Usable Training vs Fun

In my last post I presented my views that a CCW/CHL holder should view themselves as someone that reacts to a situation and uses the tools at hand to defend themselves and their loved ones.  I used the term “Reactionary Defender”, not knowing the political connotation of the word Reactionary.  So, let’s begin with a change in terminology – Reactive Defender.

Meggitt's FATS used to train officers

This time I thought I would kick the hornets’ nest even more and discuss usable CCW training vs fun, or entertrainment as some have called it.

If you spend any amount of time on the forums, or gun range you will notice a great number of CCW/CHL holders take training classes that provide or build skills that have nothing to do with carrying a deadly weapon on a daily basis. If a person is not honest with themselves, this could only further the “sheep dog” mentality while not preparing them for the type of altercation they might actually encounter while getting a gallon of milk at the corner stop and rob.

First I need to be totally honest. A 3 day Carbine Assaulter Class sounds like an awesome time, but let’s temper our joy with a dose of reality. You are never going to need those skills while walking around in society or even your house. When you consider most people take those classes with “battle gear,” chest rigs, dump pouches, drop leg holsters and a knife that would make Rambo feel inferior. That is a far cry from walking through the parking lot of the mall with a LCP stuffed in the front pocket of your shorts.

Don’t mistake me, I am glad those classes are available to the general public. I am glad we have access such weaponry. As a student of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers the fact we have limitations on certain guns irks me, but I digress.

My point is simple: before you take that AR/Tier 1 hero class make sure your CCW skills squared away. If you are squared away and have the money, time and want to take them after you’re proficient with your carry weapon, but all means, go do it!

So what type of training might a Reactive Defender look into? Perhaps CPR Certification tied in with a good first aid class taught by medical professionals? How about situational awareness, threat avoidance and de-escalation techniques? Have you had low light training? Can you shoot your CCW on the move? Are you familiar with your State and local laws? What about a basic shooting class – fundamentals are fundamental. Dare I even say it… competition. The stress of the timer is real and you learn a lot about your skills under that stress.

A CCW/CHL allows you to have the best tool for self-defense in the gravest of extremes. You owe to those you plan on defending to take realistic training.



  1. ” tied in with a good first aid class taught by medical professionals”

    Good luck finding something like that. I’ve looked for that for a long time. If it exists, they do a shitty job of marketing it, because even nurses and doctors I know don’t know where I would go for that. My choices are essentially EMT training or nothing.

    1. Bill Lewitt of Tactical Development Group offers one. I haven’t taken it, but I have heard good things.

      My previous house was in a town that had a CERT program and they would have the Red Cross come in and provide basic disaster casualty first aid. It wasn’t geared towards self defense, but the principles of trauma treatment are similar.

    2. Almost any first responder class (cheap and 40 hours of good in depth emergency medicine) comes to mind and there available almost universally through most ambulance services or the Red Cross.

    3. Asymmetric Solutions in Farmington MO–

  2. I’d like to find better than Red Cross first aid training anyway since first aid is probably going to come in handy a lot more often than my CCW.

    One of the more fun things that I just triggered onto is setting up a walking course of fire with targets at varying distance of varying sizes you try to shoot while walking–makes you work on being faster on sight acquisition, gets you somewhat used to shooting on the move, etc….but I have to drive 2 hours for a range that lets me do that.

  3. Dry Fire! I have some articles planned on dry fire, from a CCW and competition perspective. I do both quite a bit.

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