Will your kids know what to do in an emergency?

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One of my recurring nightmares (probably influenced by television) is being in a critical, terrifyingly dangerous situation with my wife. In every episode of this nightmare she can’t see the danger coming and I’m forced to yell instructions to her — instructions on either what do do (“run!”) or what not to do (“stay still!”) Instead of trusting my judgement, she uncharacteristically turns around and starts arguing! She’s then promptly swallowed by the expanding chasm, or eaten by the devilish apparition, or ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 12, 2016

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Is it Wednesday already? Well, no fear — I have information for you! Today: a look at the problems with secure areas, especially when they’re really secure; an article explaining striker-fired pistols; a civil suit can be worse than the criminal trial; Greg Ellifritz shares how NOT to take care of your carry gun; Sheriff Jim Wilson looks at “scanning”; what training overload is and how to avoid it; some information about kidnappings; if you’re at work when a disaster ...

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Less-lethal defense options on last night’s Training Talk!

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Last night’s Training Talk episode was full of great information about less-lethal self defense tools!

My special guest, Jarrod Needs, and I discussed the various kinds of less-lethal defensive options: their strengths, weaknesses, along with the silly and the useless. If you missed it, don’t worry — you can watch the replay just by clicking on this link!

– Grant Cunningham

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Do you want to be a better shooter or a better defender?

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I received quite a number of emails, blog comments and social media interaction about Friday’s topic, “Meaningless increments of precision.”

A large percentage of them asked questions or made statements which revealed that the person was fixated on the notion that becoming a better shooter makes or keeps someone safer. This is going to sound strange coming from a “gun guy”, and it’s going to make a lot of gun guys (and gals) mad, but that’s a really bad notion.

Because ...

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Meaningless increments of precision — and why you should avoid them

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When we talk about self defense (and particularly when gun people talk about self defense), the topic of measurement will eventually come up. In the gun world we love to measure things, and we can measure just about anything. The problem is that the measurements we make may not be important.

I use the term “meaningless increments of precision” to refer to those measurements which don’t add to our self protection knowledge or to our ability to defend ourselves. The measurement ...

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The difference between doctrine and dogma

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The world of self defense seems to be full of polarizing opinions. While it can be said that any field of specialization has its strong opinions (and adherents to them), my observation is that this one is by far the most Balkanized. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, someone else will see it very differently and be ready with a quick retort to your point of view. The disagreements are almost religious in nature, with all the trappings ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 21, 2016

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More great self defense articles this week, including: Julie Loeffler takes a look at common concealment methods for women; a realistic approach to defending schools; Greg Ellifritz shows you what to do if your attacker has pepper spray; the Taurus Judge is a joke for self defense; how to tell if the place you’re in is about to get dangerous; why you should carry more than one trauma kit; and dissecting the post-shooting “scan”. As always, you’ll find something you ...

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Appendix carry, women’s self defense, and MORE on last night’s Training Talk episode!

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If you’re not watching my Training Talk show on Personal Defense network, you’re missing out on some great self defense and personal security information!

Take last night’s show, for instance. My guests were Barret Kendrick from Bearco Training, who showed us how to properly and safely draw and re-holster a gun carried in the appendix position, and Julie Loeffler of Mid-Ohio IMB who talked about how women can cut through the nonsense and get started in self defense training. ...

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Defensive education is changing, for the better. Take advantage of it!

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“I think the late 90’s is where things started to shift because of dash/surveillance cameras becoming much more common and force-on-force scenario training taking huge leaps forward. The ramifications of those evolutionary forces are starting to be seen much more commonly. I hope in 10 years we look back and realize that right now we were only just scratching the surface of getting away from the isolated skill (marksmanship) and choreography (competition) based approaches.” – Rob Pincus

Those who ...

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“We face the same criminals the police do!” Yes, but…

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Every once in a while I see the tired old cliché “we face the same criminals the police do!” It’s usually used to justify some particular type of defensive firearms training, too often centered around the trainer’s police experience.

