My Best Teaching Experience (PERSONAL STORIES)

“Each of this classes give me something to work on.”

July 2015. Olympic Pistol Advance Class with Ruslan Dyatlov in Troy, Michigan.

Olympic Pistol Advance Class with Ruslan Dyatlov in Troy, Michigan.

I took three classes with Ruslan this year so far.
Each of this classes give me something to work on.
The most surprising error that I encounter was error with NPA.
I was able to shoot in the neighborhod of 540 when I encounter that error.
Moment that frustrates me the most was that I did not have consistency with my shooting: I had very good series, but some series were total disaster. I was not able to identify what cause me to hit 6 and 7th in those series.
Yes, there was error in some other areas of fundamental as well, but the error with NPA was the biggest and the hardest to find.
Again, each class reveal errors and I worked on those errors at home. I saw steady progress in my shooting development after classes with Ruslan.
Not each sessions with Ruslan give me additional poins on score board, but each of the sessions improve my understanding of the shooting.
As far as points on score board: I was able to constantly hit 87-88 (in series of 10 in air pistol) in April 2015. I can shout 92 or higher in air pistol now (September 2015)

Alexander Levitt

Texas, USA

“The perfect shot”, with Ruslan Dyatlov.

 "The perfect shot", with Ruslan Daytov

“The perfect shot”, with Ruslan Daytov

I started Olympic style pistol shooting just 6 months before the course, including air pistol, free pistol and standard pistol. Although reaching relatively good results for a newbie, I felt that something was missing.

Being an engineer, I like things being structured. After 6 months of practicing and competing intensively, I knew a lot of technique ‘pieces’, but I did not have a system, a clear process that I could follow, that when executed meticulously, will make every shot the ‘perfect shot’.

Hence I started to look around for help. I did not limit myself to my area of living, which is Sweden, but looked globally, as I wanted to learn from the best.

Very quickly I came across Ruslan Dyatlov, which was active in several forums and engaged in discussions about Olympic style shooting technique. I gave him a phone call, and the course he described sounded exactly what I was looking for – learning a process that will make every single shot, the perfect one!. After the phone call, I booked dates with him, and soon after, I was on the plane for the 10 hours flight to Troy, Michigan.

Ruslan cam to pick me from the airport, and made sure I am comfortable in the hotel. Next morning he came to pick me from the hotel for the first day of the course. I was expecting that we will drive strait to the shooting range, and was very surprised when Ruslan said that the first day is all theory. I thought to myself – how much theory can there possibly be about shooting a hand gun?

In this sense, the first day was a real eye opener for me.  We spend the whole first day discussing the individual elements of the ‘perfect shot’ and how the elements are combined into a process. This day of theory was an incredible experience for me. For the first time, I could understand why some of my shots where good, and felt good, and why others felt bad, and were bad. By learning each element of the shooting process, and working on perfecting it, I could finally make the logical connection between the different steps. Ruslan explained each step of the process in length, and we dry practiced the theory with an air gun. I took a lot of notes, Ruslan was kind enough to share tips and tricks from his vast experience as an Olympic style shooter. At the end of the first day, I had my head and notebook full of valuable information that I was anxious to start implementing.

Day two was all action! We started with going to an open-air range with a .22 that Ruslan had with him. For a few hours and a few hundred rounds, I tried to implement the theory from the previous day into practice. I shot the whole time ‘Olympic style’, single handed at 25 yards. Ruslan was for the whole time just behind my shoulder, watching, correcting and explaining. It was great, great, great! I could see, literally, how towards the end of the session my groupings got smaller and smaller. Now I had a process I could follow and perfect over time.

The second part of the day was pure ‘bang-bang’ fun activity. Ruslan took me to an indoor shooting range were he rented a few handguns (I could basically pick anything I wanted to try) and I spend a couple of hours shooting a few hundreds of various calibers rounds.

The third day was more of the same, but with a twist. The ‘Olympic style’ practice also included more advanced exercises. One of them which I thought was exceptionality challenging was that Ruslan ‘messed up’ the sights on the pistol, and I had to find the correct settings again, in the shortest time possible (by shooting, marking and adjusting). This exercise was to practice a situation where my gun breaks down in a completion, and I have to use another one which was not setup for me beforehand. Very interesting it was!. The second half of the third day was yet again more fun activity, with another session of shooting anything I wanted to try! 

Since the course, I have implemented the process and techniques that I have learned from Ruslan, and I see a steady improvement in my results. From time to time, I get back to the notes I took during the course, and I find myself very often re-discovering valuable information. It could be something that Ruslan taught me and I forgot, or something that Ruslan mentioned during the course that I only fully understood after having more experience in the sport.

