About Me

I hold multiple NRA Instructor credentials, as well as SabreRed Pepper Spray. I have my own training company in Northern Virginia, www.FemaleandArmed.com and am focusing primarily on teaching women, especially those who are new to shooting.

I am also the author of 3 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I am a contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!


my books

my books
Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Friday, October 23, 2015

How much training is enough?


I just finished reading a magazine article that posed that question.  The author didn’t really give an answer, not a definitive one, but it got me thinking.  That may have been the real intent of the article.

I have trained, taken various classes, both in shooting and personal defense tactics, have instructor credentials…do I still need training?  YES!  If for nothing else that to learn someone else’s perspective!  I know quite a bit, but I do not know everything.  Every class I’ve taken I come away with something.  Every time I teach I also learn something. 

It is a little like the classic question; “How many guns do I need?  One more than I have.”  How much training do I need?  I’ll let you know after my next class.

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Concealed Carry Gets Sexy!


Looking for concealed carry options that are made in the USA, functional, wearable, durable, and…sexy?  Sound like an oxymoron?  Not anymore.  Can Can Concealment makes a variety of high quality carry options but their latest offering, the Corset, is best described as concealed carry lingerie! 

 

I have one, it is comfortable, offers a nice smoothing action, and conceals beautifully!  This is part compression garment, part holster and brings to mind some high end lingerie.  In practice, it stayed in place, didn’t curl or ride up, and held by gun quite securely.

 
 




 


I especially like the re-holstering tabs on the outside of the pockets so I don’t have to muzzle my hand to holster my gun!

 

Can Can Concealment also makes other carry options, including an awesome thigh holsters with optional garter belt and a couple different hip hugger holsters.  The products generally are sized to fit a compact or a full size gun, you can read the descriptions on the website.  I have several of their products and find the sizing to be spot on, so use the measurements, don’t guess.  So far the durability is great, and one thing I like it I can wash them (unlike leather). 

 

If you haven’t viewed their offerings yet, check them out at www.cancanconcealment.com. 

 

These pieces are versatile, there are options, and they are friendly and responsive.

 

 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

NRA World Shooting Championship 2015

By Guest Blogger Jim Bogle


The NRAWSC was held at the Peacekeeper National Training Center in West Virginia last month.  This was the first time the NRA has hosted the event and it lasted three days with over 200 competitors.  Sponsors included Magpul, Kahr, Mossberg, STI, and many others.  Competitors shot 12 stages, ranging from cowboy action (which included a Shotgun, a Lever Action Rifle and a Single Action Pistol) to long distance precision shooting over 800 yards distance, to wobble clays to classic running and gunning, steel plates, etc. 

Cowboy Action


Clays

Precision Long Distance

Runnin' and Gunnin'

Breaking Clay

   
There were Professional Shooters, including some well-known names competing for cash prizes and amateur shooters competing for their pick of some great prizes from sponsors and bragging rights. 


Gabby Franco



My Idol, Jerry Miculek

One of the things that set this apart was all the firearms and ammunition was provided.  This not only leveled the field somewhat, it opened the competition up to people who might not have all of the necessary equipment. 
 
With the backdrop of the Blue Ridge, the scene was beautiful. 




The RSOs and volunteers at each station were thorough, making sure everyone understood how each firearm functioned, and keeping a close eye on the competitors to ensure that safety was practiced at all times.


 
As a Champion Skeet Shooter, I’m no stranger to competition but this tested me in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  I had never shot some of the events, and there is a very fast learning curve.  But it was fun, challenging, exhausting and exhilarating.  And, I know what to practice before Next Year! 
 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Re-Thinking Situational Awareness

Recently several events came together in a synergistic way, causing me to re-think Situational
Awareness.  One of these was interviewing Melody Lauer, Central Iowa Defensive Training, and
discussing her teaching technique focusing on Threat Assessment versus Situational
Awareness.  Many instructors talk about Situational Awareness, but in a way that leaves the
student thinking they need to be looking everywhere at once and processing everything.  Who
can deal with that much sensory input?  Not me!  I don’t try, either.  Like Melody, when I’m
scanning, I am also assessing the people and situations I see to gauge the risk.  In the following
paragraphs I will describe the model I developed to replace my Situational Awareness training
module.  I still believe in Situational Awareness, I’m just taking it to a more approachable level.

