Paper! What does it mean if you do not have a mission.

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I was reading an excellent article in the July 2013 issue of Concealed Carry magazine.  The title of the article is “Just Ask:  What should you look for in a Firearms Trainer?” by George Harris.   Mr. Harris suggests that you ask one of the following question to your instructor, is the class you are teaching for a Responsible Citizen or an Armed Professional.  WOW!  This is a great question.

Harris states, “that the mission of a civilian is to stay out of trouble and engage the bad guys when no other alternative is available.”  The mission of the armed professional, “is to contain, control and effect the proper disposition of the bad guy as appropriate.”

This question got me thinking about my certificates, which are paper by the way and what type of instructor am I?  Here is a short list of my instructor certificates;

NRA Basic Pistol, Personal Protection in the Home, Shotgun and Rifle
FLETC Firearms Instructor Training Program (FITP –209 A)
Shotgun Instructor Training Program (SITP – 1304)
Federal Bureau of Investigation Firearms Instructor School
Simunition Scenario Instructor and Safety Certification
Georgia P.O.S.T. Firearms Instructor
Glock Firearms Instructor
Off-Shoots Firearms Instructor

What does all this paper mean?  In my opinion, it means nothing if I do not have a mission.

So based on the article, my new mission is to be the best instructor that I can be for both groups; the Responsible Citizen and the Armed Professional.  Actually, instructing the Armed Professional is easier for me, I have been one for 31 years.  I have carried a firearm both open and concealed carry for 31 years.   So teaching this group, comes very natural.  I can relate to them.

However, teaching the Responsible Citizen will surely be more challenging.  So how do I accomplish this goal.

1.  More education!  I will attend additional training courses that cater to the Responsible Citizen.  This will help me gain a different perspective and understand the issues and challenges associated with this group.

2.  Read, Read and Read!  I will need to read more articles and books published by excellent authors like George Harris, Michael Martin and the crew at Concealed Carry magazine.

3.  Practice my Craft!  I will continue to teach all groups and make sure that I am focusing on the missions of both groups. I will practice my craft as often as I can and get feedback from my students to ensure that I am headed down the right path.

So there you have it.  Get the training, get the paper but please have a mission.

Both the Armed Professional and Responsible Citizens need fewer “Paper Dragons” and more trained, dedicated professionals.  I plan on being a more dedicated professional instructor for both groups.

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RCAT!

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Here is a basic handgun defense principle.  “RCAT” – Redirect, Control, Attack and Takeaway. 

First we redirect the muzzle of the weapon from all body parts.  This might also mean that you move your body, not just push the weapon away.  Get the line of fire off your body.

Next we control the weapon.  Remember leverage!  Once the muzzle is redirected, you should get control of either the weapon or the weapon hand. 

The third step is attack.  An aggressive counter attack is suggested.  This might be accomplished with an empty hand , knife or even you own handgun.  If you decide to engage with your handgun, just remember, you are up close and personal, do not give your adversary your firearm.  Maintain a good weapon retention position while you are firing and watch out for your own arm.

Finally, disarm the assailant.  This might be accomplished when the bullet penetrates his chest cavity or after the empty hand counter attack you get two hands on the firearm and dislodge it from his grip.

Practice, practice and more practice is the key.  Also do not forget realism and safety.  During a violent encounter or combat and activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) will occur.  The activation of the SNS is often referred to as the “Fight or Flight Syndrome”.  It is activated by FEAR of Death, Serious Bodily Injury or Pain.  Realistic Force on Force drills utilizing proper protective equipment can create a reasonable facsimile of combat.  These drills are extremely important to include in your daily training. 

Remember this quote and make this a goal of your training, “To master self-defence so well as to never have to kill anyone…” –  Imi Lichtenfeld

How Simple and Efficient is your Training?

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After 31 years of fighting and shooting, I have begun to understand that the simplest solution in self-defense is often the best one.  We all love the fancy or sexy stuff, that we see all over You Tube.  Some of these techniques are truly beautiful, indeed.  However, under extreme duress, some of these techniques will often fail due to their complexity or your body’s inability to perform them under stress.

That is, of course, unless you absolutely drill them into the ground and they becomes like gross motor skills.  Is this possible, absolutely!  Visit the book titled  “The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills” by Daniel Coyle to learn the secrets of efficient and simple practice.  

So let us look at the act of drawing your firearm from a holster.  It is a 4 step process that is easy to master if you practice.