 All in all, I am so very happy and pleased with the course I took with Ruslan. Not only that I have learned so much valuable information that really helped me with my development, it was also a pleasure to spend the time with Ruslan. He is a very helpful and honest person, and I could really feel that it was important for him that I make the best of my stay.

Roy Weg


10 Meter Air pistol Shooting – a newbie’s perspective. By Gary Hoover

10 Meter Air pistol Shooting - a newbie’s perspective

10 Meter Air pistol Shooting – a newbie’s perspective
Gary Hoover


When the pre-class package of reading material arrived from Ruslan Dyatlov of the Midwest Shooting Academy, I eagerly opened the enveloped and quickly scanned the contents.   One of the chapters that Ruslan insisted be read several times was simply the basics-stance, grip, breathing, aim, trigger control and follow-through.  My first reaction was “heck, I’ve been shooting regular two-handed pistols for several years.  Certainly I know how to stand, grip the pistol and “squeeze the trigger—right”?  Well, it turns out I was wrong – very wrong!  But before I get too far ahead of the story, let me tell you a little about myself.


I’m 61 years old and have been two-handed range shooting for about 6 years with the normal handguns.   In 2012, I happened to be watching the London Olympics and saw a short report on what they called 50-meter free pistol.  I had never heard of such a sport.  A little Google work and I found not only videos of free pistol but also 10-meter air pistol.   I remember the first exposure to the price of these pistols-shocking to say the least!  Then I discovered the Baikal 46M at an affordable price.  A few nights of shooting this fine pistol and I was hooked.  Several months later, I decided to get a Toz 35 and thoroughly enjoyed shooting it.  In another year, I added a Steyr LP10E and a Morini CM84E to the collection.  At this point, there was certainly no excuse for blaming the pistol for my not-so-great scores.  As time progressed, my score improved some, but my groupings were very erratic.  For the free pistol, I was anywhere from 400 to 460.  For the air pistol, the results were a little better, 440 to 480.  Unfortunately, progress was not being made.  I had read Yuryev’s book cover to cover and probably now qualify for at least an M.D. degree.  I also studied every YouTube video that I could find.  Still, the scores stayed flat.  Soon, I realized that some coaching help was needed and in the summer of 2014, I went for a weekend class at the Midwest Shooting Academy in Royal Oaks, Mi., which brings us back to the six shooting principles emphasized so heavily by Ruslan.  It didn’t take long to realize that my stance was totally wrong and as such, my natural point of aim was anything but natural.  Grip also needed correcting.  My fingertips were incorrectly wrapping around and squeezing the grip unnaturally.  Area aiming was a concept I had read about but didn’t fully understand until the class.   Before the class, I thought my biggest issue was trigger control.  It turns out that fundamental needed the least amount of correction.   Follow through was probably the biggest surprise.  One would think that once the bullet or pellet is out of the tube, you’re done!  I was amazed at how much follow through not only improved my groupings but also helped me call the shot more accurately.  And then there is dry fire.  I’ll admit it.  To me, dry fire is pretty dry.  But, I can see the benefit it provides practicing the six fundamentals and, provides great strengthening exercise for the arm.


Following the class, I made a few additional purchases.  I first bought a pair of Varga shooting glasses.  Being 61, I need progressive lenses.  What’s more, I have an astigmatism, which my prescription glasses correct.  What I found works best is to wear the shooting glasses over my prescription glasses.  This may not look the coolest, but it seems to work for me.  Also, the shooting glasses sit away from my prescription glasses so as to not cause any scratching.  The iris attachment is another “option” that I’ve found very helpful in that it allows me to concentrate on just sight alignment since most all other objects around the target are blanked out.  The iris also allows me to get the correct portion of my prescription progressive lenses to consistently be focused about half way between the front and rear sights.  For the shooting glasses, I simply use a straight 0.00 diopter yellow lens in front of the iris.  I chose yellow since all of my shooting, including the free pistol is don indoors.


Another important purchase was a pair of very flat soled shoes.  Once again, going to the Internet revealed that true pistol shooting shoes are not only flat soled but also fully complaint with new the ISSF rules for sole flexure.  The problem was, these shoes were only available on-line—so how does one “try on” the shoe to get the correct fit?  In the end, I opted for a pair of Nike Tiempos, which I purchased on sale at Dick’s for a whopping total of $50.  They work fine and seem to really help provide support and keep my weight distribution balanced between both feet.


In the several months since my class, I’ve definitely become more consistent in my groupings.  My goal before the class was to keep all shots within the 7 ring or better.  Except for an occasional goober, that goal has now been achieved.   I’ve learned that concentration is extremely important.   I still have a day job, which quite often gets more hectic than this 61 year old can handle.  On those, days, I notice my grouping is not nearly as tight.  Possibly the blood pressure is higher and possibly my mind is wondering more than it should.  On the flip side, maybe days like those are good since shooting in a match would be anything but calm and relaxing.  I’ve also noticed that keeping properly hydrated seems to help me be steadier on target.  I’ve never been a big water drinker, but I’ve found that having 20 or so ounces of water before I shoot seems to reduce the shaking.


