• Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.
  • Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.
  • Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.
  • Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.
  • Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.
  • Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.
  • Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.
  • Combative Firearms Training
    Combative Firearms Training Training individuals, teams and units to defend life and property.
  • Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.
  • Train To Defend
    Train To Defend Individual. Business. School. Church. Community.

How Much Training Should A Gun Owner Have?

Anybody who purchases a gun for self-defense at some point might find themselves actually having to shoot somebody.  Theoretically, any basic firearms training should teach you how to use a weapon to defend yourself in a lethal confrontation.  Since your life and the life of innocent bystanders are at stake - you should get competent training.

Most first-time gun buyers spend less on their firearms training than they do for a month's worth of yoga classes.

After all, people spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours annually to pursue their hobbies and athletic pursuits. So you would think that a potentially deadly pursuit like purchasing a weapon for self-defense would cause them to prioritize their time and budget to learn how to safely and effectively use a weapon. Right?

Wrong.

Most first-time gun buyers spend less on their firearms training than they do for a month's worth of yoga classes. Or a new golf putter. And worse yet, once they have completed training they don't practice what they learned (going to the range and shooting 100 rounds from a stall at a stationary target is not practicing).

Understand that if you are engaged in a lethal force confrontation you will be in the fight of your life. Your body will react in ways that you never could have imagined. In a few short seconds you will be called upon to make life and death decisions while physically manipulating a lethal weapon. The ability to do this safely and effectively will be dependent upon the skills you learn and practice.

Yet most Americans think that a $75, four-hour concealed carry course taught by a local community college instructor using state-mandated PowerPoint slides that mostly focus on legalities and cleaning and storing their weapon is enough training. It isn't. This is like buying a cheap pair of Nike trainers and expecting to run a sub three-hour marathon without actually training. Or watching a YouTube golf lesson and expecting to shoot par on your first round of golf.

Stapleton RBT Hall

Just like any other human endeavor that requires you to learn a new skill, effectively utilizing this skill demands that you train. That you practice this skill. And nowhere is this more applicable than firearms training. When we started DSI back in 2009 it was with the intention of offering the training necessary to develop safe and effective defenders of life and property.

Over the ensuing 10 years, we have developed a tactical training curriculum second to none and consisting of thousands of pages written over tens of thousands of hours by a team of military vets, security contractors, federal agents, state police, special forces operators, and SWAT team members. We deliver our curriculum via qualified and certified Combative Firearms Instructors, who use on-line, on-range, and on-site courses, programs, structured post-course training routine, and hundreds of supporting resources to ensure you get the training you need. We use an integrated format that threads together pre-course, on-range, and post-course persistent training phases in order to develop safe and effective defenders.

Ron Danielowski, chief instructor and co-founder narrates a tour of our on-line resources used to support new students:

The most important phase is your post-course training, the persistent practicing of skills and techniques learned during the on-range phase. We cannot emphasize enough the need to practice, in a programmed manner, under the watch of an experienced instructor, the skills and techniques learned on-course. Nowhere does the old adage "use it or lose it" apply more than tactical training.

We have developed guidelines reflecting our belief that sustained training and correct practice are necessary for anyone to be a safe and effective defender of life and property. At every level of  training, we insist upon - and provide the resources for - this level of commitment and persistent effort:

  1. CONCEALED CARRIER - 18 hours initial training + 74 hours of persistent practice annually. For the casual concealed carrier who carries periodically in public venues like restaurants, shopping, commuting, etc.
  2. INDIVIDUAL DEFENDER - 48 hours initial training + 103 hours of persistent practice annually.For the serious citizens who want to learn how to safely and effectively defend life and property from lethal threats
  3. TEAM DEFENDER - 72 hours initial range training + 133 hours of persistent practice annually. For serious citizens who want to learn how to work as a team to defend their business, church, and school.

The table below contains a more detailed breakout of training phases and the activities involved during each phase. These guidelines are developed with our curriculum in mind but can be adapted by other training groups or instructors.

Training Gudieline chart

Visit our Master Training Calendar and Registration page for details on signing up for a course. The calendar below shows the courses that have been scheduled to date:

Training Philosophy

The Industry Standard Vs. The DSI Standard

Using military, law enforcement, and common private industry training standards as a gauge we want to give you a sense of how the DSI standard compares to the "industry" standard.

The industry standard focuses on range safety and artificiality by using tightly controlled, on-line, square range drills or movement under tightly controlled drills (such as "box" drills), in order to focus on draw speed and hits in a given area under a certain time limit. This type of training is often accompanied by hours in the classroom presenting declarative knowledge, which eats into the available live fire training time. When critical topics like use of force are taught in a classroom, rather than on your feet in the sudden, uncertain, violent and chaotic setting of combat (real or simulated) students are more likely to either overreact, or to hesitate and be afraid to apply the appropriate level of force.

DSI begins by looking at reality: the actual conditions of a gun fight. We believe that firearms skills must be integrated at the earliest possible moment with maneuver (movement with purpose). We believe that most of the declaratory knowledge can be absorbed by the student through readings, narrated videos, and dry practice drills on his schedule and on his own premises, before he ever sets foot on a range - especially if he has access to instructors to answer questions that may arise. We believe that your paid, on-range, supervised training time is a precious resource that should be maximized.

To be able to defend yourself, DSI believes you need to be killing enabled. Regardless of your technical skills, if you have not processed the issues surrounding deadly force well before the moment of crisis, if you cannot kill another when it is necessary to save yourself or other innocents, then you will fail.

Furthermore, one can only make proper decisions in lethal force engagements by way of orientation in the sense of Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop, and orientation only comes via experience under conditions as close as possible to those that will exist in a gunfight. Orientation relies on experiential knowledge, which cannot be attained only by reading or talking about scenarios. Nor can you survive a lethal encounter if your conscious mind is distracted from vital decisions to engage in every choice of action or technique. DSI’s training techniques develop sound, reality based semi-conditioned responses to maintain your situational awareness, maneuver safely, and react aggressively to contact. Your trained gun handling skills will take care of themselves, and the higher level conscious decisions – whether to shoot, how and whom to shoot – are fast, focused, and uncluttered. You will train this way from the start in both dry and live fire drills, and then reinforce that learning through challenging RBT (Reality Based Training) scenarios in our tactical training programs.

Solid curricula that pre-loads the declaratory knowledge, and then teaches integrated firearms and tactical skills in a reality-based environment will produce individuals and teams more capable than most military and police units. We base this statement on our personal experience of having trained thousands of military and law-enforcement personnel over 25 years). Operational police and military units (those units actively kicking in doors day in and day out) may be able to outperform our clients in certain aspects, based on that all-important factor of experiential learning (basing actions and decisions under stress on a fund of prior, applicable experience). But DSI can develop and implement effective training faster, applying the best and latest techniques and lessons-learned; and present it in a more compressed, highly effective format, because we have neither bureaucratic hoops to jump through, nor institutional inertia.

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