Posts Tagged ‘self defense’


I think a lot of people who carry a concealed weapon are under the false pre-tense that if they actually have to draw their handgun, it will be a certain shooting situation. Firearms are used for personal defense hundreds of times a day in the US alone and out of those situations less than 1% actually end in an exchange of gun fire or fatality. Chances are highly likely that the introduction of a handgun into a tense situation can bring a resolution. It does not always, and that is why we train to shoot and practice weapon retention and martial arts.

In the cases when your bad guy realizes he is out matched and that today is not a good day to die, you will need to give verbal commands that are simple, clear and will not come back to haunt you in a courtroom if you say them. Using verbal commands may still result in you pulling the trigger, but challenging your suspect at least creates witnesses out of those around you, and you gave the bad guy a chance to surrender.

Not every situation will provide you with enough time to give a verbal warning, so, as you read this run through the various scenarios and apply the warning as you see fit based on your training and experience. Also in a worst case scenario when shots are fired, you should also train yourself to give verbal warning and instructions to the downed bad guy.

I train my students to use a short phrase that is easy to remember, general and minimizes liability. I want to keep it simple so under stress so we are focused on the problem in front of us, and not trying to string words together. The verbal challenge should begin with a sharp attention getting statement, like, “Stop!” If you are in law enforcement this would be replaced with the words, “Police,” or “Sheriff’s Office.” As a civilian, I do not advise you identifying yourself as a member of law enforcement.

Once you have a sharp and loud attention statement, follow up with a command, “Drop the weapon!” Notice I use the word weapon instead of gun or knife. Weapon is generic, simple to say and remember. It covers a large variety of objects that could be used as a weapon. A crossbow or screwdriver are equally as deadly as a firearm but under stress, you dont want to divide your focus by trying to identify the object and search your higher brain for the matching word. You want to get your point across quickly and the word weapon sums up everything in a concise manner.

Finally I include what I call the plea, or my witness statement. “Don’t make me shoot you!” While it may sound odd to plead with your suspect, what you are actually doing is creating witnesses of the people around you. If you shoot someone, there will be a police investigation and possibly a trial. When that occurs, I want the people around me, the nearby neighbors, etc. to tell the investigators that it sounded like I really didn’t want to shoot. While your state of mind is irrelevant under the 4th Amendment test of Reasonableness, (Graham v Connor) we want to create a situation that works towards our advantage.

If a shooting does occur, the words, “Don’t make me,” give the strong impression that you as a shooter had no other choice and the bad guy forced you to pull the trigger due to his overt actions. The suspect could have surrendered and you gave him an opportunity to do so during your verbal challenge, but he declined to comply, forcing you to fire.

When we are talking about home defense I recommend a verbal warning as you defend your home, especially at night. While you should have a good flashlight or weapon mounted light (I recommend both) issuing a verbal challenge to someone in your home gives a family member the opportunity to respond or identify themselves and avoid a tragedy. Imagine this situation,” Stop! Drop the weapon! Don’t make me shoot you!” and hearing the words, “Dad, it’s me! Don’t shoot.” Anytime there is uncertainty a verbal warning might be in order.

Not every situation will give you time to provide an audible warning, and a challenge should only be used when the opportunity arises. Just like giving the recommended warning above, the mere fact you did so also bodes well under court scrutiny. By issuing a verbal challenge, you tried to minimize the risk to the suspect. Anything that helps you on scene and during your court defense is certainly worth considering.

Even if you begin to give the warning and have to shoot, complete your statements and repeat them. For example, “Stop, drop the weapon -BANG, BANG- Don’t make me -BANG- shoot you.” Then repeat the statement even if the suspect goes down. In most circumstances pistol calibers do not kill outright unless you target the electrical system of the body (brain or spine) and your bad guy could still be alive on the ground after being shot. Continue repeating the warning to also let everyone know that even on the ground he can still be a threat, and if you have to make follow up shots, you are again justifying your actions on scene and later in court. Just because a suspect is down, does not mean the threat is over and you can still be hurt or killed by someone who is on the ground and injured.

Whether you borrow my challenge or come up with one of your own, make sure it is clear, simple to say and understand and train it!

Be safe, Godspeed!