Recognize - Prepare - Act

The first step in RPA is to Recognize a potential threat.  Being aware of your surroundings,
taking time to scan with your eyes and with your gut, quickly ranking what you see so you can
focus on the most likely threat(s).  This ranking can, and likely will, change as you move from a
place of relative security, such as a store, into a place of significant risk, such as a parking lot. 
That’s ok, just look for the highest risk.  Don’t spend time trying to memorize every detail or
identify the colors of all the cars.  Instead, see who is within your Safety Circle (the 21’ diameter
around you), who is coming close, who is exiting.  If you are in a parking lot, take note of any
oversized vehicle parked next to your vehicle that could hide someone or pose a threat to you. 
Do you see anyone acting in a way that feels wrong?  Does someone seem to be paying too
much attention to you?  Is someone moving directly toward you with their hands in their pockets
while they are glancing side to side as if checking to see who else might be around?  Do you
see a young Mom with several children, juggling packages on the way to their car?  An elderly
couple shuffling toward you slowly and holding hands?  A teenage boy in a hoodie with jeans
down around his hips?  A man in a suit chattering into a Bluetooth device?  Ok, putting it like
this, it is easy to say “Likely” or “Un-Likely” to be a threat.  But that should tell you something. 
You can assign a threat value, even if it is 0 or 1, with very little information, in less than a
second, WITHOUT overwhelming yourself.  Does this mean you don’t need to remain aware? 
NO.  Circumstances change, and you need to recognize the change and reassess, but it does
help you focus on the more likely threat and gives you a chance to Prepare.

Prepare means that you are considering “what ifs”.  What if the person who seemed harmless
suddenly turns and walks straight toward me, what will I do?  What if I identify someone on an
interception path to me?  What will I do about getting into my car with the large panel van
parked next to it?  Do you need to prepare a response for the elderly couple walking toward
you?  Probably not, except maybe a polite smile.  This lets your brain think about what to do if
the potential threat becomes a real threat.  It lets you Prepare to Act.

Act is taking whatever action you can to avoid (always a good first choice) or respond to (when
there isn’t another choice) a threat.  It may mean turning around and going back into the store,
crossing the street, or hurrying to your car.  It may mean bracing for a direct confrontation, and
doing what you need to, within your skill level, to survive. 




Stay Safe!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Political Correctness in the Shooting World


There has been a lot of press recently about political correctness, defined by Wikipedia as “an ordinarily pejorative term used to criticize language, actions, or policies seen as being excessively calculated to not offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society”.  Given the nonsense attributed to Political Correctness, the definition appears to offer a much more narrow view.

It got me thinking, how does this apply to shooting? 

What about the term “Bad Guy”?  Are we singling out men as being the aggressors or criminals? Why not “Bad Girl”?  But, that has another connotation. 

How many times has someone referred to their firearm with a feminine pronoun, as in “She shoots sweet?”  Why not “he”?  Oops, that could be misconstrued, too. 

How many “bullets” are in your gun?  The same as the number of cartridges, I hope, since I shoot semi-auto.  Granted, bullets aren’t people, but they have feelings, too.

Admittedly, “Bad Ass” has become a gender neutral term.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Concealed Carry Training On-line versus In-Person

Currently 20 states allow you to apply for a Concealed Carry Permit after completion of an on-line safety class and test. Many of these states have reciprocal agreements with other states, which makes the number even larger.

Think about this. No live instructor. No live fire qualification. No question and answer options.

While I do not support suppression of 2nd Amendment Rights, I do support demonstration of competence, safe handling and an understanding of ammunition before allowing someone to carry a concealed firearm.

