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Last night I learned that my friend and fellow firearms instructor, Paul Gomez, had passed away suddenly at the young age of I just happened to be teaching that weekend. That changed very quickly. Paul and I hit it off quickly in class and I ended up working with him and Andy quite a lot…not that either of them really needed any work on their gun fighting skills. In fact, Paul and I spent so much time discussing tactics in the live fire house that the boss came in to yell at me.
Benner expected me to train all the other students as well! On the last day of class, both he and Andy showed up wearing kilts. No one quite knew how to take those two, but I instantly had a plan.
City close-up. (Book, 1971) [luokai.info]
It was scenario day in my shoot house. The students would have to come through the house and be met by various role players armed with airsoft guns.
This was before he had begun teaching with Craig; and Paul was on a true quest to find out everything he could learn about winning the close quarter gunfight. We had another great time both during class and sharing a few beers in the instructor quarters when class was finished. On the final day, I got dressed up in the padded suit and attacked Paul in a gun grab scenario.
Paul was one of the few students who kept his gun that day.
I still remember him screaming verbal commands so loudly during our fight that I thought my eardrum would burst, even through the bulky FIST suit helmet I was wearing. He was already performing at a high level. But that was just how Paul was…if there was something to learn, Paul was there. In those two classes, I saw Paul as a student, not as the instructor most of you know. He was everything a combatives instructor could ask for. He asked intelligent questions, provided logical debate and performed awesomely in class.
Even though he had already attained a high skill level, he tried everything we asked him to do so that he could evaluate for himself exactly what technique would be best to learn and teach. Paul had the knowledge of an advanced instructor combined with the humble, information-seeking brain of a perpetual student. The roles changed in It was payback time. I thought I had a lot of the answers before taking the class.
After that class, Paul and I spoke a lot via email and telephone. The next week I get a call from a very confused and shell shocked Dave Spaulding.
The Andromeda Strain (1971) - IMDb
He said he knew you and he kept me on the phone for two hours talking about tactics. I met my match with Paul. The man truly was the complete repository of all tactical knowledge. I immediately thought that I had to give it to Gomez, knowing that few others could appreciate my find.
Paul Gomez 1971-2012 | Active Response Training
I expected Paul to be ecstatic when I told him about my gift. I have 3 others at home. The man was truly inspirational. Paul was extremely complimentary about my teaching and the classes offered by TDI. They number in the hundreds. There are very few trainers in the world today that I could trust as much as I did Paul.
I steered as many students as I could his way. When I met Paul, I was in the role of the teacher. But looking back on our friendship, I realize that he taught me more than I ever taught him. He left us too soon.
Rest in Peace, my friend. I hope we get the chance to meet again on the other side. For those of you who never had the honor of meeting or training with Paul, please check out his YouTube Channe l where his common-sense instructional videos will live on in his absence.