Scott S

One Weapon Any Tool

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Basic Pistol Course – Sunday, April 12th



When we talk about personal defense, self-defense and shooting situations, most of the discussions I read online or conversations with people rarely include the possibility that you will be injured or severely wounded as a result of an encounter. Whether it be a physical altercation, or a gunfight the odds are you will not walk away from either unscathed. Dynamic confrontations require a plan, good fitness, and the ability to maintain the initiative. We’ve talked a lot about these aspects in previous articles (and will do so again I’m sure), so the focus of our discussion today is what to do in the immediate aftermath.

When the fight ends, everyone in the personal defense world begins calmly talking about how to call 911, identify yourself as a friendly citizen, and what to say to attorneys. What really happens after a dynamic confrontation is that you slowly start to regain your senses as your parasympathetic nervous system reasserts its authority and begins to mitigate the adrenaline, cortisol and the other chemicals dumped into your system to prepare you for the life threatening encounter you were just involved in. While you should call 911 and prepare for long hours of interviews, that is an unrealistic immediate response.

After you are certain the threat has ended, the first thing you are going to be concerned with is a self-assessment. Are you okay? Are the people around you (loved ones) okay as well? To conduct a thorough self-assessment you will need to do so physically, not just visually. You may be fighting the effects of tunnel vision and a quick scan of yourself or loved ones may not be enough to detect injury. Once you are safe and if shots were fired then you need to holster your weapon, take the palm of your hand and sweep it over each quadrant of your body. After each sweep, hold your palm up to your face and check for blood. If you are shot, there is a strong possibility that you may not even know it due to your body’s stress response.

As you all know, handguns in particular are not effective at killing, and you can be shot with a handgun caliber (several times) and survive. Case in point: While working in our corrections division I met an inmate who was shot 8 times and left for dead by a drug dealer she had robbed earlier, yet she survived and was one of the toughest fighters I’ve ever met in the county jail system. Yes, I said she… a female.

In 2006 there was another suspect who engaged the police in a gunfight and was shot 17 times, 11 of which exited his body. He had a broken arm from a .40S&W round but was still able to resist arrest even after the shooting stopped.

Shot does not equal dead and when you are training, make sure that you emphasize this, especially during force on force training encounters. Also make sure that when you are training practice shooting more than 1 or 2 rounds each time you draw. It may take a lot of rounds to stop a threat.

Shot means keep fighting and in the real world pain = life = ability to fight on! Never give up!

So in your immediate aftermath if you find that you are wounded, it is time to begin addressing your medical condition and taking action to make sure you are around to tell your side of the story. If you are hit, what do you have as a part of your Every Day Carry (EDC) to address trauma and to stop hemorrhaging. The leading cause of death on today’s battlefield is uncontrolled hemorrhaging so getting the bleeding stopped is top priority. Unless you carry a backpack or purse you might not have your trauma kit handy so improvisation is key.

How much medical expertise do you possess to diagnose and render basic first aid or trauma aid to yourself or a buddy? When was the last time you attended a training course that supplemented your firearms training? Shooting course are great but you need to be well rounded when it comes to personal protection and self-defense. While I hope the plan you worked out in advanced is successful we cannot ever overlook reasonable contingencies.

One of the simplest ways to be sure is to add a small Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) to your everyday carry items. A backpack is part of my daily carry and I’m never far from it, so keeping an IFAK handy is simple. Women can easily add a small kit to a purse but not everyone has the luxury of a backpack, purse of briefcase so a pocket kit might be an option.

You can keep it as simple as an Israeli or H&H bandage, a SWAT-T tourniquet, a pair of gloves and some Quick-Clot gauze, which will all fit easily into a pocket and will cover you for a short amount of time if you are significantly injured. A lot of companies are making small kits that fit on your belt and are easier to conceal than your firearm. Whatever kit you choose, make sure you are familiar with the contents and how to properly apply them. If you have never heard of any of the items I’ve listed above, perhaps you should consider taking a training course on First Aid / CPR and some Tactical Medical training.

Whatever you decide make sure the kits and contents you buy are from a quality source and manufacturer. If you have some medical training you can assemble a kit yourself to better customize the size and contents suited to you as long as you remember your life is on the line, so make sure you have good kit!

As a disclaimer I want to make sure you are qualified and capable of administering the level of care you are providing. Medical negligence occurs when you exceed the scope of your knowledge and training when applying treatment so I cannot emphasize the importance of training. When you attend a course take your kit with you and have it evaluated by the instructor. Several of the courses I have been to give you a kit to take with you as well as use the contents found in that kit during the training.