My free pistol shooting has been limited since my summer class since I wanted to concentrate mainly on the air pistol.  Lately, I have began to dry fire both the Toz and the Morini along with visiting the range once per week.  While free pistol is harder for me than air pistol, my groupings and consistency have greatly improved compared to before the class.  More practice and dry fire is obviously needed.


I’ve found 10 meter air pistol and 50 meter free pistol is extremely rewarding and challenging and I look forward to improved groupings over the next year.  The sport doesn’t seem to be very popular in my hometown of St. Louis, so I’m mostly in competition against myself.  But that’s OK.  I’ll keep practicing and continuously reviewing those six basic fundamentals along with the several pages of excellent notes from Ruslan’s class.

St. Louis,  Missouri.


“Perfect Single Shot Devlopment in Olympic Pistol Shooting Class with Ruslan”  07/22/2014

“I took course from Ruslan on basic pistol shooting.

Perfect Single Shot Devlopment in Olympic Pistol Shooting Class with Ruslan

Perfect Single Shot Devlopment in Olympic Pistol Shooting Class with Ruslan

I am very pleased with what I got out of it.
I was in the army and was trained as a tank shooter.
I shoot very well from all type of weapons available to the tank unit except pistol. 
I was horrible pistol shooter. I rarely hit anything above 8 from 21 feet from pistol at my time in military. This was changed after Ruslan class. I am capable to hit 10th from 50ft after 3 classes even I did not shot anything for more then 27 years.
I also like that Ruslan has variety of guns to choose for training. He gives you ability to test different type of guns for free. Ruslan gives expert explanation on the different features available to the guns and you can test, see and feel these difference to yourself during his class. He also assist you in buying the gun and his advise was much better, more informal and beneficial to me than conversation with sales person. 
I highly recommend his class and training.”
Alex Levitt
Houston, Texas
 Ruslan Dyatlov, an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and Pistol Coach at the Midwest Academy Consulting Group, lays out the advantages of target shooting …
“Perfect Single Shot Devlopment in Olympic Pistol Shooting Class with Ruslan”  07/12/2014 & 07/12/2014
Thanks again for the excellent class time for Olympic pistol basics.  Prior to attending your class, I had read as many books and web postings as possible and thought I had a “fair” understanding of the basics of Olympic pistol shooting.  I was wrong!  There simply is no substitute for face-to-face instruction and critique.  Your explanation of the basic (but extremely important) foundations of Olympic free and air pistol shooting were excellent and all made perfect sense.  There were many excellent and logical concepts that you introduced that were never discussed in any printed material that I read.  You’re an excellent instructor and coach.  I’m looking forward to a 560 in the not-to-distant future!!  I would highly recommend your class to anyone interested in pistol shooting.
Thanks again,”

Gary Hoover

St. Louis, Missouri. 

“I’d been pistol shooting for a few years (2-3) and had reached a plateau of about 550 in Air Pistol and 510 in Free Pistol. I’d tried books, forums, friends and although I’d manage small increases at times I was trying to find tips to fix something all the time. In competitions under stress I was dropping as low as 525 in AP and 480 in FP.

It was after having a golf lesson with a new golf coach that I started to realise I needed to approach shooting coaching like golf coaching. I’d paid for a golf lesson and spent 30 minutes of the 1 hour lesson not even hitting the ball. We went back to fundamentals starting with how to hold the club properly. I started looking for coaches for pistol shooting and that’s when I discovered Ruslan on Target Talk. After a few emails it was easy to see that Ruslan was not about giving free tips but about fundementals and a process.

It was a big commitment to travel 8,000 miles (round trip) for 2 days coaching in the USA. Before I even arrived Ruslan had given me some direction and goals for my Dry Fire and I started to realise that my previous Dry Fire training had been just going through the motions with little focus and insufficient time to build the endurance required. With Ruslan’s guidance with my Dry Fire training I started to make small gains in AP even before the visit. On the plane trip I read “Mastery” by George Leonard and then something clicked. I realised I had become Outcome Obsessed rather then Process Orientated.

On Day 1 – Ruslan introduced me to Bikram Yoga. Three Bikram Yoga sessions later I started to understand the benefits both physically and mentally. It is a uncomfortable environment and it takes mental fortitude to complete the session. The breathing and balance are also of physical benefit to pistol shooting.

