May I invite your attention to
The Art of Instructing (Part 1 of 2)
As Mr. Farnam says, the firearms training
at police academies and military boot camps is
poor. I too realized this truth from my experience.
(In Marine Corps Recruit Training in 1981,
we were not trained to keep our trigger finger
in the register position. This resulted in
many tragic training and combat friendly casualties.)
So, I took my children to a 4-day pistol class
at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
when they turned 14 years of age. I then took
my son to a 4-day M-16 class before he entered
Marine Corps recruit training. Because I wasn't
going to leave it to some large institution that
has to train hundreds of persons a day to train
my children. Neither should you.
***** Mindset *****
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal,
it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“Never, Never, Never Give Up.”
-- Winston Churchill
Some are disturbed by the fact that after using lethal force
in self-defense, the good guy is criminally prosecuted and civilly
sued in the courts. How unfair. How unjust. As I tell my
children, "The world is not fair. The sooner you understand this
and accept it, the sooner you will be able to use it to your
advantage; rather than whining about it."
What does the Bible say about this?
"There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there
are righteous people who are treated according to the conduct
of the wicked, and there are wicked people who are treated
according to the conduct of the righteous. I said that this
also is vanity." Ecclesiastes 8:14, New Revised Standard Version
Decisions must be made now, because you cannot predict
when the incident will occur. Maybe the woman was not
refusing, maybe she was just hesitating. Dithering kills.
Know what you're going to do before you have to do it in
a high stress situation.
The immediate explosive counter attack (without telegraphing
your intentions) is effective, because you take the element of
surprise, which is a force multiplier.
"Physical courage is an instinct.
Moral courage is a much more difficult intellectual decision."
-- Pastor Mike Ayon
***** Enemy Mindset *****
"Only those who risk going too far can
possibly find out how far one can go."
-- T.S. Elliot
***** Safety *****
“The fast and/or emphatic reholster
is an awesome way to shoot yourself.”
-- Chuck Haggard
Let me tell you something I tell my children (not that they
ever listen to me or believe me). If you wear jewelry or give
jewelry, you have been corrupted by the propaganda of the world
into believing that jewelry is good. That is a false belief.
Jewelry does not feed anyone. It does not clothe anyone.
It does not house anyone. It cannot be used as a tool for
transportation or security. Quite the contrary,
jewelry tells the prospective mugger that even if you don't have
any money or credit cards in your wallet, he will at least get
that ring. Jewelry tells the prospective kidnapper that the
prospective victim is loved by someone who will pay a large ransom
for her. Jewelry attracts the wrong kind of attention.
It is a vanity. You don't want to associate with the type
of people that jewelry impresses.
Jewelry tells the incel person that you are the object
of his hatred.
"5 things to know about incels"
Don't kid yourself. Incels are real and have committed many
***** Training *****
“When you aren’t skilled and confident,
you get scared and you over react.”
-- Greg Ellifritz
Can eye dominance change? Yes. Tom Clark writes to tell of
his changing when he got cataracts. It wasn't obvious to him at
first why his groups were opening up. But, after an eye dominance
test (which he does with every class he teaches), the problem was
discovered. After about 100 repetitions, the dominant eye was
firmly in control and the groups tightened back up.
I have found that using your dominant eye for aiming has a
strong psychological effect. You will have much more confidence
in your aiming when using your dominant eye.
If you still use your sights to aim, you should do this instead
What Really Happens In A Gunfight?
Awareness is as important to gun fighting as is trigger control.
The history of gun fighting for more than a century has shown
that the person that lands the first solid hit will usually win
Many advised that they had taken the time to think about what
they would do in the event they were attacked and had even played
out scenarios in their head.
Objects that are large and of contrasting color are easier to
see under stress, which makes the current generation of semi-auto
sights on the wrong end of the sight plane. I, for one, have
highlighted the front sight of all my pistols with bright orange
emergency warning tape. It offers a contrast that is large and
bold and I feel is the reason that I can recall my sights during
high stress events.
Dr. Vincent DiMaio, a noted pathologist and author of the
book Gunshot Wounds, has been quoted as saying the stopping power
comes from, "Where you hit the person and how many times you
can hit them."
Those that understood what was happening to them better
handled the sensation during the encounter versus the people
who did not.
. . . those who are totally comfortable with what they did,
have no doubt in their justification to do so and have suffered
no side effects whatsoever.
Today, Saturday, 8 December 2018, I took Basic Tactical
Trauma Care given by Josh Black and Jason Rader.
Things I learned:
If you had taken such a course a few years ago, you would
have learned the ABC, Airway - Breathing - Circulation as the
order of priority of care. The modern theory is MARCHE,
Massive Hemorrhaging - Airway - Respiration/Raking - Circulation/CPR -
Head Injury/Hypothermia - Evacuation, as the priority of treatment.
We learned all kinds of professional tricks to prepare the
tourniquet and other gear so that you can use it in chaotic high
stress situations. (When your hands are slippery with blood.
When one of your arms is not working. When you can't lift your leg.
