Once you’re in contact, the defensive problem changes

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Last week I talked about the mistaken notion of seeing self defense and personal safety as a battle to be won, because such a mindset can lead to bad decisions. Today let’s look at a related topic: your view of the place for your concealed carry gun might be affected by some mistaken training notions.

Shortly after I wrote last week’s article someone sent me ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for March 14, 2018

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It’s almost the Ides Of March, but I’m not going to stab you in the back — instead, my new camel caravan has brought information to keep you from being stabbed by the sharp knives of misfortune of all kinds!

 

Have you given this any thought?

Preparedness is more than just guns; I advocate an approach that recognizes the wide range of hazards you face, and ...

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You don’t need to win. You need to survive.

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In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not a fan of macho nonsense. And I don’t particularly care where it comes from.

So much of the defensive training world is built around the lifestyles of people who spend all their free time on the range or at the gym; some shooting instructors quite literally live at the shooting range. Surprisingly few of them have ever held ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 28, 2018

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Hump Day Camels

It’s the last day of February and I’m finishing out the month with more great resources for your health and safety!

 

Being a fan doesn’t mean you have to be irrational

It’s probably fitting that, in some circles, I’m known as “The Revolver Guy”. I’ve written what have been called the “standard works” on the topic, teach one of the few national revolver-centric courses ...

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Porn takes many forms

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Attacked in the night

Ever heard of “defensive gun use porn”? It’s a term to describe a genre of stories where good guys use their guns to beat the bad guys. Such stories are a staple of many firearms-centric blogs and news sites, and they serve not so much an educational role as they do a cheerleading one.

You’ll notice you don’t see a lot of that ...

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Grant’s Monday Miscellany

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Notes and miscellaneous thoughts

A few quick notes of interest:

— On last Thursday’s Training Talk, martial arts and combatives expert Cecil Burch and I talked about defensive use of the knife. Cecil may be known as “the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Guy”, but he also has multi-decade experience in several edged weapon disciplines. He’s taken that knowledge and applied it to plausible self defense for the rest of ...

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Why do we teach moving while drawing a defensive firearm?

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Moving rapidly and defensively

A popular concept taught in many defensive shooting courses (including mine) is movement off the line of attack. It’s variously referred to as “getting off the X” or “lateral movement”, and probably some other terms I’m not remembering, but the concept is pretty consistent: make it harder for the bad guy to hurt you by getting out of his way.

Moving is ...

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What does “preparing for the worst case” mean?

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In both the self defense and prepping communities, people talk about preparing — training and equipping — for “the worst case scenario”. “We train for the worst case”, schools brag (and their students claim).

What, actually, is the worst case?

The mind runs wild

If you were to take a little time (or perhaps watch an apocalyptic movie or two) I’m sure you could imagine an absolute ...

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Where are your tripwires?

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Where is your tripwire?

Whether you’re prepping for survival or studying self defense against a criminal, you need to consider the circumstances under which you’d respond — where your tripwires are, the things that will trigger your response. Some people call them “a line in the sand” or “point of no return”, but no matter what the term the function is the same: the circumstances which ...

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Real talk about effective church security

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With the recent attack on a church in Texas, in which 26 people were killed and dozens injured, many people are looking for ways to prevent or respond to such attacks. And there are others ready to prey on that need with bad or incomplete information. Everyone, it seems, is suddenly a “Church Security Consultant”.

As a result you can find lots of misguided articles and ...

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More is not necessarily better, especially when you can’t take care of it

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If you have it, you need to take care of it

Any preparations you’ve made for your safety and protection — whether physical skills, gear and equipment, or storage commodities — need to be maintained to be useful. There is a cost to maintenance, and it’s one we often ignore in our zeal to always acquire more.

That cost may affect your ability to respond efficiently ...

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Bugging out, revisited.

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Bugging out

As I’ve mentioned (and expanded on in Prepping For Life), I’m not usually a fan of the “bugout” concept — at least as it’s typically conceived.

As many people think of it, bugging out is a semi-permanent relocation to a retreat preselected for its defensibility and likely stocked with survival provisions. Others think of bugging out as running to a wilderness area where they ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 13, 2017

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Hump Day Camels

More great articles to help you and your family stay safe and sound!

 

You’ve got the tourniquet…

…but do you know how to use it? Caleb Causey from Lone Star Medics shows you the basics of applying a tourniquet properly.

 

So you know how to use a tourniquet…

…but have you practiced applying it to yourself under a realistic scenario? Caleb’s back, this time with ...

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You win 100% of the fights you don’t have

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Cat fight

Ever heard the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? It should be engraved on concealed carry licenses all across the country.

You’re always better off taking small precautions (regular immunizations, checkups, and eating properly) to prevent getting sick than you are spending lots of money trying to get well after the fact.

In self defense terms, it means that ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for August 9, 2017

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Hump Day Camels

Another Wednesday, another Hump Day Reading List! I’ve got quite a variety today, all aimed at helping you live a safer, more secure life.

 

Can you trust gun law maps?

We’ve all seen them, and perhaps even consulted them from time to time. Maps showing gun laws and concealed carry restrictions are common on the ‘net, but how reliable are they? As it happens, ...

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An excerpt from my next book!

