Training Sequences

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

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

We also recommend taking the NRA's online Basic Pistol course, which covers more information than we can present in a 3 hour short course.

Take the Gun Selection Clinic if you:
- want to try a variety of handguns in different calibers
- want training in how to pick the right handgun for personal defense

The Gun Selection Clinic is not a substitute for Basic Pistol 1. Students with no prior shooting experience should take Basic Pistol 1 first.

Take the Shooting Skills, Gun Cleaning and Maintenance Course if you:
- want to learn how to take your gun apart and clean it
- want to learn more about how your gun works
- want additional shooting practice time

You should take Basic Pistol 2 if you:
- have been a gun owner all your life but have never had a formal class in shooting fundamentals (whether you passed the License To Carry course or not)
- want to practice the License to Carry shooting test before you take the LTC course
- passed the License to Carry shooting test with a score less than 90% (<225 points)
- answer "no" to any of these other questions

You should take the License to Carry course if you:
- want to carry a pistol in public
- want to learn state laws on self-defense even if you don't plan to carry in public
- only plan on carrying a gun in your vehicle

Understanding the fine points of Texas laws about guns and deadly force is important for any armed citizen. So is having some type of legal plan in place. We recommend the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network program and Texas Law Shield.

The License to Carry course will teach you the laws but does not teach the practical gun skills essential to any self defense situation. Our Defensive Pistol series teaches those skills.

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 - Learn the basics
2) Gun Selection Clinic - try many different handguns, learn how to select an appropriate handgun
3) Purchase your own handgun
4) Practice with it on your own
5) Gun Cleaning, Shooting Skills and Maintenance - learn more about your gun
6) Basic Pistol 2 - Review the fundamentals, get additional coaching and shoot drills "on the clock" similar to those in the Texas CHL shooting test
7) More practice on your own
8) Handgunning Beyond the Basics - Techniques for improving speed and accuracy
9) Practice the "Beyond the Basics" drills on your own
10) 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.
11) 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
2) Gun Selection Clinic - try many different handguns, learn how to select an appropriate handgun
3) Purchase your own handgun
4) Practice with it on your own
5) Gun Cleaning, Shooting Skills and Maintenance - learn more about your gun
6) Basic Pistol 2 - Review the fundamentals, get additional coaching and shoot drills "on the clock" similar to those in the License to Carry shooting test
7) More practice on your own
8) Defensive Long Gun - Learn rifle, pistol caliber carbine or shotgun skills appropriate for home defense
9) Practice with your long gun (take our Gun Cleaning, Shooting Skills and Maintenance long gun course)
10) Take a basic first aid course, a CPR course, and make sure you have first aid supplies at home
11) Personal Tactics Skills - learn how to read pre-fight cues, learn basic plans for common situations
12) License to Carry- learn Texas gun laws and get a carry permit so you can carry in public
13) Defensive Pistol Skills - Learn the essentials of defensive handgunning
14) 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
15) Practice realistic drills (not just "target shooting") with your handgun and long gun at least 4 times a year, preferably every month
16) Advanced Training 2 - experience "force on force" scenarios for home defense
17) Advanced Training 2A - practice tactics in a real home, learn how to develop and practice tactics specific to your home and situation
18) 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
19) Make sure that others living with you know what to do and what you will do in a home defense situation

LICENSE TO CARRY (LTC)

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 LTC 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 LTC 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 LTC 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 LTC 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
2) Gun Selection Clinic - try many different handguns, learn how to select an appropriate handgun
3) Purchase your own handgun
4) Practice with it on your own
5) Gun Cleaning, Shooting Skills and Maintenance - learn more about your gun
6) Basic Pistol 2 - Review the fundamentals, get additional coaching and shoot drills "on the clock" 7) License to Carry - learn Texas gun laws and get a carry permit so you can carry in public
8) Take a basic first aid course, a CPR course, and make sure you have first aid supplies in your car.
9) Defensive Pistol Skills or Advanced Training 1 - Learn the essentials of defensive handgunning.
10) Practice realistic drills (not just "target shooting") with your handgun at least 3-4 times a year, preferably every month
11) Personal Tactics Skills - learn how to read pre-fight cues, learn basic plans for common situations
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) Advanced Training 2 - experience "force on force" scenarios for home defense
14) 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
15) 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
16) Advanced Training 3, Advanced Training 4, Advanced Training 6 and guest instructor classes
17) Advanced Training 5, Advanced Training 7 and 5A - advanced "force on force" training

 


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