DA Banner Adv

The Advanced Level of the Defense Academy integrates DSI's online resources, on-site, and on-range training courses in a program that can take you (even if a new gun owner) to a level of confidence and proficiency comparable to any urban SWAT operator* in America, in twelve months of study, training, and deliberate practice. 


The Advanced Level training is driven by a 12-month training plan. The plan is segmented into 5 "Programs", each roughly 2 months in length that provide specific, sequenced direction, guiding you through a carefully designed and fully integrated sequence of instruction.

Anchored by participation in DSI's on-range training courses, this plan defines pre-requisites for each progressively more challenging level of training, and specifies the readings, videos, online courses, and practice drills that must be addressed before course attendance at each level.

The plan is NOT overly prescriptive - there remains considerable flexibility for you to control your own pace and adapt the program to your individual schedule and circumstances, while still focusing on the end goal of proficiency in two weapon systems and in the tactics and cognitive knowledge that will allow the sober, lawful, and deliberate application of those skills as an individual, and as a member of a team or larger articulated unit in defense of home, business, church, school, or community against evolving threats.

In broad outline, this program ensures competency in the combative use of handgun and rifle; in the principles of individual tactics that will make you hard to kill and allow you to apply those skills successfully in a fight for your life; and in the cognitive infrastructure of intelligence, communications, planning, collective training, and organization that will provide you the enormous leverage of working with like-minded and similarly trained people to secure your business, school, church, or community in that critical gap between the sudden appearance of a violent threat and the decisive intervention of law enforcement - a gap that is steadily widening in much of America as the social contract frays and resources contract.

Advanced Screen Grab



You will be using 6 component resources in order to accomplish your training objectives. Thes components are:

  • SmartSheet Control Plan: This serves to both guide and record your progress through the 12-month training plan.
  • Online courses: Each Program in the Advanced Training Plan requires that you complete specific Online Courses accessible here.
  • Online reading assignments: A Program may also specify required readings found in our online Defense Academy.
  • Online quizzes and tests: Many Online Courses require successful completion of a quiz; and a test demonstrates your understanding of all specified Pre-Course work in each Program.
  • On-range courses: After you have satisfied all prerequisites and completed all Pre-Course work for a given Program, you will need to schedule and attend the specified on-range Course.
  • In-home dry practice: Combative Firearms Programs specify dry-practice before, during, and after your on-range training to help you develop and maintain gun handling skills. 


We will provide you with testing - an honesty trace - and tracking throughout the 12-month period.  Follow the links to the six Programs listed below to discover the prerequisites, pre-course study requirements, and the contents and sequencing of on-range training. Schedule your on-range courses well in advance, and ensure that you have completed all requirements prior to attendance.


In the realm of self-defense and distributed security, there is no room for magical thinking or unwarranted deference to imaginary elites. The DSI training team has many years' experience guiding smart, fit, motivated individuals, regardless of their background or prior experience, through progressive training that produces the competencies necessary to meet and defeat any armed threat. 

When you have successfully completed all of the requirements of the Advanced Plan then you gain the "Advanced" patch certifying that you have demonstrated the baseline skills of police SWAT/SRT operators*, which we define as proficiency with handgun, rifle, and shotgun, and the ability to move and fight effectively as an individual or in a small team.


*The specialty skills of a sniper, breacher, negotiator, or tactical driver are less applicable to private citizens in defense of home, business, church, school, and community, and we do not teach them. DSI training will help you develop shooting and gun handling skills comparable to the best police and military operators, which will enable you to consistently achieve hits on target, at realistic ranges, under stress, in low light, faster than your adversary. Your judgment and decision-making skills will ensure that you use force legally and appropriately, without endangering the innocent. Your mastery of individual tactics will let you avoid a fight where possible, and fight from a position of advantage where you must. You will be able to work safely and effectively in a team with other similarly trained operators in any urban or suburban environment. Your tactical medicine skills will enable you to save lives when seconds count and EMS is minutes away. Your tactical communications skills and means will allow you to coordinate within and across teams. Your DSI training is an integrated package that will reward you with top-level skills in all these areas for a commitment of approximately 150 hours of on-range work, and the equivalent in guided study and practice.

Member Login


Advanced Level


Advanced Level - Home

Plan - Instructions

Program 1 - Combative Handgun

Program 2 - Individual Tactics

Program 3 - Combative Rifle

Program 4 - Team Tactics

Program 5 - Unit Tactics