The end of the semester is always a difficult time to keep up with my writing because of final exams and grading, as well as the coinciding conclusion to the college tennis season. Last week I was in Georgia stringing rackets for Wake Forest’s mens tennis team, who were the top seed in the NCAA Division 1 tennis tournament but unfortunately lost in the tournament quarterfinals.
To keep some forward momentum on my book project, I took advantage of my streaming subscription to Panteao Productions videos by watching their Gunsite 40th Anniversary commemorative video. The documentary, which is also available on DVD, contains some great interviews with people associated with Gunsite over the years, and even old videos of Col. Jeff Cooper (as seen below).
I noted before that I am fortunate to be going to Paulden, Arizona next month to observe the legendary Gunsite 250 (“The Gunsite Experience”) course.
It seems clear to me, and I have not read anything to the contrary, that the American Pistol Institute founded by Cooper at Gunsite in 1976 is the birthplace of the private citizen gun training industry.
In an interview on the Panteao video, gun trainer Dave Spaulding of Handgun Combatives says as much:
Everyone who teaching combative pistolcraft teaches some form of Jeff Cooper’s format. . . . If you teach grip, stance, trigger control, and you teach a ready position and you present from the holster, and you teach re-loads and you teach malfunctions. If you teach that format, you’re teaching Jeff Cooper’s original defensive pistol course. Because that’s his format, and it’s such a good format that everybody’s copied it. . . . It was that good, it was that ahead of its time. And for no other reason, I think if you’re a student of combative pistolcraft, you should to Gunsite. Because in a nutshell, that’s where it all started.