The commitment to the fundementals and the knowledge behind them is what I most appreciated about the course. Often in Pistol Shooting people will tell you to do certain things but they don’t back it up with why? I’m a person who likes to understand the reasons behind something rather then to blindly follow. I appreciated Ruslan’s obsession with the fundamentals and now understand the realisation that if you can’t shoot 570 in training (low stress optimum conditions) how could you expect to do so in competition. I withdrew from my competitive shooting and have embraced the training of the fundamentals. I now Dry Fire more then I Live Fire and have a greater understanding of the requirements to complete a perfect shot. I am also aware of the dedication and hard work required to shoot at a high level required to make a National Team. I continue to train hard but understand that this is only the start of the Journey to Mastery.

I had previously wasted 18 months on tips and technical modifications to grips and pistols and only wished I’d visited Ruslan at the start of deciding to concentrate on ISSF pistol shooting.”


Adam B. (August 31,2012)

Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom.

“You must learn and master the basics in any sport.  I have a thorough understanding of the basics after attending my two day class with Ruslan.  I realize the importance that each individual fundamental plays and how they all work together to form the perfect shot.  Prior to his class I relied on reading books, opinions on Target Talk, clinics, advice given by other shooters and coaches.  None of these sources presented the basics in as clear, complete, precise, and extremely specific manner as Ruslan has.  Narrowing down what is important and specifically how to execute each fundamental would have shortened my learning curve if I had known them when I first began to learn how to shoot an air pistol.  Ruslan’s class is a must if you have the desire to do well in this sport and do not expect years to learn what is necessary.”

Free Pistol Target Reported 09.01.2012

Free Pistol Target Reported 09.01.2012

 Jack Milchanowski ( Sun, 1 Jul 2012)
Texas, USA 






“I attended the 2-Day Workshop, “Perfect Single Shot Fundamentals Development”

“Ruslan Dyatlov was the Instructor, whose precise and careful understanding of both the fundamentals, and the nuances, of the air pistol discipline were an inspiration to me. His one on one training course challenged me, while giving me effective skills for my advancement in the sport. I look forward to my continued improvement and guidance with Ruslan as my adviser.”

John Robinson, Madison WI. June 2010
World Land Speed Record holder
H/GCC Dodge Colt
Racing a BSA Victor 107.371MPH at the Salt
Greenland Ice Driller
Antarctic Ice Driller

“I am impressed with Ruslan Dyatlov: he is systematic, patient, rigorous, and positive. In addition, there is a subtlety and care in the way he chooses his words while explaining the basics of shooting. I feel that this is what sets him apart from most shooters — the depth and care and attention to all the issues involved in making a shot — and the ability to talk about these things in a subtle, precise and exact way. One immediately senses a higher level of understanding regarding the sport, even if as a beginner, one doesn’t understand what he is saying. But Ruslan’s patience and kindness in answering questions carefully is deeply appreciated by this beginner. I have complete trust and confidence in Ruslan’s instruction and advice. Finally, his expressions of support have been most encouraging to me as a beginner shooter.”

Alice Wang. USAS 2007 National Ranking:

Alice Wang. USAS 2007 National Ranking:
#1 in Women’s Air Pistol
(Status as of May 21, 2007)

Alice Wang
Lansing, MI
USAS 2007 National Ranking:
#1 in Women’s Air Pistol
(Status as of May 21, 2007)

“I took Roulsan’s class, Perfect Single Shot Fundamentals this fall. Day one was spent carefully reviewing the basics of good shooting and the 6 step process taught by the Midwest Academy. On Saturday and Sunday we went to the range and I was able to shoot a range of pistols with Roulsan’s careful instruction. I had originally expected that we would spend our time on air pistol only, but Roulsan took the time to let me shoot 9mm pistol, free pistol, and my own air pistol.

I have used Roulsan’s 6 step shooting program to drive my scores from 7’s to, what should be 9’s relatively soon. As important as the weekend we spent together was the time he has spent since working on my shooting technique and helping me buy a new 0.22 caliber pistol. Roulsan has been consistently available to me since the class and I know I can count on him in the future to help me reach my own shooting goals-9’s and then 10’s!”

September, 2006
Henry Coffey
Baltimore, MD

“I chose to shoot Air Pistol because I really enjoy the challenge. I contacted Ruslan because I wanted to improve. What happens in the meetings with Russ is the clearest understanding of the fundamentals and how they work together to create the ‘perfect shot.’ Because of the time with Russ, all of my practice from now on will have the potential to be effective since I now have the tools to analyze and work on specific aspects of the process with an understanding of how it should be done right. I would gladly make this investment with Russ again without reservation. The future is up to me, but the right tools of knowledge and technique remove boundaries. Thanks!”

October 16, 2005
Craig E.

One Response to My Best Teaching Experience (PERSONAL STORIES)

  1. Pingback: Schedule your appointment for the next workshop with Ruslan Dyatlov: :”Essential Elements of Competitive Olympic Pistol Target Shooting” | Midwest Academy Consulting Group

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