  1. Obtain your “Master grip” while the firearm is in the holster
  2. Lift you dominant side “Elbow up“.  This clears the firearm from the holster.
  3. Drop you dominant side “Elbow Down“.  The weapon is now in a position to be fired
  4. Lock” the firearm into several different positions.  The positions that I teach are Close Quarter or Weapons Retention position, Body Point Position, One Handed Full Extension or Two Handed Full Extension.

In the beginning, I suggest you practice this simple 4 step process daily.  Watch yourself in a mirror, while conducting the practice.  It should be noted that this should only be done with a properly cleared and safe pistol.  There is no need to place any additional vent holes in your roof or in your walls.

Once you have the basics down and you have alleviated all unnecessary motion, pick up the pace by adding a timer into your training session.  There is obviously more to do and train, but this is a great place to start.

There you have it.  Get out there and practice and please let me know how you are doing.

What is the BEST gun?

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I get asked this question at least once a week, what is the best gun?  The best gun for what?   Is it for concealed carry, home defense, personal safety, vehicle defense or family protection?  Here is the short and simple answer! The best gun is the one that you will train with and become extremely proficient with.  It really does not matter to me what type of firearm you decided to purchase or carry, as long as you do it legally.  All I do suggest is that you buy something that you will train with.  You can buy a .22 caliber pistol, train with it daily, shoot from all types of positions; seated, standing, kneeling and or grounded.  Learn to draw it from a concealed holster from all of the above mentioned positions.  Practice force on force engagement scenarios with a non-lethal training weapon and build your skills to deploy this firearm effectively in legally justified shoot scenarios.

In my opinion, the firearm that you are most proficient with is the BEST!  In the heat of the battle, we do not have time to consider how to disengage the safety or load the magazine or sight the weapon properly.  We need to be making the determination if deadly force is authorized and if it is, then we need to deploy our firearm immediately, proficiently and effectively.

So there you have it!  BTW, if you really want my opinion on the best gun, buy a Glock 19 and train with it until you proficient with it as you are with your toothbrush.  Thanks!

 

Top 5 weapons for the Zombie Apocalypse (ZA)

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In defeating Zombie hordes, as with any other predator, training, mindset, and skill with all weapons is crucial to your survival.  In this article, I want to discuss my top five weapons choices and their respective combat ranges for use during the Zombie Apocalypse.  Some of these will be familiar to you, and some may become your new favorites.

Long Range

Long range is the most advantageous fighting range to vanquish a Zombie horde, and an AR-15/M4 carbine is the best tool for the job. It is easy to fire and highly accurate.  The only major drawbacks are noise, and ammunition is expensive unless you have reloading supplies or an unlimited ammunition cache.  Keep in mind it provides a finite form of protection.

Melee/Medium Range

An excerpt from Roger Ma’s awesome book, The Zombie Combat Manual: “Weapons with the melee class are typically between two and three feet long and are used to engage undead attackers at a distance of approximately four feet between opponents.”   Melee range is a dangerous close-proximity range.  If you are not quick and deadly, you could be infected, or become zombie food.  I recommend three weapons for this range: the Kukri, the Tomahawk or Axe, and the Baseball Bat.

The Kukri is a traditional Nepalese or Indian knife, and the battle knife of the famous Gurkha fighting force.  It is approximately 17 inches in length, and because of its distinctive forward dropping blade, it allows for a very forceful swing and destructive hit.

The Tomahawk, or Axe, is one of the oldest man-made weapons, and modern versions have steel heads and wooden handles.  Both were designed for utilitarian use and as weaponry.  The Tomahawk is easier to swing and manipulate, but requires closer proximity to the adversary. The axe has the longer handle; however, if you over-commit and lose control, you could be left defenseless.

The Baseball Bat is chosen for ease of accessibility.  It is easy to swing and can cause major brain trauma to a zombie.  Aluminum is preferable to wood, but in a zombie attack, I will take whatever I can get.  Be mindful that wooden bats can break and aluminum bats can warp.

Close Range

At this range, you need a knife that is long enough to thrust deeply inside the bottom of the neck and straight up into the brain.  I recommend the Mark I World War I Trench Knife.  It was also designed to pommel the head and crush the skull: it has a double-edged blade with a hilt incorporating a guard shaped as brass knuckles.  This is a last-resort weapon.

Well, there you have it–my top five weapons choices for the Zombie Apocalypse.  Whatever your personal preferences, skill and proficiency with those weapons are critical for survival and victory in an encounter with a Zombie.  Training is crucial!  My blueprint for success is this: follow the Warrior Lifestyle.  Develop the proper mindset, study tactics, be fit, sharpen your skills, and train with your equipment.  With this preparation, you will be ready for any Zombie encounter!