We watched a video in which a guy gets shot in the leg
severing his femoral artery and loses consciousness in 17 seconds.
So, we then trained to put a tourniquet on ourselves in less
than 17 seconds. Yes, as a matter of fact you can do it.
It's just a matter of deliberate, intentional, motivated practice.
Sure, it takes 3 minutes to die from loss of blood, but if you
don't get your tourniquet on before you pass out in 17 seconds,
you die. So, you have 17 seconds, not 3 minutes.
We learned how to effectively slow arterial bleeding with
aimed direct pressure, to give you time to get the tourniquet
on the victim, or to pack the wound. If you don't know exactly
where the arteries are, you are not going to be able to pinch
We executed 2 scenarios in 2-man teams. Actually
executing the things you thought you learned and practiced
in class is an essential part of training. If you don't
actually execute a tactical scenario in your class, you
don't know if you've learned anything.
We learned how to identify yourself as a good guy,
so the cops don't shoot you.
We learned how much blood a given person has and what
the symptoms are at particular levels of blood loss.
We learned how to do Blood Sweeps and Skin Rakes to
find the injuries. No, as a matter of fact it is not easy
to find an injury on a responsive subject. It is
extremely difficult on an unresponsive subject. [PJ's
(U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen) told of a person they
rescued and though they had stabilized in transport
back to base. The person died because they had failed
to find a bullet entrance wound in his armpit.]
We learned how to deal with open, closed, tension,
and hemo pneumothorax (by definition the presence of air
or gas in the pleural cavity, but it can also be blood, hemo).
We learned how to determine blood pressure by
whether or not there is a pulse at a particular location
on the body.
We learned that part of your duty is to gather
intelligence for the next level of medical care. Yes,
you have to give the Emergency Medical Technicians or
Para Medics a report, MIST, Mechanism of Injury, Injury,
Signs and Symptoms, the Treatment that you administered.
Only use real CAT or SoftT tourniquets. The cheap
counterfeits on the market don't work, which may lead to
death. The other uncertified tourniquets that you can
buy on Amazon.com don't work, that's why they are not
Using a tourniquet correctly will not cause an
amputation of the limb. Once you put the tourniquet
on, don't loosen it, don't take it off. Let the
doctor do that. If you don't have the courage and
pain tolerance to apply a tourniquet correctly,
you will stop veinal flow, but not arterial flow;
which means blood will accumulate in the limb causing
swelling and killing the tissue. So, learn how
to do it correctly!
Use Combat Gauze. It is impregnated with hemostat.
John Farnam's advice for training and everyday carry,
Please view the videos at
Mr. Farnam asks that you share this information.
How Handgun Training Makes You A Better Precision Rifle Shooter
If you're wondering what the author is talking about in
regards to instructors standing down range between the targets
while students shoot at the targets, contact me, and I'll tell
you about it off line.
"You train for the people who love you."
-- Tatiana Whitlock
***** Tactics *****
-- Carl von Clausewitz
". . . personal defense is a lifestyle, not a hobby."
-- Sheriff Jim Wilson
***** Techniques *****
"The shorter the fight, the less hurt you get."
-- John Holschen
Don’t Dig the Rig #17
Greg explains why front pocket carry is a bad idea.
Ambush Prevention Strategies for Patrol Officers
Greg suggests some techniques to avoid an attack
when sitting in your car.
I tell my students, don't sit in your car to do anything.
Get into your car and go. When you get where you're going, get out.
Texting in your parked car in a dark parking lot is asking
Situational Awareness Tips & Drills
SouthNarc’s Favorite GUN DISARM
Low Light Tactics for the Regular Person
The picture of the Harries flashlight technique is wrong.
The support side elbow should be down, not sticking out to the side.
In the picture, the left arm is pushing the right arm up.
This is wrong. The left arm should be pushing left, while the
right arm pushes right. So, the "CON:" listed is wrong.
How do you win a gunfight? Don’t be there.
***** Gear *****
Avoidance, Deterrence, and De-escalation
-- John Farnam
Jeff Gonzales explains why he carries an extra magazine
rather than a back up gun.
Who dares wins.
-- motto of the Special Air Service
***** Instructors *****
"Every time I teach a class,
I discover I don't know something."
-- Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch
Teach with the knowledge that your students will teach
their friends, relatives, colleagues at work, etc. intentionally
or unintentionally. So, explain in detail why you are teaching
a particular technique. Your student should never have to
appeal to authority (no matter how great an authority you are).
Your student should always be able to convince his audience by
logical argument (without mentioning your name, because you
stole everything you teach from others). For instance, I teach
the Chapman version of the Weaver position because the advantages
1. It places your support side arm in front of the vital organs
in your torso, making it more difficult for the enemy to strike
your heart and lungs. (For those of us who do not regularly
wear body armor. If you are wearing body armor, it makes sense
to present the front of your armor to the enemy and not expose
the side of your armor.)
2. It is the same stance for pistol and long gun. So,
transitioning between the two is easier than with other positions.