The idea, of course, is that we need to adopt the attitudes, tactics, and armament of law enforcement.  (If you know anything about typical police training, it’s usually substandard — so much so that cops themselves joke about it. With rare exceptions, ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 7, 2016

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More great self defense reading for this week! First, why you need to include a dog in your defensive planning; Greg Ellifritz considers what you should do after you’ve stopped the active killer; why you need a practice tourniquet in your kit; how to carry spare revolver ammunition; dealing with the spontaneous fight; how to properly analyze incident video; and dispelling some pervasive shotgun myths. Be sure to share with all of your friends!

 

How about a defensive tool that will ...

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Medical response options on last night’s Training Talk!

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Last night’s episode of Training Talk was great! I had a long conversation with one of the true experts in trauma response, Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics.

We talked about tourniquets, pressure bandages, when to teach kids advanced first aid skills, the kinds of injuries that can cause massive trauma, how to carry a trauma kit no matter how you’re dressed, and a whole lot more. This is an episode that could save your life or the life of a ...

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Are shooting classes all there is to self defense?

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In the last couple of years I’ve had a somewhat radical change in my thinking about self defense. Rather, a change in thinking about teaching self defense. I’ve always focused on helping that half-percent* of gun owners who are interested in taking shooting classes to improve their gunhandling skills. In that respect I’ve been like everyone else in this business. We all want the “serious” students, those people who will sign up for a 3-day weekend class and travel across the ...

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Why your CCW class isn’t enough

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If you’re like most people who read this blog, you’ve already been through a CCW class of some sort. (CCW, of course, stands for Carrying a Concealed Weapon, which is a catch-all term for the practice, licensing and study to carry a handgun concealed on your person. The term ‘CCW class’ is generally applied to the courses which the law requires to be able to apply for a concealed handgun license.)

The CCW class is the first exposure many people have ...

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This week’s Training Talk episode is a must-see!

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If you didn’t catch last night’s Training Talk episode, you missed some good information!

I covered gun safety from a slightly different point of view than you’ve probably heard before, as well as answering some viewer mail: one was about joining a gun club and the issues of cost; the other was about carrying a concealed weapon while high. I don’t mean at high altitude, either! With the number of states legalizing marijuana, this is becoming a potential issue and I thank ...

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Someone you know is attacking you. Could you respond appropriately?

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Those of us in the defensive training world usually talk about bad guys as though they’re complete strangers. The rapist on the jogging trail, the masked home invaders, and the carjacker at the gas station are all anonymous. We don’t know them, they really don’t know us, but fate causes our paths to intersect.

When we talk about “situational awareness” it’s always about spotting bad guys in the crowd. When we train defensive shooting, we assume our attacker is someone from ...

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This week on Training Talk: Knife Defense with Alessandro Padovani

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Did you catch the live broadcast of Training Talk on Personal Defense Network last night? If not, you missed a phenomenal show all about knife defense. Don’t worry, though, because you can still watch the replay!

My guest was Alessandro Padovani of Safer Faster Defense. I consider Alessandro to be THE master of the defensive use of the knife and one of the single best teachers I know in the defensive training world. He travels all over the ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for August 3, 2016

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This week we have a surgeon’s take on hospital safety; another look at church security planning; what you should do if you find yourself at the scene of a mass shooting attack; what to do when the guy you’re holding at gunpoint doesn’t follow your orders; storing water for emergencies; how to deal with mob violence; how to master the traditional double action pistol; and a look at tampons for first aid. More great information only on the Hump Day ...

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Defensive shooting fundamentals: I do not think it means what they think it means.

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I want you to sit back and think for just a minute: you have 60 seconds to teach someone how to use a gun to defend herself from an imminent attack. What useful defensive shooting fundamentals can you give her in that small amount of time?

This little exercise strips away all of the nonsense, hype, and posturing that often surrounds defensive shooting training. I makes you really focus on the most important parts of teaching someone how to defend themselves ...

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What do you do with all your situational awareness?

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“Situational awareness”. It’s one of the throwaway personal safety tips that are always trotted out after a horrific news story.

So you work really hard to have it; then what? No, seriously: what do you do with all that situational awareness?