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Firefighters practicing

I’m writing another book, this one dealing with a structured approach to preparedness and personal security. It’s a different approach to the topic, and I think it will be tremendously useful to help you achieve a balanced approach to your safety. It integrates self defense, medical response, and disaster preparedness into a cohesive and manageable whole. If you’ve ever been a little overwhelmed ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for April 26, 2017

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It’s starting to look like spring around here — great articles are popping up! This week: sighting in your defensive handgun; making fitness a priority; some questions about revolvers; defeating a dog attack; some great hotel safety tips; how to use body language to stay safer; and time out doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on your progress.

 

Did you know your pistol needs to be ...

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A gun on your nightstand isn’t the best idea, no matter who says so

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Attacked in the night

One of the things I find myself doing on a regular basis is serving as a counterpoint to the fantasies running rampant in the defensive shooting world. I do this by bringing rational thought to the topic of personal defense, and today I’m doing it again!

A recent article on the Concealed Nation website dealt with what to with your carry ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for March 8, 2017

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Hump Day Camels

It’s Wednesday — time to get your personal security in gear! This week: an expert looks at “going to the ground” in a fight, and why you should consider grappling in your training; easy ways to blend in with the locals while traveling; how to decide between a rifle or a shotgun to protect your home; why a bug out trailer beats ...

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Things people say: “If it ain’t raining, it ain’t training!”

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Grant in the rain

I remember my first serious (multi-day) defensive shooting course. It was a spring day in the early 1990s and, as is normal here in the Pacific Northwet (no, that’s not a typo) it was raining like crazy. It was a cold, wet, miserable day.

Being a native Oregonian I was prepared for the conditions, but that didn’t make them any less miserable.

As ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 1, 2017

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I’ll start this week’s reading list with some shameless self-promotion: I’ve appeared on two different shows this week! Also: some considerations before you jump into someone else’s problem; your gun isn’t magic; don’t worry about what should be, focus on what is; how to handle “that guy” at the range; and how to avoid getting fleeced on your vacation.

 

I’m Famous, Part 1

Last weekend I appeared on Gun Freedom Radio with Dan & Cheryl Todd. We had a great conversation ...

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Think before you shoot. A long time before.

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Staged photo of crime scene

A sad tale crossed my desk earlier this week. It seems one Billy Williams was awakened in the night by one of his children, who reportedly told him that someone was trying to break into their house via the front door.

Mr. Williams retrieved a handgun from a safe in his bedroom and walked to the door. There were no ...

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The Fort Lauderdale attack: it’s not the gun. Again. Still.

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Fort Lauderdale airport baggage claim area

Just a few days ago a man with a history of mental issues boarded an airline in Alaska, after declaring his gun in checked luggage as required by law. He sat down in his seat and the suitcase containing his pistol and ammunition was placed in the cargo hold beneath him. When he got to his destination in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he retrieved his luggage, went into ...

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Things people say: “Thinking while shooting”

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Learning how to think is vital to self defense

I recently posted about the need for instructors to teach, and for students to learn, how to think during a defensive incident. Everyone agrees that it’s a necessary thing to do.

The problem is that many of the people agreeing don’t really know what it means.

Unclear on the concept

Case in point: someone sent me a link to yet another video of a shooting drill. In it, ...

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All training is an abstraction. Is that good or bad?

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fallowfield_road_12760300494

A couple of weeks ago someone posted an interesting video on social media. It wasn’t the video itself which was interesting, but rather the reactions to it.

The video was of an exercise from a defensive shooting class. The exercise was a good example of forcing cognitive processing rather than a Pavlovian draw-and-fire response, which is good; a defensive encounter requires far more information processing ...

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Questioning the premise of your preparations

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Doing dumb things doesn't make you safer

My apologies if you’re not a fan of the show South Park, but an old episode has a training lesson for us.

On that episode, some little people known as Underpants Gnomes presented their 3-part success plan:

Phase 1: Steal underpants.
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Profit!

The joke, of course, isn’t that there’s nothing in Phase 2; it’s that you can’t ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for November 30, 2016

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A really interesting List this week! We start with geese as a defensive tool (no, I’m not kidding); considerations to make before deciding to engage an active killer; a woman is dead because of an irresponsible and untrained gun owner; women shopping for defensive handguns; what to do and what not to do at a drive-through; how to secure private information on your smartphone; and how to use that phone to deal with 9-1-1.

 

A feathery alternative to the Rottweiler?

I’ll admit ...

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EDC Trauma Kits and Reality Based Training on last night’s Training Talk!

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PDN Training Talk With Grant Cunningham

I had a couple of great discussions with Rob Pincus and Caleb Causey on last night’s Training Talk show!

Rob talked about reality based training, force-on-force, and scenario training. Lots of people in the business use those terms interchangeably, but as Rob points out they’re not synonymous. It’s completely possible to have reality based training without running scenarios, and ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for November 16, 2016

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I found some more good stuff this week: a look at mindset; how to properly lock the slide open on a pistol; being aware of the psychopaths in your midst; how to avoid getting stomped in a fight; some thoughts on security in hotels; Greg Ellifritz looks at surviving the mob around your car; and thinking about vacation preparedness.

 

Are you really ready to defend yourself?

I’m sharing this article because it has some great information on preparing yourself mentally for the realities ...

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