Let me chime in regarding the Rangemaster 5-day course. This was the second time through the course for me, so I must have seen some worth in it after the first, and it is about the seventh course that I have taken from the Rangemaster folks. Again, that speaks for itself.
As Man-Mountain Shay has said on this forum, this was not a shooting skills course although there was plenty of work on those things, particularly marksmanship while presenting and moving. The 5-day course expected that the students were good shooters coming in. Still, an entire day was scheduled to rub off any rust that we might have accumulated. I don't practice enough (but I will in the future, I promise!!) so I had a good amount of rust particularly regarding accurate fast fire. After the first day, all of us were shooting at credibly high levels on several federal law enforcement qualifications.
At its core, the course was one on defensive mind set. Dane is mostly always able to botch up the thinking and the actions of his students but the more we go through his scenarios, the better we get at getting through them. Some of us may now be close to being able to survive a real situation through something more than blind luck. I'll give a few examples.
Last year I failed miserably in every fun-house problem we did. Walking into a pretend-store or having to solve a problem about coming home late to my own home, I wrongly tried to dominate the adversaries or to reach for my weapon or similar things each time without realizing that that was inappropriate behavior and that I was going to get myself into big trouble. This time, my mind was working a bit better in most of the scenarios and I survived them. However, I still screwed up in others. I learned that tunnel vision is real in combat situations and no amount of classroom talk is going to keep you from falling into that trap. In a problem where I was told I had two rooms to clear (and where I knew that there were two co-attendees who were acting as adversaries) I forgot that there were *two rooms* to clear (and that there were *two bad guys*) so focussed I was on the first guy, and I got shot. You have to experience the failure before you can do something about it. Nonetheless, that was the only time I got shot with Simunition this year. Last year was much bloodier.
Dane fooling with my head? The worst for me was in the Fist Suit work. Dane thinks it's instructional to put us in a Fist Suit and beat on us where the rule is we cannot strike back. It's supposed to impress upon us how hard fighting is and how quickly you become exhausted. Well, that works well enough, and most people wanted to crawl into a hole after about 30 seconds. Me, I am a martial artist but I'm also an old fart. I got tired after a while holding Dane off and he got me to the ground. I still did well holding him off by facing him with my feet and kicking. I was satisfied that I had reached a stalemate. What did Dane do? He said, "You can stop kicking, Mel." I did. He was then on top of me knocking the stuffing out of me (which, I have to say, you hardly feel through a Fist Suit). He won. I was the fool. I was not thinking defensively (I was not thinking at all) and he tricked me into submission. I hate that. (But he knows he can never do that again, right? :grin