Greetings, AFM! In our quest to capture the many offerings Austin holds for every fitness enthusiast, it’s time to shine a light on another local outfit. This month brought us to Tactical Fitness Austin, where they equip their members with the skills, technique, knowledge and confidence to defend themselves and their loved ones.
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Tactical Fitness Austin was established in 2016 by Ron Grobman with the mission of offering civilians Special Forces-quality training, regardless of their experience. They offer all-encompassing training in firearms, Krav Maga, third-party protection and combat fitness. At Tactical Fitness, they hope their members never have to use the training, but their members are prepared if needed and leave their session as more powerful and confident members of society.
The goal at Tactical Fitness is to individualize the training for each participant, even in a group class! No gear, no problem; they have rental packages available and any of their fundamental courses are a great place to start. Also, private one-on-one training is available to customize to your needs.
The community at Tactical Fitness includes individuals from all walks and a variety of professions with the common denominator being that they deeply care about the safety of their loved ones and neighbors, making it a welcoming and respectful community of protectors.
I arrived at the 7:15 p.m. Combat Club session, which combines fitness, Krav Maga and shooting all into a weekly training class. It’s Tactical Fitness’ best-kept secret and, as far as I know, this format of combined training is not available in Austin or anywhere else!
The Combat Club session included about eight participants and led with setting up the targets and safety-first protocols before acclimating to our firearms. In short, we safely cleared our firearms of all rounds, kept our hands away from weapons when anyone was downrange and regarded each firearm as if it were loaded.
Following the introduction, we began by taking close-range shots with our pistols. The warm-up consisted of taking five shots at a mark on the perimeter of the target while maintaining a brief pause between each round fired. We started at five yards and progressed to 10 yards.
I appreciated the format of the course instruction. First, our instructor Coach Bernardo demonstrated the exercise and firing pattern. Then, the class practiced the position and angles. We reset, and then it was time for live fire. Then, we moved back about 30 to 40 yards and began acclimating to our rifles.
Each of us also had a partner. While one person focused on shooting, the other focused on the lift. Each round began with a 30-yard shuttle run. At station 1, my partner utilized their pistol to complete five shots on target, while I completed five thrusters with a 50-pound rucksack. A thruster is a combined continuous movement of a front squat into an overhead press. This made for the intense challenge of quieting my breath when it was my turn to shoot.
At station 2, my partner utilized their rifle while working around a wall as a shield to fire downrange. Meanwhile, I completed three ground to over-the-shoulder lifts with a 150-pound torture sack — I mean, medicine ball… With this station, we worked standing, kneeling and lying down shots on target with our rifles.
The final station included another rifle shot, only this time, we worked around a target, and the lift included an unevenly weighted farmer’s carry for 30 yards carrying a 50-pound kettlebell in one hand and a 65-pound kettlebell in the other.
What I liked: Partner work is the best! You’re never on an island when working with a partner, and I greatly appreciated my partner being willing to offer tidbits when I was working through shooting angles that were new to me. Shooting around the barrels with my rifle was my favorite shooting station, and the unevenly weighted farmer’s carry was my favorite lift.
What I found most challenging: The combination of the shuttle run, five Thrusters and inhaling icy air was by far my most challenging station. It was close to 25 degrees Fahrenheit that night, and each breath felt like a thousand needles going into my lungs. Shooting for accuracy with an elevated heart rate and quieting my breath were all challenges during this station.
Whether you’re new to firearms training or are a professional, there’s room for you to hone your craft at Tactical Fitness Austin. Their culture is welcoming, and instructors pave the way to meet their exponentially high standard — do everything as fast as you can perfectly!
Combat Club receives a 10 out of 10 rating from me for an epic workout, fantastic experience and world-class instruction. Do your loved ones and neighbors a service and check out their Concealed Carry Krav Maga course, which is a crowd-pleaser and relevant to everyday self-defense.