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I took a course in Pittsburgh this past weekend titled "The Basics of Contact Distance Defense." This was about the best two days of training I have had in regards to carrying a concealed weapon. Total rounds fired: zero. Let me explain.

Those who carry a firearm for self protection (that would be us) need to be cognizant of the fact that the weapon is not a cure-all for the attacks we may face. In a close range encounter, there may simply not be enough time to access your weapon. For example, consider that the "Teuller Drill" makes a convincing argument that an assailant within twenty-one feet will be able to cover the distance and strike with a contact weapon in less time than it takes to draw and fire your weapon. Even if you are on top of your game and manage to drill said attacker before contact is made, the attacker may very well continue functioning long enough to injure you - perhaps mortally.

You could say "I'll never let him get that close." Well, if you expect to interact with society, you will have people closer to you than twenty-one feet every day on the street, in an elevator, at the mall, etc. So, where does that leave us?

I am convinced, as are the instructors of the course, that we need to have some skills that will allow us to defend ourselves from a close range attack and survive, preferably uninjured, long enough to access our weapon, escape, or take other appropriate action.

Back to the course itself. We started drilling on a very simple motion used to protect our vital areas from a close range knife attack. We learned a few more "gross body movements," that is, easily performed motions that did not require a great deal of coordination or strength. We put those together with the idea of getting out of the "red zone" (in front of the attacker) and getting to the "green" (to the side and behind).

Many of the details of the course can be found in the course description link below, so I won't duplicate them here.

Here's what I really liked about the course, beyond the content:

1. There was a lot of personal attention. Both instructors worked with each of the participants throughout the course.

2. We were exposed to a small number of techniques, with a lot of practice, which is much more effective that a lot of techniques with little practice.

3. The course was designed to provide us with a foundation (they said "blueprint") upon which to build. Though we weren't promised "Mastery in Three Easy Lessons," I felt that I came away from the course with usable skills. I will be re-evaluating my personal defense strategies due in large part to this course.

4. No egos. Both instructors were very down to earth. They were very knowledgeable, yet in response to questions, they were always willing to try something to see how it worked, or didn't work.

5. This was practical, no BS stuff.

I would encourage anyone within range of the Pittsburgh area to check the web site and see if any of the courses appeal to you. You will recognize some well-respected names in the training industry - I was surprised to find some high quality training available right under my nose.

One final note: I'm not affiliated with the F.I.R.E. Institute - just a satisfied trainee from one course who will be back for more.

KC

http://fireinstitute.org/fire_basics_of_contact_distance_defense.htm
 

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Looks extremely useful - did not realize this was going on relatively close to me!!!

It certainly makes a lot of sense to be skilled in avoidance and creating a safer position/distance etc. Thx for the mention.

Looks like quite a lot of stuff on offer - could be of interest to our new member H22ATE who lives South of PBH. The home page for that site is here -

http://fireinstitute.org/index.html
 

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Sounds like some good training. It said that the course was based on some of Steve Tarani's material, I've heard good things about his methods.
 

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I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your time there. And I am glad to hear that you learned what was being taught. But the biggest part and the most important part of any class like that is PRACTICE.

Everybody here believes in going to the range and practicing with your firearm of choice. This is the samething. What you learned can save your life. It could also cost you your life if you think, "I went to that 'self defence' class 6 months ago, I know what to do in a situation". So you must PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

As an almost instructor in Defense without Damage (stepdad is the insturtor, but I help teach just about all of his classes), the biggest problem is that people come to the class with good intentions and learn what is being taught, but they never practice what they learned afterwards.

So again, you must practice what was taught to become proficent with what you learned.
 

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P95Carry said:
Looks extremely useful - did not realize this was going on relatively close to me!!!

http://fireinstitute.org/index.html
Not many people do, unfortunately. We just cancelled a course on contact distance defense with a hand gun, with two top-notch instructors (Randy Cain and Ben Salas) due to lack of interest. Bummer.

Without a major advertising budget, we have only word-of-mouth to go on. Thanks to Time for taking the time to post here. (I was not aware this list was here, either.)

PeteG
 

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Hi Pete and welcome :smilez:

I can see the prob re promoting courses - heck of a headache if truth be known. Even the NRA courses I teach on over at Holidaysburg rely a lot on word-of-mouth and a few fliers. Advertizing big time is just too costly.!

However - forums like these at least help and from my own POV - do feel free to mention up and coming stuff - it can only help and of course for those close enough to be able to consider such - quite a bonus.

I am getting pretty ancient and so am less attracted to courses than if younger but still like to know what is around, even if to tell buddies about.
 

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Pete,
Welcome aboard! This forum is an excellent way for folks to get aquainted, and professionals (like yourself) are encouraged to share what you know. We all benefit from the exchange.
'Glad to see you here. Good luck!
 

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Such skills are very important. It seems logical, and it is backed up by the numbers, that most lethal force encounters are going to happen within contact distance, and that is where we really need to be spending most of our training time.

Furthermore, I believe that you are absolutley correct in your assertion that we MUST develop the skills to handle those situations in which the fight might be upon us without giving us the chance to get our weapon into play.
 

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Moreover, are we prepared to if necessary fight off an attacker with hands as we reach for our weapon. Specifically, we must be prepared to fight at all costs and that means doing some type of exercise to help us. Now, I realize that some are older and may not be able to to do alot, but you will be amazed howmuch parking farther away at Walmart or taking stairs could benefit you. When you are fighting off an attacker oxygen becomes vital. I heard a guy say on T.V. that most attackers are younger and stronger than their victim, well I will work myself as much as I can to stay in shape, and provide the best advantage possible for myself.

Ok...now I am changing gears say you are in close what weapon would be best to have a 2inch snub or a service style weapon like 5inch 1911. Just wanting some reactions here because the revolver will be quicker to pull and can be placed in close without fear of jamming. Oh, yeah unless he has a hold of cylinder but with a 2 inch he has a small amount of land to work with. Ok, I'm done.
 
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