Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last Saturday and Sunday (4 & 5 Mar) I attended the basic handgun self-defense course offered by John Farnam's Defense Training International (http://defense-training.com/). Thoroughly enjoyed it. Very useful. I was sitting down to document some things (LOTS of things) I need to work on, and thought I would make a post out of this for anyone who is interested. This might not be the most organized report, I am basically trying to get down on (digital) paper things I don't want to forget or need to work on.

Motivation:
I have been shooting for quite awhile now, since approx 1993 or so. I took a defensive handgun course with my revolver early on, and a shotgun course also, from Mike Dalton in California. Was also very worthwhile. Those focused primarily on the mechanics of shooting. When I got my CHL and started carrying regularly, I got much more interested in all the issues surrounding this - legal, administrative handling of the gun, concealed carry techniques, how to deal with the police if I was involved in an incident, tactical considerations, etc. I read as much as I could, haunted many internet sites (this one has been particularly useful), attended CHL classes, and so forth.

However, I never felt I really had done, or been taught, a systematic, top-to-bottom, examination of the whole self-defense issue. I always wanted to attend Gunsite or ThunderRanch or Lethal Force Institute - in fact, my wife tried to secretly arrange a class for me at Clint Smith's ThunderRanch when it was still here in Texas, about two hours west of me, as a retirement surprise gift for me. Unfortunately, her repeated voicemails and emails to TR, went unanwered. Her brother-in-law had done some business with them, and tried to contact TR also, but no reply. I know they were getting ready to go to Oregon, but that was no reason not to at least reply to say "we don't have room/time." Thus, at least for now, I have crossed TR off the list as an unprofessional organization.

I did some more research, became aware of Farnam, and found he covered many of the topics I was interested in. This past Christmas I discovered he was coming to Victoria, Texas this past weekend, so I sent an email, got an immediate reply with the local contact's name, and got myself enrolled. I am glad I did - it met most, if not all, of my goals.

The Course:

John Farnam taught an Intermediate/Advanced Handgun and Rifle/Shotgun course, while his wife Vicki taught the basic or beginner's handgun course, which is what I took. Altho I wasn't exactly a rookie, I felt like I would benefit most from getting a good grounding in fundamentals - and I was right! I only recently took up shooting semi-autos when I got hooked on Hi Powers, and things like magazine changes and tap-rack-bang were pretty new to me.

We all met Friday night at a Victoria motel, where John gave a talk to all students, rookies and advanced combined. Several doctors in the course, a lawyer, businessmen. The local organizer, also a doctor, had asked for donations to sponsor some local law enforcement, and got enough to pay for a Victoria city policeman and a Texas DPS state trooper to attend as well.

John emphasized adopting a mind-set geared towards avoiding trouble. One strategy for this, in his words, "Don't go stupid places, don't associate with stupid people, and don't do stupid things" and in all likelihood you won't ever have to defend yourself. Don't look like a victim - keep your head up, walk confidently, look around and keep track of who is near you or watching you, don't avoid eye contact. If you don't look like prey, then predators will pass on you and look for someone else.

Failing that, if confronted, try to disengage at the lowest level possible. He went over a couple techniques for this, with the goal of getting away before a real fight develops. (We practiced these the next day). Basically, he noted that if you are being set up for a mugging, it is likely that your mugger picked that spot for a reason, so don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
What a terrific post, ELB! Thank you for your efforts in bringing us such a thorough and well-considered review. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Slapshot, Erich, Carolinaman -- thanks for the thanks. I hope it is helpful to you. As I recall, someone else posting in the last couple months was going to a course, I would love to hear about it. It is hard (for me at least) to judge the various training courses offered - TR, Gunsite, and LFI of course are famous and get a lot of press, but there are many others, and it is difficult to come up with reviews of them. Hope I added to the knowledge pool.

elb
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top