I had known about Robert Vogel for a while when I stumbled upon his grip videos back in the day, learning how to manage recoil before I ever competed.  I taught on the tactical side of things for a while, and had just started to get into USPSA in the spring of 2018.  Wanting to seek instruction from some of the best around, I emailed Robert with the intent of setting up a private class at his home.  Surprisingly for someone of his notoriety, he got back to me pretty much immediately with pricing and availability.  I booked a class for July of that year.

In between emails following up and updating status, I had asked him quite a few questions about his journey.  He doesn’t know this, but I asked several people the same questions and only got a response from him, along with being detailed and thought out.

I went to attend his class, and I thought the drills were well set up with an intent and clear purpose.  We went through the basics and fundamentals, all the way up to running stage type sequences.  The 3 of us that attended the class got individual feedback on how to correct issues, and came back with a clear understanding of what we needed to address to improve.  This was the first time I heard Robert’s mental talk lecture as well, which in my opinion is very thorough and excellently delivered.  I would have paid for a class on that alone, that is how powerful of a talk it is.

I went home, bought the books he recommended, and wrote out my affirmation statement that I read every day for 2 years.  I have stopped reading it since (It’s end of 2021 currently), but that’s not because I forgot it – it’s because I believed what I was saying and was seeing the results materialize right before my eyes.

I hosted Robert for the next 2 years at our local club for a USPSA specific class.  Robert gladly made the trip out to us (10 hour drive) and took the time to even shoot our local match.  His world class skills match his very friendly and helpful demeanor.  He would always try to answer questions as best he could and would work with us to try to improve our abilities.  The students highly valued the opportunity to shoot with a world champion as well, and I found it personally very helpful while in between runs we would chat with each other about what I could do better.

This initial class I took for competition, combined with a person that is excellent with what they do and very kind and helpful set me on a path to achieve greatness for myself.  Those who know me know I am very driven and work very hard, so I set my eyes on higher goals and expectations as a result of this class.

Currently speaking, I am a production Grand Master, and took 18th at Nationals in 2021.  That goal statement was that I AM A USPSA GRAND MASTER, and I made that happen in part because of Robert’s help.  My next goal statement is I AM A NATIONAL CHAMPION, and I’m gonna work like hell to make that happen as well over the next few years.

We’ve kept in touch over the years, and Robert is always pleasant and helpful.  He’s always taken the true time to answer any questions I’ve had in detail, and I appreciate his feedback and guidance when I ask him of it.

Anyone looking to take a class with him will have a great opportunity to learn from the best, and I’d highly recommend that you do so!

-Rob Epifania

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