Every other year, on the weekend closest to Paul Gomez’ birthday (August 19-20, 2017), an eclectic group of individuals gather in the campgrounds, gravel pits, shooting ranges and sand lots of Northeastern Ohio to learn and hone a unique set of skills. If I had to choose a word to describe what kinds of skills are studied, I think that, “frontier skills,” best describes our interests. It’s not just, “gun,” classes, or, “knife,” classes, or even just, “medical,” classes. The skills studied encompass a myriad of subjects ranging far beyond what one might find at a, “normal,” self-defense, prepping, or tactical conference. By design, the conference was intended to allow instructors to teach students a variety of esoterica that lies often tangential, and sometimes separate and apart from conventional, “gun and knife,” training. We partake in this weekend of education to become what the late Paul Gomez called, “Agile thinkers, and capable doers.” Paul Gomez isn’t in attendance, but his spirit lives on through the teachings of his friends, peers and students, at an event we call, “Paul-E-Palooza.”
Paul-E-Palooza (Paul’s middle name was Everett) allows students to take a wide array of courses consisting of truncated versions of some instructor’s flagship classes (like Tom Givens’ “Combative Pistol or Dr. William Aprill’s “Violent Acts and Actors” or Chris Fry’s “Small Knife Skills”) or short format courses that covers a narrow band of the instructor’s range (Legendary Lawman Marshal Chuck Haggard’s “Between a Harsh Word and a Gun,” or Cecil Burch’s “Non-McDojo Kicking,” and Paul Sharp’s “Recoil Management for the Pistol”) and both formats allow the attendees to get a compressed, but meaningful taste of the instructor’s knowledge base, and allows them to find out, “how much they don’t know,” about any subject covered.
Paul-E-Palooza was conceived on the day I discovered that Paul had passed away. I had a vision to create a memorial conference where all of Paul’s friends from the multi-disciplinary community could gather, teach what we all love, and remember Paul. Although I’m a great, “idea man,” my execution, especially in endeavors with many moving parts, is extremely lacking. Enter Dr. William Aprill. I had known William as an attendee at past lectures and conferences of his, and through all of our interactions planning conferences, we have become good friends. William is a brilliant man and has always been the logistician behind all of the Paul-E-Palooza events.
All of this learning and fellowship with like-minded individuals, while great, serves a larger purpose; Paul left behind three young children (Lilith, Spencer and Gabriella) who, like all children, desperately miss their Dad. Our kids had played together before, and I could easily envision my own Son being in the same position. Thus, the thought was hatched to have all of the facilities, labor, instruction and associated minutiae donated, and allow all proceeds of the conference go directly into a trust fund for Paul’s children.
In the three previous iterations of Paul-E-Palooza combined, we have raised over $100,000 that has gone to pay for college tuition, Summer camps, orthodontia, healthcare costs, and everything else that a Father would normally provide for his children.
So join us, for two days of unrivaled quality instruction, a unique auction of both bespoke tactical weaponry and support equipment, as well as training vouchers for courses from most all of the organizations represented, plus many other national level tactical trainers. All proceeds go to support the Paul E. Gomez Memorial Children’s Trust!
Go to: www.paulepalooza.com for course descriptions, presenters, and associated information, as well as a link to purchase tickets!