This past weekend I attended a 13-hour course at KRTraining, which was comprised of three separate defensive pistol skills courses: Defensive Pistol Skills 2, Advanced Training 2: Force-on-Force, Advanced Training 1A: Low light shooting.
For this day of courses I used my new Ruger LC9s Pro sub-compact pistol.
I have to say that out of all the previous courses I’ve taken at this defensive shooting training school these three were the most impactful. More specifically the Force-on-Force scenarios.
Here are the main things that struck me the most:
- If something is happening somewhere and you are in an adjacent place (could be another room in your house or the main building of a gas station – somewhere where you are not at the moment but you can hear or see things happening): “If there is nothing worth dying for don’t go in!”
- Do not provoke! Do not start conflicts! Do seek to deescalate conflicts! Watch your body language and tone of voice!
- If you are in a convenience store (coffee shop, movie theater, etc.) as a licensed CHL/CCW holder your job is NOT to be the policeman. Your only responsibility is to protect yourself, wife/children from imminent danger of losing life or limb, or to prevent a mass-murder. In any other case stay put.
- If you are in a situation in which you were legally justified in drawing your weapon do not hold the weapon when the cops come! They don’t know who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy (that’s assuming the bad guy is not a threat any more)! Identify yourself as a legal CHL/CCW carrier.
- Draw your lines mentally as to what you can live with in case something is happening near you and you are not legally required but are legally justified to protect others from something horrible happening to them. What is morally the right ting to do? What can you live with if you do or not do what is morally expected of you?
- Do not give full statement when first responders arrive, but state that you will comply fully as soon as you consult with your counsel. Provide the most necessary information without going into great detail. You need to make it clear that you were in fear for your life but you don’t want to say something that is not accurate at the moment that goes on record and can be used against you later (adrenalin spill, inadequacy, profound stress can all be a cause of that).
- Train yourself to be in constant Condition Yellow (relaxed alert) when outside “your castle”. Train your situational awareness. Don’t miss clues! Don’t ignore when the gut’s telling you something doesn’t feel right! (in Force-on-forece role playing I got robbed at an ATM – I ignored the clues!)
- Legally carrying REQUIRES of you to ALWAYS be at your best behavior, knowing the consequences if you are not! In my view, well-educated CCW holders, by deciding to carry that day, require of themselves to avoid situations that they or other people would normally not care too much to avoid. In other words, legal carrying when combined with the required education, makes for a very safe and highly responsible person (contrary to common belief).
- All men are genetically predisposed to aggression – and that appears to be normal. But when aggression is combined with lack of empathy – the result is a sociopath! (this comes from an excerpt I was given to read during class from the book “On Killing” by Lt. Col David Grossman)
- On adjusting to low light: Full adaptation of the eyes to darkness can take up to 40 min. It takes an instant to adapt back to full light. It is pointless, therefore, to wait to adapt to low-light. That’s what tactical flashlights are for. And, it makes perfect sense to flash in the eyes of an adversary to momentarily and completely take away his being adapted to low light conditions. Being directly flashed in the eyes is something you must avoid for the same reason.
I also learned that although sub-compact handguns may be okay as a part of your EDC or minimally uncomfortable for concealed carry, they are definitely not okay for defensive handgun courses. The low capacity (7 + 1 rounds in my case) makes it very stressful and difficult to complete drills. As one of my instructors stated near the end of the day, “You are fighting the small gun syndrome”.
Now, almost a week later I’m still processing the information received that day. And, I know it will take a while to fully process all that happened and all that I was exposed to.
In the mean time, I look forward to my continued education in the area of self-defense with firearms – Combative Pistol 1 with Tom Givens and after that MAG-20 Classroom with Massad Ayoob.
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