I recently had the privilege of attending the Red Dawn Response class with Craig “Sawman” Sawyer hosted by the Dixieland Ammo Dump. What an experience. I was super jazzed to finally meet Sawman. I had seen his show Rhino Wars and had been a follower on Face Book for some time. When this class popped up I jumped on the opportunity to train with this fine American.

Day 1: A good friend and I pulled up to the Ammo dump Saturday morning.. I went from total stranger to feeling like a long lost friend in about 45 seconds. The guys down there were great. We hung around the Ammo Dump for a little bit checking out the place and telling stories and stuff. Once everyone got there we did a safety briefing and discussed the medical plan should it be needed during the class. We then saddled up and convoyed to the range. Once at the range we got set up and began the evolution. Since this was an advanced class we didn’t have to spend much time going over much admin type stuff. We more or less just got to the business. We started off with some pistol work. Sawman demonstrated several techniques critical to getting more rounds effectively on target and how to remain flexible enough to shoot at any angle and to take off walking / running if necessary. These techniques reinforced shooting fundamentals and were critical to the rest of the days evolutions. We later went on to do some carbine work and then to Carbine / pistol transitions. We also did some really great drills while moving / reloading parallel to the targets while Saw called out a color, a number, a shape (parallelogram Shelly!, aka crooked ass square,, inside joke) By late afternoon we were doing team / bounding drills. When the sun went down Saw broke out the goodies. Night vision, IR lasers, Thermal NODS, IR Illuminators.

Another thing I really liked was that this class isn’t one of these kind where one stands there and blast 1000 rounds at a piece of cardboard, for the sake of pulling the bang switch. Every round that went downrange had purpose. During all of the shoots Sawman was right there assessing our current skill level and observing everything from grip, stance, body position, body mechanics and giving feedback on things to do to make things more fluid and effective. Sawman also went in depth on “the why’s” and really broke things down to very digestible chunks of info. These chunks were glimpses into some real world experiences he’s had with his lifetime of service to our great country. I had multiple “ahh- ha” moments and moments when things I kinda knew about really starting clicking with some guidance by Sawman. Day one was very informative and I’m still going over what we learned.

Day 2: Day 2 was held in the G2 Research facility. This lent itself well to the fact that day 2 covered QCB tactics. What better place than a warehouse full of rooms, shelves, Stairwell and deadspace to play around. Again, TONS of very useful info. Since the class, I have found myself practicing these techniques around the house with my blue gun.

Final thoughts. I thoroughly enjoyed the class. The guys and gals I went through the class with were fine folks. Super friendly, supportive and were like old friends having blast. I would drive that 6 hours from Nashville again to do this with y’all.

Lastly, if anyone reading this is on the fence about training with Saw, Please do. You will receive top notch instruction by a man who has done this stuff when it’s counted and now desires us to better ourselves. Take advantage of the instruction. You will be pleased. You’ll see this guy again at a class in the future. Bravo Zulu Sawman! God Bless Brother,  Michael Powell.

AAR / Class Review: Red Dawn Response II

Being a student at the first beta-class “Hard target” I must say Craig made some great improvements and added massive amount of new material. We learned how our body response under stress and how to get the anxiety under control, first aid and tourniquet application. I can’t stress enough how important life saving skills these are and practicing it the correct way will save your and your loved once lives. Situational awareness in everyday life, what to pay attention to when on the parking lot, entering and exiting buildings and vehicles, etc. We discussed and practiced the situation when the driver of your vehicle becomes unresponsive. Techniques to move the body out of the way or just plainly take control of the moving vehicle.

It is not as easy as it looks but great knowledge to have in an emergency situation.We learned the difference between concealment and cover, how to use your vehicle or other objects around you for concealment when you have to protect yourself with firearms. Evasion and escape techniques. I must say the class gives you a solid knowledge on how to become a hard target. I do recommend this class to every citizen concerned of they own safety. Our safety is in our own hands and most of the dangerous citations can be avoided or turned around against the attackers. Annie M.


I recently attended Red Dawn Response training in Lake Park, Iowa conducted by Craig “Sawman” Sawyer.

