Profound Self Defense

By on September 7, 2012

Last week I was listening to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Podcast.  It’s a good show with some great guests.  If you haven’t listened to it, you should go check it out.  Anyways, a caller asked a question about carrying an empty chamber in his gun on his belt.  The caller explained that some Special Forces guys overseas said they were teaching it that way and it was a possibility to carry.  Tom responded with a profound “that’s great for Special Forces guys, they can make anything work because they train four to six hours a day on weapons handling skills.”

Very few statements have the power to stop and make us think anymore, but you should read that one again and think about it.  Unless you are going to dedicate four to six hours daily to training, what works for SF (Special Forces) guys may not work for you.  I never thought of that until now because I was one of those guys training hours and hours a day.  When I lived overseas as a contractor I was doing at least one, if not two or three serious training sessions on the live fire range a week.  I was also training dry with my rifle and pistol 30 minutes to an hour everyday.  That was on top of the actual operating I was doing daily.  So what works for me, may not work for you.  We all fight differently and have to put our time into what will work for us.

Another statement that made me re-evaluate the way I think about training was when I was at an SF course taught by some Delta guys.  I was helping a fellow Marine out that was having trouble with the technique and was ready to give up.  I made a comment like lets just keep running it until you get it right and then we will take a break.  The Delta guy came up to me and said, “amateurs train until they get it right, professionals train until they can’t get it wrong.”  That statement has stayed with me all these years and still is how I run my training for self defense.

With those two things in mind, I put together a list for everyone to start you on your training and what you should be practicing.  Take 15 minutes a day to dedicate yourself to training if you carry a weapon for self defense.  In a couple months you will make huge strides in your ability to protect yourself.

We need the KISS principle in our lives.  So when you do that 15 minutes a day, do one thing for that week.  And train until you can’t get it wrong.  At the end of the week you aren’t sure, do it another week.

If you are a CHL holder, here is your order of importance, do each one for at least a week, 15 minutes a day:

  • Draw to the first shot; Done dry at first, go slow, and let the speed come with practice
  • Malfunction Drills; the worst thing that could ever happen to you in a gunfight, be prepared!
  • Reloads; start really slow and increase speed with practice
  • Move, draw, fire; go back to draw to first shot only do the entire thing while moving.  Pick one direction per week, I suggestion moving backward first
  • Moving Malfunction drills
  • Moving reloads
  • Retention Draw and Shoot; Do dry for a long time, go really slow at first, and always mind safety especially rule #3 your trigger finger.

If you carry a knife for defense, practice each for at least a week, 15 minutes a day

  • Draw carry position to open; slow and easy, remember speed is economy of motion (use as few movements as possible).
  • Stab; come from that open position straight to a stab, slowly at first, make sure you use your entire body.
  • Forward Slash; from fighting position, slow and use entire body
  • Reverse Slash; same as forward slash, slow and use entire body
  • Combo; forward, reverse, stab; slowly using entire body
  • Now start back at the top and do it while moving, knife I suggestion moving forward first.

There is about 20 weeks of training broken down into individual weeks.  I suggest that you really try to work on it 15 minutes a day, and not just an hour a week.  You will do so much better with a little each day.  If you want to dedicate yourself to doing more than 15 minutes a day and you will commit for the week, do two techniques, 15 minutes each.

Stay Safe,



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  1. Ed head
    September 12, 2012

    Leave a Reply

    I agree. I think the most important thing that is missed is the mental part. The hesitation to pull the trigger all the motor skill training in the world is of no use if you have a fail to execute.
    Most of the time it goes like this
    The could be trouble…
    This can’t be happening…
    Now what…?

    Any help the CHL holder can get would be valuable, from people that have reacted properly when they perceive a threat.
    These days people are taught to be victims… Zero tolerance at school , both bully and child are disciplined. The list goes on and on. The internal dialog is immense.

    I taught at a Police Academy. I had attendees both at the academy and course taught to the general public on basic self defense who could not hit someone. I have seen them flinch and cover up from a Command voice.
    I would like to hear your thoughts on a podcast or your blog. I think you have a lot to say.

    • Ben Branam
      September 12, 2012

      Leave a Reply

      The mental part is a very hard thing to teach. I did my first podcast on it Mind Set because I think it is the most important part of training. I also spend time talking about a winning mind set every time I teach a class or talk to people about self defense. Even as a Marine teaching this stuff I still had that “O’crap/This can’t be happening” moment in combat. I’m not sure you can teach that away, but the part that comes faster is the action after that o’crap moment.

      I also try to teach people that there is evil in this world, and that it walks among us. You know that after being a police officer and dealing with it, but I think normal people don’t realize they are standing in line at the store with people that are child molesters, robbers, and murders. It’s always something that happens “over there” or to someone else.

      I agree that “Zero Tolerance” policies and teaching people to call 911 are contributing to a our society’s victim mentality. We are all taught at a young age that you don’t hit. So people have 15 to 20 years of programming they have to get over.

      I think contact sports (my favorite being Ji-Jitsu) can go a long way to cutting down on the sheepishness of most people. The message just has to go out, and people have to believe it, defending yourself isn’t wrong!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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