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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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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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 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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Your Hump Day Reading List for April 6, 2016

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Is it Wednesday again? Holy cow this week went by quickly, but I still found the time to bring you some great information! I have a new article up at the PDN Blog; someone showed me a great prepper blog that’s not scary or offensive; Greg Ellifritz looks at a case where a man shot another man over a dog — but not really; a look at TASERs and stun guns for self defense; being in a rut gives you ...

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Is “Constitutional Carry” good for the rest of us? Let’s make sure it is through education!

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So-called “constitutional carry” is becoming more popular around the country. This refers to being able to carry a concealed handgun in public without any sort of permitting or licensing process, assuming that the person is legally allowed to possess the handgun.

(The term “constitutional carry” is itself a reference to the Second Amendment’s wording of “keep and bear arms”. As constitutional scholars are quick to point out, however, the term isn’t really accurate; however, since it does have a generally agreed ...

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Boring doesn’t sell, and realistic self defense skills are kind of boring.

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No matter what you’re trying to get people to buy — from cars to breakfast cereals to political candidates — you have to make it exciting, because if it’s not folks will just pass it by. (Yes, political candidates. Anyone remember Scott Walker? He was an early entry into this year’s Republican field and widely regarded as being phenomenally boring. He went nowhere. Older people will remember Walter Mondale; nice guy, smart, pleasant — and as boring as getting socks ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for February 10, 2016

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Hump Day brings us more knowledge! This week, we look at kids who’ve protected themselves with firearms; Ian McCollum with a very unique “automatic” pistol; Claude Werner looks at another negative outcome, this time based on unreasonable fear; tips for handloading ammo for your AR-15; why crowds are dangerous, and what to do if you’re in one; Greg Ellifritz has some lessons from a recent series of terrorist attacks; the repercussions of not having a good teacher; and the fallacy ...

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My job is helping my students discover what’s important. Sometimes that takes guts.

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Techniques, gear, and even concepts can be cool and exciting — but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily important to your self defense. My job, the way I earn my living, is to figure out what’s really important for my students and readers and then how to explain it to them. How and why do I do that?

Some people miss the point

One of the more interesting comments I hear (and I’m not the only one who gets these) comes in the form ...

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The problem with defensive shooting is that it’s dominated by enthusiasts. That’s not necessarily good for you.

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I have a confession to make: I once screwed up a lot of people who came to me for advice. Wait, it’s not what you think! It does, however, directly apply to what I do today, and probably why you’re reading this blog. Allow me to relate my short story.

Back in my much-younger days I ran a chain of camera stores and taught photography classes. It was the early 1980s and photography was the fad of the day, spurred mainly ...

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What did you change your mind about in 2015? Here’s what I did.

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I’ve come to the belief that one of the most profound questions (courtesy of Rob Pincus) you can ask anyone who purports to be a defensive shooting instructor is “what have you changed your mind about?” This isn’t an easy question to answer, and most people you’ll ask will try to wiggle their way out of it: “well, of course the world is always changing, and I’m committed to keeping my knowledge and skills in pace with those changes, blah ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Dec. 2, 2015

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Hope you and your family had a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving! I know, we all ate too much and are now forced to do exercise penance, but I’d do it all over again — and probably will next year! The holiday didn’t keep me from collecting some great articles, however, and for your reading enjoyment this week Claude Werner talks about changing his mind; the SIG Academy has a different way to talk about the relationship of sight alignment and ...

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My Threat-Centered Revolver class in sunny Phoenix is coming up soon!

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I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here in Oregon it’s already winter: cold, wet, and foggy. There are, however, places in these United States where it isn’t like that — and next month, I’ll be in one of them teaching my famous Threat-Centered Revolver class!

I’ll be in Phoenix, AZ the weekend of December 4th & 5th teaching realistic, relevant defensive revolver skills at the Ben Avery shooting facility. If you’ve never been there it’s a ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for Nov. 4, 2015

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Here’s the first Hump Day Reading list of November, and it’s got some gems: Greg Ellifritz talks about hardware vs. software; Claude Werner has a great detailed examination of the most efficient way to grasp an autoloading pistol; some more on the need to train in NOT shooting; Marty Hayes talks about the right to remain silent and what it means for your legal defense; an article about avoiding fads in carry gear; and Ian McCollum touches off a really ...

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What if you disagree with your defensive shooting instructor?

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You’re at a defensive shooting class; maybe this is your first, maybe it’s your twenty-first. Your instructor says (or does) something you disagree with. What do you do?

There are a lot of different approaches to teaching self-defense shooting, and while at least 90% of the mechanics that are taught are the same from instructor to instructor, the way in which they’re taught varies rather considerably. There is very little focus in this business on teaching in and of itself, most shooting ...

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How many self defense classes have you taken this year? They may be holding you back!

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One of the common recommendations in the training world is to study with as many different people or schools as you can, to get as many different perspectives as possible in order to get a more fully formed opinion of the subject of defensive shooting (or self defense in general.) I think the idea is sound, but the execution is often lacking.

I see a lot of students come through my classes as part of their own effort to get that ...

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More questions you should ask your defensive shooting instructor – and why.

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I recently received a note asking about questions to pose to potential instructors, questions that would tell a prospective student whether a shooting instructor (and their material) was worth consideration. That process is called “vetting” an instructor: assessing his or her background and suitability. It’s incredibly important for prospective students to do, yet there’s no easy way to do it.

Because of that, most people fall back on the instructor’s resumé: what shooting courses he’s attended, what military or law enforcement ...

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What I’ve been doing lately, and some new class announcements for Threat-Centered training!

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Whew! It’s been crazy around here lately!

I just got back from an unplanned consulting trip. As some of you might know, from time to time I do a little work with companies in the shooting industry. Some of those jobs have resulted in products, some will in the future, and occasionally there’s the company that decides maybe their product idea isn’t as good as it could be. In this case, I’m happy to say that I think we’ll see a ...

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Just what is a “critical skill”?

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I really should stop reading stuff people link to on FaceBook. I really should. It’s like chocolate chip cookies; you know they’re bad for you, but you eat them anyway!

The latest was a linked article which talked about practicing your reloading skills. In it, the other repeatedly referred to reloading the gun as a “critical skill”. That phrase really annoyed me, because his definition of the term and mine were obviously radically different. In fact, I suspect he (like almost ...

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