Most of these on-line classes take less than 90 minutes to complete, plus the test. Can you imagine giving someone a Driver’s License after they watch a video and take a 20 question test? No, they must go through training, practice and demonstrate understanding and proficiency first.

Not all states are so lenient. There are still a few where it is nearly impossible to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit. There are states that require a specific curriculum, that includes as several hours of training and live fire, with minimum scores. Texas has very clearly defined requirements, but they also have reciprocity with states that have very lenient requirements.

For now, it is up to the armed citizen to follow the law in obtaining a permit, seek competent training and practice, practice, practice.






 

 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

When the world turns upside down, you don’t really fall off



Lately my world has been a little wobbly.  Lots going on, busy with a new book, writing for another publication, building friendships and dealing with some personal issues.  Then…the bane of women over 30 everywhere.  My birthday is one month away.  For me this is a really tough birthday, some say it is a reason to celebrate.  No, it isn’t a 0, but it does mean I’ve lived longer than nearly all of my family.  Genetics, geography, bad luck…my Father’s side of the family fell to all kinds of things, mostly cancer.  Not just one kind of cancer, lots of different ones.  We used to joke that if nothing happed by the time you were 35, Cancer would get you before 55.  That was pretty much true.  I’m the last of the line from two generations worth. 


 

Birthdays always make me reflect on my life and what I’ve accomplished, or have yet to accomplish.  This one especially.  I feel like I owe it to my passed family members to leave a mark.  Writing is one way, I get enough comments to know that occasionally something will resonate and make someone think.  Teaching is another, there is so much meaning in seeing a student develop confidence and find the joy in shooting. 

 

 
My bucket list is pretty short.  I’ve managed to do a lot of things in my years here.  Some ordinary to others but special to me, some pretty cool, actually.  Thanks to the jobs I’ve had, I’ve seen all but 6 states in the U.S. and been on 4 continents.  I’m horrible with languages but know how to bow in 4 different countries (yep, all different), and a smile goes a long way no matter where you are.  I was moved at being able to touch a piece of history that I didn’t think I would ever get to see, the Great Pyramid at Giza, over 3,000 years old.  I was in awe at the structure, the meaning and the age.  I’ve touched the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, back when they let you.  That was pretty overwhelming on its own.  I’ve met true heroes, shaking hands with John Glenn was a highlight in my life, barely remembering listening to the Mercury space mission coverage. 


 

Reflecting on what is past, dreaming of what may come, somehow makes today seem better.  I know I’ve had the honor to touch a few hearts and others have touched mine.  I only hope I can continue to do so.  Making a difference is about the little things more than the big ones.  For touching the life of one person makes it worthwhile. 

 


Thank you for following along with me on this journey.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Practice makes...Perfect?

By guest blogger Jim Bogle


We are all familiar with the adage “Practice Makes Perfect”, but what if you are practicing something with poor technique?  You are reinforcing that poor technique by repeating it and building the muscle memory.  It is a lot more difficult to modify a learned behavior than to do it correctly from the beginning.

 

Depending on the source, it can take from 50 to 2000 repetitions to form a habit.  The one thing all the sites agreed on was it takes 2-3 times that many to break the habit.  What does this mean for a shooter?  Ammo and time are precious.  So we need to make the best use of our practice time.  This includes the serious drills, focused on a particular skill, and the days when you just want to plink or make holes in paper.  If you are using poor technique, even when just having fun, you are reinforcing that habit.  Everyone has a bad day from time to time.  If you're at the range & find that you are having a "bad day". Pack up your gear & go home or some other happy place, but don't keep "practicing" bad technique & reinforcing or creating bad habits. Your future performance will be the better for it!

 

Next time you are at a range, glance around you at other shooters.  I’m not advocating staring or even offering “friendly advice”.  Just a quick glance and you will see a multitude of poor practices on any average day.  People leaning backward instead of forward, someone who is so tensed and hunched up their shoulders are almost touching their muffs, the tea-cupper, the person who fires and adjusts their grip…repeat.  These are habits and many people, unless they are working with a competent instructor, don’t even realize they have formed these habits. 