Having attended Hard Target Training previously I had learned that Sawman is an expert at his craft AND (more importantly) can communicate his topics in an easy to understand fashion that is interesting, enjoyable, and never boring. You will be attending the wrong class if you want an instructor who will only talk about their exploits and accomplishments or talk down to you like you’re an unskilled novice.

I hold a Distinguished Expert rating in 9 mm pistol (though this skill has deteriorated due to lack of range time) and have competed in Service Rifle competition out to 300 yards. Participating in these activities has involved mostly static shooting from specified positions with a prescribed number of rounds fired. In this class, active drills are learned and practiced both individually and as a group that include switching from rifle to pistol as part of the drill. During this time Sawman is watching and recommending specific items individual shooter can improve upon. The recommendations range from footwork to how the weapon is held and handled.

In taking the class there were several items listed in the course description that I and other attendees had little or no experience with. Sawman’s easy manner of instruction either improved on existing skills or helped us to attain a basic skill level to practice on and improve at our home range.

For me, the training conducted by this instructor, in this manner and in this type of learning environment helped me to learn new skills, learn new techniques to sharpen existing skills and learn effective drills to sharpen those skills. I can also easily apply what I learned to protect my home, my family and neighbors around me.

Throughout the class, pros and cons are presented for various types of equipment and kit used by participants.

Finally, if your head isn’t full and you have additional questions; Sawman has ample time reserved at the end of class to address any questions or some of the finer points of items discussed in the class.

In summary, if you can’t learn something at this class you’re either a Navy Seal or Unteachable. Troy G


I am a 39-year-old insurance professional who spends the majority of my day behind a desk. Although I thoroughly enjoy guns and probably target shoot more than the average guy, I have never had any formal tactical training such as military, etc. One of my favorite things about this class was Craig’s ability to transfer lessons he learned on the battlefield and years of extensive training into every day practical application and situations I may be faced with. I have been practicing some of the things that I learned with hopes of only getting better and more prepared to protect myself, my family and those around me. Crawl, Walk, Run.

I would highly recommend this class to anyone. Whether you are a seasoned military veteran or a tactical novice, there is something for you to learn. It was an honor to know I was learning firsthand from one of America’s best! Jeff C.


I recently completed the Red Dawn Response class with Craig Sawman Sawyer Dec 17th and 18th in Hoschton, Georgia and I thought I would share my experience in hopes that others will read and decide to get registered for one of Sawman’s future classes. So here goes.

Day 1 was a live-fire class that involved shooting and moving with our rifles and pistols. Most of the day was a progression of drills that focused on marksmanship fundamentals and led the class into some basic small unit tactics by the afternoon. We concluded a very wet and soggy day 1 exploring night vision and thermal optics with hands-on interaction with the tools of the trade that allow you to “own the night”. Overall day 1 was a great success, despite the weather and I took home quite a few nuggets of information that I will be incorporating into my future practices. The drill I enjoyed the most was the movement drills where Sawman called out either numbers, colors or shapes and got us using both sides of our brains when transitioning between targets.

Day 2 was held inside the G2 Research facility, who were kind enough to offer the use of their building for the day so we could stay dry while covering the Q and A, mindset, gear set up and lecture part of the class in the morning. Later in the day we discussed the use of negative spaces to conceal our movements and urban sniper hide considerations. After lunch, we focused on CQB tactics, room clearing and other small unit tactics. We even explored the possibility of Tactical Feng Shui (inside joke). What I enjoyed the most about day two was that it was an intimate setting during the lecture portion. We really had the chance to pick the brain of a man who has trained and operated at the absolute highest level. That was such a great opportunity and I really appreciated his honest answers.

The class was a small group, I had previously trained with all but two of the other students and by the end of the weekend, we were stacking up and clearing rooms together like a pack of Wolverines. The skill levels varied but everyone showed up comfortable with the use of their firearms and their gear and that was the only real requirements for the class, as far as prerequisites went. You didn’t have to be a super highspeed ninja to benefit from this class, if you knew how to shoot and operate your gear, Craig took it from there.