As we close, I also want you to consider one more thing. In the aftermath of a shooting, if you come out unscathed and use lethal force to stop someone who is an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury, you might need to use your medical training to save the life of the suspect. While it may be hard for you to help someone who was trying to hurt you, it is a possibility you may encounter. In the investigation and review of the shooting by a District Attorney, it may bode well for you if you rendered aid. There are a lot of variables that go into rendering aid to a suspect after an incident so think through the possibilities on your own and develop a plan now.

When the fight is over, the immediate aftermath is about saving lives.

Be safe,

Scott S

One Weapon Any Tool –

Your mind is the weapon, everything else is a tool.

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Too often when thinking about personal protection we focus on the defensive aspect. We talk about being ready to defend yourself and those you love and we have a plan to defend our homes. I think this is a misconception that is going to get someone hurt or killed because when you are on the defense that means one thing… Someone is doing something to you. Being on the defense means you are being attacked, you are covering, hiding, fortifying, or blocking and there is no victory in defense.

I think we need to turn this on its head and start talking as a community about the Offensive Mindset.

Think about it, there is nothing defensive about pulling the trigger and actively trying to kill another human being who is a threat to you. There is nothing defensive about striking, kicking or inflicting damage on someone that is try to do the same to you. You want to be on the offense. You want to be the one moving forward on the balls of your feet, with your head down and ears pinned back.

When it comes time to protect yourself you want to bring the maximum amount of violence to bear as fast as possible and overwhelm your opponent. Reread that last sentence and ask yourself… is that the definition of defense? We need to talk about the offensive mindset and we need to start now!

While we should never discount a defense completely, the defense is what we establish to ensnare our opponent and slow him down to give us the initiative and use our offense to win the fight. When you are attacked initially, you may be surprised or startled and begin the fight in a defensive posture. You have to move from defense to offense as quickly as possible and be the one who dominates! You have to act with intent! When the fight is on and your life is at stake you have to act decisively. There is not time to assess and come up with a plan. This is the moment that the training you have (or don’t have) is going to kick in. There is only one goal, be the one who walks away and take as little damage as possible during the altercation.

Your intention is to use violence and inflict pain, damage or death upon another living breathing human being. You have to do this, or you will become the victim. You have to think about this now while you read this in your living room in front of your computer rather than thinking about it when you are faced with a lethal or dangerous threat.

Violence is nothing more than a tool. Bad guys use it to intimidate, harm, rape or steal. You use violence to fight off the attack, protect yourself and the innocents with you. Using violence is not a bad thing and you need to reconcile yourself that hurting someone, may be what saves your life. You have to establish your own rules of engagement now so when it comes time to fight… You FIGHT!

Fighting is always a last resort and even as a deputy I hate getting into fights… but I will if I have to and it’s going to end badly for you. I will give you every opportunity to submit to arrest or comply, probably more chances than you deserve, and the choice lies with the evil doer which way they want the encounter to go.
When not on duty I will walk away and give you every opportunity to leave me alone and go away. If you want to push your luck, make sure you are ready for what’s coming. I’m ready, are you?

Are you?

Remember, it is not for you to start the fight, but it is for you to win it. Fighting is a last resort but I will book anyone a ticket there if they try to physically harm myself or a loved one. Go forth and train!

Hopefully I’ve shaken up the way you think about personal protection and self-‘offense.’

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

This is the law: The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no victory in defense. The sword is more important that the shield, and skill is more important that either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.
-John Steinbeck

Be safe – train hard – Get into the Offensive Mindset
Scott S
One Weapon Any Tool


Training is Insulation

I’m constantly fascinated by how delicately intricate, yet powerful the human brain is. When I began my journey of becoming a teacher / trainer I never expected to find myself studying neurology. While becoming a brain surgeon is very low on my priority list, we can learn a lot from that field of research, particularly how to get the most out of our training sessions and how to develop a skill faster. One of the recent resources I have come across was a book called The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. I’ve taken a few of the concepts he discusses in his book and applied them to firearms training in this article.

Make no illusions, there is no shortcut to success. Even in firearms training, to be successful at a fast draw time, accurate rapid shots, smoother reloads and weapon transitions, you will have to put in the work. You will have to work hard, and repeat these motions thousands of times. You will struggle, you will fail and you will achieve small successes, which are the stepping stones to the next success. As you practice and train do not let your current achievement become a plateau for you.