 

If you aren’t sure, go back to your fundamentals and work from your feet up.  I was shooting with a friend who is usually a pretty good shot.  She was consistently shooting low.  We talked, she went back to her fundamentals.  She knew shooting low usually means anticipating recoil.  Talking it through we recognized she was recovering from tendonitis and was skittish about aggravating it.  Once she realized what she was doing, she was able to correct and start getting better shot placement.  But had she not stopped and talked it through, the anticipation could quickly become habit and be very challenging to break.

 

Enjoy your shooting time, don’t over think, but remember, you will do what you practice, so if you practice poor technique, you will have poor technique.  If you aren’t sure what you are doing, an hour with a good instructor can be a great investment.  Small changes can be worked in improving your technique, your shooting and often your physical comfort.

 

Shooting is fun, practice smart and enjoy it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Old Dog - New Tricks!

By Guest Blogger Jim Bogle


I’ve been shooting for years, long guns and pistols, even competing in steel plate matches.  My focus has always been accuracy at distance.  On a recent trip to the range my shooting partner demonstrated her defensive tactic practice and I was intrigued.  Then she really got my attention by sending the target carrier out to 25 feet, hitting the “home” button so it started to travel back, drawing and unloading 16 rounds into the high center chest before the target made it all the way back.  This was something I had never seen before and was intrigued.  I had to try it.  Fresh target, out to 25 feet, “home” and I started shooting.  At that speed you are point shooting but I was pleased to find I had a fairly tight group in the center.  More than that, it was FUN! 

 

It reminded me that we should always be learning and trying new techniques.  Even if you’ve been shooting for years, there is something new to try, and you might even enjoy it.  I’m looking forward to the next trip to the range so I can do it again!

 

 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Gun Bunnies Redux - Your Measurements Have Nothing to do With Your Caliber

There has been some debate lately about what a female shooter looks like.  My question is why does she have to look a certain way?  There is the uber-sexy Gun Bunny, all big breasts, tiny waist, skimpy outfit, hair blowing in the wind…and a grip that would probably cause her to bruise if not break something if she actually fired the gun.

Then there are the real shooters.  Some of them are gorgeous, slim, properly attired and showing safe handling.  I’m thinking of some recent photos of Julie Golob, Annette Watcher, Julianna Crowder, Becky Lou Lacock… to name just a few.  Then there are the rest of us.  We can be tall, short, slim, chubby, physically impaired, young, old.  We are your neighbors, your Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend.  We are real women, as are the ladies mentioned above.  We are a lot of things, but most of all we are smart, sassy, genuine, and safe.

I believe there is a type of woman who shoots.  She is smart, empowered, and aware.  She knows (forgive me L’Oreal) she is “Worth It”.  We are shooters, and we enjoy the sport, the fun, the empowerment and camaraderie.

Personally, could I stand to be in better shape?  Absolutely.  Could I rattle off the major life issues, physical and emotional, from the last couple years that contribute to my measurements?  Yes, but it doesn’t matter.  I shoot for the joy of shooting.  I teach to share that joy.  I practice defensive shooting because that is my chosen focus.  I write to share my passion.  You don’t have to like it, but if you are going to critique me, critique the facts, not the hips.

Remember, your measurements have nothing to do with your caliber! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Reviews

          

How hard is it to read the reviews people post on your books?  BRUTAL!  I had no idea.  But now, 3 books out, and I’m finding that it can be brutal.  Most of them are great, but every once in a while you get someone who was looking for something else, and they blast your book because it wasn’t what they were looking for. 

People can be brutal.  I’ve asked other authors, they experienced the same thing.  The great reviews are the highs, the trash reviews are the lows.  Many don’t read their reviews, I have not gotten to that point yet.