Learning these skills from a former DEVGRU Operator, with a lifetime of real-world experience was invaluable. I had previous training on many of the topics that were presented, but Sawman’s way of simplifying processes and techniques far exceeded the training I have received in the past. He helped us to first understand the why and then we learned the how. I don’t know any other Instructors who are as dialed in on the subtle ways of violence as Sawman and he presents the information with that infectious smile of his making it a beautiful thing to behold.

His classes are always safe, always professional and paced so that you have time to digest what you’re learning as the lessons evolve.You owe it to yourself to attend his next class. I am more confident in my ability to defend myself and my family from a threat after taking this class and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning from a true professional. I look forward to many more classes with Sawman. Hooyah!

After Action Report: Red Dawn Response II

Ladies, are you a soft target? Meaning, would you be the one a thug picked out of a crowd because you look like an easy hit?!

Are you paying attention to what’s going around you or are you too busy on the phone?
Where are your eyes focused when you’re out running on the trail?

Are you looking down at your feet while walking back to your car after shopping, not noticing the creeper behind the van?

What is your plan for a Home Invasion?

Are you really ready to handle emergencies?

What do you do when you’re being followed?

With all these questions I think you will realize, as I have, you have always relied on your woman’s intuition to help keep you safe in bad situations. While this is a gift not to be ignored, when it comes to Situational Awareness, Threat Recognition, and Threat Response, are we really ready?! We all know that knowledge is power! Well, training or knowing what to do is essential for surviving a crisis. Don’t think, Oh, it won’t happen to me or I don’t need to know these things. That’s exactly what the “thug” is hoping. Learn the answers to these questions, and much more, through the SAFEGUARD ladies class by Tactical Insider. Walk away feeling more confident, better skilled, and most of all, not looking like a soft target.

“POWER UP” with Sawman’s insight on becoming a SAFEGUARD for you and your family! Sandy G.


I attended Hard Target Training class sponsored by Fusion MMA/The Complete Combatant in Marietta Ga.. The instructor was Tactical Insider’s Craig “Sawman” Sawyer, a retired Navy Seal. Basically he teaches how not to be a soft target for thugs.

Very good class. If you get an opportunity to take his class I would highly recommend it.  It could possibly save your life or your families. And I’m a hard sell. Chuck H.


Sustain: The environment that Craig creates for his training is not intimidating. I was impressed at Craig’s ability to train people with different skill sets at the same time. I’m a Command Sergeant Major with the GA Army National Guard and the guy on my left and right was a plumber, and a Doctor. After Craig’s safety brief he had the class get on line and draw our pistols so he could see everyone’s grip, and stance. He was able to make on the spot corrections as he went down the line. His use of the laser pistol and other techniques pointed out our weak areas and after applying Saw man’s techniques, wither it be trigger squeeze, grip, stance, breathing, or something else everyone made vast improvements.

I enjoyed trigger time the most. The opportunity to train in a relaxed environment with some of the best warriors this country has ever created was simply amazing. Sawman is the real deal, a subject matter expert that never quits teaching. I was able to pick up things through simple conversation while taking a break from running the guns.

Improve: (I was completely satisfied) I think if the class size were smaller (10 people max) Sawman could cover more ground with the students which is always a good thing! CSM C., Robert H.


I had the pleasure and honor of attending Crag “Sawman” Sawyers Hard Target class in February 2016 at Fusion Fitness and MMA. It was a very diverse crowd and at first I was not really sure what to expect. The class was just flat out awesome. Sawman is not only an fantastic person but his knowledge and skill are unlike any I have ever seen or trained with before. That being said, I train with some pretty awesome folks on a daily basis. The class walks you through a lot of tactical thinking and also puts application to the process. It was a great mixture of action, reaction and intelligence and a lot of humor-which to me is a necessity.