It’s one thing if your situational awareness finds an imminent attack, but that’s not what I (or they) mean. Usually the advice is meant to caution the reader/viewer to be alert enough to spot cues which might signal an impending incident. ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for July 20, 2016

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It’s Hump Day, which means it’s time for education and enlightenment! Claude Werner talks about mindset, decision making, and training both; a defensive shooting what really wasn’t, despite what your friends think; Greg Ellifritz shows you how drug stores are really dangerous places, and what to do about it; some tips for women on learning defensive shooting skills; dealing with a disaster when away from home; how to properly evaluate a belt for concealed carry; some thoughts on what experience ...

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Self defense for the disabled on Training Talk!

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On this week’s Training Talk show at Personal Defense Network I had a great conversation with guest Joshua Gideon of No Soft Targets about how disabled people can prepare and train for their own self defense.

It’s an important topic, and as we all age (or sometimes have accidents) we’re often left less able to defend ourselves. Listen in as Joshua tells us how he approached the problems of one student, and how the training world can adapt to ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 29, 2016

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This week’s Hump Day Reading List is full of great information for the self-reliant! First, a new course promises to open your eyes to a new way of looking at personal safety; how to help your body adapt to summer’s heat; Greg Ellifritz looks at the question of giving first aid to someone you’ve defended yourself from; a look at what happens when you’re distracted in public; you’re a prepper and probably don’t even realize it; why you really do ...

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Training Talk looks at fighting back during active shooter events. Watch the episode now!

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Last night’s Training Talk episode was a great one!

Rob Pincus joined me for a wide-ranging discussion about dealing with active shooter/spree killer events, focusing on the will and preparation to fight — using whatever tools might be at hand. In addition Rob filled us in on the new online PDN Academy courses, a new distance learning initiative for self defense knowledge and skills.

If you missed it, click here to watch the replay!

— Grant Cunningham

 

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Want to improve your skill development? Take notes during class. Lots of ’em.

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A couple of years ago I was teaching a class in which there was an interesting mix of students: there were two public-sector firearms instructors, one from a state agency and one from a federal agency, along with the normal range of people you’d find at any shooting course anywhere in the country — blue collar, white collar, redneck and professional. All of them were motivated enough to sign up for class and pay good money for the dubious privilege ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 15, 2016

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This week we’re going to look at the importance of first aid during a terrorist attack; a man defends himself with a saucepan; some realities your CCW instructor didn’t tell you; why the pistol caliber carbine is a home defense winner; the fallacy behind night sights; understanding flashlights beyond lumens; senior citizens head to the range, for good reasons; why your defensive shooting instruction may not be all that valid; and finally, it’s not just the drug addict on the ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for June 8, 2016

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I’m always looking for great self defense information that the average person can really use, and this week I found a bunch of great articles! First, a look at training to use a defensive firearm even if the user has some infirmities; a real-life reason why you should have a “get home bag”; don’t call unwanted attention to your car; a look at some realities of police shootings that have important lessons in the private sector; the 12-gauge shotgun, properly ...

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Did you miss last night’s Training Talk? You missed a great discussion about women’s concealed carry!

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Last night’s episode of PDN Training Talk was superb!

My special guest was Julie Loeffler, who did a great great job explaining the issues women face with concealed carry of defensive tools. She started explaining about women’s body types and how to pick concealment holsters and clothing for each type; then she = covered belts, yoga pants, bellybands, and even a bit about shoes and carrying a flashlight clipped to a bra strap!

If you’re a woman who is getting into concealed carry, or ...

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Catch last night’s Training Talk replay!

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Another great show last night on Training Talk!

I discussed what I did at the NRA Meetings and Exhibits; dissected some self defense myths overheard at the show; discussed a different way to look at what a threat is; answered a viewer who wanted to know what to do when faced with a physical infirmity; considered an elderly but untrained person’s gun choice; went over what makes a defensive flashlight; and explored  traveling light as a defensive tool.

Here’s the link to the show page

— Grant 

P.S.: Remember to ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for May 18, 2016

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It’s the Hump Day Reading List! To start off, we look at a case where a police officer used his trauma kit to save his own life; a story of a man who shot a neighbor under less-than-perfect circumstances; the horrific incident that started one man on the path to an armed lifestyle; the myth of racking a shotgun; taking apart a classic Savage pistol; a comprehensive look at what cover is and isn’t; what you know determines what you ...

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