Can you really know what skills you’ll need? Not exactly, but you can do better than guess.

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One of the more interesting comments I get in the defensive training world is that “you don’t know what the attack will look like, so you have to be prepared for anything.” It’s not entirely true and thus is dangerously distracting in its conclusion.

I’ve talked about the fallacy of being prepared for everything before, so rather than repeat myself I’ll just encourage you to ...

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Is the prone position useful in defensive shooting? I don’t think so, and here’s why.

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It happened again just the other day: someone asked me about my Perimeter Defense Rifle class and was surprised when I told him that I didn’t teach the prone position.

He seemed both offended and perplexed (which is an interesting combination of emotional states, I’ll admit.) He simply couldn’t fathom that someone teaching a rifle class wouldn’t teach his students to shoot from the prone position. That is, after all, the most stable rifle shooting position, isn’t it? They teach ...

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Sometimes training is about learning NOT to shoot. That frustrates some people.

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I taught a Threat-Centered Revolver course in Phoenix last weekend. It was a pleasant trip, especially going from cold and rainy Oregon to sunny and warm Arizona! I had a great group of students who came to learn how to shoot a double-action revolver in self defense. We certainly did a lot of that, and they all came away with tremendous shooting skill development.

What some of them didn’t expect, however, was that a certain segment of the ...

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What are YOUR training plans this year? How about joining the Spring Training Tour!

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I talk a lot on this blog about getting good training, and one of the questions I often get in return is “where do I go to get this ‘good training’ of which you speak?”

Of course, the first place to check is our calendar, where we list all of our open-enrollment courses! We’re not the only place you can go, either; if you’re in the Ohio area, my friend Paul ...

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Getting it right the first time is easier than fixing it later!

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The world of firearms training used to be pretty simple: everyone taught pretty much the same thing, from the same sources, and whether it had any relation at all to reality was pretty much irrelevant — that was the way it was done. It was sort of like the military: whether it was right or wrong, you did it the way you were taught. Only when you got into battle, so ...

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Do you have a defensive shotgun? More importantly, have you trained with it lately?

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I’ve made no secret of the fact that the shotgun and I aren’t best buddies. I have shotguns, I use them, I’m pretty good with them in fact, but I do find them hard to warm up to. None of that changes the fact that the shotgun is a good home defense tool, and learning to run it well is a matter of good training!

More importantly, though, is learning some specifics to address the shotgun’s weaknesses. My buddy Andy Loeffler, ...

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Sometimes, defensive shooting is all about NOT shooting!

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One of the realities of life is that not every problem is a shooting problem. Those of us who teach this stuff often forget to emphasize that to our students, or more precisely we downplay it a bit because it’s hard to sell a shooting class where you learn not to shoot!

(I’m not kidding about that last bit, either. Lots of folks go to shooting classes because they’re fun, and once ...

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Do you know how to prepare for self-defense in cold weather? Here’s your chance to learn from an expert!

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This week saw record-cold temperatures in parts of the U.S., and we still have a couple of months of winter to go (at least!) Ever thought about how this changes your training?

It’s cold out there! Well, to be honest it’s pretty normal here in Oregon, but the east coast has already seen some seriously cold and snowy weather. Not many people go out training this time of year, and that’s actually ...

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Are you defensively fit? This New Year, resolve to be.

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I know, I’m not big on the whole New Year’s Resolution thing either, but I’ve found that it’s easier to make lifestyle changes stick when there is more than one benefit to the resolution!

Lots of folks start off the New Year with a resolution to get into better shape. For most folks it’s about looking better or fitting into a specific piece of clothing; for others, its an understanding that excess weight can be a health issue unto itself.

One thing ...

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DVD Review: Maximizing Reality-Based Training.

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Reality based training (RBT) is becoming a bigger part of the defensive shooting world on a daily basis. This DVD answers your most common questions!

DVD Review: Maximizing Reality-Based Training
Presented by Ken Murray and Rob Pincus
Published by the Personal Defense Network as part of the Personal Firearms Defense DVD series

Reality-based training, sometimes referred to as force-on-force or scenario-based training, is a teaching methodology that uses scenarios with live actors and non-lethal ...

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What’s with all the infighting in the defensive shooting world?

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Stick around the defensive shooting world for any length of time and you’ll discover partisanship that makes national politics seem tame. Where do these squabbles come from, and what can you do to avoid them?

Defensive shooting, or more specifically the training of defensive shooting, is a study of context. I’ve said this before in different ways, but it remains true: context matters.

What do I mean by that word? The dictionary ...

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How do you avoid a “friendly fire” shooting in your home?

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Sadly, it happens with some frequency: a family member is shot after being mistaken for an intruder. Can it happen to you or someone you love?

When I was young our family never locked the house doors; in fact, I’m not sure my parents even had a key! We lived outside of a very small town, one in which nothing every really happened, and one in which people left their cars parked with ...

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How much training do you really need?

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_EP30170

Claire Wolfe, the well known libertarian writer, recently penned a piece for SWAT Magazine where she questioned the need for extensive self defense training. She has a point: how much training is enough?

I could be excused, I suppose, were I to tell you that you definitely need self defense training — and the more the better. I say that because I am in the business of educating people to keep themselves ...

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DVD review: Backup Guns – Selection, Carrying & Training

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A while back the folks at the Personal Defense Network sent me a bunch of new DVDs for review. The DVDs cover a wide range of topics, and I’ll be reviewing all of them over the next few weeks. Today I’m starting with one that I think a lot of you will be very interested to watch: how to choose, carry, and train with a backup gun!

Disclaimer: These DVDs were supplied ...

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What if your shooting instructor asks you to do something unsafe?

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What exactly is safety on the shooting range — and how can you evaluate it?

