Brushbeater New Course Dates for 2023

New Course Dates Up On The Calendar!

DO NOT Hesitate to Book your training Class for the first half of 2023 with my Friend Brushbeater!

Check his Training Calendar and Book Yours today!

Also check out Von Steuben’s New Jager Course.

Classes fill up Fast so Act Now!

More Training, Less Talking!


Civilian Lessons from Ex-Action Guy Paul Howe

I am proud to Call Fellow Texan and D-Boy Paul Howe a friend and mentor and can promise you YES he has a lot to teach the Average Armed Civilian.

Do yourself a favor and save your money and instead of buying Lysol and Toilet Paper, take one of his classes, the life you save may be your own!

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

Gun Culture 2.0

My last post about Paul Howe on “combat mindset” highlighted an important difference between the responsibilities of military and law enforcement compared to regular armed citizens. Military and law enforcement are required “to go into harm’s way, against great odds if necessary” (Howe, Leadership and Training for the Fight, p. 11). Although armed citizens may choose to do this, rarely are we obligated to (but see Gabe Suarez).

Having had his training and mindset put to the ultimate test in the “Battle of the Black Sea” in Somalia (recounted in Mark Bowden’s book and dramatized in the movie Black Hawk Down), what does “ex-action guy” Paul Howe have to teach regular guys and gals?

Paul Howe teaching Tactical Rifle 1 at Combat Shooting and Tactics (CSAT), Nacogdoches, Texas. Photo by David Yamane

According to Howe, he started his training company – Combat Shooting and Tactics (CSAT) –…

View original post 757 more words

Civilian Operator 101: How to Deal With ‘Nosy Shoppers’

Civilian Operator 101: Playing the “What if and Where is It?” Game


I am a firm believer in staying as situationally aware as possible wherever I am, but especially when out in public either alone or with my clan. Since I live in the Deep South, a large part of my time every month or so is spent in stores like the Redneck metropolis of Wal-Mart, Grocery Stores and Sporting goods stores like Academy.

A game I like to play when I go in there whether I am alone or with my ‘significant others’ is the “What if and Where is it” Game. This game is very simple. As you walking along doing your shopping, you will occasionally ask yourself  (in your mind) or your companions (in a hushed tone of voice) a question like “If you heard gunshots right now, what would you do?” or “If I needed to exit the store, what is the closest exit from our current location?”

(A word of caution here: Please do not verbally talk to yourself in public about subjects involving “Shooting” or “Active Shooter”…That is a surefire way to have a very uncomfortable and not to mention embarrassing talk with a Law Enforcement Officer possibly while in handcuffs and behind plexiglass in a patrol car.)

As we constantly strive to keep our minds sharp and aware as possible, it is also important to remember the old maxim:

“Be careful that you practice doing something the right way otherwise you are just reinforcing bad habits and IMPRACTICAL skill-sets”.

This is VERY important to remember when it comes to playing the “What if, Where is It”” game.

An example is how the Armed Civilian “mentally” practices dealing with an Active Shooter situation in a large public place, like Wal-Mart. Since the San Bernardino and Orlando shootings there has been an onslaught of articles about how the Civilian should best deal with Active Shooters and while most of them are rooted in practical common sense, there have been some that skirt what I like to call “Mall Ninja” territory.


You will notice that one of the two questions I asked in the “What if and Where is it Game” is “Where is the closest exit to our current location”. The reason this is important to know WHEREVER YOU MAY BE is in the event of an active shooter this is the FIRST thing you should ask yourself; Why? Because Getting Out of the “Kill Box” is going to be your first priority. It is important to remember that while Law Enforcement’s job is to move TOWARD the direction of gunfire, your Job as a Civilian is to MOVE AWAY From it. And contrary to “Jason Bourne Wannabe/Mall Ninja” doctrine, the only reason you would need to use your weapon in this situation is if the shooter actively engages you, you are defending a Third Party or the shooter is between you and the EXIT.

Another thing to consider is Asking what to do if the exit is blocked or perhaps jammed up because of the rush of people (like in the Orlando Nightclub Shooting). This is where knowing ALL your exit points is helpful and also having the determination to GO THROUGH whatever is between you and FREEDOM.

Another thing I would stress when you play this mental game is DO NOT get bogged down with too many fantastic details. What I mean by that is don’t over think the situation. Keep it Simple and Practical and emphasize what matters:

  • When you hear gunfire, get low

  • Immediately Consider your location in relation to: A. The Direction of the Sound of the Gunfire and B. The Nearest Exit

  • Crouch (ie Duck Walk) or Crawl and use COVER if possible, when you Move

  • Once you start moving, Don’t Stop!

I remember a class I attended a while back and we had this one guy (there is always that one guy, right!?)  that constantly had his hand up asking stupid questions. I remember one of the questions was “How reliable is industrial shelving as Cover against pistol and assault rifle rounds?” I remember when he asked this the class went so quiet you could have heard a flea fart.  I remember actually being embarrassed for the poor idiot. The instructor, being actually dumbfounded by the question, just laughed nervously and moved right into another subject, after that I think the guy got the hint;  Enough with these dumb-ass questions!


The bottom line folks is we have to get what Paul Howe calls “The fantasy gunfight” ideal out of our brains right now. We are NOT going to be doing barrel rolls and jump-kicks while the theme from Red Dawn plays in the background. The truth of the matter is we will most likely be running or crawling toward the exit while other people scream or cry hysterically  around us while all the while we are trying to tie-off the strong urge NOT to shit ourselves. Just being real with you.

Mental “what if” tactical games like this are what separates the CO from the common ‘sheeple’ that populate the planet. Becoming complacent and lazy when out in public is pretty much the standard SOP for the majority of mankind when you think about it. Dare to be Different folks, it literally could be life saving.