What have I learned?  The people who write the books you review have feelings.  Reminds me of Thumper’s Mother; “If you can’t say something nice…”
 
Thank you to those who left positive and encouraging comments.  For those who were looking for something else…I’m sorry that you didn’t get what you were looking for.  Perhaps you can read the descriptions and reviews more carefully and find the right fit for you, or you can contact me and ask for a recommendation.
 

Thank you, stepping off the soap box now

Monday, June 1, 2015

Can Can Holsters Can!!

I’ve always liked the idea of a belly band, no belt, wear it under sweats…but until now I hadn’t found one that I really liked.  Note the “until now”!  Can Can calls theirs a Compression Holster
or a HipHugger Holster, which is actually a better name as it fits where you need it, not where is wants to go!

Can Can Concealment (www.cancanconcealment.com) have created an impressive selection of carry garments, and I have a short list of what I want to try next.  I really liked the sport belt and
after contacting Darlene Cahill, she agreed to make it for me in my signature pink!  Yes, within reason, they do customize!  It was Delight at First Wear.





 
This is not your ordinary Compression Holster.  It is extremely well made, closes with Velcro.  There are silicone strips on the top and bottom of the inside that help it hold its place.  There are
so many pockets you can carry everything you need for the day without a purse!  I wore mine with a Ruger LC9 in Appendix position and a spare magazine, and a cell phone.  Under a T-
Shirt…No one had a clue.  It was comfortable, it didn’t shift, it didn’t roll, and it was secure all day, up and down stairs, carrying boxes, all the day to day life activities, yet the gun was within
quick access had I needed it.  I feel comfortable carrying something larger as well, but probably on the side.

One thing that is unique to Can Can, they use of Rare Earth Neodymium magnets.  Darlene explains; “We decided to use Rare Earth Neodymium magnets instead of thumb breaks
because our holsters have multiple pockets and the thumb breaks would be a nuisance on the holster pockets that weren't being used.  The Rare Earth magnets have a strong pull (over 7.5 lbs.) and hold the barrel firmly in place.”

This is sturdy, secure, functional, well made and pretty!  What more can you ask for!!  I LOVE
IT! 
They have an impressive assortment of holster styles, all done in their signature style with a lacing accent.  I’m looking forward to trying the garter holster next.  I’ve carried in a thigh band
before, successfully, but Can Can takes it to the next level by giving you an optional garter belt to ensure no surprise slip of the holster.






If you are changing sizes, they have extenders that you can use to make the belt bigger.  They have taken into account that not all of us are tiny, and accommodate a wide range of sizes from
petite to plus. 

The service was awesome, everyone was very friendly.  They are a relative newcomer to the market, but are quickly catching on among the ladies, and for the guys, there is a camo trim
version that is gender neutral.  I suspect we will be hearing a lot about these folks going forward.
 
Check out photos below of some of the awesome products and visit www.cancanconcealment.com
for more information and to find the perfect concealment garment for you!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Man in a Woman’s World

By Guest Author, Jim Bogle

Shooting has long been considered a “Man’s World”.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  There have been amazing women shooters throughout history and the current generation of shooters includes many highly skilled women.

Some wonder why I have decided to partner with a training company called Female and Armed whose primary, but not exclusive, focus is teaching women.  I grew up understanding that men and women could shoot if they wanted to, I didn’t think it was a “boy’s club”.  But as I got older, and had a daughter of my own, I began to think about the empowerment and safety aspects of teaching women to shoot.  Not only is it fun, it can save your life and that of your family.  While my daughter didn’t take to the shooting sports in the way I would have liked, she grew up around guns and is very familiar with the safety rules. 

Now, I am an associate instructor for a Woman Owned training company and I couldn’t be more pleased.  I’m supporting a friend in her business, I have a chance to share my skills and knowledge in a more structured way, and I am learning all at the same time.

