Scottsdale facility takes weapons training to the next level

- A Scottsdale weapons training facility is the first in the country to offer private citizens access to the latest virtual technology that is only available to law enforcement and military agencies.

Besides that, the program is a pioneer in the industry, taking weapons training to the next level.

Haley Strategic physically and mentally immerses its trainees in the scenario, and private citizens from all over the country are coming to Scottsdale to attend its D7 program.

It's not just the technology that is cutting edge here. The instructor is as well.

"We wanna know if you can be more adaptive, and take a different approach to your thinking, not just shooting a gun," said Travis Haley.

Haley is well known in the weapons industry. An Iraq War veteran, Marine force reconnaissance special operations, weapons training and law enforcement, CEO. His program focuses on the person before weapon, and uses bio mechanics and neuro-feedback to exercise and train the shooter's brain.

"If you wanna be great, you have to be deliberate," said Haley.
This exercise focuses on timing.

"He's really trying to be in time with what's going on," said Haley. "Specifically, his trigger finger, because he has to have good accountability of that, becausethat's whats sending the projectile into society."

Another focuses on rhythm, using an interactive metronome system. It measures neuro-feedback, show how fast or slow your brain and hand responded.

"What we're really focused on here is are we impulsive?" said Haley. "Being early on the timer or are we really behind. Are we late? And trying to find a balance."

The next exercise focuses on balance, and the last part of the two-day program is when all the fun happens: the tactical and technical part of the training.

"We take all the systems and processes and test it here in the Virtra simulator," said Haley.

"The sign outside says 'Thinkers Before Shooters,'" said Jason Mulcahy, General Manager of Virtra.. "That core philosophy is behind what we do with our simulators. We want judgmental use of force."

Virtra made the 300-degree virtual simulator, which until now was only offered to law enforcement and military agencies. Haley Strategic is the first and only private company they've worked with.

"The thing that's different about this, versus other simulators is that it still is human against human," said Haley. "So, my instructor is sitting right there. All the input that's going into this screen, which is a dynamic environment, it's constantly changing. It gives us the ability to have live feedback."

"I wanted to come here to see what its all about," said David Laird, Director of Training for C2 Tactical. "I found that hes using a lot of medical science that's used with professional athletes to the firearms industry. What I've seen today is a lot of forward thinking, which I didn't think is possible with a simulator. I'd say you get about five to seven day's worth of training in just two days."

"It's not to go out and look for trouble, just to be prepared, in case something does arise," said trainee Gary Kermott. "You know, golfers now measure their swing speed, ball speed, handles of attack, things like that. That's what I feel like they're doing here."

Eugene Oh, a local physician, has attended different weapons training programs for the past 15 years. He is familiar with Haley's reputation in the industry.

"I think he digs a lot deeper into understanding the biomechanics. Why certain things make more sense. He has more of a kinesthetic approach to it," said Oh. "When you're there and you've gone through a situation like this, and you see how fast things happen and how adrenaline affects your responses, then you begin to understand and appreciate what they're going through things that most of us can't understand."

"Haley, you can tell with the program, he's already thinking light years from now where he wants to go with it," said Laird.

"It comes down to good judgment, good tactics and good angles, and being situationally aware," said Haley.

Haley and Virtra believe this is the future of law enforcement and military training. It should not only produce swift and accurate shooters, but confident shooters with good judgment. 

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