What is the big deal with mindset?

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GH3_1020764

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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.awerbuck-book
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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Can you really be sure of what you’ve been told? Should you try?

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In case you’ve not noticed, there is a lot of simply awful information about personal defense (particularly regarding defensive shooting) rolling around in this world. How can you identify (and avoid) getting duped?

Melody, who pens the Limatunes Range Diary, recently wrote about an early experience she had with bad information in the shooting world. It’s happened to all of us, but in her case it came early on and resulted ...

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Be honest: are you in any condition to run away?

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One of the most ignored aspects of personal security is your physical condition. Why is it important to be in the best shape you can be?

Over on Greg Ellifritz’s blog, he talks about running away from an attacker. It’s an excellent article and you should take the time to read it.

One thing he touches on is the physical component of self defense. As he points out, running away from an attacker ...

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How can you really use situational awareness to be safer?

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Most people who talk about situational awareness don’t really understand what it’s about or how to use it to their advantage. Here are some reasons why that’s the case, and a resource for learning the proper role of situational awareness in your total self defense plan.

A few years back I wrote a very controversial article for the Personal Defense Network titled “The Myth of Situational Awareness”, wherein I pointed out ...

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The most under-used word in the field of defensive shooting: ‘context’.

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If you’re not training in context, then you don’t really know what you’re training for. How is that a wise use of your time, effort, and money?

One of the subjects I cover in my defensive shooting classes is the idea of training in context — that is, training in relation to your expected use. This seems like it should be self-evident, but surprisingly it isn’t.

This idea of context actually burst into my ...

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What is the first, most important thing you need to have for self-defense?

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Whether we’re talking self defense or the larger concept of self preservation, there is one thing that stands above all others in its importance. You can’t buy it, though there are people who will try to sell it to you!

I came to the self defense arena through the firearms world. That wasn’t intentional, it just worked out that way! People in the shooting community, some of them very sincere and accomplished, ...

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The two questions your defensive shooting instructor should be willing and able to answer.

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There are a lot of questions you can ask your defensive shooting instructor, but I believe there are two which will tell you more about his teaching ability and dedication than any others.

In the defensive shooting world, critical thought or introspection are not often celebrated. There is, in fact, a certain (and vocal) segment of the CCW and self defense fraternity that ridicules anything other than a regimented, don’t-ask-questions military-like ...

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Do you shoot a SIG, Beretta, CZ, or other DA/SA pistol? You need to read this.

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There are a lot of autoloading pistols which have a double action (DA) pull for the first shot and a single action (SA) pull for all subsequent shots. Training for that transition is important, and here’s one way to do so.

I’ve been pretty outspoken about my dislike for what we call “traditional double action” autoloading pistols: pistols that start with a long, heavy double action shot and then present a short, ...

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Preparing for violence means learning about how it happens and how we look at it.

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What is your schema, your way of looking at violence? Your point of view determines how you prepare, so working on your point of view may be as important as anything in your defensive preparations.

William Aprill is a mental health professional who has made it his business to study how and why violence happens and how we react to violence. He combines that with his background in shooting ...

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Who should call the police when a gun is drawn?

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Let’s say that you’re out for a walk with your concealed handgun on your person. You’re minding your own business, enjoying the fresh air and the pretty flowers, when suddenly someone with a knife jumps out from behind a parked car.

You’ve trained for this kind of ambush attack (at least, we hope you have) and your instinctive reactions give way to the learned, intuitive response you’ve practiced: you move laterally as ...

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Focus on the need to shoot, not whether you can.

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A lot of people in the defensive shooting field are overly concerned with when they are allowed to shoot in self defense. I don’t think that’s the right approach; I believe instead that we focus on whether we need to shoot, not whether we can.

Some time back I wrote a short little article on the topic, along with some links to what I think is the best education that is available on the topic.

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-

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Can you afford a good defensive shooting course? Yes!

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I know quality training seems expensive, but it’s something you need to do to develop and maintain your critical defensive skills. Still, many people feel they can’t afford (or justify the expense) of good defensive shooting instruction.

I wrote a short piece about affordable training options some time ago[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Content goes here[/author_info] [/author] , and linked to an article that discusses the misconceptions that surround the notion that you can’t afford to train. You can’t afford not to, ...

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Training for defensive shooting has changed over the years, but not everyone has kept up!

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Like everything else in life, the field of defensive shooting training has changed quite a lot over the decades. Today we know far more about how attacks happen, and about how the mind and body react in those attacks, than we did at the beginning of this century. We’ve truly come a long way!

Again like everything else in life, there are some who don’t like the change and evolution in this field. There’s a lot of old stuff being taught ...

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Learning about the legitimate use of lethal force.

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Last week’s discussion about armed intervention by a concealed carrier drew a lot of commentary, and for that I’m thankful. It’s important that topics like this are discussed ahead of time, before an incident unfolds.

I worded the article very carefully to elicit one thing: a careful consideration, by each of us, of what we would do when faced with that kind of situation. I’ll admit, though, at being rather surprised that a good number of comments reduced the options to ...

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How should you protect yourself from the knockout game attack?

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Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! (Be honest, now: how many of you are taking advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals to get yourself something at a gun or outdoor store? Thought so!)

Over the last week or so quite a number of people have written to ask me about the “knockout game” which the media is making such a fuss over. The common query is about how to defend against this kind of attack, and could I give some ...

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