Teaching someone to shoot is one of the most rewarding things you can do.  Making a woman feel comfortable with a firearm is very powerful.  She is learning a sport to enjoy the rest of her life, as well as the confidence of mastering a skill and often outshooting the men.  Not all men are comfortable teaching women, but I have always enjoyed sharing my skills and knowledge, and I find that women are excellent students.  They do not have a lot of bad habits, or preconceptions. 

Am I glad I’ve added instructor to my resume?  Absolutely!  I look forward to many years of shooting, teaching and seeing the smile that results from a well placed shot.

Female and Armed Adds a New Instructor

I am very proud to have a new associate instructor working with me.  Jim Bogle brings a lifetime of shooting experience, from pistols to long guns, and he is an excellent marksman often shooting at distances I can’t even begin to imagine.  This brings a different set of skills and perspective and I look forward to learning a lot from him.

Jim is also a Champion Skeet Shooter, holding numerous State, National and World Cup titles.  He promised me that he would be able to teach me to shoot Skeet, that starting out isn’t that hard, mastering it is a bit more work, but it is a lot of fun.  We will see, and we will both write about it here.

Jim will be a regular Guest Author here offering a different perspective on shooting and sharing his love of the sport as well as his extensive knowledge.

Welcome, Jim Bogle!




Sunday, April 5, 2015

Trust but Verify


President Regan used these words.  They apply to so many areas in our lives, including shooting.
 I was recently caught up in a “debate” involving a premise espoused by a well-known instructor that I was not 100% comfortable with.  I took his basic statement, tried it, found that I got a different result, and attempted to explain to some of the followers that while I agreed with part of it, I thought what was missing from the statement was practice on the part of the shooter and that when I recreated the situation, I got a different result.

What followed were multiple men, yes, it was all men, telling me I clearly didn’t understand the concept.  To say it went downhill from there would be an understatement.  I decided to withdraw from the debate, the FB Group and any association with this particular program. 

The whole thing got me to thinking.  No matter who your instructor is, you, as a shooter, should be responsible for your own beliefs.  If something doesn’t seem quite right, do you homework, challenge.  This makes you a better shooter and a better student.  Challenge your instructor.  If the response is “you just don’t understand”, well, maybe you need a different instructor.  If they take the time to listen, explain and consider your point…you have made a better instructor and they are a keeper.

In shooting, as in life, Trust but Verify.

 Safe Shooting.

Shooting Clays Versus Skeet – What is the difference?

To an inexperienced shooter, the two may seem a lot alike, but to a sport shooter the differences are significant.  Both use a clay disc as the primary target, and have a defined course.  That is where the similarities end.

Sporting Clays are cast in a variety of directions and angles to simulate a field experience, such as bird hunting.  In competition you follow a 10-15 station course and don’t know exactly where the clay will come from.   The clays vary in diameter and weight to simulate natural variances in birds.

Sporting Clays is sometimes called “Golf with a Shotgun” because a typical course includes from 10 to 15 different shooting stations laid out over natural terrain (Wikipedia, n.d.). Clays actually pre-date Skeet by several decades. 

In Skeet, you have 25 shots from 8 stations.  The clays, which are generally 4 516 inches in diameter.  These discs are launched from “houses” come from pre-determined directions. At stations 1 and 2 the shooter shoots at single targets launched from the high house and then the low house.  He then shoots a double where the two targets are launched simultaneously but shooting the high house target first. At stations 3, 4, and 5 the shooter has single targets launched from the high house and then the low house. At stations 6 and 7 the shooter confronts single targets launched from the high house and then the low house, then shoots a double, shooting the low house target first then the high house target. At station 8 the shooter shoots one high target and one low target.

The shooter must then re-shoot his first missed target or, if no targets are missed, must shoot his 25th shell at the low house station 8. This 25th shot was once referred to as the shooter's option, as he was able to take it where he preferred. Now, to speed up rounds in competition, the shooter must shoot the low 8 twice for a perfect score. (Wikipedia, n.d.)

American Skeet Shooting started in the 1920s and there is a variation included in the Olympics.