The good news about the above paragraph is that ANYONE can excel at almost any skill if you are willing to work at it. The more I study people, coaches, and training methods I’m convinced that natural talent does not exist. No one is born with an overwhelming skill set that makes them good at something. We are all unique and we all gravitate towards what interests us. Our interest turns into a desire to study, work, practice and develop a skill. That ongoing hard work and desire to be the best in the field we are immersed in, mixed with guidance will breed overwhelming success that people call, “talent.”

One example I want to point to is a young lady named Jessica Simpson. At 16 years old she hit the world stage with an amazing singing voice the media credited to her years in the church choir. I’ve seen a lot of good choirs, but none of those singers landed a multi-million dollar recording contract. What most people do not know is that Jessica who had a good voice, spent over five years from the age of 11 to 16 working with a voice coach, struggling, training, practicing and disciplining her voice. No one ever heard the flat notes, or the wavering vibrato behind the scenes, we only saw the smashing success and stunning talent that appeared, “out of nowhere,” that made Jessica an overnight success. Those years spent with her voice coach insulated the neural connections in her brain turning the microscopic threads into superhighways.

When you learn a new skill you make a connection between multiple neurons. In my article, “Training to Fight… Neurologically Speaking,” ( we talked about learning how to ride a bike for the first time, how your brain made connections as you practiced and how it relegated tasks that required focus and conscious thought to your sub-conscious so you didn’t have to think anymore, you just hopped on and rode away.

While I touched on the concept before I want to expand on it now. Keep this in mind as we discuss training and talent: Your conscious brain can process about 40 tasks, your subconscious brain can process 11 million. What that means, is that while you are learning, you are using your conscious mind to grasp, struggle and work through a new skill set. Whether it be a good consistent trigger press, or a crisp drive from one target to another, the first few hundred times you try this… you had to think about it and slowly do it. Over time and through repetition, you can now perform this skill without having to put conscious thought into it.

This became a reality for me one night as a young deputy working a patrol beat. I was in a vehicle pursuit with a domestic violence suspect (who was also intoxicated). The pursuit ended when he crashed into a fence trying to get onto the freeway. I do not have any conscious memory of the following sequence of events: I stopped the car, put it in park, opened the door, took off my seat belt, and drew my firearm. All of those things happened automatically, because I had done all of them a thousand times. When I realized I was holding my handgun it stuck out to me, because I realized that my training kicked in when I needed it. The gun seemed to magically appear in my hand and I did not have to devote any conscious attention or split my focus to achieve that. It happened because I have a super highway, or a densely insulated neural connection in my brain that enabled that sequence of actions to occur.

This insulation is called Myelin. Myelin wraps itself around the nerves and aids in the accurate and precise transmission of electrical signals between the interconnected webs of neurons. The more myelin you have around a particular set of neurons, the more precise the movement and the faster it can occur. The way you build myelin is to practice, struggle, and training- pushing yourself to excel when you reach a plateau. You build myelin through hard work.

Before I give you delusions of grandeur about the astronomical capabilities you are capable of, there are two more key elements necessary to breed “talent.” The first is coaching or masterful guidance and the last is dedication through immersion.
Michael Phelps holds 14 gold medals (18 total) throughout the course of his Olympic career in the 2004 & 2008 summer games. While he stands at the top of the world in his sport, he didn’t get there on his own. There was one man who stood behind him as his primary coach and an assistant coach to the US Team, and I doubt most of you have ever heard the name of Bob Bowman. Bowman began his coaching career around 1986. It wasn’t until nearly a decade later that he met a young Michael Phelps at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club.

During his tenure in Baltimore, Bowman helped to produce 3 individual national champions, 10 national finalists and 5 USA National Team members. In recognition of his accomplishments, Bowman was named the USA’s Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2003. He was also named Developmental Coach of the Year in 2002.

It was also during his work at NBAC that Bowman began coaching 18-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps. Under Bowman’s tutelage, Phelps won five World Championship gold medals and was named the American Swimmer of the Year in 2001 and 2003.
Bowman was named as an assistant coach on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, serving as the primary coach for Phelps. At the 2004 Games, Bowman helped coach Phelps to eight medals, including six gold medals and two bronze. Four years later, at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he coached Phelps to achieve eight Olympic gold medals, which had never been done before in a single Olympics.

