enroll and attend H.E.A.T. 1.

For me this class was transformative in both my understanding of teamwork and my own capabilities.  It taught me not to overcomplicate things, and how to handle my rifle and work as a team.  And that is exactly what the class is designed to do.



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