I learned a lot of valuable material and took away a tons of life saving nuggets that I have already applied in my day to day operations. The most important thing I learned is just the simplest things and changes can help save your life and make you A HARD TARGET! I would highly recommend taking any class associated with Crag “Sawman” Sawyer-the man is a true American hero and if we are lucky enough to be able to tap into his world then that my friends is priceless! I can honestly say after taking his class I have become and even HARDER TARGET then I was before! Gianni C.


The Complete Combatant in Marietta, GA. hosted Tactical Insider’s HARD TARGET class and I am having a hard time just writing a testimonial based on Sawman’s class alone. Not because his HARD TARGET class wasn’t top notch, but because Sawman was a guest in our home for 4 days. We got to know him a bit so I want to write about him as well. My review will be of the class and just as important, the person he is.

The HARD TARGET class is a must take. Your eyes will be opened on how much we really miss in our surrounds. Once this is established, he is really good about giving you a course of action to raise your awareness. He will consider the area in which you live, he will discuss techniques to determine if you are being followed and will walk you through a few emergency situations that could very easily happen in this day and time. There is so much more! I think my favorite little “nugget” that I will carry with me is the “Conga”. Take his class and FIND OUT what that is!!
Sawman has a very diverse personality. If you have followed his career, you know that he is an educated man that is loyal and committed towards his family and his country. He believes that “giving back” is one of the most important things a person can do. Sawman has chosen to give back on many levels….two of them being his charities/foundations and his training classes. When you attend any of Sawman’s classes, you will see the concern for life and the deep commitment to giving you the best information in the time allotted. When you support one of his charities like International Coalition Against Poaching, you will be helping him focus on counter-poaching to save Africa’s critically endangered animal species. Do you see a pattern here?

I encourage you to take (or host like we did) a HARD TARGET class to get skills to be more aware. I encourage you to host, or get a group of “like minded” friends, and ask Sawman to come to your turf and get RED DAWN RESPONSE! under your belt and last but not least, I encourage you to GIVE BACK by donating to the International Coalition Against Poaching!

Don’t be one of those people that just watches the world burn….be one of those people that trains and will fight against the threats that are knocking on our doors.

Sawman, you and your family are welcome in our home anytime. Brian and Shelley Hill


What does a rape van look like? How do you know that you have been selected by a sociopath as a target for his sick enjoyment? What can you do about it? How can you better protect yourself and loved ones? These questions and many more will be answered during the Hard Target class with Craig ” Sawman” Sawyer!Straight from a tier one operator who has been there done that with SEAL Teams One and Six. On to the US Air Marshall’s, and the State Department protecting citizens and dignitaries in some of the world’s nastiest hot spots. “Sawman” is The Guy to give up-to-date, real world information and training to help you survive the most critical seconds of your life, a violent attack. There is so much packed into this one day class. You will want to take notes and review them often. Money well spent, this is a class that keeps on giving.

Teens to Octogenarians, everyone can benefit and learn from Craig Sawyer. From how to think your way through a potential life and death encounter, firearms safety and use, home defense, offensive and defensive driving skills, stopping critical blood loss, the list goes on. Want to use counter espionage techniques to spot the bad guys before they spot you or what to do if you have been selected as a potential target, Craig Sawyer will teach you the lessons he learned and used around the globe. This course will teach you how to become a Hard Target. Hunter C.


“Red Dawn” is designed for more advanced students who would like to learn close quarter combat techniques, small unit tactics engaging the enemy with personal weapons at very short range. Because enemies, hostages/civilians and fellow operators can be closely intermingled, CQB demands a rapid assault and precise application of lethal force to minimize accidental casualties. In QCB the emphasis is on small groups using light, compact weapons that one person can carry and use easily in tight spaces, such as carbines, pistols, shotguns and knives.

Craig shared techniques on clearing buildings room by room in a small group, dynamic entry as well as stealth. We practiced various grips, shooting techniques, transition from shooting a rifle to sidearm and tactical reloads. Also attention was paid to sniper techniques, concealment, operating in close proximity to the target, best sniper equipment and accessories. This was a very informative class. Everyone of us had a chance to practice techniques as well as sends some rounds down the range.

Thank you Sawman for sharing your knowledge and experience with us civilian folks. Anya M.