Jim Bogle, Guest Blogger, Associate Instructor, F&A, LLC

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Take your Students, and Yourself, as you are

So often instructors get stuck in a mindset of this is how to grip, this is how to stand, this is how to whatever.  But what about the student who had a limitation, who can't do it that way?  Or what if you can't do it that way?  Are you prepared to think on your feet and come up with ideas?

One of the most common examples I've seen is a hand limitation.  I worked with someone quite recently who was recovering from a stroke and had lost most of the control of his dominant hand.  He still wanted to keep his trusty .38 for home defense but asked for advice on how to hold it.  I encouraged him to practice with his left hand, which works perfectly.  Remember, if you are going to shoot one handed, cant, or angle the gun, slightly toward to center.  20-30 degrees is enough.  This gives your wrist more stability.

I've been putting too much wear and tear on my hip and have small tears in the lining and other issues.  This meant using a cane for a while.  Well, what looks more vulnerable than a 50+ woman limping through a parking lot?  a 50+ woman limping through a parking lot with a cane.  So, BOB earned his place again with me practicing balance while wielding the cane to create distance and give me a chance to do something else...running isn't really an option at this point.

What do these two things have in common?  Limitations, and identifying workarounds.  It doesn't have to be complicated, but find a way and then practice that way.  If it is you, remember, you CAN DO THIS.  It may take a little out of the box thinking, but you can do this. 

If you are an instructor working with a student who has a challenge, remember they are probably frustrated and really need your patience, understanding and support.  Help them find a way.  You may have to try a couple different ways before one works, but part of being an instructor is taking your student as they are.

Safe Shooting!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Life Gets in the Way


I apologize for my absence and promise to try to do better.  Life can get in the way.  I am dealing with some serious personal issues, just put the finishing touches on my next book which should be out late summer (and I hope you like it!), went to Shot Show and been working on a proposal for book 4.  I know, I’m nuts!

 

But, I wanted to write about something near and dear to my heart that has been a recent topic of discussion.  Training.  As a Student.  It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced instructor or a brand new shooter.  Training is critical.  With more people buying firearms and getting Concealed Carry Permits, Defensive Training takes on new meaning.  You have to be ready to make those split second decisions, and possibly to justify them later.  You need to be confident in your ability.  You need to practice but perhaps most importantly, you need to take every class your budget will allow.

 

I enjoy taking basic classes occasionally. Not only do I learn something I want to incorporate into my classes, but I sometimes find things that I want to be sure I’m not doing.  Advanced classes, even though I tend to teach beginner by choice, are fun!  They challenge my skills, teach me new ones…I am signed up for a Defensive Shotgun Class in Jun!  I can’t wait.  I’ve never taken a formal long fun class and I think this will be awesome.  I’m mostly a handgun shooter, although I have a couple long guns and hope to go hunting one day.  But in my situation, living in a townhouse, a shotgun may actually be a better defensive firearm than a pistol, at least for my neighbors. 

 

Bottom line, no matter who you are, or what level you are at, take a class!  Not just any class, since you are spending your hard earned money, investigate the instructor and the course content.  Make a wise decision, but train.

 

Then, practice what you learn.  I spent some time this past weekend, I have a BOB (Body Opponent Bag).  I have a nickname for him, but I won’t share it here.  I practiced empty hand defensive strikes, followed by quick draws of a SIRT gun and firing.  I practiced rolling on the floor, drawing and firing.  I incorporated a few defensive yelling words, and at the end of 30 minutes was very much out of breath and feeling more confident in my ability to get knocked down still draw and fire my gun. 

 
My Buddy BOB, handsome fellow
My poor BOB takes a lot of abuse, but better him than me.  It is one thing to be shown how to push off an attacker, gain a little distance and fire, or get knocked to the ground, draw and fire without sweeping your own body, it is a very different thing to actually try it. 

 

And…it is fun.  

 

So, train as if your life may depend on it!

Safe Shooting!