by David Crane
I started noticing advertisements about this school cropping up in several firearms publications, around a month ago. Valhalla Training Center, LLC is currently billing its curriculum as "the most progressive reality-based training on the planet." Big words. To use an even bigger word to describe that kind of language (for instance, if I were pedantic, which I’m not), I’d say it’s "hyperbolic".
Crazy thing is, Valhalla might actually be onto something interesting, at least
from a marketing and branding standpoint. The Valhalla Training Center appears to be combining a serious…
tactical shooting/edged weapons combatives/hand-to-hand combat school with a high-end luxury resort fantasy camp for rich guys who are also James Bond fans. Situated between Montrose, CO and Telluride, CO., Valhalla was created by Thomas Forman. Tom’s a land developer, martial artist, and sport shooter. He started Valhalla two years ago. In July 2003, Tom hired Rob Pincus. Pincus now operates the school, and developed it’s various tactical courses. As of this writing, a plush, five star resort, called Elk Mountain, should have already been built around the Valhalla Training Center. Elk Mountain is the place from which the aforementioned rich guys shall, no doubt, come.
Valhalla has a 16,000 sq./ft. two-level scenario shoot-house that offers a 360-degree field of fire. This bi-level shoothouse is apparently loaded with all manner of special lighting, special effects, sound effects, fog/smoke effects, stationary and reactive targets, and probably a bunch of other features. DefRev doesn’t know whether or not this is where Valhalla conducts its "Extreme Close Quarters Shooting" class, or not. However, Valhalla’s force-on-force training (using Air Munition), is most likely conducted inside the shoot-house. If it’s not, it should be.
It should be noted that Mr. Pincus is a proponent of point-shooting at close range/close-contact distances. Hm. So am I. How about that? As the range increases, or when precision shooting is necessary, Pincus believes in transitioning to sighted fire. So do I. With regard to hand-to-hand combat, Pincus is a practitioner of Tony Blauer’s S.P.E.A.R. system. S.P.E.A.R. stands for "Spontaneous Protection Enabling Accelerated Response". Try saying that 50 times in a row, real fast.
DefRev hasn’t really investigated the Blauer S.P.E.A.R. system too much in depth. However, I have met Tony Blauer several times. O.k., that doesn’t mean anything, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express, once. Seriously, though, from what DefRev does know about the S.P.E.A.R. system–primarily gleened from what’s been shown on television and printed in magazines–the S.P.E.A.R. system seems to be predicated on sound logic and principles. I’d actually like to get some hands-on experience with the S.P.E.A.R. system, when I have the opportunity.
According to Pincus, the serious tactical students, including law enforcement agencies and SWAT/SRT teams (and perhaps even military SPECOPS units, in the future) and resort patrons won’t be intermixing at Valhalla. These two respective markets will be catered-to at different times, so that they don’t cross paths with each other. This is probably wise. Right now, Pincus is the only full-time instructor at Valhalla, but he hopes to change that, and right soon. Locating and securing quality instructors is perhaps Pincus’ primary concern at the moment. Interestingly, Executive Security International (ESI) is either already using, or planning to use the Valhalla Training Center facility.
The August 2004 issue of "SWAT" Magazine contains an article on the Valhalla Training Center, written by Brent T. Wheat. It’s a good article, and worth reading. On a side note, "SWAT" Magazine is currently doing a great job, and offers some very high quality content. DefRev advises its readers to either pick up an issue the next time you’re at the news/magazine stand, or whip out your credit card and subscribe to it. It’s worth the money.
To subcribe to "SWAT", call 800-673-4595.
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