Training Sequences

We are frequently asked "what class should I take?".

Start with Beginner Pistol if you:
- are under 18
- have never shot before
- do not have your own gun
- are mainly interested in shooting for fun (not self-defense)

Start with Basic Pistol 1 if you:
- have never shot before
- do not have your own gun
- have your own gun but cannot operate, clean, or shoot it without assistance
- want to try a variety of handguns in different calibers
- want training in how to pick the right handgun for personal defense

Start with Basic Pistol 2 if you:
- have shot before, but don't think you can pass the CHL shooting test on the first try without assistance
- don't know whether your gun is single action, striker fired, or DA/SA design
- have a gun that is DA/SA, but never practice shooting it in DA mode
- have difficulty loading your magazines, locking your slide open, ejecting magazines, operating the decocker, or any other basic operation of your handgun
- have never practiced starting at a 'ready' position, finger off trigger, and bringing the gun on target and firing
- have never shot any drills "on the clock" (within a required time limit)
- never "dry fire" your gun at home, don't know what 'dry firing' is, how to do it safely, or why dry fire practice is essential to developing handgun skill
- have never taken a formal handgun shooting course where you learned proper grip and stance
- have never had formal instruction in safe gun handling (if you regularly commit any of the gunhandling errors listed here)

You can skip Basic Pistol 1 and Basic Pistol 2 if you:
- have passed (or can pass) the CHL shooting test with a score of 90% (225 points) or higher
- have prior formal handgun training

You can skip Defensive Pistol Skills and/or Advanced Training I and/or Competition Pistol 1 if you:
- have received similar training from the military,a law enforcement academy or a private sector training school
- already compete in IPSC, IDPA, Steel Challenge or other holster-using pistol sport

Here are three recommended course sequences for the most common interest areas:

RECREATIONAL & COMPETITION HANDGUN SHOOTING

The better you shoot, the more fun you will have. Proper equipment selection and training in proper technique will make you safer and help you shoot better.

1) Basic Pistol 1 and/or Beginner Pistol -Learn the basics, try many different handguns, learn how to select an appropriate handgun
2) Purchase your own handgun
3) Practice with it on your own
4) Basic Pistol 2 - Review the fundamentals, get additional coaching and shoot drills "on the clock" similar to those in the Texas CHL shooting test
5) More practice on your own
6) Handgunning Beyond the Basics - Techniques for improving speed and accuracy
7) Practice the "Beyond the Basics" drills on your own
8) Competition Pistol 1 - Learn about the rules and events in pistol matches in this area. Our Defensive Pistol Skills 1 class, which is offered more often than the Competition Pistol 1 course, covers the same gun handling skills but does not cover the rules of various competitions.
9) Shoot competitions. Have fun!

HOME DEFENSE

The first step in personal protection is to prepare to defend your home. Completing this sequence of courses and training teaches you skills and tactics for protecting home and family. A good home defense plan consists of more than just having a gun and knowing how to shoot it at paper targets. Real situations involve attackers that can think, move, talk and fight back, in a 360 degree, 3-dimensional world full of family members, furniture and walls. The "Advanced Training" courses in this sequence should be considered essential for anyone serious about defending their home and family from criminal attack.

1) Basic Pistol 1 - Learn the basics, try many different handguns, learn how to select an appropriate handgun
2) Purchase your own handgun
3) Practice with it on your own
4) Basic Pistol 2 - Review the fundamentals, get additional coaching and shoot drills "on the clock" similar to those in the Texas CHL shooting test
5) More practice on your own
6) Defensive Long Gun - Learn rifle, pistol caliber carbine or shotgun skills appropriate for home defense
7) Practice with your long gun
8) Take a basic first aid course, a CPR course, and make sure you have first aid supplies at home
9) Personal Tactics Skills - learn how to read pre-fight cues, learn basic plans for common situations
10) Concealed Handgun License - learn Texas gun laws and get a carry permit so you can carry in public
11) Defensive Pistol Skills - Learn the essentials of defensive handgunning
12) Any or all of these courses
Defensive Pistol Skills 2 - Learn to shoot from cover and improve the skills you learned in DPS 1
Advanced Training 1A - low light handgun shooting skills, because most defensive encounters happen in low light
Defensive Pistol Skills 3 - more practice in Defensive Pistol skills
13) Practice realistic drills (not just "target shooting") with your handgun and long gun at least 4 times a year, preferably every month
14) Advanced Training 2 - experience "force on force" scenarios for home defense
15) Advanced Training 2A - practice tactics in a real home, learn how to develop and practice tactics specific to your home and situation
16) Make changes to the lighting, exterior plants, locks, doors, windows, and other aspects of your home to reduce your risk of intrusion and improve your ability to deal with an intruder
17) Make sure that others living with you know what to do and what you will do in a home defense situation

CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE

The next step in personal defense is to carry lifesaving equipment with you all the time, not just at home or in the car. All that is required to get a CHL is to pass the state-mandated course. The standards for the state course define the absolute minimum competency required to carry in public without being a danger to others. Just taking the CHL class and shooting your gun once every 5 years because the state requires it simply isn't enough to give you good odds of survival.

To pass the CHL shooting test you get to start with the gun in both hands, stand still, out in the open, and shoot a big, easy target straight ahead of you within generous time limits, on a well lit shooting range. You'll be poised and ready to shoot, waiting for the 'go" signal.

In a real situation it's likely that your gun will be concealed in a holster or purse, you'll be moving, you may only have one hand available (the other may be busy opening a door, carrying a bag or fending off an attacker), you'll have to move and shoot around other people and real-world obstacles (cars, desks, etc.), you may face multiple attackers anywhere in the 360 degrees around you, and you'll be trying to defend yourself and make shoot/no-shoot decisions in the dark, as fast as you can, while your life is in immediate danger.

The courses we offer past the CHL level prepare you for those realistic situations through live fire drills, integration of gun and unarmed skills, and Airsoft-based "force on force" scenario based training. The "Advanced Training" courses in this sequence should be considered essential for anyone serious about surviving a criminal attack.

1) Basic Pistol 1 -Learn the basics, try many different handguns, learn how to select an appropriate handgun
2) Purchase your own handgun
3) Practice with it on your own
4) Basic Pistol 2 - Review the fundamentals, get additional coaching and shoot drills "on the clock" similar to those in the Texas CHL shooting test
5) More practice on your own
6) Concealed Handgun License - learn Texas gun laws and get a carry permit so you can carry in public
7) Take a basic first aid course, a CPR course, and make sure you have first aid supplies in your car.
8) Defensive Pistol Skills or Advanced Training 1 - Learn the essentials of defensive handgunning.
9) Practice realistic drills (not just "target shooting") with your handgun at least 3-4 times a year, preferably every month
10) Personal Tactics Skills - learn how to read pre-fight cues, learn basic plans for common situations
11) Any or all of these courses
Defensive Pistol Skills 2 - Learn to shoot from cover and improve the skills you learned in DPS 1
Advanced Training 1A - low light handgun shooting skills, because most defensive encounters happen in low light
Defensive Pistol Skills 3 - more practice in Defensive Pistol skills
12) Advanced Training 2 - experience "force on force" scenarios for home defense
13) Make sure that others you trust and care about know what to do and what you will do in a confrontation at home or in public
14) Take a multi day unarmed combatives course such as InSights Unarmed Self Defense I or take martial arts classes that include sparring other students, such as those offered by Tactical Arts in Austin
15) Advanced Training 3, Advanced Training 4, Advanced Training 6 and guest instructor classes
16) Advanced Training 5, Advanced Training 7 and 5A - advanced "force on force" training

 


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