Without Bob Bowman, the world never would have heard of Michael Phelps. Without an experienced and dedicated coach, Michael Phelps might not have broken records and earned Olympic gold. Without a lot of hard work, under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor or teacher who pushed, prodded, encouraged, criticized, corrected and maintained the same amount of dedication as the pupil, Michael Phelps would never have made it to the World Championships, let alone the Olympic team.

Hard work and practice only go so far. You need a coach or a teacher to fine tune you towards success. When I started shooting, I thought I was pretty good. I grew up with guns and had spent a fair amount of my own money at shooting ranges throwing lead into paper targets. I found out during my police training that I was actually a terrible shooter with mediocre skills compared to the training staff who had over 150 years of combined experience. Over the next 80+ hours I was corrected, pushed, coached, guided, praised and criticized until I emerged near the top of my class and could consistently shoot in the 90th percentile. That training is ongoing and I’ve logged at least another 100+ hours since then just at work.

Over the last 14 years of continual training at work, on my own, and under the guidance of other top shooters in my area did I really start to achieve what I deemed success at the shooting sports. I could have never gotten to where I am today without top notch instructors helping me. Looking back I realize what I thought was good…was deplorable and I’m grateful for the energy and effort I was blessed to receive. Due to that time, I am now able to step into the role of teacher, counselor and coach for new and developing shooters.

When you seek to develop and become a good shooter it would behoove you to seek a competent trainer and coach. You don’t know what you don’t know and having an experienced eye to watch you, correct and encourage you will help you develop the skills you seek and build good myelin insulation.

Finally you will need to be motivated to succeed. I would be willing to bet that Jessica Simpson was less than enthusiastic about going to her voice coach every time she had a lesson scheduled. I bet Michael Phelps looked at his snooze button more than a few times before his early morning practice sessions… yet both found the motivation to succeed.

The best and easiest way to maintain your focus is by immersing yourself in your chosen sport/career/interest. As a shooter and firearms trainer I am immersed or surrounded by my interest. For example, I carry a gun daily which makes me constantly aware of concealment methods, belts and holsters. At every opportunity to dry practice or live fire practice, I do it. I read about firearms and attend trade shows so I can see what the market looks like and where the future of firearms is going. I read magazines, watch DVDs, and attend classes and try to stay up on trends, tactics and equipment. I buy tools and accessories and test and evaluate them to see if I should be doing something better or can a piece of kit help me do it better. My friends and assistant instructors share the same passions and we can debate endless hours about different firearms, accessories, training methods, techniques, ad nauseam.

I’m motivated to train because I’m surrounded by like-minded individuals who also challenge me, encourage me and hold my interest in my chosen lifestyle of personal protection and training.

There will be friction, there will be failure and success comes in tiny, sometimes almost imperceptible increments. Consider why there are only a handful of top performers in every sport or art worldwide. I truly believe it is because they pressed on even when they did not notice small successes. They pressed on when they mastered one skill and were pushed and guided by a coach or teacher to do better.

There are a lot of boxers with Golden Glove Titles… only a few with a world championship belt. The path to success is getting from one failure to the next. I call this friction, or things that grind against me or obstacles I have to push past to achieve my goals. Friction is hot, it hurts and is discouraging, but it can be overcome.

For more information on the study of myelin and how to develop talent, I encourage you to pick up a book called: The Talent Code written by: Daniel Coyle. The book was the primary inspiration for this article and he goes into much greater depth about all of the topics I’ve touched on above. Daniel Coyle does not discuss the shooting sports, but his chapters on golf, soccer and baseball have strong correlations.

You can do it, you will have to work at it… it’s not going to be easy, but with a good cadre and laser focus you can succeed. Never give up in training, or in a fight!

Be safe, God bless – Train on!
Scott S
Founder, One Weapon Any Tool or on Facebook!

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Personal Protection – Beyond the waistline

When talking about self-defense and personal protection, an awful lot of attention is devoted to the waist line. Let’s face it, that’s where we carry the most important tool in our arsenal. Be it appendix carry, inside or outside the waistband, with a sturdy belt and spare magazines, the waistline plays a major role in our day to day safety. Sometimes however we count on our hips too much when we should be focusing on our body overall.