There is a story heating up social media this week concerning a certain shooting school in Tulsa, OK that has its students participate in an odd drill: according to the first-hand account, the students unload their guns then point them at the instructor and dry-fire.

The reasoning given, according to the participant, is to acclimate the student to ...

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What is the big deal with mindset?

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Many trainers in the defensive shooting world talk about teaching “mindset” to their students. What is that? Can it even be taught?

Some instructors post lists of what you’ll learn in their courses, and one of the items you’ll often see listed is “mindset”: the mental state of being willing to defend yourself using lethal force. They believe (at least I assume they believe) that they can teach this in a short ...

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Can you draw your gun one-handed? Should you be able to?

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One of the overlooked aspects of getting the gun into play involves things we do that impede the draw process. Here’s why I think you need to pay closer attention to how you draw your handgun.

In my Threat-Centered™ courses I teach a block on one-handed (strong hand) shooting and the plausible reasons it might be necessary, but I’ve never really been as diligent about applying the same logic and analysis ...

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Is defensive education sexist?

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A recent article on another site suggests that female gun carriers are being “told” what they should or shouldn’t do. How valid is that criticism?

A few weeks back I wrote about the problems with off-body carry (as in a purse, satchel, or briefcase.) While I was careful to make the article as gender-neutral as possible (I even used a picture of a man instead of a woman), the reality is that off-body ...

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Illustrating the issue with off-body carry.

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Off-body carry, such as in a purse or handbag, brings with it a peculiar risk. Sometimes all we need to do is look at the news to understand it!

As I’ve mentioned previously, Off-body carry (OBC) is a convenient way to tote a defensive firearm. It doesn’t require any changes to one’s wardrobe, and the gun is ostensibly “always” there.

Except when it’s not.

A news report out of Austin, Texas chronicles a series of violent purse snatchings that have made the ...

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Assault Analysis: The Ramos Family Home Invasion.

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A household is missing a husband and father at the hands of rampaging criminals. Did it need to end this way?

First, please read the news account of how Richard Ramos lost his life. Then come back for the rest of the discussion!

Now that you’ve read the story, let’s look at this a little closer.

Hopefully you’ve picked up on the fatal mistake that Mr. Ramos made: he opened the door to strangers early one summer morning. Even his wife said ...

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A rare discussion about defensive shooting education and the instructor-student relationship.

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_EP30161

It’s been said that being a student make you a better teacher. Does it work the other way around?

I recently returned from a teaching trip at Safety Solutions Academy in Cleveland, Ohio. My host, Paul Carlson, brought me in to teach his students how to use a revolver to protect themselves and their loved ones.

This was an interesting class, as there were several students for whom the revolver is their primary (and ...

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Making good training decisions is important to your well-being. Here’s why.

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Is there really any harm to preparing for things that don’t really happen?

Last week I broached the subject of preparing for the likely and plausible defensive scenarios. At the end, I asked a rhetorical question: Is there anything wrong with going beyond the plausible?

Yes, I think there is.

At the heart of the answer is the fact that none of us have unlimited resources for training, preparation, practice, and maintenance of all ...

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You can’t do (or carry) everything. The sooner you accept that, the better decisions you’ll make.

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Comments on Monday’s discussion revealed that there is some confusion about the word “plausible” and its application to armed self defense. Let’s take a look at what that word means and why it’s important!

In the article on how much spare ammunition to carry, I used the word “plausible”. Believe it or not, that one word has tremendous meaning to those of us who carry a defensive handgun, and it’s one we can’t ...

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An informed opinion isn’t Armchair Quarterbacking

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One method of learning about self defense is to examine the actions of others in specific situations. Is that wrong to do?

Don’t be fooled: there is virtually no one in the training community with any real firsthand experience in private sector defensive shooting. There may be a handful who may have used their guns in defensive situations (as in actually firing their gun against an attacker), but there aren’t any with a significant number of those incidents under their belts ...

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Just because the environment is non-permissive doesn’t mean you’re defenseless!

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Given the choice, when face-to-face with an armed attacker I’d rather have my gun in my hand. Should I give up because I can’t?

One of the common memes in the gun control movement is that we must ban guns because the average person is completely defenseless against them. Oddly enough, there are a lot of people in the defensive shooting world who seem to have bought into that line of thinking ...

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Louis Awerbuck, RIP.

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One of the top teachers in the defensive training world died yesterday.
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There aren’t a lot of people I want to train with. I do, however, have a “short list” of self defense teachers whose classes I’d like to attend, and that list has an interesting mixture of both the old and the new.

The problem with the “old”, of course, is that the people ...

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The full squat: the most overlooked rifle shooting position?

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Instructor Georges Rahbani teaches the squatting position

If you’re a rifle shooter you’ve probably practiced standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone; but have you practiced shooting from the full squat? Maybe you should!

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When I got my first formal rifle training we focused on the traditional shooting positions, the ones that the NRA had been training for perhaps a century. It wasn’t until some years later, when I took my first “tactical” or ...
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Marketing versus curriculum: can you tell the difference?

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When you’re shopping for self defense training and information, you’re likely to be faced with clever marketing more than program quality. What’s the difference, and why should you care?

An interesting thing happened in social media this week: a particular shooting instructor, well known for playing up his law enforcement background and experience to sell classes, was faced with a prospective student who had been exposed to someone else who played up his ...

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Do you know how to respond to a mass murder attempt?

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The recent attacks at Fort Hood and on the Jewish community in Kansas remind us that irrational attacks happen. How can you respond if you find yourself in one of these situations?

Attacks on large targets, meaning areas where many people congregate, are meant (or hoped) to result in mass casualties. The attacker(s) most often choose soft targets — places which are weapons-free zones by either edict or custom. Schools, for instance, make tempting targets because not only are they often ...

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