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Good Training Videos and Books?

1797 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  grnzbra
Okay, sorry guys but I have another obviously newbie question. In magazines and all over the Internet I see scores of training books and videos, Some look good, some look bad, some look questionable. My question is how good are the books and videos for training yourself?

If they are of use, how do you go about picking through the bad ones and finding a good one? If you know of some good ones, I am all ears and have an open mind. Thanks in advance.
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1,780 Posts
Watching videos is no substitute for getting good training from a qualified instructor. Having said that, I like the Thunder Ranch series of videos. Matt Burkett also has a good set of videos, although they are more oriented to the competition world.

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72 Posts
I\'ve been buying a bunch of videos lately. My current favorite is Janich & Stanford\'s \"Martial Marksmanship.\"

The Janich & Stanford video describes basics of both modern point-shooting technique and modern isoscoles sighted fire technique and discusses rationale for using one or the other in any particular circumstance. They show some neat extremely close quarters stuff too.

I\'m eagerly awaiting Paladin Press\'s release of Gabe Suarez\'s video and SouthNarc\'s \"The Fighting Handgun Volume 1.\" I can\'t wait to add those to my collection.

Any of these videos will be geared 100% to fighting (with and without a gun) with no attempt to teach artistry or competition technique.


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72 Posts
When it comes to practical shooting books. It\'s hard to beat Gabe Suarez.

My must read list would include:

Tactical Pistol Marksmanship
Publisher: Paladin Press (November, 2001)
ISBN: 1581602782

Tactical Pistol
Publisher: Paladin Press (January, 1996)
ISBN: 0873648641


Tactical Advantage
Paladin Press (March, 1998)
ISBN: 0873649753

My copy of SouthNarc\'s Fighting with Handguns video arrived this week. Man! It\'s full of good stuff! I highly recomend it.

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1,951 Posts
A video I would suggest for anyone that carries for protetcion is \"Deadly Effetcs\" with Dr. Fackler of the Army\'s wound ballistics laboratory. This video goes into great detail about what happens when a bullet hits a human body, and more importantly, what dozens\'t happen, example there is no guaranteed \"one shot stop\". If you are forced to perforate some BG numerous times some ignorant (zealous anti-gun) prosecutor is libel to file manslaughter charges because the 2,3,4 etc holes in him shows excessive force and an intent to kill.

As explained to me by both LEO and prosecutor buddies back in Indiana, only what you know at the time of the shooting can be entered into evidence for your defense. If it turns out after the fact the BG was wanted for child rape/murder in 5 states, this information does you no good. If the BG is known to you as a violent, dangerous person this can be used to justify your actions.

So if you can prove that you knew before hand that you know the limitations of handgun bullets, and the unlikelihood of one shot being able to stop an attack, this can be used for your defense. Along with owning this tape I can call as witnesses LEOs to testify I have viewed police training tapes including an FBI agent who loaned me the official recreation of the Miami shootout and the conclusions concerning the effetciveness of handguns in stopping the BGs.

As well as being \"insurance\" it is important to know what to expetc if you are ever in a situation, not really a \"how to\" type video for shooting, but important information to have.

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521 Posts
Both In Gravest Extreme, and Armed Response are very good books. In my opinion filled with invaluable info.

Armed Response: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Firearms for Self-Defense
by David S Kenik.
ISBN: 0936783451

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74 Posts
While I am the author of a book on training, I also totally agree that a book or video is no substitute for interactive training with a qualified instructor.

However with that said, books and video's can provide you with a technical overview of the material and present you with questions to ask your instructor.

Now for the shameless plug:

My book entitled "Welcome to the Real World, A Dangerous Place to be Caught Unprepared!" ( covers a wide range of topic areas and provides some exercises which you can practice on your own either between training sessions or before you meet with an instructor. Within another section of this forum, I am offering a special offer to other members:

Or you can contact me directly at [email protected] or through the PM system here.

Be Safe and Good Luck.

Bryan S. Williams
Williams Associates Protective Services, LLC

Main Website -
New Book -

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221 Posts
Another vote for video/books are no subsitute to attending a class.

Books I recommend to supplement your training
  • In the Gravest Extreme
  • Effective Defense by By Gila May Hayes
  • Street Survival, Tactics for Armed Encounters, Calibre Press
  • On Combat, LT. COL. Dave Grossman

Videos I recommend
  • Judicious Use Of Deadly Force, Massad Ayoob
  • Physio-Psycholgical Aspect of Violent Encounters, Massad Ayoob
  • Conceptual empty hand. Bram Frank (CSSD/SD)
  • Conceptual Stick, Bram Frank (CSSD/SD)

What I see in Bram Frank instructional DVD sets is how he explains why you do techniques, he breaks them down and explains each segment plus dispells myths on some principles. Couple Bram's instructional tapes (He has more then I listed) with other instructors (a short list) Michael Janich and Ernest Emerson for instance and you will find these tapes assist between classes to knock the brain back to what you might have learned in class. If you have been trained by these instructors and need discoverable evidence in court the tapes may assist in your defense. Lastly, if you are planning on attending a class were the instructor offers tapes you possibly will be better prepared for the class. For example, I have signed up for a Bram Frank class in the spring, purchased his training tapes several months ago and feel I will be better prepared for the class. In his tapes he discusses some topics that I would have never guess would be in the class and feel better prepared for watching the videos.

I am a firm believer (as others have already mentioned) in getting into classes to become better prepared to defend yourself. Also feel if you can get into monthly scenario based exercises this will ingrain training much better then static shooting at the range or shadow practicing perhaps knife tactics etc.

Concerning Ernest Emerson, his Combat Karmabit DVD set is excellent. Even if you do not have a Karmabit I highly suggest getting the set and as other sets come out get them too. Ernest is a no BS instructor. You may very well disagree with some of his techniques but do not take them all in the context he puts them in, even he will say that in the training tapes. He has sections on two handed knife counters which I can hear some say "I would never get two knifes out and..." my take on these tapes was, to alter them to suit my mind set and thought process.

Michael Janich is more main stream instructor, he is an excellent instructor and makes great training DVD sets.

Okay I am rambling way of track so I will stop here:biggrin2:

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294 Posts
In addition to the Ayoob videos mentioned by KevinInstructor, also see the LFI Handgun Safety video about once a quarter. A regular dose of those three will server as a refresher about the God-Awful responsibility that goes with the card in your wallet and hunka metal on your hip.

Gabe Suarez' Close Range Gunfighting is an excellent video that takes you step by step through the whole process of drawing and firing a gun up close and personal.
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