Since we are at the waistline, we’ll start there and then move on. If you have a large waistline, especially an ever expanding one, you need to focus on fitness. General fitness is a huge factor in surviving a dangerous and potentially lethal encounter. Not everyone needs to bench 300 and compete in a marathon, but everyone who is serious about their safety should be able to run a reasonable distance to safety. You should be able to fight off a physical attack without becoming so exhausted you collapse and become a victim anyway because you can’t protect yourself or flee. When you are under critical stress and your heart rate hits north of 175, being in good shape can be the difference between victory or victimization. So if your tactical pants are size 54… you might want to consider starting a fitness regime.

Since we’ve also wandered into the topic of attire, you should also take a few moments and consider what you are wearing. I do not endorse the wearing of your favorite brand of tactical clothing everywhere. You want to dress in such a way that you tend to blend in with those around you. While walking around dressed like a 5.11 billboard may provide you with a convenient place to carry your flashlight, and spare magazines, certain brands can identify you as someone likely to carry a firearm. This is particularly true if you are in law enforcement. I have sat in a restaurant on numerous occasions and seen tactically attired individuals come in. They stick out and that is the last thing you want to do.

Dress in neutral colors and serviceable attire. Do your best to blend in with the crowd around you so if there is an unexpected assault, you will not be singled out and that provides you with the advantage of surprise. If there is a group and you need to slip away to avoid a conflict, it will be much easier to fade into the scenery.

You can be quite stylish and still be tactically prepared. Make sure your covering garments are easy enough to manipulate to allow a quick draw stroke, but loose and comfortable enough to completely conceal your handgun. Every time I go clothes shopping and try on an outfit, I twist at the waist, raise my arms over my head, and bend to see how well the shirt hides my handgun. Considering I carry a full size P226 most of the time, finding a good covering shirt is sometimes difficult. Don’t be tempted to upsize either. Buying an overly large shirt to help you hide your
handgun can also make you stick out or draw attention to you.

Even logos like the 5.11 tabs and shirts with large firearms logos or manufacturer’s advertisements may also draw negative attention to you. Be wary of advertising your favorite handgun brand, someone may realize that you are doing more than advertising.

If you normally wear a large but walk around in a XXL to hide your gun, you’re going to look out of place and look like you are hiding something. One of the ways police train to recognize gang members who are carrying weapons is oversized clothing, or clothing that is in appropriate for the weather. A guy wearing a hooded sweatshirt or a puffy jacket on a summer day is a dead giveaway… they are trying to hide something.

You may also get tangled when drawing from concealment. Trying to manipulate the excessive fabric under stress, will slow your draw speed or cause a malfunction. Also, if you need to clear out of an area, you do not want a large wind sail slowing you down or getting snagged on protruding items you may pass by. Loose and large clothing is also easy for an attacker to grab on to, and will entangled you during an altercation. There is a reason MMA fighters don’t wear baggy pants and T-shirts when training.

Wear good serviceable shoes that will stay with you when you need to make your escape or stand and fight your way out. While hot weather may make sandals comfortable, how fast can your run in flip flops? I do know a few martial artists that prefer flip flops because they can be easily discarded for kicking, but unless you train to a competent level of street fighting, I recommend rubber soled and lightly cushioned footwear. You want shoes that will allow you to run a reasonable distance, maintain good traction on a variety of surfaces and stay with you as you move. Don’t fool yourself and think you can run barefoot. Unless you train and toughen up your feet, you will not be able to move far or fast without good footwear.

Concealed carry and personal protection is a lifestyle. Taking on the responsibility of protecting yourself and others sometimes means giving up a little bit of comfort and sacrificing the latest fashion trends that expose your firearm or interfere with your defensive capabilities.

Go and test your gear. Take your (unloaded) handgun and daily carry items and clothes and go for a sprint around your block. I said a sprint, not a jog, because you will not be lightly jogging if you need to get away from a lethal threat. After your run assess your equipment. Is your handgun still secure in the holster? Do your feet hurt from poor support? Are you on the verge of collapse due to your lack of fitness? After your fast run, do some dry fire practice and try a couple of magazine changes when your heart rate is elevated. You need to also have an understanding of your ability to perform in less than ideal conditions. (Please observe safety protocols for dry fire training). Another good method is to don your EDC clothes and gear and go head to head with a heavy bag for a solid, fast paced minute. Then reassess the above considerations.

As always, be safe, and train hard. If you want to assess your skills and abilities you can always contact One Weapon Any Tool for some personal defense training.

Scott S

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Bob Mayne from Suarez International and the Handgunworld Podcast is coming to California on October 18th! Go to and register today for Beyond Concealed Carry.