Developing and having the mental outlook and edge that you are NOT going to be a victim does not happen on it’s own or by osmosis; it involves ACTIVE mental drills every day, even things as simple as “What if and Where Is It?”

In closing, Remember the words of Jeff Cooper who said:

“Violent Crime is Feasible Only if it’s Victims are Cowards.”

Don’t be a Coward. Take Responsibility for your Own Safety!


Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

Cold and Hot Ranges & The Use of “Safeties” in Training

In reference to the issue of the use of rifle or pistol safeties when conducting realistic tactical training, this video pretty much sums up my attitude: 

The  weapons safety is to be disengaged when the drill starts and not re-engaged until the drill STOPS. When not shooting, finger is to be at High Register. Being Combat Effective means focusing on killing the person trying to kill you, not worrying about some Range Nazi Safety Officer calling you out over “Weapons safety” infractions! We Must Train Realistically in all aspects!! -SF

“Modern Times”

By John Farnam

The “State of the Art!”

“There is nothing in this world in such dire need of correction as are other people’s opinions!” -(Anonymous)

Within my lifetime, our courageous progenitors, like Jeff Cooper, audaciously introduced us all to the “hot” range. He was ahead of his time! Prior to the “Cooper Era,” nearly all police pistol training took place on a cold range. In 1970, when I went to the Police Academy in WI, cold ranges were indeed the rule, and any suggestion to the contrary was heresy. Military ranges on which I had previously trained (prior to being deployed to Vietnam) were the same. Some of us young Turks discussed running a “hot” range, but only in whispers!

Today, hot ranges are the order of the day in most of the police training community. Frightening predictions that hot ranges were inherently unsafe proved erroneous.

Unfortunately, with the exception of a few elite units, our military has still not updated, and due to an intense infestation of risk-aversion throughout the System, probably will not any time soon.

Another example of “cultural lag” are manuals that come with modern pistols. Many still recommend that the weapon never be loaded, nor carried, and remain locked-up all the time. Most lawyers who compose this literature don’t even own a gun, much less carry one for serious purposes, and the intent of these manuals is to legally benefit the manufacturer, not practically benefit the consumer. There has been some progress in this arena, but it is glacial!

My courageous colleagues, Mas Ayoob and Manny Kapelsohn, to whom manufacturers actually listen carefully (unlike me) have bravely moved this process forward, more so than nearly anyone else. As a result, many weapon manuals today are actually useful to the consumer, at least to some degree. They’re now spending time and pages honestly confronting real security issues, rather than just hedging their bet and endlessly declaring their innocense.

Most non-police/non-military commercial training and trainers have also embraced the concept of the hot range, at least for pistols.

Running a rifle training range “hot” is a newer concept, and many trainers, even enlightened ones, are still hesitant. Everyone is deathly afraid of NDs, (Negligent Discharges) of course!

I have become persuaded that we have to run serious rifle training hot, if we are to have any chance of legitimately preparing our students for individual victory in real fighting. My personal experience in genuine warfare has influenced me to take this stand, and this is thus the way I currently run all my serious rifle training, and have for the last decade. (I don’t do non-serious “recreational” training).

Military rifles with which we train (ARs, XCRs, PTRs, M1As, SIG 556s, AKs, SCARs, Tavors, et al) are all designed and built to be carried loaded, by soldiers, during active combat, regardless of what the manual says. Unlike pistols, all come equipped with a manual safety lever/button.

The big question is:

What is our training doctrine with regard to the use of the rifle’s manual safety?

“Safety” and “readiness” will ever be mutually antagonistic. As trainers and philosophical entrepreneurs, our goal is always finding a reasonable compromise.

Most modern pistols (Glock, XD, M&P, SIG320, Walther PPQ, H&K VP9, FNS, Ruger AA) don’t have manual safeties, yet we still routinely move with them in our hands during training exercises, relying mostly upon a strong “register” position of the trigger-finger to prevent NDs. Still, we don’t prevent them all, no matter how careful we try to be!

Can we do the same with our rifles, or do we insist students keep the manual safety in the “on” position except when in the process of firing intentionally?

My answer to that question is:


I accept it either way, but I teach the former.

Of course, I tell students that I want the manual safety “on” when the rifle is slung, and I want them to check it frequently. Scant argument there.

However, when the rifle is in their hands, the position of the manual safety becomes optional.

Even so, I emphasize that the position of the trigger-finger is NOT optional, and I want it in a strong, “register” position until/unless (1) sights on target, (2) the shooter intends to fire immediately.

I run a lot of drills where students, moving rapidly with their rifles in hand, are in and out of their sights quickly, suddenly, and often. Who try to put their manual safety into the “on” position every time the rifle comes out of the sighting-plane, then back “off” again as they come back on target (sometimes less than a second later), are visibly slower than those who just leave it “off.” In fact, with an AK’s manual safety lever, the foregoing is all but impossible. And, I see students who are trained to keep the manual safety “on” except when on-target and intentionally firing (which I don’t insist they change) attempting to fire with the safety “on” with monotonous regularly!

Yet, I am ever learning, and philosophically flexible. When I witness a rash of NDs, I may be compelled to alter my training doctrine. At least over the past decade, all those NDs have not materialized.

Of course, I don’t train people who don’t want to be there! Many have made the case of how big a factor that is.

I know the foregoing is controversial. I hope I’ve made a persuasive argument!

We are preparing students for the fight of their lives. We can never forget who is working for whom!

“Truth is… a streaming fountain. When her waters are not in perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.”



Read the Original Article at Defensive Training International