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What advice would you give someone just getting started with self defense?

Would you advise them to get specialized training at their local shooting range? Why? Why not?

Could they get started with the basics by simply going to the range with an experienced friend or family member? Why? Why not?

Would you advise more than just firearms training? What about other weapons?
 

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Of course you should get training other than firearms training. Self defense doesn't only involve guns. Hand to hand combat, and mace are two other common ways that people defend themselves. More training is always better. Some people who have little to no shooting experience only want to take a CCW course and nothing more. If you are going to carry a gun, you need to be comforable with it. Some people seem to be scared of the guns they carry. Thats not good. Shoot often, and get some good training to become more proficient. After all, you are learning this skill to defend your life.
 

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I would advise someone to get some professional instruction. Bad habits learned early can be difficult to break. If you learn how to properly handle firearms and practice correctly, you are less likely to have problems later.

I learned a lot from a Korean War veteran who was an avid hunter and shooter and part time police officer. He would drop by when he heard us shooting and give us advise.

I also think it's a good idea to know some basic self defense moves. Many self defense situations start at arms length and you may need to use some basic self defense skills to gain the distance you need to employ a weapon.
 

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Could they get started with the basics by simply going to the range with an experienced friend or family member?
Yes! Learn The Four Rules and become familiar with handling a firearm safely, and get comfortable shooting it.

Then learn the laws in your state regarding both guns and self defense. One good overview of the legal issues is Ayoob's book Deadly Force.
 

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For sure, learn more than just firearm proficiency. A gun should be the last thing you use, IMO.

That said, find multiple instructors/trainers. You'll learn something new from each one you train under. I've been teaching firearm use for a long time, but I still seek new programs/instructors/trainers at every opportunity. Sometimes I learn a new way of doing something that works better for me. Sometimes I learn about how not to do something. Either way, I always learn.
 

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I would suggest that the initial training, after the Four Rules, be professional, if finances allow. This keeps egos out of the training, family or relative dynamics out of the training, and hopefully sets a positive stage without bad habits. Having said that, I taught both of my children the rudiments myself.
 

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I’m by no means an expert but when I think “new to self defense”, I don’t necessarily think firearms first. (Thinking about my wife here) Someone new to the subject or that has never had to defend themselves may be quite naive to the idea. How to carry yourself and be situationally aware is not a skill everyone possesses and I think that is the best starting point. Reading and learning from others can help build the perspective and mind set required to handle yourself properly and IMO should come before carrying a weapon since probably 95% of bad situations could have been avoided. And carrying a weapon means you better know how to use it.
 

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Self defense is a state of mind. You can be the best shot in the world and it might not help you want to self-defense situation if you don't have the proper mindset. I know that might not necessarily answer the Ops questionbut as far as I'm concerned The types and kinds of training differs between individual. Start with the basics and advance at your own pace and needs. That's the best advice I can offer
 

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Poppy42 has it absolutely right - "just getting started with self defense" implies a blank sheet. Mindset in my view is significantly more important in the beginning than marksmanship or physical ability to fight, in short it is the will to think tactically. Jeff Cooper wrote a very simple pamphlet, "The Principles of Personal Defense" (https://www.amazon.com/Principles-Personal-Defense-Jeff-Cooper/dp/1581604955) which is fantastic in its brevity and gets right to the point. It is not about shooting or fighting, but about mindset.

To answer your question above, generally most people become familiar with firearms from friends and family members. If you know experienced shooters most are more than happy to share what they know. The advantage you get with this approach is that its cheap and the initial part of basic gun handling and operation can take some time to work through. The negative may be that the person providing the initial training starts you off with bad habits. After getting familiar, I would recommend formalized training. It is clearly a good thing and will take you to the next level. There is no substitute - perfect practice makes perfect.

If you have the inclination and the *realistic* physical ability to fight off a criminal predator, courses in Krav Magra or something similar is a good idea. Keep in mind, most criminals are young, male, often on drugs and physically capable. I am a small giant at 6'6" and have no plans to go hand to hand with a criminal. "Plan" of course being the word, so yes, Krav Magra if this is within your capability.
 

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If you are truly "new to self defense" start with the basics. As suggested above Col. Cooper's principles of personal defense is a good start.
Learn nd live the color code of situational awareness. This will go a long way to keeping you out of trouble. Understand that weapons are simply tools. YOU are the weapon. Study some sort of martial art. Krav Maga, ju jitsu, etc. are good. Find a teacher with a practical application mind set; learn defenses against unarmed assailants and those with contact weapons. Find a good firearms instructor, preferably with some LE or Military experience. Some one for whom it is not just theoretical.
Situational awareness [condition yellow] and training will make a difference.
 

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My advice is to NOT do what I did.

DO NOT feel that because you've read enough books and watched enough YouTube and have shot as a hobby and have spent time in the Army that you have a reasonable grounding in the fundamentals. You will find out later on that bad habits and misinformation become hard to un-learn when they have been ingrained through repetition.

DO go out and get professional training. Then practice what you learned in that training. When you ingrain something, make sure it is effective.
 