3. It allows the shooter to pull with the support side arm bicep.
If the support side arm is locked out straight (as in the isosceles
stance), you can't pull with the support side arm. You have to
pull with the support side arm to prevent the muzzle from flipping
up on recoil. If the muzzle flips up on recoil, it takes longer
and is harder to get the sights on the target for the second and
4. It looks more aggressive to the enemy (a significant
psychological advantage) because it is a fighting stance similar
to a boxing stance. The body language says, “I am ready and
willing to fight.”
5. It reduces the width of the target that you present to the enemy.
This has a strong psychological affect on the enemy as it makes his
target smaller and thus reduces his confidence in hitting his target.
6. It gives the shooter a supported position when the shooter
transitions to the kneeling position or the squatting position.
7. The Harries flashlight technique uses the Weaver stance.
8. It flows naturally from the interview position that you
assumed, because you were aware of the situation, because
you were in condition yellow when the enemy started the incident.
If you can't explain why you are teaching the techniques
that you are teaching, you owe it to your students to do the
research, so that you can explain the reasons for using the
technique and explain the details of the technique.
Colonel Robert Lindsey to his fellow trainers:
"We are not God’s gift to our students.
Our students are God’s gift to us."
***** Pedagogy *****
"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence is not an act.
It is a habit."
The Developmental Model
"I too was merely once a small arms instructor
with no understanding or appreciation for how
competition is actually the essential part of
"Train, Practice, Compete are the key
elements in the development of humans."
***** Education *****
“That nation is surest to live in peace,
that is most capable of making war;
and a man with a sword always by his side,
shall have least occasion to make use of it.”
-- John Trenchard
Mistaken Identity Shootings
"After you had to defend yourself, put your gun
BACK IN THE HOLSTER while keeping an eye on the bad guy
so you reduce the risk of getting shot by the police."
“Destiny doesn’t make appointments,
nor does she waste her time with the naive and unready!”
-- John Farnam
***** News, Legal, Philosophical, and Political stuff *****
Civil War happens when the victimized are armed.
Genocide happens when they are not!
-- A.E. Samaan
Write to your Representative and Senator before
you lose your liberty. If you are too lazy or apathetic
to do so for yourself, do it for your children who will
have to live under these laws.
Sheriff: Woman kills jail escapee who kicks in her door
“This is the shining example” of why owning and
knowing how to use a gun is important, the sheriff said.
Placed in Harm’s Way, Unarmed!
Brazilian Lawmakers Push Law Recognizing Right to Own Guns for Self-Defense
Ohio state lawmakers pass firearms bill, with
changes, in effort to avoid Gov. Kasich's veto
This new Ohio law brings Ohio into line with the other 49
states in that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that the defendant's acts were not self-defense. Previous
Ohio law forced the defendant to prove by a preponderance of the
evidence that his act was self-defense. That's a big difference.
Andrew Branca says that even if you can afford an expert witness,
that doesn't mean you can get him to testify for you at trial. It is
at the sole discretion of the trial judge as to whether or not your
expert witness will be allowed to testify.
It is necessary, but not sufficient, for your expert witness
to be relevant. Relevant means both material (it affects legal
arguments that matter) and probative (it would help the finder of
facts reach a decision).
It doesn't matter what expertise the expert witness has,
all that matters is what expertise the judge thinks the expert
witness has. As Hayes and Ayoob explained in their lecture,
"The Firearms Instructor as Expert Witness" at the 2018 Tactical
Conference, as an expert witness, you have to convince the judge
that you are a subject matter expert and that the subject matters
to the case being tried. Manny (Emanuel) Kapelsohn also mentioned
that you have to convince the judge without causing the judge
to think that your testimony would be prejudicial.
“Totalitarian states can do great things,
but there is one thing they cannot do:
They cannot give a rifle to a factory-worker,
and then tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom.
That rifle, hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or
laborer’s cottage, is The symbol of Democracy!
It is our job to see that it stays there!”
-- George Orwell
***** Survival Tips *****
"If you prepare for the emergency,
the emergency ceases to exist!"
-- Dr. Sherman House
What cops need to tell their families about active shooters
Extreme Weather Driving Guide
"Staff, this stuff is basic. Why mention it in your blog?"
This information is for those who don't have a plan. They
may use this information to form their plan; to know what to do
in the event of . . .
If a person does not know what to do, he panics. If he knows
what to do, he executes his plan.
Don't go to stupid places.
Don't do stupid things.
Don't hang out with stupid people.
-- John Farnam
***** Basics *****
"Panic is simply the lack of preprogrammed responses."
-- Tom Givens
"Fear is an instinct. Courage is a choice."
-- Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, USN
***** Miscellany *****
For the latest version (it changes almost daily)
of my lesson plans for my NRA Defensive Pistol course,
send me an email. Jon_Low@yahoo.com
Few tyrants argue for 'slavery of the masses.'
Instead, they argue for the power to
'protect people from themselves.'
-- AE Samaan
Jonathan D. Low