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What advice would you give someone just getting started with self defense?

Would you advise them to get specialized training at their local shooting range? Why? Why not?

Could they get started with the basics by simply going to the range with an experienced friend or family member? Why? Why not?

Would you advise more than just firearms training? What about other weapons?
This is an excellent question.. Here are a few items to consider.

First, understand your state and local laws governing concealed carry. Know these laws like the back of your hand. Understand the potential legal consequences of brandishing and or using the weapon in a self defense encounter.
Second, talk to the pro's like your local LEO's. Ask them how often they carry concealed and under what circumstances. Carrying off duty vs on duty is a different animal altogether. You are the one who is bringing the gun to the fight in many cases. You must be seriously committed to carrying almost 24/7 and maintaining control of your firearm at all times. It is a serious commitment and represents a lifestyle change. Consider what this means to you and your family.
Third, take the best recommended licensing course AND practical defensive training course that's available in your area. Formal training and documented range time is essential not only for developing your skills and confidence but will work in your favor should you find yourself in a lethal encounter.
Good luck!!M
 

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I haven't posted here in awhile. Mr Administrator: message for you! You do not need to start a conversation to get the ball rolling. FOlks here can already do that. And please do not tell me that you actually have an interest in the subject. You do not. You and the other admins of other sites try to generate conversation which means revenue for you and your company. You and your cohorts are trying to make this forum into a side show.

Yes, I follow you and the admins on the other forums you have bought. Do not even try to to hide the fact that is what you are doing. It is. It is plain to see and easy to prove.

Cricket, for example, with her starting the stupidest threads on Woodworking Talk. Need I go further. Yes, you will still make revenue. But anyone with half a brain can see where you are going with this tactic.

Why do you not just be an admin and sit on the sidelines and let the members decide what topics they want to start.

You guys are doing this crap on every forum yo have bought. This is NOT Facebook or twitter.

Thank you for your time
 
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Now you did say self Defense? Well, I would say to keep from forming bad habits, take a QUALITY basic defensive class or basic pistol. Then I would tell them to at a minimum take the NRA Defensive Pistol course or Personal Protection outside the home. I suggest in between to practice A LOT, with what was taught. I would then take a quality course in Personal Protection Law (even if your state does not make it mandatory, you need to know what you will be held too). Then I suggest continue practice, IDPA shoots and taking a course once a year. There is a lot to it, and many things need to be taught properly to be effective and done safe.
 
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I believe it all begins with mindset. I feel that there is a mental methodology that is closely related to personal safety. All the gear in the world wont do you much good if you don't have the mental grit and fortitude to act and act properly when the time comes. When I say properly I mean "measured" , "controlled deliberateness". The first time you think and come to terms with what you are willing to do in x y z circumstance doesn't need to be in that millisecond after bad deeds have happened. When people ask me how they should begin, I tell them to find a reputable tactical school that offers a force on force element to their training and start taking classes. There are a couple of good books that I recommend one is the book of 5 rings and the other is meditations on violence. Most people learn best by "doing" so getting to a school is paramount in my estimation.
 

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What advice would you give someone just getting started with self defense?

Would you advise them to get specialized training at their local shooting range? Why? Why not?

Could they get started with the basics by simply going to the range with an experienced friend or family member? Why? Why not?

Would you advise more than just firearms training? What about other weapons?
There are great responses here. I would like to approach it from a different direction. You know those movies where our hero punches the bad guy and he doesn't flinch? Then all of a sudden you see reality dawning on the good guy (think Bruce Willis). My point is that as far as pistols go, they are not the be-all and end-all of weapons. FBI numbers (and these can be backed up by using simple math the next time you hear monthly or annual numbers from Chicago) indicate that 6 of 7 of those shot with a pistol (85%) survive. Even if they don't, they often live long enough to finish what they started. IOW, don't be overconfident about having this new super power. The more you realize this, the more you understand how it is best to avoid the problem in the first place, if at all possible.
 

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I here sirens. Take the head and follow me.

Run, like a deer
 

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At age 61 I decided to buy my first handgun for self defense. I had a friend take me shooting and really liked it. So I purchased a Ruger SR40C and then decided, I need some training. Groupon had a deal for a basic Handgun 101 with range time and a follow up CHL Class (Not at the same time). The woman teaching the class was. So about 3 Months later I am holding my Texas CHL. I realize my shooting skills are WANTING. So I call the trainer and she offers me a really good deal on Two Hour Training Sessions (one on one). Best money I ever spent. G17 01-09-2016-C (2).jpg
10 Shots in 10 seconds @ 15 yards This is about what I am up to in marksmanship.
 

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Self defense is a state of mind. You can be the best shot in the world and it might not help you want to self-defense situation if you don't have the proper mindset. I know that might not necessarily answer the Ops questionbut as far as I'm concerned The types and kinds of training differs between individual. Start with the basics and advance at your own pace and needs. That's the best advice I can offer
"Proper mindset".... I am attending a concealed carry class today, that's going to be my guide. Thank you.
 
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